Best Time to Visit Turkmenistan

Darvaza Gas Craters, Turkmenistan

Seasons and weather

One of the hottest countries in Central Asia, Turkmenistan has a dry, desert climate. In fact, around 80% of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert and there is little rainfall. Summers are fiercely hot, with temperatures soaring in the capital city of Ashgabat.

Many of Turkmenistan’s attractions, such as the ancient ruins of Merv, are set within vast, tree-less landscapes. This means that even a few hours of sightseeing can become unbearable during summer and this season should be avoided for travelling.

Winter offers the other extreme, with freezing temperatures and snow found across most of the country. Spring and autumn are therefore considered the best times to visit. Between April and June you can expect warm temperatures and sun-filled skies. September to November is similar, allowing travellers to avoid the fierce heat of summer and sightsee before the icy cold of winter arrives.

It’s worth bearing in mind that nights in the desert can still be very cold, even during the hotter months of the year. So if you’re camping in the desert, it’s a good idea to pack some extra layers.

Climate | Ashgabat



JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp Min °C0151217222422171151
Temp Max °C91116243136383832241610
Rainfall (mm)7.612.920.511.76.40.60.100.42.47.77.1

Upcoming events

Here’s an overview of the events occurring in Turkmenistan over the next year.

2020:

February 19th - Flag Day
March 21st - Nowruz Bayram
August 9th – Melon Day
October 27th – Independence Day

Festivals and Events

There aren’t many festivals or events in Turkmenistan that foreign visitors can get involved in. However, here’s an overview of several you may be able to experience, which reveal a little more about this country’s culture.

What is Nowruz Bayram?

Held on 21st March each year, Nowruz Bayram celebrates the first day in the new year of the Iranian calendar. This public holiday is the biggest festival in Turkmenistan. Families celebrate with lots of traditional food and communities gather for street carnivals later in the day.

What is Melon Day?

A fairly new public holiday in Turkmenistan, Melon Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of August. The event is focused on a special crossbreed of the muskmelon, which is one of the country’s most important crops. During the day, there are several dances and music events, as well as large displays of the fruit.

When is Independence Day?

On October 27th, Turkmenistan celebrates when it gained independence from the USSR in 1991. Locals enjoy traditional food at communal gatherings, as well as folklore stories and shows of horsemanship. A festival parade also takes place in the central square of Ashgabat.

What is Flag Day?

Celebrated on February 19th, Flag Day has been a public holiday in Turkmenistan since 1995. The day is marked by the president’s message to the people and includes a large spectacle in the Olympic Stadium of Ashgabat. The flag symbolizes brotherhood, unity and solidarity, with the five stars representing the five regions of Turkmenistan. This date is also the birthday of Niyazov, Turkmenistan’s first president.

See Also

For more information on visiting Turkmenistan, take a look at our other travel resources:

Best places to visit – the top destinations in Turkmenistan
Top travel tips – information on currency, food and much more
Tourist visas - what you need to know to enter Turkmenistan

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