there are many reasons for Uzbekistan travel, one of the most under-traveled countries in the world. Uzbekistan has a rich and fascinating history and culture and is home to over 450 architectural monuments and sites.
The nation offers some of the best mountain hiking in Central Asia, with beautiful trails through mountains, valleys, and national parks.
What is Uzbekistan Famous for?
One of the most well-known aspects of Uzbekistan is that it is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and major cities, including Samarkand and Bukhara. However, this landlocked country’s historic Silk Road history is only one facet of its fascinating character.
The former Soviet republic is recognized for its stunning Islamic architecture, which includes delicately adorned mosques, mausoleums, and religious buildings, and a history of cultural sites that includes Alexander the Great (Alexander the Great), Genghis Khan (Genghis Khan), and Tamerlane (Tamerlane).
There is something for everyone in Uzbekistan, from history buffs to shopaholics, so there is something for everyone.
1. Marvel at the fabulous Registan Square in Samarkand
Located in the heart of the old city of Samarkand, Registan Square is arguably Central Asia’s most recognizable landmark.
It was previously the city’s main plaza and was midway between Asia and Europe on the Silk Road, which was rebuilt under Tamerlane’s reign in the 14th century.
Three large madrassas, Ulugh Beg, Sher-Dor, and Tilya-Kori, are symmetrically positioned in front of the square, ornamented with an elaborate blue tile mosaic. Even at night, it’s a stunning sight.
2. Eat plov!
The fact that Uzbek food isn’t well-known around the world doesn’t mean it’s any less delicious. Plov, the national dish of Uzbekistan, is a must-try when visiting the country!
Making use of lamb fat and oil to cook the meat and veggies with rice and vegetables may not sound particularly appetizing, but try it. Plov is typically a huge platter for the entire group to share, and each region’s version is distinct.
When you’re in a country that’s obsessed with plov, things may get a little heated. On the other hand, Plov symbolizes the coming together of a community, hospitality, and a sense of self-worth.
3. Stay with a local family in the Nuratau Mountains
This remote mountain village nestled in a green river valley is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature.
Staying with a local family is by far the finest way to explore the Nuratau Mountains, though. People are the best means of connecting with a new culture and the welcoming families here will be eager to feed you, offer a generous supply of green tea, and encourage your participation in the local dances.
4. Wander the narrow streets of Ichan Kala (inner city) Khiva
UNESCO-listed Khiva was one of the final stopovers for caravans on the Silk Road before they set out for Persia in the desert. As a well-preserved medieval desert village, it’s hard to find a better specimen than this one.
Khiva’s small, walled inner city, Ichan Kala, is a maze of narrow alleyways perfect for exploring on foot. Some 60 historic sites, including Djuma Mosque and Mohammed Amin Madrassah, can be found by taking a tour of the city through the Kalta Minor Minaret.
5. Visit the Savitsky Museum in Nukus to view the collection of Soviet art
At the Savitsky Museum in Nukus, one of the finest collections of Soviet and Central Asian art may be found.
Soviet artist and ethnographer Igor Savitsky relocated half of the museum’s collection to Nukus in order to protect an entire generation of avant-garde art from being destroyed since it did not conform to socialist realism.
Additionally, the museum houses a vast collection of anthropological and archaeological artifacts from the region.
6. Take a ride on the metro to admire the beautiful stations in Tashkent
Tashkent’s Russian-influenced metro stations can be found deep below the city’s surface. Its 29 stations, which were built in the wake of a terrible earthquake in 1966 and opened to the public in 1977, feature a striking fusion of Soviet modern art and Islamic splendor.
As soon as you get on the metro, it’s a joy to simply walk around the stations. As long as you can avoid the busiest times, you can spend some leisurely time exploring this vast underground environment, which features unique works of art reflecting the station’s name.
7. Camp on the seabed of the Aral Sea
One of the largest lakes on Earth, it is now referred to as the Aral Sea because of the islands that originally inhabited it.
Over the years, pollution and climate change have both contributed to the lake’s shrinkage, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that Soviet irrigation projects began diverting water from the lake’s primary rivers.
Despite the lake’s demise, the area remains hauntingly desolate, including evidence of the area’s former submerged status, such as a ship cemetery. Yurt camps are also available for those who prefer a more rustic camping experience.
8. Haggle in the local bazaars of Bukhara
Bukhara, Uzbekistan’s shopping capital, is the place to go if you’re looking for the best deals. With 140 protected buildings, including some beautifully renovated mosques and madrasas.
You may enjoy a lot of fun haggling in the local bazaars and big trading domes that have served as commercial trading centers since the days of the Silk Road era.
Local handicrafts, hats, carpets, and jewelry are just a few of the amazing finds to take home with you. Friendly and non-pressuring salespeople make this a pleasant place to shop.
9. Take a ride on one of the high-speed trains
It’s one of the best ways to see Uzbekistan, and one of the most environmentally friendly. The Talgo high-speed train, built in Spain, is a terrific way to view Central Uzbekistan’s desert scenery and meet pleasant residents on board.
Good practice time for your Russian skills. In the past, the trip from Tashkent to Bukhara took a full day by train; now, it just takes three and a half hours thanks to the bullet train.
10. Visit the workshops of fine Silk Road craftspeople in the Fergana Valley
Visiting the Fergana Valley would be an excellent day trip for anyone interested in textiles and crafts. For centuries, these verdant valleys were home to silk, pottery, and wood carving workers.
Families in these towns are well-known for their prowess in a particular craft, which gives the settlements a distinct character.
For this reason, you can see the silk production process in action in Margilan, from the cocoons of silkworms to the finished product. In the town of Rishton, you can watch the skilled painting of Uzbekistan’s famous porcelain dishes.
Is Uzbekistan Safe to Travel Now?
Safety and security
There are very few violent crimes committed against non-citizens. snatch-and-grab robberies, the theft of abandoned baggage, as well as pickpocketing and purse snatching, are all on the rise, particularly in crowded areas (bazaars, rural road, public transportation). Even in affluent neighborhoods, home invasions and break-ins are not unheard of.
As you would in any other European country, you should exercise caution and take precautionary precautions to ensure your personal safety.
In Uzbekistan, dual citizenship is not permitted. The British Embassy in Uzbekistan can only provide limited consular help if you enter the country with an Uzbek passport and British nationality. If you’ve been arrested or taken into custody, you’re not likely to get access to a consular officer.
Due to international and Uzbek government efforts to contain Covid-19, much of the information provided herein (travel) has been superseded. Once normal travel to and from Uzbekistan has resumed, however, this policy will no longer be relevant.
According to reports, on November 6, 2019, an armed attack on a Tajik security checkpoint on the Uzbek/Tajik border killed 17 persons. An ISIS/Daesh claim of responsibility was made. When traveling near or across the Uzbek/Tajik border, you should use caution and vigilance.
There are disagreements over whether or not the Uzbek-Kyrgyz boundary should be recognized. Many security issues have occurred in this area, including a number of shootings. There have been incidents at the Uzbek-Tajik border, as well.
Due to the possibility of tensions in the Fergana Valley, exercise caution when visiting.
The land border between Afghanistan and Pakistan has been shut down.
It is fairly uncommon for Uzbekistan’s land borders with neighboring countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to be abruptly shut down. There are just a few border crossings between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan that are open to Tajik residents.
There are already limitations on Uzbek and Kazakh nationals crossing the border into Kazakhstan. A number of China-Kurdish borders are exclusively available to cargo traffic.
There may be land mines along the Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan borders, therefore exercise caution when traveling through these areas.
Find out in advance if any of the border crossings are open. Additionally, border crossing points can be closed at any time.
Do not drive in Uzbekistan without having your registration papers and proof of insurance in order. You must always carry your UK driving license or an International driving permit.
For the duration of your stay in Uzbekistan, you can drive with a valid UK driving license. If you want to communicate with local officials and traffic cops more easily, you should have a copy of your driver’s license translated into Russian or Uzbek.
Applying for a local driver’s license is highly suggested if you want to remain in Uzbekistan for a lengthy period of time or dwell in the country permanently.
Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings because many roads are poorly maintained and poorly illuminated.
On the right side of the road in Uzbekistan, driving. Approaching vehicles have precedence over those already on the roundabout.
Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times, and talking on a cell phone while driving is strictly banned.
Tashkent and other cities have security checkpoints at their borders.
A new law has been passed in Uzbekistan that only allows licensed taxis (with a specific color and sign, as well as card payment equipment) to operate in the country. Unlicensed taxis, on the other hand, remain a problem. Use official cabs whenever you can. You may want to request a cab with both front and back seat belts, as many taxis do not have them.
It is common in Uzbekistan for buses and taxis to run on CNG, however safety standards are pretty low. When using a bus or cab, if possible, choose a vehicle with the most current technology.
As a result of COVID regulations, Uzbekistan Airways offers regular flights to several European locations including London. A flight from Istanbul to Tashkent, Uzbekistan departs every day. Other carriers offer regional flights including FlyDubai and Qatar airways.
Individual airlines’ safety is not something we can comment on. A list of registered airlines that have been audited by the International Air Transport Association and deemed to meet a variety of operational safety requirements and suggested practices is available. This is not a comprehensive list, and the omission of a particular airline from it does not imply that it is risky.
Uzbekistan was audited by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2008 to see how well the important parts of safety monitoring were being implemented.
In Uzbekistan, the Aviation Safety Network has compiled a record of all incidents and accidents that have taken place there.
When taking a train for a long-distance, use caution. Be sure to secure your belongings if you have to go overnight. Don’t leave anything in the compartment unattended. Ensure that you lock the door from inside. When you order train tickets, you will need to provide your passport and visa.
Stable political conditions have prevailed in Uzbekistan.
You should avoid any demonstrations or crowds of people. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity and keep your guard up, especially in public settings.
Is Uzbekistan Cheap to Travel?
Inquiring about the cost of travel in Uzbekistan?
During our 10-day stay in the country, we came up with this useful travel guide based on what we learned.
The majority of hotels in Uzbekistan fall into the low- to medium-priced class. Tashkent, however, does have a few five-star hotels.
At $30-70 a night hotel, we found them to be clean, quiet and serviced by kind locals on our travels.
Price ranges for hotels:
Mid-range Hotel: $30-$70
Nice Hotel: $70-$140
5-star Hotel: $200+ (Tashkent)
With limited selection and low cost of dining out Uzbekistan’s food is wonderful.
Salad, bread, a beverage, and the main course are all included in the $5 price tag (plov, manti dumplings, or shashlik kebab).
Although we found the finest restaurants to be those that were full of locals, you can expect to pay between $10 and $25 per person at more expensive eateries.
In most cases, the cost of admission will be between 10,000 and 30,000 baht ($1 to $4).
According to Uzbek authorities, there is always a free rear entrance for locals. You’ll stand out like a sore thumb, I’m sure if you try to do so. Hawk-eyed guards keep track of who has paid for their stay, attempted to sneak in, and is a local resident at Registan.
For a day flat cost of about 120,000 soum ($14), you can explore all the sights in one day in Khiva. You will hit with fines if you want to stay in Khiva for more than a few days.
Now, applying for an entry tourist visa or business visa to Uzbekistan is much easier than it used to be. There is now an electronic visa application that can get you a visa in 2-3 days in most circumstances. $20 is the application fee.
A number of well-known carriers fly into Uzbekistan, including Aeroflot, Turkish Air, and Asiana Tashkent (TAS) and Samarkand (SKD) are the two main international airports, although you may now fly into Urgench (UGC) as well.
You can save money by flying with Uzbekistan Airways. You’ll have to book directly on their website because they don’t appear on Google Flights.
Flight Fares for a Round-Trip
From the United States, expect to pay between $800 and $1200.
An international flight costs between $400 and $600.
$800 – $1200 from Asia
GETTING AROUND TOWN
You can hail a cab from the street or have one summoned by your hotel, in most cases. Because Uzbekistan’s towns tend to be tiny, taxi fares range from 5,000 soum ($.50) to 10,000 soum ($1.17).
There will be some price gouging in the airport taxis, which cost between 10,000 and 15,000 soum ($1.75 and $2.00).
GETTING AROUND INTERNALLY
The main tourist routes on the Uzbek Railway have just had their trains refurbished, making them far more user-friendly than we had anticipated. Modern trains from Samarkand to Bukhara and from Bukhara to Khiva cost roughly 70,000 soum ($8) per way.
As a nice surprise, Uzbekistan Airways is the airline of choice for domestic trips. It appeared that the planes and crew were mostly brand new. Costs range from 50 to 100 baht for an internal flight within Thailand.
You can purchase Ucell, Beeline, or UMS SIM cards in many of the cities along the main tourist route. You should expect to pay anything from $6 to $10 per month for a package that gives you roughly 10GB of data and a lot of local calls and sms for direct contact. With UCell, we found that the speeds in most cities exceeded our expectations.
Uzbekistan Travel Destinations
Traveling to the country of Uzbekistan may not be at the top of most people’s bucket lists. Central Asia, however, is a fascinating country with a lot to see and do.
Uzbekistan has a lot to offer visitors to tourist destinations. It is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, as well as several destination for travelers and museums.
Uzbekistan should be high on your list of potential vacation spots because of the country’s rich cultural heritage and wide range of exciting things to see and do.
Uzbekistan introduces new electronic visas which makes it easier for foreign visitors.
1. Registan Square, Samarkand
Registan Square in Samarkand was one of the world’s most beautiful squares for good reason. During the Timurid period, this public square served as the beating heart of Samarkand.
It is well-known for its stunning examples of Islamic architecture, including three massive madrassas that tower over the city. A “sandy place” is how Tajiks refer to Registan.
2. Gur-e-Amir, Samarkand
The Gr-e Amr is the tomb of Timur, the Mongol conqueror who ruled from the 13th to 14th century. The “Tomb of the Commander” has a lovely fluted azure dome.
Two of Timur’s sons and grandsons graves are in the mausoleum. Tomb’s architecture influence both Humayun’s Tomb and the Taj Mahal.
3. Amir Timur Museum, Tashkent
Tashkent’s Amir Timur Museum honors Timur, the Mongol conqueror. Tashkent was the capital of Uzbekistan at the time of independence in 1996.
There are nearly 5,000 artifacts relating to Timur and his dynasty, the Timurid Dynasty, in the museum. The Gur-e Amir tomb in Samarkand is the inspiration for this structure.
4. Chor Minor, Bukhara
Khalif Niyazkul, a wealthy businessman from Bukhara, built this famous mosque in the 18th century. The mosque’s name, Chor Minor, derives from the Arabic for “four minarets,” which refers to the four cardinal directions. Each one has its own distinctive design.
5. Lyab-i-Hauz, Bukhara
A peaceful plaza built around one of the few remaining ponds (Hauz) in Bukhara, Lyab-i Hauz build in the 1600s.
Mulberry trees surround the pond and supply a historic canal system. The city’s historic Jewish quarter is located south of the Lyab-i-Hauz.
6. Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent
The capital city of Uzbekistan, Tashkent’s traditional market situates in a blue-domed building in the city center. Tourists and locals alike go to the area because it offers a wide range of goods and services, from souvenirs to fine dining. One of the bazaar’s ends hosts the Kukeldash Madrasah.
7. The Walled City of Khiva
Khiva, also known as Khorasam, is a 2,000-year-old ancient city. Itchan Kala, the walled inner city of Uzbekistan, was the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Many interesting sights and historical landmarks can found within its crenelated brick walls. It’s as if you’ve stepped back in time as you enter the fortified city.
8. Palace of Khudayar Khan, Kokand
Khudayar Khan, the final monarch of the Kokand Khanate, ruled from here until his death. It builds in 1871 and covers four acres of lush green grounds, earning the nickname “the Pearl of Kokand.”
It used to have seven courtyards and 119 rooms. Only two courtyards and 19 rooms are currently accessible to the public.
9. Nukus Museum of Art, Nukus
The museum in Nukus, which is the Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art, houses around 82,000 objects, the majority of which were gathered by I.V. Savitsky.
From Khorezm to Karakalpak traditional art and the second greatest collection of Russian avant-gardism in the world, these artifacts are very famous.
10. Aidarkul Lake
The Soviets constructed a semi-artificial lake near a seasonal lake. The Kyzylkum desert now encompasses an area of more than 4,000 square kilometers. Camping and yurt stays are also popular options here as well.
11. State Museum of History of Uzbekistan, Tashkent
The National Museum of Turkestan, founded in 1876, is one of Central Asia’s oldest museums. More than 250,000 artifacts documenting the history of Uzbekistan from prehistory to the present are on display.
Alabaster Buddha reliefs from Termez, calligraphy by Tamerlane, and ethnic art and costumes are only some of the items on display.
12. Zindan of Emir, Bukhara
This jail called ” Zindan” housed criminals and dissidents during the Bukhara Emirate. It builds in the 18th century.
The masonry building includes a circular pit and can contain up to 40 inmates. After the overthrow of the Bukhara emirate in 1920, the emir’s life became a museum.
13. Muynak, Aral Sea
Between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, there is a vast body of water which is the Aral Sea. There were several fishing communities, including Muynak, along its coasts because it was a major supply of fish.
As a result of inadequate irrigation management, the Aral Sea has shrunk significantly since the 1960s. As a result of its demise, much of it has turned into an uninhabitable desert.
Travel plan to Uzbekistan? Uzbekistan travel is a great way to experience this small country’s rich culture and traditions.
-It is a beautiful place with many landmarks that are worth seeing.
-The people are welcoming, friendly, and helpful.
-You can visit local markets, mosques, cathedrals, fortresses, museums, and more.
-There are also opportunities for adventure including hiking trips to the mountains or rafting on the river.