Turkmenistan travel info


Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin attachment plugs are in use.


Turkmen is the official language of Turkmenistan, though Russian is widely spoken in cities. Languages such as English, Uzbek, Balochi and Kurdishi are less common.


The local currency is the manat, which is divided into 100 tenge. Turkmenistan is a largely cash-based society; travellers will pay in manats for the most part, though some larger hotels will accept US dollars. Euros and US dollars are easily converted into the local currency at banks but travellers should only exchange as much as they need, as manats can't be re-converted into hard currency. There are a limited number of international ATMs in Ashgabat and there is a three percent withdrawal charge for each transaction. Some of the larger hotels and a limited number of shops accept Visa and MasterCard.


Tipping is common in restaurants and bars, and is usually 5 to 10 percent. Some tourist hotels, restaurants, and upmarket institutions will usually include service charge in the bill.


There is a risk of Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, so the relevant vaccines are recommended; all eligible travellers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. It is also recommended that all travellers get vaccines for rabies, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), and typhoid. Hospitals offer adequate basic medical care but serious cases will usually be treated outside of the country. Visitors should ensure that they have comprehensive medical insurance.


Travel to Turkmenistan is generally problem-free, though foreigners should take normal safety precautions, such as avoiding travel after dark or in deserted and unfamiliar areas. Occasional muggings do occur. A general threat of terrorism exists, particularly in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Planned demonstrations should be avoided and it must be noted that visitors should carry passports or identity documents with them at all times. Otherwise, there is a chance of detention.

Local customs

Turkmenistan is officially a secular state but etiquette is governed by Islamic principles. Conservative dress is required at all times and neither women nor men wear shorts. Respect for elders is considered very important. Visitors should not refer to Turkmens as Russians or Soviets, and they should avoid criticising the country in front of locals.

Doing business

Meetings begin on time in Turkmenistan and dress should be appropriate for where business is taking place. Men are advised to wear conservative suits or tie and jacket in the cities and when dealing with government officials; business casual may be acceptable in certain areas and industries. The national Turkmen dress is appropriate as well. Women should wear stylish yet somewhat conservative business suits or dresses and blouses. Some small talk is expected during meetings, though it's best to be invited to use someone's first name. It is probably a negative if locals do not give a decision right away, as saying 'no' directly would cause both parties to lose face. Office hours are generally Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm.

Duty free

Travellers to Turkmenistan over the age of 18 years can import 1.5 litres of any alcoholic beverage without paying duty, two packs of tobacco products and personal belongings up to a reasonable value. All narcotics, firearms, ammunition and accessories, and antiquities are prohibited from either import or export. The customs declaration, filled out upon entry to Turkmenistan, should be retained. When leaving, this form may be used to audit items for export.


The international dialling code for Turkmenistan is +993. An increasing number of hotels and restaurants offer free WiFi but connections are often poor. A more reliable way to use the internet is to buy a local SIM card.

Passport & Visa

Visitors to Turkmenistan and transit passengers are required to hold sufficient funds and onward or return tickets and documentation for the duration of their stay in the country. Tourists' visas can be obtained through embassies or consulates of Turkmenistan, or on arrival at the Ashgabat airport. These visas can be obtained if the visitor has a letter of invitation from a travel company licensed in Turkmenistan. Visas obtained on arrival are generally more expensive than other visas. It is highly recommended that visitors' passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Entry requirements

US citizens require a valid passport. Visa required.

UK citizens require valid passport. Visa required.

Canadian citizens require valid passport. Visa required.

Australian citizens require valid passport. Visa required.

SA citizens require valid passport. Visa required.

Irish citizens require valid passport. Visa required.

NZ citizens require valid passport. Visa required.

Useful contacts

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan: www.mfa.gov.tm/en/articles/11

01 (fire and rescue services), 03 (medical emergencies), 02 (police).

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Embassies / consulates in Turkmenistan