Once a hermetic country with very strict visa policies for foreigners, Uzbekistan has opened its borders to show the world the majesty of what used to be the core and center of the ancient Silk Road, a country filled with impressive shrines, mosques and perfectly shaped old cities.Uzbekistan is, by far, the most tourist-friendly country in Central Asia and an unmissable destination for sightseeing city lovers.

When to visit Uzbekistan?

Uzbekistan is a year-round tourism destination, though most people choose to visit between May and October, as the winter months can be bitingly cold both in the desert and in the mountain foothills.

Spring breaks in March and April (slightly later in the mountains) and brings with it a riot of colourful flowers in the mountain pastures. The rivers are in full spate with the glacial meltwater, and the country comes swiftly back to life. If you visit in springtime, you may also be able to join in celebrations for Navruz, the Persian New Year, celebrated in Uzbekistan on 21 March. 

business center in tashkent uzbekistan

Visa for traveling to Uzbekistan

visa process in uzbekistan
FREE visa on arrival for Uzbekistan

In 2019, requirements for traveling to Uzbekistan were eased, and the government offered a 30-day free visa on arrival for most nationalities.

e-visa for Uzbekistan

Those nationalities which can’t get a VOA – and that includes nationals from the USA and India – can apply for an e-visa.

It’s a very easy process which only costs 20USD, takes 2-3 working days and this is the official website.

Money in Uzbekistan

In Uzbekistan, the official currency is Uzbek SUM (UZS). The currency value is extremely low and approximately: 1USD = 12000UZS

Cash and ATMs in Uzbekistan

Some years ago, ATMs in Uzbekistan didn’t accept foreign cards but that has drastically changed now. There are loads of ATMs that you can use absolutely everywhere, even in markets.

Uzs uzbek sum

Exchanging money in Uzbekistan

You can change money in most banks – Some years ago, the official bank rate was almost 100% lower than on the black market, so nobody wanted to exchange money in banks. This changed and, finally, the official rate has gone up to its actual value.

How much does it cost traveling to Uzbekistan

Traveling in Uzbekistan is not as cheap as in Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan but, still, it’s very affordable. Typically:

  • Budget accommodation: from 8 to 12USD
  • Mid-range hotels: from 30 to 50USD.
  • A meal in touristic restaurants: 5-9USD
  • A meal in local eateries: 2-5USD
  • Taxis within cities:  a maximum of 2-3USD
  • Several-hour train journeys: a maximum of 10 or 15USD

Accommodation: where to satay in Uzbekistan?

Budget hostels and guest houses

There is a wide range of budget hostels and guest houses in most cities in Uzbekistan. Most of them are very good value and the perfect place to meet other travelers alike. According to location the price may differ: USD 9-14 

hyatt regency tashkent hotel

Hotels in Uzbekistan

There are also endless mid-range and luxury options in all main cities in Uzbekistan.

Keep your REGISTRATION payslips!!!

All hotels will give you a registration payslip that proves that you stayed there. You are likely to be asked for all your payslips when leaving the country.  Typically,  at the airport, you will be required a payslip for every other day.

This means that, if you are camping or staying at people’s places, you will need to sign in official website emehmon.uz and register yourself.

Basically,  you need proof of your actual itinerary, which you will show once when you are leaving the country.


Traveling around Uzbekistan by train

Trains are the way to travel in Uzbekistan. Most cities are connected by train, they run very regularly and are very comfortable.

afrosiyob afrosyob tran. high speed train, bullet train

There are different kinds of trains – There is a regular, modern train and the high-speed one (Afrosiyob). They are built by a Spanish company, so they have many similarities to the AVE and other Spanish trains. Furthermore, there is the Russian train, which is the classic old one from the Soviet Union

It’s recommended to book your train tickets in advance – Especially for long-distance trains. You can book them at the train station itself and always remember to bring your passport.