Uzbekistan offers adventurous travellers the chance to step away from the mainstream and dive in deep.

With rugged landscapes, futuristic cities, cultural triumphs and a history that spans epochs, Uzbekistan is a place where you can sleep in a desert-bound yurt, marvel at modern architecture and shop for covetable, bespoke handicrafts. For something totally different, why not discover the remote romance, rich history and irrepressible charm of Uzbekistan.

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Uzbekistan travel highlights

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At a glance

Best time to visit Uzbekistan

Geography and environment

Top 5 Monuments of Uzbekistan

Health and Safety

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Uzbekistan travel FAQs

UZBEKISTAN VISA

All travellers to Uzbekistan require a visa. A Letter of Invitation (LOI) is also required before you can apply for the visa. LOIs must state the location where you will apply for your visa - this cannot be changed after it is issued. Please follow the instructions below to have your LOI issued so you can apply for your visa. Please note if you are a US or UK citizen you can obtain a Uzbekistan Visa without an LOI by direct application to the consulate in London, New York, and Washington DC.

We have partnered with The Visa Machine to provide your LOI for Uzbekistan. This service is included in your trip cost. We advise that you apply for your LOI no later than 3 months before your trip to allow time for processing. Uzbekistan LOIs are processed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Uzbekistan and usually take around 4 weeks to be processed, with up to 6 weeks in peak travel season not uncommon.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. To obtain your Uzbekistan LOI use this link: http://intrepid-visa-support.thevisamachine.com/

2. Use the Checklist to make sure you have everything you need before you start as you will not be able to save once your start filling in the application.

3. Once you are satisfied you have all information with you to apply for your Uzbekistan LOI click on the ‘Apply Now’ link and follow the instructions.

4. If you have any trouble with the online form or want to check the status of your Uzbekistan LOI application please contact The Visa Machine on visasupport@thevisamachine.com or during UK working hours on +44(0) 207 148 6402.

VISA ON ARRIVAL

Visa on Arrival is only available at Tashkent International Airport, with the LOI stating this as your place of application. If you have a Uzbekistan Consulate in your home country must get the visa before arrival. If you don’t have a Consulate in your home country you can get a Visa on Arrival. The visa will cost approx 100USD. You must have USD cash to pay for this.

VISA IN ADVANCE

If you are crossing into Uzbekistan overland at a border crossing, you will need to get your Uzbekistan visa in advance. Please ensure you allow enough processing time to get your LOI and send away your passport, especially if this will involved sending your passport overseas. You may be able to obtain an Uzbekistan visa in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan if travelling there before entering Uzbekistan. You would need to be in Bishkek for a minimum of 1 week to allow for making an appointment at the consulate and for processing. We are unable to guarantee that you will be able to obtain your Uzbekistan visa in Bishkek.

REGISTRATION IN UZBEKISTAN

All visitors to Uzbekistan must register with the local department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs within 3 working days after arrival. When staying at a hotel, you will be registered automatically. Please ensure you keep any registration documents issued by the hotel until you exit the country.

CUSTOMS

Some medications available over the counter or by prescription in other countries, such as sleeping tablets, may be illegal or restricted in Uzbekistan. You should declare all prescription medications and other restricted items on arrival in Uzbekistan, and carry a copy of the prescription with you.

Tipping isn't generally expected in Uzbekistan but is considered polite, particularly when considering the low wages earned by service workers. Leaving 5% extra for guides, porters, restaurants workers and taxi drivers is a good idea, but not mandatory.

Travellers should be able to use the internet in the cyber cafes and large hotels of Uzbekistan's big cities. Rural areas will have little to no access so be prepared to disconnect from the net when travelling in remote areas.

Depending on where you are from and what handset you're using, your phone may or may not work while in Uzbekistan. Coverage is generally good in the cities, but is less reliable in remote and mountainous areas. Ensure that global roaming is activated before leaving home but be aware that you may not be able to access texts and calls when in Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan has a mix of Western and squat toilets, with Western-style toilets usually found in city hotels, cafes and tourists areas, and more basic toilets found in rural areas. Be prepared by carrying your own toilet paper, hand sanitizer and/or soap as these aren't always provided.

Bottle of beer = 1000 UZS
1 hour in an internet café = 1000 USZ
Lunch or market snack = 1000 USZ
Simple lunch at a cafe = 4000-5000 UZS
Dinner at a restaurant = 7000-10,000 UZS

Drinking water from the tap isn't recommended in Uzbekistan. Tea is served with most meals and we recommended you ask your leader were filtered water can be found instead of relying on bottled water.

Foreign credit cards aren't widely accepted so be sure to carry other modes of payment when travelling in Uzbekistan.

Relying on ATM access isn't wise when travelling in Uzbekistan. Be sure to carry enough cash for the trip, as operational ATMs that accept foreign cards are hard to come by. Refer to your trip notes for more information on money.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

  • 1 Jan New Year Day
  • 8 Mar International Women's Day
  • 21 Mar Navruz
  • 9 May Day of Memory and Remembrance
  • 25 Jun Eid al-Fitr
  • 1 Sep Independence Day
  • 1 Sep Eid al-Adha
  • 1 Oct Day of Teachers and Instructors
  • 8 Dec Constitution Day

Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Uzbekistan go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/uzbekistan/public-holidays

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Purchasing local souvenirs, Uzbekistan

Top responsible travel tips for Uzbekistan

  1. Be considerate of Uzbekistan’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
  2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
  3.  For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
  4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
  5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
  6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
  7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
  8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
  9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
  10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.