Dushanbe

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Eco-friendly travel guide to Dushanbe advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.


  • Air quality: 2.5 / 5
  • Exploring by foot: 3.5 / 5
  • Exploring by bicycle: 4 / 5
  • Public transportation:3 / 5
  • Parks: 4 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 2 / 5
  • Safety: 3.5 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$11 - $170
  • Budget per day: US$30 - $170

Responsible Travel

Dushanbe is very well-known as the capital of Tajikistan around the world. The city is very well-known for its lush green and snow-covered mountains. As an eco-friendly traveler, you will be able to get a very good experience in this city. From parks to fountains, you will be able to see many famous tourist attractions in this city. This city is also very famous for having The Pamir plateau, which is known to be the highest region all over central Asia. When you are visiting this city as an eco-friendly traveler, you need to keep some of the important things in your mind.

  • As a major part of the city is dependent on tourism, try to buy goods, clothes, and other things from the local shops and sellers. It will help them to keep providing new items for costumes.
  • Along with the traditional cuisines from famous restaurants, make sure to try the local street foods to get the best food experience in this city. You will be able to know more about the culture with street foods.
  • Comfortably stay at the green hotels to enjoy your trip along with all the benefits while keeping the city safe from pollution.
  • Visit the parks and gardens in the city to get closer to nature and enjoy the fresh air. It will help you to get away from the crows of the city and enjoy some moments with nature.
  • Instead of using other transportations that pollute the city, choose the local eco-friendly services that will both save your money and help to keep the city safe from pollution.


Air Quality and Pollution

The air quality of Dushanbe is constantly changing, sometimes it is good for travelers, and sometimes it is unhealthy. The Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city ranges from 17 to as high as 124. So, it is better to travel by all preparation as you do not know how the air is going to be. Unhealthy air can cause many different problems to travelers who do not have the habit of staying in polluted air.

Some particular groups of people who have health problems like breathing problems or asthma can get very sick if they are not prepared. So, take a mask, medicines, and other things with you to get the best travel experience in the city.


Respect the Culture

The culture of this city is one of the best things that you will get to witness. Most of the people are from Tajik identity and this culture dates back to many thousands of years back. You will find similarities in their culture with other countries like Iran, Afghanistan.

The language, habits, and beliefs are almost the same, and the majority of the population belongs to Muslims. You will be able to see some of the best tourist attractions in this city along with different old traditions of the local lifestyle. From foods to the festival, you will get the unique experience of their culture.


Top 10 Places to Visit

Dushanbe is a lovely place where tourists from different parts of the globe love to visit. You can also visit here during your summer or winter holidays and make your trip more exciting. But if you think that it is a boring place, then these 10 places can fulfill your wishes.

  • Ismoili Somoni Monument- You might have seen many older monuments in your earlier trips, but this one is more modern. It honors the valor of the Samanid dynasty and tells you the best things about it in full detail.
  • Dushanbe Zoo- Without any doubt, we can say that this zoo is wonderful and has some of the finest species. Visit here, and you will definitely have the best experience of your life.
  • Navruz palace- Though this palace is for parties and exhibitions, but here you can also spend your leisure time. The beauty of this place attracts most of the tourists, and they come here for a tour.
  • New Mosque- This mosque is beyond beautiful and also has some unique qualities. It gives you a brief idea about the fight which was against the Islamic region in that particular period.
  • Victory Monument- If you are interested to know about World War II, then this place is a must-visit for you. Conveys a vaster knowledge about the activities that used to happen during those periods.
  • Sadriddin Aini Monument- It was established a long time ago and depicts you about the literary works of Sadriddin Aini. The moment you come here, then you will know the reason for his popularity.
  • Auchan- In today's age, this mall is considered to be the best one and also has some greater significance. The reason behind this thing is that here you will find some famous departmental stores. And you cannot imagine that these stores provide you with the perfect fashion wear and clothes.
  • Munisa- This is a small shopping market where you will get all forms of clothes. Rather than having any second thoughts, you should just buy them and see how they are suitable.
  • Barakat- Another shopping mall that can fulfill most of your needs and demands. It is guaranteed that after buying the best products from here, you will never have any complaints.
  • Noor- If you love to collect artistic works, then this gallery is a perfect option for you. Try it out, and you will get your favorite art at an affordable price.


Explore

Now when it comes to exploring the city, then these 10 places are not enough. You have to try out some of the famous city parks and museums also. In this particular section, you would get to know about them.


City Parks

  • Youth Park- Do not go by the name of this park because it is for everyone. Here you will get some awesome flowers and plants, which becomes a point of attraction. Carry your camera and capture some of the best pictures which will remain as a memory.
  • Rudaki Park- This place is awesome, and once you come here, then you will never feel like returning back. The ambiance is calm, and it will give you a perfect feeling of relaxation to its fullest.


National Parks

  • Shirkent National Park- If you love the activities of hiking then there is no point in missing this park. Try it for once and get the best enjoyment of your life, which you have never imagined or expected before.
  • Delfin Aquapark- It is an aquatic center, but people in the city refer to it as an excursion park. Here you will get an opportunity to go for famous rides like water slides and many more.


Beaches

Unfortunately, you will not find any beaches in the city of Dushanbe. But there is nothing to lose hope in because there is a district nearby where you can go for beach activities.


Landmarks

  • Haji Yaqub Mosque- This is the largest mosque which is situated in the heart of the city. If you miss it, then you will regret it throughout life and curse yourself.
  • Stele with the emblem of Tajikistan- It is not so famous, but the architecture entices the majority of the tourists. Make a fair attempt of visiting here so that you do not have any kind of disappointments or regrets in the future.


Museums

  • National Museum- This museum tells you the real meaning of beauty and signifies it in a brief manner. In other words, you will get a fine idea about the life of archaeology and its possibility. Make a note of this place and mark it as a very important one.


Eat

Food is one of the things that make the city very different from all other western cities. You will get to know about some new foods along with different cooking methods. The dishes are delicious and mouth-watering, you will not be able to leave any of the dishes without trying at least once. The aroma and royal management of them make the food more delicious.

Some of the local and traditional foods like piti, shurbo, ugro, laghmon, and other dishes are greatly available here and they are famous for making them. You will see some differences in food choices from western countries in this city, which makes them unique and attractive.


Traditional Local Restaurants

Traditional local restaurants are the first palace that you need to visit when looking for food. You might be able to get other types of foods in different places in the world but the traditional; dishes are the best here.

You will not be able to find any of them anywhere else with the local authenticity. So, do not miss the chance of dining in the local restaurants and try some of the famous traditional foods while taking a trip to Dushanbe city. Make sure to try these places when you are in the city.

  • Al-Sham - This is one of the best restaurants in Dushanbe that you can visit to have some famous traditional dishes. They offer the best Arabic and Middle Eastern cuisine to their customers. You will have a nice experience of dining in this place with an impressive ambiance.
  • Sim-Sim Restaurant - This restaurant is famous for serving traditional dishes like osh, Plov, pilaf rice, and others. You will be able to enjoy many dishes here at an affordable price.


Vegetarian and Vegan

There are many traditional dishes and other dishes are available in this city that is completely veg. Plenty of famous veg restaurants you can choose from in this city to have a very good eating memory on this trip. You will not miss out on the flavors and raw authenticity of the traditional dishes as they are just as good as any non-veg dishes. Here are some of the veg restaurants that you need to visit to have the best veg eating experience.

  • Kaya Korean - One of the pale that offers many vegan dishes to customers. As the name suggests, the restaurant is Korean but also offers local dishes to customers. Located in Rudaki Ave, this restaurant is a must-visit for vegetarian lovers.
  • Mazza Cafe - Another restaurant in the city that offers veg foods for both lunch and dinner. You will also get vegan breakfast in this place among a long list of choices. You can ask for non-veg dishes without the meat too or replacing it with something.


Street Food

Without trying the street foods, your trip to the Dushanbe is not complete. Some street food in this city is famous around the other countries. You will be able to know more about their culture and their choices by eating street foods. From big roads to lanes, you will find small stalls everywhere in the city selling different delicious street foods.

Trying the street foods from local food shops will help them to make their living and give you a nice experience of eating authentic dishes. Before you step into the city, here are some of the places that you need to try for having the best experience of eating street food.

  • Wall Street Cafe and Restaurants - This palace offers some best street foods to their customers, you will be able to get a long-range of foods at a reasonable price. Make sure to try all of them to get the best street food experience.


Drink

Having some refreshment between exploring the city is very important as it helps to stay hydrated and do the exploration without drying out. Apart from water, you will get many other drinks in this city that will help you to feel refreshed in this city. Some of the soft drinks and juices are very famous locally for the unmatched taste. You will be amazed to try them out at local shops, and they are available at a very reasonable price.

However, it is not as popular as the national drink of country green tea. Green tea is a daily drinking habit of the local people in this city. You will get a tea shop in every corner of the city and it is very available. Here are some details about the different drinks that you need to know before visiting the city.


Tap-water

The tap water availability in this city has decreased a lot in the last few years. Some of the rural and urban areas do not have access to tap water. When it comes to drinking the tap water, it is best to avoid it as the tap-water is not drinkable. Most of the local people also avoid drinking it and others go through different processes of filtering and boiling before drinking it.

However, it is better for travelers to use tap water only for brushing teeth and washing face. When it comes to drinking, you will get plenty of bottled water available in the city. The price of these bottled water is reasonable and affordable. It is best to get a lot of them to carry everywhere you go.


Organic Cafés

If you are health conscious or want to keep your energy restored by eating organic dishes, then you will not have much problem in Dushanbe. You might have to look and find more compared to normal restaurants, but you will be able to get a lot of options in the city. Many local people are concerned about their health and like to have organic dishes.

But most of them buy organic ingredients from food markets and make it at home instead of going to any restaurant and cafe. You can also do some food shopping to make the organic dishes on your own or visit these places to get the best organic food in the city.

  • Segafredo - This is a very busy cafe in the city that offers different organic dishes to customers. You can get some delicious organic foods here at a very low price to stay healthy on the tour.


Breweries

Although alcohol consumption in this city is not as high as many other western cities, you will get some of the best brands here. Some of the breweries date back to very old times and they are very well known to the local people and travelers. You will be able to get a wide range of alcohol and beers in this city with some new types of brews that you have never tested before.

You can visit these places and get some ideas about making processes along with free or paid testing of the alcohol. Some of the very well known and popular breweries of the city include Dushanbe Brewery, Avery Brewing Company, Snowbank Brewing, and others.


Activities

Plenty of options are available to participate in different activities in this city. There are some of the attractions available in this city that are known around the world. The city offers different parks, museums, monuments, and other popular locations for the tourist that will give you the best experience of traveling to the city.

The city is filled with points of interest where you can visit and check out some of the histories of the city. If you want to participate in outdoor activities, then this city also offers you a lot of options like forest exploration, hiking, road trips, rock climbing, ski, and many others. You can also join the yoga, gym, meditation classes to improve your physical and mental health while traveling the city.


Yoga and Retreats

As mentioned earlier, yoga is a great way to get calm and good mental health. Many people like to participate in yoga sessions on their trip to get away from the crowd in the city and make sure to have a clean mind for the best travel experience. This city offers a lot of great options for having yoga, you will get a nice experience of meditating in these places.

As many local people like to do yoga and take care of their health, the number of yoga centers are filled in this city. Use the online services to book the yoga centers to get available seats in the city without any hassle.


Accommodation

Accommodation is one of the best things that helps travelers to enjoy the stay in the city. You will get many different options available in the city that will help you to get the best experience of staying in the city. From hotels to hostels, you will get all the different accommodation options in the city.

As an eco-friendly traveler, you can also choose to stay at green hotels. Make sure to book the accommodation earlier before the date of stepping in the city to book rooms successfully. Here are different accommodation options in details given below that will help you to choose. You can choose the type of accommodation based on the time you are staying in the city.


Green Hotels

As mentioned earlier, green hotels are the best accommodation option for you that will help you to both get a good stay and keep the city safe from any pollution. Like other normal hotels, you will be able to get many different features and benefits from these hotels. They use different techniques that help to save a lot of resources and waste.

Green hotels are getting popular all over the world and they are the most chosen accommodation option by travelers. Make sure to use the online services to book the rooms earlier before visiting the city, it will both help you to get the room and avoid last time hassles.


Hostels and Guest Houses

If you are thinking of staying a bit more in the city, then hostels and guest houses are the best accommodation option for you. You will be able to save a lot of money along with staying like a local in this city. Just like other accommodation, you will get many different options available in hostels.

From cheap to high prices, different types of hostels are available in this city that you can either book online or get it booked offline after visiting the city. However, booking online helps you to save time looking for hostels and guest houses in the city. Here are some of the popular guesthouses and hostels in the city.

  • Green House Hostel
  • Hostel Hello


Apartments

Live like a local and learn more about the culture of the city by choosing apartments. Stay as long as you want in the city with cheap prices and different benefits. You will be able to see some of the best lifestyle, traditions, daily life journey, and others by staying surrounded by locals.

There are plenty of apartments available in the city that you can choose to stay in the city. While getting them will not be an issue, all of them have different offerings. So, make sure to check all the offers and benefits that you are receiving, before booking one for your stay. You can also check the reviews online to know how these apartments are.


Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a way to stay in the city without wasting any money on accommodation. It is a community of travelers that let other travelers stay in their local house and help him in his tour. Compared to western countries and cities, you will not be able to find a Couchsurfing host in this city very easily.

You will have to find them online and contact them to get help. Although, there are many couchsurfers in the city that can help you to get the best experience of the city by sharing their home, giving information, being a guide in your whole tour, and others. However, reaching out to them can be difficult, make sure to book them earlier.


Camping

Among all of these different accommodation choices, this one is the most different one that helps you to take the best experience in the city. If you like adventure, then you can relate to living under the open sky and staying in a small tent surrounded by lush green. Camping is one of the lifetime experiences that helps to know a place better and get closer to nature.

You will be to witness nature, birds, trees, wildlife, and others that will help you to enjoy your stay in the city. As the city is surrounded by mountains and hills, you will be able to do many cycles and trekking tours in the city while staying at the camps at night.


How to Get There

Before planning your tour of the city, you need to know what are different transportation systems available from your home town to reach this place. From most countries, people like to visit this city using flight as it takes a lot less time. However, the fare for booking a seat on the plane is very high compared to other transportation modes.

Apart from the air, there are many other ways to reach this beautiful city, but you might need more time and break your journey to use them. While most people like to catch the flight to avoid any type of hassle, others like to have the experience of doing a break journey and enjoy the travel on their way.


Air

As mentioned above, the air is the only way that can help you to reach this city in only hours. It is one of the comfortable ways of the journey that helps you to avoid any type of journey stress. You will be able to get many different flights both international and locally available in the city. The airway is connected well with most of the countries.

You will need to book your tickets very early to avoid paying more for the tickets or getting the plane full. Being the capital of the country, this city offers Dushanbe International Airport. From most of the cities, you will be able to catch a direct flight to this airport using local or international flights.


Bus

The bus is the best and cheapest way to reach the city if you are traveling from other cities in Dushanbe. The roads are well connected with other cities as this city is not only the capital but a community hub. People of this country from different cities visit the capital for many different things.

So, buses are the best way to get into the city comfortably for a very low fare. In most of the places in the city, you will witness many bus stands, bus terminals. Most of the intercity buses cross this city, which will help you to get there easily. The journey will be time taking, but you will get the experience of traveling using the road.


Train

If you are traveling from other countries, then you will not be able to catch a train to Dushanbe city. From most of the countries, there are no direct trains available to get in the city. If you want to do a train journey you will need to come into the country and catch a train from there to the city. Other types of break journeys are also available in the city that will help you to reach the city.

However, if you are traveling from inside the country, then you will be able to get the many different trains to the city. Dushanbe railway station is very well connected to other cities, and the trains are quite frequent. If you are thinking of traveling by train, then make sure to book the tickets in advance to avoid getting your name on the waiting list.


Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking has managed to get a lot of popularity in a short time. Travelers use this method to reach their destination without taking any transportation. Only by getting a lift from locals and other vehicles, they travel to their destination city very easily. If the roads are well-connected to the city, then it gets easier to lift and hitchhike your way to the city.

There are many highways that you can choose to reach Dushanbe. Local people are helpful and they do not mind giving a lift, which increases your chance of getting a car to this city. However, before doing hitchhiking to the city, make sure to know all the different roads and highways to prevent losing.


Others

There are many other ways of transportation that you can catch to reach the city but they are not as common as the ones given above. You will be able to get a very different experience of taking these transportations like bikes, cars, and cabs. It will help you to get the road experience when coming to the city.

You will be able to see all the scenic beauty like lush greenery, mountains, and many other things on your way. You will need a lot more time to reach the city compared to all the other transportation modes. Make sure to take some days one your hands when you are traveling by road.


Moving Around

Without moving around the city, you will not be able to explore the different places in the city. As the city is known for its diverse culture, lush greenery, and mountains, you will need to visit all the places to get the best experience. There are many different ways that you can use to move around the city from local transportation systems to others.

You need to choose the best way of moving around based on how fast you need to reach your destination. Some of them help you to reach very fast and others help you to reach slow but witness the culture of the city very well. Here are some different ways of moving around the city that will help you to know more.


Walk

Walking is the most common way of traveling in a new city. Although it takes a lot of time to cover the city and all the famous attractions, it helps you to get the best experience in the city and witness the culture very well. You will be able to know about the culture, traditions, and many other things while walking among the streets or markets.

While walking is good for exercise, it also comes with the advantage of taking shortcuts and getting in some places where only pedestrians are allowed. It will help you to get closer to the local people, local shops, and markets in the city while enjoying the famous places. Make sure to carry all the important things with you like umbrellas, water, glasses, and others during your exploration.


Bicycle

Just like walking, this is also another eco-friendly way to travel around the city that helps to keep you healthy. You will be able to reach your destination faster and travel the city as you want while not polluting it. All you have to do is rent a cycle from local services, which is available in Dushanbe.

Make sure to ask your hotel or other accommodation providers if they offer cycle renting services for customers as some of the hotels offer cycle rent for free. The roads are very well connected to the city, which will help you to get the best experience while traveling the city with a bicycle. However, you might not be able to reach some of the places in the city using bicycles as only pedestrians are allowed there.


Electronic Vehicles

Instead of choosing fuel vehicles, you can choose electronic vehicles that will help you to get the best travel experience without polluting the city. You will be able to get many car services that provide their services to travelers at a cheap price. These cabs will help you to reach famous destinations very quickly compared to others.

However, you will need to be prepared and patient while traveling by cabs as they wait a lot at signals and traffic. For intercity travel, a cab is the best option that helps you to move faster and keep the city safe from pollution. Use the online services to book a cab easily without any complications or waiting on the road for long.


Public Bus

If you want to move faster and save some money, then local buses are the best way to travel for you. The bus is a very common way of transportation for the local people in this city. Along with traveling to the best and famous destinations in the city, you will be able to experience the daily life of the local people.

There are many bus stoppages and terminals in the city where you can easily get a bus every 15 min. There are different types of buses available in the city that offer different features. But just like cabs, you will need to wait in traffic and signals to reach your destinations. Some local online services are available in the city that will help you to know the schedule of buses.


Tram, Train and Subway

Compared to cab and bus, trains are a better way of transportation to move around the city as it helps to travel to your destination without any interruption of traffics. You will be able to get many trains from Dushanbe Railway Station. The railway is very well connected with different parts of the city and it is known to be one of the comfortable modes of traveling.

Trains are very quick and you will be able to get them very frequently. You can book tickets online or offline to travel from places to places. If you are hoping to try the tram for traveling, then you will be disappointed in this city as there are no trams in this city. There are some subways that you can take to travel to different places but they are not well connected.


Sustainable Shopping

Sustainable shopping is a very good way of helping out the local people and the city to stay clean. Instead of new clothes or goods, buying second-hand and other sustainable goods will help you to reduce the waste of the city. There are some of the best markets available that you can visit to get different sustainable goods.

From fashions to goods, you will be able to buy many old things easily with less price and great quality. Here are some of the details about these sections given below that will help you to know which are the places that you ended to visit.


Food Markets

Food markets are one of the best places in the city that you need to visit for your shopping. If you are a food lover, then you will be able to get a very good experience of shopping in the food markets. You will be able to see a diverse collection of cooking ingredients. You can buy these ingredients and some vegetables that are exclusive in the city.

Along with exploring the food market, you will be able to see many small food stalls. It will help you to get your stomach filled and get refreshed in between shopping. During the shopping, you will be able to know more about local people. Here are some of the food markets that you need to visit in the city.

  • Food Market 9th km
  • Korvon Market
  • Market Mehrong


Flea Markets

Flea markets are always liked by travelers. It is the place that helps them to get different antiques and vintage collectibles. Flea markets are known to offer a variety of collections to their customers from bags to clothes. You will be able to know a lot more about the history of the city and people.

If you are planning to get some gifts home for the loved ones, then you will be able to save a lot of money while getting rare things. Purchasing from the flea market will help you to save money and help the sellers to get support to provide more items to the customers.


Second Hand Stores

Buying second-hand goods are becoming a new trend. Big brands have started to participate in these trends. You will come across many shops that will help you to get the second-hand products at a low cost. Some of them include bags, shoes, clothes, collectibles, and many others. Most of the local people are trying to adopt the trend and get along with it. If you are not sure about which places you need to visit, here are the details are given below.

  • LC Waikiki
  • Avtovokzal


Eco-Fashion

Eco-fashion is an alternative fashion that you can try that will keep the environment clean and reduce the wastage. They are just as good as the new clothes and cost a lot less compared to them. As most of the fashions are made using different eco-friendly methods, you will be able to see different works that provide the same result in the use of chemicals.

There are plenty of shops that sell eco-friendly fashion but they are scattered throughout the city. You will have to take the help of local people to.find them easily. Ask for the help of local people to get the best information about nearby stores.


Recycling

The city is very well known for having lush greenery and mountains surrounding it. However, recycling is still needed to make the place less polluted. Local people are taking initiatives to spread awareness about recycling, motivating people by giving speeches.

The Government has taken many initiatives that will help you to get the city clean and clear. While traveling to this city, you need to be aware of the environment of the city and maintain all the recycling procedures to help them in their journey to keep the city clean.


Waste

Waste management is a very important thing all around the world, it not only helps to keep the environment clean but also helps to prevent landfill. The average waste that is produced every year in Dushanbe is around 650-750 tons. You will be shocked to know that more than 140797 solid waste was used for landfill in the starting of 2919.

However, many initiatives came after that to separate the waste and recycle them and they are still trying to reduce the waste as much as they can. Projects like EBRD and others are helping them very much.


Work and Study Abroad

The city has a good education structure that helps people to study higher courses and attract foreign students from different countries. Compared to others, Indian students are much more in this city. More than 650 students are doing only MBBS courses at this moment.

There are many other courses like this available in the city. Working opportunities are also good in this city, you will be able to get some part-time jobs in the initial stage. If you have the right educational qualification, then you will be able to get a lot of available jobs here.


Exchange Student

The exchange student is one of the good benefits that help students from different countries to study in Dushanbe. There are many universities in the city that offer exchange students to other countries and universities. You have to check on your home institution to know if the partnership is available with any university in Dushanbe. If yes, then you will be able to study for a very little fee. However, you will need to get nominated to get the chance to exchange student benefits.


Au Pair

No matter if you are in the city for a job or studying, having a job will help you a lot in the initial stage. Au Pair is there to help you out and offer you money, shelter, food, and many other benefits in exchange for taking care of a baby or older person. You will be taking care of different things in the home that the host is not able to take care of. You will be able to get these services very easily available on online platforms.


Volunteering

Volunteering is one of the best things in the city that will help you to contribute. From famous attractions to different places, you can volunteer to keep them clean or take care of a historical place. You can teach English to local people too. Volunteering will help you very much to get along with the people and brush your local language skills.


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