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Destination Guide: Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, a crossroads of ancient civilizations, beckons travelers with its mesmerizing blend of historical grandeur, architectural marvels, and vibrant culture. Nestled in the heart of Central Asia, this country offers an unforgettable journey through the Silk Road’s legacy, where every city tells a story of empires, traders, and scholars. From the majestic Registan of Samarkand to the labyrinthine alleys of Bukhara, Uzbekistan is a treasure trove for those seeking adventure, history, and a taste of the legendary Silk Road.

Highlights & Must-See Attractions

  • Samarkand’s Registan: Stand in awe before the iconic Registan Square, Samarkand’s heart, flanked by three majestic madrasahs with their dazzling Islamic architecture.
  • Bukhara’s Old City: Explore the ancient city of Bukhara, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its stunning mosques, madrasahs, and the Ark Fortress.
  • Khiva’s Ichan Kala: Walk through the walled inner town of Khiva, Ichan Kala, where centuries-old minarets, palaces, and mosques transport you to another era.
  • The Silk Road’s Legacy: Traverse the legendary Silk Road, visiting the ancient cities that flourished as centers of trade and culture.
  • The Fergana Valley: Discover the Fergana Valley, known for its lush landscapes, traditional crafts, and as the birthplace of Uzbekistan’s famed silk production.

Our Lesser-Known Favourites

  • Aral Sea Adventure: Venture to the Aral Sea’s remnants, witnessing the haunting yet fascinating ship graveyards and the resilient communities adapting to environmental change.
  • Shahrisabz’s Ak-Saray Palace: Explore the ruins of Ak-Saray Palace in Shahrisabz, Timur’s birthplace, once a symbol of the Timurid dynasty’s grandeur.
  • Nukus Museum of Art: Delve into the avant-garde at the Nukus Museum of Art, home to one of the world’s most significant collections of Russian and Uzbek avant-garde art.
  • Samarkand’s Siab Bazaar: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Samarkand’s Siab Bazaar, a sensory overload of spices, fruits, and traditional crafts.
  • Tashkent’s Metro Stations: Marvel at Tashkent’s beautifully decorated metro stations, each a work of art, showcasing themes from Uzbek history and culture.

Did You Know?

  • Uzbekistan boasts four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, each a testament to the country’s rich historical tapestry.
  • It is the world’s fifth-largest cotton producer and a renowned source of exquisite silk and textiles.
  • Uzbekistan’s cuisine is a delectable fusion of Central Asian flavors, with Plov, a savory rice dish, as its national culinary treasure. In Tashkent, don’t miss the Plov Center!

Food and Cuisine

  • Plov: Uzbekistan’s beloved national dish, a hearty mix of rice, meat, carrots, and spices, cooked to perfection.
  • Samsa: Savory pastries filled with meat, onions, and spices, baked in a tandoor oven.
  • Shashlik: Succulent skewers of marinated meat grilled over open flames, a staple of Uzbek cuisine.
  • Chai: Tea, especially green tea, is central to Uzbek hospitality, often served with dried fruits and nuts.

Practical Information

  • Best Season to Visit: Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) offer pleasant weather, ideal for exploring the cities and landscapes. Unless you wish to include some skiing – Amirsoy being a cute little ski resort only 2h away from Tashkent In that case, January – March is ideal.
  • Temperature: Varied climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Spring and autumn temperatures are mild and comfortable.
  • Visa Requirements: UAE residents can enter Uzbekistan visa-free, independent of their citizenship. Many nationalities can apply for e-visa. Check here:
  • Access from the UAE: Several direct flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Samarkand and Tashkent.

Getting Ready for Departure

  • Local Currency: Uzbekistani Som (UZS). ATMs are found in larger cities, but the card is widely accepted. Exchange rates are usually favorable for USD and EUR.
  • Culture & Dress Code: Modest dress is appreciated, especially when visiting religious sites. Lightweight and breathable fabrics are recommended.
  • Language: Uzbek is the official language, with Russian also widely spoken. English is increasingly common in tourist areas. However, we highly recommend to download a translation app that works offline when you go to rural areas.
  • Electronics: Standard voltage is 220V, with European-style two-pin plugs.
  • Embark on a journey to Uzbekistan, where ancient cities and Silk Road legends await. Here, every corner reveals a story, every meal is a celebration, and every sunset paints the desert sands. Discover the heart of Central Asia in Uzbekistan—a land where history is alive,