About Uzbekistan

75 Useful Tips for travelling to Uzbekistan in 2020 by Joan Torres
03 June 2020
75 Useful Tips for travelling to Uzbekistan in 2020 by Joan Torres

Joan Torres, a famous travel blogger from Spain, the author of “Against the Compass” has posted a practical illustrated article on his website about visiting Uzbekistan. AGAINST THE COMPASS is an alternative travel blog, which aims at helping people to travel the most unusual and off the beaten track destinations.

The author has created and explained 75 detailed useful tips for travelers that are planning on visiting Uzbekistan, the Pearl of Central Asia, based on his trip and experience to the ancient country of the Great Silk Road.

The blogger says that once used to be 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.

He also mentions that Uzbekistan is, by far, the most tourist-friendly country in Central Asia and an unmissable destination for sightseeing city lovers, because this is what Uzbekistan is mainly about.

“However, this ex-Soviet Republic has many bureaucratic and cultural peculiarities, which you are highly recommended to know well in advance. In this Uzbekistan travel guide, we will go through all of them, so here is a list of 70 useful tips for traveling to Uzbekistan” says Joan Torres. 

The author further describes in details the current visa rules in Uzbekistan for foreigners, mentioning the list of countries that can get 30 days free visa upon arrival at the airport, as well as the rest of the countries who are not privileged to get a visa upon arrival, explaining in details the new e-visa application process for those foreigners. 

Joan Torres also reminds that Uzbekistan was recently considered as one of the 20 safest destinations in the world, as it has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, besides a high level of security, especially in the capital Tashkent. He says travelers would be totally fine, including solo female travelers specifically.

The blogger says that there are loads of ATMs everywhere, highlighting that before there were very few ATMs that accepted international cards that allowed to withdraw very small amounts of money, but this has changed and you can just use them normally. “With an international card, you can only withdraw USD, which you need to exchange at the bank. This way, they can charge you commission twice and by the way, when you withdraw, the commission is 1%” – as quoted in the article.

Regarding travel expenses in the country, traveling in Uzbekistan was evaluated as very affordable, with some basic costs posted in the article for travelers, such as accommodation, meals in restaurants, taxi prices, and train tickets. 

“Most people are Uzbeks, but as in the whole Central Asia, you also find plenty of people from their neighboring countries, including Russians, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, and Tajiks. People in Uzbekistan are so ethnically mixed but, whereas Kyrgyz and Kazakh people have stronger Mongolian features, and Tajiks and Turkmens more of a Persian look, I would say that Uzbeks are something in between”. 

“Uzbekistan is the core of the Silk Road: Uzbekistan is synonymous with the Silk Road, a country which is home to the three most important Silk Road cities, Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. Timeless mosques and historical buildings define a characteristic skyline in every city, Uzbekistan has been the main stopover for countless civilizations traveling east and west, while exchanging goods, ideas, and knowledge. Traveling in Uzbekistan and strolling downs its bazaars and old cities is like going back to the past”.

“The most majestic shrines and buildings I have ever seen – From the imposing Registan to the cute, old city of Khiva, Uzbekistan is the perfect destination for travelers interested in stunning Islamic architecture.  Who would guess that the streets of the ancient Silk Road cities of Uzbekistan were filled with plenty of touristic shops, selling things from typical souvenirs to traditional local handicrafts, something unseen in Central Asia” - that is how the author describes tourism in Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan is also praised in the guidebook for its delicious variety of fruits and having much better restaurant options than in the neighboring countries, even for international cuisine.

The accommodation, including hotels, guest houses and hostels are evaluated for being both affordable at a wide range, as well as mid-range and luxury hotels also being available as an option. for those who wish. 

As the last tip in his guidebook, the author highly recommends trains for traveling in Uzbekistan from one city to another, finding them running regularly and being very comfortable. And of course, Tashkent Metro is highlighted among the recommended list of transport for being a delightful masterpiece.

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25 August 2021
Uzbekistan opens its borders to all transportation starting 1 October

As of October 1 2020, Uzbekistan is opening its borders to incoming and outgoing transportation of all types: airways, railways and roadways.

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First charter flight between Uzbekistan and Ukraine resumes after a long break

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30 September 2021
Did you know?

Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!

Did you know that Uzbekistan lies in the very heart of Eurasia, the coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°

Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world! The country has 4th largest reserves of gold in the world after South Africa, USA and Russia

Uzbekistan is the world capital of melons. They have in excess of 150 different varieties, which form a staple part of the local diet, served fresh in the summer and eaten dried through the winter.

It is Uzbek tradition that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house’s entrance.

Tashkent’s metro features chandeliers, marble pillars and ceilings, granite, and engraved metal. It has been called one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

The Uzbek master chef is able to cook in just one caldron enough plov to serve a thousand men.

When you are a host to someone, it is your duty to fill their cups with for the whole time they are with you.  What you must not do, however, is to fill their cup more than half-full.  If you do that as a mistake, say it is a mistake immediately.  Doing it means you want them to leave.  Wow!  Amazing, right?

To Uzbeks, respect means a whole lot.  For this reason they love it if, even as foreigners, you endeavour to add the respectful suffix opa after a woman's name; and aka after a man's.  Example: Linda-opa and David-aka.  You could also use hon and jon respectively.

Having been an historic crossroads for centuries as part of various ancient empires, Uzbekistan’s food is very eclectic. It has its roots in Iranian, Arab, Indian, Russian and Chinese cuisine.

Though identified with the Persia, the Zoroastrism probably originated in Bactria or Sogdiana. Many distinguished scholars share an opinion that Zoroastrianism had originated in the ancient Khorezm. Indeed, today in the world there were found 63 Zoroastrian monuments, including those in Iran, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thirty-eight of them are in Uzbekistan, whereas 17 of these monuments are located in Khorezm.

One of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran that was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader, is kept in Tashkent. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death. 

Tashkent is the only megapolis in the world where public transport is totally comprised of Mercedes buses. And due to low urban air polution it is one of the few cities where one can still see the stars in the sky.

You would be surprised to know that modern TV was born in Tashkent. No joke! The picture of moving objects was transmitted by radio first time in the world in Tashkent on 26 of July 1928 by inventors B.P. Grabovsky and I.F. Belansky.

Uzbekistan is the only country in the world all of whose neighbours have their names ending in STAN. This is also the only country in Central Asia that borders all of the countries of this region

Uzbeks are the third populous Turkik ethnicity in the world after Turks and Azeris (leaving both in Azerbaijan and Iran)

Did you know that there was silk money in Khiva? Super interesting right? Of course, but the best part of having silk money was that it could be sewn into your clothing.

Famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the Latin world) who was born near Bukhara was the one of the first people to advocate using women’s hair as suture material – about 1400 years ago.

Uzbekistan has a long and bloody history. The most notorious leader of Uzbekistan was Timur (or Tamerlane) who claimed descent from Genghis Khan. His military campaigns have been credited for wiping out some 5% of the world’s population at the time.

If you have thought that some of the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan resembles that from Northern India, then that is because Timur’s great great great Grandson, Babur Beg, was the founder of the Moghul Empire that ruled much of India for almost four centuries! Babur’s great great Grandson was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.

Uzbekistan was once a rum producig country. There is still a real arboretum in Denau (city near Termez on the border with Afghanistan), grown from a selection station that studied the prospects of plant growing in the unusual for the Soviet Union subtropical climate of Surkhandarya region: only here in the whole of the USSR sugar cane was grown and even rum was produced!

Uzbekistan has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new global poll. The annual Gallup Global Law and Order asked if people felt safe walking at night and whether they had been victims of crime. The survey placed Uzbekistan 5th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th. Top five safest countries:

  • Singapore
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Uzbekistan
Exchange rates
100 RUR
14449.76 UZS
100 USD
1262518.91 UZS
100 EUR
1359374.21 UZS
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1594055.66 UZS
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