Today, Pendjikent is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery and flora and fauna. At the mouth of the Zeravshan valley and straddling the banks of the Zeravshan River, it's a matter of miles away from the Zeravshan nature refuge and, downstream on the river is Sarazm, a designated Important Bird Area. Visitors use the city as a base to explore the gorgeous surrounding area, as a pit stop between Khujand in the north or Dushanbe to the south or as a crossing point through to nearby Samarkand in neighboring Uzbekistan.
A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.
Ancient City Museum
The best way to understand and fully appreciate the ancient city is with a visit to the attached museum. It contains exhibits and artifacts from the excavations with information and explanations about the building techniques and the cultural significance of the artworks and architecture in the historic site.
Ancient City Ruins
The site of the ancient Sogdian city is just out of the town, on a hill with views of the valley. Excavated on an ongoing basis since 1947, Pendjikent is one of the most thoroughly studied medieval cities in the world. Visitors are free to wander around the ruins of the walled city that stood more than 2,500 years ago.
In the center of town, the market place is the gathering point for local life. The best day to go is Sunday, when the market is at its busiest, to enjoy the color and flavor of a real Tajik market. Here, visitors can stock up on local souvenirs and food for bargain prices.
Kamoli Khujandi Park
Popular with local families, this pleasant recreational park sits on the banks of Zeravshan river, an ideal spot for a picnic and a day of leisure. There’s a playground and a public swimming pool, not to mention a small, charming amusement park.
Named for a famous 10th century Tajik poet, Abu Abdullo Rudaki, this museum celebrates Tajikistan’s rich national and cultural history. Exhibits include example of beautiful frescoes for which the city is famous as well as zoroastrian statues and sculptures and other historical items from the city’s foundation, all the way up to the Soviet era.
From its position at the mouth of the beautiful Zeravshan valley and just south of the Fann mountains with their glacial lakes, Pendjikent is a perfect base for the outward bound visitor. Hikes and trails vary in difficulty but all boast stunning views and take in the rich and diverse nature that abounds in the region.
Explore in-depth information, experiences and highlights by navigating to specific regions using the links below on the right.
From barely-visited lakes to secluded towns and some of the most pristine trekking destinations in the world, this 9-day tour through Tajikistan takes you past some of the country’s most natural and stunning destinations. Start in Dushanbe before going off the grid in the Fann Mountains. Stop along historical villages of Pendjikent and Istaravshan before exiting through the bordertown Oybek.
- 9 days / 8 nights
- Price Per Person
- From $3,500
There’s a world of culture, history and nature waiting to be uncovered by those daring enough to be different. This two-week itinerary through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan offers exactly that - something a little different. A truly memorable 14-day trip through this fascinating yet often overlooked part of the world.
- 14 days / 13 nights
- Price Per Person
- From $7,300
This thrilling 11-day journey through Tajikistan starts off in the country’s capital, where you’ll explore its historic museums and markets, before heading off on a challenging and rewarding trek through mountains, passes, canyons, valleys, and lakes, boasting some of the most incredible beauty Mother Nature has to offer.
- 11 days / 10 nights
- Price Per Person
- From $3,000
Proving a popular draw for visitors all year round, historic Pendjikent is irresistible in its ancient charms and natural beauty. Even in the colder months there are accommodation options for intrepid travelers and one of the best among them is the Dodo Hotel. Ideally located in the center of town and near to all the local attractions including museums and markets, Dodo is also handy for guests who want to head out of town to the ancient city ruins or nearby national parks. The hotel is well-equipped and the rooms and suites are large and clean with fresh bedding and comfortable beds and sitting areas and, while the decor isn’t the most elegant, it’s simple and a pleasant enough place to spend the night. What’s more there’s free WiFi for those wishing to catch up with their travel blogs.
There is perhaps no better example of true Tajik hospitality than at Elina Guesthouse in Pendjikent. The pretty town, steeped in history, built next to the ruins of its original site and surrounded by flora and fauna offers the best of both worlds and visitors stopping through can get a true taste of authentic local culture. Down the last road on the left before the roundabout at the western end of Rudaki, Elina Guesthouse welcomes travelers during the best time of year - from April until October, with beguiling charm. Clean and comfortable rooms lead off from a peaceful central and guests will be delighted by the above average standard of the immaculate bathrooms. Though simple, it’s well-equipped and homey but the service is the real draw, quiet and unassuming, the friendly staff frequently appear from nowhere with pots of tea and plates of fruit, ensuring a relaxing and refreshing stay.
Hotel Intourist, also known by its official name of Hotel Pendjikent (though it’s better known by the former), is the best accommodation on offer in this ancient city. Housed in a Soviet-Era building in the center of town, guests will have easy access to Pendjikent’s tourist hotspots, which is lucky as transportation in this city consists of one bus line that runs along the main road, connecting the far ends of the city. Double rooms here come with hot water and a television - luxuries in this remote corner of Tajikistan.
The pretty town of Pendjikent, on Tajikistan’s westernmost tip is a popular crossing point into neighboring Uzbekistan. Aside from its advantageous location for travel, the town is a destination in itself, with fascinating museums, bustling markets and historic ruins. What’s more, it’s near to a number of national parks. For travelers looking for somewhere comfortable to get a peaceful night’s rest in town, Maqsud Guesthouse is a great option, not least for its central location near to the local sights. Rooms are clean and comfortable, arranged around a pleasant little central garden. With plans to develop into a hotel, the newly-built rooms boast en-suite facilities, something of a luxury in these parts, not to mention hot showers. Guests have full use of the communal kitchen to cook up hearty meals after a day of exploring, as well as use of the adjoining internet cafe which is co-owned by the guesthouse.
Tajikistan Goes Well With
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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- John McMahon
If you dream of hiking the Haft Kul, or Lake Loop, of the Fann Mountains for the crystal blue waters and lonely trails, this piece will get you started.
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