Tajikistan is one of the world’s most beautiful countries, but only visited by few. Travelling around is not always easy, but definitely worth the effort. Driving around beautiful mountains for days along the Pamir Highway or in the north, great hikes and very friendly and curious locals is what you can expect on a trip around Tajikistan.
Tajikistan is located in Central Asia and shares borders with China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. Most travellers arrive from Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan as part of a bigger trip around Central Asia or by international flight.
Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan and you will most likely arrive here if travelling by plane. It is a convenient city to spend a few days, but there are not many sites to see and you could see those sites in one day. Dushanbe connects the north of Tajikistan with the Pamir Highway, so it might be nice to have a bit more luxury for a few days.
Dushanbe is one of the few places in Tajikistan where you can find hostels. In most towns there are no hostels or hotels. You will can find a place to sleep in a home stay. You get a private room, but often offer a vibe like a hostel as the travellers that you can find in Tajikistan are much more social than the people you normally meet in accommodations with private rooms. As it’s already in the name, you will stay with a local family when staying in a home stay. They are officially registered and you will signs on the road indicating the home stays. Even though you stay with the family, they will give you a lot of privacy. The family will often take care of your food, especially in smaller cities where there are no restaurants. Some home stays offer a nice shower and western toilet, while other home stays only offer a bucket of water to shower yourself and the toilet is nothing but a hole in the ground in the back of the garden.
Travelling around Tajikistan is possible from late spring till September/ early October. Other times of the year some of the main roads are not open. When you travel Tajikistan you can meet many other travellers, even though there are not many. The towns are small and there are only a few home stays or hostels, so you will almost for sure run into each other.
In Tajikistan you can also find many cyclists. Public transport around Tajikistan is scarce. In the Pamir Highway there may be only one car per day. If you are staying in a bigger hostel or home stay and do not travel in a group, you may find fellow travellers to team up with. The public transport around Tajikistan consist of 7 seat shared taxis. So if you find a group of 7 people in the hostel or are willing to pay for the remaining seats you can save a lot of time waiting for a shared taxi to fill up at the bus station. If you do this you basically rent the vehicle together, so the driver will stop for photo stops whenever you want. It’s also possible to rent the car for several days. This is especially useful in the Pamir Highway, where traffic is limited.
The scenery in Tajikistan will amaze you and the locals will make you feel most welcome. Whether you stay in a hostel or a home stay, in Tajikistan a hostel vibe is always guaranteed.
Hi, I'm Martin Straatman,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Tajikistan hostels. Welcome.