Have you ever had a dream to dive into the world of 1001 Nights and the legendary Silk Road or visit an authentic Asian bazaar? If so, Uzbekistan is the best country for your next trip. However, you shouldn’t believe the stereotype that the country is solely for ancient history seekers. With a wide range of activities available, no one will be left unsatisfied. My goal is to reveal to you the best things to do in Uzbekistan to get the most out of your trip.
1. Visit the Moynaq Ship Graveyard
I bet you would never forget a trip to the Moynaq Ship Graveyard, and the hauntingly beautiful pictures of the place will infuse your mind for a long time afterwards. Moynaq is a ghost town in the middle of a desert—the Aral Sea not a century ago. Before becoming the desert, the sea was one of the four biggest lakes in the world, but due to the industrial purposes of the Soviet Union, the rivers that were feeding the sea were diverted.
The result of this policy was devastating—the Aral Sea turned into a desert in 70 years, leaving the hulls of the local ships to decay, and formed the ship cemetery we know today. I find myself speechless to say anything more. Just take a look at these pictures, and I bet you will understand the message these shipwrecks are trying to say to mankind.
Moynaq Ship Graveyard
Address: Muynak, Uzbekistan
2. Shopping in the Chorsu Bazaar
If you ever had a wish to experience a real, authentic Asian market, this is the best place to make your dream come true. With a history that covers several hundreds of years, the Chorsu Bazaar, the former part of the legendary Silk Road, is one of the biggest markets not only in Tashkent, but the whole of Central Asia. Being a true Asian market, this is a place where bargaining is not only allowed, but considered as a part of the unspoken courtesy code.
The Chorsu Bazaar
Address: 48 Navoi St., Shayhan Taurski District, Tashkent
Opening hours: the market is open every day from 7:00am till 8:00pm
Contact: +998 711335414
3. Have a family day in Tashkent Disneyland
Do you feel the need to diversify the travel experience and have some good time with your family in a place children will be crazy about? Let me introduce you the—so-called among locals—Tashkent Disneyland, the biggest amusement park in Uzbekistan. Adults will love thrilling roller coasters, as well as the breathtaking loop-o-plane that will make any visitor—even those ones who crave for adrenaline rushes—scream like a little girl, while children may enjoy carousels and the vast variety of theme and water rides.
Address: 107, Amir Temur Str., Tashkent
Opening hours: the amusement park is open from 9:00am till 9:00pm
Prices: the ticket cost is 30.000 UZS (8 USD) for adults, 15.000 UZS (4 USD) for children
Contact: +998 712385625
4. Enjoy a performance in the Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theater
I advise you to visit the theater even if you are not an avid theater-goer, but if you are, you won’t forgive yourself missing out on the Navoi Opera Theater. Throughout the whole Soviet Union with more than 700 theaters, only three of them were honored with the Grand status. The Navoi Opera Theater was one of them. Not only will it fascinate you with the top-level performances, but also the architectural beauty of the building itself.
The Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theater
Address: Moustafa Kamoul Atatürk 28, Bukhara Street, Tashkent
Prices: the average cost of ticket is 15.000 UZS (4 USD)
5. Dive into ancient and modern cultures in the Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art
Now it’s time to dive into the culture and art of Uzbekistan, and you won’t find a better place for this purpose than the Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art. With more than 7,000 unique exhibits, gathering the heritage of both ancient and modern cultures, the museum gives you an opportunity to take a spectacular dive into the majestic world of this land.
The Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art
Address: 15, str. Rakatboshi, Yakkasaray district, Tashkent
Opening hours: the museum is open from 9:00am till 9:00pm, but the cash desk closes at 5:00pm
Contact: +998 712564042
6. Get a massage in the Bozori Kord Hammam
The Asian massage techniques and traditions go back in history over thousands of years. Therefore, you have an amazing opportunity not only to attend a traditional hammam, but be massaged by one of the truly professional masseurs, the keepers of the ancient knowledge about the human body.
The Bozori Kord Hammam
Address: Hakikat ko'chasi, Bukhara
Prices: the entry cost is 60.000 UZS (16 USD)
Opening hours: the bathhouse is open every day from 6:00am till midnight, except Tuesdays
7. Explore Itchan Kala
Surrounded by crenellated walls, Itchan Kala is an ancient inner city of Khiva—one of the stops along the Silk Road. The whole city—with more than 250 houses and 50 monuments remaining—is the best place for those who would like to see how ancient Asian cities looked.
Address: Khiva, Uzbekistan
8. Spend a day in the Tashkent City Zoo
Being a great place for animal-lovers and a family day as well, the zoo managed to gather more than 500 kinds of animal species. This is a perfect opportunity to take a look at the unique animals that inhabit Central Asia, and have some good time with your family or friends.
The Tashkent City Zoo
Opening hours: the zoo is open every day from 9:00am till 5:00pm
Prices: the ticket cost is 6000 UZS (1.60 USD) for adults and 3000 UZS (0.80 USD) for children aged from 7 to 13 years. The entry is free for children under the age of 7
Website: Tashkent City Zoo
Give this authentic Asian enigma a try
While being a cradle for the whole Central Asian culture, it is truly sad that Uzbekistan is getting so little attention from the travel community. I love Uzbekistan for the ability to dive into the ancient world of thrilling adventures, intermixed with the uncatchable spirit of the 1001 Nights stories. I hope I managed to highlight the miracle most people have no idea about and convince you that Uzbekistan is a country worth visiting.
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