Landscape of beautiful Fan mountains and Kulikalon lake in Tajikistan

Whether you’re planning on trekking in the Pamir Mountains or visiting the capital Dushanbe, there’s a few things you’ll need to know before you go. To help you prepare for your trip to Tajikistan, here we’ve answered all your questions on currency, cuisine, time zone and much more.

What vaccinations do I need for Tajikistan?

We recommend seeking vaccination advice from your local health practitioner about six to eight weeks before travelling to Tajikistan. Ensure you’re up to date with routine vaccinations such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), Diphtheria, Polio and Tetanus. Other recommended vaccines include Hepatitis A and Typhoid, with some travellers also choosing to be vaccinated against Hepatitis B and Rabies. Visit the NHS Fit for Travel page or the CDC Traveler’s Health page for more information

Is it safe to drink tap water in Tajikistan?

It’s not safe to drink the tap water in Tajikistan and bottled water can be purchased across the country. Consider taking a reusable bottle with a built-in filter to save money and reduce plastic waste.

Tajik cuisine

What's the food like in Tajikistan?

Tajik cuisine has much in common with the food of the rest of Central Asia and Russia. Meat is the basis of most meals, so outside of the capital Dushanbe vegetarians will struggle to find options. Sheep and goat meat are the most common and, as Tajikistan is a Muslim country, pork isn’t eaten at all.

Similarly to other countries in the region, plov (also called osh) is considered the national dish. This beloved meal consists of rice with carrots and onion, alongside either mutton, lamb or beef. Soups are also very popular and lagman is a classic example, made up of noodles, meat and vegetables.

All meals are served with a type of flatbread known as non and green tea is frequently offered to guests as a gesture of hospitality. Sweet dishes include halvah, which is made of sesame flour and honey, and you’ll find that apricot jam or dried apricots appear on most Tajik dinner tables.

Safe eating while travelling in Tajikistan

It’s important to follow basic food safety precautions in Tajikistan, especially as most dishes feature meat. Ensure that food is cooked thoroughly and served hot, as well as that fruit and vegetables are washed with treated water.

Is it standard to tip in Tajikistan?

Tipping is generally not expected in Tajikistan, however in top-end hotels and restaurants it is appropriate to add up to 10% for good service. Taxi drivers don’t expect a tip.

Hand-made, traditional cloth and embroidery

What souvenirs are good to shop for in Tajikistan?

There are plenty of bazaars and markets in Tajikistan where you can find some amazing local souvenirs. Textiles are a great option, particularly shawls, headscarves or other clothing, as they are often hand-painted or embroidered.

Another unique souvenir is an embroidered wall hanging known as a suzane, the most famous of which are from the Ura-Tyube region. Common themes include knives for protection, pomegranates for fertility and birds for good luck.

Clay products and pottery such as dishes, utensils and teapots can also be purchased, as well as statuettes. Bargaining is expected in bazaars but not in places where the prices are clearly marked.

What is the duty free allowance for Tajikistan?

The following goods may be imported into Tajikistan by person of 18 years of age or older without incurring customs duty.

  • 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500g of tobacco
  • 2L of spirits
  • Perfume for personal use

What is the currency in Tajikistan?

The Tajikistani somoni is the official currency. You can exchange USD, Euros and Russian roubles at the Dushanbe airports, banks and exchange offices in hotels. There are ATMs in Dushanbe and Tajikistan’s northern cities, but they are not reliable in the Pamirs. Except in the capital, cash is more useful than credit cards.

What do things cost in Tajikistan?

The amount you will need to budget in Tajikistan will generally depend on your style of travel. While a homestay will cost you around $10 a night, a hotel room will cost you upwards of $50. Three meals at a homestay would cost you just $15, whereas lunch and dinner in an international restaurant will set you back around $30.

When it comes to activities, you’re looking at spending between $100 to $150 for an overnight guided trek. A seat in a shared taxi costs around $45.

What sort of plugs do I need for Tajikistan and what is the voltage?

The standard voltage in Tajikistan is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. European-style two pin plugs are used and sockets are type C and type F.

Is WiFi widely available in Tajikistan?

Major hotels and some restaurants in Tajikistan offer free Wi–Fi. In Dushanbe, you’ll also find some coffee shops with WiFi. You may want to purchase a local sim as 3G is available in major towns. However, outside of these expect the internet to be very slow.

What time zone is Tajikistan on?

Tajikistan is 5 hours ahead of Greenwich Meantime (GMT). This is observed throughout the year, with no Daylight Savings changes.

See Also

For more information on visiting Tajikistan, check out our other travel resources:

Best places to visit – top destinations in Tajikistan
Best time to visit - seasons and weather in Tajikistan
Tourist Visas - what you need to know to enter Tajikistan