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Hey guys, on this article, I wished to share our itinerary for 4 days in Uzbekistan visiting Tashkent and Samarkand (and Bukhara as an elective vacation spot). We visited Uzbekistan in winter, when it was very empty and had an opportunity to discover the primary landmarks with none crowds.
Right here’s what you’ll be able to anticipate finding on this weblog publish:
Who can journey to Uzbekistan? Do you want a visa?
Should you’re questioning whether or not you want a visa for Uzbekistan, it’s higher to test on the official web site right here, as the foundations may need modified since we wrote this text. Typically, it’s fairly simple to go to Uzbekistan and in case you’re from the EU, you don’t want a visa as of January 2022. Nevertheless, to enter Uzbekistan, it’s essential to present a unfavourable PCR check taken as much as 72 hours earlier than your journey.
There aren’t any strict guidelines about who might journey to Uzbekistan, nevertheless, it has its personal crimson checklist – arrivals from some international locations must quarantine for 10 days.
Aside from that, it’s simple to journey to Uzbekistan – you don’t want any invites or journey vouchers.
Are you able to discover Uzbekistan by yourself with out a journey company?
Lots of people are questioning whether or not you’ll be able to discover Uzbekistan by yourself with out shopping for an organised tour. I simply say that there are some challenges in the case of getting across the cities (e.g. taxi drivers in Samarkand in Bukhara don’t converse English and there’s no app you need to use to ask for a taxi) and generally resort personnel don’t converse English as properly, nevertheless, it’s regular – it’s the identical in lots of international locations all over the world.
Should you’re a younger solo feminine traveller, you would possibly get lots of consideration, so I’m undecided I’d suggest travelling alone in Uzbekistan – on this case, it’s higher to purchase a tour!
Which language can you employ in Uzbekistan?
As I discussed earlier than, not many individuals converse English in Uzbekistan – the first language of the nation is Uzbek (and Tajik in Bukhara and Samarkand), nevertheless, you may also use Russian, 80% of individuals in large cities can converse and perceive Russian.
What’s the very best time to journey to Uzbekistan?
Uzbekistan has clearly outlined seasons : chilly winter, fantastic spring when all the pieces is blooming, extraordinarily sizzling summer season and nice autumn. Summer time is mostly very popular in Uzbekistan so it’s not advisable to journey there from June to early September, until you benefit from the temperatures of 38-55C levels.
Winter is completely advantageous, it doesn’t often get colder than -3C, and in Samarkand and Bukhara winters are sometimes sunny and considerably heat (5-15C) through the day. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to anticipate subzero temperatures at evening. I’ve a separate weblog publish about climate in Uzbekistan in winter and our total impressions from travelling to Uzbekistan in December.
What number of days do you have to spend in Uzbekistan
Should you’re questioning what number of days do you want in Uzbekistan, it actually relies on what number of days off you’ve gotten. This itinerary is predicated on 4 days in Uzbekistan and contains visiting solely two cities, Tashkent and Samarkand (or three you probably have sufficient time and vitality). Nevertheless you probably have every week in Uzbekistan, you’d be capable to go to a lot of the primary highlights and likewise journey to Khiva, Urgench and Bukhara.
You can in all probability do it in 5 days as properly however that might require actually cautious advance planning. For instance, you would wish to test the times when there are flights from Tashkent to Urgench or vice versa it will most undoubtedly imply that you’d arrive to 1 metropolis and can depart from one other one. For instance, you’ll be able to arrive in Urgench and depart from Tashkent.
The place to remain in Uzbekistan: the very best resorts
Should you’re questioning, the place to remain in Uzbekistan, in Tashkent, we stayed in 2 resorts and each have been nice: Wyndham Tashkent and Marriott Courtyard. Wyndham was a bit older, nevertheless, the placement was a bit higher, for my part (particularly in case you like strolling). One other resort I’d suggest is Hyatt – it’s Tashkent’s nicest resort and it’s not even that costly!
In Samarkand, we stayed on the resort referred to as Dilimah Premium Luxurious – it had pretty giant trendy rooms and good breakfasts.
In Bukhara, I can suggest Boutique Lodge Minzifa.
Uzbekistan in winter: what to anticipate? Is December an excellent month to journey to Uzbekistan
We truly actually loved travelling to Uzbekistan within the winter. We spent 4 days in Uzbekistan in December: we arrived on 26/12 simply after Christmas and departed simply earlier than the New Yr. Many of the resorts have been empty and extra inexpensive in comparison with what they might have been in spring through the excessive season. However extra importantly, lots of sights have been virtually empty and we have been capable of take stunning footage. we couldn’t even think about that we might be capable to take a photograph with no individuals on the primary sq. of Samarkand – Registan!
The climate was okay. As we arrived from St Petersburg, Russia (which was extraordinarily chilly this winter, which is uncommon), we felt very heat with simply -1C and snowfall in Tashkent. Tashkent hardly ever will get snow today, however we have been fortunate to see it lined by a thick layer of snow. It seemed magical!
The climate in Samarkand was nice – it was a lot hotter – in the future it was +6C and one other day +12C. Once we left, it was +15C!
How costly is Uzbekistan? Priced and price range wanted to your journey
Should you’re questioning how costly is Uzbekistan, I have to guarantee you that’s this gorgeous inexpensive. Nevertheless, there are some issues that may be a bit of bit dear. For instance, I discovered resorts (particularly in Tashkent) not low-cost. If you wish to keep in worldwide chains like Hilton, Hyatt or Marriott, you’ll be able to anticipate to pay from $75-200 (£55-155) per evening. The taxi from the airport to the resort was round $15 at evening. And even if meals will be actually low-cost, we went to good eating places and spent round $20-$35 per meal. Nevertheless in case you go to native quick meals chains, or attempt Plov on the worldwide Plov centre, it can save you some huge cash (as soon as we ate for as little as $5 for each of us).
Should you go to the native markets (or bazaars) within the morning or throughout lunchtime, you’d be capable to see lots of meals stalls. You possibly can attempt some native dishes like samsa (pie) (for $0.3) or plov or shashlik (meat skewers) ($1 per skewer, generally cheaper).
Alright, I hope I answered a few of the primary questions you may need had about journey in Uzbekistan. Let’s get began with our itinerary for 4 days in Uzbekistan, together with Tashkent and Samarkand!
The itinerary for 4 days in Uzbekistan: Tashkent and Samarkand in a single journey (elective: Bukhara)
Earlier than we begin the overview of the itinerary, I believed it’s value mentioning that we purchased a multi-city flight. That implies that we arrived in Tashkent and departed from Samarkand. Nevertheless, you may also fly again from Bukhara in case you resolve to incorporate it in your itinerary!
2 days in Tashkent: the very best issues to do
Tashkent is usually missed by the vacationers in favour of extra spectacular cities like Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Sure, it may not have too many landmarks, however we truly loved it lots! Tashkent seems and seems like a capital. It has nice resorts and a vibrant culinary scene. In the previous couple of years Tashkent noticed the opening of recent inventive bars and eating places and in comparison with Western eating places of the identical rank, Tashkent meals spots are very low-cost!
Tashkent can also be the best metropolis for getting round: you need to use the Yandex Taxi app there (it’s similar to Uber or Bolt) and pay money to the driving force.
Having spent 2 full days in Tashkent, we visited a lot of the landmarks of the town. Nevertheless, in case you’re used to fast-paced journey, you’ll be able to completely go to all the pieces in simply in the future! We ended up spending extra time in Tashkent than initially deliberate as a result of we couldn’t get a velocity prepare to Bukhara (they have been bought out), therefore, we stayed in Tashkent for an additional day (and loved it lots). Nevertheless, that additionally meant that we couldn’t see Bukhara this time.
Listed here are a few of the primary landmarks we suggest visiting in Tashkent:
My absolute favorite factor in Tashkent was its metro (subway / underground – nevertheless you name it). Tashkent metro was the primary one to open in Central Asia and it additionally has a few of the most stunning Metro stations on this planet. Actually, just about each single station was spectacular and had a unique distinctive design. Nevertheless, there are just a few stations which are much more outstanding than the others. Should you don’t have the complete day to have the ability to cease at each single station (the gaps between trains are 8 minutes, so it’d take some time), I like to recommend you go to at the very least these 5:
– Alisher Navoi
If you wish to learn the complete checklist of the very best metro stations in Tashkent, head right here.
Amir Timur Sq.
The principle sq. of Tashkent could be very spacious and monumental. It’s very pedestrian – with a beautiful park situated proper in the midst of the sq., surrounding the monument of Amir Timur – the well-known normal Tamerlan, who conquered half of Central Asia again within the Fifteenth century!
Amir Timur Museum
Tashkent seems like a totally new metropolis. Numerous buildings have been constructed within the final 10 years, and the development doesn’t appear to cease! Town remains to be growing quickly. Considered one of Tashkent’s most essential museums was opened in 1996, and it’s situated proper subsequent to the Amir Timur sq..
Previous metropolis & mosque
As I discussed earlier than there’s not so many aged buildings in Tashkent as a result of the town suffered a devastating earthquake again within the twentieth century. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to go to the outdated metropolis and the brand new mosque that’s nonetheless being constructed (as of the start of 2022). As soon as it’s completed, it will likely be very spectacular.
One of many primary landmarks of Tashkent is the Chorsu Bazaar or Chorsu market that – a bustling market situated within the centre of Tashkent. Numerous cities In central Asia are constructed round markets – they’re an integral a part of the lives of the vast majority of individuals there. Markets in central Asia are really outstanding: they’re large and they’re divided by totally different sections. Completely different sections embody: fruits, greens, sweets, dairy and different milk merchandise, meat, spices, drinks, baked items and an edible space (road meals).
Don’t neglect to cut price on the market as a result of as a foreigner you’d get provided costs that might be considerably larger than costs locals.
Chorsu has a powerful spherical corridor, but it surely’s the primary ground the place all of the spices and sweets (belongings you can be most taken with as a vacationer) are bought!
One factor to bear in mind: Chorsu is probably the most touristy market in Tashkent. Therefore, the costs are considerably larger than within the different cities. Since you’re going to go to Samarkand and perhaps even Bukhara, I like to recommend doing most of your buying in these cities reasonably than in Tashkent.
Lastly, one other place that’s value visiting (particularly in spring or autumn) is the well-known Broadway Avenue. Broadway is a vibrant road with lots of music, road meals and total, a really cheerful vibe! (Not in winter although as it’s closed)
The place to eat in Tashkent:
I’d suggest visiting Afsona restaurant if you wish to attempt superb native meals and Meat.me in case you choose worldwide dishes (though they do have some native dishes within the menu as properly). One other good restaurant is Khiva situated contained in the Hyatt Tashkent resort.
Attending to Samarkand from Tashkent
The easiest way to journey to Samarkand from Tashkent is by velocity prepare Afrosiab. You possibly can purchase tickets on-line right here (make sure that to purchase them prematurely as they have an inclination to promote out).
You can even get there by automotive, sleeper prepare, minibus coach or a taxi. Nevertheless, all of those methods are considerably much less snug and for much longer in comparison with the velocity prepare. There’s additionally a flight that goes to Bukhara from Tashkent; nevertheless, it departs solely as soon as a day within the morning. After which, you’d additionally must take a prepare from Bukhara to Samarkand.
Exploring Samarkand: the very best issues to do in Samarkand
Samarkand was once the wealthiest metropolis in Central Asia on account of its strategic location on the silk route. The structure within the metropolis is completely gorgeous and by chance, within the final 30 years, the federal government has restored lots of the landmarks.
There are many issues to do within the metropolis and you may simply spend two days there!
I like to recommend taking a tour with the information for at the very least in the future as a result of it is possible for you to to be taught lots in regards to the landmarks and can be capable to see spots you wouldn’t end up. We employed a information via the web site referred to as Tripster and our information, Aziza, spoke a very good English! She was superb and educated, and I can completely suggest a tour together with her!
Listed here are a few of the landmarks we visited with Aziza:
- Amir Temur Mausoleum – a shocking constructing lined inside by gold with the tombs of a few of the most influential individuals within the historical past of Uzbekistan
- Registan sq. – probably the most stunning sq. in Samarkand. Inside the three madrasas, you will discover memento outlets.
- Bibi-Khanym mosque – a tremendous Fifteenth-century mosque that could be a must-visit place in Samarkand
- Shah-i-Zinda – probably the most spectacular landmark in Samarkand for my part. It consists of a wide range of stunning tombs and mausoleums completed in numerous kinds
- Siyob (Siab) Market – an historic market the place you should purchase meals, spices and souvenirs
What we haven’t had an opportunity to go to, nevertheless, it’s completely value visiting: the observatory (Ulugbek observatory). The well-known Samarkand bread can also be baked close to the observatory. This bread is exclusive in some ways – it by no means will get spoilt or mouldy! There isn’t a clarification for that – scientists nonetheless don’t know why it occurs. Additionally, this bread is kind of sizeable and heavy – it prices lower than $1 and weights greater than a kilo!
Plov making class and dinner
Via Aziza, we additionally booked one other tour – a Plov making class and dinner with Ilhom. Nevertheless, be at liberty to e book a masterclass with Ilhom individually – listed here are his particulars!
The masterclass and dinner final round 3 hours – preparation of Plov is a prolonged course of! Nevertheless, Ilom is an entertaining and nice host, so the time flies! In the long run, you get to eat all of the plov in addition to a few of the different dishes his spouse Nargiza has cooked and go away the home barely strolling – due to a lot tasty meals!
The place to eat in Samarkand
Should you’re questioning the place to eat in Samarkand, I can suggest the restaurant Samarkand for a conventional meal and a Chaikhona proper in the midst of the marketplace for the very best Shashlik I’ve ever eaten in my whole life!
Another locations embody:
- Restaurant Samarkand
- Restaurant Platan
Optionally available: visiting Bukhara
How one can get to Bukhara from Samarkand
Order to get to Bukhara from Samarkand, you’ll be able to take the identical velocity prepare, Afrosiab. It’s the best and quickest strategy to journey between the cities. You possibly can purchase the tickets on-line right here and don’t neglect to purchase them prematurely.
Issues to see in Bukhara
It’s it’s undoubtedly doable to go to Bukhara on a day journey from Samarkand. The prepare journey between these two cities is kind of quick – lower than 2 hours every manner.
Should you solely have in the future in Bukhara, make sure that to go to the next landmarks:
- Kalan Mosque (a well-known Sixteenth-century mosque, in all probability probably the most stunning in Bukhara)
- Chor Minor Madrasa
- The Ark of Bukhara
- The Samanid Mausoleum
The abstract: the itinerary for 4 days in Uzbekistan: Tashkent and Samarkand & Bukhara (elective)
Alright, this was our itinerary for 4 days in Uzbekistan visiting a few of the primary highlights resembling Tashkent and Samarkand (and likewise together with Bukhara you probably have an opportunity). I have to say that I haven’t anticipated Uzbekistan to be that lovely. I’ve heard good issues about Samarkand earlier than, however in actuality, it was 10 instances higher than that. Tashkent was additionally pretty – the metro was spectacular and the meals was nice in Tashkent! Total, we loved exploring Uzbekistan lots! There are, maybe, only some minor downsides in the case of travelling round Tashkent, Samarkand and different cities in Uzbekistan. One: it’s very tough to get a taxi in Samarkand in case you don’t have an area SIM card. Two: generally, there’s a bit an excessive amount of consideration from males in case you’re a younger feminine. Lastly, in case you don’t get pleasure from bargaining, you’ll endure a bit, as you all the time must cut price in Uzbekistan!