Barak Khan Madrasa, Khast Imam, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

15 Things To Do In Tashkent + Tashkent Travel Guide

Updated April 2020, 15 Things To Do In Tashkent + Tashkent Travel Guide was originally written in January 2020

Tashkent gets skipped over by many visitors to Uzbekistan for it’s more glamourous Silk Road cities of SamarkandBukhara, and Khiva, but Tashkent actually has quite a bit to offer. If you’re flying into the country, you’ll likely arrive in Tashkent, so why not allow for a couple of days to explore the Uzbek capital?

In this Tashkent travel guide, you’ll find everything to plan your Tashkent visit from the best things to do in Tashkent, where to stay, Tashkent’s best restaurants, day trips, and more. For more ideas to help you plan the perfect trip to Uzbekistan, I recommend purchasing a copy of the Bradt Uzbekistan guidebook.

Inside Abdulla Qodiri Station

Start planning here: The Uzbekistan Travel Guide


How Long To Visit Tashkent?

How long you choose to visit Tashkent, of course, will greatly depend on your interests. I’d say for most travelers two days is probably enough time to hit the highlights in Tashkent, though on my most recent visit to Tashkent in 2019 I had three days there and could have easily spent double that. With that said I wanted to visit and photograph every Tashkent metro station (there’s 29) and see a number of sites (many were revisits), so much more than 2-3 days I think would be overkill for most travelers on limited time in Uzbekistan.

The Best Time To Visit Tashkent

Like much the rest of Uzbekistan, it’s boiling hot in the summer and can be quite chilly in winters. The best months to visit Tashkent with the most comfortable weather are April, May, September, and October. Unfortunately, those months are the most popular for this reason so prices are a bit higher and good-priced and quality accommodations can book up fast.

Shoulder months such as March and November can be good months to opt for to get fewer crowds and a bit more of a bargain, though plan to bundle up, especially in the evenings.


Need help planning you itinerary? Check out my two week Uzbekistan itinerary


Things To Do In Tashkent

Bunyodkor, Bunyodkor Station, Xalqlar Dostligi, Tashkent Metro, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Ozbekiston, Central, Asia, metro, subway, Uzbekistan metro, Uzbekistan metro

Take A Ride On The Tashkent Metro

Tashkent Metro is among the most beautiful and ornately designed metro systems in the world. Starting in 2018 the Tashkent Metro was declassified as a military installation so photography is finally allowed in the Tashkent underground. So not only is the Tashkent Metro a cheap and fast way to zip between the sites on this list, but it’s also a sight to behold all itself (and thus making it pretty much my favorite things to do in Tashkent!).


The Tashkent Metro In Photos & Travel Guide


Mustaqillik Maydoni (Independence Square)

The square is a great place to plop down for a rest between sites in Tashkent and a great place to meet friendly locals. Situated around the square are the Senate Building, Romanov Palace, Crying Mother Monument, and the 1966 Earthquake Memorial.

Metro stop: Mustaqillik Maydoni

Plov Center, Central Asian plov center, Tashkent plov, plov, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia
Plov Center, Central Asian plov center, Tashkent plov, plov, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Central Asian Plov Center

Head over at about lunchtime to see the Plov Center in action, in the covered outdoor area watch cooks fry up plov in front of a line of hungry onlookers armed with bowls from home and even trash bags to carry off plov to-go in. Home to the world’s largest qazan, the metal pan plov is fried up in. Once your done drooling over plov being cooked up in front of you, head over to the dining hall where you can put in an order and enjoy a bowl of plov.

Metro stop: Bodomzor or Shahriston


Tashkent? A foodie destination? Yes! Check out my Best Restaurants in Tashkent Guide


Hotel Uzbekistan, Amir Timur Square, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Hotel Uzbekistan

The massive Hotel Uzbekistan is a Soviet fixture, looming over Amir Timur Square. Even if you’re not staying in the communist-era monstrosity, head in and have a drink at the bar.

Metro stop: Amir Timur Hiyobuni or Yunus Rajabiy

Barak Khan Madrasa, Khast Imam, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Khast Imam Complex, Abu Bakr Kaffal Shoshi Mausoleum, & Barak Khan Madrasa

Among my favorite things to do in Tashkent is visit the Khast Imom Complex, the official religious center of Tashkent that it comprised of the Hazrati Imom Mosque, Moyie Mubarek Library Museum, and the sprawling Khast Imom Square. Try to visit early to avoid the massive tour bus groups.

On the same grounds, you’ll also find the Abu Bakr Kaffal Shoshi Mausoleum dedicated to the Shaybanid era poet and scholar, and the souvenir-shop filled Barak Khan Madrasa. The Moyie Mubarek Library Museum houses (allegedly) the world’s oldest Uthman Quran, which dates back to the 7th century.

Metro stop: Gafur Gulom


Want to see more grand Silk Road architecture? Check out the Samarkand Travel Guide


Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Chorsu, Tashkent Bazaar, Bazaar

Chorsu Bazaar

The frenetic and bustling core of Chorsu Bazaar is covered by a Soviet-era blue dome, but the bazaar sprawls out from underneath it and feels almost like a city of its own. If you’re on the hunt for literally anything, this is the place you’ll likely find it.

Metro stop: Chorsu

International Islamic University & Sheik Khantaur Complex

The Islamic university has an impressive facade that faces out toward Abdullah Qodiri Street, with three 15th century mausoleums to Yunus Khan, Tole Bi, and Sheikh Hovendi Takhur.

Metro stop: Alisher Navoi or Pakhtakor

Minor Mosque, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Minor, White Mosque, white mosque Tashkent, Minor Mosque Tashkent, Tashkent mosque

Minor Mosque

Minor Mosque is a new addition to Tashkent, built in 2016, but the large mosque complex is quite unique being decorated in blinding white marble.

Metro stop: Bodomzor or Minor

Taskhent Tower, Tashkent TV tower, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Tashkent Tower

This monstrosity is the tallest structure in all of Central Asia at 395 meters. The TV tower itself, in my opinion, isn’t really worth the 120,000 UZS admission fee to go up in, but you can easily admire it from a distance. The Tashkent Tower is located very close to the Central Asian Plov Center.

Metro stop: Bodomzor or Shahriston

Olay Bazaar, Olay, Alai Bazaar, Alai, Bazaar, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia
Olay Bazaar, Olay, Alai Bazaar, Alai, Bazaar, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Oloy Bazaar

Oloy Bazaar is a bit pricier, but far more chill than Chorsu Bazaar. The bazaar has a modern look to it, but it’s argued whether the bazaar originated in the 12th century or the 17th century.

If you wanna grab a bite to eat while shopping at Oloy Bazaar, I recommend heading toward the back and grabbing a plate of lagman at Injis Restaurant (it’s probably the best lagman I’ve had in Tashkent, and I do love my lagman, so you should trust me).

Metro stop: Abdulla Qodiri

Kulkadesh Madrasa & Joma Mosque

Kulkadesh Madrasa and Joma Mosque sit side by side atop a hill overlooking Chorsu Bazaar. Entrance to Kulkadesh Madrasa is 10,000 UZS.

Metro stop: Chorsu

Navoi Theatre

Most evenings the theatre puts on a show, which can be a great way to spend one of your evenings in the city. Tickets typically fall in the 10,000-100,000 UZS price range depending on the seat but make sure to get there early to wander the halls and foyers to appreciate the architecture. You can find a listing of upcoming performances here.

Metro stop: Mustaqillik Maydoni or Kosmonavtlar


Plan a perfect two week Uzbekistan & Tajikistan itinerary


Cathedral of Assumption Tashkent, Tashkent church, Tashkent orthodox church, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Cathedral of Assumption

The gold-domed Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin is a Russian Orthodox cathedral originally built in 1871. On the opposite corner of Nukus and Avliyuta Ko’chasi you’ll find the Mirobad Bazaar. The neighborhood off of Nukus and Oybek Ko’chasi still has some good Soviet apartment blocks that still have Soviet style mosaics on display (many of the old apartment blocks are being updated and mosaics disappearing).

Metro top: Tashkent or Oybek

Amir Timur Maydoni, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Amir Timur Square, Timur, Amir Timur, Timur Square Tashkent, Amir Timur Square Tashkent

Amir Timur Maydoni (Amir Timur Square)

Amir Timur Maydoni feels like the center of Tashkent with the streets of the city spiderwebbing out from it. You’ll find the Amir Timur Statue at the center of the square, but also around it, you’ll find the Amir Timur Museum, the Dom Forum, the House of Photography, and Hotel Uzbekistan.

Metro stop: Amir Timur Hiyobuni or Yunus Rajabiy

Tashkent Museums

State Museum of the History of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Tashkent museum

State Museum of the History of Uzbekistan

Even if you’re not a history buff, the State Museum of the History of Uzbekistan is definitely worth a stop for anyone looking to learn a little about the history of Uzbekistan from the days of Turkestan to present day. Admission is 10,000 UZS, cameras are an additional 25,000 UZS.

Metro stop: Mustaqillik Maydoni

Art Gallery of Uzbekistan

The Art Gallery of Uzbekistan houses a combination of the rotating international exhibits and permanent exhibits displaying Uzbek contemporary artists’ works.

Metro stop: Mustaqillik Maydoni

Amir Timur Museum, Amir Timur, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Amir Timur Museum

The Amir Timur Museum houses displays that explain the history of the Timirid Empire. The museum opened in 1996, the year the late president Islom Karimov declared ” the year of Amir Timur”. Admission is 15,000 UZS, and an additional 30,000 to take photos.

Metro stop: Amir Timur Hiyabuni or Yunus Rajabiy

Railway Museum

The Railway Museum displays a collection of Soviet locomotives that were in use from the 1930s-1950s. Admission is 25,000 UZS.

Metro stop: Toshkent

State Fine Arts Museum

The State Fine Arts Museum of Uzbekistan houses artwork that spans over 1,500 years of history. The highlight (at least I think) is the Uzbek Applied Arts section which showcases carvings and suzanis (an embroidered tapestry). Admission is 10,000 UZS, and cameras are an additional 50,000 UZS.

Metro stop: Oybek or Ming Orik

Museum of Applied Arts, Museum of Applied Arts Tashkent, Museum of Applied Arts Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia
Museum of Applied Arts, Museum of Applied Arts Tashkent, Museum of Applied Arts Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Museum of Applied Arts

The Museum of Applied Arts is housed within the former home of Russian diplomat Alexander Polovtsev, who collected Uzbek handicrafts inside his mansion decorated in grand Uzbek style. It’s quite colorful and a great introduction to Uzbek decorative styles and architecture. Admission is 21,000 UZS for admission + camera.

Metro stop: Kosmonavtlar


Check out the Bukhara Travel Guide & Khiva Travel Guide to plan further travels


Museum of the Victims of Political Repression

Located just across Amir Timur Ko’chasi from the Central Asian Plov Center and the Tashkent Tower, the Museum of the Victims of Political Repression pays tribute to those repressed and killed by the government as well as the history of the country when Uzbekistan was under control of the Soviet Union

Metro stop: Bodomzor or Shahriston

How To Travel To Tashkent

By Flight: Tashkent is easily reached by air with Uzbekistan Airways, Aeroflot, Ural Airlines, Air Manas, Air Astana, Turkish Airlines and several more airlines offering services to the city. Uzbekistan Airways, of course, offers the most routes including several throughout Central Asia, Europe, East Asia, the Middle East and even a new direct flight to New York City.

By Shared Taxi: Tashkent is easily reached by shared taxi and marshrutka from just about any city or town in Uzbekistan. International connections include Shymkent, Kazakhstan; Osh, Kyrgyzstan; and Khujand, Tajikistan, but do expect to have to change to a different vehicle on the other side of the border.

By Train: Major cities in Uzbekistan such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Urgench, Termez, Nukus and more are all connected by rail as well as international destinations in Kazakhstan, Russia. You can book tickets within Uzbekistan here, but do note that many have difficulty booking online with the Uzbek Railways site (I gave up when I was there in October and just took a shared taxi). You’ll typically want to book at least a couple of days in advance, so if the site isn’t working for you ask a local (many times your guesthouse can lend a hand) to book a ticket for you and pay them in cash.

Where To Stay In Tashkent

Budget

Top Hostel
Booking.com | Agoda.com |

Midrange

Art Eco Hotel
Booking.com | Hotels.com |

The Rooms Boutique Stay
Agoda.com |

Splurge

Ichan Qala Hotel
Booking.com | Hotels.com |

Best Restaurants In Tashkent

Another of my favorite things to do in Tashkent is to gorge out on great food. Here are a few of my recs for best Uzbek, general Central Asian, and international fare. For more info, you can also check out my Best Restaurants in Tashkent Guide.

Uzbek Cuisine

Injis, Injis restaurant, Injis Tashkent, Olay, Olay Bazaar, Alay, Alai Bazaar, Bazaar, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Injis Restaurant

Located in the back of Oloy Bazaar, Injis offers up a pretty good lagman. Expect to pay 25,000 UZS for a lagman, non and chai.

Metro stop: Abdulla Qodiri

Central Asian Plov Center

Heralding itself for frying up the best plov in Central Asia (debatable, but also I’m not a plov fanatic), the Central Asian Plov Center is still a must-see if not just for viewing the giant qazans full of plov in the entrance. A bowl of plov, salad, a slice of qazi (house sausage), and a glass of compote (juice) will cost you about 32,000 UZS. The plov isn’t half bad either.

Metro stop: Bodomzor or Shahriston

Afsona, Afsona Tashkent, samsa, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Afsona

Afsona is a popular restaurant, so I’d recommend making a reservation in advance if traveling in the peak seasons. Afsona cooks up delicious modern and contemporary twists on classic Uzbek and Central Asian favorites (think Central Asian dishes with flavor). A plate of lagman, salad, pumpkin samsa, and chai set me back 80,000 UZS.

Metro stop: Oybek or Ming Orik

Navat

Navat is a Central Asia chain that has sprung up in other major cities such as Almaty and Bishkek. Navat offers modern twists on many traditional Central Asian dishes. You can expect to pay about 100,000 UZS for a meal, appetizers, and drink.

Metro stop: Mustaqillik Maydoni

International Cuisine

Khinkali, Gruzinkski Dvorik, Georgian food, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Gruzinski Dvorik

Gruzinski Dvorik offers up delicious Georgian dishes for those looking for a break from Central Asian food that has been on the road in the region for a good while, but do note the prices are fairly expensive for Uzbekistan (but still worth it to me). The fried Sulguni, Badrijani Nigvzit (eggplant rolls stuffed with garlic, pomegranate, and walnut), and khinkali are great items on the menu. Don’t forget to pair dinner with Georgian wine. This scattering of dishes with a glass of wine will cost you about 170,000 UZS.

Metro stop: Oybek or Ming Orik

Cafe 1991, Cafe 1991 Tashkent, Lebanese Food Tashkent, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Cafe 1991

Cafe 1991 serves up Lebanese as well as other dishes from the greater Middle East and Central Asia. This is a good option for vegetarians, but prices are a bit expensive for the region. Expect to pay around 100,000 UZS for a spread of mezze type dishes.

Metro stop: Amir Timur Hiyobuni or Yunus Rajabiy

bulani, Afghan Pudding Tashkent, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Afghan Pudding

Most people seem to call in orders and pick up, but Afghan Pudding does give the option of dining in. If you’re looking for bulani, Qabuli palau, kebab, doogh or other delicious Afghan dishes this is a good place to head. Expect a dish an drink to set you back about 30,000 UZS.

Metro stop: Minor

Shalimar Restaurant

If you’re looking for delicious Pakistani food or some food with a kick of spice this is a great place to go. The jalfrezi curry and the tikka masala are good bets, and don’t forget an order of paratha too. A curry, bread, and chai should cost about 50,000 UZS.

Metro stop: Amir Timur Hiyobuni or Yunus Rajabiy

Coffee

B&B Coffeehouse

On Shota Rustaveli Ko’chasi this western-style coffee shop offers up decent coffee and snacks. Definitely try the french toast. A coffee and snack or pastry will cost around 35,000 UZS.

Metro stop: Oybek or Ming Orik

Black bear Kofi, samsa, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Blackbear Kofi

Blackbear Kofi is a local chain, one of which is located right on Shota Rustaveli Ko’chasi (just a couple minutes walk from the Rooms Stay Boutique Hotel that I like to stay in) offers up good espresso and coffee as well as pastries. A flat white and a samsa set me back 25,000 UZS.

Metro stop: Oybek or Ming Orik

Cheap Eats

Chorsu, Chorsu Bazaar, Bazaar, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Ovqat Bozori at Chorsu Bazaar

Outside the colorful blue domes of the Chorsu Bazaar, you’ll find an alley lined with men and women in stalls draped with a strip of the famous Uzbek ikat fabric selling cheap Central Asian dishes such as plov, shashlik, naryn/beshbarmek and more.

Metro stop: Chorsu

Master Food

Master Food offers up cheap fast food, think hamburgers, döner kabab, lavash, etc. This place is packed with locals in the evenings and is located right next to the roundabout on Shota Rustaveli Ko’chasi, out front of the Grand Mir Hotel.

Metro stop: Oybek or Ming Orik

National Food

National Food is located next to the old circus on Sabzar Ko’chasi and dishes up several Uzbek and Central Asian staples, such as plov, naryn, dimlama, and more.

Metro stop: Gafur Gulom

Tashkent Tours

There are a handful of tours on offer around Tashkent including this full day walking tour of the city, and this night tour of Tashkent. Shop all the tours on offer in Tashkent as well as the rest of Uzbekistan here on Viator.

Things To Do Outside Tashkent: Tashkent Day Trips

Kamchik, Kamchik Pass, Uzbekistan

Ugam Chatkal National Park

Ugam Chatkal National Park is located in the Chimgan Mountains, a portion of the Western Tien Shan that Uzbekistan shares with Kyrgyzstan. The national park is only about an hour’s drive from Tashkent. This is the best place to head if you’re in Tashkent and want to get out into nature, whether it be a day trip to the mountains or a multi-day trek.

Not to worry if you don’t want to figure out the logistics of visiting on your own, you can book this day trip to Chimgan, or this 3 day trekking tour.

Chimgan, as well as nearby Beldersay, are great places to head if you’re visiting in the winter and want to get in some skiing.


Wanna get off the beaten path in your Uzbekistan travels? Check out the Karakalpakstan Travel Guide


Have Any Questions About This Tashkent Travel Guide Or About Any Of The Things To Do In Tashkent Mentioned?

Ask your Tashkent travel questions in the comments section below.

Need Travel Insurance for Uzbekistan?

Start shopping plans over at battleface, my go-to travel insurance choice, or over at World Nomads.

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