Travel tips for travelers visiting Uzbekistan
Frequently asked questions and traveller's advisory
Our answers to FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) to ensure that you to have a stress-free and memorable trip here in Uzbekistan!
What is the time difference in Uzbekistan?
Uzbekistan is 5 hours ahead of GMT.
What is the voltage used in Uzbekistan?
220 volts AC, Round 2 pin continental (European) plugs are used.
Is filling in the customs declaration form important?
Yes, it is important and mandatory to fill in the Customs Declaration Form upon arrival to Uzbekistan. Customs Declaration Form (2 copies) will be provided to you on board by the cabin crew before landing or you will be able to collect them at the waiting area before the customs control counter in the one of Uzbekistan's International Airport - the point of your arrival. You have to write down in the Form all required passport details and that is the most important to fill in the exact amounts of all the foreign currencies which are available with you.
Customs Declaration Form (2 copies) have to be submitted to customs officers at the control counter. The first copy will be kept by customs and second copy has to be properly stamped and given back to you. Please ensure the receipt of the properly stamped second copy and do not hesitate to ask from customs officer if he fails give it back to you or to put a stamp on it. Preserve the Form during your stay in Uzbekistan and present it again to customs before departure. The amount mentioned in the Form has to be equal or lower than initially declared. Otherwise you will be questioned and asked to provide your wallet for detailed check.
Is it obligatory to be registered upon arrival to Uzbekistan? How and where can I take this procedure?
According to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan dd. 16.04.1999 No 178 foreign citizens visiting Uzbekistan on temporary basis must submit documents for registration at the place of residence within 72 hours upon arrival to Uzbekistan. Registration is not necessary if you arrive to Uzbekistan during weekend or holidays or a period of your stay will not exceed three working days. During stay in a hotel your stay will be registered by hotel administration. Upon checking out you should remember of taking the registration form stamped by the hotel administration with you. If you intend to rent an apartment you should care of registration. The registration is provided by local department of internal affairs authority.
If you do not stay in a specific settlement of the Republic more than three days according to your itinerary you should not submit any document for registration. However, you should remember that you should provide convincing documentary argument to passport control bodies while leaving Uzbekistan. This documentation should be presented by air- and railway tickets registered on your name and additionally attached program of your tour.
How much is the registration in Visa Office for stay in the Republic of Uzbekistan?
For temporary registration
of foreign citizens for the duration of visa and extension of temporary registration for a period of renewal of visas:
- up to 1 month
- US$ 20 per person;
- up to 2 monthes
- US$ 40 per person;
- up to 3 monthes
- US$ 60 per person;
- up to 6 monthes
- US$ 100 per person;
- up to 1 year
- US$ 200 per person.
Payment is made in national currency
, but, nevertheless, it is necessary to exchange US$
in exchange office, it is obligatory to take the inquiry on exchange
and to put it to the receipt on payment.
What is the penalty for the tourists who have lived in the territory of Uzbekistan without registration?
Violation of a registration mode leads to the penalty in 600-1200 US$
or deportation from the territory of the country, and repeated violation is the penalty of 2500-5000 US$
or imprisonment from 1 to 3 years.
How much alcohol / tobacco may I import with me to Uzbekistan? What is not permitted?
As per the law, people 16 years and older may legally import 200 cigarettes or 300gm of tobacco product. It is also perfectly legal to import 2 liters of alcoholic beverages (2 bottles) or 2 liters of wine.
Objects that are not permitted are military arms and ammunition, narcotics (drugs) and weapons Hunting guns and live animals are subject to special permission. Vehicles are subject to registration fees on the border of Republic of Uzbekistan.
Should I carry my passport with me while I am In Uzbekistan?
Yes, it is advised to carry your passport with you while you are in Uzbekistan, especially while you are on an independent sightseeing, during the transfers between cities and places, train and bus stations etc. If you happen to walk outside the hotel, go out on your own to the local market or explore the city on your own and especially at the night time the police have the authority to check your passport which is a regular feature and you should not be worried about it. Your passport and registration card should be with you at all times.
How much money am I legally allowed bringing into Uzbekistan?
According to the law, you are allowed to legally bring in upto USD 5,000 with you into Uzbekistan. If you bring more than USD 5,000, you have to fill in a special declaration (ON-28). If it is more than USD 10,000 you shall be charged 1% duty on it. However, this amount will have to be declared via your customs declaration form.
Are credit cards accepted here?
Credit cards (Amex, Visa and Master Card) are accepted in most of the hotels and restaurants here. However it is not a very well developed system, hence it is also advised to carry a good amount of cash with you as well, so as to avoid any troublesome situation. You may exchange you credit card for cash at some hotels, e.g. Uzbekistan, Radisson Blu, Intercontinental, City Palace, etc. but this is upon actual availability of local currency (Soum) in the ATM at the time of withdrawal.
How do I get local currency (Soum) in exchange for USD / EUR, etc?
You can get the same exchanged in the local forex office in the hotel that you are staying in. Please note that in Uzbekistan, there is a prevalent black market where the rate is higher than the banking rate, BUT this is considered illegal by law and since these people operate in open markets, bazaars and streets, it could attract attention of the police and lead to arrest. Please also note that old or damaged currency notes are not accepted, as you would not get exchange as per the applicable rate, but at a lower one.
How do I make calls or send text messages to someone locally or internationally?
When you have you local SIM card with you (Beeline operator is the best option), it takes less than a minute to activate, which can be checked by the name of the service provider which appears on your cell phone screen. The number will be for eg. +998 (country code) 90 (service provider code) 1234567 (actual seven digit cell phone number). You may make calls to anyone locally by only dialing the last seven digits. You may send a text message to anyone locally by using the entire number, or internationally by using the country code (for eg. India +91) followed by their ten digit mobile number. Incoming is not charged and hence, you can receive calls or text messages, from your friends, family and relatives if they dial the entire number eg. +998 90 1234567.
Where can I take photographs / video shooting?
You are allowed to take photographs / video shooting everywhere, except tourist attractions where a nominal charge is levied eg. USD 1-3. In these places, they also have professional photographers who would take group or solo photographs for a nominal fee. Photography is strictly prohibited in the Underground Metros for security purposes, and there are local police at every metro station. It is at their discretion, where they can either give you a warning first or simply confiscate your camera or cell phone. If you wish to take photographs of the local people, it is normally advised to request them beforehand.
Can I get vegetarian meals here? Are there any Indian restaurants?
Yes you can get vegetarian local meals here in Uzbek cafes and restaurants. Alternatively, there are a few Indian restaurants located here in Tashkent, which are owned and managed by Indian nationals who would be more than happy to prepare the meals as per your request and preferences eg. Ragu, Bhramji and Raaj Kapur.
How is the nightlife here? Are there any good nightclubs here?
Tashkent is known for it's bustling nightlife culture and the entire city is dotted with many discos and nightclubs. Some of them worth mentioning are Casanova, Niagara, Diplomat-S, Sky Club, Rich Club, Juliano, Barhan, FM Bar and the Dutch Club. Most of them have entrances applicable only from Friday to Sunday. It is free over the weekdays, but have charges applicable after 11 pm.
If I wish to get an 'extra guest' to my hotel, what is the procedure and charge?
Invitation of an extra guest is a routine practice in Uzbekistani hotels, so it is possible to invite a visitor without any formalities till 23.00 p.m. and with a mandatory registration after 23.00 p.m. The registration procedure is easy and requires just few steps. Firstly, a potential guest has to provide his or her passport at the reception of the hotel for safety and security reasons. Secondly, extra guest is a paid service and you as a hotel guest have to pay a small fee in the amount from 15 to 30 US$ per person. Please collect the receipt from the reception. Also be informed that some hotels can charge extra guest supplement by the price of Double room.
Where can I go shopping here? I would like to buy and export handicraftsmen and masters products from Uzbekistan. What should I do?
There are big markets (bazaars) in all cities of Uzbekistan which open from 8.00 in the morning till evening time and most of the time they are open as long as buyers come. Spice, delicious Uzbek fruits and dried fruits, souvenirs of local handicraftsmen, ceramic, wood and silk products, carpets and tasteful Uzbek wine can be bought here. Images of modern artists can be bought on "Broadway" or specialized shops in Tashkent at reasonable price.
However, you should find out date of issue of those ancient products you want to buy. According to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan dd. 23.03.1999 No 131 cultural values created more than fifty years ago are not subject to export from the Republic. Furthermore, it would be reasonable to ask the seller if there is an export certificate for this kind of product and if its three month valid period is not expired (according to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan dd. 06.07.2005 г. N 156).
If the certificate is not available or the date was expired you will need to get a permission for export of this product from the department of art expertise (for export and import of cultural values) at the Ministry of Culture and Sport located on Lashkarbegi street, 19 (reference place - Hamid Alimjan metro station, opposite Latvian Embassy), tel. +998712370738. Art expertise of cultural values is provided in a day of application and provision of the product subject to expertise, extreme deadline (in case of disputable issue) is a period not exceeding ten days.
If there is permission for export the customs fee should be paid in amount of 100% estimation indicated in the permission.
A special permission for export of mass and serial production created during last fifty years is not required.
How is the crime rate here? Is it safe to move out on the streets late at night?
Tashkent is one of the safest cities in the world with one of the best security and police network functioning at all times. The local police are very friendly, especially to travelers and are always happy to give directions, incase you feel you have lost your way. There are police patrol cars on every road and street corner, and it is safe for even ladies to move around late in the night.
Is English a widely spoken language here?
Unfortunately, English still is not spoken widely here among the local public. The languages spoken here are Uzbek and Russian. Usually English is spoken in private offices, hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, boutiques and some government offices. However if you do need some help and assistance, you can ask some local youngsters / students who can speak reasonable English nowadays.
What are the local modes of transport here?
Tashkent is a very well balanced and modern city that has a lot of choices in terms of local transportation. There are taxis, buses, trams and also the Underground Metro system that comprises of 3 lines and 29 stations. All the transportation systems are easy and convenient to use and are also economical.
Is it reasonable to take a taxi in Uzbekistan?
Important note: taxis in Uzbekistan excepting Tashkent (there are still some small taxi parks belonging to the State in Tashkent) are mostly presented by private cars without special indications in the form of checkered stripe ("shashechki"), that is why fare should be discussed with a taxi driver in advance. Moreover, it is to remember that taxi fare is several times as less in Uzbekistan as that in other CIS countries. At the same time, travelers are not recommended to take taxi "by chance", it is better to address to the drivers standing on so-called "pyataki" (specially designed area) - crowded places at the crossroads or tourist sightseeing. Despite the fact that fare of these drivers can be higher most of them know the local routes very well. Anyway the best way is to call one of the private taxi service companies which contact information can be easily found due to the Enquiry Service, tel. 009.
I would like to use my own car while travelling in Uzbekistan. What is the procedure of registration?
Temporary import of an own car according to the Provision (registered by the Ministry of the Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan dd 14.12.2004 No 1430) for a period not exceeding 1 month is not liable to customs fee. In this case an obligation of reexport should be filled out at the customs in three copies.
Can I receive a tourist visa to Uzbekistan at the airport upon arrival?
Getting a tourist visa at the airport is possible if there is no embassy of Uzbekistan in your country and only in case of the availability of visa support (have to be provided by touristic company which is organizing your trip).
Attention! Consular fee in this case have to be paid directly at the airport before passing through passport control. The value of the visa fee depends on the duration of the period of stay in Uzbekistan and the urgency of a visa support (for an urgent visa fee will increase).
For formalities and issuance of visas according to Uzbekistan legislation are due to pay the following consular fees:
- Up to 7 days - 40 US$
- Up to 15 days - 50 US$
- Up to 30 days - 60 US$
For each additional extension of the period of stay the entry tariff increases by 10 US$
At passport control, with your consent (or, at your request - for example if you changed plans and decided to reduce the duration of the trip) you can request a visa for a shorter period than stated in the letter of invitation and, accordingly, the visa fee will be less. Just please be careful when receiving passport, make sure that your date of departure from Uzbekistan is within a period of stay covered by your visa. Otherwise, if later at passport control before departure it turns out that the visa indicated a shorter period of stay, you will have to pay more for procedures and services in order to extend the visa. The extension fee may vary from 40 to 70 USD
(depending on the urgency and the number of days)!
Please specify the requirement for provision of a "letter from working place" in case of self-employed individuals?
The letter from a work place is given by citizens of all countries addressing for the entry visa to Uzbekistan, except for citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova on whom the visa-free regime extends.
The given requirement is not the unique requirement of the authorities of Uzbekistan, and in turn is similar, to corresponding requirement of the authorities of the countries with which the visa regime for citizens of Republic Uzbekistan operates.
The letter from a work place means documentary acknowledgement of that fact that the competitor of the visa to Uzbekistan possesses a permanent job and a stable source of the income, accordingly has strong reasons to return to the country of constant residing that is sufficient acknowledgement of that the competitor is not the potential migrant.
It is necessary to admit that requirements of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Uzbekistan do not consider such category of potential tourists, as self-occupied persons and pensioners. However the law is the law and if you want to arrive to Uzbekistan it is necessary for you to fulfill all corresponding requirements. In this case it is possible to recommend only to apply to friends or acquaintances who can help to write to you on behalf of the company or the organization where they work, corresponding the letter. The letter from a work place should be obligatory in a package of given documents.
What clothes are wearable for the woman in Uzbekistan in summer? I suspect that there it is not accepted to go in shorts.
Uzbekistan is a modern country and the secular state with a hot climate. In our cities shorts, shoulder-straps, a d?collet?, miniskirts, deep cuts and high heels are actual for women. In rural district customs are more conservative, as, however, everywhere in the world, therefore it is not recommended to dress too short shorts and vests with very deep cut... Also keep in mind that in tourist programs excursions are frequently included mosques, madrassahs and necropolises, where dress-code rules are the same, as well as in operating orthodox temples.
As a whole the situation reminds Turkey very much where the most part of women is emancipated and dressed on-European, but their small part carries scarves - nikabs and traditional clothes.