Overland Journeys: Silk Road

Like its Central Asian neighbours, Turkmenistan was an important transit point for travellers on the Silk Road and a crossroads of empires throughout the ages. The Parthians, Persians and Seljuks all left their mark, as did the forces of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane. Today, the remains of the Silk Road cities of Merv and Kunya-Urgench are Turkmenistan's biggest draw for visitors with many impressive mosques, mausoleums and fortresses. The capital Ashgabat is a huge contrast, noted for the many futuristic and somewhat bizarre constructions ordered by the late President Niyazov, which have transformed a city destroyed by a 1948 earthquake. Explore in depth highlights of Turkmenistan.

Travel Information for Turkmenistan
Time zone:GMT +5 (Turkmenistan standard time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Turkmen Other languages:    Russian, Uzbek
Currency: Turkmen new manat (TMT)

1 = m3.92, $1 = m0.00, £1 = m4.67

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.tmInternational Dialling Code:    993

For help planning your trip to Turkmenistan including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Turkmenistan trip planning page.

Further information on Turkmenistan

Discover more about Turkmenistan - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of turkmenistan

Total area: 488,100 sq km (0 sq km under water)

Coastline: 1,768 km (Caspian Sea)

Neighbours (border lengths): Afghanistan (744km), Iran (992km), Kazakhstan (379km), Uzbekistan (1,621km)

Climate: Arid subtropical climate with hot, dry summers and cold but mild winters. Best visited from April to June and September to October.

Highest mountain: Gora Ayribaba (3,139m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Turkmenistan from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldNot Free -
Democracy IndexAuthoritarian regime 160/167
Economic FreedomRepressed 172/179
Press FreedomVery serious situation 176/179
ILGA LGBT rightsNo rights -
Corruption PerceptionsHigh corruption 169/174
Overall Ranking:    191/195

Other Data & Links

Status: Independent Country

Population: 5,171,943 (rank: 118/196)     Density: 10.5 people/sq km (rank: 180/196)

Ethnic groups: Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)

Religions: Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%

GDP (PPP): $55.16 billion       GDP per capita: $9,700 (rank: 99/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.