Tashkent Tourism Guide: Travel Tips, Documents, Places
Tashkent, the lively capital of Uzbekistan is a well balanced combination of modern metropolis and the unique flavours of Islamic and Soviet architecture. Often overlooked by travellers the city is Central Asia’s heart and an intriguing muddle of contradictions that’s well worth exploring over more than a few days. And if you are keen to know more about this wonderful city, here is our exclusive Tashkent tourism guide to help and guide you.
Tashkent Tourism Guide
Best Time To Visit Tashkent
The best time to visit Tashkent is either in spring (March to May) or in autumn (September to November) when you can avoid sweltering summers and chilly winters. That being said, let’s have a look at the different seasons of Tashkent.
The spring season starts in the month of March and extends till May. The weather is warm with clear skies and enough wind to keep it pleasant too. Spring is considered as an off-peak season when fares tend to be relatively low which makes it a good time to travel for those looking for deals.
The summers hit the city in the month of June and last till August. The weather is very hot and humid with July and August being the hottest months. Visiting Tashkent during this season can be very uncomfortable especially with road journeys as the sun is tremendously strong. This is a high season owing to the school holidays and holidays in Europe with a lot more tourists than in any other season. In case you are visiting Tashkent in summers, be sure to stick to the areas with good air conditioning.
The Autumn season starts in September and extends till November. The temperatures start dropping and the weather is quite pleasant and comfortable. This is a great time to experience the best of cuisine as the city goes into harvest offering fresh ripe fruits and vegetables.
The winter season starts in the month of December and lasts till February. The weather is extremely cold with January and February being the coldest months. It is a good time to explore the beautiful galleries and markets of Tashkent without worrying about the tourist overflow. And since there are fewer tourists, there is a high possibility of getting a good deal in accommodations and flight tickets.
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Travel Documents For Your Tashkent Trip
Travellers require the following documents for their Tashkent holidays:
- A valid passport is required with a validity of 90 days more than the period of stay with at least one blank page.
- An Uzbek Tourist Visa is required.
- Travel insurance for a safe travel is a must.
Where To Stay In Tashkent
Tashkent offers an array of accommodation options to all its tourists. From high-end international luxury chain hotels and deluxe hotels to mid-range and budget hotels- the city has it all. Amit Temur Street is the most famous area buzzing with a number of hotels and tourist attractions. If you are looking for utmost luxury and comfort consider the luxury range of Tashkent hotels such as Hyatt Regency Tashkent, Radisson Blu Hotel Tashkent, Ramada Tashkent, International Hotel Tashkent and Wyndham Tashkent Hotel. If you want luxury at affordable prices deluxe range of hotels like Viardo Hotel, Le Grande Plaza and Tashkent Palace are the best options. Budget travellers can choose from options like Pearl Tashkent Hotel, Grand Orzu Hotel, Tashkent Backpacker’s Hostel and Topchan Hostel. Guesthouses and Bed and Breakfast are also great for travellers on a budget and often prove to be quite cheaper than hotels.
Travelling Within Tashkent
Getting around Tashkent is pretty easy and convenient. Let’s take a glance at all options.
Metro: Tashkent’s metro is perhaps one of the easiest ways to get around the city. The metro starts early in the morning at 5am and runs till midnight. The stations are neat and tidy with strict security. The police may inspect your bag and passports and registration slips.
Taxi: Taxis are ample and cheap. But most of them do not go by the meter so it is advisable to negotiate the fare before the trip starts. Shared taxis are also available.
Car: Cars with drivers can be rented from hotels and travel agencies. Usually they charge on hourly basis.
Bus: Tashkent has a large network of buses and mini buses. The destination is clearly written on the windows of all buses. There are also city excursion double-decker buses that provide better services in terms of speed and frequency.
Places To Visit In Tashkent
1. Kukeldash Madrassah
Located next to the Chorsu Bazaar, Kukeldash Madrassah is one of the most iconic historic buildings in Tashkent. Built in the 15th century, it was damaged by earthquake but it was beautifully reconstructed in the 20th century. It was initially an old Islamic school, a fortress and a place where public executions were held. Today, it is a regularly acting mosque with a primary school that teaches basis of Islam. Inside the madrassah, there is a huge colourful courtyard. The cells are inhabited by students and the left side of the monument is for religious services. Kukeldash Madrassah is not only a significant architectural sight, but a great start of your Tashkent trip.
2. Tashkent Botanical Garden
Tashkent’s Botanical Garden, built in 1959, adds an exquisite splash of colours to the city and attracts visitors from all over the world. With over 4500 different variety of plants, shrubs, trees, vines and flowers, this botanical garden is divided into 5 parts representing diverse environmental sections of the world. Besides the open-air zones, there are greenhouses and hothouses for over 800 varieties of tropical and sub-tropical plants. In fact, there is a special nursery also for medicinal plants. It is perhaps the oldest and the largest botanical garden in Central Asia and if you like peace and solitude, this place is definitely for you.
3. Chimgan Mountains
The Chimgan Mountains (3309 m) are located about 80km from Tashkent and are a part of Chatkal range of western Tian-Shan. Chimgan Mountains include various beauty spots like Beldersay, Gulkham amd many others. The main inflow of tourists is in the spring and winter seasons. With blossoming mountain flowers, fir trees and snow capped peaks, Chimgan really feels like a different world altogether. With the onset of winters tourists can enjoy adventurous activities like snowboarding, downhill skiing and toboggan. Spring is the time for rock climbers, trekkers and sky surfers. In addition to this, Chimgan Mountains attracts tourists with apple tree and fir tree forests along with noisy rivers, beautiful lakes and waterfalls. On the foothills of Chimgan, at a height of about 1600 metres, there is a Chimgan Skii Resort which includes hotels, shops, restaurants, camps, cafes and ski equipment rental items. Tourists can enjoy activities like horse riding, paragliding and quad biking.
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Things To Do In Tashkent
1. Visit The Chorsu Bazaar
Topped by a colossal green dome, Chorsu Bazaar is presumably one of the most visited Tashkent tourist attractions. It is the best known market in the city and a fascinating place to get an indistinct picture of what the early Silk Road trade used to be. This bazaar is located in the Old Town and covers many streets, covered passageways and a fairly notable domed market hall. This market is full of locals making it a great place to observe and feel the authentic taste of Uzbek life and the ethnic and cultural blend of the city.
There are acres of spices set up in vibrantly coloured mountains, piles of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts, complete storehouses dedicated to sweets, a huge assortment of herbs, freshest breads and dairy products, leather jackets, skull caps, mattresses, carpets, quilted cloaks, knives, ceramics, jewellery, pottery, clothes, house wares and much more. Be sure to bargain at least 40 percent and if you feel hungry while shopping you can head to the back entrance where dozens of chefs cook up a fast buffet style meal on shared tables.
Tashkent Tourism Guide Tip: The bazaar opens at 8am in the morning and closes by 6pm in the evening.
2. Get Drenched In The Aqua Park
Nestled in the north of Tashkent, very near to the TV Tower, Aqua Park is probably the largest swimming area in Tashkent. In addition to several different pools, high thrill water rides and slides, a wave machine and a hot tub, the park also include restaurants, cafes and snack bars. It is a great place where grown-ups and kids can have an awesome time with a variety of fun water activities. It is a perfect place to take a break from museums and mosques and relax and rejuvenate yourself completely.
3. Marvel At The Beauty Of Amir Timur Square
A visit to Tashkent is incomplete without visiting the Amir Timur Square, which is the centre of the city and home to the classic statue of Amir Timur, the national hero of Uzbekistan. The bronze figure of Amir Timur with majestic insignia on a reared horse is surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens. The square is enclosed with a variety of remarkable buildings like Amir Timur Museum, Hotel Uzbekistan, University of Law, well-known Tashkent Chimes and the Forums Palace. Near the square there are cinema theatres and entertainment centres that make the square even more popular. With so many iconic historic buildings which are architecturally very fine-looking, this square is a must visit attraction.
Tashkent Tourism Guide Tip: Be sure to carry an extra set of clothes and a towel.
What To Eat In Tashkent
Surrounded by land in the heart of Central Asia, Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan lures tourists and locals with its scrumptious Uzbek delicacies. Uzbek dishes are not only exotic but full of flavours and very healthy. Here is our pick of yummy Uzbek delicacies that you must try.
- Start your delightful food journey with a royal dish, Wedding Pilaf. It is a wonderful mixture of rice, meat, raisins, vegetables and spices which is traditionally cooked over an open fire and often served on special occasions and weddings.
- Samsa, which is very similar to the Indian Samosa, is a well-liked savoury snack. It is a triangular shaped puffed pastry which can be filled with an array of different stuffing including lamb, beef, potato, pumpkin, seasonal greens and herbs.
- Do try Shurpa, a hearty soup made with meat, garden fresh vegetables like tomato, carrots and onions. It is generally offered in two variants- Kovurma (cooked with fried meat) and Kaytnama (cooked with fresh meat).
- Manti or steamed dumplings showered with dill leaves and sour cream is a must try. Usually stuffed with beef, lamb, potato, chicken and pumpkin, Manti will literally melt in your mouth.
- Do not leave Tashkent without trying the very tasty Shaslik or marinated chunks of lamb, chicken and mutton served on skewers. Topped with raw onion slices and a spicy red sauce, this dish is quite flavoursome and appetizing.
- People with sweet tooth should definitely try Holvaytar, the Uzbek version of Indian Halwa. The creamy and nutty flavour of this dessert with leave you craving for more.
- You have to try Uzbek tea which comes in black, green and herbal varieties. Chai Kaymoki is a Bukharian Jew speciality which is predominantly a green tea mixed with milk and butter and sprinkled with almonds.
- Other delectable delicacies include Moshkhurda, Lagman, Chuchvara, Mastava, Dolma, Nohat Shorak, Achichuk, Sumalak and Tukham Barak.
- Apart from these the city has loads of restaurants serving different cuisines like Japanese, Italian, Korean, Indian, Turkish and Chinese.
Tashkent is undoubtedly one of the best cities for foodies always willing to explore new culinary delights and places.
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Nightlife In Tashkent
Want to really experience Tashkent? Come and explore the vibrant nightlife in Tashkent and see how the city rejuvenates after the sun sets. From a wide selection of clubs, bars, pubs and restaurants to massage parlours and dance bars- the city has it all. If you are looking for good food along with great music and dance, Pasha is the place for you. If amazing cocktails, trendy crowd and chic dancers attract you, head straight to One More Bar, one of the most happening places to party in Tashkent. For all those craft beer crazy people who love live music, Steam is the best place. Do visit CMI, one of the oldest pubs in the city which is very popular for rocking DJs and live music. Other amazing places include Gorod Lounge Bar, Barxan, 7 Fridays and Monroe. If you do not like dancing but still want to enjoy the night head to Alisher Navoi Theatre stunning ballet and musical performances. Opera lovers should not miss visiting the Navoi Opera House. So, what are you waiting for? Put on your party shoes and get set to party!
Communication And Connectivity In Tashkent
Now-a-days a mobile phone has become an essential travel accessory. In case you are planning to get your own mobile phone, the best way is to set a basic international calling data plan and customise it according to your needs. On the other hand getting a prepaid local SIM card is the best bet. There are four GSM network operators in Tashkent; Ucell, Beeline, UMS and Uzmobile. You just need to make sure that you have an unlocked mobile phone. In order to buy a SIM card, you must show your passport and a copy of your hotel reservation.
Money In Tashkent
The official currency of Tashkent is Uzbekistani Som. Notes come in the denominations of 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5, 3 and 1. Credit cards are accepted in major hotels, restaurants and tourist centres. ATMs are found in most high-end hotels and in some banks of the city. For cash advances in rural areas, MasterCard users should look for Asaka Bank while Visa card holders should look for Kapital Bank or National Bank of Uzbekistan. Currency can be exchanged in banks, money exchangers and major hotels. US dollars are the most widely accepted foreign currency followed by Euro and Sterling.
Tashkent Tourism Guide – Useful Tips
Our Tashkent tourism guide is full of useful travel tips:
- Always carry your identity proof with you.
- The official language of Tashkent is Uzbek, but most people involved with tourism speak English.
- You cannot take more foreign currency out of the country than the amount you declared when you entered the country.
- If you are carrying medicines, make sure you carry prescriptions too as medicines can be checked by police.
- Women must avoid wearing shorts and miniskirts and dress a little conservatively in places of worship.
- Before booking the hotel, be sure to check the mode of payment as some hotels may accept only credit cards, others only hard cash and yet others may accept only local currency.
- Do not drink tap water here; always drink bottled water or boiled water.
- It is essential for the driver and the passengers to wear seat belts. Using mobile phones while driving is also barred.
- Photography near airports, military camps and police stations may upset the authorities.
- It is illegal to take pictures inside the metro stations.
- If there is any cash left with you then you must exchange it prior to your departure as there is no exchange office in the airport.
- In case of an emergency, dial 103.
By now, you must be quite convinced that Tashkent is an interesting city that will immediately charm all its visitors. So, when are you planning your Tashkent holiday? Well, plan your trip to this wonderful city and do not forget to keep our Tashkent tourism guide handy.
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