The low price of oil makes traveling by shared taxi or bus very cheap in Turkmenistan, although overcharging foreigners is not unheard of, especially driving towards the border (bargain!). Minibuses and taxis leave when full, while large buses leave according to a timetable; we recommend taking a minibus or taxi for comfort and speed. Roads are generally doable – see driving in Turkmenistan.
Prices and travel time
Prices are based on minibus (marshrutka) prices. Taxis will be a bit faster and cost the same or a bit more for a seat (depending on type of car, driver and demand), while large overnight buses are slower and cheaper.
- Ashgabat – Mary: 5h, 5$
- Ashgabat – Turkmenabat: 9,5h, 8,5$
- Ashgabat – Turkmenbashi: 7h, 10$
- Ashgabat – Balkanabat: 5h, 6$
- Ashgabat – Dashoguz: 12h, 7$
- Ashgabat – Tejen: 3h, 2$
- Ashgabat – Serakhs: 4h, 3$
- Dashoguz – Turkmenabat: 12h, 7$
- Dashoguz – Konye-Urgench: 2h, 1$
Buses and minibuses from Ashgabat now leave from two new bus terminals, one for big buses and one for minibuses. They are not far apart but both several kilometres outside the city. Asking your driver to take you to the автовокзал (avtavakzal, or awtomenzil in Turkmen) should probably get you there. Great route information on the page of the Ministry of Transport (if you click the map icon you will get a map of the routes), including city and suburban routes.
They also have online booking, although I don’t know if it works.
Not sure how correct the following info still is. Everything might have moved to the bus terminals.
Transport for Dashogus and Konye-Urgench leaves from the Dashogus Bazaar (also called Azatlyk Bazaar). Short-distance destinations west of Ashgabat (Old Nissa, Kipchak mosque) depart from the western side of Tekke Bazaar.
See the site with a tour operator, or when in Mary, hire a car and driver. 2$/h is a reasonable rate. You can take a bus from the bus station in Mary to Bairam Ali (45 min., goes 2 times an hour), but taxi is much, much faster, and there is no way you can walk Merv, it is too big, and likely way to hot.
Buses and taxis await you at the train station to Mary, Ashgabat and the Uzbek border. There is another bus stand 10km outside of town at the Dunya bazaar. There is no need to go there, but coming into Turkmenabat, you might be dropped off there and be in need of another ride into town.
From Bay Bazaar transport leaves frequently to Konye-Urgench and Ashgabat and infrequently to Turkmenabat.
All transport leaves from the train station.
Long-distance transport leaves from the train station to Ashgabat, Balkanabat and Zhanaozen (Kazakhstan, 7h, 50$). For trips around town or to Awaza, take a taxi (or wait for a bus if you’re a penny-pincher) at the bus station at Balkan köcesi.