Ultimate Guide to Gap Year Travel: Tips,...
Location:Central Asia, north of Turkmenistan, south of Kazakhstan
Currency:Uzbekistani soum (UZS)
Area:447,400 sq km
Population:30,842,796 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Uzbek (official) 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%
Religion:Muslim 88% (mostly Sunni), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%
Things to Do
1. Exploring the Registan Square
Visit the stunning Registan Square in Samarkand, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the magnificent madrasas, with their intricate tile work and stunning architecture.
2. Hiking in the Nuratau-Kyzylkum Biosphere Reserve
Embark on a hiking adventure in the Nuratau-Kyzylkum Biosphere Reserve. Explore the diverse ecosystems, spot rare wildlife, and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
3. Visiting the Ark of Bukhara
Discover the history of Bukhara at the Ark, an ancient fortress and royal residence. Explore the palace, visit the museum, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top.
4. Exploring the Itchan Kala in Khiva
Step back in time and explore the ancient walled city of Itchan Kala in Khiva. Wander through narrow streets, visit historical sites, and admire the well-preserved architecture.
5. Taking a Silk Road Tour
Embark on a journey along the historic Silk Road in Uzbekistan. Explore ancient cities, visit bustling bazaars, and learn about the rich history and culture of the region.
6. Cruising on the Aydarkul Lake
Enjoy a relaxing boat cruise on the Aydarkul Lake. Take in the picturesque views, go swimming or fishing, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surrounding nature.
7. Visiting the Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent
Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent. Explore the colorful stalls, sample delicious local food, and purchase unique souvenirs to take home.
8. Exploring the Fergana Valley
Discover the beautiful Fergana Valley, known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Visit traditional craft workshops, explore historical sites, and indulge in authentic local cuisine.
9. Camping in the Kyzylkum Desert
Experience the beauty of the Kyzylkum Desert by camping under the starry sky. Enjoy traditional Kazakh meals, go camel riding, and witness the mesmerizing sand dunes.
10. Visiting the Ulugh Beg Observatory in Samarkand
Explore the ancient Ulugh Beg Observatory in Samarkand, built in the 15th century. Learn about the astronomical advancements made by the famous astronomer and marvel at the grandeur of the observatory.
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Uzbekistan has a dry and continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The climate varies depending on the region, but generally, the country experiences hot summers with temperatures reaching up to 40°C (104°F) and cold winters with temperatures dropping to -20°C (-4°F). The south and east regions of the country tend to be hotter and drier, while the north and west regions are cooler and more humid.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Uzbekistan depends on what you plan to do and what you prefer in terms of weather. The months of April to May and September to October are considered the best time to visit the country, as the weather is mild and comfortable, and the landscapes are lush green. During this time, visitors can enjoy the country's natural beauty and explore its historical sites without the heat and crowds of the summer months.
If you want to experience the traditional Uzbekistan festivals and events, then the months of May and September are the best time to visit. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, and hiking, then the months of June to August would be the best time to visit.
Keep in mind that the winter months of December to February can be very cold and snowy, and many of the country's outdoor attractions may be closed or have limited hours during this time.
Uzbekistan offers a wide range of hotel options for visitors, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. Visitors can find hotels in most major cities and towns, and many of the historical sites also have on-site accommodation. Some of the larger cities such as Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara have several international hotel chains as well as smaller, locally-owned hotels.
Guesthouses are a popular and budget-friendly accommodation option in Uzbekistan. They are often family-run and offer a more authentic experience of local life. Guesthouses can be found in most cities and towns and offer simple, clean rooms with private bathrooms. Some guesthouses also offer meals and other amenities such as laundry service.
Homestays are a great way to experience local culture and hospitality in Uzbekistan. Visitors can stay with a local family and learn about their customs, culture and way of life. Homestays can be found throughout the country and offer visitors a unique and authentic experience.
Camping is also an option for those who want to explore the country's natural beauty and outdoor activities. There are several designated camping sites available throughout the country, many of which are located near popular outdoor attractions such as the Charvak Reservoir and the Chimgan Mountains.
Yurt camps are a traditional and unique way to experience the nomadic culture of Uzbekistan. Visitors can stay in a traditional yurt, a portable, round tent made of felt or other materials. Yurt camps can be found in various areas of the country, particularly in the countryside and deserts and offer a unique experience of the local culture.
The main international airports in Uzbekistan are Tashkent International Airport and Samarkand International Airport. There are several airlines that operate flights to and from Uzbekistan, including Uzbekistan Airways, Air Astana, and Turkish Airlines. Visitors can also fly to neighboring countries and then take a domestic flight to Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan has a well-developed railway system that connects major cities and towns throughout the country. The trains are generally comfortable and reliable, and offer a convenient way to travel around Uzbekistan. Visitors can also take a train to neighboring countries such as Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
Buses are a popular and affordable way to travel around Uzbekistan. The bus system connects major cities and towns throughout the country, and there are also long-distance buses that connect Uzbekistan with neighboring countries.
Taxis are widely available in Uzbekistan and can be found at airports, train stations, and bus stations. Visitors can also use ride-hailing apps such as Yandex.Taxi and Uber to book a taxi. Visitors are advised to agree on the fare before getting in the taxi, and to have the destination address written in the local language.
Car rental is also an option for visitors who prefer more flexibility and independence. Visitors can rent a car from one of the many car rental companies in Uzbekistan, and are required to have an international driver's license. Visitors should be aware of the traffic laws and regulations, and be prepared to drive on roads that may not be in perfect condition.
- The official currency of Uzbekistan is the Uzbekistani som (UZS).
- Credit cards are accepted in larger hotels, restaurants, and shops in major cities.
- It is advisable to carry cash in smaller towns and rural areas.
Cash And Cards
- It is advisable to carry a mix of cash (UZS) and credit cards.
- ATMs are available in major cities and tourist areas.
- Notify your bank or card issuer before traveling to Uzbekistan to avoid any issues with your cards.
- ATMs are available in major cities and tourist areas.
- It is advisable to use ATMs located inside banks or reputable establishments.
- Some ATMs may only dispense local currency, so make sure to withdraw enough cash for your needs.
- Tipping is not expected in Uzbekistan, but it is appreciated for exceptional service.
- In restaurants, a 5-10% tip may be given directly to the server.
- In taxis, rounding up the fare is common.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Uzbekistan is relatively low.
- Accommodation, meals, and transportation are affordable compared to many other countries.
- However, prices may vary in tourist areas.
- Be cautious of unofficial money changers who offer higher exchange rates.
- Only exchange money at authorized banks or currency exchange offices.
- Avoid giving money or personal information to strangers.