About Uzbekistan


Metro (tube) - Tashkent’s metro is the easiest way to get around. Tashkent's excellent metro runs from 5 am to 12 in midnight and should be the first choice when possible. Opened in 1977 with one line and 12 stations, the system has since been expanded to take in all parts of the city you're likely to want to visit, with recently opened ground lines connecting the city center with its outskirts. As well as being theoretically earthquake-proof, many of the stations are elaborately decorated with golden domes, chandeliers, mosaics, and other delightful frippery.

The metro is the place where you might be asked to open your bag on entry by over-vigilant police. During the day you’ll never wait more than five minutes for a train, and the stations are clean and safe. Tourist need to buy one-time tickets for each time they enter, a flat fare (2000 sum May 2024) applies. Locals use online rechargeable transport cards. The metro was designed as a nuclear shelter and taking photos inside was strictly forbidden till 2016. Despite the use of Uzbek for signs and announcements, the system is easy to use, and well enough signposted that you hardly need a map. If you listen as the train doors are about to close, you’ll hear the name of the next station at the end of the announcement: ‘Ekhtiyot buling, eshiklar yopiladi; keyingi bekat…’ (‘Be careful, the doors are closing; the next station is…’).

Check here the full photogallery of Tashkent Metro

Tashkent's citizens are justifiably proud of their metro, Central Asia's first and bursting with decorative intent. It is one of only two subway systems currently operating in Central Asia, the other one is the Almaty Metro. It was the seventh metro to be built in the former USSR, opening in 1977. Its stations are among the most ornate in the world.

Construction began in 1972 and five years later the first train rolled. Extensive rubber padding makes the system, around 40 kilometres and growing, as earthquake-proof as possible. Besides being the most convenient way to traverse the city, and a cool escape from melting avenues, its stations cry out to be appreciated, although photography is forbidden, and stirring Soviet-era reliefs have fled several stops. Cotton is a common motif, from the mosaics of Pakhtakor (cotton worker) to the boll lamps of Uzbekistan; cupolas drip with gold leaf at Alisher Navoi, while Kosmonavtlar offers ceramic discs of cosmonauts floating in a spectral sea. You may have to suppress the urge to hum 'Ground control to Major Tom...'.

Planning for the Tashkent Metro started in 1968, two years after a major earthquake struck the city in 1966. Construction on the first line began in 1972 and it opened on November 6, 1977 with nine stations. This line was extended in 1980, and the second line was added in 1984. The most recent line is the Yunusobod Line, the first section of which opened in 2001.

Today, the Tashkent metro has 29 stations that differ from each other. The architecture and de'cor of each station depicts its name. The peculiarity of the Tashkent metro is its rather shallow station positioning. Some stations have escalators, 7 stations belong to the tower type, 4 stations to the arch type and one station (Mustakillik) to the tower-individual type. Prominent architects and artists of Uzbekistan took part in designing the stations. Interior de'cor features solid and stable materials: metal (in the form of engravings), glass, plastic, granite, marble, smalt, art ceramics, and carved alabaster. Each station is original work of art and centers on a particular theme.

Note: To use Metro you would need to buy a token (sold at ticket offices 'KASSA' at the entry). Currently one token cost 1400 sum which is less than 15 US cents, making it quite cheap to getting around the city. You pay one tocken per person only notwithstanding how many stations you plan to cover. Expect to have your bags searched by the police before entring the Metro, this is a standard security measure for all. Trains are more frequent at peak hours and with intervals of 8-10 minutes in off-peak time.

"We learnt how to get around the city. Tashkent boasted a tastefully designed metro, each station themed after an appropriate Soviet hero or after cotton, which seemed to be the main value of Uzbekistan as far as the Soviet authorities were concerned." 

Christopher Aslan Alexander "A Carpet Ride to Khiva" 2010

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
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