Backpacking Uzbekistan

Hello to all seasoned and aspiring backpackers!

If you’re looking for a unique experience far away from your everyday life, Uzbekistan is the perfect country for your next trip!

Uzbekistan is a Central Asian country with connection to the Silk Road. It is well-known for its countless museums, fascinating mausoleums, exotic mosques and squares full of mosaics. If you love fruit, you will be happy to hear that there are also fresh and sweet fruits such as watermelons, cucumbers and apples, making it your perfect destination.

Uzbekistan’s landscape is as diverse as the renowned mosaic tiles, so grab your backpack and let’s go!


Important Basics

Official Language ( Uzbek )
EnglishUzbek
HelloSalom
GoodbyeXayr
Thank youRahmat
YesHa
NoYo’q
Capital city

Tashkent

Form of government

Presidential republic

Best Time to Visit

May and June and September to November

Fun Facts
  • Alexander the Great conquered the historic city of Samarkand in 329 BC.
  • The Aral Sea was a large inland lake in Uzbekistan. It’s now fully shrunk and biologically dead because of an irrigation project.
  • The national dish of Uzbekistan is plov.
  • The national drink of Uzbekistan is green tea.

Cities

Tashkent

Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and has some incredible architectural wonders to offer. The people here speak primarily Russian and the city consists of a mixture of modern and old buildings and architecture. Four days is hardly enough time to explore downtown Tashkent and see every point of interest.

You can first visit the Amir Timur Museum, which exhibits manuscripts, weapons, and other relics from the Timurid dynasty. Afterward, you can go to the ancient monuments of the city: don't forget to visit the theatres and exhibition halls, the Chimgan Mountains, Beldersay and parks. Of course, you also have to try the delicious local cuisine – you won’t regret it!

Sleep at one of the local hostels and get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €10 a night.

Fergana Valley

Once you’ve seen everything in Tashkent, it’s time to head to Farghana. The train fare will only cost €10. If you prefer to fly, you should book two months in advance. In Farghana, you can visit the local

museum, which exhibits the history of the people, works of art, handicrafts, photographs, and the infamous old blood-eye theater of General Mikhail Skobelev. Before the end of your 4-day trip, you should also take a trip to see the beautiful landscape of Farghana.

The Farghana Valley is of great cultural and historical importance, as the Syr Danya River makes this valley especially fertile. It is about 80,000 square meters and is located between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the legendary city of Rishan, famous for its stylish ceramics, the Chudoyar Khan complex, and other magnificent buildings. Don't worry about accommodation, you can find some cheap ones on-site. You can get a single room in a guesthouse for €20 a night.

Samarkand

Our next stop is Samarkand. You can reach your next destination by train for about €29. The city is full of picturesque sights of historical importance, but how long should you stay?

With a four-day tour of Samarkand, you might get a good impression of what the city has to offer. The best place to start your tour is the legendary Ulugbek Observatory. Then you can go to Registan Square with the three large madrasahs on either side, which is the center of Samarkand. The oldest tourist attractions in the city are the Chidr Mosque and the Gur-Emir Mausoleum, which is also the burial place of Timur Lenk.

Do you want to visit one of the biggest mosques in Islamic history? Today’s your luck, the Bibi-Khanym Mosque is located in Samarkand. You can also visit the Rukhabad Mausoleum and the Afrosiab Museum. We have a very special tip for wine lovers: At the Hevrenko Wine Factory, you can taste freshly made wine. Doesn’t this sound great?

After your tour, you can relax in a comfortable bed at one of the local hostels. You’ll get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €11.

Bukhara

You’ll travel to Bukhara by train for €20. There, you’ll find many stunning castles and historical buildings. Bukhara has beautiful hotels and guesthouses, but for your backpacking trip, you should book a room in a hostel and get a bed in a 4-person dorm for €12 a night. It’s truly a miracle that the medieval buildings of the old civilization in Bukhara are still intact!

You can start your tour at the Kalan Mosque, which has a capacity of 12,000 people. It is the same height as the Bibi-Khanym mosque, with the only difference being its architectural style. Other architectural curiosities of Bukhara include the Mir-i-Arab Madrassah, the Lan-i-Hauz complex, and the Bukhara Fortress, also known as the Arch of Bukhara.

Khiva

There are probably thousands of reasons why your next stop should be Khiva. Besides the fact that it has a rich cultural heritage that you can see for free, it is home to magnificent madrasahs, mosques, galleries and traditional Uzbek food.

Uzbek cuisine is sure to make your mouth water. The tourist attractions in Khiva are all located in Itchan Kala. You should also plan a visit to the great palaces built by Alla-kulli-khan.

We recommend staying at one of Khiva’s hostels, where you can get a bed in a 4-person dorm for €12.

Nukus

Nukus is the sixth-largest city in Uzbekistan. It will cost you about €22 to travel by train from Khiva to the city. It’s best to book a room in one of the local guesthouses, where you can get a bed in a 3-person dorm for €15 a night. In Nukus, you should stay at least three days to really enjoy your stay and visit everything.

There is an archaeological site in Nukus that is a perfect starting point for your tour. The Savitsky Museum exhibits the most remarkable work of the Soviet Union – the work of the avant-garde. Savitsky is also home to thousands of paintings and artifacts, but only a few of these are exhibited. Another must-see is the Mizdakhan necropolis, an archaeological site that houses the remains of ancient civilization, the Karakalpak State Regional Museum, and much more. The Aral Sea is located in the Karakalpakstan region of Uzbekistan and is a good example of the impact of climate change and water pollution.

There is a lot more that Nukus has to offer, but you will discover most of it on your backpack tour.

After an incredible, eye-opening time in Uzbekistan, you have to return to Tashkent where you started your tour. The best way to do this is to take the train; the trip from Nukus to Tashkent costs about €100. Once in Tashkent, you can stay at a local hostel and get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €10 a night and spend your night reminiscing about all the good times you’ve had on this trip. Get some rest before having to catch your flight back home the next morning.


Tashkent

Tashkent

Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and has some incredible architectural wonders to offer. The people here speak primarily Russian and the city consists of a mixture of modern and old buildings and architecture. Four days is hardly enough time to explore downtown Tashkent and see every point of interest.

You can first visit the Amir Timur Museum, which exhibits manuscripts, weapons, and other relics from the Timurid dynasty. Afterward, you can go to the ancient monuments of the city: don't forget to visit the theatres and exhibition halls, the Chimgan Mountains, Beldersay and parks. Of course, you also have to try the delicious local cuisine – you won’t regret it!

Sleep at one of the local hostels and get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €10 a night.

Fergana Valley

Fergana Valley

Once you’ve seen everything in Tashkent, it’s time to head to Farghana. The train fare will only cost €10. If you prefer to fly, you should book two months in advance. In Farghana, you can visit the local

museum, which exhibits the history of the people, works of art, handicrafts, photographs, and the infamous old blood-eye theater of General Mikhail Skobelev. Before the end of your 4-day trip, you should also take a trip to see the beautiful landscape of Farghana.

The Farghana Valley is of great cultural and historical importance, as the Syr Danya River makes this valley especially fertile. It is about 80,000 square meters and is located between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the legendary city of Rishan, famous for its stylish ceramics, the Chudoyar Khan complex, and other magnificent buildings. Don't worry about accommodation, you can find some cheap ones on-site. You can get a single room in a guesthouse for €20 a night.

Samarkand

Samarkand

Our next stop is Samarkand. You can reach your next destination by train for about €29. The city is full of picturesque sights of historical importance, but how long should you stay?

With a four-day tour of Samarkand, you might get a good impression of what the city has to offer. The best place to start your tour is the legendary Ulugbek Observatory. Then you can go to Registan Square with the three large madrasahs on either side, which is the center of Samarkand. The oldest tourist attractions in the city are the Chidr Mosque and the Gur-Emir Mausoleum, which is also the burial place of Timur Lenk.

Do you want to visit one of the biggest mosques in Islamic history? Today’s your luck, the Bibi-Khanym Mosque is located in Samarkand. You can also visit the Rukhabad Mausoleum and the Afrosiab Museum. We have a very special tip for wine lovers: At the Hevrenko Wine Factory, you can taste freshly made wine. Doesn’t this sound great?

After your tour, you can relax in a comfortable bed at one of the local hostels. You’ll get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €11.

Bukhara

Bukhara

You’ll travel to Bukhara by train for €20. There, you’ll find many stunning castles and historical buildings. Bukhara has beautiful hotels and guesthouses, but for your backpacking trip, you should book a room in a hostel and get a bed in a 4-person dorm for €12 a night. It’s truly a miracle that the medieval buildings of the old civilization in Bukhara are still intact!

You can start your tour at the Kalan Mosque, which has a capacity of 12,000 people. It is the same height as the Bibi-Khanym mosque, with the only difference being its architectural style. Other architectural curiosities of Bukhara include the Mir-i-Arab Madrassah, the Lan-i-Hauz complex, and the Bukhara Fortress, also known as the Arch of Bukhara.

Khiva

Khiva

There are probably thousands of reasons why your next stop should be Khiva. Besides the fact that it has a rich cultural heritage that you can see for free, it is home to magnificent madrasahs, mosques, galleries and traditional Uzbek food.

Uzbek cuisine is sure to make your mouth water. The tourist attractions in Khiva are all located in Itchan Kala. You should also plan a visit to the great palaces built by Alla-kulli-khan.

We recommend staying at one of Khiva’s hostels, where you can get a bed in a 4-person dorm for €12.

Nukus

Nukus

Nukus is the sixth-largest city in Uzbekistan. It will cost you about €22 to travel by train from Khiva to the city. It’s best to book a room in one of the local guesthouses, where you can get a bed in a 3-person dorm for €15 a night. In Nukus, you should stay at least three days to really enjoy your stay and visit everything.

There is an archaeological site in Nukus that is a perfect starting point for your tour. The Savitsky Museum exhibits the most remarkable work of the Soviet Union – the work of the avant-garde. Savitsky is also home to thousands of paintings and artifacts, but only a few of these are exhibited. Another must-see is the Mizdakhan necropolis, an archaeological site that houses the remains of ancient civilization, the Karakalpak State Regional Museum, and much more. The Aral Sea is located in the Karakalpakstan region of Uzbekistan and is a good example of the impact of climate change and water pollution.

There is a lot more that Nukus has to offer, but you will discover most of it on your backpack tour.

After an incredible, eye-opening time in Uzbekistan, you have to return to Tashkent where you started your tour. The best way to do this is to take the train; the trip from Nukus to Tashkent costs about €100. Once in Tashkent, you can stay at a local hostel and get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €10 a night and spend your night reminiscing about all the good times you’ve had on this trip. Get some rest before having to catch your flight back home the next morning.

Uzbekistan Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home – Tashkent
Home – Tashkent
Flight
250
6-person dorm
10
2. Tashkent
Tashkent
-
6-person dorm
10
3. Tashkent
Tashkent
-
6-person dorm
10
4. Tashkent – Fergana Valley
Tashkent – Fergana Valley
Train
10
Single room
20
5. Fergana Valley
Fergana Valley
-
Single room
20
6. Ferghana
Ferghana
-
Single room
20
7. Fergana Valley – Samarkand
Fergana Valley – Samarkand
Train
29
6-person dorm
11
8. Samarkand
Samarkand
-
6-person dorm
11
9. Samarkand
Samarkand
-
6-person dorm
11
10. Samarkand – Bukhara
Samarkand – Bukhara
Train
20
4-person dorm
12
11. Bukhara
Bukhara
-
4-person dorm
12
12. Bukhara
Bukhara
-
4-person dorm
12
13. Bukhara – Khiva
Bukhara – Khiva
Train
23
4-person dorm
12
14. Khiva
Khiva
-
4-person dorm
12
15. Khiva
Khiva
-
4-person dorm
12
16. Khiva – Nukus
Khiva – Nukus
Train
22
3-person tent
15
17. Nukus
Nukus
-
3-person tent
15
18. Nukus
Nukus
-
3-person tent
15
19. Nukus
Nukus
-
3-person tent
15
20. Nuku – Tashkent
Nuku – Tashkent
Flight
100
6-person dorm
10
21. Tashkent – Home
Tashkent – Home
Flight
250

Total price.

Flights 600,00
Transportation 104,00
Tours 0,00
Accommodation 265,00
Total969,00

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deine eigene

Reise erstellen?

Du möchtest deine

eigene Reise erstellen?

Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Rice: rice is usually eaten for breakfast in Uzbekistan, and often leftovers from dinner the day before. Served with fresh vegetable.

Soups

Shurpa: this soup consists of boiled dumplings that boil in a meat broth. Filled with mutton and various vegetables, it is a delicious meal.

Main courses

Plov: Uzbekistan’s national dish. It consists of meat (mostly beef), carrots, peppers and rice and is cooked together in a big wok. Onions and beans are added and you traditionally eat a slice of bread with the dish.

Non: Non means nothing else than bread and is an integral part of Uzbekistan’s cuisine. You can find the best bread in Samarkand and you should make sure that you eat it as much of it as possible.

Manti: these filled dumplings are also well known in Uzbekistan. The best known variety consists of meat and chilli, but there are other options.

Drinks

Sarbast: Uzbekistan also has something to offer for beer lovers. Sarbast is the best known and is considered THE beer among backpackers.

Kok Chai: this green tea is the national drink and it’s so good that you should definitely try it! It is served with a few sugar cubes and lemon.

Uzbekistan

The exchange rate for 10,000 Uzbekistani s’om is around 0.85 euros (as of May 2022). However, you usually pay in USD, thus the prices are stated in USD. See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of Living

Food

Free Time

Personal Hygiene

Dos

Compliment your host: the locals will be incredibly happy if you praise their hospitality. Compliment them and the food.

Use your whole hand when pointing: stretch out your whole arm and do not use only your index finger. This is not allowed in Uzbekistan, especially if you are pointing at a person.

Bring appropriate clothing: the dress code in Uzbekistan is mainly to cover yourself, your arm and legs in particular. This applies to both men and women.

Don'ts

Keep dogs away from religious sites: in Uzbekistan, dogs are considered to be dirty and are therefore not allowed inside holy buildings. So if a dog follows you, make sure that it stays in front of the entrance.

Do not walk in front of a local who is praying: if you visit a temple or mosque, always walk behind the praying person. If you walk in front of them, it is considered to be a very bad omen.

Never use your left hand: Uzbekistan is predominantly Muslim, so you'd better keep your unclean hand in your pocket.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

No

Temporary national ID

No

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

(Not necessary)

Vaccine

Robert-Koch-Instituts

Additional Remarks.

We recommend making sure that your travel documents are valid for 3 months beyond your Uzbek visa’s expiration date. Please also inform yourself on the current entry regulations regarding the Corona virus. Current information about this can be found at your country’s Foreign Office.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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