Khujand is the 2nd largest city in Tajikistan with the 2500 year history, which makes it one of the oldest cities in the world. Not surprisingly it was also on the Great Silk Road.
The name of the city changed throughout time: Khujend, Leninabad, Khujand (Khudzhand, Khojand). Khujand mainly occupies the left bank of Syr-Darya surrounded by mountains. The population here is 150.000 people. Khujand is the capital of Sughd, which is the northwestern province of Tajikistan. As the province is quite far away from the capital new tunnels and routes are being constructed to make the transportation better. Khujand has a unique culture and a high level of development. Most of the Soviet-era buildings have been renovated, however, you will feel going back in time here., as the architecture has not changed much. Despite being the 2nnd largest city of the country Khujand has a cosy appeal to it. A relaxing atmosphere is ensured by the shady, lush parks and beautiful boulevards. On a hot summer day, the riverbanks of Syr-Darya are full of people, especially children cooling off. There are boats which provide tours on the river, so you can also enjoy the city views in this way. There a lot of restaurants and cafes along the riverbank in the centre.
The places worth visiting are Khujand Historical Museum, Registan Square, Panjshanbe Bazaar, Shaikh Muslihaddin Mausoleum, Arbob Place, Khujand fortress, etc.
The Mausoleum of Shaikh Muslihaddin is situated in the historical part of the city. It is the tomb of the ruler of Khujand, 12th-century poet Muslihaddin Khujandi. Initially, it was built as a burial site, but throughout the time its structure made it possible to go there to pray and make different ceremonials.
Khujand Fortress was the heart of the city, as during its 2500 years history it managed to become the symbol of the will of people. It has gone through a lot: destroyed, rebuilt, invaded, expanded. There was a time when it was considered to be Central Asia's most inaccessible fortress. Now only part of the eastern wall is standing, which was restored in 1999. All the household items found in the fortress are kept in the Museum of Local History.
One of the unique places not to miss in Khujand is Panjshanbe - a closed local market. The name Panjshanbe means Thursday. The local markets were getting their names according to the day of the week they were being held. Similarly, Dushanbe means Monday. And nowadays the capital has this name because of the Monday market which used to be there. There are quite a lot of bazaars in Central Asia, but Panjshanbe might surprise you with its size and culinary delights.
Near Khujand, there is one of the natural attractions of the Sughd region-Kayrakkum reservoir. It is a 15-minute drive from Khujand, so there is an opportunity to "the Tajik sea" as locals call it.
You can keep yourself busy with numerous activities: go to the local theatre, play bowling, visit the Navruzgoh attraction park, swim in the "Syr Darya beach", walk along the Syr Darya river, hike the mountains in the north, etc.