When going on a trip, people often ask a lot of questions about the trip. In this article we will try to answer the frequently asked questions, as well as to help all those who are going to visit Uzbekistan.
What you need to know before traveling to Uzbekistan
Visa to Uzbekistan
Are you going to come to Uzbekistan? Then you will definitely need to apply for a visa. If your country is not in the list of countries with visa-free regime, you will need an invitation from a citizen of Uzbekistan, firm or organization, approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or from an accredited travel agency in Uzbekistan to obtain a visa. If you are a citizen of the country, which Uzbekistan added to the list of countries with visa-free regime, then the procedure for visiting Uzbekistan, simplified.
When is the best time to go?
The best time to travel to Uzbekistan is Spring (from late February to early June) and Autumn (from late August to the second half of November). Weather in Uzbekistan is mild, in spring everything around begins to bloom and even the desert blooms for a short time. In late April, the fruit season starts. If you want to taste the authentic Uzbek watermelons and melons, enjoy the incredibly fresh and natural fruits then we recommend you to visit this period in autumn, because it’s the time of harvest, when all the bazaars are full of natural products of local farmers. If you want to visit Uzbekistan to natural parts of the country, then the best time to do it is the beginning of April and till the middle of October. In winter the weather in Uzbekistan is unpredictable, but in winter you can visit ski resorts.
Meeting at the airport
Since in Uzbekistan it is not allowed to be inside the airport or train station building, then the people meeting you, including representatives of tour companies organizing your trip to Uzbekistan, will be waiting for you at the exit door from the airport with a sign in their hands, which will indicate either your name or the name of the tour company.
According to the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan, all non-residents, upon arrival in Uzbekistan, within 72 hours from the date of entry into the country must necessarily be registered at the place of residence with the relevant regulatory state bodies. For the guests staying in hotels, hostels and guest houses such registration is done automatically by the host administration. It is necessary to clarify this fact right before check-in at the hotel, and even better when booking, as some inexpensive hotels may not provide this service.
Upon registration you will be given a registration form, which must be kept in your passport or other ID for the entire period of your stay in the country. This document may be required by official authorities for verification, especially at the passport control when you will be leaving the country.
It is not recommended to stay in a private house/apartment, as their owners for some reason avoid the registration procedure at the local OVIR (Department of Visas and Registrations).
When leaving Uzbekistan at the passport control, your passport or other document certifying your identity and the validity of your entry visa will certainly be checked. Sometimes the migration officer may also ask you to show the registration forms from the hotel or local OVIR. Therefore, make sure that you always have the registration form from the hotel at hand (preferably attached to your passport) before you go through passport control at the airport.
Keep in mind that violating the requirements of the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan and not registering your stay in the country can significantly complicate your relations with the local authorities and prevent your timely departure from Uzbekistan.
Every year the trip to Uzbekistan is becoming more and more comfortable, because tourism in Uzbekistan is actively developing and the quality of service for visiting guests is paid close attention at the state level. In all major cities of the Republic such as Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and others, there are many comfortable hotels, guest houses and hostels providing accommodation for every taste. All hotels and guest houses offer individual bathrooms or showers, toilets, air-conditioning, telephone, satellite TV with international channels like CNN, BBC, ESPN, and Wi-Fi.
You can book your hotel directly with us. To do this you will need to contact us by these contacts:
By phone: +998936591107 (Whatsapp, Viber, Telegram)
Prices and currency in Uzbekistan
National currency of Uzbekistan: Uzbek Soum (UZS)
Approximate prices for food:
Cheap: 3-5 USD
Medium: 5-10 USD
Expensive: from 10 USD and higher
Approximate prices for accommodation:
Medium: USD 20-50
Expensive: $50 and up
To exchange your foreign currency (American dollar, Euro, British pound, Russian ruble, and Japanese yen) for the local currency (Uzbek sum) you can use local banks as well as exchange offices located in some hotels (check with your hotel manager). If your banknotes are old, worn, torn, wrinkled, or if anything is handwritten on them, in this case, the exchange offices and banks will not accept them. You can exchange such banknotes in any bank of the country, but the amount after the exchange will be reduced by 10%. It is not possible to exchange Uzbek sums back to dollars at the moment. This issue is resolved at the state level. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to spend all national currency you have before you leave the country.
How to dress in Uzbekistan
In Uzbekistan there are no prohibitions in terms of clothing, but Uzbekistan, although a secular state, but still a country where the Muslim population is dominant, so it is strongly recommended when visiting mosques and madrassas to wear clothes covering the head and covering the shoulders and cleavage area; the length of the hem of skirts and dresses in such cases is desirable somewhat below the knee. In active mosques, shoes should be removed before entering the premises.
Otherwise, one may walk freely in seasonal clothing and shoes, but one should not forget the scorching rays from mid-May to mid-September and the cool, sometimes cold steppe winds in autumn, winter and early spring.
Main events and activities in Uzbekistan
Independence Day of the Republic of Uzbekistan is a public holiday, celebrated on September 1, since 1991. On this day various events are held, such as the theatrical performance in the amphitheater of the National Park named after Alisher Navoi, as well as festivities in every region of the country. It is considered a day off.
Nowruz (New Year) is one of the most ancient and main holidays celebrated in Central Asia on March 21, the day of vernal equinox. The holiday is widely celebrated in every region of the country, accompanied by traditional games, music and theater festivals, all sorts of exhibitions of traditional crafts and colorful fairs.
The holy month of Ramadan is a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset. The holy month of Ramadan ends with Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), which surprises travelers with its abundance of food on the tables. On this day sacrifices are offered and meat is distributed to all relatives, neighbors and the poor.
In Samarkand, every two years an international music festival “Sharq taronalari” (Melodies of the East).
In Bukhara, every year at the end of May, there is a festival of silk and spices. During the festival, the city hosts festivals, various events and fairs.
In Uzbekistan, you have the risk of catching diseases such as: Hepatitis A and B, diphteritis and fever. Never drink water from unknown sources, even if the locals claim that the water is clean and suitable for drinking.
If you will need to carry with you medicines that are in restricted use when travelling to Uzbekistan, it is strongly recommended that you declare them at the time of entry/departure and have a doctor’s prescription in your native language, because there are several medicines in Uzbekistan whose use is prohibited or restricted at the legislative level. The list of such medicines, which are in restricted circulation, includes such medicines as: sedatives, painkillers and sleeping pills
Failure to provide a medical prescription or to declare a drug could result in criminal liability.
The import and export of medicines for personal use without providing a prescription is allowed:
medicines in an amount of up to 10 medicines of different names and no more than 5 packages of medicines of each of them;
medical products in an amount not exceeding 5 units.
In this case, one package must contain:
for solid (tablets, dragees, granules, powders, capsules) dosage forms – not more than 100 units;
for powders used to prepare a solution – not more than 500 g;
for homeopathic medicinal products in the form of granules – not more than 50 g;
for infusion solutions and solutions taken orally – not more than 500 ml;
solutions for injections – not more than 10 ampoules or not more than 10 vials;
for external medications – not more than 200 ml or 200 g.
Medicines and medical products must be in the manufacturer’s packaging.
Security in Uzbekistan
Safety in Uzbekistan for tourists, as well as for the citizens of the country at the highest level. This is an absolutely quiet and peaceful country for traveling alone, as well as for family or group holidays, because here the safety of tourists on the territory of Uzbekistan is guaranteed by the state, as well as each tourist organization is fully responsible for the safety of its tourists, being responsible for them before the law. Well and then, security officers are fully responsible for all coming and traveling in Uzbekistan tourists. So going on a trip to Uzbekistan be prepared for the fact that there are a lot of law enforcement officers in the country. You will notice it as soon as you arrive at the airport.
The question of safety of personal belongings – in order to ensure the safety of tourists and their property in Uzbekistan, visitors are asked to watch for their valuables themselves, if necessary – to use safes in hotels and lockers in the air and land ports of the country. Tourists are also asked to be especially careful in crowded places. After all, despite the presence of security personnel, you are never 100% insured against thieves and crooks. Although, truth be told, thefts in Uzbekistan are few. This may be because of long and thorough job of security services, or it may be echoes of ancient times, when custom to cut off little fingers for the first theft, ring finger – for the second, etc. was adopted from Arabs by Uzbeks. Such a noticeable difference has always distinguished thieves from civilians and automatically alerted citizens. Today, of course, these radical measures are not taken, but the people are so “frightened” that no one wants to steal.
Accordingly, the question: “Is it safe to travel in Uzbekistan?” requires an unambiguous answer: very safe. But there is one caveat! All guests of the country must also personally take care of their safety and security of personal property, which means do not go out unaccompanied in the dark, do not leave your belongings unattended, and be vigilant throughout the trip, along with security officials of Uzbekistan.
The state language in Uzbekistan
The modern language of Uzbekistan has a rich history of formation. It belongs to the Turkic languages of the Altaic language family, but since Uzbek is dialectic, many linguists place it in several different subgroups. Uzbek is widespread in the neighboring countries as well. A large percentage of the population in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, as well as in Turkmenistan speaks this language. The Old Uzbek, which was spoken until the 19th century, is rather complicated. Not everyone could master reading and writing of this literary language. A great contribution to the development of the Old Uzbek was made by the famous poet Alisher Navoi. His literary works are the national treasure of Uzbekistan. After the reforms of the 20th century, the modern Uzbek appeared, based on the Fergana dialect.
In 1992, the Uzbek language officially transitioned to the Latin alphabet. Before 1928, in the territory of modern Uzbekistan was used Arabic script, then, in Soviet period, until 40s, was based on Latin alphabet, and later Cyrillic alphabet was used. Today, the Cyrillic alphabet is also used, but the signs of stores, establishments, names of institutions are mostly in Latin alphabet.
Going on a tour to Uzbekistan, everyone, if they want, can use the services of guides and interpreters. But, as mentioned above, Russian and English for Uzbekistan is not uncommon. You can learn a few simple words that will be useful in any situation:
Hello – “Assalom Aleikum”.
Thank you – “Rahmat”.
Excuse me – “Kechirasiz.”
When speaking to locals, if they are older, you can use the word-addresses: “aka” for men, “opa” for women. These appeals are added to the name, for example: Timur-aka.
Photography and videography in Uzbekistan
Everyone is allowed to take photos and videos of historical sites and objects only if there are no signs prohibiting photography and videotaping at these sites. Filming may not be allowed inside some religious monuments and at the airport, at railway stations and near military installations. There is an additional fee for taking pictures and videos at some sites (this cost is not included in your sightseeing price list).
Electricity in Uzbekistan
In Uzbekistan, two-pin plugs are used, as in continental Europe. The voltage in the socket is 220/230 V, 50 Hz. In most cases, the hotel provides adapters, but we strongly recommend that you bring your own adapters.
Shopping and souvenirs in Uzbekistan
In Uzbekistan you can buy a lot of interesting and unusual jewelry, national clothing and handicrafts from local artisans. Also popular souvenirs are books, postcards and maps of places.
The approximate cost of souvenirs is from $1 to $7 (small), and large purchases can range in price from $200 to several thousand dollars (such as carpets, Karakul fur coats, etc.).