Once a hermetic country with very strict visa policies for foreigners, Uzbekistan is slowly opening its borders to show the world the majesty of what used to be the core and center of the ancient Silk Road, a country filled with impressive shrines, mosques and perfectly shaped old cities.
Uzbekistan is the ultimate destination for architecture and history lovers, but also for travelers who want to visit a real off the beaten track destination, as outside of the three main touristic cities, there is very little Western exposure and the people are extremely hospitable.
For all the practical information, including bureaucracy rules, transportation tips, accommodation, cultural facts and many other things, read my 75 Tips for traveling to Uzbekistan.
Visa for Uzbekistan
Most likely, you will need a visa for Uzbekistan. However, since July 2018, the Government has finally implemented an e-visa system which can grant you a 30-day visa for just 20USD and it only takes 2-3 working days.
For more details, read: How to get a visa for Uzbekistan
When to visit Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is a year-round destination. However, bear in mind that summers are utterly hot and winters extremely cold. Spring and autumn would be the ideal months.
Things to do in Uzbekistan
Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva are the 3 major Silk Road cities and the most touristic spots.
However, if you have time, you can’t miss the Fergana Valley, Nukus, the Aral Sea and, of course, the capital Tashkent.
For more information, read my Uzbekistan 1-3-week itinerary
Travel insurance for Uzbekistan
I definitely recommend World Nomads, as they are the only company that offers unlimited medical coverage.
Click here to get your quote from World Nomads
Prices in Uzbekistan
It is quite cheap but more expensive than in Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan
Budget accommodation – 8 to 12USD
Mid-range hotels – 30 to 40USD
Meals – 5USD in touristic places and 2-3USD in local eateries
Taxis – 2USD for a short ride inside the city
Train – 5 to 15USD
Some bureaucracy rules
Bring cash – Except in luxury hotels, credit cards are a bit useless in Uzbekistan.
Hotels payslip – You need to register at each hotel and show the payslip as a proof when you exit the country.
Border control – At the border, they may check your camera, phone, and luggage. Don’t bring porn, medicines containing codeine and sensitive photos.
There is good accommodation everywhere for all types of travelers and budgets, including budget hostels and guesthouses.
Click here to see the latest hotel deals!
Trains – The way to go. They go to all the major cities, except for Khiva.
Shared local taxis – You best choice for places where the train can’t go, like Khiva or the Aral Sea.