Lying in the far west of the country, Tajikistan’s capital city of Dushanbe sits in the shadow of snow-capped mountains, at the confluence of the Varzob and Kofar Nihon Rivers. Named after the Tajik word for ‘Monday’ due to the bustling weekly market, this prosperous and elegant city is home to verdant parks, fascinating museums, vibrant bazaars and a thriving café culture.


A relaxed city of wide boulevards, botanical gardens and Soviet-era architecture, Dushanbe is a pleasant place to begin a journey across Tajikistan. Cafes line the streets and shiny new buildings are cropping up across the city skyline, taking this former Soviet stronghold (formerly known as ‘Stalinabad’) firmly into a new, modern age. The centrally located Dusti Square is presided over by a gilded statue of Ismail Somoni, founder of the Tajik state, and the National Museum of Antiquities houses an impressive collection of ancient archaeological artefacts, providing a fascinating insight into Tajikistan’s thousands of years of history.


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