Uzbekistan, glimpsing Tashkent

Overview: Tashkent, the Capital of Uzbekistan, has a long history of being one of the most prominent cities on the China to Europe silk road. Its origins date back to 2 BC. Given its more recent history and the political landscape, Uzbekistan has not generally been promoted as a must do location, but I do believe that is changing as it gears itself up to welcome visitors. There are many beautiful sights to see in Uzbekistan, such as the temples, bazaars, memorials, museums and parks.

Bandstand & parkland near Buyuk Turon Street

Entry: The good news is that from February 2019 British visitors with a UK passport (valid for at least 3 months) no longer require a visa for entry to Uzbekistan for up to 30 days. This was formerly a bit of a headache requiring a complex and time-consuming visa application process, particularly for business visitors. One word of caution is that importing medicines can be tricky and visitors should check the current rulings. For all up-to-date information and advice from the British Government click

Money: Currency is the Usbekistani Som. Pre-order currency before you travel – cash machines are quite rare, currency exchange a lengthy process, and only major hotels and restaurants tend to accept credit cards although the position is evolving all the time. For travel essentials such as eating and drinking in moderate outlets the costs are generally lower than the UK, e.g. less than £1.00 for a domestic beer (about 11,000 Uzbekistani Som!).

Stay: Its probably better to stay at one of the larger hotels, not least because they give the option of charging items to your account rather than requiring cash. Carrying 22,000 Som just for 2 beers requires a decent size bag! We stayed at the centrally situated Lotte City Hotel on 56 Buyuk Turon Street, costs around £130 a night:

Cotton blossom fountain in front of the Navoi opera house,
Bukhara Street, do attend a performance, the tickets are extremely inexpensive, imagine seeing an opera in many other cities across the world for about £4!

Visit: Independence Square on Mustakillik street, a vast open space complete with memorials, fountains, seating areas:

Garden at Independence Square
Eternal Flame Memorial, Independence Square, Tashkent

The Eternal Flame monument, poignantly reflective of the terrors of war, depicts a distraught mother whose son has not returned from war.

This poignant memorial corridor houses inscriptions to the right, listing the names of some 400,000 Uzbekistanis who lost their lives defending their country during World War 2.
Metallic Storks high on the Independence arch in Independence Square, Tashkent

The huge golden globe on this massive pedestal represents Uzbekistan’s independence
Fountains walkway, leading to the Ministerial Cabinet in the Background, Tashkent, look out for the illuminated water displays at night
This grand building with its intricate and imposing mosaic columns is actually a restaurant, Tanovar Restaurant, 111, Mashhad Street.
This is no grand hotel – this chandelier decked spectacle is an underground metro station no less!

The imposing Madrassah Kukeldash medieval Temple near the Chorsu Metro station dates to the 1570’s:

Madrassah Kukeldash Temple, Tashkent

Madrassah Kukeldash Temple, Tashkent

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