How To Visit Uzbekistan: Things You Should Know Before You Go

How To Visit Uzbekistan: Things You Should Know Before You Go

Uzbekistan is home to a rich cultural heritage, with many historical cities, such as Bukhara, Samarkand, and Khiva, that are well-preserved and offer a glimpse into the country's fascinating past. It is also home to some beautiful natural landscapes, including the rugged mountains of the Pamir range, the rolling sand dunes of the Kyzylkum Desert, and the fertile Fergana Valley.

Besides, Uzbek people are known for their hospitality, and visitors can expect to be warmly welcomed and well taken care of during their stay.

So if you're looking to visit and discover something new, Uzbekistan might be the place for you. If you agree, here are some tips to help you prepare.

Visa requirements

Citizens of some countries can visit Uzbekistan without a visa for a period of time — for example, citizens of some ex-Soviet countries can enter and stay for 90 days without one. Some others have a visa-waiver agreement, while others can apply online. Others must do the “old-school” way of applying through an embassy.

All these application methods have different steps and documental requirements, so make sure you find out which one you need and follow the instructions accordingly.

In any case, you are likely to to be in need of documents that are usually required for visa applications. They are going to be travel and identity documents, and a valid visa application photo. If you’re applying via the embassy, be ready to explain your travel plans.

Language, culture and customs

Uzbek is the official language of Uzbekistan, and most of the population speaks it as their first language. However, many people in Uzbekistan are also proficient in Russian, which was widely spoken during the Soviet era and remained an important second language in the country.

For a foreigner traveling to Uzbekistan, it's best to have a basic knowledge of both Uzbek and Russian to facilitate communication. English is not widely spoken in Uzbekistan, but you may find English-speaking locals in tourist areas or larger cities.

Uzbekistan has a rich cultural heritage, and it's a good idea to be familiar with the country's customs and traditions. For example, it's considered impolite to drink or eat in public during the month of Ramadan.

Currency: paying your way around

The currency in Uzbekistan is the Uzbekistani som (UZS). ATMs are widely available in Uzbekistan, and international credit and debit cards can be used at many large hotels, shops, and restaurants.

When paying for goods and services in Uzbekistan, cash is the most commonly used method of payment. It's a good idea to carry a small amount of local currency with you for small purchases, such as street food, souvenirs, and taxis. Larger purchases, such as hotels, restaurants, and tours, can often be paid using international credit or debit cards. However, it's always a good idea to check with the merchant beforehand to ensure that card payment is accepted.

Planning around the climate

Uzbekistan has a predominantly arid climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The country is located in the heart of Central Asia, and its desert and mountain regions influence its climate.

When planning your travels to Uzbekistan, it's best to take the country's climate into consideration. If you're looking to beat the heat, the spring (April to May) and autumn (September to November) months are the best times to visit, as temperatures are milder and more pleasant.

If you're traveling to Uzbekistan in the summer, it's a good idea to bring plenty of sunscreens, a hat, and lightweight, breathable clothing to keep cool. If you're traveling in the winter, warm clothing, a hat, and gloves are a must, as temperatures can be very cold, especially in the mountainous regions.

It's also important to note that many historical sites and attractions in Uzbekistan are outdoors, so it's a good idea to plan your itinerary accordingly, considering the weather and your personal comfort level.


Getting around and transport

The most convenient and popular way to get around the country is by train, as the rail network is extensive and connects most of the major cities and tourist destinations. Another option for getting around Uzbekistan is by car; you can rent a car or hire a private driver. This can be a good option if you're traveling in a group or would like more flexibility in your itinerary.

Public transportation within cities is also available, and many cities have a network of buses, trams, and trolleybuses. These can be a good, affordable option for getting around, but it's important to be aware that the network may not be extensive and that schedules can be unreliable. Taxis are also widely available and can be booked through apps like Yandex. It's a good idea to agree on the fare before starting your journey to avoid misunderstandings.

Now that we’ve shared our tips for you to prepare, what’s left is to wish you a wonderful and memorable trip to Uzbekistan! May your travels be filled with rich cultural experiences, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes.