Eco-friendly travel guide to Uzbekistan advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel 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 Uzbekistan, Asia.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Bus connections: 3.5 / 5
- Train connections: 3 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 2 / 5
- National parks: 2.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$90 - $200
- Budget per day: US$150 - $500
- 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 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Uzbekistan is a country in Central Asia. The country is known for its mausoleums and mosques. If you are visiting Uzbekistan or, for that matter, any other country in the world, as a tourist, you have certain responsibilities and moral obligations.
- As a tourist, your first preference for accommodation would be 5-star hotels, but try to avoid them. Instead, it would be best if you preferred eco-hotels, hostels, guest houses, and rental apartments. These options are not only affordable but are far better than the 5-star hotels. Also, the hostels and guest houses will give you proper exposure to the local culture as some of them host frequent social events where the guest can join and enjoy.
- The country's people follow various eco-friendly measures laid down by the government and the municipalities to keep the country clean and livable. As a tourist, you need to be aware of such laws to avoid any adverse harm to the local environment.
While traveling to the different areas of the country, avoid using rental cars and boats as the service providers usually overcharge tourists and emit many harmful gases into the atmosphere. Instead, it would help if you prefer public buses, electronic vehicles, bicycles, trains, etc., to travel in the country. These transports will also help you get a closer experience of the people's local culture and livelihood.
Avoid using disposable and plastic items as they create a lot of pollution, and a lot of natural resources are wasted in disposing of them properly. Instead, you should prefer reusable and recycled products like water bottles, handkerchiefs, cloth bags, etc. If you want to get the best experience out of your trip, choose local businesses as they possess an authenticity that other international and retail brands lack. You will support the local communities in growing and learning about the local culture and traditions.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality and pollution of Uzbekistan country might be acceptable for most individuals. But compared to different cities of western countries, the condition is bad. People who belong to a sensitive group might experience moderate symptoms when staying in the city for a long time. This city's air has reached a high level of pollution, and tourists need to be cautious if they have health conditions like asthma or others. You might want to take some safety precautions and some medicines with you when visiting the country. It will help you ensure your health's safety and have a good time in the country. The air quality index of Uzbekistan is low, which is considered to be poor. The pollutants in the air have crossed the limitation established by the WHO. May to February is the best time to visit the country and have less pollution in the air.
Respect the Culture
Uzbekistan has a long history of being a trading destination, which perhaps explains that quite a few people belong of Chinese, Arabic, and Persian descent. The country also has a colonial past, and even today, the influence of Spanish, English, Portuguese, and Muslim culture is evident in a few fractions of the society. As a tourist, we also should understand that there are over 150 languages spoken in the country and the city, and within many of these languages, there could be many dialects. Therefore, you must learn to respect the country's cultural diversity and ethnicity when you are visiting it as a tourist.
On your tour to Uzbekistan country, one of the best and attractive things is the place's culture. Without witnessing the culture, you will not be able to get the best experience of your tour. You will get to meet new people, traditions, lifestyles, culture, and many other things. Apart from the landmarks and beautiful places, this country's unique culture is another thing that pulls the tourists here.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Registan: Registan is a famous monument in the city of Samarkand. It is located in Registan St, Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Registan was the heart of the city. The name Registan means to desert or sandy place in the Persian language.
- Telyashayakh Mosque: This mosque's large complex 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.
- Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum:Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum is a historical landmark in the city of Bukhara. It is located in Pistaskkanon St, Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The name chashma ayub means job’s well.
- Chorsu Bazaar: Chorshu Bazaar 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.
- Gur-E Amir Complex: Gur-E Amir Complex is a Mausoleum in the city of Samarkand. It is located in Univeritetskiy Boulevard Bustonsaroy St, Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Gur-E Amir is of Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur which is also known as Tamerlane in the city of Samarkand.
- 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 Ankhor channel's embankment 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.
- Ark Of Bukhara: Ark of Bukhara is a massive fortress in the city of Bukhara. It is located in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. It was built in the 5th century AD. It was used as a fortress until it fell to Russia in the year 1920.
- Navoi Theatre:Navoi Theatre 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 meager prices, making it a great place to experience an opera.
- Kalta-Minor Minaret: Kalta-Minor Minaret is a landmark turquoise minaret begum in the year 1851. It is located near the west entrance to the Ichan Kala (old city). The Kalta Minor is an unfurnished minaret. Mohammed Amin Khan established it.
- Amir Timur Square: After Amir Timur, the square is named the commander and founder of a huge medieval empire, which 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.”
Uzbekistan's country has quite a few things to offer, which is perhaps why it is considered a popular destination for many across the globe. You will love the various museums, monuments, the food eateries by the roadside, the restaurants, and of course the majestic beaches that are located in and around the city. It also has a fine collection of parks, museums, zoos, and other places of interest to tourists. It also has an active nightlife though it is not the same as in other western cities worldwide.
Uzbekistan is big, and it has a big collection of parks and other such places. It has big open spaces and greeneries where you can spend time with your children and other family members. We are listing down some of the major parks in and around the country for our customers' information.
- Park Imeni Babura
- Tashkent City Park
- A.Navoi National Park
- Nurafshan Recreational Park
Uzbekistan has always been famous for its wonderful natural resources, and therefore it has a fantastic collection of natural parks. While most of them are spread across the country's length and breadth, many are also located in the country. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the country but are not very far away from Uzbekistan.
- Zaamin National Park
- Ugam-Chatkal National Park
- Alisher Navoi National Park
- Japanese Garden
Many people fantasize about spending time at a beach, and it could be that it is what you do when home. Thus, they are curious about beaches when in a new country. If you fall under this category and visit Uzbekistan, you are in for a treat as it has beaches for people to explore and relax.
- Charvak Recreation Area
- The Aralsea Coast
Like all cities and countries of the world, Uzbekistan also has its share of memorable landmarks and monuments. You must try and visit as many as you possibly can. When there is a landmark around, it helps with directions and eliminates losing your way. Foreigners are usually happy and gleeful to know of landmarks in the country, and you would see them trying to keep it in mind as no one loves losing their way while exploring. While the list is quite long, we are mentioning a few of them for our readers' benefit.
- Chor Minor
- Tomb Of Daneil
- Bibi-Khanym Mosque
- Kunya-Ark Citadel
- Khast-Imam Square
People say that it is sometimes impossible to keep count of the number of museums in the country as there are many. The country's idea is to preserve adequate information for the coming generations and help foreigners with knowledge about the country. If you love to know about the cities you visit, we know that you will love or desire to pay a visit to any of its museums. Some Uzbekistan museums are:
- The Alisher Navoi State Museum Of Literature
- Art Gallery Of Uzbekistan
- State Museum Of Applied Arts Of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan, without any doubt, is a melting point of many cultures though it is predominantly a Muslim country. The country has some of the best examples of secularism regarding eating and food items are concerned. The country's diversity as a whole can easily be identified by the kind of food that is famous in this country. Whether it is the local food that is liked and eaten by the Muslims or the various types of Chinese foods, or even the continental foods leftover from the colonial past, you will be able to find everything year. There are many local restaurants and many street-side eateries also. Make sure to buy the foods from local street foods; as a traveler, you will be helping them and supporting them to keep up giving the taste of their culture to the tourist. You will get many street food shops on your way to different places, as many families are completely dependent on tourism. These foods are also just as good as any other restaurant and very close to the traditional local foods.
While you are exploring and enjoying the traditional local meals in the country, it is also expected that you have a swell time with the drinks. Uzbekistan people are known for their love for drinking, so that you can find both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. One of the commonest drinks you will see is Vodka. Many people are used to this in their various cities, so it does not come off as strange you will also see wines and beers in addition to the vodka to choose from the varieties. There are many drink options in Uzbekistan, the same way there are food options. Thus, you will always have a lovely experience. Chaikhanas are the best place for a pot of green or black tea, while espresso coffee can be found in all the main tourist centers. Other non-alcoholic drinks include Katyak, a thin yogurt that comes plain but can be sweetened with sugar or jam.
One of the most frequent questions that foreigners ask concerning their holiday city concerns the water if it is suitable for drinkable. If Uzbekistan is the country you are traveling to for a holiday, we will encourage that you make the conscious effort of boiling your water before drinkable. The source of water in the country is questionable as it is said to have high levels of metal, so it is unsafe for drinking and even brushing. You will not be extra or doing too much if you boil your water before using it to brush. After all, it is best to safe than to be sorry. If you think that the process of boiling is stressful, and you would not be able to keep up, you should buy bottled water while there; it will serve the purpose of drinking and brushing. In all that you do, please do not use the tap water in Uzbekistan as it is also said to cause Giardiasis, a parasitic infection that affects the small intestines. The aim is to enjoy the country, not to get infections.
Uzbekistan is popular for having famous landmarks, and there are many places in the city where you can perform different activities. As the people of this country like to stay healthy and fit, you will see many gyms and yogas. Apart from that, the country offers different places like twin towers, lakes, gardens, and famous parks that will help you to get close to nature. Historic and world-famous places are there in the country that you can visit and perform activities.You can also ride bikes, hike mountains, go fishing, and perform many other outdoor activities in the country. As there are many forests and parks available, the thrilling experience of exploring deep forests and witnessing wild animals is also there. If you are more into sports, then there are many parks in the country, where you can visit to have some of the best sports experiences. From outdoor games to indoor games, everything is available in these fun parks.
Uzbekistan, apart from being the country's economic hub, thousands of people flock to cities from many islands of the country and other countries. Hence, providing accommodation for such a floating population is a must. Hence, the hotel and hospitality industry is quite well developed in the country. Customers have many options to choose from. They could select some of the best 5-star hotels for accommodation. On the other hand, there are budget hotels that are quite decent. Students could also opt for guest houses and other such places where the rates are quite affordable. One of the first things you should do when deciding to visit a foreign city is to keep a specific amount aside for accommodation. It serves as your budget and would help you determine the type of places you would search. Different accommodation types have different prices, but you would not go astray if you have a budget. If you work with your budget, you will make a decision faster, and it helps you be stranded when you get there as you already have plans in motion.
Hotels are the most highly preferred accommodations. Tourists mostly prefer to stay here throughout their trip. Hotels are incredibly comfortable and have so many facilities for visitors. They can be booked online. They have their details on the site, and from there, tourists can book a room and make the payment. They have all the necessary facilities for every visitor. They give three meals a day, which contains breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tourists can decide the menu themselves and ask them to send the dish they want to eat. They have cuisines in almost every country. They also have swimming pools where tourists can sit and relax. They have small gardens where tourists can go on a walk. They also have a play area where kids can play.
Hostels and Guest Houses
Hostels and paying guests are quite cheap than hotels. They provide all the facilities. It is best for the students and the tourists coming from different cities and countries as well. If you plan to stay for weeks in this country and want to save some money, you can choose hostels and guest houses. There are plenty of guesthouses and hostels in the country that you can choose from. There are plenty of hostels available in the country that you can get in different price ranges. They offer some of the common benefits of hotels, along with all the basic benefits. There are some cities in Uzbekistan where you might not find a lot of guesthouses. It is easier to take the help of online services to find them and book them. Sharable options are available in some of the hostels that further reduces the fare of the room.
Are you planning to stay at the apartments on your journey to Uzbekistan? Well, renting apartments will not be much of a city problem as you will get many opinions. You can take the help of different services to rent apartments at an affordable price. Choosing a renting apartment helps to save a lot of money and stay comfortable in the country. It is best to find and book the apartment before stepping into the country. It will help you get a better service and save finding one in the country. However, not all apartment owners may feel comfortable renting out their properties to foreigners, but things are changing. They would like to earn some passive income from their apartments that otherwise would have remained vacant. You can choose different sizes of apartments depending on your budget and requirements.
The amount of some accommodation options scarce people away, and it is something that has hindered many people from traveling to foreign places. However, there is a saving grace in Couchsurfing. With Couchsurfing, you do not need to bother about spending your money on accommodation. What you need to think about is how you would adapt to the lifestyle of the locals. If you are confused, Couchsurfing is a system that pairs you with a local willing host during the duration of your holiday. If you do not have the means to pay for accommodation and you desire to travel, you can check if they do Couchsurfing in the desired country. It is a regular thing to see people indicate interest in Couchsurfing in Uzbekistan, and there is a website that assists in getting localhost. Willing locals sign up on it, while foreigners check through and follow steps and instructions on how to get paired. The comfort you will feel during Couchsurfing might not be compared to what you can get from your house, but you should remember that it is only for some time, and it is better than being stranded.
There are few better ways to rest, relax, and reinvigorate than to get back to nature for a dose of the inimitable joys the great outdoors offers. And among the best ways to do this is camping. The thing with camping is that there are particular areas for it; else, the whole purpose is defeated. Thus, it is right to know about camping sites. Campers describe the experience as exciting, and it lures those who have never been camping before. It helps you meet new people, and you get to do things you have never done before. If you a lover of nature and the outdoors, we know that you would wish to experience camping in whatever form when you are in the country of Uzbekistan. Many tourists like to do adrenaline rushing adventures in different places they visit. Uzbekistan is filled with landmarks, parks, and museums; many different suitable spaces give the best camping experience.
|Ferghana Valley |
The most fertile and populous part of the country, but also its most unstable with different ethnic groups like Uzbek and Kyrgyz have disputes.
|Northern Uzbekistan |
Geographically dominated by the vast red sands of the seemingly endless Kyzylkum Desert and politically dominated by Qaraqalpaqstan, the vast autonomous republic of the Qaraqalpaqs, Uzbekistan's North is most notable in travel circles for the ancient Silk Road city of Khiva, and for the dying Aral Sea.
|Samarkand through Bukhara |
This is truly the heart of the Silk Road, the passage along the Zeravshan River valley through Central Asia's most important historical cities of Samarkand and Bukhara and heavily populated mainly with Ethnic Tajiks.
|Southern Uzbekistan |
The one mountainous part of the country, where Uzbekistan meets the mighty Pamir Mountains, is heavily ethnic Tajik.
|Tashkent Region |
The political and economic center of the country, surrounding the capital, Tashkent.
- Tashkent — the modern capital and largest city.
- Andijan — Uzbekistan's fourth largest city, right in the heart of the vibrant but combustible Ferghana Valley.
- Bukhara — a legendary Silk Road capital, 2,500 years old, the historical center of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with magnificent examples of monumental, medieval Islamic and Central Asian architecture.
- Khiva, site of the Itchan Kala
- Namangan — the third-largest city, at the northern edge of the Ferghana Valley.
- Nukus — the capital of Qaraqalpaqstan on the Amu Darya, surrounded by a region devastated by the environmental degradation wrought by the drying of the Aral Sea.
- Samarkand — the nation's second-largest city, the whole of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to the most famous Silk Road attraction of them all, the Registan.
- Shakhrisabz — a small city, whose historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its impressive monuments from the Timurid Dynasty.
- Termez — the southernmost city near the border with Afghanistan, named by Alexander the Great's forces for the intense temperatures they found here (thermos = hot).
Getting There and Moving Around
One of the things you need to keep in mind while planning a trip to the country is choosing the transportation mode. Based on your location or country, you will need to choose the mode of transportation. In most countries, air is the most convenient way to travel to the country. You will get many other transportations to travel to the country and railway, water, road, and others. Upon reaching the country, there are plenty of local transportations that are available to move around. From fueled cars to eco-friendly ways, you can choose any of them in the different price ranges. However, try to use eco-friendly transportation as much as you can to keep the country safe from pollution.
Air is the most common way for travelers from different countries to reach Uzbekistan. You will be able to find flights for this country from most of the other countries, and it will also help you reach faster than others. This country has numerous international airports. If you do not have much time on your hand, then the flight is the best way to move around different countries. In addition to this, the country is well connected to the airport via trains, buses, taxis.
Some people love using buses because it views the landscape while traveling, and they find it exciting. However, others would not like to use a bus because it takes long hours, and there is no adequate space. When this occurs, people tend to get cranky, affecting their mood when they get to their destination. You should know that some bus companies have made great improvements to ensure that people are always comfortable whenever they use them. Thus, it is not every time that you would face inconveniences when you use a bus. The bus stations are a few minutes away from the city centers, and it has taxis operating from there.
This public mode of transport is quite popular amongst the locals as a cheap and convenient mode. Some people love using buses because it views the landscape while traveling, and they find it exciting. However, others would not like to use a bus because it takes long hours, and there is no adequate space. When this occurs, people tend to get cranky, affecting their mood when they get to their destination. You should know that some bus companies have made great improvements to ensure that people are always comfortable whenever they use them. Thus, it is not every time that you would face inconveniences when you use a bus.
If you want to get to the country by hitchhiking, you will get many different options like the big toll gate in the south of the city. This is known to be one of the best hitchhiking places for travelers. But the place is not too easy to reach for people, so many people avoid it. They might have to take a lot of walking to reach there, starting from crossing the rail tracks to covering the bridge, which is a very long walk. Local people are amiable and usually very honest. Waiting times to hitch are short, and people often don't mind driving a bit further than the place where they needed to be. Most drivers are naturally wary of picking up strangers, fearing carrying robbers and carjackers.
There is another way to travel or move around in the Country of Uzbekistan, and those are a taxi or motorcycle ride. These transportation types are advised only in case of emergency because the Country of Uzbekistan is dealing with a lot of traffic, air pollution, and noise pollution; therefore, you must not contribute to it. Only in case of urgency or when the time is less you can use these types of transportation. You must be aware of the taxi scams while using a rental car service.
Eco-friendly sustainable stores that promote zero-waste are increasing rapidly in Uzbekistan, and many locals are tying hearse products. It helps to give you the best experience and witness the culture up close. As an eco-friendly traveler, try eco-friendly shops such as recycled or send hand items. You will be able to get many different local shops that sell traditional items. Make sure to buy from the local shops to support them and help them make a living. There are many shops and markets in this country that will help you to get recycled items at a reasonable price. You will be able to get some branded eco-friendly stores too in the country of Uzbekistan.
Changing the behavioral habits of these groups will be instrumental in the success of recycling efforts. Residents pay handsomely without really knowing where the waste will end up. While exploring and traveling, make sure to use these containers and vehicles to dispose of the waste properly, or you can get into trouble for violating the laws and environment. Many wastes are polluting the sea and making it hard for sea creatures to survive. Also, these wastes are slowly polluting the whole Earth. So, many countries and different cities have started to take care of the environment by recycling things.
The country faces many pollution-related problems, mainly because of the improper disposal of household and industrial waste. With the local municipality's help, you will find that the government has set up various garbage disposal places such as dustbins, dumpsters, trucks, etc. As a tourist, you must follow the proper wastage disposal measures to avoid creating any adverse effect on the local environment. These people strive to have a country conducive to living and know that it is impossible without an adequate waste management organization. The locals are always happy when foreigners visit and commend the pristine state of the country.
Work and Study Abroad
The country is very well known around the world in different countries. Taking the help of online job finders also helps very much to find the best available jobs easily. The country is quite developed from different sectors, which include work and study too. Apart from that, these students also have a permit to work in the country while studying to earn pocket money and fess. These universities and colleges offer good courses to students, and they have different offers for international students that attract students from all over the world. There are many available jobs in the country that these students can take and earn a good amount of money.
The student exchange program is a worldwide program that enables students from different countries to study in another country and learn about local culture and traditions. The exchange programs in Uzbekistan's land have with many neighboring countries in the Asian region are robust. You shall find plenty of students learning at universities in the country of Uzbekistan via intercontinental grants scholarships. You will find that many institutions in Uzbekistan are part of the program and offer various scholarships to such students. However, most exchange students that come to the country are from neighboring countries. But some students take part in other faraway lands. Exchange student study is getting more and more popular in Uzbekistan, as many students are deciding to go for higher review. Many other countries do not have this opportunity and study options like this one. Shortly, the exchange student concept is set to grow more and positively impact the educational system. There are many exchange student opportunities that are there in the country for students to choose from. There is a specific semester in Uzbekistan that is getting famous and inviting students from other countries.
If you study in Uzbekistan, it is understandable if you want to get a job to argue your finds. We also understand that it is not always easy to find these jobs, and this is where the idea of au pair comes to play. For cities that subscribe to the au pair idea, there is usually a website or forum where people can register and get paired with localhost whom they can work for. This exists in Uzbekistan, so you should jump on the opportunity. Au pairing is a relatively new concept in Asian countries where a foreign couple helps out a family in meeting their responsibilities and managing a household. You will hardly find an Au Pair or a family participating in such activities as they are accustomed to managing by themselves or with the help of their close relatives or neighbors. The couple helps the family members in education and career to help them build a better life with lots of potentials. You will get a luxurious home to live in as the concept is only popular amongst the rich who have room to spare in this densely packed country.
The life of the people circles around eco-friendly practices and measures. You will find many volunteering organization in the country that provide awareness and help for various societal problems like unemployment, drugs, social security, environment protection, etc. Uzbekistan organizations urge people to participate in volunteering organizations and let the language barrier not be a difference anymore. It can be a wonderful experience to volunteer to help the needy on your trip to a foreign country. In the country of Uzbekistan, that would probably welcome the help and would probably not ask questions about your immigration status, especially for unpaid work. Still, it is important to be aware of the legal aspects. Volunteering is one of the best ways to keep the city clean and get to know the local people very well. You will also get help to get your language skill up one notch. Many volunteering organizations in the country are fighting to resolve various cultural, environmental, and social problems such as violence against women and children, child labor, animal protection, environmental protection, humanitarian rights, etc.