Uzbekistan Travel facts, Uzbekistan tourism safety facts, famous Uzbek foods, health and hygiene, facts and tips about tours and the best tourist places, traditions, best time to travel to Uzbekistan, and visa regulations. In this article, you will explore great facts and tips helpful for both well-informed travelers as well as dummies, prepared by your local travel experts.
Amazing Uzbekistan Tourism Facts, Tours & Places
Facts/tips about the best places to see, the best time to travel to Uzbekistan, flights...
What are the Reasons for Visiting Uzbekistan?
Uzbekistan is a great destination for travelers who want to discover the unique architecture of the legendary Silk Road cities like Samarkand, Bukhara & Khiva. These cities offer you real-time travel. Each day of your trip will take you to the time of great caravans, extremely varied culture, colorful bazaars, and more.
If you need to be convinced, Uzbekistan offers:
- Some of the world’s finest architecture can compete with what you see in Rome, Paris, or Agra.
- A great number of iconic UNESCO World Heritage sites;
- Rich cuisine which doesn’t let you taste the same food twice during your entire trip;
- Extensive variety of arts & crafts.
Have questions about Uzbekistan Tours? Get in touch with us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, by Whatsapp: +998 999 636 636, and start planning your trip.
Apart from Samarkand and Bukhara what’s there to see in Uzbekistan?
Visiting Samarkand & Bukhara is among the top famous things in Uzbekistan. Apart from these cities, Uzbekistan can propose tours to the Aral Sea and to Fergana Valley, yurt camping in the middle of vast deserts, hiking mountains, etc.
Where else can I go if I visit Uzbekistan?
Uzbekistan is located in the center of Central Asia and it permits to combine any tour of Uzbekistan with a tour to one or more neighboring countries – Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan & Kyrgyzstan tours are the most popular multi-country tours in the STANs.
How long is the Most Popular Uzbekistan Trip?
Generally, a 10 Day trip is perfect for experiencing the best Highlights of Uzbekistan. The most popular tours to Uzbekistan include visits to Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva and the average duration of this kind of tour is 8-12 days. However, during an 8-12 day trip, you can also visit either Shahrisabz, Nukus and stay overnight in a yurt camp.
Can CentAsia Make Trips Following my Interests?
Yes, 100 percent of our tours are individually tailored in order to cater to the specific needs of every customer. You can always use our MAKE YOUR TRIP button for creating your own trip. You can write us about your travel interests and according to that we will create an individual travel itinerary designed only for you. We are locals and we have been to every corner of our country hundreds of times and we know the place that you want to go to.
We prefer organizing fully personalized tours, and most of our tours are unique because they are planned depending on the personal interests and needs of every traveler. If you want to visit Uzbekistan like no one else, then we are the right experts for you.
We know the activities that you are looking for!
What are the Special Events or Dates to Travel to Uzbekistan?
There are several public holidays and lots of festivals that you can find in each season of the year. However, if you want to plan your Uzbekistan Tour during special events or specific dates we can propose two main events:
- March 21 – the Spring Festival Navruz is one of the most interesting periods to travel to Uzbekistan. It’s a great time to see the national Buzkashi game & participate in local Navruz celebrities.
- At the end of May – the Festival of Silk & Spices has become the most popular festival in the Country. Silk & Spices festival is a great event to attend for people who want to get back to a very rich, colorful & crowded True Silk Road city.
*Note, if you want to plan your trip during festivals or holidays, make sure that all top sights will be open for visits.
What is the Best Time to Visit Uzbekistan and what’s the Climate Like?
The climate of Uzbekistan is dry and continental with hot summers & cold winters. Just because it's a dry climate, mosquitoes are not a problem in Uzbekistan. The best periods to visit Uzbekistan are Spring (late March-early June) and Autumn (September-early November). It’s the best time to walk and to absorb the enjoyment of visits in a relaxed way. During these months you can expect around 19°C (65°F) to 30°C (85°F). Late April, early May, and September are considered the busiest months to travel to Uzbekistan.
How do I fly to Uzbekistan?
There are so many direct flights to Uzbekistan from several European and Asian cities. Uzbekistan Airways, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, Lufthansa, Air Baltic, China Southern Airlines, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines are among the main air companies that offer flights to Uzbekistan.
Flying to Uzbekistan is easier from Europe. Several flights connect Tashkent with London, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris and Rome, Moscow, Istanbul, and others. Since 2019, Turkish Airlines has started flying to the other cities of Uzbekistan – Samarkand, Fergana, Urgench. During the high travel season, travelers can use the flights Paris-Urgench and Milan-Urgench. These flights make the organization of tours easier because most of the Uzbekistan tours start in Khiva/Urgench.
For travelers coming from the United States, Canada, and Australia, stopovers in Istanbul, Moscow, or Kuala Lumpur seem to be cost-effective.
Do I need to have a Visa to Travel to Uzbekistan?
Yes, some nationalities need a valid visa for entering Uzbekistan. for having detailed information about visa-required nationalities, visa-free and e-visa countries, and Uzbekistan visa on arrival, you can visit our Visa page.
Is Nightlife Safe in Uzbekistan?
Uzbekistan is a safe country and the population is friendly. Traveling along the cities and villages of Uzbekistan is absolutely risk-free. All tourist areas are considered extremely safe for tourists including the nightlife.
Uzbekistan Food FAQs & Tips
Facts and tips about the famous Uzbek foods, vegetarian food and what to eat in Uzbekistan ...
What does Uzbek Food look like?
Uzbekistan’s cuisine is rich enough. Lots of meals of Uzbekistan can be found all over Asia which is the impact of the Silk Road. The Uzbek people eat a lot of vegetables, though in restaurants the choice is greater for meat-eaters. If you are well accompanied by a local expert guide or driver, you can expect to eat some of the best meals in the country.
Uzbekistan is a tea country and you don’t always find coffee in smaller eateries.
Tip: go to the Terrassa Khiva Restaurant and Chashmai Mirob Bukhara for having good coffee and an amazing view over the monuments.
What kind of food do they eat in Uzbekistan & in Stans?
Uzbekistan is rich in fruits and dry fruits. If you come during summer or early autumn, you will see mountains of melons and watermelons everywhere.
The breakfast of an Uzbek usually includes bread, tea, seasonal fruits, fried or boiled eggs, and butter. Milk products and honey complete the traditional Uzbek breakfast, though at hotels the breakfast can be different because they try to adapt to the taste of western travelers.
At restaurants, you will find a good variety of traditional soups and salads. Here are some popular Uzbekistan food names: Plov (pilaf), Manty, Shashlyk – meat or vegetable skewers, Lagman and Samsa.
If I am A Vegetarian will I Have Problems?
Finding vegetarian food is not complicated in tourist areas but if you will be traveling off classical destinations, then you may have difficulties. If you will be in a small town or a village, we recommend you to visit the local market. There are big or small bazaars everywhere and you can always find some fresh fruits and vegetables in them.
Is Uzbek food expensive?
Eating in Uzbekistan is very inexpensive. In a good Uzbek restaurant, you can get dinner with salad, mineral water, bread, soup, and main dish for about 5-7 USD. In smaller places, you can have lunch or dinner for about $3-$5. For 5-7 USD you can also have a dinner (three courses) in a traditional house with a local family.
You can get a bottle of local beer or coffee or a glass of wine for about $1.50 -$2.
A 0.5-liter coke or Pepsi will cost $0,55.
What food is Uzbekistan famous for?
Uzbekistan is most famous for its Plov. This national dish of the Uzbeks is so popular in the country, in each city you will discover a different preparation and different flavor of Plov. We recommend tasting plov in the Central Asia Plov Center in Tashkent. Plov is based on rice, carrots & meat and flavored with local spices, dry raisins, and more.
The second popular dish we have is Shashlik. Shashlyk – grilled skewers marinated in the traditional way are quite special in Uzbekistan. You can find a huge variety of shashliks like lamb, beef, chicken, kiyma (minced meat), fish, liver, quail, as well as vegetable shashliks. Samarkand & Bukhara are the best places to try Shashlyk.
Uzbekistan Health FAQs & Advice
Facts about hygiene, drinking water, and health safety
How is the food hygiene in Uzbekistan?
The hygiene in Uzbekistan is quite OK compared to many other countries. In tourist cities, there will be no difficulty in getting cheap and good food. Tip: in remote areas and bazaars we advise not to be attracted by the low price of street food. Try to avoid drinking tap water, use bottled water instead.
Read more about: Uzbekistan Eating Etiquette, Social Norms
Is Tap Water Good for Drinking in Uzbekistan?
According to WHO, 98% of Uzbek cities and rural areas have access to improved water resources. However, we do not advise drinking tap/faucet water at hotels. Different hotels/restaurants may have different water resources and we recommend that you ask the hotel staff whether the water is drinkable. Bottled mineral water can be found anywhere at reasonable prices.
Can I Brush my Teeth with Tap Water in Uzbekistan?
Yes, while drinking tap water is not recommended, travelers can easily use the tap water at hotels for brushing their teeth. All hotels chosen by CentAsia Voyages have water purification systems.
Will I get Sick in Uzbekistan?
There is no risk in Uzbekistan if you follow general food safety as you would do anywhere else. The biggest health problem you can expect to have is the sickness of all travelers – Diarrhoea. In order to stay safe from it you should:
- Make sure that the fruits and vegetables are well washed. Peel them yourself;
- Eat well cooked and hot served food;
- Avoid tap water;
- Ice, drinks made with tap water;
- Avoid eating fruits & vegetables in bazaars;
- Your carefully planned Medical Kit should include medicaments against Diarrhoea.
Are there medicaments in Uzbekistan?
Yes, you will find Pharmacy – Drugstores everywhere in Uzbekistan. Pharmacies are called Dorixona or Apteka. Uzbekistan has a highly organized system of production and import of high-quality medicaments from Germany, India, and Russia. Besides, Uzbekistan has one of the most developed traditional medicines in the world. The customs authorities strictly monitor the importation of medicaments. If you are planning to bring some specific medicaments for your personal use, make sure you have your doctor’s prescription.
More Uzbekistan Tours FAQs
More travel facts on traveling in Uzbekistan – travel places, food, culture, lifestyle, travel safety, and more from local travel experts
Are Islamic rules very serious in Uzbekistan?
About 80% of the Uzbeks are Muslims. However, Uzbekistan is a former Soviet country and during the Soviet/Russian period (over a hundred years) the population of Uzbekistan was not allowed to practice any religion. With independence in 1991, the Uzbeks have been given the opportunity to practice freely their belief. Today, Uzbekistan is more a traditionalist country than a religious one.
Other than Islam, Orthodox Christian, and Jewish religions have also been largely practiced in the country. There are several Russian Orthodox churches in Tashkent and many other cities of Uzbekistan whereas Bukhara has always been the center of the Jewish community of Central Asia.
Should I visit Uzbekistan during Ramadan?
While traveling in Uzbekistan during Ramadan, most people may even not see any evidence that it’s followed. You will see almost no change in local business openings or closings. A few small teahouses may reduce the number of food on their menu but in general, all services, museums, and attractions will be open.
Ramadan Hayit and Kurban Hayit celebrations are the 2 main events of Ramadan. At some point, these celebrations are accepted as cultural holidays. Traditionally, they start with a morning prayer and continue with family gatherings.
What Uzbekistan is Famous for?
Uzbekistan was located on the crossroads of the Great Silk Road which makes it famous for its rich Silk Road heritage. And Uzbekistan is special for historical cities like Samarkand, Bukhara & Khiva. All roads of the Silk Road would go through any of these cities. Just the quality of the medieval Islamic architecture of these cities will prove it.
Besides, as a sunny country it is also known for millions of tons of natural fruits, dry fruits & vegetables harvested every year. And hopefully, it will soon be known for its traditional foods which combine some elements of the cuisine of all Silk Road countries.
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What are popular Uzbekistan tours?
The most visited places in Uzbekistan are Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, and Tashkent. These 4 cities can be a good combination for 7-10 day tours. The people who have more time can go to see Shahrisabz, the Buddhist Heritage of Termez, ancient Desert Fortress Ruins, travel to the Aral Sea, visit Fergana Valley, book tours with Desert Yurt camps, or the Western Tianshan Mountains.
For visiting the highlights of Uzbekistan you need to plan a 10-day trip. It gives you the time you need to enjoy everything and you will not be going from one city to another every second day. Though, it can be visited in 7-8 days.
Apart from amazing monuments, there are many other things that make your trip great. You should consider any of these activities to your list:
- Visiting the bazaars;
- Going to the winery cave in Samarkand;
- A short tour in a unique desert forest filled with over 1500 gazelles;
- Tasting plov in a real Plov Center and going to the Shashlik-Kebab Centers of Samarkand;
- Visiting the photo gallery of a professional photographer – Shavkat Boltaev in Bukhara;
- Cooking / eating with locals in a traditional house;
- Going to Registan & Gur-Emir in the evening in Samarkand and enjoying “Samarkand by Night”;
- Visiting the Plateau of Demons (on the road from Samarkand to Shahrisabz) and the bazaar of Urgut;
- Enjoying a panoramic view of Khiva from the observation tower – AkShikh Bobo;
Top 2 Popular Uzbekistan Vacation Packages:
1. Private Tour from the Aral Sea to Silk Road Cities
From $963 per person
Itinerary: Tashkent, Nukus, Muynaq (Aral Sea), Khiva, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, Samarkand
2. Private UNESCO Heritage Tour
From $876 per person
Itinerary: Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, Khiva
Uzbekistan Country Facts for Dummies
Uzbekistan travel facts for first-timers in Central Asia: the Uzbeks, the Silk Road, language, alcohol, and more
What does Uzbekistan mean in English?
Stan or Istan means “place or country”. So Uzbekistan means a country of the Uzbeks, Kazakhstan – a place of Kazakhs and Kyrgyzstan - …
What is the main language in Uzbekistan?
The official language of Uzbekistan is the Uzbek language. Uzbek is spoken by over 25 million of Uzbekistan’s population (out of 34 million). Regardless of the dominance of the Uzbek language, most of the population of Uzbekistan is bilingual and they speak both Uzbek and Russian.
As a legacy from the Tsarist and Soviet times, Russian is the second most spoken language in Uzbekistan. For over a century, Uzbekistan used to be a part of Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union. Since that time the Uzbek people have started speaking Russian. The Russian language has not yet lost its importance in daily life.
Uzbekistan is a multiethnic, multilingual country and there are other languages spoken by a smaller portion of the population like Tajik, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Karakalpak, Korean languages.
Is Uzbek similar to Turkish?
The intelligibility of the Uzbek and Turkish languages is about 60-65 percent. These two languages have the same roots and speaking one of them will help understand the other. Uzbek, Turkish, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Azeri, and many other languages have strong similarities.
What do you call the people of Uzbekistan?
The Uzbeks, Uzbekis, or Uzbekistanis?
The people of Uzbekistan are called the Uzbeks. In the same way, the people of Kazakhstan are the Kazakhs and the people from Turkmenistan are the Turkmen.
What is the race of Uzbeks?
What race are people from Uzbekistan and how do the Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Turkmens, and Kazakhs look? The Uzbeks are one of the 90+ Turkic-speaking nations that live mainly in Uzbekistan. They are the main ethnic group in the country (80%). The other biggest ethnic groups in Uzbekistan are the Russians (5.5 %), Kazakhs (3%), Karakalpaks (2.5%).
Is Uzbekistan in Russia?
No, Uzbekistan is not in Russia. In 1865 the Russian Tsarist army started invading the regions of Central Asia and the territory of Uzbekistan became a part of the Tsarist and later Soviet Russia. Uzbekistan was in USSR until its independence in 1991.
Who did Uzbekistan gain independence from?
Uzbekistan became independent from the Soviet Union on 1991, August 31. Only after 1991, the country became able to use its huge natural resources, to open the country for tourism, and to be able to establish real international relations with lots of other countries of the world.
Where is Uzbekistan?
Uzbekistan is situated in Central Asia, surrounded by former Soviet countries like Kazakhstan. Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan …
What are the major natural resources of Uzbekistan?
The natural resources of Uzbekistan may not seem huge if it’s compared to the natural wealth of some of its neighbors. But still, Uzbekistan is quite rich in several mineral resources like natural gas, petroleum, uranium, coal, gold, copper, silver, zinc, and others. Its main mineral resources are gold, natural gas, and uranium.
How did they travel along Silk Road?
The caravans traveled for months and years along the Great Silk Road. Apart from horses and donkeys, the main transport of the Silk Road was camels. The camels were better adapted to walk in the deserts, they could live weeks without drinking water. Moreover, the camels could always return to the places where they drank water. That’s why they were useful means of transport of the Silk Road.
The cities like Bukhara & Khiva had extremely skilled guides who helped the traders reach any part of the Silk Road with minimal loss and expenses. These people were able to find water anywhere, find the best routes, and hold negotiations with local leaders for guaranteeing fast, safe and inexpensive travel of the Caravans.
Traveling through the territory of Uzbekistan was an essential part of the Silk Road Itineraries until the 17th century. In the 17th century, European travelers have discovered the sea roads to go to China and India. The Sea Road was faster and easier for the traders and that made the Overland Silk Route lose its importance.
How should we greet the Uzbeks?
The greeting in Uzbekistan is traditionally done by bowing and placing the right hand to your heart. Traditionally, a handshake is not acceptable between men and women, the case if they are not relatives or friends.
Is there Metro (Underground) in Uzbekistan?
Yes, the capital of Uzbekistan – Tashkent has metro since 1977 and it is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Each station is unique and decorated with chandeliers, marble pillars, granite, and engraved metal. We recommend you to visit a few stations of the metro of Tashkent. Some of the most beautiful stations of the metro are – the Pakhtakor station and the station Alisher Navoi.
Is Uzbekistan a deserted country without any snow?
Snowfall in Uzbekistan is very common during winters. It snows in all regions of Uzbekistan and even in the deserts. Tashkent, Samarkand & Fergana Valley are close to the mountains and they usually have slightly more snow than the provinces which are situated near the deserts Karakum and Kizilkum. Being open to cold air masses from Siberia, the snowfall is expected until the end of March.
Do the Uzbek men have several wives?
Polygamy is illegal in Uzbekistan and this has been strictly followed since the arrival of the Bolsheviks (about 100 years ago). Polygamy is unacceptable for laws and social norms.
Are the Uzbek trains fast?
Uzbekistan has High-Speed Trains “Talgo” which connects the main tourist cities –Tashkent, Samarkand & Bukhara. Since 2018, Khiva is also connected with Bukhara by a new comfortable train.
Are there blondes in Uzbekistan?
Obviously yes, over 7 percent of the population of Uzbekistan are Russians and it guarantees a few blondes everywhere in Uzbekistan.
Are Teahouses only for drinking tea?
No, the Uzbek Teahouse is equal to a restaurant where one can get different types of food. Teahouses serve mostly the foods of national cuisine. Historically, as an imported product, tea was expensive. People could not afford to drink it as much as they do today. Most people used to go to a Teahouse – Tchaikhana, to have a cup of tea in order to relax after work (kind of Starbucks?).
Do women smoke & drink alcohol in Uzbekistan?
Actually, the Uzbeks are not big smokers and it is even hard to see men smoking though the youngsters seem to be more smokers than the elder generation. Consequently, it is rare to see an Uzbek lady smoking. However, Uzbekistan is a multinational country and all ethnic groups can follow different norms.
In cities, alcohol is widely consumed by men and women. The main alcohol for Uzbek women is red wine and vodka is more habitual for men.
Are Hotels Good in Uzbekistan?
Yes, there are lots of good hotels of all categories with comfortable and clean rooms, good service and usually outstanding breakfast. The Smaller cities like Bukhara & Khiva have lots of very typical – Boutique hotels that are richly designed in local style with beautiful carpets, wall paintings, and wood carvings, and most of them are perfectly located.
Tip: when you are in an ancient city, we recommend you choose your hotel based on the location. You will love staying in a place located near wonderful monuments.
What kind of Currency Should I Bring to Uzbekistan?
The US dollar is still the king however you can bring Euro, British pound, Russian Ruble, and Japanese. All these currencies can easily be changed to the local currency. You will find exchange offices in all cities. After changing money you are recommended to keep the “certificate of exchange”. You can use that certificate if you want to change the leftover local money into your currency.
What is the Money/Currency of Uzbekistan? The Uzbek money is “Som (UZS)”.
Are there ATMs in Uzbekistan?
You can find ATMs around all tourist areas in Uzbekistan. Some ATMs dispense local money and some can be used to withdraw USD. Most ATMs accept Mastercard as well as Visa. If you don’t find the ATMs, you can just go to the bigger hotels where they have the cash machine. The Asia Hotels (Khiva, Samarkand, Bukhara) are all located near the tourist centers and they have ATMs.
Are there Mosquitoes in Uzbekistan?
There are mosquitoes in every corner of the planet and Uzbekistan is not an exception. But the country is very dry and during travel season (April-May, September-October) there are practically no mosquitoes.
Traveling Uzbekistan advice & links:
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