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.