From the legendary cities of Bukhara, Khiva, and of course Samarkand, to the laid-back capital Tashkent, Uzbekistan is a must-see country for any serious traveller. Read on to find out about the best places to visit in Uzbekistan!
The traditionally painful visa process for Uzbekistan was scrapped back in 2018 and now it is easier than ever to visit, with visa-free entry for most people. Come and discover Central Asia‘s most interesting destination while it is still somewhat “off the beaten track”!

blog posts about uzbekistan

Central Asia Travel Guide

How to Travel the Silk Road

Things to do in Samarkand

Things to do in Tashkent

Things to do in Termiz

Almaty to Tashkent Train

top places to visit in uzbekistan

What to do in Tashkent


Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and filled with interesting museums detailing its association with Amir Timer and the Timurid Empire. It’s also a lively city with an excellent nightlife and interesting architecture from the Silk Road to the Soviets.

Read my complete guide to things to do in Tashkent.

Registan Square, Samarkand


Samarkand is the ancient seat of the Timurid Empire and famous for it’s incredible medieval mosques and madrasas, and the awe-inspiring Registan Sqaure.

Read my complete guide on what to do in Samarkand.

Places to visit in Uzbekistan


Bukhara is one of the jewels of the Silk Road alongside Khiva and Samarkand. The old city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and boasts over 100 mosques and madrasas. The city dates back over 2,500 years and is packed with ancient landmarks and monuments from the Muslim world.

Famous Landmark in Asia


A smaller city than both Bukhara and Samarkand, Khiva is no less impressive for it. The settlement here dates back over 1,500 years and includes some of the best-preserved sites on the Silk Road. The entire city is designated an “open air museum” and was the first UNESCO-listed site in Uzbekistan.
Al Hakim at Termizi Mausoleum


Termiz is a city in the far south of Uzbekistan on the banks of the Amu Darya River (known in antiquity as the Oxus). The city is right on the border with Afganistan and is home to some ancient Buddhist sites as well as the Al Hakim at Termezi Mausoleum.

Read my complete guide to things to do in Termiz.

How to Get to Uzbekistan

By Air:

Islam Karimov Airport operates flights to and from major destinations in Europe and Asia. I don’t need to tell you how to book a flight, but you can check as they usually have some great deals.

By Land:

Uzbekistan shares land borders with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. It’s possible to cross all of these borders with varying levels of ease.
I have personally crossed to and from Kazakhstan on many occasions and once from Turkmenistan.
Be aware that some medications that are legal elsewhere in the world are highly illegal in Uzbekistan and the border guards are likely to search your medical kit for contraband. When I crossed from Turkmenistan in 2017 they rigorously checked everything, but when I crossed from Kazakhstan in 2019 they didn’t search me at all.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth office advises checking this list from the official website of the State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan prior to departure.
Afghanistan: Uzbekistan shares a small border with Afghanistan in the far south of the country. There is a road that leads from Mazar e Sharif in Afghanistan to the border with Uzbekistan. Once crossed, you will arrive in the Uzbek town of Termiz, which has a daily overnight train to Tashkent (via Samarkand).
Kazakhstan: From Almaty take the overnight train to Shymkent. From there take a taxi to the border (2 hours / 5,000 Tenge). Cross the border on foot (avoid early mornings where you can queue for three hours or more, and cross instead during the middle of the day).
Once you have crossed the border you can take a taxi for the short ride into Tashkent (30 minutes / 1,00,000 Som). Read my full report; How to get from Almaty to Tashkent.
Kyrgystan: There is a bus that connects Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan with Tashkent. The overnight journey takes around 14 hours.
Tajikistan: There are multiple land borders between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. See Caravanistan for information on each of these.
Turkmenistan: There is a road that goes all the way from Ashgabat in Turkmenistan to the Uzbek border near Nukus and Urgench. The road is rough and it can be slow going. The border is in the middle of nowhere and you have to cross the no-mans-land of 1km either by foot or by minibus ($1).
Do not exchange money with anyone at the border, especially the soldiers, as you will get ripped off (or so I heard…)!
There is no public transport from the border to Urgench so you will need to take a taxi (there should be some waiting). In 2017 it cost my friend and me $50, which was a rip-off, but we didn’t really have any choice.

Getting Around Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan has a decent railway network that links all the major cities. The trains can be old and without air conditioning so try and avoid journeys in the height of summer as it can be unbearable (I’m speaking from experience). Visit the Uzbek Railways website for prices and timetables.

Taxis in Uzbekistan

Taking a taxi in Uzbekistan can be something of an adventure, but unfortunately, the chances of being ripped off are high. Out of maybe 10 taxi journeys I took in 2019, only one driver didn’t increase the agreed cost on a variety of pretexts (need to charge for my bag, the cost was for 1 passenger, but you need to pay the same for the empty seats etc). Proceed with caution.
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan Visas

Good news, Uzbekistan is now visa-free for citizens of many countries. It wasn’t always thus and I remember spending a lot of time having to go back and forth to the Uzbek embassy in London back in 2017.
On my latest visit in 2019, I didn’t need a visa at all and the infrastructure had improved greatly in those few years between visits.

Visa Free

Citizens of the following countries can enter Uzbekistan visa-free for up to 90 days:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
Citizens of the following countries can enter Uzbekistan visa-free for up to 30 days:
All EU countries, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vatican City.


Citizens who require a VISA can apply for an E-visa on the official website. The E-visa costs $20 and is valid for 30 days.
Money in Uzbekistan
It’s pretty easy to become a millionaire when travelling in Uzbekistan as $1 US dollar is equal to over 10,000 Som.
The currency is the Uzbek Som, however, ATMs only give out USD (usually $50, but you may get lucky and find smaller denominations). You will then need to exchange your USD to Som at a bank, or on the black market if you want to risk it.