The vast majority of people in Tajikistan have Tajik as the mother tongue, a language similar to the Persian spoken in Iran or Afghanistan. Russian is spoken by about 35 percent of people and is often used for government, business, and administration purposes. Very few people speak English, although some who work in the tourism industry will have a basic grasp. A Tajik or Russian phrase book or picture cards will be useful aids for English speakers traveling in Tajikistan.
Tajikistan uses the somoni (TJK) as its official currency. US dollars are often accepted in the larger towns and cities, although the exchange rate can be unattractive. Money can be changed at banks and official exchange places; US dollars, euros, and Russian rubles are the currencies most easily exchanged, although notes should be clean and minted after 1996, as there can be counterfeiting issues with notes before that time. ATMS are not common, with Dushanbe city being the place where a visitor is most likely to find one. There are ATMs at Dushanbe Airport, the head office of Agroinvest Bank, and a few larger hotels and department stores, such as Hotel Tajikistan, Hotel Avesto, and the Central Department Store (Tsum). Credit cards are not usually accepted. Cash is the most common and acceptable means of payment. Tipping is not necessary but small change is appreciated for good service.
Tajikistan is in the Tajikistan Time Zone (TJT), which is five hours ahead of GMT (GMT +5).
Tajikistan uses electricity at 50-220V, with Type C and F plug sockets. Visitors wishing to bring electrical devices to Tajikistan that use a different voltage will need a transformer, while those items with non-C plugs will need an adaptor. Devices from mainland Europe will usually work in Tajikistan, while those from America probably will not.
The dialing code for Tajikistan is +992. Area codes are in use, with 37 being the area code for the main city of Dushanbe. Babilon-mobile and the state-owned Tajiktelecom provide landlines (local, national, and overseas calls), mobile telephony, and internet. Tajikistan’s top mobile network operators include MLT, Sonomcom, and Indigo. MLT has roaming agreements with most large international mobile providers. Internet use in Tajikistan is very low, but most users access it via internet cafés, which are becoming more common in cities and larger towns. There are more than 50 internet cafés in Dushanbe and some 500 across the country. Prices are cheap (compared to the rest of the world) but browsing can be slow.
Duty-free items can be purchased by international travelers visiting Tajikistan, subject to the following allowances: 200 cigarettes or 500gm of tobacco, two liters of alcohol, 50ml of perfume for personal use, and up to US$500-worth of gifts.
Tajikistan Government Committee of Youth, Sports and Tourism: firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.visittajikistan.tj/en/planingyourtrip/communication.php.
Consulates in Tajikistan
Embassy of Canada to Tajikistan, Kazakhstan: +7-327-250-1151 American Embassy, Dushanbe: +992-37-229-2000
Police: 102 Medical: 103 Fire: 101