Turkmenabad, Turkmenistan
| Turkmenistan Travel

An introduction to Turkmenabad. Previously known as Chardzhou, this city sits on the banks of the Amu Darya River which runs along the border with Uzbekistan. 


An introduction to Turkmenabad in Turkmenistan. What to do in Turkmenabad, where to stay, and how to get to Turkmenabad. 

All your Turkmenabad questions answered below. Feel free to skip to the relevant chapter! 

Turkmenabad Introduction
Turkmenabad Background & History
What to do in Turkmenabad
Where to Stay in Turkmenabad
How to Get to Turkmenabad

Updated March 2024. 

Turkmenabad Introduction

Turkmenabad is Turkmenistan’s second-largest city and the capital of Lebap Province.

The city is little visited by tourists. But it is still a very important city in Turkmenistan. 

Previously known as Chardzhou (a Persian name), Turkmenabad sits on the banks of the Amu Darya River. This river runs along the border with Uzbekistan. 

Turkmenabad Background & History

The Amu-Darya is a strategically crucial waterway. It has been famous for millennia. Used as a weapon of war by the Mongols to flood Konye Urgench, and also the site of a lost city of Alexander the Great.

Alexandria on the Oxus (possibly Kempir Tepe in present-day Uzbekistan); the Oxus being the Greek name for the river.

Having passed between rulers for centuries, Turkmenabad was handed to the dominant Russians by the Bukhara Khanate.

Thus, the creation of a modern city began in the 1880s. 

The Trans-Caspian railway brought men and materials to the area of Turkmenabad. This led to a huge expansion of capacity and population. 

Communism came to the area in the wake of the Russian Revolution. The merging of the various vassal states in Central Asia and the city became part of the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic. 

With independence in 1991, Turkmenabad went from being a relative backwater city to one of the largest and most important settlements in the newly independent republic of Turkmenistan. 

What to Do in Turkmenabad

Turkmenabad is not a massive tourism magnet. 

Its main attribute to attract visitors is that it is very close to the border with Uzbekistan.

You can get from Turkmenabad to Bukhara in just a few hours by road. Including the weird border point at Farab, across the Amu-Darya, that involves a 2km walk across a no-mans-land full of lines of trucks waiting to cross.

If you are making this crossing though, at the very least stop in Turkmenabad for a few hours.

Walk the pleasant city centre with its many parks, visit the massive Dunya Bazaar, and have at least one meal before leaving! 

Where to Stay in Turkmenabad

There are a couple of marble-clad hotels in Turkmenabad. Generic in Turkmenistan and somewhat freaky and otherworldly!

Jeyhun Hotel & Yupek Yoly Hotel. 

These hotels in Turkmenabad both have the usual pool, billiards, etc. 

There is not much to choose between them to be honest.

How to Get to Turkmenabad

Most people will head to Turkmenabad from Ashgabat.


 A somewhat gruelling 8-9 hour drive.


An easy one-hour plane ride to Turkmenabad Airport. This is located just 20 mins drive from the city. 

Turkmenabad To Uzbekistan

Most visitors will then continue to Bukhara in Uzbekistan.

This journey from Turkmenabad to Uzbekistan takes around 3 hours by road. Plus you should allow 1-2 hours for border formalities. 

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