Amabel Munos

Written by Amabel Munos

Modified & Updated: 17 Jul 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Turkmenistan, located in Central Asia, is a country that is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. With its fascinating heritage and unique traditions, Turkmenistan offers a wealth of captivating experiences for visitors to explore. From stunning landscapes to ancient archaeological sites, this diverse nation has something for everyone.

In this article, we will delve into 36 intriguing facts about Turkmenistan, shedding light on its vibrant culture, stunning landmarks, and rich traditions. Whether you are planning a trip to this off-the-beaten-path destination or simply curious about its hidden gems, join us as we uncover the many wonders of Turkmenistan.

Key Takeaways:

  • Turkmenistan, a country in Central Asia, boasts the world’s largest natural gas reserves and the mesmerizing “Door to Hell” gas crater, making it a must-visit for nature and adventure enthusiasts.
  • With its rich cultural heritage, including traditional music, dance, and clothing, Turkmenistan offers a unique experience for travelers seeking to explore the ancient Silk Road and its historical significance.
Table of Contents

Turkmenistan is bordered by five countries.

This landlocked country shares its borders with Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the northeast and east, Iran to the south, Afghanistan to the southeast, and the Caspian Sea to the west.

The capital city of Turkmenistan is Ashgabat.

Ashgabat is not only the political and administrative center of the country but also a city known for its white marble buildings and impressive architecture.

Turkmenistan has a population of approximately 6 million people.

Despite being the 52nd largest country in the world, Turkmenistan has a relatively small population.

The official language of Turkmenistan is Turkmen.

Turkmen belongs to the Turkic language family and is the mother tongue of the majority of the population.

The Turkmenistan flag is predominantly green with a vertical red stripe on the left side.

The red stripe represents the traditional link between the Turkmen people and the famous historical character, Oguz Khan.

Akhal-Teke is the national horse breed of Turkmenistan.

This breed is known for its unique metallic coat color and endurance. The Akhal-Teke horse is highly valued in Turkmen culture.

Turkmenistan is home to the world’s largest natural gas reserves.

The country’s vast reserves of natural gas play a significant role in its economy, making Turkmenistan one of the top gas exporters globally.

The Darvaza Gas Crater, also known as the “Door to Hell,” attracts tourists from around the world.

This fiery crater has been burning since 1971 when a Soviet drilling rig collapsed, creating a natural gas leak that was set ablaze.

Turkmenistan has one of the lowest population densities in the world.

With its vast stretches of deserts and sparse urban areas, the population density of Turkmenistan is significantly low.

Turkmenistan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

After decades of being part of the Soviet Union, Turkmenistan became an independent nation following the dissolution of the USSR.

The Karakum Desert occupies a significant portion of Turkmenistan’s territory.

This vast desert is one of the world’s largest sand deserts, covering around 80% of the country.

Turkmenistan has a unique architectural landmark known as the Turkmenistan Tower.

Located on the outskirts of Ashgabat, this tower stands at a height of 211 meters and serves as a television and radio broadcasting tower.

Turkmenistan celebrates its Independence Day on October 27th.

This national holiday commemorates the country’s independence from the Soviet Union.

The traditional cuisine of Turkmenistan is known for its flavorful meat dishes.

Popular dishes include kebabs, plov (a rice-based dish), dough-based pastries, and various lamb and beef preparations.

The ancient city of Merv, located in Turkmenistan, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Merv was once a major center of the Silk Road and boasts well-preserved archaeological ruins.

The national emblem of Turkmenistan features five stars and a crescent moon.

These symbols represent the five provinces of Turkmenistan and their connection to Islamic traditions.

Carpet weaving is a traditional art form in Turkmenistan.

Turkmen carpets are known for their intricate designs and are considered to be one of the finest examples of carpet weaving in the world.

The Köpetdag Mountains are a popular destination for nature lovers.

These picturesque mountains offer opportunities for hiking, trekking, and enjoying the scenic beauty of Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan is known for its impressive marble buildings.

Many public buildings and monuments in Ashgabat, including the presidential palace and the Ruhyyet Palace, are made entirely of white marble.

Turkmenistan is rich in archaeological sites.

Historical sites such as Nisa, Gonur Depe, and Merw testify to the country’s ancient civilizations and cultural heritage.

Turkmenistan is a predominantly Sunni Muslim country.

The majority of Turkmenistan’s population practices Islam, with Sunni Muslims comprising the largest religious group.

Turkmenistan has its own national holiday, Neutrality Day.

Celebrated on December 12th, this holiday commemorates the country’s status of permanent neutrality.

The Karakum Canal is an extensive irrigation system that supplies water to agricultural areas.

This canal is a significant engineering feat and plays a vital role in the cultivation of crops in Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan is home to many ethnic groups.

In addition to the Turkmen majority, there are significant populations of Uzbeks, Russians, Kazakhs, and other ethnic communities in the country.

The national currency of Turkmenistan is the Turkmenistan manat.

One manat is divided into 100 tenths, and the currency is denoted by the symbol “TMT.”

Turkmenistan is known for its vast array of mineral resources.

The country has significant deposits of natural gas, oil, sulfur, salt, and various minerals.

Turkmenistan has a strong tradition of horse racing and breeding.

The country hosts numerous equestrian events and has produced many talented riders and award-winning horses.

The Turkmenistan Independence Monument is an iconic structure in Ashgabat.

This monument symbolizes the country’s independence and serves as a reminder of its rich history.

Turkmenistan takes pride in its traditional music and dance forms.

Folk dances like “Lezginka” and traditional musical instruments like the “dutara” and “gyjak” are integral to Turkmen cultural performances.

Turkmenistan has a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters.

The country experiences temperature extremes, with scorching summers and freezing winters.

Turkmenistan has a railway network that connects it with neighboring countries.

The railway system facilitates transportation of goods and passengers, promoting trade and tourism.

Turkmenistan is home to the world’s largest handmade carpet.

The carpet, known as “Turkmen Carpet of Altyn Asyr,” holds the Guinness World Record and showcases the country’s rich carpet weaving heritage.

Turkmenistan’s traditional clothing includes long, colorful robes for men and embroidered dresses for women.

These traditional garments represent the country’s cultural identity and are worn on special occasions.

Turkmenistan is known for its love of the sport of “Sagym.”

Sagym is a traditional Turkmen wrestling competition that requires physical strength, agility, and quick reflexes.

Turkmenistan is home to an ancient Parthian fortress called Nisa.

Nisa was once a prominent city of the Parthian Empire and is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Turkmenistan is actively involved in the revival of the historical Silk Road.

The country has invested in the construction of modern trade corridors and infrastructure to enhance regional connectivity and revive the ancient trading route.

There you have it, the 36 fascinating facts about Turkmenistan! From its natural wonders to its rich cultural heritage, Turkmenistan offers a unique experience for travelers and enthusiasts exploring the heart of Central Asia.


Turkmenistan is a country rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. With its stunning landscapes, ancient ruins, and unique traditions, it offers a truly memorable experience to travelers. From the vibrant capital city of Ashgabat to the serene deserts and mountains, Turkmenistan has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient Silk Road cities, immersing yourself in Turkmen folklore, or marveling at the architectural wonders, Turkmenistan is sure to captivate your senses. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the hidden gems of this fascinating Central Asian country.


1. What is the capital city of Turkmenistan?

Ashgabat is the capital city of Turkmenistan. It is known for its grand architecture, impressive monuments, and meticulously manicured parks and streets.

2. Are there any visa requirements for visiting Turkmenistan?

Yes, visitors to Turkmenistan require a visa. It is advisable to check the latest visa requirements and apply in advance through the nearest Turkmenistan Embassy or consulate.

3. Is it safe to travel to Turkmenistan?

Turkmenistan is generally considered a safe country to visit. However, it is always recommended to take necessary precautions and stay informed about the local customs and regulations.

4. What is the official language of Turkmenistan?

Turkmen is the official language of Turkmenistan. Russian and English are also widely spoken, especially in urban areas and tourist destinations.

5. What are some popular tourist attractions in Turkmenistan?

Some popular tourist attractions in Turkmenistan include the Darvaza Gas Crater, Kunya-Urgench UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nissa Fortress, Gypjak Mosque, and the National Museum of Turkmenistan.

6. What is the best time to visit Turkmenistan?

The best time to visit Turkmenistan is during spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and mild.

7. Are there any unique traditions and customs in Turkmenistan?

Turkmenistan has a rich cultural heritage with many unique traditions. The traditional Turkmen carpets, Akhal-Teke horses, and the love for music and dance are some notable aspects of Turkmen culture.

8. What currency is used in Turkmenistan?

The official currency of Turkmenistan is the Turkmenistan Manat (TMT). It is recommended to carry local currency for transactions.

9. Can I drink tap water in Turkmenistan?

It is generally not advisable to drink tap water in Turkmenistan. It is recommended to stick to bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth.

10. What is the transportation system like in Turkmenistan?

Turkmenistan has a well-developed transportation system with buses, taxis, and trains. Domestic flights are also available for traveling between major cities.

Turkmenistan's captivating history, unique traditions, and remarkable landmarks make this Central Asian nation a true gem. From the intriguing leadership of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow to the ancient wonders of Nisa and Dalverzin Tepe, there's so much more to explore. Unravel the mysteries of Turkmenistan's past, present, and future as you delve into its rich cultural tapestry. Embark on a journey through time, uncovering hidden treasures and fascinating stories that will leave you in awe. Get ready to be amazed by the incredible facts and insights that await you in these must-read articles.

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