How to travel to Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan was at the heart of the ancient Silk Road and today it contains a fascinating wealth of historic sites, spanning the ages.

No trip is to the country is complete without visiting its historic trading hubs including Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.

The nation is awash with beautiful ancient mosques, mausoleums and caravanserai, famed for their ornate tile-work, but the country offers so much more too – with snow-capped mountains, areas of desert, vibrant cities and delicious food.

Photo – Simon Urwin

Where is Uzbekistan?

Uzbekistan is a landlocked country in the middle of Central Asia. It’s this pivotal position which made the country such an important trading hub for thousands of years.

The country borders five nations, with Kazakhstan to its north and west, Turkmenistan to its south, a tiny slice of Afghanistan to its south and Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to its east.

It sits at the cross-roads of many different cultures as a result and due to its strategic position, played an important role in the ancient Silk Road.

Photo – Simon Urwin

What is it like in Uzbekistan?

Uzbekistan varies greatly between east and west.

In the far west, near the border with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the country is mountainous and remote, with some peaks reaching more than 4,500m.

It’s in these stunning peaks that you can find ski resorts and fantastic hiking trails.

As you move west, you drop down to the country’s bustling capital Tashkent. Move further west again and you begin to reach the chain of ancient Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.

The climate becomes much hotter and terrain much flatter, with millions of tourists drawn to the region every year to see the huge wealth of historic sites, which date back thousands of years.

The country then stretches out to the country’s eastern border with Kazakhstan, where the autonomous Uzbek region of Karakalpakstan sits, with the baking hot Kyzylkum Desert and the now dried up Aral Sea.

Do you need a visa to travel to Uzbekistan?

There are different visa requirements for Uzbekistan depending which nation you are from.

Passport holders from a number former-Soviet countries don’t require a visa at all.

Travellers from a large number of countries can stay in Uzbekistan for 30 days visa free – these include UK citizens and those from EU nations, Australia, New Zealand, many South American nations and those in the Middle East.

You can find out more information here.

Can you fly to Uzbekistan?

There are great flight connections to Uzbekistan. Many international flights arrive into the capital Tashkent, but there are also international connections to the Silk Road city of Samarkand – often via the UAE, Turkey or Russia.

A smaller number of flights depart from Bukhara, often connecting to other Central Asian destinations and Russia.

Can you cross land borders into Uzbekistan?

Land borders between Uzbekistan and its neighbours can be unpredictable and the situation can change frequently.

The land border between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan can suffer from closures, as can routes to Kyrgyzstan.

The land border between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan is one of the most straight forward ones and there are two main crossing points, which flow well, one in the east and one in the west.

Contact your local embassy to get the most up to date information about the border crossing you want to take.

Untamed Borders offers private trips to Uzbekistan. If you would like anymore information about the country and Untamed Borders’ services in the country please email –