Is Tashkent Worth Visiting? An Honest Take

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Is Tashkent worth visiting?

You’re probably here because you’re curious about Tashkent, a city that’s slowly but surely making its way onto the radar of adventurous travellers.

Tashkent as a Springboard

Tashkent also serves as a springboard to the rest of Uzbekistan—a land steeped in Silk Road lore, inspiring landscapes, and rich cultural experiences.

While Tashkent is definitely worth a stop to explore, it doesn’t demand as much time as the culturally rich cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. The city has a more modern vibe and isn’t as steeped in history.

As most international flights arrive in Tashkent, it’s the perfect place to use as a base for starting your travels in the country and there are many tours which run from Tashkent.

Why Tashkent is Worth Visiting

This city is a captivating blend of ancient and modern, where bustling bazaars and tranquil mosques contrast sharply with Soviet Modernist architecture. It’s a place where East meets West, offering a distinct experience that sets it apart.

Uzbek-mural in Tashkent metro
Uzbek mural discovered in one of Tashkent’s underground metro ©Lifejourney4two

With extensive travel experience that spans Uzbekistan’s main historic cities and similar off-the-beaten-path destinations, we’re well-positioned to guide you through Tashkent’s highlights.

Our interactions with locals and deep dives into the city’s history are all firsthand experiences that we’re eager to share. For those planning an extended trip, our comprehensive Uzbekistan itinerary is a useful resource based on our own travels.

Tashkent metro ©Lifejourney4two

So, if you’re an adventurous spirit craving a mix of cultural richness and hidden landmarks, Tashkent is a city that should be on your list.

In this guide, we’re spilling the beans on must-visit spots, practical tips, and personal insights to make your Tashkent adventure unforgettable.

Tashkent has a colourful history that is reflected in modern-day life ©Lifejourney4two
The highly touted Uzbekistan chocolate, which we gave a thumbs up ©Lifejourney4two

Planning a Trip to Uzbekistan?

Map: Tashkent Places to Visit

Best Places to Visit in Tashkent.

Arriving in a new city can stir up a whirlwind of questions—what to see, how to get there, where to stay, and what to munch on.

We get it; we’ve been there. That’s why we’ve crafted this guide based on our own two-day exploration of Tashkent. We’ll tackle all those questions and sprinkle some insider tips to improve your trip.

Ready to dive in?

If you’re keen on a guided tour that offers value for money, we recommend this 5-star reviewed Tashkent City Tour. It’s a fantastic way to get a comprehensive view of the city, especially if you’re short on time.

If you prefer to venture out on your own, our Uzbekistan travel tips post offers some great advice on travelling in the country.

1. Discovering Tashkent’s Underground Art Gallery: The Metro.”

Ready for something different for your first stop? Let’s head to the vast underground world of Tashkent’s Metro for some subway hopping.

Tashkent-metro-entrance-also-the-bunker-entry-point,is Tashkent worth visiting
Metro underground entry doubled as a nuclear bunker entry point in past times ©Lifejourney4two
Metro car is clean and practical ©Lifejourney4two
Tashkent metro train at ‘Gafur Galum’ station ©Lifejourney4two

Between 1972 and 1977, the first of five lines, named Chilonzor, was completed. Each of the subway stations on each line is themed in its own colours and design, portraying a different aspect of the country’s ancestry.

Tributes to notable figures in the nation’s history are incorporated and include Uzbek composers, poets and writers.

Kosmonavtlar metro subway station on the Uzbekistan line, is Tashkent worth visiting
Kosmonavtlar’ metro subway station on the Uzbekistan line, dedicated to Cosmonauts ©Lifejourney4two
Kosmonavtlar metro mural_1, tashkent
Kosmonavtlar metro astronaut mural ©Lifejourney4two
Kosmonavtlar metro mural_2, tashkent
Kosmonavtlar metro has detailed murals ©Lifejourney4two
Kosmonavtlar metro mural_3, tashkent
Kosmonavtlar metro mural dedications to important persons in history ©Lifejourney4two

Between 1984 and 2001, two additional lines, O‘zbekiston and Yunusobod, were completed. This brought the total number of stations of the three lines to 29.

Alisher Navoi metro in Tashkent
Alisher Navoi’ metro station, underground Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two
Alisher Navoi metro mural ©Lifejourney4two
Alisher Navoi metro similar looking mural ©Lifejourney4two
Alisher Navoi metro mural ©Lifejourney4two

In 2020, a further 12 new underground and five above-ground stations were opened, bringing the total number of stations to 48. Underground construction has barely paused to catch its breath with an aggressive plan to reach a total of 74 stations by 2025.

Each station will be unique in its design and theme, with some stations benefiting from the addition of mini-libraries, food and drink kiosks, ATMs and limited Wi-Fi. 

Mustakillik maydoni metro Tashkent
Stunning facades of ‘Mustakillik Maydoni’ metro, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two

The plan is to keep a security guard presence at each platform, which is already in force at existing stations. The guards must be an effective deterrent as we didn’t see anyone committing any misdemeanours.

Maybe this is why the subways are without graffiti, which is a welcome sight.

Tashkent’s metro is open from 5 a.m. to midnight every day.

Uzbekiston metro station, Tashkent
Uzbekiston’ metro station, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two

Tashkent Metro Video

Check out this video of some of these amazing Tashkent underground Metro stations.

Tashkent Metro, Uzbekistan

The Tashkent metro stations make up a system of five subway lines:

  1. The red Chilonzor line runs south-west/north-east.
  2. The blue Uzbekistan line runs north-west/south-east.
  3. The green Yunusabad line runs north/south.
  4. The orange Sergeli line is an extension south of the Chilonzor line.
  5. The purple Usti Xalqa line is an extension south of the Uzbekistan line.
Tashkent underground Metro subway map, uzbekistan
Tashkent’s underground Metro showing its five subway lines as of Jan 2024
Gafur Gulom metro station, Tashkent
Gafur Gulom’ metro station, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two
Gafur Gulom metro station columns, Tashkent
Gafur Gulom’ metro station columns, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two

Tashkent Metro Costs

The cost to ride the subway is the meagre sum of 1400 SOM (0.12 USD). You buy a small plastic token that is used to pass a turnstile and enter the subway.

Turnstile tokens for metro access, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two
Metro turnstile access, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two

Now, as long as you don’t exit the subway to the streets above, you can legitimately ride from station to station. What a sensational way to visit the underground subway stations and the easiest way to get around Tashkent.

Yunus Rajabiy metro, Tashkent
Yunus Rajabiy’ metro, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two

We started on one line and then connected to a different Metro line, basically crisscrossing our way along these amazing underground spectacles.

Tinchlik metro, Tashkent
‘Tinchlik’ metro, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two

The subway station rarely gets busy for more than 10 minutes at a time, then quickly empties of people after a train departs. This gives you ample time to photograph the murals and gaze at the station’s beauty.

Shelley at ‘Paxtakor’ metro during peak hour ©Lifejourney4two
‘Amir Timur Xiyoboni’ metro, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two

2. A Peek Inside the Enigmatic Hotel Uzbekistan

A Time Capsule of Soviet Architecture

Step into Hotel Uzbekistan, and you’re stepping back in time. Built in 1974, this iconic structure is a living relic of Soviet 1970s modernist architecture. With 16 floors and 243 rooms, it’s like a towering museum that got a facelift in 2010.

💡Tip: If you’re an architecture buff, bring your camera. The exterior alone is a photographer’s dream.

Uzbekistan hotel front facade, Tashkent
Hotel Uzbekistan front facade, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two
Uzbekistan hotel, Tashkent.
The Hotel Uzbekistan’s interesting modernist architectural styling, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two

Our Curious Exploration

We couldn’t resist but take a little adventure inside. We hopped on and off the elevator at random floors, trying to soak in the ambience. While we couldn’t peek into the rooms—no, we weren’t guests—the hallways told their own story.

Inside the Uzbekistan Hotel, Tashkent
Inside the Hotel Uzbekistan, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two
Corridor in the Uzbekistan Hotel, Tashkent
Corridor in the Hotel Uzbekistan, Tashkent… I leave the rest to your imagination ©Lifejourney4two

What the Reviews Say

The guest reviews are a mixed bag. While some praise the classic furnishings, others are less impressed. It’s a place that polarises opinions, making it all the more intriguing.

💡Tip: Always read multiple reviews to get a balanced view. And if you’re up for an experience that’s more “unique” than “luxurious,” this might be your spot.

A Final Thought

Hotel Uzbekistan may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a fascinating slice of history worth at least a quick visit. Whether you’re staying overnight or just passing by, it’s a place that’ll leave you with something to talk about.

💡Tip: If you decide to stay, ask for a room with a view. The higher floors offer a panoramic look at Tashkent that you won’t want to miss.

Ⓜ️ Getting there: Both the Metro Red Line (Chilonzor) and Green Line (Yunusabad) share the Amir Temur Hiyoboni Station. You’ll need to get off here and make your way to the streets above. Within eye-sight and just a few hundred metres away is the Hotel Uzbekistan.

3. Shop at Chorsu Bazaar 

Chorsu Bazaar is the oldest bazaar in Uzbekistan, approximately one hundred years old.

This domed three-storey structure, roughly 300m in diameter, dedicates the two upper floors to stalls selling grain, bread, spices, fruit, meats, sweets and vegetables. The lowest floor is kept for storage.

Ⓜ️ Getting there: The closest Metro stop is easy to remember, Chorsu, and is located on the Blue ‘Uzbekistan’ Line. Departing the Chorsu subway station, it’s an easy 750m walk to Chorsu Bazaar.

Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent

For those seeking a souvenir, keep an eye out for the colourful sitting mattresses called kurpacha or the traditional chapan or quilted cloaks. There are other handicrafts and ceramics that are able to be bought.

4. Feast at the Plov Centre 

The Plov Centre, also known as the Central Asian Plov Centre, is the place to is the place to eat in Tashkent.

Tickle your taste buds with the Uzbek traditional lunchtime meal called Plov. This hearty dish typically consists of rice, meat and carrots cooked together.

Trust us, the Plov alone is a reason to hop on the next flight to Tashkent.

Ⓜ️ Getting there: The metro station closest to Central Asian Plov Center is Shahkriston on the Yunusabad line, about a one-kilometre walk away. Once on the street, head south towards the Tashkent TV tower; the Plov Centre is opposite.

Traditional 'Plov' dish
‘Plov’ – a traditional Uzbek rice-based dish ©Lifejourney4two

Every part of Uzbekistan has their version of Plov.

This staple dish not only features as a daily meal but is a reason for Uzbeks to come together and enjoy their national food. It’s not uncommon to see this popular dish served at weddings and special occasions where plov chefs (called osphaz) prepare massive plov dishes in huge wok-like dishes or kazans.

The Plov Centre is open every day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

5. Be Amazed at the Tashkent Museums 

With Tashkent being Uzbekistan’s cultural centre, it is no surprise that there are a host of interesting museums to visit. If you visit any of the state museums on the first Sunday of any month, then admission is free.

The best four state museums worth considering in Tashkent are all within close proximity of the other:

State Museum of History of Uzbekistan, Tashkent

The museum fund holds a huge number of exhibits, actually more than 250,000. This includes archeological coins, medals and cultural items reflecting Uzbek history. The State Museum of History of Uzbekistan was opened in 1876.

The museum is closed on a Monday and open each other day between 10 am and 5 pm.

State Museum of the Timurids

Opened in 2006, it was built to commemorate the 660th birthday of Amir Timur, the mighty conqueror of Central Asia and the first ruler of the Timurid dynasty. The museum’s blue dome is typical of the Central Asian Islamic architecture.

The museum interior houses paintings and manuscripts of the Timurid era and a 14th-century Syrian Quran.

The museum is closed on a Monday and open each other day between 10 am and 5 pm.

Amir Timur museum, Tashkent
Amir Timur Museum, Tashkent

The State Art Museum of Uzbekistan, Tashkent

The State Art Museum of Uzbekistan, formerly known as the Lenin Museum, was founded in 1918. Although the museum started out with a mere 100 works of art, including sculptures and paintings, this number has greatly increased over time.

The museum is closed on a Monday and open each other day between 9 am and 6 pm.

Museum of Applied Art of Uzbekistan, Tashkent

The Museum of Applied Art was founded in 1937 under a different name and guise. It was only in 1977 that it was formerly recognised as the Museum of Applied Art.

It houses over 7,000 pieces of art, including carpets, ceramics, textiles, woodwork, musical instruments, artwork and handicrafts.

The museum is open each day between 9 am and 6 pm.

6. Look for local Monuments

Tashkent has many architectural tributes to local artists and also dedications to its colourful past. Look around any of the local parks, and you’ll have the best chance of finding them.

Park architecture in Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two
Park statues and monuments in Tashkent
Park statues and monuments in Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two

Prefer a Guided Tour? Tashkent City Tour

If you’d prefer to take a guided tour of Tashkent – check out this Tashkent City Tour.

It includes all the major stops in Tashkent.

👉 Book or find out more about this jam-packed tour of Tashkent | ⏰ 7-9 hours | ⭐️ 5/5 Star Reviews

Tashkent City Tour Reviews

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “Definitely book this tour for a condensed and informative experience in Tashkent.” Jacinta Sept 2023

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “The tour was amazing.” — fitriandika_n, May 2023

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “Great tour! Great price, Wonderful guide!” — Frederick_B, Jun 2022

👉 Book or find out more about this jam-packed tour of Tashkent | ⏰ 7-9 hours | ⭐️ 5/5 Star Reviews

How to Get To Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Flights to Tashkent

By far, the largest percentage of international flights arriving in Uzbekistan do so at Tashkent’s Islam Karimov Tashkent International Airport.

Connecting with a domestic flight to Samarkand, Bukhara, or Khiva is easy from this airport.

Uzbekistan airways
Uzbekistan Airways – we flew both internationally and domestic legs with them – they were great ©Lifejourney4two

However, Tashkent is not the only international airport in this central Asian country. There are a total of six Uzbek international airports: Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Urgench, Termez and Navoi airports.

Bukhara Airport, Uzbekistan

Book a flight through Skyscanner to find a great deal ✈️

Here is a short summary of flight times from major capital cities to Tashkent:

  • Dubai to Tashkent = 3 hrs 20 mins
  • Moscow to Tashkent = 4 hrs
  • London to Tashkent = 10 hrs
  • New York to Tashkent = 14 hrs 30 mins
  • Singapore to Tashkent = 15 hrs 45 mins

Train to Tashkent

The easiest and most stress-free way to travel to Uzbekistan is using the train. There are two simple ways to go about purchasing your train tickets.

  1. Do it yourself using the Uzbekistan Railway site, or
  2. Reach out to the local Uzbek travel company, Advantour, to assist you.

We used both methods and turned to Advantour when I hit a stumbling block during the train ticket booking process.

Once you’ve made the online payment and confirmation is received, go the extra effort and print out hard copies of your tickets. It makes it easy to show these confirmations to the train station attendants.

Standard-styled Uzbek train ©Lifejourney4two
Interior of the standard train, Uzbekistan
Interior of the ‘standard class’ train – no complaints from us, Uzbekistan ©Lifejourney4two

If you’re tight on time, then consider the fast train, Afrosiyob. Expect to pay more, though, as you get faster transit times and the extra luxury over the standard fare.

Afrosiyob fast train
‘Afrosiyob’ fast train ©Lifejourney4two

Tashkent Trivia

  • Tashkent was once a major trading post on Central Asia’s lucrative Silk Road caravan routes. Given its geographical location and reasonably temperate climate, Tashkent was a favoured stop for merchants.
  • The city’s history can be traced back thousands of years, and what we see today is a modern-day version of this historical city.
Uzbekistan Flag
Uzbekistan’s National Flag
  • The national flag of Uzbekistan is flown all over Tashkent.
    • Blue: Stands for the Turkic peoples and the sky.
    • White: Symbolises peace and the aim for pure thoughts and actions.
    • Green: Represents nature and is also the colour of Islam.
    • Red Stripes: Show the life forces in all living things, linked by good ideas and actions.
A pretty Uzbek mural on a doorway, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two

More Tours Available in Tashkent

Locals run several tours in Tashkent. Here are a few you might like:

⛰️ Tashkent Mountain Tour | ⭐️ 5/5 (8 reviews) | ⏳ 10-12 hours | Check Price and availability

🌆 Tashkent City Tour | ⭐️ 5/5 (45 reviews) | ⏳ 6-7 hours | Check Price and availability

🧆Tashkent Vegan Street Food Tour | ⭐️ 5/5 (2 reviews) | ⏳ 4 hours | Check Price and availability

🚘 Half-Day Tashkent Private Tour | ⭐️ 5/5 (24 reviews) | ⏳ 5 hours | Check Price and availability

Tours from Tashkent

Here are a selection of well-reviewed tours that leave from Tashkent you might like to consider. Most have free cancellation and a book now, pay later policy.


⭐️ Samarkand One Day Tour

⭐️ 5/5 (108 reviews) | ⏳ 9-14 hours | Check Price and availability

Samarkand Day Trip – Stunning! Easy to book and a smooth journey. The tour company in Tashkent and the guide in Samarkand were all amazing. Informative information in Samarkand, but not too much that you stop listening. This trip was worth doing, and I loved every minute. Highly recommend!

Helen_M, Apr 2023 (read more reviews here)

⭐️ Bukhara One Day Tour

⭐️ 5/5 (12 reviews) | ⏳ 12-16 hours | Check Price and availability

The tour was very well organised. Everything worked perfectly. Train ticket, flight back. Special mention must be made of the supervisor in Tashkent and the guide in Bukhara. I would have liked to stay longer in Bukhara, but that was not possible. But in the time I was there, I saw a lot, learned a lot and ate well. Thank you.

Michael_w, Mar 2023 (read more reviews here)
Madrassah in Khiva

⭐️ Khiva One Day Tour

⭐️ | ⏳ 12-16 hours | Check Price and availability

Eating Out in Tashkent

Knowing where to find a good meal at a decent price is not always easy. A winning formula that works for us is to watch where the locals prefer to eat and do the same. This usually translates to good food at a reasonable price.

Even though the Plov must be sampled in Uzbekistan, Lagman Soup is another popular local dish to watch for.

This popular soup is a tasty meat, veg and sometimes noodle combination. If you don’t want the meat with the soup, then say so. We did, and it still makes for a tasty meal.

Lagman soup, another favourite in Uzbekistan ©Lifejourney4two

Where to Stay in Tashkent

Choosing the right place to stay in Tashkent can make or break your trip. Whether you’re after luxury or looking for budget-friendly options, the city has something for everyone.

The Art Hotel

We can personally vouch for the Art Hotel in Tashkent, as this was where we stayed.

The reception staff spoke great English and were so helpful, especially organising taxis for us so that we would not incur the extra fee for being a foreigner.

The hotel was within easy walking distance (about 1km) of our favourite Metro station, Kosmonavtlar (Kosmanaut) on the Uzbekistan line.

Art Hotel, Tashkent ©Lifejourney4two

Art Hotel

Very Good ⭐️ 8.5 (417 reviews)

✔️ 2.3 km from centre
✔️ Airport Shuttle
✔️ 24 hr Reception

Here are a couple more options – both have free cancellation and great reviews.

Mirzo Boutique Hotel

Exceptional ⭐️ 9.8 (897 reviews)

✔️ Close to Chorzu Bazaar
✔️ Restaurant/bar

InterContinental Tashkent, an IHG Hotel

Exceptional ⭐️ 9.5 (177reviews)

💎 If you are looking for a little more luxury and a familiar feel

✔️ Five Star Luxury
✔️ Indoor pool
✔️Wellness Centre

Take a look here for more Tashkent accommodation ideas.

Is Tashkent Worth Visiting?… That’s a Wrap

Tashkent is more than just a stopover—it’s a destination that deserves your attention, albeit not as much as the historically rich cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. While it offers a unique blend of old and new, its modern vibe sets it apart from the more traditional Uzbek cities.

So, is Tashkent worth visiting?

We’d say it’s a resounding yes. But don’t just take our word for it; go and experience it for yourself.

👉 You might also be interested in reading our other Uzbekistan articles on another fabulous historical city in Uzbekistan. Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, this post might spark your interest: Khiva to the Aral Sea: A DayTrip of Intrigue.

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Lars, grew up in the Australian countryside and discovered his love for nature early on. Leaving Australia at 20, he began a life of travel and exploration. As a co-owner of Lifejourney4two with Shelley, Lars captures their journeys through his photography. Join him here and see the world through his lens.

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