The only reason to visit Turkmenabat is if you are going to Uzbekistan, as it is one hour from the Uzbek border. The city has no sights, it is really ugly and there’s almost nothing to do there.
Unlike Ashgabat, Turkmenabat is not a White marble city. It’s more like a flat wide city with not high buildings. A church, a square and a bazaar is everything a tourist can be interested in when visiting Turkmenabat. Pay a visit to the Bazaar, which is quite lively and people are even friendly and spend the rest of the time having a beer if you find a place to do so.
The cheapest option is the Hotel Lebapgurlushyk, quite close from the railway station but one of the worst hotels ever. At 38 USD per room is a total rip-off, as the rooms are disgusting and there’s no hot water. Still, it’s the cheapest option, so it's this or this. We were offered to stay overnight in a local’s home for free by a really nice woman we met. We went there, she offerred us food and everything perfect until she said her husband complained abut taking strangers home, so we ended up at the hotel. Be careful if you’re offerred to stay at some local’s place.
Food & Drink
Go to the bazaar and you’ll find some interesting places to eat and have a beer. Other than that, not many options in town.
We got to Turkmenabat by train from Ashgabat. There are a couple of trains every day each direction. We took the one from Ashgabat at 18:20 and arrived in Turkmenabat at 7:00. Ticket Price: 12 manats.
To get out, we headed to the Uzbek border by taxi for 20 manats per person. Avoid the taxis right outside the train station. If from the platform you walk towards the right and cross the tracks, you’ll find the cheap taxis waiting there to take you to the border.
Safer than Ashgabat, there are police but not as many as in Ashgabat and taking pictures seems quite ok, although there are not many places you would like to have on pictures.