Eco-friendly travel guide to Tashkent advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
- Air quality: 2 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$10 - $12
- Budget per day: US$30 - $100
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Tashkent or Toshkent is the capital and the largest city of Uzbekistan. It is an ancient city on the Great Silk Road from China to Europe. This land beckoned conquerors from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan, explorers from all around the world and countless merchants. From the time of Alexander the Great to the spread of Islam and the Mongol invasions that came later, this place has made and broken many empires. An amalgamation of Sogdian, Turkish and Soviet cultures, the city has a mixture of modern new office buildings, hotels, museums, parks and crumbling Soviet-style apartment looks. Much of the Tashkent was destroyed in 1966, in an earthquake but it was rebuilt. So most of the buildings you will see are either restored or renovated.
Right now is the best time to visit Tashkent, because Uzbekistan was largely closed off to foreigners since the end of the cold war, but with a new president, there have been lots of reforms. Visas are easier to get these days. The standard tourist visa is a 30-day, single-entry, or multiple-entry visa. They cost US$60 to US$100 for most nationalities and US$160 for US citizens. Additional entries cost US$10 per entry.
To play your part as a responsible tourist, you can do a few things that will make your trip an environmentally responsible one. Following is a list of such few things that you should consider:
- You can book an eco-friendly hotel or resort at a very reasonable price as there are plenty of green hotels.
- Buy souvenirs from the local markets rather than going to the shopping malls where they sell internationally branded things.
- There are many hotels and restaurants in Tashkent where you can taste their unique, tasty delicacies; to get the authentic taste of the local food, you must try the street food. It will help in their business too.
- Whether you are a local or a tourist to get to know the area even better while on foot or cycle with the local guides, is the best thing you can find in Tashkent. Not using a car or a bus will reduce your carbon footprint.
Air Quality and Pollution
Though it is said, the air quality in Tashkent is better than the neighbouring cities, in accordance with the World Health Organization's guidelines, the air quality in Uzbekistan is considered moderately unsafe. But Tashkent has an action plan in place to keep air pollution levels under control like they have taken an initiative to launch electrical cars, buses; proper garbage disposal etc.
Respect the Culture
A predominantly Muslim nation, Tashkent is a cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic city, home to Uzbeks, Kazakhs, descendants of Mongol nomads, Armenians, Tajiks, and even (perhaps) green-eyed, red-haired descendants of Alexander the Great’s armies, Russians, and Stalin’s mass relocations brought Koreans, Volga Germans, and Crimean Tatars. After the 1966 earthquake, which levelled most of central Tashkent, a wave of Soviet construction-workers arrived in the city, which still retains a Soviet flavour. Needless to say, when you visit a place with diversity, you have to be prepared for it’s mixed cultural values.
Language and culture are intertwined. A particular language usually points out to a specific group of people. When you interact with people who speak another language, it means that you are also interacting with the culture that they follow. You cannot understand one's culture without accessing its language directly. Uzbek is spoken at home, but Russian is still the common language in Tashkent, and most people are bilingual. Knowing a few words of Uzbek or Russian will be useful. It is advised that you should neither make fun nor mock any cultural tradition nor disrespect the local people in any way. This would make your trip pleasant as well as successful since people in the city are friendly towards visitors who are curious and respectful of their culture. Food also operates as an expression of cultural identity. To understand their culture better, make sure to taste their traditional food made by the locals.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Some of the places that you should must visit when in the city are as following:
- Metro Tashkent: The subway stations in Tashkent have amazing architecture, richly decorated and covered with marbles. Almost all of the stations on the first two subway lines are opulently decorated with beautiful chandeliers and art on site. The local style of some stations, which are decorated with classic oriental architectural motifs, is remarkable. Since 2018 you can freely capture photos and videos everywhere here.
- Chorsu Bazaar: It is the traditional bazaar located in the center of the old town of Tashkent. Chorsu is the central market of Tashkent. The locals do their shopping here but the place can be interesting for someone visiting the city. The interior section is majestically big and there are a few nice shops for handicrafts. The prices are lower than the ordinary tourist shops.
- Kukeldash Madrasah: Built around 1570 by the Shaybanid Dynasty of rulers, Kukeldash Madrasah is located close to Chorsu Bazaar and Chorsu metro station. The madrasah is built of yellow bricks and has a traditional square shape with a big portal and an inner yard.
- Telyashayakh Mosque: Large complex of this mosque is carved with exquisite decorations, Islamic calligraphy, and a lovely blue dome. It Contains the Uthman Qur'an, considered to be the oldest extant Qur'an in the world. Dating from 655 and stained with the blood of murdered caliph.
- Navoi Theater: It is the national theater in Tashkent. The theater was built between 1943 and 1947 using Japanese prisoners of war as labor. It has daily performances at ridiculously cheap prices making it a great place to experience an opera.
- Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art: Founded in 1937 as a temporary exhibition for handicrafts, the museum contains over 4,000 exhibits on decorative art in Tashkent, including wood carving, ceramics, embossing, jewellery, gold weaving, embroidery, and samples of mass production in the local industry.
- Amir Timur Square: The square is named after Amir Timur, the commander and founder of a huge medieval empire, began as early as in the XIX century. Right in the center of the square, there is a monument to the outstanding commander and statesman of the XIV century Amir Timur. It is represented as a bronze figure of Amir Timur with imperial regalia on a reared horse. The monument plinth is engraved with Amir Timur’s famous motto in four languages “Power is in Justice”.
- Amir Timur Museum: Other than it’s magnificent architecture, there are more than 5,000 artifacts in the museum collection, with more than 2,000 displayed in museum exhibition halls. In particular, the museum displays focus on the genealogy of Amir Temur, his coming to power, the military campaigns of Sahib Kiran, diplomatic and trade relations, workmanship, city improvement and landscaping, and science and education development. There are also exhibits related to representatives of the Timurid dynasty, including maps, weapons, copper and silver coins, miniatures, rare manuscripts, potteries, and jwellery.
- Minor Mosque: The Minor Mosque is one of the new sights of Tashkent. It was opened on 1 October 2014, on the eve of the Eid holiday, and has become one of the favorite places of city residents for evening strolls. The Minor Mosque is located on the embankment of the Ankhor channel and is surrounded by a landscaped area. With its white marble finishing and blue dome, this mosque definitely looks different from other old brick mosques in Tashkent. The Minor Mosque is divided into the open front part with terraces, and a big round hall with gold plated mihrab adorned with writings from Koran.
- Mustaqillik Mayodoni: After the proclamation of Uzbekistan's independence in September 1991, "Lenin Square" was renamed in 1992 as "Mustaqillik Maydoni", which translates to "Independence Square" in English. The monument to Lenin was dismantled, and in its place, the Monument of Independence of Uzbekistan, in the form of the globe, was erected. Later, in front of the pedestal was a figure of a woman, symbolizing the Motherland. Independence Square is now the central square of Tashkent is more like a large park than a square. With several monuments and fountains, surrounded by impressive public buildings and filled with trees and flower beds, the Independence Square in Tashkent is a showcase of modern Uzbekistan, it hosts celebrations and military parades on the days of special events and public holidays.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital, is a regional hub of culture. Likely, the largest city in Central Asia will surprise you with its Islamic and Soviet architecture, modern restaurants, wide, clean streets, and 4 million residents. There is a significant number of museums, parks and landmarks which are must-visit places in Tashkent. There is a lot more than just generic places the you can explore in this city.
Following is the list of a few parks in the city :
- Tashkent city park: It is the largest recreational park zone in Tashkent as well as Uzbekistan. On the territory of the park, there is a tomb and a mosque that are restored and preserved by the government. The tomb of the Eshonzodalar dynasty, where four of her descendants are buried. The Orifzhanboy Ota Mosque, built in the early 20th century, is one of the first structures erected in Uzbekistan in the Art Nouveau style. The mosque bears the name of its creator, who financed the construction.
- Central Park Tashkent: The park includes different tree types such as elm, oak, aspen, maple, pine, spruce, poplar, and birch; artificial water reservoirs, attractions such as a water park, Rodina cinema, sports complex, cultural venues, and public catering establishments. There are also attractions for the children, which include a children's railway, an aqua park, and other entertainment venues.
- Japanese Garden: One of the peaceful parks in Tashkent. This garden has beckoned many photographers for its natural beauty.
- Tashkent Zoo: Tashkent Zoo was founded in 1924. Then it was a small menagerie which was placed at the Art Museum, on the territory of the former out-of-city dacha of Turkestan governor-general. It occupies 22,7 hectares of land, 349 kinds of animals – mammals, reptiles, birds, and fishes live in open-air cages. Tashkent Zoo is a house of an Aquarium which has sea animals, namely sharks, moray eels, turtles, etc.
- Botanical Gardens: If you are tired of city life then this is the must-visit place for you. The whole range of native plants can be found here, though there is very little information available. Enjoy the wildness and the greenery on a bicycle or foot. don’t forget to take a guide with you.
- Alisher Navoi National Park: Named after an outstanding Uzbek poet, a convinced humanist, thinker and statesman Nizamaddin Mir Alisher Navoi, this national park is one of the must-visit places in Tashkent. The park is located on Almazar Street, one of the main arteries of Tashkent. A well-kept green area with alleys and flower beds, which creates a special romantic atmosphere. It also has several fountains, a lake and water channels in the park. You can rent a boat, ride a bike or roller skate.
- Seoul National Park: On an area of 17.5 hectares this Park has typical Korean buildings made of natural wood and stone, artificial ponds with water lilies and rare plants from South Korea, surrounded by figures of storks.
Uzbekistan has no access to the sea and makes up for this with a huge number of the world’s most beautiful lakes, natural and artificial reservoirs and large rivers that cover the entire Central Asia. In Tashkent, Charvak Reservoir is one of the most picturesque lakes with well-equipped beaches on the shore of the huge reservoir which offers sun-beds, umbrellas, traditional trestles and cafes to the guests. Here tourists can ride a scooter, catamaran or water banana, and extreme sports fans can explore the local area by paragliding.
Some of the most beautiful landmarks in the city are as follows:
- Alay Bazaar: Alay Bazaar is one of the oldest bazaars of Tashkent. . It has product rows, where you can buy eastern sweets, fruits, and other foods, there is a flea-market, which also is varied. Besides, modern Alay Bazaar is known for its two-story complex of jewellery, where you can buy silver and gold.
- Abubakr Kaffal-Shashi Mausoleum: The Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum stands at the northwest corner of the Khast-Imam Square, a cluster of historical buildings that comprise the heart of old Tashkent. It commemorates the life of Abu Bakr Mohammed Kaffal Shashi, a native poet, linguist, polymath, and scholar who lived in the 10th century and traveled widely throughout the Islamic world. It comprises a single large north-facing iwan that provides access to the main hall, a spacious room capped with a turquoise dome on a high drum. South of the main chamber is an annex that contains large graves of three notable disciples. Additional graves are located north of the main building. The iwan, dome, and portions of the exterior are decorated with brightly colored majolica tiles. The lower portion of the iwan includes bands of majolica that spell out verses of the Quran as well as information concerning the architects and artisans who participated in the construction.
- Mausoleum of Sheykh Zainuddin-Bobo: Named after Sheykh Zayniddin Bobo a social reformer, This monument of the ancient architecture dates back to the 12th century, it is the oldest functioning building in modern Tashkent. Initial bricklaying of the cell had been plastered, and the floor has been refurbished, but under all these layers there are real ancient walls that still have the memory of the events from the times of Zayniddin-bobo.
- Romanov Palace: One of the unusual monuments of Tashkent is the Prince Romanov residence, built-in 1891. This is a one-story private residence of Nikolay Konstantinovich Romanov, who was a grandson of Emperor Nicholay I, and who was exiled by his royal parents to Tashkent in 1877 to live there until he died in 1918. The elegant building was richly decorated with carved grids, unusually shaped windows, towers, and other decorative elements. The front entrance to the private residence is decorated with bronze figures of deers and hunting dogs. While at the backside of the building, there is a large garden.
- St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is the oldest Orthodox Church in Tashkent. The church interior is decorated with frescoes depicting the community of Saints, angels, and archangels as well as with many icons in gold plated frames.
- Khoja Akhrar Vali Juma Mosque: Juma mosque is the most ancient among 157 mosques of modern Tashkent and the third largest one in Uzbekistan after the Bibi-Khanum in Samarkand and Poi-Kalyan in Bukhara. The mosque was named after one of the Sufi leaders of the oriental Middle Ages - Khoja Akhrar Vali, who presented the city with this building built on the foundation of the old Juma-mosque in 1451.
Museums play a crucial role in preserving local culture. Tashkent being the center of many ethnicities it has a mixed culture which is recorded and preserved regardless of its future. Other than Amir Timur Museum and Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Arts, you will find many museums in Tashkent. To name a few with their description:
- Center of Applied Arts in Abul Kasim Madrasah: The building of this Madrasah itself is a historical monument built in the middle of the 19th century, on the money of the well-known and respected representative of the Tashkent elite Abulkasym eshon. To date, the building houses the National Centre of Applied Arts. Here one can find the works of skilled embroiderers: carpets, shawls, scarves, bags embroidered in traditional style. Lovers of oriental culture will find a lot of interesting things if they visit the Center of Applied Arts in Abul Kasim Madrasah in Tashkent.
- Museum of Geology: It shows and represents the wealth of mineral and geological resources in Uzbekistan, including valuable stones, minerals and archaeological and paleontological findings. Today the total number of exhibits in the Tashkent Geology Museum exceeds 50,000, though the visitors are shown less than half of this wealth. Besides, the Geology Museum conducts scientific, educational and educating activities, guided tours for school children, introducing them to the wealth of the country. The museum cooperates with similar museums in other countries, organizing exhibitions and conducting joint research work.
- Museum of Railway Technics: The museum hosts 13 steam engines, 18 diesel and 3 electric locomotives that were used across Uzbekistan to pull different types of wagons - many of which are also on display. The equipment required to operate a railway e.g. signals, semaphore and radio and paraphernalia such as emblems, tools and uniforms of the machinists is included. The museum offers a ride on one of the oldest trains, along a track that is almost 1 km long, through its grounds.
- Ikuo Hirayama International Caravanserai of Culture: The International Caravanserai of Culture in Tashkent is a unique object that is both a museum and scientific and cultural center. The Caravanserai of Culture of Ikuo Hirayama works at studying the Silk Road history, attracting museums and research centers from other countries, organizes archaeological expeditions, and popularized this huge layer of culture covering many countries of Asia. In addition, the objects brought from site excavation are studied there - it has a modern laboratory for this purpose.
- Museum of Victims of Political Repression: The Museum of Victims of Political Repression is a unique phenomenon in the CIS, as it collected the sad pages of Uzbekistan’s history from the mid-XIX century to the second half of the XX century. All the historical events where thousands of people were killed here are displayed in the Museum of Victims of Repression, which contains photographs, documents and personal belongings of the repressed, etc. Among the exhibits, there are maquettes of the concentration camps and prisons where the prisoners lived, and of course one of the worst symbol of the repressions - a “prison van” - the car of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, which came to arrest the accused of betraying the motherland.
Tashkent presents delicious national as well as European, Middle Eastern and Russian cuisines. The old part of the city is the center of traditional local cuisine in Tashkent. Between Kukeldash Madrassah and Chorsu bazaar you may find a great number of chaikhanas (café terrace with ayvans) and eating houses, where you can snack on kebabs, shaurma, Uzbek somsa, etc. Also, you can try national dishes in family-run Uzbek houses.
Traditional Local Restaurants
There are many restaurants which serve traditional food, to name a few:
- City grill: it is a cozy restaurant with a pleasant laconic decoration. Located in the center of the city, Its interior design is made in light tones and enriched with pictorial details to create an atmosphere of elegance, coziness, and comfort. As expected, grilled dishes take center stage at City Grill – in fact, the emphasis on grilled meats is also typical of Uzbek cuisine in general. Diners will be particularly grateful for the impressive list of local and imported wines to choose from for a great pair with their food.
- Afsona: with the modern design of the restaurant and national ornament of the interior. Tashkent restaurant Afsona offers a national cuisine oriented to a healthy lifestyle.
- Khiva restaurant: A high-end restaurant inside Hyatt hotel. Attractive decor in Uzbek style. The menu offers a variety of Uzbek cuisine as well as European.
- Caravan: There is a very warm and friendly atmosphere in the restaurant Caravan and the Uzbek cuisine is presented in its full splendor. The restaurant also offers a wide range of international meals, but the design is favorable to taste national dishes.
- Affresco: Affresco is not just a great Tashkent restaurant serving delicious Italian cuisine, but also the real museum, where each detail of the interior deserves certain attention.
Vegetarian and Vegan
Though Tashkent is the right place to discover the flavors of the meat-heavy national cuisine, there are a bunch of restaurants that offer vegetarian dishes as well. To name a few:
Afsona: this restaurant offers a variety of veg-dishes alongside non-veg dishes, such as:
- Potato samsa (samosa, baked stuffed pastry), samsa with cheese and spinach;
- Manti (steamed stuffed dumplings) with pumpkin (seasonal);
- Khanum (steamed thin dumplings rolled) with vegetables;
- Kuk shurpa (soup with greens, vegetables and eggs, garnished with sour cream);
- Vegetable shashlik (skewered barbeque).
Caravan: one of the few restaurants that serve veg-dishes, such as:
- Samsa (samosa, baked stuffed pastry) with pumpkin, potatoes or spinach (seasonal availability);
- Manti (steamed stuffed dumplings) with pumpkin;
- Khanum (steamed thin dumplings rolled) with potatoes;
- Tuhum-barak (ravioli stuffed with eggs);
- Steamed vegetables, potato or mushroom shashlik (skewered barbeque);
- You might also try shashlik from other seasonal vegetables too.
- The Host- Indian restaurant: With delicious Indian cuisine, you will find vegetarian Indian as well as Uzbek dishes.
- Burger and Lounge: With burgers and meat, there are plenty of veg-dishes they serve.
- Shalimar Restaurant: If you want to taste Indian or Pakistani cuisine in Tashkent, then this is the place for it. They serve vegetarian dishes too.
To know about a place and its culture, street food is the best way one can possibly take. Seating in an air-conditioned restaurant one might get prim and proper dishes made by educated chefs. But street food is the one that comes up from the origin of people and their day to day lives. Let's take a plunge into some of the well known traditional street food in Tashkent
- Plov: Plov (sometimes also called “osh”) is widely considered to be the national dish of Uzbekistan. It’s a hearty rice pilaf and you’ll probably notice that the word “plov” and “pilaf” are essentially the same. You can expect a heaping portion of rice that has been cooked together with lamb or beef, onions. garlic, raisins, carrots, and apricots. Plov is not only the most famous dish in Tashkent, but it is also one of the most delicious.
- Shashlik: Shashlik is simply skewered meat cooked on the grill. The word “shashlik” is just the Russian word for “shish kabob”.
- Lagman: Lagman is another extremely popular food in Uzbekistan. The most common way that Lagman is served is as a hearty noodle stew that includes lamb, onions, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and garlic. The rich broth is also seasoned with cumin seed, parsley, and basil.
- Fried Lagman: The noodles are pan-fried with peppers, onions, tomatoes paste, and whatever other vegetables the kitchen has on hand. It tastes like stir-fried spaghetti
- Shurpa: Shurpa is an Uzbek lamb soup that you’ll find in almost every food stall in the country. In addition to chunks of lamb, you can expect vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and onions.
- Dimlama: Dimlama is a big one-pot stew typically associated with harvest time in Uzbekistan. Meat, potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, peppers, and garlic.
- Manti: These are large steamed dumplings filled with ground lamb or beef. Extra fat is often added to the dumplings to enhance the flavor.
- Chuchvara: Chuchvara are simply smaller versions of Manti, and these delicious little dumplings can be served steamed (like manti), fried, or in a soup.
- Fried Chuchvara: Fried chuchvara is a perfect dish for sharing if you’re dining as a large group as they are much easier to eat with your hands than the steamed version.
- Samsa: Samsa (also sometimes spelled “samosa”) is another popular style of dumplings in Uzbekistan. Similar to manti, they are filled with lamb or beef and an extra helping of lamb fat for flavor.
- Achichuk: Achichuk is a simple salad made from sliced tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. You’ll see it as an option at every Uzbek restaurant.
Tea is the main drink in Uzbekistan. Any meal starts with Uzbek tea and ends with it. Chaikhanas are the best place for a pot of green or black tea, while espresso coffee can be found in all the main tourist centres. Other non-alcoholic drinks include Katyak, which is a thin yoghurt that comes plain but can be sweetened with sugar or jam.
Though water quality in Tashkent is moderately safe, still, drinking tap water is not recommended. Carry a water bottle for your use, so that you can refill it when you stop by the eateries where they serve purified water to drink.
- Ecorn: Run by intelligent, smiley students. Inside and out Ecorn is comfy; outside you get to relax in the mist pumped out of the covering. Inside it has that ecological green theme going on. A plant there, some bright white here. Anyway, coffee was good as per usual in Tashkent.
- Socials: An excellent contemporary cafe with a variety of original breakfast and lunch options. The menu has a euro/international fusion. The environment is very refreshing and the setup is both green and minimalist. They even have an English menu, which is a rare commodity here in Tashkent! The cafe is a bit expensive compared to its counterparts in Uzbekistan, but it's worth it.
- Altyn: Altyn is an art cafe in Kyrgyz national style. The interior is decorated with the skins of camels, embellished with pictures and sentences of the Avesta - the principal book of the Zoroastrian cult.
- BookCafe: A hangout place for the prospective elite. As you walk inside you are faced with a labyrinth of books and students. It has that academic feel that can only be found in educational institutions. When you do find the counter, there you will find some serious and attentive baristas. It is more like lounge cafes.
- Bon: It is a popular chain of coffee houses in Tashkent, where you can try different types of coffee. Many tourists highlight the atmosphere of these cafes and its pleasant ambiance. Moreover, apart from coffee, there is a wide range of deserts.
Despite the country's Muslim veneer, it's easy to find beer, and to a lesser extent wine and spirits, and there's no taboo about drinking it. Tashkent has a large number of pubs, where you can taste some local or international brews. Here are a few names of the famous breweries.
- Steam Bar
- Silk96 Wine lounge
- Dudek Brewery-Bar
- The Bar
You will never be short of activities in Tashkent. If you have visited all the places, yet want more, then these are the things you might try out:
- Wander around Chorsu Bazaar
- Balloon rides
- Camel rides
Yoga and Retreats
Began in India as a variant of traditional yoga, which was the main meditation practice; it has spread across the world. Even in Tashkent, you will find Yoga retreats such as:
- Ashram Yoga
When someone is visiting a place, the first thing they think about is accommodation. There are plenty of hotels, resorts, guest houses at the prime positions in Tashkent. While booking a hotel, resort, or renting an apartment or a guest house, you should check their locations as well as affordability. Nowadays, most opt for online bookings, don’t forget to read the reviews on them.
- International Hotel Tashkent: Amid banks and office parks, this laid-back business hotel is a minute's walk from Bodomzor Metro Station and a 7-minute walk from Uz Expo Centre. It's 5 minutes by foot from the Japanese Garden.
- Hotel Green: located near Iskcon center, offers 20 rooms with garden views. This accommodation offers a shuttle service and room service for guests' convenience. Japanese War Graves Tashkent is 3 miles from Hotel Green', while Ashkhabad Park is 1.9 miles away. Guests can get to Tashkent city center, which is 3.5 miles away. In addition, the Fine Arts Museum of Uzbekistan is within a walking distance of the property.
- Eco Hotel: Located in Tashkent, Eco Hotel features a bar, shared lounge, garden, and free WiFi throughout the property.
- Hyatt Regency: Near a park in a leafy area, this upscale hotel is a 9-minute walk from a metro station and a 15-minute walk from the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan. Bright, refined rooms with Internet access offer flat-screen TVs, minibars, and tea and coffeemakers. Upgraded rooms have terraces and/or floor-to-ceiling windows. Club-level rooms feature access to a private lounge. Suites add kitchenettes and separate living rooms. Room service is available 24/7. There’s a bright, stylish restaurant, plus a cafe/bar, and an Italian eatery with a bar. Other amenities include an indoor pool, a spa, and a 24-hour gym.
- Hilton: One of the finest hotels in the city with all the upscale services that you might require.
Hostels and Guest Houses
If you want to stay for a longer period, staying at hotels can be a bit expensive. Hostels and guest houses come with a lesser budget as well as it helps the locals to earn extra. You can book them online. Some of the many hostels and guest houses:
- Topchan Hostel
- Relax Hostel
- Artanor Hostel
- The Top Hostel
- Gulnara Guest House
- Guest House Tashkent
- Bukhoroi Sharif Guest House
- Sitorabonu Guest House
If you want to stay longer and want your privacy, renting apartments can be a good option for you. You may come across many tourists with whom you can enjoy the daily lives of Tashkent. You can book them using online sites such as travelocity etc. On such sites, locals advertise their apartment, location, and connectivity with the transport modes. Read the reviews on them before renting one.
According to the Uzbekistan Tourism Law, Couchsurfing is FORBIDDEN for those who hold the TOURIST Visa. State Law reads that those who held the Tourist Visa have to stay and register at official, licensed hotels and guesthouses and get the registration papers there. A private person can not provide you with this paper and they can not simply register you in their own place.
Camping makes it easier to come closer to nature and enjoy the warmth and beauty. You can book online for the camping and hiking tours, or most of the hotels have their guides who help the tourists with the tours. Here are the best camping sites near Tashkent which are highly recommended:
- 2 days Desert Yurt Camp Tour
- 3 days trekking tour in Western Tien Shan Mountains near Tashkent
- Hiking tour to Hayat, Uhum, and Asraf villages
How to Get There
The best ways to reach there are by flights and trains. But before going there you must know that, as Uzbekistan is slowly opening up to the foreigners, when you visit it’s capital Tashkent, make sure that you know some of the rules beforehand. Do collect a registration slip from your hotel; on your way out of the country, you’ll need to account for each night you stayed there. You’ll need a passport and your hotel registration to buy an Uzbek SIM card.
Make sure to read about the places you visit, or better if you can keep a map with you. Russian signs are written in the Cyrillic alphabet, and Uzbek is written in the Roman alphabet—except sometimes it’s written in Cyrillic. While maps use Uzbek street names, in practice most people know places by their former Russian names, so don’t get confused.
The national airline is Uzbekistan Airways which offers direct flights from many European countries. There are also plenty of indirect flight options with carriers such as Lufthansa, Aeroflot, Turkish Airlines, and Air Baltic. The primary airport is located in the south of the town, about 11 kilometers from the center and it is:
- Tashkent International Airport
To travel by bus to Tashkent, a traveller has to take a bus to the border post, then cross the border on foot and then take another bus to the final destination. Buses do not operate inter-country regularly, but some private operators run bus services to many CIS cities on announced dates. However, it is difficult to get information, and sometimes dates can change without warning. Buses usually are very full and advance purchase of tickets is recommended.
The train is the best transportation mode if flights seem to be costly for you. Tashkent is a key stopping point for rail services from Central Asia. It is an adventure and in most cases, foreigners are treated well and are sometimes toasted with clinks of vodka glasses. There are direct connections to Moscow, Russia and Almaty, Kazakhstan. If changing trains it is possible to travel from or to Dushanbe in Tajikistan and Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. It is possible to travel to China (through Almaty). Ticket prices are cheap by western standards but will need to be paid for in cash. There are many warnings about thefts of personal belongings on the trains.
Though a very pocket friendly way to travel the city, hitchhiking can be very tricky if you are not being careful. It isn't the safest mode of transportation if you are not a local and don’t know the city well.
Uzbekistan, as well as Tashkent, has road connections to all it’s neighbouring districts and countries. So driving to Tashkent is pocket-friendly as well as you can enjoy the scenic beauty. Before hiring a taxi or self-drive make sure to know about the borders’ taxes and the open roads. Ask local people while driving as Google maps don’t come handy in case you face disruption in network connectivity.
Tashkent is a city where you can find history in it’s every nooks and cranny. If you want to divulge the originality of the city, you have to leave the usual transportation mode and look for a slower mode of transportation.
So, here are some of the modes of transportation you can choose:
You will be amazed at how self-guided tours can help to know the culture and the rich heritage of Tashkent. If you are not confident to make it alone, you can always hire a local guide. Many tour guiding programmes are held by the hotel itself. There are multiple online sites to book walking tours on, such as freetour, guruwalk and viator
The eco-friendly way to experience the city life. It's healthy and helps you to explore the city faster than your foot. Many online sites offer generous discounts for bicycle tours around the city, like Peopletravel, Afrosiab travel, SilkRoad Travellers. Make sure to read the reviews on them before booking. Or the hotels you are staying in might also arrange cycling tours as well, do not forget to see the packages before booking the hotels.
If you find walking and cycling a bit stressful, worry not. Tashkent is served by taxis, buses, trolleybuses, trams and underground. Public transport is cheap and generally reliable. You are sure to find some electronic vehicles in the city, but they might be a little more expensive than the other modes of transport.
Getting around the city is quite convenient in Tashkent’s modern buses, which go almost everywhere. There are also the newly launched city excursion double-decker buses. Privately-run Daewoo minibuses are available outside the bus station, and they provide better services in terms of speed and frequency. Buses that can take you from one place to another within the city are quite cheap and are very frequent. You can make us of the app Mybus to know about the timings and destinations of the buses.
Tram, Train and Subway
Though Trams were one of the prized possessions, Tashkent bid farewell to the years' old tram services in 2016.
There are national as well as international trains that run in Tashkent. In recent years the slow Soviet trains have been supplemented by new high-speed trains that run between Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand. The journey from Tashkent to Samarkand can now be done within 2 hours.
Metro is available only in Tashkent. Also, it is the only metro in Central Asia. There are three lines in the Tashkent subway; The cars are old, they have not changed since Soviet times, but the metro is quite comfortable with beautiful lobbies.
Sustainable shopping is new in Tashkent as well as in Uzbekistan. People are trying to change their lifestyles and adopting the eco-friendly practices that support the local community. As a responsible tourist, you should buy souvenirs and antiques from the local market.
Here are the names of some famous food markets where you can try all the traditional food of Tashkent:
- Chorsu Market
- Alay Bazaar
- Karavan Bazaar
Tashkent is no stranger to the concept of flea markets. A few are named below:
- Chorsu bazaar: Chorsu bazaar is the biggest marketplace of Tashkent. You will get everything here right from souvenirs, handicrafts, crockeries, fruits, vegetables, nuts, dry fruits, milk products, local cuisines, restaurants, money exchange, and a metro station too which opens right in the middle of the market. A must visit place for some very good and cheap souvenir shopping. The only requirement is bargaining.
- Yangiobod Weekend Flea Market: The market has all the usual everyday items, like clothing, housewares and hardware, electronics, auto parts, appliances, old Russian artifacts, textiles, and more.
Second Hand Stores
Some of the best second-hand stores in Tashkent:
- Orient House
- Kupit' Avto S Probegom
Every year, Tashkent holds UzTextile Expo at UzExpo It is the unique specialized exhibition of textile and fashion industry enjoying international participants and visitors in Uzbekistan. It features ready eco-friendly garments, textile, knitwear and accessories products. Hopefully, there will be stores and online sites for eco-friendly fashion, soon.
Today sanitary cleaning services are available for only about half of the country's population, the infrastructure of the solid household waste management is unsatisfactory, and landfills do not meet the requirements of sanitary and environmental standards. Uzbekistan is taking the initiative to recycle at least 60% of household waste by 2028.
Tashkent alone, with its 2.3 million population, currently produces over 500,000 tons annually. The SWM(Solid Waste Management) facilities have served the city since 2006 and require immediate and complete rehabilitation to avert potentially serious service disruptions. Tashkent’s SWM system through an investment package to accelerate waste minimization and recycling initiatives, upgrade and rehabilitate the city’s SWM collection and transfer systems, and develop a new sanitary landfill facility. Staff are hired to do the cleaning, equipment maintenance, and other work.
Work and Study Abroad
Though they are slowly embracing the English language as their medium of instruction, right now, there are no higher education programs available in English in the country. All programs are either in Uzbek or Russian. Proficiency in any one of these languages would be necessary before you embark on your study overseas journey. If the language isn’t your issue, then you can log on to learn4good, uzjobs.uz
As mentioned above, if the language isn’t an issue for you, then there are exchange student programs available. All you have to do is, contact your home university if they have collaboration with the university here.
There are many Au Pair jobs available in the city. To have a good salary or the likeable job you have to submit your resume to online portals like aupair, greataupair, aupairquest. The jobs they provide are related to child care, old age home jobs etc.
If you are here as a tourist and you want to volunteer, then you can look for volunteer jobs on online portals such as algoos etc, or you can visit the online sites of UNESCO or UNV, there are multiple jobs they offer like teaching the kids English or other languages, visiting an elderly house Etc.