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Uzbekistan - what to expect

Uzbekistan is more famous for its incredibly beautiful Islamic architecture and ancient Silk road cities. It is a Central Asian nation and former Soviet republic. It shares its borders with Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. It’s known for its mosques, mausoleums, and other sites linked to the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean. Over half of the Uzbek territory is covered by desert. It lies mainly between two major rivers, the Syr Darya (ancient Jaxartes River) to the northeast and the Amu Darya (ancient Oxus River) to the southwest, though they only partly form its boundaries.

Amir Timur Square Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Amir Timur Square Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Ark of Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Ark of Bukhara

Uzbekistan Fast Facts

  • Official Name: Republic of Uzbekistan.
  • Capital: Tashkent.
  • Population: 33.8M in 2021.
  • Currency: Uzbek SOM, 1 US$= 10560 UZS.
  • Official Language: Uzbek.
  • Visa Requirements: In 2018 Uzbekistan adopted the electronic visa system. Now citizens of approximately 60 countries are eligible for an electronic visa. Check your eligibility for an e-visa here. However, most countries still need a Letter Of Invitation before applying for a visa.
  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Tashkent (and Uzbekistan) is during spring (April – May) and fall (October – November). Also the weather during those seasons is very pleasant and the temperatures are usually around 20°C

Uzbekistan Top Experiences

  • Visit the Registan in Samarkand in daylight as well as at Night under luminous lights.
  • Take a fast train ride to travel within Uzbekistan.
  • Visit the Amir Timur Square in Tashkent.
  • Wander around the streets of Bukhara to catch history.
  • Learn the history of Uzbekistan by visiting the madrassas of different periods.
  • Visit the Ark of Bukhara.
  • Taste the Uzbek Pulav at different places in Uzbekistan.
  • Visit the well-preserved and museum-like city of Khiva.
Registan at Night, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Registan at Night, Samarkand

Uzbekistan Safety Issues

The capital of Uzbekistan is very safe for travelers. It even became safer now as the government introduced a new ‘tourist police’. You’ll find their presence in every tourist city in Uzbekistan. Although one has to avoid the shady areas during the night. However, in many instances, we came to our hostel late at night without any sign of fear.

Uzbekistan Budgeting Plan

Uzbekistan Transportation System

Intercity Transport is limited to marshrutka’s and shared taxi’s and the journeys on the road are long. Whereas, traveling by train is not only cheaper but also more comfortable and faster. Moreover, crossing the desert becomes fun on an Uzbek train. Indeed, Uzbekistan has a good rail network, and trains are the ideal way to travel between Tashkent, Samarkand, Bokhara, and Khiva.

While you can buy tickets for any Uzbek train service at any train station. Whereas you will need your passport and you pay in SOM. Although at Samarkand, I purchased a ticket and paid with my Visa Credit card. In addition, you can purchase your ticket through their online ticketing system.

Intercity Transportation

Likewise, the most of Central Asia, shared taxis are the best way to get around Uzbekistan. You can get them easily on all the main intercity routes. It includes the congregate at most border points. However, shared taxis leave the stations after getting full. You can find them near bus main stations. Shared Taxis run all day until late afternoon.

On the other hand, you can found very few options for long-distance buses of any kind. I have traveled from Bukhara to Samarkand on a Bus with 50000Som. It took about 4 hours to reach there(Shared Taxi in 3 hours and Fast train in 2 hours). For a shorter distance between towns, you will find 11 to 14 seat Russian-made ‘Gazelle’ vans. For shorter suburban trips you’ll find cramped seven-seat Daewoo Damas minivans.

Intracity Transportation

Transportation within Tashkent. In Tashkent, you have a lot of options like Metro, Buses, Marshrutkas, mini Buses, Shared Taxis, and Yandex taxis. Google map is your best companion to show you the exact route with available transfers and estimated travel fare. Bus/ metro fare for one visit is 1400 Som(15cents).

Yandex taxi and its app is a good option to travel within the cities. In addition, it is most convenient and economical too. Besides, you can get metered/non-metered taxis everywhere in Uzbekistan. Whereas, please confirm the fare before riding to any non-meter taxi. And do it twice for a safer side. However, you can get a taxi within a city for 1~3 $.

Accommodations in Uzbekistan

Indeed, you can get all types of accommodation starting from budgeting $10 to high end are available easily. I stayed in Hostels like Art Hostel, Rakat Hostel in Tashkent; Dervish Hostel in Bukhara, and Hostel Imona in Samarkand. Furthermore, I used to book these stays by a combination of Hostel World and

Alternatively, you can plan and choose your accommodations from Air BnB, and Agoda. However, when you’re looking for a hostel, do your research, read reviews to get a feel for the place. Finally, book at somewhere that suits you

Food and Local Dishes

In particular, you can get a well-blended Uzbek meal within 3~5$. However, you have to taste a few must-try Uzbek dishes when you will be there.

  • Pulav, you can say it is a national food of Uzbekistan( or even central Asia). It is a rice dish with meat/beef, nuts, vegetables, etc.
  • Sambsa is meat or beef-filled snack.
  • Kazan kebab is a popular Uzbek lamb dish tenderly stewed with potatoes.
  • Vaguri is marinated lamb meat, fried to a crispy crust.
  • Shashlik is a Bar B Que of lamb, beef, or Chicken.
  • Shurpa/ Shurba is an Uzbek/Tajikistani lamb soup that you’ll find in almost every eatery in the country.
  • Mantu is a large steamed dumpling with a filling of ground lamb or beef.

Suggested daily budget –  For Backpacking a suggested budget is around 30$. It includes a bed in a dorm (10$), a portion of basic food(10$), and public transport within the city with a couple of site seeing(10$).

Uzbekistan TIPS, DOs, DON'Ts

  • Interestingly, a Metro tour in one ticket of 15 cents can be possible while you do not leave the station. I used to visit about 7/8 metro stations in one ticket.
  • Use Yandex to save more bucks
  • For a non-metered taxi, the actual fare will be 50% of the demanding fare by taxi drivers.
  • You can visit Registan by night in Samarkand from the Registan Street viewpoint without taking a ticket to go inside Registan
Alisher Navoi Metro Station, Tashkent
Alisher Navoi Metro Station, Tashkent

POST FROM Uzbekistan

Hey, This is Rashid and I am here to share my Wide Angle Dreams with you, with the aim to provide you a Wide Angle to catch your bucket list dreams of travelling and trekking. If you love to travel but feel that you are bound in tough daily routines and find very little time to catch your travelling dreams, then you are at a right place.


  • Zeeshan Ahmed
    May 23, 2021

    Very informative and authentic .
    Thumbs up for the effort .

  • Zeeshan Ahmed
    May 23, 2021

    Let’s the destination list grow.

  • Raja
    May 23, 2021

    Thanks bro for sharing Such a nice experience

  • Zahid Zaman Qureshi
    May 25, 2021

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and becoming motivation for us to explore the world ????

    Your Facebook Friend: ZZ Qureshi


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