Turkmenistan Carpet Day Budget Tour

May 23, 2025
May 26, 2025
4 days


Turkmenistan is known for many things - horses, dogs, white marble, neon lights, world records, and you got it - carpets!

Home to the largest carpet in the world, the largest handmade carpet in the world, the largest carpet in the shape of a star, the second largest carpet in the shape of a star, Turkmenistan certainly takes their carpets seriously.

The Turkmen flag is the only flag in the world with carpets on it - yep, not just one carpet, but five of them! And those same five carpets you'll see everywhere in Turkmenistan, representing the five main tribes and the five regions of the country.

And for one day only the Carpet Museum in Ashgabat is open and will be buzzing with events and exhibitions, on this special day that is dedicated to carpets.

This tour is designed for those who want to see the main sights of Ashgabat and the Gates of Hell, with the added bonus of witnessing this ever so Turkmen event!

View the full itinerary

Ministry of Carpets, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Carpet Festival, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

If you like the look of this tour but the dates don't work for you, or you'd like to do part of the tour, please get in touch and let us know. All our tours are able to be split into smaller sections, we're always scheduling new tours and your dates might work for one of them, or we can always organise an independent tour.

If you like the sound of this tour, but would like to see more of Turkmenistan while you're here, check  out our longer Carpet Day Tour .


Letter of Invitation

Accommodation in twin share at roughly 3 star hotels (breakfast included), camping at Gates of Hell

Transport as per itinerary, beginning and ending in Ashgabat

Entrance fees to all sites mentioned in the itinerary

SAIGA guide and local guides



Visa fee (can be paid on arrival at the airport or land border, or at an embassy beforehand)

Meals other than breakfast at hotels

Transport to and from Ashgabat at the beginning and end of the tour

Accommodation and any other services before or after the tour

Personal expenses such as souvenirs or any optional activities

Any COVID related expenses

Carpet Festival, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan


Experience the unique festivities of Carpet Day

Explore the glimmering white and gold monuments of Ashgabat

Spend the night mesmerised by the horrendous but exhilirating Gates of Hell

Day 1Fri May 23
Ashgabat, Gates of Hell
  • Arrive in Ashgabat in the morning. Those doing the longer version of the Turkmenistan Carpet Day Tour will arrive back in Ashgabat from Turkmenbashy this morning and we will all meet up before embarking on our Gates of Hell adventure.
  • We'll stop at a supermarket to pick up supplies for the rest of the day and dinner that night.
  • After lunch we’ll drive 250km north to Darvaza, The Gates of Hell.
  • One the way we’ll make a few stops – including to see a salt lake, two other craters (one full of mud, one full of water), and of course maybe for a toilet (not a luxurious one!).
  • Crossing the sand dunes to get to Darvaza, we’ll arrive in time to watch the sunset over the fiery crater and experience dusk turn to dark at this breathtaking site.
  • Set up tents near the Gates of Hell and camp near the fiery crater.
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Day 2Sat May 24
Gates of Hell, Ashgabat
  • Drive back to Ashgabat, where we’ll check into the hotel before going to one of our favourite bazaars in Central Asia – the Russian Bazaar. Here we’ll have some free time during which you can get lunch, do some souvenir shopping, or if you’re in the market for a Turkmen carpet we can show you a good place to get them.
  • Those who have done the longer Turkmenistan Carpet Day Tour can have some free time while those doing this tour will see the main sights of Ashgabat, including all those crazy monuments you’ve probably seen pictures of, including Independence Park and Independence Monument, the Monument to the Constitution, the Arch of Neutrality, Lenin Park, and a drive-by of the Olympic Complex which was built for the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. The complex is home to the famous Horse Stadium (the largest structure in the shape of a horse in the world – you’ll hear plenty more of these records! ), but unfortunately is closed to the public.
  • A highlight of the day will likely be the Alem Centre, which is the complex in which the Wheel of Enlightenment is, the largest indoor ferris wheel (yes, there’s another one). And YES, for just $1, you can even take a ride!
  • Stop for lunch at Berkarar Shopping Centre, where you can go ice-skating, play in the games centre, ride a miniature double-decker bus, and even have a cappuccino in a hipster café – bet you weren’t expecting that!
  • We’ll visit the university bookshop, a great chance to pick up some very cool, unique Turkmenistan swag, including where you can find amazing coffee table books written by and about the president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, as well as ones about Ashgabat and Turkmenistan. You can even get them in English! They also have postcards and posters, and if you're lucky they might even have a copy of the Ruhnama, the book written by Turkmenbashy.
  • For dinner this evening we’ll go to the Yyldiz Hotel – the newest and most expensive hotel in Turkmenistan, where you can have a real 5 Star restaurant experience for 1 Star prices, complete with 360 degree views of the city.
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Day 3Sun May 25
Carpet Day, Ashgabat
  • Happy Carpet Day!
  • Today is a very one off opportunity to see the Carpet Museum in Ashgabat in all its glory, with exhibitions, shows, and loads of Turkmens milling around taking part in the festivities. There will be a great atmosphere, and we'll spend most of the day just soaking it in.
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Day 4Mon May 26
Ashgabat, End of Tour
  • Last day of the tour.
  • Transfers to the airport for your flights, or if you'd like to spend longer in Turkmenistan let us know and we can help you arrange something.
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