2-Day Dushanbe Itinerary And Travel Guide With Budget All-In

2-Day Dushanbe Itinerary And Travel Guide With Budget All-In

By DAN FORTEZA

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Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan, might not resonate in every traveler’s mind as much as London, Paris or Tokyo, but there are charming characteristics to this Tajik city. The truth is to be told—its heart and soul is definitely the people and their warm hospitality like no others. Trust me on this! Its uniqueness has definitely lived up to my expectations when I visited this city last November 2019.

I flew in to Dushanbe from Tashkent and stayed there for a week. I roamed around Dushanbe in the first couple of days and then stayed with a local Tajik host via Couchsurfing. If you ask me what are the must-see places in the city, here I’ve put together the perfect 2-day Dushanbe itinerary including the city’s main attractions. I have also included my detailed day-to-day and overall expenses for a budget traveler’s reference. Let’s do this!

Read also my Tashkent budget itinerary and travel guide blog.

Hi there! First of all, I am Daniel – a solo backpacker from the Philippines. If you don’t know my story yet, feel free to read this article where I talked about how I quit my job in order to travel. This article was also featured on TripZilla Philippines.

Ismail Somoni Avenue in Dushanbe
The famous Ismail Somoni Avenue | Dantravels.org

DO YOU NEED A VISA FOR TAJIKISTAN?

Depending on your nationality, you might or might not need a visa. Check out my Tajikistan visa guide to check if you’re legible for an evisa or no visa at all.

Read also my blog on how I got my Tajikistan e-visa online.

WHERE IS DUSHANBE?

Dushanbe is the capital and largest city of Tajikistan–the fourth and last country in Central Asia I’ve visited in 2019. The city is located in Gisar valley at 2,700 ft above sea level. It is roughly a 4 ½-hour flight away from Dubai, and about 5 ½-hours of flight from Moscow.

Language: Tajik; some Persian & Russian, too
Currency: Tajikistani Somoni (TJS)
Airport: DYU (Dushanbe)
Preferred mode of transportation: Taxi; Marshrutka (Minibus)
Time Zone: GMT +5

FLIGHTS TO DUSHANBE:

Finding a cheap flight ticket to Dushanbe, Tajikistan from Central Asia is relatively easy. I booked mine coming from Tashkent, Uzbekistan via Uzbekistan Airways. Please note that since I entered Uzbekistan through a 5-day visa-free transit, I can only exit the Uzbekistan through its flag carrier (Uzbekistan Airways) bound to the next country. It’s one of their transit visa mandatory requirements.
I suggest you check Kayak (click HERE) as they usually offer cheap fare rates compared to other booking sites.

HOW I GOT TO THE CITY:

I arrived at Dushanbe International Airport (DYU)  at around midnight from a 3-hour flight from Tashkent’s airport (TAS).

Early in the morning, I took a taxi to reach my hostel in downtown Dushanbe. If you’re new in Dushanbe, I recommended to go by taxi but…haggle as much as you can!

  • 40 TJS (4.13 USD) – Taxi from airport to my hostel

NOTE: Street addresses are useless in Dushanbe; drivers go by landmarks. Have your accommodation’s phone number handy. They can guide your driver to the location.

WHERE DID I STAY?

  • Doshan Hostel (click here to book)
    • Hostel room type: Bunk Male in Mixed Dormitory Room
    • How to get there:  By Taxi from Dushanbe Airport
    • Is breakfast included: No

You can book a room at any hotel in Dushanbe through Agoda or Booking.com. I usually book my room accommodations through booking.com. Room accommodation ranges from cheap hostels to luxury hotels. Book hostels through booking.com as they have free cancellation or pay-at-the-hotel option.

If Dushanbe hotel isn’t to your liking, try AirBnb. Airbnbs are immersed in neighborhoods, condos, and townhomes. There is a feeling you get when you stay in an Airbnb that makes you feel like you belong in that city or town. Since it is someone’s home, there is a certain amount of pride you feel while staying there. I have used Airbnb on some of my other trips and I loved it!

If you’re new to AirBnB, then you can get up to 42 USD free travel credit by signing up via this link.

HOW TO GET AROUND DUSHANBE?

    • By Taxi. These are the best options (metered and shared taxis) for foreigners compared to other public means of transportation. Most fares are between 10-20 TJS, 30 TJS for only the longest of trips. Agree on the fare in advance or choose a metered taxi.
    • By Minibus (Marshrutka). Marshrutkas cost 1-2 TJS  per trip. However, they can be uncomfortably overfull and with claustrophobically low ceilings.
    • By Foot. Get your feet ready as you will walk to many places in Dushanbe, too. And as I mentioned in my budget travel tips blog – “walk as much as you can!
    • By Bus (and Trolleybus). Buses are not really recommended for short-term travelers. Plus, I was told you can only get on the bus with a bus card.

MY 2-DAY DUSHANBE ITINERARY (TAJIKISTAN ITINERARY)

DAY 1

1st Stop: Dushanbe Flagpole Park

At 165 meters (541 feet), it was the tallest free-standing flagpole in the world from its completion in 2011 until the 2014 erection of the (171m) Jeddah Flagpole. I was able to visit this park on a windy day and thus I’ve seen the flag in its full glory. It is impressive and nicely integrated into the surroundings.

It is easily reachable by taking trolleybus 2,10 and 11 or Minibus 8,13 23 and 37 to the Putovskiy Bus stop. After getting off the bus, cross the Ismail Somoni Avenue and the white arched entrance with gold letters will be seen. The entrance is also a great area to take a photo of the tall flag pole.

Dushanbe Flagpole Park
Dushanbe Flagpole Park | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1-2 hours
    • How I got here: By Minibus from my hostel’s nearest bus stop.

2nd Stop: National Museum of Tajikistan

The museum is also located in the Flagpole park. I visited this site to see the external beautiful sculptures. Most tourists particularly wanted to see the reclining and sleeping Buddha. The entrance fee costs 250 TJS (25 USD) for foreigners.

This museum is strongly recommended to travelers to Tajikistan as it will give you an overview of the nation’s long and complex history.

National Museum of Tajikistan
National Museum of Tajikistan | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • How I got here: By foot (this is within the Flagpole Park)

3rd Stop: Palace of the Nation

The Palace of the Nation is located next to the Flagpole park. This presidential mansion is very impressive from a distance, as that’s the only way you’ll get to see it. Tourists wandering too close to the perimeter are quickly shooed away. Don’t try taking a photo or at least don’t get caught =)

    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • How I got here: By foot (this is also within the Flagpole Park)

4th Stop: Rudaki Park

This one is definitely a stunning park, huge and well kept. It was full of people when I visited but has a really nice atmosphere! There is a statue of Rudaki which is the centerpiece of the park. This is a must-see in Dushanbe!

Rudaki Park in Dushanbe
Rudaki Park | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • How I got here: By foot from the Flagpole Park

5th Stop: Statue of Ismoil Somoni

A great walk through Rudaki Avenue will take you up to the Ismael Somoni monument, national hero for defending the Tajik nation.

The Somoni monument is probably the most popular attraction in Dushanbe. It is located in Dusti (Friendship) Square which has an interesting history. The 13 meter tall monument to Somoni is dwarfed by a 43 meter arch directly behind, which is topped by a golden crown.

Statue of Ismoil Somoni in Dushanbe
Statue of Ismoil Somoni in Dushanbe | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • How I got here: By foot from Rudaki Park

6th Stop: The Independence Monument

The Independence monument is located at the western end of Tehron Street. This area is a short walk west from the Ismoil Somoni monument. Together with the Simoni statue and the Tall Flagpole with Flag, this monument resides in the Rudaki Park complex. All are impressive.

The Independence Monument Dushanbe
The Independence Monument | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • How I got here: By foot from Ismoil Somoni Monument

DAY 2

7th Stop: Komsomol Lake and Park

I started off the second day of my do-it-yourself walking tour here at Komsomol Lake and Park in Dushanbe. It took me 30 minutes to get here from my hostel.

From Komsomol lake, you can have a wonderful view of Dushanbe’s skyline with some of the capitals newest buildings including the Palace of the Nation, the large Tajik flagpole and the Nowruz palace.

Komsomol Lake and Park (Dushanbe)
Komsomol Lake | Dantravels.org
Komsomol Park or sometimes called Youth Park in Dushanbe
Komsomol Park or sometimes called Youth Park | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1-2 hours
    • How I got here: By foot from my hostel

8th Stop: Dushanbe Grand Mosque

The Dushanbe Grand Mosque is still under construction when I visited its site. But it is already considered the biggest Mosque ever built in Tajikistan. For me, it’s the most beautiful piece of architecture I’ve seen in Dushanbe!

Dushanbe Grand Mosque
Dushanbe Grand Mosque | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1-2 hours
    • How I got here: By foot from Komsomol Lake

9th Stop: Tajik National University

Before I head to another Mosque (on my 10th stop), I stopped over at Tajik National University which is a 10-15 minute walk from Dushanbe Grand Mosque. This huge Tajik university is the first and largest university in Tajikistan.

Tajik National University
Tajik National University | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • How I got here: By foot from Grand Mosque

10th Stop: Haji Yaqub Mosque

A true landmark in the heart of city named in honor of Mawlana Yaqub-i Charkhi, a 15-century Naqshbandiya Sufi order sheikh. The Haji Yaqub Mosque was the largest mosque in the city before the new mosque (the Grand Mosque) on Karamov Street was constructed. There were also vendors here that sell Tajik souvenirs in case you want to buy something to remember Dushanbe or Tajikistan.

Haji Yaqub Mosque
Haji Yaqub Mosque | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1-2 hours
    • How I got here: By foot from Tajik National University

11th Stop: Victory Square and Monument

The Victory Square is located on Ayni street and is easily reached by Trolleybus 4 or Minibus 2 and 7. The Victory Square has a 2-pillar structure and an IS-2 tank monument crammed between a busy road on each side. Be careful as crossing roads on foot can be a challenge.

Victory Square Dushanbe
Victory Square Dushanbe | Dantravels.org
    • Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 hour
    • How I got here: By minibus from Yaqub Mosque’s nearest crossing street.

COUCHSURFING IN DUSHANBE

In the next couple of days in Dushanbe, I have spent it staying with a Couchsurfing host! Thus, I won’t be including my expenses during those days.

But anyway, here is Dilshod (left) from Dushanbe–a very friendly host! Dilshod and his other two brothers have welcomed me in their home like I’m a part of their family.

Dilshod and I having lunch together | Dantravels.org
Dilshod and I having lunch together | Dantravels.org

If you need room to stay (temporarily) in Dushanbe for free, my friend Dilshod would be more than happy to warmly welcome you and provide you food in his home. In return, just be nice to him and be patient to him as he is still learning English. In that way, he’d be able to also practice his spoken English. Contact him on his Facebook Couchsurfing page.

This is Dilshod's older brother--Jamoladin | Dantravels.org
This is Dilshod's older brother--Jamoladin | Dantravels.org

MY 2-DAY EXPENSES IN DUSHANBE

  • Day 0 (Arrival at Hostel, Rest)
    • 81.6 USD (791.12 TJS) – Flight from Tashkent, Uzbekistan to Dushanbe, Tajikistan. I pre-booked it online at Kayak.
    • 40 TJS – Fare (Taxi from Airport to Hostel)
    • 96 TJS – 3 Night stay in Hostel
    • 65 TJS – Groceries (Coffee, Cookies, Soft drink, Instant Noodles, Lays, Shampoo, Soap)
    • 56 TJS – 2 GB internet data top-up with the help of a new Tajik friend.
    • Subtotal: 1,048.12 TJS (108.11 USD)
  • Day 1
    • 12 TJS – Food (Plov meal)
    • 1.5 TJS – Fare, Minibus to Flagpole Park
    • 2 TJS – Snacks (Samsa)
    • 1.5 TJS – Fare, Minibus back to Hostel
    • Subtotal: 17 TJS (1.75 USD)
  • Day 2
    • 15 TJS – Food (Rice-Chicken-Veggie meal)
    • 1.6 TJS – Fare, Minibus to Victory Monument (0.1 is missing?)
    • 2 TJS – Snack (Hotdog in a bun)
    • 12 TJS – Food (Plov meal)
    • NOTE: I walked some 3 kilometers back to my hostel
    • Subtotal: 30.6 TJS (3.16 USD)
  • Last Day (Departure)
    • 1.5 TJS – Minibus #15 to a bus stop near Airport
    • 18 TJS – Snacks (2x Lays)
    • 6 TJS – Bread
    • 6 TJS – Soft drink (Fanta)
    • 230 USD (2,230 TJS) – Flight from Dushanbe, Tajikistan to Delhi, India. I pre-booked it online at Kayak.
    • Subtotal: 2,261 TJS (233.21 USD)

Total Expenses: 346.23 USD

What do you think of this 2-day Dushanbe itinerary?

I hope that you find this 2-DAY DUSHANBE BUDGET ITINERARY and TRAVEL GUIDE blog useful!

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section below.

RECOMMENDED PACKAGE TOURS

In case you’re also looking for package tours to simply jumpstart your actual itinerary, I highly recommend booking tours through Viator which is perfect for your Tajikistan itinerary. See tours and packages I personally handpicked for you:

BOOKING ESSENTIALS

  • Hotel / Hostel
    • Booking.com. I usually book my hostel accommodation at booking.com. Thus, I recommend you guys trying it for your Dushanbe itinerary.  Room accommodation ranges from cheap hostels to luxury hotels. Book hostels through booking.com as they have free cancellation or pay-at-the-hotel option.

Use my link to book your hostel and you’ll get 10% of your booking back after your stay. Click this link to get that discount.

    • Airbnb. Try Airbnb in finding comfy and cozy rooms for your Dushanbe itinerary! I have used Airbnb on some of my other trips and I loved it!

Have you tried Airbnb? Sign up with my link and you will get up to 42 USD (2,200 Php) off your first stay. Click this link to get that discount.

  • Flights
    • KAYAK. All of my flight bookings are all from KAYAK. Kayak is one of the world’s leading travel search engines and searches hundreds of travel sites.

I suggest you check Kayak (click HERE) as they usually offer cheap fare rates compared to other booking sites.

  • Dushanbe (Tajikistan) Package tours
    • Viator. Viator is the world’s leading resource for researching, finding and booking the best travel experiences worldwide.

Clickhere to find the best Viator deals in Dushanbe

  • Travel Insurance
    • World Nomads. If you don’t have travel insurance when times get tough, basically you are screwed. Traveling always comes with inherent risks attached. Whether you are trekking in the Pamir mountains or wandering the streets of Dushanbe, unforeseen events can suddenly upend your world.

Generally speaking, travel insurance covers you for the following: Medical Costs – hospital visits, emergencies, evacuations; Property Loss – luggage and their contents; Travel Issues – accommodation and transportation expenses. Thus, I highly recommend you guys getting a travel insurance for your Dushanbe itinerary. I bought one from the World Nomads (available in 130+ countries) where most travelers get their travel insurances.

Go to this link to get to your World Nomads travel insurance.

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