How To Explore Tashkent – Uzbekistan’s Capital – In A Day
How to explore Tashkent in one day is the main topic of our blog post here. Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan and the largest city in central Asia. It is also a very clean and green city filled with Soviet, Islamic, and modern-day architecture. Tashkent lies in the northeastern part of the country at an average altitude of 450 to 500m in the Chirchiq River valley. It is probably is 2000 to 2200 years old city. The meaning of Tashkent is “Stone City”. Tashkent is an important center of trade and handicrafts on the caravan routes to Europe and East Asia and is known as the strategic point on the ancient silk route.
How to Get to Tashkent
Most of the people go to Tashkent by air and land in Islam Karimov Tashkent International Airport. We also opted for this route and booked our ticket from Skyscanner.
The other way to reach Tashkent from Osh(Kyrgyzstan) and Khujand(Tajikistan) is by using a land border. For intercity travels within Uzbekistan, you can get to Tashkent from Bukhara, Khiva, and Samarkand by Bullet Trains, Bus, and Marshrutkas.
Tashkent Airport to Tashkent City center
You can reach Tashkent city center from the airport by using the numbers 67, 94, and 11 bus services. The distance between the airport and the city center is 8 km and your journey should take approximately 20 minutes.
However, we opted for a Taxi due to the midnight timing of our flight which cost us 20000 Som(approximately 2$).
If you book the taxi from the 24-hour taxi service that runs from the airport. The average cost of a taxi from the airport to the city center is 5–7 US dollars.
Where we stayed in Tashkent
We stayed in Tashkent at the start and end of our one-week tour. As per our travel style, we booked at Art Hostel & Rakat Hostel in Tashkent by using the Hostel World and Booking.com sites. Both the hostels are about 15 minutes walk to the city center.
How to Get around in Tashkent
Tashkent is the main transport hub of the country. high-speed rail connects Taskent with most of the country. These trains are clean, modern, and quick. It’s very easy to take buses or trains from Tashkent to all the other interesting destinations around the country.
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). There are metro stations near all the must-see places
Yandex taxi and its app is a good option to travel within cities and is most convenient and economical too. In addition, you can get metered/non-metered taxis everywhere in Uzbekistan. Please confirm the fare before riding to any non-meter taxi and do it twice for safer sides. However, you can get a taxi within a city for 1~3 $.
Mobile Sim Card in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Sim Card. I purchased the Ucell sim card with a package name “Special 35” that has 7Gb of internet, 2500 local minutes, and 1000sms. The price of this package was 35000som(3.5$). I have an issue with mobile phone registration and the issue was solved by the Ucell staff team. However, as per the staff, if you stay more than a month then you have to register your mobile in Uzbekistan too. The coverage of Ucell is goog within the big cities of Tashkent, Bukhara, and Samarkand, however, while traveling within cities, you can hardly any signals.
As per local recommendation, you can use the UZMobile sim if you have to travel to many cities within Uzbekistan.
Top Attraction to see in Tashkent in a day
As I stayed in the Art Hostel, so as per the direction of Hostel staff, I went to purchase my Ucell sim and then went to my first attraction of the day. I decided to start my day tour from the central Amir Timur Square. You can see all these attractions in a sequence by the map attached herewith. Plz, note that if you have to follow this route then you have to start very early in the morning. On other hand, you can split this tour into two days or can skip a couple of attractions altogether. I have also mentioned some of the attractions which I have visited in proceeding days but that was very close to our target points so, I have referred to the relevant place and time.
AMIR TIMUR SQUARE
Amir Timur, also known as Tamerlane, is Uzbekistan’s national hero and the most famous Central Asian conqueror. A seven-meter-high statue of Amir Temur is a landmark of Tashkent and a better place to take a selfie with the statue.
Just beside Amir Timur Square, you can see the Hotel Uzbekistan which is one of the most iconic sights of Tashkent. It’s a must-see place in Tashkent if you like Soviet architecture. This building is likely to appear in the frame when you take a picture of the Amir Timur Statue.
AMIR TIMUR MUSEUM
This Museum is dedicated to Amir Temur and shows the history related to him. The entrance fee to visit the Amir Timur Museum is 16000 UZS. There are more than 5,000 artifacts in the museum collection, with more than 2,000 displayed in museum exhibition halls. In particular, the museum displays focus on the genealogy of Amir Temur, his coming to power, and the military campaigns of the Timurid Dynasty. However, for one day tour, you can’t spare a respective time for this visit. So, you can sit and relax on a park bench and admire the architecture of the building. I met a couple of Kazakh people there and we have a google translate conversation there. Then on the way to the next attraction, I have spent a little valuable time with an Uzbek family who was making their meals there.
BROADWAY BOULEVARD (SAILKOGH STREET)
A street from Amir Temur square to Independence square is a very popular place for the locals to enjoy time with their friends and families. It’s particularly nice to walk there during the early evening when Broadway Boulevard is illuminated by all kinds of lights. You can find their many stalls and people playing and selling simple games. A couple of Turkish Icecream shops were also there to show their feat while selling the ice cream.
Independence Square, also known as Memorial Square, is a popular gathering place for the residents of Tashkent. During the Soviet era, it was known as Lenin Square. After independence, it is named Mustakillik Maydoni, which translates to Independence Square in English. You can see beautiful monuments and fountains there. It is a seven-minute walk from Amir Timur square to Independence square. Independence Square has a Metro station with the same name as Mustakillik Maydoni too.
State Museum of History
It is formerly known as the Lenin Museum. Also, the National Museum of Turkestan was founded in 1876 and is one of the oldest museums in Central Asia. If you want to learn a bit more about Uzbekistan’s history, then the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan is the place to be. The entrance is 10000 UZS. It’s built in the form of a cube, blending a Soviet approach with oriental decorative patterns.
Alisher Navoi Opera Theater
Just after a couple of turns from the State History Museum, you will reach the Alisher Navoi Opera Theater which is a national Opera Theater in Uzbekistan. This building of the theater was built in 1942-1947 and was opened to the public in November 1947, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Alisher Navoi who is the great poet and writer of the 15th century. The theater has a capacity of 1,400 spectators. The main stage is 540 square meters big. A fountain in the form of a cotton boll was erected in the square opposite the theatre. In 2010 the fountain was reconstructed: it was provided with an illumination system and musical accompaniment
Tashkent Metro Tour
Almost every metro station in Tashkent is fascinating. the system was built in the 1970s and is a fantastic example of Soviet splendor. There are now three metro lines in Tashkent city. The Green, Red, and Blue lines. The Soviet metro stations are the most beautiful in the world. Here, I entered from Kosmoavtler Metro station and took a ticket from Kassa at 1400 Som(15cents). Then with this one ticket, I visited the Kosmoavtler, Toshkent, Uzbekistan, Alisher Navoi, Chilonzor, Amir Timur, Mustakillik Maiduni, and Chorsu Metro Stations. It was a long 1.5 to 2 hours tour and it needs a separate topic to document. So, it is advised to visit these Metro stations and you shouldn’t miss them when visiting Tashkent.
the Tashkent Metro has 3 lines. The oldest line is the red Chilonzor line that opened in 1977. The blue Ozbekiston line opened in 1984 and the more recent green Yunusobod line in 2001. The metro is open from 5 AM till 11 PM. Trains run every 5 minutes during the day and around 10-15 minutes after 7 PM.
Ticket, 1400SOm(15cents) unless you exit the station.
Tashkent TV Tower
After the Metro tour, I left out Bodomzor Metro station and went towards the North East side of Tashkent city. The attraction was The Tashkent TV Tower. With its 375 meters in height, it is the 11th tallest tower in the world. You can take the elevator to the 6th floor and enjoy the panoramic views over the city from the observation deck. The entrance fee to go to the observation deck is 40000 UZS. Although the building or area around the TV tower is flat and it is solely your choice to go up the observation deck. The best time of visit is sunset time otherwise you will feel a heatwave during the daytime.
MEMORIAL TO THE VICTIMS OF REPRESSION
Just on the opposite side of the TV tower, you can find a beautiful green park. The Chirchiq river flows beside the park. Here you can visit the memorial and museum that is dedicated to the people who fought for the independence of Uzbekistan during the Soviet Union time and who were killed by the government. It is the best place away from the city center for relaxation and tranquility. I used to have conversational chitchat with a few local people who were fishing in the river. One thing to mention is that I didn’t visit this place on my one-day tour. However, I visited this place some other day. I only mention it as it is too close to the TV Tower and Pulav center.
Central Asian Plov Center
For Lunch the traditional Plov and see the preparation of Plov there. For about 25000 UZS ($2.50) you can get a big bowl of plov, freshly baked bread, pickled veggies, and lemon tea. It is about 500 meters from Park.
From the TV tower, I had a bus ride to Chorsu Bazar. Just after getting down the Bus, I took two drinks of Russian Water from a roadside stall. Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent’s biggest market where locals can buy anything from raw food to any of their daily usage items. Walking around and looking at different stalls you can go to the upper floor and see the whole main hall from above. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, the Chorsu Bazaar is an ideal place to do some people-watching and observe the cultural blend Tashkent is famous for.
The Kukeldash Madrasah and Dzuma Mosque
Kukeldash is the largest madrasah and one of the most famous historical places in Tashkent. It is a beautiful example of Islamic architecture and worth a quick visit. The Dzuma Mosque is right next to the Kukeldash Madrasah and worth a quick stop to admire the architecture.
The Hazrat Imam Complex
Also known as the Hast-Imam is the religious heart of Tashkent. If we prefer to walk then it’s about 15 minutes walking from Chorsu Bazar but it was about to sunset so, I took a taxi with 10000 Som(1$) and reached there within minutes. It is the place where we can see the oldest Quran of the Islamic era in Muay Mubarak Library with a ticket of 15000 UZS(1.5$). Alas, I was late, so couldn’t see it. We can see Barak Khan Madrasah, the Tilla Sheikh Mosque, and the mausoleum of Saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi here. Here I was invited by a group of people to dinner and I haven’t any choice to reject their offer. The dinner was in a hotel on the same premises as Hast Imam. It is the hospitality of Uzbek people that you can’t forget and can’t manage to refuse their offer.
Indepenadance night show in
At noon when I was about to start my metro tour, I used to walk through a park beside the Alisher Navoi Opera Theater. There was a stage work in progress for a night musical show. The show was related to the victory of WWII. So, after completing the day’s work I went to the park which was about 1 km from my hostel. Singer and musicians were energized and the audience was charged. Kids were the main participants of the show. There I spent a good couple of hours before coming back to my hostel.
Alisher Navoi National Park(optional)
We visited Alisher Navoi park some other day. It has a beautiful palace, a couple of beautiful monuments, the Uzbek highest flagpole, and an I Love Uzbekistan signboard for your selfies.
What next to Tashkent
In the map, you can see the pinned location of the Lab from where I get tested my PCR for further travel to Tajikistan for Dushanbe and Khorog on Pamir Highway. Geno Texnologiya Lab provides the test results after 6 hours with a test fee of 220000 Soms. After visiting Tashkent I booked the train for right next morning for Bukhara and then to Samarkand. I online booked the train from Uzbek Railway at 168000 Som.