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Country info
Square area:
447,400 km2
33 million
Som (S)
Uzbek, Russian, Tajik, Karakalpak
Islam, small percentage of Christians
Presidential constitutional republic
Rare speakers
Safety level
Very safe country with welcoming and friendly locals.

While traveling in Uzbekistan, expect to master the shades of blue. The blue on the country’s flag stands for the skies and the water, like its disappearing Aral Sea. From the vanishing Aral Sea, turquoise domes and azure mosaics of Registan square in Samarkand to the cobalt blue tebeteika hats, Uzbekistan has got all the blues – in a good way. 

Landlocked by several other 'stans, Uzbekistan broke away from the USSR in 1991. But its legacy steeps in Persian legends and Silk Road tales far more than it does in the Soviet era. With the present-day government slowly lessening controls and opening the country, travel in Uzbekistan is becoming easier by the day. 

  • Admire the clash of classical Russian, Soviet and Islamic architecture, as well as the Moscow-worthy subway stations in the capital of Tashkent.
  • Visit the graveyard of rotten ships in the desert town Moynaq, formerly a fishing hub in the world's fourth-largest lake – the Aral Sea. 
  • Marvel at Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, once important Persian cultural centers and Silk Road stops.
  • Explore Soviet avant-garde art in Nukus, then ride an AWD to visit what's left of the Aral Sea in Karakalpakstan province.
  • Help the Kazakh and Tajik shepherds in the Nuratau Mountains with chores like feeding silkworms or picking walnuts. 




Perfect For

Unlike their nomadic neighbors, the Uzbeks were more sedentary and built madrassas, minarets and mosques all over the country, some today considered the finest in the Muslim world.


Uzbekistan is the proud home to a spellbinding arsenal of architecture and ancient cities, all deeply infused with the bloody, fascinating history of the Silk Road.


Zoom in and out between sky-scraping minarets, turquoise domes and the intricate details of Uzbek ceramic tiles. Perfection awaits to be captured.


At the bustling baazars, look for traditional Uzbekistan handcrafts, like doppa caps, Ikat scarves, Kashgar Boldak earrings and bread stamps, to ornate the crust of home-made loaves.


Itinerary ideas

Upon your arrival to the airport you will be welcomed by a chauffeur and transferred to your hotel. Afterwards, an evening stroll of the capital will follow.
Enjoy a full-day private tour of Tashkent visiting the Chorsu Bazaar, Abul Kasim Madrassah, and many other highlights. During the day, your guide will recommend a nice place for lunch.
Take a high-speed train to Samarkand. After setlling in, enjoy a tour of the city. Proclaimed by UNESCO as a 'crossroad of cultures', the architecture and art of this city will amaze you.
During a full-day discovery of Samarkand, you will enjoy local meals in between visiting the Afghan-Uzbek Silk Carpet Factory and paper-making workshop to get to known traditional crafts and arts.
In the morning visit the Gijduvan Ceramics Workshop followed by lunch served in their showroom. Afterwards, a transfer to Bukhara will follow. Settle in the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
A full day of sightseeing begins at the Lyab-i-Khauz Plaza, the heart of the old town, surrounded by centuries-old madrassahs. Explore the wonderful bazaar under the ancient city walls.
In the morning visit the Bahauddin Naqshband Mausoleum and Emir's Summer Palace followed by a train transfer back to Tashkent. Settle in the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Enjoy some time at leisure before meeting with your chauffeur for a private transfer to Tashkent Airport for your outbound flight.
This tour focuses on the main sites of Uzbekistan. Among other things, visit a ceramics workshop, the bustling bazaar, Bahauddin Naqshband Mausoleum and Emir's Summer Palace.
The best way to get to know Tashkent is by viewing it from the Aktepa hill. Visit an ancient settlement located in the heart of the Tashkent-Ming Urik. After visit to Kanka, enjoy the evening at leisure.
Set off to Fergana Valley.
En route, enjoy the view of the Kamchik Canyon. You will visit the city of Kuva and its main archeological site, a Buddhist temple, discovered during the excavation of the area.
Back to Tashkent with an en-route stop to Margilan to see the Said Akhmad-Khoja Madrasah monument. Today, this area is known for handicrafts, carpets and silk, so we will visit a silk factory and participate in a pottery workshop.
Upon arrival to Termez, you will head to one of the oldest archeological sites in Uzbekistan called Kampyrtepa. After visiting excavations in Dalverzintepa, and the ruins of Khalchayan, return to Termez.
Today, explore Termez, one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. Visit the Kirk Kiz fortress, Zurmal Tower and other important sites of Termez. Round it all off with a visit to the archeological sites Karatepa and Fayaztepa.
Your next destination is Samarkand. En route, we will stop in Shakhrisabz to see the Mausoleum of Jakhongir in Dor-us Siodat Memorial Complex and the Dor-ut Tilavat Ensemble with Kok-Gumbaz Mosque.
During your tour of Samarkand, visit the Ulugbek Observatory and the Museum of Afrasiab. Proceed to the village located in Nurata Mountains, to enjoy the fresh air, green landscapes, birds chirping, and a starry sky.
Enjoy this travel through time in the mountains. Cooking on open fire, donkey rides, spin yarn, and milking cows are the way of life here. Enjoy cooking with locals and, afterwards, head to Bukhara for overnight.
In the morning, visit the 'Asian Pompeii' and learn more about the history of Paykent. Your return to Bukhara will be followed by a tour of the Old City and visits to the Ismail Samani and Chashma-Ayub mausoleums.
DAY 10
Drive to Ayaz Kala area, an archaeological site in Northern Uzbekistan. En route, you will make several stops to enjoy the view and seize all the photo opportunities of the desert and the Amudarya River.
DAY 11
Explore an ancient fortress complex and proceed to the Kyzylkum Desert to visit the monuments of Ancient Khorezm. After exploring Kyzyl-Kala and Toprak-Kala settlements, among other, proceed to Khiva for overnight.
DAY 12
Visit the Ichan-Kala Fortress, a UNESCO site, and challenge yourself by climbing Islom Khodja Minaret. After some amazing views of Old Khiva in Kunya-Ark, a flight to Tashkent will follow.
DAY 13
Enjoy some time at leisure before meeting with your chauffeur for a private transfer to Tashkent Airport for your outbound flight.
We can create tours for each interest. This one is for archaeology votaries to discover Uzbekistan's secrets - from Tashkent's ancient sites to the traditions of Nurata.
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What to Expect

There is a wide range of accommodation available throughout the country. Most popular are upscale boutique properties in all destinations, while Tashkent boasts some international chains as well. Boutique properties have a lot of charm, although service is not always at the top level. For the Aral Sea trip, a traditional yurt is all there is.
Modern hotel in Bukhara
• International chain hotels in Tashkent
• Charming boutique properties in most destinations
• Stay in a yurt when visiting the Aral Sea
Uzbekistan is known for its continental, central Asian climate. Spring and autumn have clear skies, sunshine and cool air which is perfect for travel.
July and August bring extreme heat of the summer making it not the best time to travel to Uzbekistan. Winter does come early, so try to visit before November.
Tashkent year-round temperatures
• May and early June are ideal for visiting, as well as September and October
• Peak of the summer can be extremely hot
• Winters can be extremely cold
Boysun Bahori festival in late April celebrates the unique Uzbek culture and it is a great time to visit
Good WiFi service can be found only in 4 and 5-star hotels while those of mid-range may have poor or no WiFi connection at all. Internet cafes are scarce and often outdated. The best choice for staying connected at all times, is to buy a local SIM card. The coverage, however, may decrease when leaving the area of bigger cities.
Internet coverage is available around the country
• Country code: +998
• WiFi connection only available at upscale hotels
• Buy a SIM card from local providers for good service and internet access at all time
• Plug types are C and F (Europe); standard voltage is 220V and it operates on 50Hz
Uzbek cuisine shares numerous similarities with the cuisines of the rest of Central Asian nations. Plov is the most popular dish of Uzbekistan, consisting of rice, onion, carrots and meat, all cooked slowly in layers in a traditional cast-iron pot. Each town has its own variety of this dish. Also popular is Samarkand bread and, among curiosities, the sun-dried watermelon.
Well known Samarkand bread sold on the market
• Tashkent market is quite impressive with a wide variety of local produce
• Make sure to try plov in Samarkand
• Get Samarkand bread from local markets
Samsa in Khiva is prepared in an authentic way at the former Slave Market
• Tipping: not expected; up to 5% on top of the bill
Tashkent as the capital offers some of the best shopping experiences in Uzbekistan with various small independent shops. Khiva and Bukhara, as more touristy destinations, offer different souvenirs in the vicinity of popular sites. Rugs, carpets, Samarkand paper, national caps and clothes are some of intriguing items that can be found all over the country.
Souvenir stands in Bukhara
Suzani embroidery, there are even some shops where you can watch artists stitch it
• Crockery, Islamic tiles, textiles, old Soviet memorabilia are just some of the things that will remind you of Uzbekistan
• Bargaining is common but not so entertaining as in other parts of Asia so avoid it if you are not an experienced haggler
Uzbekistan is a Muslim country but not a very religious one as the Soviet rule was suppressing all religions. Today, younger people, more than old, are practising Islam and Islamic traditions. Due to being part of Russia (since the 1800s) and then USSR, before gaining independence in 1991, elderly mostly speak Russian. English is not that widely spoken but, with increase of tourism, it is becoming more popular.
Typical Uzbek wedding
• A Muslim country but not particularly religious
• Uzbeks are known for their strong family ties
• Neighbors are also highly respected
• Uzbeks are very proud of their tradition and history as well as the legacy of Tamerlan
• Alcohol consummation is very common (Russian influence)
Uzbekistan is generally a very safe country. One will feel safe in all parts of the country while the only obstacle might be the language barrier. Medical care is not available at the same level throughout the country. Most roads are in poor condition.
Local guard in Samarkand
• A safe country with friendly locals
• There is almost no crime against tourists
• Make sure to check the allowed quantity for imported goods
• Tap water is not safe to drink
Tashkent is the major airport but all other big towns are well-connected to the capital. Fast Afrosiyob train connects Tashkent and Samarkand and is a great alternative to flying or car transfer. Taxis are a common means of transportation and can be shared. As always, the best way to get around is by a private car and driver with a guide.
SUVs are the best way to travel the country
• Driving side: right
• The main airport is Tashkent International Airport (TAS)
• Private car with a driver and guide is the best option
• A fast train is a great option but it has bad connectivity
• Inexpensive daily local flights
• Possible long drives through the desert and steppes

What to pack

Uzbekistan is known for its continental, Central Asian climate with hot summers and very cold winters. Here is just a small selection for your packing list and pre-trip reading. Comfortable walking shoes are essential for walking in Uzbekistan. Photo gear suggestions are here so you don't miss any of the amazing sites!

In The Media

Uzbekistan - Culture & Traditions
The region's cradle of culture
Death by Meat in Uzbekistan!
Oloy Bozori is famous for its variety of goods!
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Example of a Medieval City in Central Asia
Street Food Tour of Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Food tour of 6 locations in Tashkent
What Happened to the Aral Sea?
Travel to Uzbekistan's Worst Disaster
Bukhara | Why Travel Uzbekistan's Silk Road?
The coolest place you never knew existed
Khiva | Time Travel to Uzbekistan's Silk Road
"The Museum City" in Uzbekistan's Wild West
Khorezm Lazgi
Uzbekistan's UNESCO-Honored Dance
Lola Yuldasheva - Yaralangan qanot
Popular Music in Uzbekistan
Uzbek for beginners
Learn Some Useful Phrases

Best to combine with

Each of the 'stans is similar yet unique in its own way. Explore them all!

There is no country like Turkmenistan and it is a perfect addition to your Uzbekistan adventure. From ancient Silk Road cities to Darvaza crater and unique capital Ashgabat.

The largest of all Uzbekistan's neighbors offers mountains and deserts as well as a variety of unique sites and authentic cultures.

Parts of this troubled country are perfectly safe to visit while in the region.

Quirks for the Curious

Aral Sea
Once a third largest, sweet water mass on the planet, the Aral Sea is just a sad reminder of our destructive nature today. Long drive from Muynak - where one can see last local ships, anchored in sands 150 kilometers from the nearest water - the Aral Sea is an eerie site today. Dead, lifeless and completely abandoned, this area is a true treat for dystopia seekers. The drive there is 4 hours long, through the steppe and some stunning geology.
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Shadows of Khiva
There are few places like beautiful Khiva in the world. Preserved and masterfully restored, it is one of the places that truly paints the world of the silk road. From the walls to mosques and tall minarets to the ancient slave market, Kihiva is a living museum. One of the best options to stay at is an old madrassa now turned boutique hotel. But please note, it is also a home of a ghost you may encounter at night.
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Legacy of Timur
The western world usually talks of Tmiru, also known as Tamerlan, a ruthless conqueror and merciless leader of the late 14th century that many blame for up to 17 million deaths. Regarded as a brilliant tactician, he was also a passionate sponsor of architecture and arts, bringing world's finest artists of that time to the capital of Samarkand. Modern Uzbeks are very proud of Timur and often visit his stunning mausoleum in Samarkand.
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