Uzbekistan Travel Itinerary
This undiscovered gem of Central Asia has a rich history due to its location on the legendary Silk Road. The great blend of the old and the new is a pleasant touch to the country. “But why has Uzbekistan been so under the radar?” The new president heavily invested in tourism by building a high-speed railway system and by making visas much cheaper or free. One to two weeks is enough time to travel around Uzbekistan.
Day 1: Tashkent
Tashkent is the largest city in Central Asia. This modern capital is the starting point of your Uzbekistan travel itinerary because of its well-connected international airport.
Tashkent is very different from others and doesn’t have much to offer apart from visiting the Bazaar and the picturesque Metro stations.
Tashkent to Samarkand
The high-speed train from Tashkent to Samarkand only takes two hours and is very convenient.
Where to stay in Samarkand
The hotels and guesthouses in Samarkand are for every kind of budget. We highly recommend B&B Antica. A wonderful guesthouse with a beautiful garden where you will get the best breakfast in the city! It is also located right next to Gur-e Amir.
Samarkand to Bukhara
Jump on the high-speed train in Samarkand and arrive in Bukhara in under 2 hours.
Where to stay in Bukhara
It’s best to find a hotel in Bukhara near the area where cars are not allowed, and most restaurants are located.
Bukhara to Khiva
Of all the destinations on your Uzbekistan travel itinerary, Khiva is certainly the hardest to get to. From Bukhara, it is best to take the train (5h) or taxi (7h).
Where to Stay in Khiva
Khiva offers affordable accommodation for all budgets. The higher-end hotels are located within the city walls, and just outside those walls, hotels get much more affordable.
Day 10: Tashkent
Finally, spend the last day of your time in Uzbekistan, making your way to Tashkent to catch your international flight back home with a backpack filled with new experiences.
You can either take the night train from Khiva (16.5 h) or fly back from Urgench to Tashkent. (1.5h)
Costs of traveling in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is a very affordable country to travel around and can easily be done on your own. Transportation and accommodation are the biggest expenses while traveling in Uzbekistan.
Getting cash in Uzbekistan
Each city has a handful of good working ATMs. Some dispense Uzbek Sums and other US Dollars. Maestro and Visa cards are widely accepted, whereas Mastercard is limited.
Food in Uzbekistan
The large markets with fresh fruits, vegetables, and loaves of bread represent the tasty meals of the food in Uzbekistan. Expect delicious salads, soups, bread, plov, dumplings, and so much more. Even for vegetarians, it isn’t too difficult to find great meatless meals like pumpkin dumplings (Manti).
How to Get Around Uzbekistan
A commonly misunderstood fact is that you would have to see Uzbekistan with a tour company – wrong! Uzbekistan’s rail network is a super convenient, affordable, and overall great way to get around the country. The fast trains are of the same quality as Italy or another European country.
Train tickets for the above Uzbekistan travel route cost between 5 and 20 USD per ride per person, depending on the class.
All major cities are connected with a domestic or international airport and have regularly scheduled flights.
Tip: Right now, we recommend taking just one flight back from Khiva to Tashkent because the train between the other cities is a much better way of traveling.
Best Time to Travel in Uzbekistan
It is best to visit Uzbekistan in the spring (April to June) and autumn (September – October) when the weather is comfortably warm and dry.
In general, it is recommended to skip the summer months, June to August. However, our visit in late August was fine if we would stay out of the sun in the afternoon.
What to Wear in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is a modern country without strict rules on how women should dress. Although the majority of the country is Muslim, headscarves are not required at all, and you will see women wearing whatever they feel comfortable with, even ripped jeans or skirts. Expect quite a few selfie requests as Western tourists are still new and exciting.
Dress in a way that is respectful to everyone. Of course, at some religious sites, you are required to cover yourself, so always bring an extra scarf with you while traveling in Uzbekistan.
Safety in Uzbekistan
Besides corruption happening a few years ago, the crime rate in Uzbekistan is very low, making it a safe country to travel to.
In contrast to a city trip to Europe, you don’t have to pay attention to pickpockets. The Uzbek people are respectful, and couples and solo travelers have to worry while traveling in this beautiful country.
Do I Need a Visa for Uzbekistan?
Getting your visa for Uzbekistan has become a piece of cake for most nationalities due to changes in 2018. E-visas can now be acquired, and for some countries, it’s even free.