How much money do you need to travel in Turkmenistan? Quite a bit, if you want to stay more than the 5 days afforded on a transit visa. It’s the most expensive country in Central Asia for travelers. You need to book a tour to get a tourist visa in Turkmenistan, meaning budget travelers’ wallets will be tested.
There are lots of horrible, overpriced hotels in Turkmenistan, with a few decent places in between that you need to root out. Travelers on a transit visa can make use of cheap, unofficial homestays; those on a tourist visa are obliged to take the more expensive official hotels.
- Unoffical homestay: 10$/€
- Double in a bad hotel: 40-60$/€
- Double in a decent hotel: 60-100$/€
- Double in a good hotel: 200-300$/€
- Minibus Ashgabat – Mary: 5$/€
- Flight Ashgabat – Turkmenbashi: 15$/€
- Bus in Ashgabat: 25 cents
- Train ticket Ashgabat – Turkmenbashi: 2,5-5 $/€
- Taxi from the airport to the center of Ashgabat: 2-3$/€
Food in a simple local restaurant or fast food place will cost around 2-4$/€. At the market you can expect prices to be around 60-100% of Western prices for basic foodstuff. A dish at a fashionable restaurant in Ashgabat will cost 10 to 20$/€ (watch out, they make their money on the drinks!).
Tours and activities
With organised group tours now more common in Turkmenistan, a tourist visa has come into view for the poorer traveler. Prices for a group tour hover around 100$/€ per day. If you want something more customised, expect to pay 120 – 200$/€ per day, depending on your accommodation and the amount of people joining you.
Entrance to sights and museums is usually low, but can be substantive at times. Expect to pay between 2 and 5$/€ for archaeological sites and the like, but up to 10$/€ for things like the carpet museum in Ashgabat or the underground lake of Kow-Ata.
How much does it cost to get into Turkmenistan? If you’re just going for the transit visa: 35$. If you want a tourist visa, the cost for the invitation is 96$; it gets worked into the price of your tour and you don’t really feel it.
If you are flying in and out of the country, expect to pay around (this is a very rough estimate) 500$/€ for a return flight from Europe or Asia.