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Parthian Settlement of Nisa
Ranked #2 of 20 things to do in Ashgabat
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
141 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2013

Our guide, the "prince of old Nisa", (an enthusiastic and knowledgeable archaeologist with a dry sense of humour), made this visit a highlight of Turkmenistan for us.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank heggos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 reviews from our community

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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
445 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 226 helpful votes
“Better Than Ashgabat”
Reviewed May 24, 2013

Those ancients knew how to plan a city and Nisa is a delightful example of their skill. The site is limited in size but gives so much room for imagination - guides throughout Turkmenistan ask you to 'use your imagination' at the archeological sites - typically those sites suffer from one of two states, lack of care and proper preservation or renovation irrespective of knowledge of the original look of the site. At Nisa, you will find something about in the middle of those extremes. And you will have plenty of room to picture what might have been. The story the guide will tell is fascinating.

If you are of a mind be sure to climb the slight rise behind the site and see the village spread below you. It is a fine juxtaposition to the ancient city, and a marvelous example of people's ability to build a true community that presupposes the rules of good town-planning, something that nearby Ashgabat sorely misses.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank William B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Old kingdom”
Reviewed May 8, 2013 via mobile

The site has been much Improved since my last visit in 2007, and worth checking out while in Ashgabat. Nice view of the mountains and Turkmenbashys Health road!

Visited April 2013
Thank ChristianFrantzen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
82 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Time has taken its toll”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

The best preserved ruins in all of Central Asia from prior civilizations are old Soviet industrial facilities. Turkmenistan appears to be demolishing most of its share of those, along with their close competitor, the Soviet apartment house (many of which are still occupied). Ashgabat was destroyed in a 1948 earthquake (the current government is sort of doing it again with its white marble reconstruction), and since Nisa is nearby, earthquakes (not to mention guys like Genghis Khan and Timur) have had plenty of time to do in Nisa as well, and they have pretty much done it in. Virtually all artifacts have made there way to museums. Still, it is roughly (emphasis on roughly) in a shape similar to Merv, and since I paid that place a visit, I would be hard pressed to say Nisa which is much easier to reach is not iworth a visit, but understanding the Greek influenced culture requires a trip to the museum, not to the site. Don't worry about the museum. It is not crowded. There are only the guards and tourists, and precious few of the latter.

Visited April 2013
Thank aikido4d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
518 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
“Fascinating Ruins”
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Make sure you have a knowledgeable guide to help you interpret these ruins. They're located about 30 minutes outside Ashgabat and the visit should last about 45 minutes or so.

Visited October 2012
3 Thank JD28204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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