Uzbekistan Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Uzbekistan in 2023
Welcome to Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is a Central Asian country known for its ancient trade route and the ancient Silk Road in Bukhara, Khiva, and Samarkand. It’s characterized by its mausoleums, madrasas, and mosques, which feature beautiful Islamic architecture and tiled domes, imposing fortresses, and major local markets to immerse yourself in the culture.
In this ultimate Uzbekistan travel guide you will find a fantastic tour guide to explore the country's most secret and beautiful corners, and you will also discover something extraordinary: Uzbekistan is an affordable country!
Document checklist for Uzbekistan
A valid email address
Return airline ticket
Essential Uzbekistan travel information
Currency - Uzbekistani sum (UZS). USD 1 is equivalent to approx. UZS 11,342.56.
Daily budget for 1 person - The daily budget per person is UZS 66,800 (USD 5.95).
Languages - The official language is Uzbek, and Russian is widely spoken as well. Karakalpak is also a recognized regional language.
Socket type - For Uzbekistan, there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Uzbekistan operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Time zone - Uzbekistan Standard Time (GMT+5).
Top 3 cities to visit - Bukhara, Khiva, and Samarkand. Amazing Silk Road cities!
Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Chorsu Bazaar, State Museum of History of Uzbekistan, and Registan Square in Samarkand.
Visa information for Uzbekistan
You may need an eVisa to enter Uzbekistan if you travel to this country. You can verify if you require a visa depending on your nationality using our Visa Checker Tool. By doing so you can know with certainty the type of document you need. Below we mention what type of eVisa we have for you to help you in the process!
Uzbekistan eVisa explained
The Uzbekistan eVisa is an official tourist document issued by Uzbekistani local authorities that allows foreign travel in the country and that will enable you to register online.
It is valid for 90 days after issued and it can be a single-entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry visa. It can be used on all airlines and at all airports in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan Customs Declaration T6
This form was created so travelers can avoid customs regulations during customs control while entering or exiting the Republic of Uzbekistan. This does not replace a visa and it’s a mandatory document.
Typical costs and budget for Uzbekistan
A basic guide to the costs you should consider when traveling in Uzbekistan.
Daily spending per person - The daily spend per person is UZS 66,800 (USD 5.95).
Meals - UZS 23,220 (USD 2.07) on local meals.
Transport - UZS 1,924 (USD 0.17) on local transportation.
Hotel - A room for one person is UZS 36,740 (USD 3.23), and UZS 73,480 (USD 6.55) for a room for two.
For one person, visiting Uzbekistan for one week usually costs around UZS 467,597 (USD 41.18). Consequently, an Uzbekistan trip for two people costs around UZS 935,193 (USD 82.38) for one week. A two-week trip for two people costs UZS 1,870,386 (USD 164.79) on average in Uzbekistan.
Transport and ways to travel around Uzbekistan
The Islam Karimov Tashkent International Airport is the airport to arrive in Uzbekistan! Located in the capital Tashkent, this ICAO Category II airport is the primary hub of Uzbekistan Airways and it’s the largest international airport in Uzbekistan, and the busiest in Central Asia.
Traveling in Uzbekistan is very easy, you can choose between several options depending on what you want and on your own itinerary. In the city of Tashkent, the capital, you will find a comprehensive system of transportation to move around, including buses, the metro, trams, and taxis. Here we recommend you explore the Tashkent Metro, which in addition to being an excellent method of transport, is also a tourist attraction thanks to its stations that look like museums. Their beauty is in their decoration of large lamps and artistic murals that describe the history of this country.
Buses may be okay, but unfortunately, the roads need to be better signposted. Destinations are not well marked, and travel times are unpredictable. The most common mode of transportation is the minibus, which is practical and easy to use.
On the other hand, trams are quite practical for getting around the city. As for taxis, the rates are generally economical, so they can also be helpful for you in case you are tired of exploring and want to be able to reach your destination quickly and easily.
If you want to explore other cities or towns, these are also connected mainly by high-speed trains, for which you can buy tickets online.
On the contrary, if you want to take a domestic flight to save time, there are daily connections between all major cities and towns. Tickets can also be purchased online.
Safety in Uzbekistan
Is Uzbekistan safe? This is a common question you should have in mind, and the answer is yes, travel to Uzbekistan is mostly safe compared to its neighbors.
We give you some recommendations to take care of yourself and avoid inconveniences:
Avoid border crossings as they are unsafe. They can be mined on land. You can also expect shutdowns without warning there, so never wander, especially around places in which crossing the land borders is not authorized.
Street and violent crime are mainly found in Tashkent, so you should always be alert.
Take special care if you are a member of the LGBT community. There is little tolerance, so avoid showing affection.
If you want to take pictures, you should first ask to check if it is possible if you are near airports, border checkpoints, military barracks, bridges, and police stations, or in other areas, as it may be prohibited.
Generally, it is not recommended that women walk alone on the streets of Uzbekistan's main cities, but it is not so dangerous. Just apply all precautionary measures.
Always have International travel insurance with you if you need medical care.
Weather in Uzbekistan
The best time to travel to Uzbekistan is in spring (April to May) and autumn (September to early November). It's typically warm and dry during these periods, with temperatures sitting around 21 °C/ 69.8 °F to 30 °C/ 86 °F during spring and 14 °C/ 59 °F to 30 °C/ 86 °F during autumn.
Popular cities and towns in Uzbekistan
We give you the top 5 cities to visit in Uzbekistan. This country is full of religious sites, stunning Islamic architecture, Silk Road cities, and Uzbek culture to immerse you more into the traditions and history.
Bukhara - An ancient city founded 2.5 thousand years ago. It is a vibrant place where you can contemplate its preserved history with true adoration. It was also one of the significant trading Silk Road cities and the holiest city in Central Asia, as it was the essential basis of Islamic theology. Its historic center is a medieval complex that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Khiva - It’s a medieval desert city that will make your heart beat strongly because it is perfectly preserved. It is famous for its religious fervor and for having had one of the largest slave markets. The walled city of Khiva or "Itchan Kala" has been described as an open-air museum. It consists of a labyrinth of narrow medieval streets lined with madrasas, mosques, caravanserais, and palaces.
Samarkand - It is famous for its history. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded eight centuries before our era. In the past, it connected the east and west, and the ancient Silk Road was of great importance. You will find many monuments in this city, along with historical and cultural places, such as mosques, museums, mausoleums, ruins of ancient settlements, etc.
Nukus - It is one of the most important artistic and cultural cities. Here you can find the State Museum, which features artifacts recovered from archaeological investigations, traditional jewels, costumes, musical instruments, and samples of flora and fauna of the disappeared or endangered areas. The Art Museum is known for collecting Russian and Uzbek modern art from 1918 to 1935.
Capital Tashkent - It is where you find the country's main economic, political and cultural center. Its history spans more than two millennia, so you will hear many stories, although due to wars and natural disasters, there are not many ancient monuments still standing. .
Must do and see in Uzbekistan
Five things you must see when traveling in Uzbekistan:
Chorsu Bazaar - This is the most famous market in Tashkent and was founded in the Middle Ages. It is famous for its blue capsule-like domes that stand out to any viewer. Here you will find seasonal products, dried fruits, Uzbek customs, dishes, fabrics, food, and other products, making it a colorful place with various articles to choose from. It’s a perfect place to buy your souvenirs.
State Museum of History of Uzbekistan - It is a museum where you can learn about the country's formation, observe its ancient relics that are thousands of years old and even learn more about the history of the Soviet Union.
Registan Square in Samarkand - Located in the ancient epicenter of the city of the Samarkand Silk Road, this magnificent square is flanked by three historic madrasas, the oldest of which dates from the early 15th century. This was the center of Samarkand's public life for a long time, a place for announcements , performances, and festivals, among others.
Lake Charvak - This lake would be a simple artificial reservoir, were it not for its emerald waters at the bottom of the magnificent nature, harmoniously framing the banks. In the background are the peaks of the Tien Shan Mountains, and the total length of the reservoir's coast is almost a hundred kilometers. This contributed to the fact that with the arrival of the reserve, this place began to develop actively and build great tourist infrastructure: the coast now has the best hotels in Uzbekistan, the best summer camps, and the most amazing resorts. The entire coastal area is divided into several large recreation areas.
Central Asian Plov Center - Uzbekistan is famous for its plov, the national dish, made of rice, carrots, beef, raisins, and garlic. At the Central Asian Plov Center, arguably the most renowned plov café in the country, you can watch this tantalizing dish be cooked in gigantic cauldrons.
Typical Uzbekistan food to try
You must try Uzbek food when you are visiting this country! The following are some of this country’s most famous dishes.
Plov - It is the national dish of Uzbekistan, so you will find it all over the country. It comprises rice, lamb, onions, garlic, pepper, raisins, carrots, and apricots. It can taste even better if you accompany it with Uzbekistani Tea. Plov is officially listed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.
Lagman - These are noodles served fried in a soup, they contain beef or lamb and are accompanied by vegetables and a delicious broth that makes the flavor preserve.
Samsa - It is a dish made of lamb, beef or chicken, vegetables, onion, potatoes, and pumpkin. Always baked to a flaky consistency, Samsa is very delicious and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Vaccine information for Uzbekistan
Here, you can find everything concerning the vaccine for COVID-19 and other requirements to enter Uzbekistan. Just click on the CDC website.
Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country
Uzbekistan is one of the 44 landlocked countries worldwide. It's squeezed between Kazakhstan to the north, Kyrgyzstan to the northeast, Tajikistan to the southeast, Afghanistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest. Not only is it landlocked, but it's also one of only two doubly-landlocked nations in the world, along with Liechtenstein. This means each of its neighboring countries is landlocked too.
Fun facts about Uzbekistan
Russia ruled Uzbekistan for almost two centuries. It conquered Central Asia in the second half of the 19th century, and the Soviets took control of the region in 1925. It then became known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. The country gained independence in 1991.
It is a 90% Muslim country; apart from Islam, the other religions practiced are Russian Orthodox, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism.
The Uzbekistan National Beverage is green tea, which is taken casually throughout the day.
A common tradition in the country is that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house's door. Uzbek people are very friendly so you will feel very welcome.
Handshakes are only acceptable to take place between two men. A man cannot shake hands with a woman. While greeting Uzbek women, you should bow down to her with your right hand placed over your heart.
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