As a prelude to our “5 ‘Stans” tour, we present a way to get a more in-depth look at Turkemistan’s glitzy capital, Ashgabat!
We take in all the (many, many) monuments and sites that we couldn’t fit on the standard tour, with visits to Independence Park, the Monument of the Constitution, Ertoghrul Ghazi Mosque, and the world’s largest indoor Ferris wheel (yes — you can ride it!).
If that wasn’t enough, we’ll visit the sprawling Berkarar shopping centre, browse the university bookshop, the remains of Anau Fortress and cap things off with a night-time visit to the foothills of the Kopetdag Mountains to get spectacular views of the whole city!
We’ll conclude back in Ashgabat, in what is easily the finest restaurant in the city.
- Meet your local and YPT guides at Ashgabat International Airport.
- Driving tour of Ashgabat’s main sites including Independence Park and Independence Monument, the Monument to the Constitution, the Arch of Neutrality, Lenin Park, Ertogrul Ghazi Mosque and the Alem Centre which is the complex that is home to the Wheel of Enlightenment, the largest indoor ferris wheel. And YES, for just $1 you can even take a ride!
- Stop for lunch at Berkarar Shopping Centre, where you can go ice-skating, play in the games centre, ride a miniature double-decker bus, and even have a cappuccino in a hipster face (don’t get your hopes up too much about the cappuccino, it is still from a machine which has a “cappuccino” button).
- Visit the university bookshop where you can find books written by and about the president, Ashgabat and Turkmenistan in English. They also have postcards and posters, and if you’re lucky they might even have a copy of the Ruhnama, the book written by Turkmenbashy.
- Visit Anau on the eastern outskirts of Ashgabat and see the remains of Anau Fortress and Sheikh Jemaladdin Mosque which was destroyed in the 1948 earthquake.
- Return to Ashgabat.
- Night tour of Ashgabat. With the white marble buildings lit up by brightly coloured neon lights, Ashgabat is a truly spectacular place after dark.
- We’ll make a stop at the Palace of Happiness in the foothills of the Kopetdag Mountains, from where you can get a fantastic panorama of the whole city.
- Finish the day with dinner on the 18th floor of the Yyldiz Hotel, unequivocally the best restaurant in Turkmenistan, with amazing panoramic views over the city.
- Spend the night at the Ak Altyn Hotel.