Shah-i-zinda in samarkand, uzbekistan

The Basic Guide to Uzbekistan

Easily one of the most amazing countries i have been to and it’s easier than ever with the relaxation of their visa system. So here’s a breakdown of what it takes to go to Uzbekistan. How much it costs, things to do, where to stay, etc.

Cost

For 15 days

Flights: USD 350 (INR 25000) from Delhi

Visa: USD 50 (INR 3300)

Sightseeing, stay, food, etc: USD 365 (INR 24,000)

Total: INR 57,500 (¬ USD 800)

That’s excluding shopping. Carry enough, there’s a lot to buy

Visa:

you have to apply at the embassy in Delhi but starting July, e-visa will be introduced. Costs 50 USD for single entry

Flights:

Only from Delhi that too their national carrier, Uzbekistan Airlines. Frequency is couple of times a week and the flights are good.

Stay:

Hostels are quite inexpensive, an average bed night at a quality hostel would cost about 6-8 USD with breakfast. Plus about 2 USD per night for local taxes

Currency:

Take Dollars (crisp bills), you can change them at the airport, rates are standard across the country. If you want to draw cash, most banks accept Visa. Mastercard is next to impossible

Ideal duration:

About 12 days is ideal to cover the important sites. I spent 15 though. You could split your stay between the following places for a 12 day journey-

  1. Tashkent – 3 days
  2. Samarkand – 3 days
  3. Bukhara – 3 days
  4. Khiva – 3 days

Food:

Veg food can be tough. Some great stuff to try would be plov, mastava (rice soup), non (bread), etc. Meat used is beef pretty much everywhere

Language:

Russian, Uzbek and Tajik are the most commonly spoken. English can be a rarity but people are too nice to care. Most signs are in Cyrillic or Latin script, so you should be able to read.

Not to miss:

  • Scale both the minarets in Ichan Kala, Khiva
  • Sunset at Registan, Samarkand
  • Shopping carpets, miniature paintings, ceramics
  • Explore Tashkent’s metro stations
  • Poi Kalyan minaret in Bukhara
  • Day trip to the Qalas from Khiva
  • The now dead aral sea in muynaq
  • The savitsky museum in nukus

Yeah, that’s about it

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