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When is the best time to visit Uzbekistan?

The best time to visit Uzbekistan is from March to mid-June and September to October. Most of Uzbekistan has an extreme continental climate with sweltering summers and freezing winters, so you’ll avoid extreme weather by visiting during these periods. The desert is also in bloom briefly during spring, while the harvest season in autumn means the markets are full of fresh produce. However, spring and autumn are also the peak seasons, so you may want to visit outside of these months if you prefer smaller crowds. Check out our seasonal guide below to help you plan your Uzbekistan trip.

Uzbekistan by month

January

Best for: minimal crowds and great photography conditions

January is the coldest month. Freezing temperatures take hold of most of the country, with temperatures dipping as low as -5°C in the northernmost areas. It generally gets colder the further north you go. Although January is super quiet and isn’t considered a great month to visit, if you don't mind rugging up with appropriate winter gear, you’ll have the country’s historic sites almost all to yourself. Clear, crisp winter days also make for perfect photography conditions.

February

Best for: exploring famous sites in solitude

Cold temperatures continue into February. However, crowds are almost non-existent, so there’ll be no queues and crowds at famous sites like the Registan in Samarkand and the Ark of Bukharayou. You may be able to negotiate lower hotel rates. The cold weather is also a good excuse to explore the bazaars.

March

Best for: warmer temperatures, exploring ancient sites, and Navruz festival

Spring arrives in March, bringing warmer, wetter weather. However, spring rains bring the landscapes to life and flowers carpet mountain pastures and the plains of the Kyzylkum Desert from the end of the month.

The highlight of March is Navruz festival (21 March), which celebrates the spring equinox and the Persian New Year. Locals visit family and friends, fruit trees are planted in orchards and people take to the streets to enjoy delicious festive dishes and folk music. It’s a brilliant opportunity to experience Uzbekistani culture and hospitality. Be sure to book transport and accommodation in advance as it’s a busy time for domestic travel.

April

Best for: pleasant weather, mountain homestays, and exploring the desert

Spring is in full swing in April. With comfortable temperatures and clearer skies, it’s one of the best months to explore the stunning mosques and mausoleums in the ancient Silk Road cities of Bukhara and Samarkand. You can also experience sleeping in a yurt under the stars in the gorgeous Kysylkum Desert without it being uncomfortably hot. April is one of the busiest months, particularly around the Easter holidays, so try to book flights and accommodation in advance.

May

Best for: the Silk and Spices Festival, Boysun Bahori, wildflowers, and desert camping

Temperatures continue to climb in May, particularly in southern border towns where the days can already be quite hot. May is a busy month for Uzbekistan’s events calendar with the Silk and Spices Festival in Bukhara and the Boysun Bahori Festival, both of which are fantastic opportunities to learn about Uzbekistani art, culture and traditions.

With pleasant temperatures, May is an excellent time to go desert trekking or experience rural life at a homestay in the Nuratau Mountains. The Tien Shan Mountains also offer an extra backdrop for hiking in May as poppies and tulips dot the pastures.

June

Best for: mountain homestays, markets along the Silk Road, and dry weather

June marks the start of the summer, with markedly warmer temperatures than May. It can be particularly hot in the desert plains and central border towns, so head out early to beat the midday sun. However, with little to no rain, your sightseeing should be uninterrupted.

June is a great month to take refuge in the cooler Nuratau Mountains where you can experience daily life at a homestay and cool down by waterfalls. June is a fairly busy month in Uzbekistan before things come to a halt in July when it's too hot, so there are plenty of opportunities to meet locals and shop at pop-up stalls along the famous Silk Road.

July

Best for: low season crowds and prices

July is a scorcher or a month. The heat is particularly strong in southern cities like Bukhara and desert areas where the thermostat often soars past 40°C. The heat is too intense for desert camping and extended periods outdoors, so you may want to wait until late August when temperatures drop.

August

Best for: low season crowds and prices, cooler temps (in late August), and Stihia festival

The weather is still extremely hot and dry from early to mid-August. However, if you can cope with the heat, you may be able to score low season flight and accommodation prices. Ensure you go sightseeing in the morning or evening to avoid being scorched by the sun.

Things gradually start to cool down towards the end of the month, making it possible to camp in the desert comfortably again. If you like electronic music, you may also be interested in Stihia, a unique festival of dance music and art in the heart of the Kyzylkum Desert.

September

Best for: pleasant weather, harvest season, and Sharq Taronalari festival

Autumn arrives in September, bringing much-welcomed cooler temperatures which are ideal for hiking, desert camping and sightseeing along the Silk Road. September is also the harvest season, so markets are packed with fresh fruits and vegetables. Vendors are proud of their produce and are usually more than happy to let you try before you buy.

Another highlight of September is Sharq Taronalari festival, a bi-annual event that showcases the best of Uzbek and Central Asian folk music. Open-air concerts take place across Samarkand and Shakhrisabz, including Samarkand’s iconic Registan Square.

With pleasant weather and lots going on, September is one of the busiest months, so book flights and accommodation in advance and set off early to beat the crowds.

October

Best for: harvest season, good weather, and desert camping

Harvest season continues into October so it's a great opportunity to sample the country's abundant produce. While daytime temperatures are mild, mornings and evenings can be fresh – particularly in the desert and the mountains – so ensure you bring warmer gear. However, colder desert nights are perfect for listening to traditional music around a campfire and getting cosy in a yurt. October is the last month to travel along the Silk Road before wintry conditions set in.

November

Best for: minimal crowds and exploring ancient sites in solitude

The cold arrives in November, bringing plummeting temperatures to the far north. Things start to quieten down as the low season kicks in, so you might want to avoid November if you want to enjoy everything Uzbekistan has to offer – particularly outside of the main cities. However, as long as you dress up warmly, you'll get to soak up the beauty of Uzbekistan's enchanting landmarks with little to no crowds.

December

Best for: low season prices and crowds, and winter sports

Winter is well underway in December. Most of the country sees sub-zero lows, and rain and snowfall are abundant throughout the country. Visiting Uzbekistan in December isn't recommended as it's a quiet month and many cultural experiences aren't available due to the weather. However, it's a different story if you're a snow hound — Uzbekistan's new Amirsoy Mountain Resort is tipped to be one of the most up-and-coming winter sports destinations.

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