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.
Capital city: Tashkent
Population: 31 Million
Currency: Uzbekistan som (UZS)
Time zone: (GMT+05:00) Tashkent
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin) Type I (Australian/New Zealand & Chinese/Argentine 2/3-pin)
Dialling code: +998
Local culture of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s population is mostly made up of ethnic Uzbeks which are a Turkic group, but there are also significant minorities of Russians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Karakalpaks and Tartars. Almost 90% of the populace is Muslim, but there are also Orthodox Christians, Buddhists and Jews living within the country. Like their fellow Central Asians, Uzbeks are famously welcoming. It’s customary to greet people with handshakes, and considered polite to ask several questions about the person’s family and health – without necessarily waiting for answers.
Shopping in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s bazaars are a shopper’s paradise. Here, haggling is not just a way of life, it’s also a good laugh. The Tashkent markets, particularly the Chorsu Bazaar, are great for uncovering bargains. Other local souvenirs include pale and intricately patterned pottery, vivid clothing and rugs, and jewellery made with traditional silver. The Bukhara bazaar is perhaps the most photogenic, with its rows of fresh produce and smiling locals.
Food and drinks in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan tours are a great time to taste the local cooking and take a few tips back with you. A typical meal might consist of dishes like palov, which is rice mixed with onions, carrot and meat, or mutton cooked in a tandir oven. Uzbeks also eat dumplings called manti and a local variety of kebabs. Enjoy your Uzbek cuisine with some traditional green or black tea, or some drinking yogurt known as ayran. Although Uzbekistan is a largely Muslim country, it’s also a secular, meaning you can enjoy locals wines produced in the region.