Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mosque

Bibi-Khanym Mosque

In the 15th century, it was one of the largest and most magnificent mosques in the Islamic world.
Photo by Snowscat

UZBEKISTAN

Asia

Uzbekistan Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Tashkent (Toshkent)

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%

TimeZone:

UTC+5

Tel Code:

+998

Weather

Climate

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.

Transportation

Air

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.

Train

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.

Bus

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.

Taxi

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

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.

Accommodation

Hotels

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

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

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

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

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.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Uzbekistan Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Uzbekistan is a country rich in history and culture, and offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. From exploring ancient cities to experiencing local cuisine, there is something for everyone in this Central Asian nation. Here are the top 10 things to do in Uzbekistan:

      1. Visit the ancient city of Samarkand

      Samarkand is one of the most famous cities in Uzbekistan, and is known for its well-preserved ancient architecture. Visitors can explore the city's many historical sites, including the Registan, a complex of three madrasahs that is considered one of the most beautiful public spaces in the Islamic world.

      2. Explore the city of Bukhara

      Another ancient city worth visiting is Bukhara, which is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. Visitors can explore the city's many historical sites, including the Poi Kalon complex, the Ark Fortress, and the Chor-Minor madrasah.

      3. Take a trip to Khiva

      Khiva is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. Visitors can explore the city's many historical sites, including the Itchan Kala, a walled city that is considered one of the best-preserved examples of a medieval city in Central Asia.

      4. Visit the Tashkent Metro

      The Tashkent metro is a unique experience and worth a visit, it is also one of the most beautiful and well-designed metro systems in the world. The stations are decorated with marble, mosaics, and frescoes, and offer a glimpse into the city's history and culture.

      5. Take a trip to the Charvak Reservoir

      The Charvak Reservoir is a beautiful natural attraction located just outside of Tashkent. Visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, and hiking around the reservoir, and can also take a cable car up to the nearby Chimgan Mountains for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

      6. Visit the Chorsu Bazaar

      The Chorsu Bazaar is a bustling market located in Tashkent that offers a wide range of goods, from traditional Uzbek textiles to fresh fruits and vegetables. Visitors can also sample local cuisine at the many food stands and restaurants in the market.

      7. Take a trip to the Aral Sea

      The Aral Sea is a unique natural attraction located in the northwest of Uzbekistan. Once one of the four largest lakes in the world, the sea has shrunk dramatically over the past few decades, and is now a fraction of its former size.

      8. Take a trip to the Ayaz-Kala

      Ayaz-Kala is an ancient fortress located in the Kyzylkum Desert, it is considered as one of the most important sites of the ancient Khorezm civilization. Visitors can explore the fortress and learn about the history and culture of the region.

      9. Visit the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

      The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is a sacred site located in the city of Turkestan, it is considered as one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Central Asia. Visitors can explore the mausoleum and learn about the history and culture of the region.

      1. Enjoy the local cuisine Uzbek cuisine is known for its delicious and hearty dishes, such as plov (a rice dish cooked with meat and vegetables), shurpa (a hearty soup), and somsa (a pastry filled with meat or vegetables). Visitors can sample local cuisine at traditional restaurants and street food vendors throughout Uzbekistan. Some must-try dishes include Lagman (noodles with meat and vegetables), Manti (dumplings filled with meat), and Uzbek non (traditional bread). Visitors can also try traditional drinks such as green tea and a local fermented drink called boza. Dining in Uzbekistan is a great way to experience the local culture and flavors.
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