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The region’s cradle of culture for more than two millennia, Uzbekistan is the proud home to a spellbinding arsenal of architecture and ancient cities, all deeply infused with the bloody, fascinating history of the Silk Road. In terms of sights alone, Uzbekistan is Central Asia’s biggest draw and most impressive showstopper.

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Travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a “multi-trip” policy can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame. Some policies offer lower and higher medical-expense options; the higher ones are chiefly for countries that have high medical costs, such as the United States.

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Visa Questions

1. Passports and Visas: what is required?

To enter Uzbekistan, visitors should have a visa (except the 16 countries for which there is a visa-free regime). In order to receive a visa, you should apply for visa support (letter of invitation) from a tour agency that has a license from Uzbektourism. There are 51 countries with a simplified visa application procedure, meaning that they do not need visa support in order to apply for a visa. For more information about applying for an Uzbek visa, click here.

2. Can I obtain visa on arrival at Tashkent International Airport?

It is possible to obtain a visa at the international arrivals lounge of Tashkent International Airport, if both of the following conditions are met: There is no Uzbekistan Embassy or Consulate in the country, where you are originating your flight to Uzbekistan. Connecting flight to Uzbekistan, in the country where Uzbekistan Embassy or Consulate exists, does not provide enough time to obtain a visa.

3. What is a letter of invitation (LOI)?

A Letter of Invitation (LOI or Visa Support Letter) is a written document in support of a person seeking a visa to enter a foreign country. LOI for tourists visas are issued by travel agencies and approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Tour agency submits a visa application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ministry reviews the application, reserving the right to deny any application without providing explanations. Approved visa support is telexed directly to the Embassy or Consulate in the country where you intend to obtain your visa. However, this cannot guarantee visa issuance at the Embassy.

4. What is a consular fee?

Consular fee – money charged by consulate or embassy to issue a visa.

5. What is a group visa?

Group visa is a visa issued for a group. A group is defined as five or more applicants traveling to the same location for the same purpose.

Before Arrival

1. What is the weather like in Uzbekistan and what time is the best to travel?

Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) are generally the most pleasant time to travel. The weather at this time is clear, in April you will enjoy colorful yet short spring in deserts. Autumn is harvest time, and the markets are full of fresh fruit. For those who enjoy hiking, June and August is the best time, because of dry summer.
In winter temperature usually varies between -5 and +5 (all temperatures are in Celsius), snow is usual for Uzbekistan, but there are more sunny than cloudy days. Coats, hats, gloves, sweaters are recommended. In spring the weather is mild, day temperature fluctuates between +15 and +25, reaching +30 – +35 close to summer. Casual, lightweight clothing for daytime and light jacket, cardigan for the evening are suggested. If you are planning to visit Uzbekistan in summer, expect +36 – + 42. T-shirts and shorts will work the best. It is highly recommended to wear a hat, a cap or to use parasol.
Early autumn is like spring, T-shirts for daytime and light jacket might be need occasionally for evening time. Mid-October and November are rather cool, you will need light jackets during the daytime and raincoat sometimes. From early till late autumn weather temperature decreases from 35 till 15 degrees.

2. Do women have clothing limitations?

Generally, there are no strict limitations on clothing, especially in Tashkent and other major cities, where particularly young people enjoy full liberty with clothing. You can frequently encounter young ladies wearing traditional Islamic covers, but this is a personal preference rather than a must.
In some provinces, however, such as Ferghana Valley, it would be better to avoid wearing shorts. Same rule is applied when visiting religious places, mosques, mausoleums, etc. Also, ladies should cover their shoulders and chest and preferably wear a hat or a headscarf.
In summer time it would be advisable to follow the above recommendation to protect yourself from the sun. Also, sun protection lotions can be used.

3. Do I need any vaccination?

No, there are no any prerequisites for vaccination for travelers.

4. Is it allowed to import personal medication to Uzbekistan?

Yes, however there is a row of limitations. Some pain relieving, sedative and sleeping drugs are forbidden or their import is limited. There are medications that can be imported with the prescription; for medications that do not require the prescription limitations on quantity apply. More information on importing medication to Uzbekistan is available here.

5. Can we bring drones to Uzbekistan?

Yes

6. Can I bring alcoholic beverage to Uzbekistan?

Entering Uzbekistan, you can bring alcoholic beverages up to two bottles per person.
Important: For citizens flying from Uzbekistan to the EU, there is a limitation on the number of exported liquids in hand luggage: the volume of containers that contain liquids (alcohol, lotions, perfumes, etc.) should not exceed 100 ml, and the total liquid volume should not be over one liter.

7. Why don't you offer international flights with your tours?

We believe that offering a tour without the flight gives you several advantages. You are able to look around for the best deals on offer, probably saving yourself a lot of money. Also you have far greater flexibility in deciding which airline you might prefer to book with, where you want to come from, or where you might want to stop off en-route. But we provide support for booking online tickets, you can book any ticket with our assistance. As well as these, many people join our tours when they are already in the country, removing the need for a flight altogether.

8. I like your tours but would like to do it a little differently. Do you make tailor-made tours?

If you have a group that is interested in adventure travel, which is associated with the activities or places with which we work, please contact us we will try to provide you exactly what’s looking for. We will gladly help you with this issue, as many tours that we made for customers has given us new ideas for tours to run permanently.

9. I'm really interested in one of your packages; I'm just not sure whether I'm fit enough or if it's right for me?

Each of our tours is graded, allowing you to define prior to booking a place whether is suitable for you. You should be fairly confident that you match our criteria for taking part in that particular activity.

10. Upon arrival in Uzbekistan, we were asked to fill out two copies of the customs declaration form. Why do we need to fill out 2 copies? Why were customs representatives interested in how much money we were bringing with us?

According to the customs legislation of Uzbekistan, upon arrival in Uzbekistan you must fill out a customs declaration form in two copies. You should indicate all the cash and other valuable items imported into Uzbekistan. But as of 1 January 2018, green corridors are working at international airports in Uzbekistan. You can exit the airport through the green corridor if you are carrying less than 2000 USD cash or its equivalent and do not have valuable items subject to mandatory declaration. In 2021, the green corridors will be introduced at all land border points in Uzbekistan.
If you completed the declaration while crossing the border, keep the copy with the stamp of the customs authority with you until departure. In the case that you lose the customs declaration you filled out on arrival, you will not be able to take any cash out of Uzbekistan. At departure, the customs officer will ask you to fill out a new declaration and provide the copy you have filled out on arrival. You cannot take out more cash than you have brought in the country. You may also be asked to show all the cash and valuable items at the customs checkpoint. If the tourist has more cash than was indicated in the declaration on arrival, the money will have to be left in Uzbekistan: the tourist will be asked to leave the exceeding amount to friends or the travel agency, otherwise the money will be confiscated.

11. What is the maximum cash that we can bring into Uzbekistan?

You may import into Uzbekistan foreign currency without any limitations. If you are bringing in from 2000 up to 5000 USD or its equivalent, you need to fill the Custom Declaration form. If the amount exceeds 5 000 USD (or its equivalent), you need to fill another certificate called TC-28.

After Arrival

1. What if something goes wrong during the tour?

We’ll be there for you. Our travel consultants team is available 24/7 by phone or email in case you need anything during the tour. You will also have the contact information of a local representative in your destination city who is on call in case anything comes up and can be there to help you.

2. Will I be able to find a Laundromat?

Laundromats are not usual practice in Uzbekistan. Hotels usually offer such services for extra charge.

3. Is it safe to drink tap water?

Drinking tap water is not recommended but you can use boiled water. Bottled water can be bought throughout the country.

4. Can I take alcoholic drinks?

In Uzbekistan it is not forbidden to take, sell and deliver alcoholic beverages.

5. What kind of restaurants, cafes you can recommend? And how much does a lunch for two cost?

In Uzbekistan cities there are a lot of private restaurants to suit every taste. Almost every street has a chaykhana (cafe) or a bakery. Average lunch costs from $4 and upwards, depending on what you order and where. Below there is a list of restaurants, food quality and service level of which, according to our experience, are most suited to tastes of tourists.
In Tashkent we can offer your such restaurants as Jumanji, Manas, City Grill, Afsona, Caravan, Italiano Vero.
In Samarkand: Astoria, Dastarkhan, Karimbek, Platan, Registan cafe, Old Arba, Zlata Praga
In Bukhara: Bella Italia, Doston-Khauz, Caravan, Olmos, Suzanne Art in the house-museum of Fayzulla Khodjaev.
In Khiva: Khorezm Art cafe in the Alakulikhan Madrassah, Asia Khiva Hotel’s restaurant, cafe of Zarafshan-opa, Malika Kheivak Hotel’s restaurant, National house Zaynab, Malika Khiva Hotel’s restaurant.

6. Is there vegetarian food in Uzbekistan?

Vegetarians have to order specially prepared food, as there is usually no vegetarian food available. There is a wide range of fresh vegetables and fruits in local markets.

7. Is there coffee in Uzbekistan?

Unlike tea, coffee is not a popular drink among the Uzbeks. In some areas it is very difficult to get coffee. Rare hotels offer French coffee, instead instant coffee offered.

8. Can I pay by a credit card?

In some places, it is possible to pay by credit cards. Master Card and Visa are accepted.

9. Is it possible to exchange sums to dollars (at departure)?

Currency exchange offices of the country provide exchange operations of sums to dollars before departuring from Uzbekistan, on conditions that tourist preserve a document, given by bank, which indicated primary currency exchange of dollars to sums (or any other currency). However, it is worth considering that exchange offices may not have the currency you need.

10. At what time usually sightseeing tours start?

Regular start time is 09.00. Upon your request a tour can be started earlier or later.

11. What mobile operators are working in Uzbekistan?

In Uzbekistan there are following mobile operators:

Ucell (trade mark of JV LLC “Coscom”)
Beeline-Uzbekistan (VimpelCom Ltd. Group)
Perfectum Mobile
UzMobile
Universal Mobile Systems

12. Can foreign citizens become subscribers of cellular operators in Uzbekistan?

Foreign citizens can become subscribers of any cellular company operating in Uzbekistan.

13. Do I need to pay anything when crossing the borders?

There are no fees to pay when you enter or depart Uzbekistan. But you might have taxi expenses while crossing Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan borders (Dashoguz and Farap on Turkmenistan side, Shavat and Alat on Uzbekistan side) where transport is available most of the times. You are advised to bring clean, unmarked, untorn small USD bills printed in 2006 or later as cards and Euros are not accepted at the land borders.

14. How much to tip?

Tourists may wish to express their appreciation, a reward for extra service to the porters, waiters, drivers and guides. The degree of appreciation may vary, and our policy is to leave this to your discretion. This is usually given individually at the end of the tour/service.
In Uzbekistan tipping is not compulsory or expected, however, tips can be given optionally if service is particularly good.
Restaurants/ Cafes/ Bars: most of them automatically apply 10-15% service surcharge to the customer’s bill. No additional tipping is needed, however it is appreciated. There are few tourist orientated restaurants that do not charge for the service. There 15-20% tipping would be expected. If the restaurant/café doesn’t have an extra service charge, it usually will be shown on a menu, as charge the service is rather by default.
Hotels: service charge is always included, but bell-boys may expect a small gratuity.
Drivers and guides: tips for drivers and guides services express your appreciation or a reward for extra service and always at your discretion. It is usually given at the end of the tour/service.

15. Do you provide city maps?

We provide Uzbekistan map with detailed city maps of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. However, we advise to download to your mobile phone offline map of cities you plan to visit. The following offline applications can be useful: maps.google, maps.me

Transportation questions

1. Can I get from Bukhara to Khiva by the train? Which cities are connected by railways?

No, you can not. At present, the rail service between Bukhara and Urgench (30 km from Khiva) is not carried out.

2. What is the difference between coupe-classes in overnight trains?

Uzbekistan overnight trains have three classes: Lux class coupe for 2 persons, 1st class coupe for 4 persons, and platscart class, but we do not recommend this class to travel by. Generally, coupe-classes have additional amenities and better service level.

3. Can I purchase electronic train tickets? Can I purchase tickets in advance?

There are no electronic train tickets in Uzbekistan. You can book tickets online on the train, but you can buy them only within 30 days prior the trip.

4. What is the cost of public transport and taxi in the cities of Uzbekistan?

Tashkent is a modern city with an extensive public transport system and has a wide choice of vehicles. In addition to taxis, you can go by regular buses as well as by public minibuses, cost of which is 1200 soums per trip (less than 50 cents). Also there is a “Gazelle” shuttle bus. And, of course, the subway!
Tashkent subway has three lines and 29 stations. You can easily reach the other side of the city for 40 minutes by the subway.
In such cities as Samarkand and Bukhara, it is recommended to go by taxi, because the distance from one tourist object to another is small enough, and public transport is not as comfortable as in Tashkent.

The average taxi in the cities of Uzbekistan costs $5-10 per trip. To order a taxi is much more convenient, in this case there is a probability that a driver will speak a foreign language. However, along with taxi companies there are a lot of private taxis. The price difference between private taxis and official taxi services is about $2-3 per trip.

5. Is there a car rental service in Uzbekistan?

No, there is not. But in Uzbekistan, you can rent a car with a driver. Contact our manager to find out more.

General Questions

1. Who is tour-leader and what is difference in responsibilities from local guide?

Local guide provides historical, cultural and contemporary information, heritage interpretation to individual travelers and organized tour groups. Usually tour guides work in their home town and do not travel with the clients throughout the country. They typically work on a daily basis. Local guides have a recognized certificate.
Tour leader: A person who accompanies a tour group or individual travelers throughout the country or region, usually with a particular knowledge of the region. Their job entails providing commentary, routing the tour, timing the tour and looking after logistics like hotel check-ins, local flight check ins, reservations for attractions, making arrangements for meals. In some cases tour leaders also act as a tour guide and provide sightseeing tours in some places. Tour leaders have a recognized certificate.

2. What is the distance between the main tourist cities in Uzbekistan?

Below we give distances between the main tourist cities.
Cities -> Distance, km
Tashkent-Samarkand 315
Tashkent-Shakhrisabz 390
Tashkent-Fergana 315
Tashkent-Bukhara 575
Tashkent-Khiva 1015
Samarkand-Shakhrisabz 90
Samarkand-Bukhara 265
Samarkand-Fergana 560
Samarkand-Khiva 710
Bukhara-Khiva 445
Bukhara-Fergana 825

3. What is the voltage in Uzbekistan?

The voltage is 220 V. In order to use 110/120-Voltage devices in places where there is only a 220/240V power you need to use step-down voltage converter or a combination converter. Buying a converter, you need to proceed from your appliance’s wattage and circuitry.

4. What language do people speak?

The official language is Uzbek (Turkic origin), but the main part of population can speak Russian (Slavonic origin). In some areas (Samarkand, Bukhara) people also speak Tadjik (Persian origin). English is getting popular among young people. Excellent multilingual speaking guides and escorts are easily available throughout the country.

5. What is the Uzbek currency?

Uzbekistan’s official currency is Soum. Soums come in banknote denominations of 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10000 and 50000. Coins, although exist, are rarely used.

6. What are the Uzbekistan phone code and city codes?

Uzbekistan phone code is +998.

7. What is a single supplement?

Single supplement – surcharge added to the cost to solo travelers travelling in a group, when they take a room alone.

8. What is the difference between half board and full board?

Half board includes breakfast and either lunch OR dinner. Full board includes all three meals.

9. What is the difference between double and twin rooms?

Double room – a room shared by two people. It has one big bed (King-sized bed).Twin room – a room shared by two people. It has two single (separate) beds.

10. What is the difference between guest house and national house?

Guest house is a house run by local people who live at the same premises. It’s similar to a hostel, bed and breakfast, or inn. Guest house is a type of inexpensive hotel-like lodging. National house is a house where local people live and receive visitors for lunch and dinners. You can order a dish from local national cuisine and feel yourself like home there. Accommodation is usually not provided in national houses.

Uzbekistan TRAVEL GUIDE

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