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Dushanbe is the capital and largest city of Tajikistan.
Dushanbe means Monday in the Persian language.It was so named because it grew from a village that originally had a popular market on Mondays. Until 1929, the city was known in Russian as Dyushambe (Russian: Дюшамбе), and from 1929 to 1961 as Stalinabad.
Dushanbe has a population of 778,500.
|POPULATION :||City: 778,500 / Metro: 1 051 200|
|TIME ZONE :||Tajikistan Time (UTC+5) Summer: Tajikistan Time (UTC+5)|
|LANGUAGE :||Tajik (official), Russian (widely spoken)|
|RELIGION :||Sunni Muslim 85%, Shia Muslim 5%, other 10%|
|AREA :||124.6 km2 (48.1 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||706 m (2,316 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||38°32′12″N 68°46′48″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 50.20% |
• Female: 49.80%
|ETHNIC :||Tajiks 83.4%, Uzbeks 9.1%, Russians 5.1%, Others 2.4%|
|AREA CODE :||372|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+992 372|
|WEBSITE :||Official Website|
- Tajikistan National Museum(Tajik Unified Museum)
- Vahdat Palace
- Dushanbe Flagpole—It is the second tallest free-standing flagpole in the world, at a height of 165 metres (541 feet)
- Dushanbe Zoo
- Gurminj Museum of Musical Instruments (Gurminj Museum)
- Dushanbe Synagogue (destroyed in summer 2008)
Situated at the confluence of two rivers, Varzob and Kofarnihon, Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan. Although archaeological remnants dating to the 5th century BC have been discovered in the area, there is little to suggest that Dushanbe was more than a small village until the early 20th century.
The first written mention of the village Dushanbe found at the end of 1676. It was at the crossroads, where a large bazaar occurred on Mondays, hence the name Dushanbe-Bazar (Tajik: Душанбе Бозор, Dushanbe Bozor; ) from Dushanbe, which means Monday in the Persian language.
The first map showing Dyushambe was drafted in 1875. At that time, the town was a fortress on a steep bank on the left bank of the Varzob River with 10,000 residents.
In 1920, the last Emir of Bukhara briefly took refuge in Dyushambe after being overthrown by the Bolshevik revolution. He fled to Afghanistan after the Red Army conquered the area the next year. At the beginning of 1922, the town was taken by Basmachi troops led Enver Pasha, but on 14 July 1922 again came under the power of the Bolsheviks and was proclaimed the capital of the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic as a part of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic in 1924.
A Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic separate from the Uzbek SSR was created in 1929, and its capital Dyumshambe was renamed Stalinabad for Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin on 16 October 1929. In the years that followed, the city developed at a rapid pace. The Soviets transformed the area into a centre for cotton and silk production, and tens of thousands of people relocated to the city. The population also increased with thousands of Tajiks migrating to Tajikistan following the transfer of Bukhara and Samarkand to the Uzbek SSR as part of national delimitation in Central Asia.
On 10 November 1961, Stalinabad was renamed Dushanbe, the name it retains to this day.
Severe rioting occurred in February 1990, after it was rumored that the Soviet government planned to relocate tens of thousands of Armenian refugees to Tajikistan. The Dushanbe riots were primarily fueled by concerns about housing shortages for the Tajik population, but they coincided with a wave of nationalist unrest that swept Transcaucasia and other Central Asian states during the twilight of Gorbachev's era.
Dushanbe features a Mediterranean climate with some continental climate influences.
The summers are hot and dry and the winters are chilly, but not very cold.
The climate is damper than other Central Asian capitals, with an average annual rainfall over 500 millimetres (20 in) as moist air is funnelled by the surrounding valley during the winter and spring.
Winters are not as cold as further north owing to the shielding of the city by mountains from extremely cold air from Siberia.
Climate data for Dushanbe
|Record high °C (°F)||21.6|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.9|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.0|
|Record low °C (°F)||−26.6|
|Source #1: Deutscher Wetterdienst|
|Source #2: NOAA|
Dushanbe is divided into the following districts:
Avicenna (Tajik: Абӯалӣ Ибни Сино)
Ferdowsi (Tajik: Фирдавсӣ)
Ismail Samani (Tajik: Исмоили Сомонӣ)
Shah Mansur (Tajik: Шоҳмансур)
Prices in Dushanbe
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Milk||1 liter||$ 0.90|
|Tomatoes||1 kg||$ 0.74|
|Cheese||0.5 kg||$ 3.00|
|Apples||1 kg||$ 1.25|
|Oranges||1 kg||$ 1.10|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$ 0.85|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$ 5.00|
|Coca-Cola||2 liters||$ 1.00|
|Bread||1 piece||$ 0.35|
|Water||1.5 l||$ 0.40|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$ 10.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$ 18.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$ 30.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$ 4.50|
|Water||0.33 l||$ 0.20|
|Cappuccino||1 cup||$ 0.80|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$ 1.20|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$ 1.20|
|Coca-Cola||0.33 l||$ 0.50|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$ 3.50|
|Cinema||2 tickets||$ 5.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$ 2.50|
|Theatar||2 tickets||$ 10.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$ 0.15|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$ 0.95|
|Antibiotics||1 pack||$ 3.85|
|Tampons||32 pieces||$ 2.20|
|Deodorant||50 ml.||$ 1.80|
|Shampoo||400 ml.||$ 3.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$ 1.50|
|Toothpaste||1 tube||$ 1.35|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||$|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$|
|Gasoline||1 liter||$ 0.70|
|Taxi||1 km||$ 0.65|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$ 0.20|
Transportation - Get In
- Dushanbe Airport (IATA:DYU, ICAO: UTDD, Международный Аэропорт Душанбе), M. Mastangulova (ул.им.М. Мастангулова), 32/2.(SW of City center), , fax: , e-mail:[email protected]. Moscow flights by (Tajik Air, Somon Air, Domodedovo Airlines and Sibirian S7), Istanbul - Atatürk on (Turkish Airlines); Urumqi(China Southern Airlines). Somon Air have a weekly direct flight to Frankfurt, as well as flights to Dubai, Istanbul and Kiev . - Hub for East Air, Somon Air and Tajik Air.
S7 or it's share code flies to most European countries and you could check in your luggage up to Dushanbe. Otherwise you will require a transit visa to collect your luggage and check it in again. If you have no checked luggage, you could walk straight to transit area. If you use a different airline and have checked in luggage you need a transit visa because the airlines will not transfer it for you. For that reason you have to collect the luggage yourself and check it in for your final flight. In order to collect it you have to pass passport control for which you need a visa (many countries get it upon arrival and free, Google yours). These policies are subject to change without a notice. Check with your airline(s) to find out whether they currently transfer luggage.
Visa at the airport
Most of the European and North American nationals can apply for a visa upon arrival in Dushanbe. The airport is very small and the immigration is just right before the passport control. Make sure to bring 2 passport photos, and know the person's address in which you are staying. Don't lose your "beeline travel slip" which you will get at the immigration office. the luggage x-ray machines are very poor and they pay little attention to the screens.
Watch the kids when you leave the airport they will offer to take your bag to the car and start to pull it off you. though not with intentions of stealing, just wanting to help and gain a tip.
Dushanbe Railway Station, Nazarshoev St (SE part of the city).From Moscow via Volgograd, Atyrau and Termez. Trains depart from the Moskva Kazanskaya rail terminal each Monday, Wednesday and Sunday at 12:08 PM, arriving 4:16 PM four nights later. Tickets costs from 9000 RUB for a second class sleeper. - Trains depart to Iski-Guzar (via Vahdat), Tursunzoda (toward west via Hisor), to Kulob (via Obikiik, Kuybyshevsk, Qurghonteppa, Sarband)
There are no international bus services.If you are planning to go to a different town in Dushanbe there are 'terminals' that you can either find a shared taxi or a minibus. Departs are mostly early morning.
- Pamir bus terminal (Povorot aeroporta terminal Pamira, Avtobaza 2929), Ahmed Donish Street (close to the airport). Toward east to Khorog (Pamir) going usually 4X4 vehicles (525km, 12 to 14 hours, prices are vary) all via Kalaikhum (285km)
- Terminal Khojent (Vodanasos cement factory Terminal), Rudaki Street (End of Rudaki Street towards Varzob Valley. - Ask your taxi driver to drop you to the Stoyanka Khodjenta close to Vodonasos or Cemzavod. It is the end of the Trolleybus line.). Minibuses to Khojent and Varzob, Aini, Penjikent, Khujand
- Korvon Market terminal (Korvon Market, South of Center). Many private cars to Kurgan-Tybe and Kulyab
- From Dushanbe I Train Station,. can take mini taxis toward east: Kofarnihon, Faizabad
- Polytechnic Institute terminal, Djami Avenue. for taxis toward west: Hissor
- Sakhovat Market terminal (Sakhovat Market). Private SUVs go (daily) to Afghan Border (Sherkhon Bandar). You will have to go early in the morning 05:00 to check for a shared car. Best is to go there a day before and arrange for the next day travel. Also lines toward south Qurghonteppa (85km)and Kulob (190km)
Transportation - Get Around
A number of bus services operate in Dushanbe, however there is not much clarity which one goes to where.
It is very useful to figure out the marshrukta system (private cars and minibuses), which run on a standard set of routes. Minibuses are overcrowded, stop more frequently, and cost 1 somoni, while private cars are much quicker and cost 3 somoni. For marshrukti, the only important phrase is "hamin jo" (ha-MEEN JOH), which means "right here", to indicate that you want to get out. A couple usefull 'lines' (2010):
No. 1: Giprozem (south) - Sakovat Bazaar - Circus - War Memorial - Aini Street - Dushanbe Airport
No. 2: Giprozem - Sakovat Bazaar - Circus - War Memorial - Bokhtar Street (centre)
No. 3: Dushanbe I Train Station - Rudaki Avenue - Vodanasos Bazaar (north)
No. 8: Dushanbe Airport - Aini Street - Rudaki Avenue - Ismoil Somoni Street - 102nd microdistrict (west)
No. 17: 82nd microdistrict - Ismoil Somoni Street - Rudaki Avenue - Vodanasos Bazaar
No. 29: Giprozem - Circus - Bus Station - 82nd microdistrict - Ismoil Somoni Street - Barakat Bazaar (centre)
Within Dushanbe it is best to take a taxi, usually it should not be more than 30 Somoni ($6).
Very few streets in Dushanbe are known by their names, so it is important to know landmarks and how to navigate with them. Every cab driver knows the airport, Somoni statue, and opera-ballet, but beyond that, it is a toss-up. It is essential to know "straight ahead," "to the left," and "to the right" in Russian or Tajik.
The center is basically one long street, with a few other main streets crossing it.
Dushanbe is an interesting city, but only for a few days. Other than a few museum and monuments, there is not much here. The nightlife is not of a western standard. There are three main clubs: Port Said, Dior, and Vastan (all on or near Rudaki Street). The clubs are pretty bad and attract bad music, prostitutes, and are mostly filled with men. If a man goes out with a Tajik women, he will be expected to pay for her. The streets are lined with old and tall planetrees, so in the evenings a stroll along Rudaki is quite pleasant. Rudaki Park also features numerous fountains lit by coloured lights, and the Botanical Gardens (behind the Chinese Embassy, somewhat north along Rudaki) is the best place to escape the dust and noise of the traffic for peace and quiet.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
- Korvon Bazaar, A384 road (Far away and is very large (Marshruktas with "Корвон" signs on their dashboards will get you there for 3 somoni, or less than a dollar). - South of Park Druzhby). Korvon has a massive indoor clothing and shoes section as well as a smaller food section. It is also the place to go to find fabric rugs, although all of the rugs come from Turkey, not Tajikistan. Somewhat cheaper than Shakhmansur
- Shakhmansur Bazaar (Green Bazaar, Зелёный Базар), Lohuti Street (East of Opera). This is the biggest bazaar in downtown Dushanbe and has a huge variety of foods (very cheap by Western standards), including dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, meats, and bread, as well as an odd assortment of tools and household products. It is possible to see the entire bazaar in an hour or two. The locals always charge foreigners more, so do your best to strike a bargain.
- Pizza, salads, french fries, cakes, coffee and delicious breakfast (feta with olives). Loved by local people.
- Delhi Darbar, Rudaki Avenue (near the Pedagogical Institute.). The most well-known (and possibly the best vegetarian food in all of Tajikistan) of three local Indian restaurants serves excellent butter chicken and spinach. It also offers private "family rooms."
- Merve. Happening, casual Turkish cafeteria always packed with students and young locals. Have several choices in mind, as they never ever have everything on the menu, no matter how basic. It also serves an authentic Turkish breakfast. It is on Rudaki next to Orima supermarket.
- Salsa. The only Ecuadorian restaurant for hundreds of miles. It is a reasonable imitation of Latin cuisine and popular with Europeans. It is located just off the north end of Rudaki near Starry Night (Zvezdnaya Noch) billiards.
- Tiflis. One of two Georgian restaurants in the city with some of the best meat dishes in the city (and a substantial wine list). It is located behind the opera-ballet, across the park.
- Georgia Cafe. the other Georgian restaurant, located about a block north of the Opera Square on Rudaki Avenue. It has simple and tasty dishes, good cheap house wine, and a nice friendly atmosphere. Be sure to either book or come early, as the seats go fast.
- La Grande Dame. The only French Restaurant in town. It serves great steaks and other food at a hefty price. It is, however, popular with consultants with hefty per diems. The place offers a good taste of the West for those missing their homes. On the corner of Bukhoro and Shevchenko.
- Kellers. A nice, well-hidden restaurant that serves European and Chinese style food (although the lines between the two are often blurred). Also, the home made beer (3 som.) is well worth trying. It is on the left side of Somoni street near Rudaki end, at the side of a block of flats.
- Steakhouse (The Steakhouse). Despite the name, Steakhouse is one of the only places in Dushanbe to get sushi. Other meals include steaks, pasta, and other American style cuisine. Live entertainment nightly. Try the mojito.
- Segafredo, Rudaki Ave (Near the corner of Rudaki Ave and Ismoil Somoni Ave, across from Hotel Tajikistan). Western food -- sandwiches, soups, chicken dishes. Great place to get coffee or a snack (one of the only places in Tajikistan to get Iced Coffee?). Try the salmon, its surprisingly good and fresh. Downside: Smokers. You will see many foreigners here.
Sights & Landmarks
- Haji Yaqub Mosque (Мечеть Хаджи Якуб), Rudaki Ave (Close to Hotel Avesto). The largest mosque in the CIS cost of 100 million dollars.It has a crescent-topped minaret and burnished golden dome.
- Sari Osiyo Mosque (Мечеть Сари Осиё). A new one
- Ismaili Centre (Центр Исмаилизма), Ismoil Somoni Ave, (Close to Hyatt Regency Dushanbe).
- St. Nicholas Cathedral (Свято-Никольский собор), Druzhby Narodov St (улица Дружбы народов)), ~64 (Central city cemetery or commonly Russian Cemetery (Центральный Городский кладбище, русский кладбище)). The main pravoslav church of Dushanbe.
- Monument of Amir Ismail Samani (Tajik:Ҳайкали Исмоили Сомонӣ, Russian: Арка и памятник Исмаилу Самани.), Prospekt Aiani (At the south rim of Rudaki Park). A monument to the 10th-century founder of the Samanid dynasty. This statue commemorates the one for whom the currency is named. Apparently, the crown is 10 kilograms of tajik gold. Beware: the police at the bottom may ask for money if you take photos, so stand far back and use your zoom! (and don't encourage this bad behaviour!).
- Rudaki statue (Rudaki Park). Recently opened for the Shanghai summit, the new park on Rudaki Avenue has a huge statue of Rudaki, a new government palace, and enough fountains to drain the whole of Dushanbe. Go at night to see the lights.
- Rokhat Teahouse (Tajik:Rohat Chaikhona, Russian:чайханы «Рохат»,), 84, Rudaki Ave, . Old traditional teahouse located near central Dushanbe on Rudaki. Better to go for the interesting architecture, not the food.
- Dushanbe Flagpole (Located in front of the Palace of Nations). The second tallest free-standing flagpole in the world (162m). This flagpole flies a 1800 sqm flag of Tajikistan, weighing 700kg.
- Vahdat Palace (Palace of Unity, Tajik: Кохи Ваҳдат/Kokhi Vahdat/کاخ وحدت), 107, Rudaki Avenue (проспект А. Рудаки) (near Hotel Avesto). It is the headquarters of the ruling People's Democratic Party and is also used to host international conferences
- National Bank of Tajikistan (Бонки миллии Тоҷикистон), хиёбони Рудакӣ, 107A (Opposite Ayni Opera and Ballet Theatre), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. Located in a nice monument building.
- Tajik State National University (Tajik: Donishgohi Davlatii Millii Tojikiston, Донишгоҳи миллии Тоҷикистон, Russian:Таджикский национальный университет (ТНУ)), Rudaki Ave. (хиёбони Рӯдакӣ), 17., , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. On Rudaki an other nice building at #33 Tajik Academy of Sciences
Museums & Galleries
- Gurminj Museum of Musical Instruments (Gurminj Museum, Музей музыкальных инструментов), Bokhtar Street , 23 (Located in the center of Dushanbe, a block east of Rudaki near the Iranian Embassy), , e-mail: , [email protected]. Daily 11.00-18.00. This small museum has an interesting variety of Central Asian musical instruments as string instruments example: rubab, Pamiri rubab, tanbur, dutor, setor, qashqar, and ghizhak. There are also number of drums such as tabl, daf, and doyra. That alone is worth a peek if you like instruments, but better still is to go when a musical or cultural event is being held, or hope to catch the folk musicians who practice there and can demo many of the instruments in the collection. Admission 10TJS.
- Museum of Antiquities (Национальный музей древности Республики Таджикистан) (on the main square near the Sadbarg shopping center). It is quite old fashioned and includes a number of exhibits that detail the country's history. It is great for historians of contemporary Tajikistan and the current President, but only if they speak Russian or Tajik, as there are very few English signs. The museum is very poorly funded (there is a man who follows you to turn off the lights after you are finished with an exhibit room) and rather underwhelming. One of the highlight is the statue of Khatlonskogo's Sleeping Buddha which height is 14m, found at the excavations in 1966 in south of the country.
Things to do
- Aquapark Dolphin (Аквапарк Дельфин), Bogoutdinova (Богоутдинова), 7/2 (West of City center. Take bus 8, 22, 25, 28,17 to '101 mikrorayon', after Saodat Shopping Center the next street turn toward south (left) and walk ten mins on the right side look for it), . Adult / Child M-F 70/40, Sa-Su 80/40 (four hours); - After 17:00 (three hours) 50/30; - Tariff "VIP" admission to all areas! From sunrise to sunset! Adult 150 (all prices in TJS, valid in 2014).
- Bactria Cultural Centre
- Circus (Здание цирка), Karaboev Avenue, 1-3. (Ave. S. Sherozi corner).
- Botanical Gardens (Ботанический сад Академии наук Таджикистана) (behind the Chinese Embassy, somewhat north along Rudaki turn left to Samad Gani St). This is the best place to escape the dust and noise of the traffic for peace and quiet. A small forest with plenty of greenery. Usually the newly wed couples make photos here.
- Dushanbe Zoo (Dushanbe Zoological Park, Tajik: Боғи ҳайвонот, Russian: Душанбинский зоопарк), Ismoili Somoni Avenue (Located in the center of the city on the Luchob river bank, next to the Pamir Stadium). The number of animals kept is about 600 on the area: 67000sqm. This is the only institution of this kind in the country. Animals are indigenous and foreign species. Couple of the most exotic animals of its lion, jaguar and snow leopard. The local fauna are represented by brown bears, black bears, Bactrian camel, donkey, wolf, jackal, fox, raccoon, and some birds like owl, vulture, golden eagle, falcon. Also some reptiles, like snakes, caymans, lizards are displayed indoors.
- Park named after S. Ayni (Парк культуры и отдыха имени С. Айни,Tajik:Боғи фароғат ва истироҳати ба номи С. Айнӣ) (Around Opera).
- Victory Park (Парк Победы,Tajik:), Druzhby Narodov St (Turn left off of Rudaki at the TSUM and pass the beer factory.). Hike to the top for a seasonal tiki-themed beer garden offering views of the city. The truly brave can take the rickety gondola. Also there is the Victory Memorial
- Ayni Opera and Ballet Theatre (Таджикский академический театр оперы и балета имени С. Айни), Nisor Muhammad St and Rudaki Ave cnr. (Center), . Tu-Su 09:00-12:00, 13:00-17:00. regularly has free or cheap concerts sponsored by embassies and traveling companies.
- Lahuti Drama Theatre (Таджикский академический драматический театр имени А. Лахути), Rudaki Ave,.
- Mayakovsky Theatre
- Padida Theatre
- Puppet theatre (Государственный театр кукол Лухтак).
- Parasty Theatre, Rudaki Ave, (Next to Lohuti Drama Theatr).
- Summer theatre (летних амфитеатра).
- Youth Theatre named after M. Vahidova (Государственный молодежный театр имени М. Вахидова -), Karaboev Avenue, 21-23.
- Various Concert Halls
- Irish Pub: A brand-new, Irish pub serving Guinness in a can with Irish charm (considering this is Central Asia). Unfortunately the enterprising owners of this restaurant have discovered that foreigners are willing to pay absurd amounts for a Guinness, and now one can costs 40 somoni, or close to $10 (other beers cost around 10 somoni) To find it, go to the Gurminj museum, head south to the corner and turn left.
- Small Restaurants in front of the Opera (At the small square in front of the Opera, just off from Rudaki.). There are about 6 small restaurants selling shashliks, beer and softdrinks in front of the opera. Pick a table in the shade and watch people walk by while sipping your cold beer. beer: 3 somonis.
Safety in Dushanbe
In general, Dushanbe is safe but robberies and street crime do sometimes occur even in broad daylight although this is rare. The police force can sometimes seem a little ineffective. Avoid attracting police attention, as the law enforcement officials are primarily concerned with augmenting their small income. People tend to be private and conservative but with a little effort they can be incredibly welcoming and genuine.
Never drink the water from the tap, nor use the water to brush your teeth. Always wash fresh produce, especially when bought from the local bazaar. Some melons—although they are incredibly fresh and sweet—can be irrigated and fertilized with manure, so sometimes washing them will not help. As a rule of thumb all foreigners from developed countries will get sick at least once while in Tajikistan, but this can be delayed by avoiding unwashed/unpeeled fruits and vegetables (be especially wary of this in restaurants).