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Helpful hints

Customs formalities

    A tourist entering Uzbekistan completes a customs declaration form, which must be retained until departure. This allows one to bring in and out of the country articles intended for personal use, including currency and valuables, which must be registered in the declaration form. Customs inspection (if any) of luggage is conducted in the presence of the owner at the exit-entry points.

    Please note that provisions of the customs law of Uzbekistan restrict the list of some items for being brought in or being taken out of the country.

To make you feel more confident and to avoid any possible unpleasant incidents contact our experts.

Medical Recommendations

     While preparing for a trip to Uzbekistan or to any of the Central Asian countries medical insurance, including emergency evacuation, should be taken care of.

     The question of vaccinations is completely at one’s own discretion since Uzbekistan and other Republics of Central Asia require no vaccinations.

      The strictest attention must be paid to the local food and especially to the quality of tap water. The former has special ingredients such as local spices and a lot of grease while the latter has an unusual flavour and is full of chlorine. When tea, boiled and bottled water are unavailable, purify tap water with iodine tablets.

     Among the other distinctive features is the high risk of sunstroke, thus precautionary measures must be taken while under the sun.

     Medical kit: aspirin, paracetamol, tylenol, diarrhoea pills, dehydration powders, iodine tablets, antiseptic cream/wipes; plasters.

Electric current:

      As with the other Central Asian countries, Uzbekistan runs on 220 volt, 50 A with round 2 pin continental plugs.


      All tourist destinations in Uzbekistan are full of fabulous vistas and picturesque views and to avoid disappointment, please ensure that you take enough film for your needs, since there may be difficulties buying suitable film locally. There are few restrictions for taking pictures. One should bear in mind that it is prohibited to take pictures of airports, railway junctions, tunnels, bridges, military installations. It is also advisable to ask the permission of the local person/persons you intend to take a picture of.

     Taking interior pictures of the museums and art galleries is allowed provided the appropriate surcharges are duly paid.

Time difference

      Uzbekistan is +5 hours ahead GMT all year round.


Best time to travel:

      Travel is most pleasant from the brief spring (March) that transforms the dull dunes of the desert into multi-coloured floral carpet until early June and from September to early November, when tree-lined streets shine in autumnal glory.

      Though spring and autumn are traditionally the times to visit Uzbekistan, there are no limitations though. It is possible to travel all year round, including the periods outside the defined ones, when the weather can be just as good.

      Heli-skiing activities are limited to end of February – beginning of April.

Annual average temperature

































































Clothing needed in the country

     Light-coloured cotton clothes are the best for summer time. Trousers, long skirts and long sleeved shirts of conservative type prevent sunburnt and respect Muslim sensibilities. Although not many people pay attention to this question in major city centres, flesh must be covered when visiting any holy site.

     In the cities open sandals and plimsolls are good for walking while shoes and sneakers are best for exploring ancient sites and monuments.

     In colder weather jackets or light sweaters are good in the evenings and for hiking in the mountains. In the desert be ready for nightly temperature drops.


     Uzbekistan’s monetary unit is soum (available in banknotes of 1, 3, 510, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000, 5000 and in coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50). US dollars and other hard currencies as well as traveller’s cheques and credit cards may be exchanged for soums in any branch of the National Bank of Uzbekistan. At the same time paying by credit cards is becoming widely spread in the big stores, hotels etc.

Incoming dialling codes for Uzbekistan: International code for Uzbekistan: +998

Main cities area codes when called internationally: 

Tashkent +99871
Samarkand +99866
Bukhara +99865
Khiva +99862
Ferghana +99873
Shakhrisabz +99875
Termez +99876
Nukus +99861


      Uzbekistan has both the legacy of Soviet holidays and national holidays, many of which were rehabilitated during Perestroika and independence. The most valued public holiday restored only in 1989 is Navruz — the Central Asian New Year that falls on March 21 in Uzbekistan.

      Every year in Uzbekistan two major Muslim holidays are observed: Iyt Ramazan (end of Ramazan lunar month – Muslim month of daytime fasting which is ensued by a feast) and Iyt Kurban (day to offer sacrifices) when Uzbeks visit the graves of relatives. The dates of both holidays depend on the cycle of the moon.

National holidays and festivals of Uzbekistan

 January 1  NEW YEAR      New Year’s Eve (December 31st) and New Year’s Day are celebrated by Uzbek people with great enthusiasm. In every family a New Year tree is decorated and a feast is prepared. Outdoor fetes take place, too. Various entertainment programs are broadcast on TV.
 March 8  INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY     International women’s Day is a traditional holiday dedicated to women and celebrated in honour of women.On this day men of all ages and status show their love and respect to women, give them flowers and presents.
 March 21  NAVRUZ     The most valued public holiday is Navruz — the Central Asian New Year that falls on March 21-vernal equinox. This holiday  is deeply rooted in the rich heritage of the country’s past. The earliest data about celebration of Navruz on the territory of Uzbekistan can be traced in Chinese “Chronicles of Tan Dynasty”, which date back to the 7th century.

From the times this holiday originated, Navruz was mainly the festival of masses; spontaneous and basically pagan. And it has been preserved as such up to the present days. This day is known as the first day of spring, and is celebrated with much merriment and feasting. It symbolizes the awakening of nature, and is meant to evoke the best of human’s soul — goodness, love, mercy. On this day people should forgive each other old umbrages, visit the elderly, sick and lonely warming them with a good word and a gift.

On March 21st spectacular performances are held in all the cities and villages of Uzbekistan: public places are full of people watching kurash — national wrestling, and epic poetry recital by wandering bakshi minstrels. In the parks and squares surrounded by blossomed trees the general merry-making starts. The traditional personages, Bahor-Hanum (Spring), Dehkan-Bobo (Old farmer), Momo-Er (the Earth), accompanied by musicians, drive along the streets in the car decorated with the flowers, and invite everybody to the central square, where the main celebration takes place.

In rural areas the festival culminates in a ritual ploughing of the first furrow of the year by aksakal — the most respected elder in the village.

All through the Navruz celebrations, which practically last to the end on the month, music, songs, laughter is heard late into the night, and people savour lavish dishes.  Various and plentiful meal is the height of the festival, which is held in the hope of the coming profitable and bumper-crop year. On the day of the festival different national dishes are served up:  pilov (meat dish with rice), shurpa (vegetable soup), boiled mutton or beef, kuk-samsa (patty with spring onions) and sweet nishalda (dessert made of eggs whisked with sugar).

But the culmination of the holiday is sumalaq — a ritual meal

Under the cold spring sky lighted up with stars and bonfires women make this  special dish sumalyak (wheat pudding cooked overnight) to let the magic forces of the sprouted wheat reach everybody.

 May 9  COMMEMORATION DAY       On this day all those Uzbekistan citizens who gave their lives for the freedom of their motherland, who bravely fought in the World War II, who selflessly worked in the home front for the sake of the victory over the fascist Germany, are commemorated.
 September 1  INDEPENDENCE DAY       Independence Day is the major and the most revered holiday in Uzbekistan. The country gained independence on August 31, 1991. On Independence Day outdoor fetes and gala concerts take place in all cities, towns and villages of Uzbekistan. The main show is held on the huge stage of the AlisherNavoiyNational Park in Tashkent. Following the president’s complimentary speech addressed to the nation, there begins a grand-scale dramatic performance given by the country’s best actors, singers and dancers. The night sky is illuminated with a multi-colored fireworks display. It has also become a tradition to hold a folklore festival in one of Tashkent’s parks on Independence Day. During this festival ethnic cultural centers of Tashkent present folk songs, dances, arts, crafts, and cuisines of over 130 ethnic groups who live in Uzbekistan in peace and accord.
 October 1  TEACHERS’ DAY      This day is dedicated to teachers and their profession.

The main celebrations take place at the educational establishments where schoolchildren and students  congratulate their teachers, give them flowers.

 December 8  CONSTITUTION DAY      After gaining independence, the residents of Uzbekistan could enjoy their civil rights only after the Constitution had been adopted. It was such an important political event for Uzbek people that in 1992 the date of December 8th was proclaimed as Constitution Day, a yearly national holiday.
   KURBAN-KHAIT      One of the most significant Muslim holidays is Kurban-Khait. It is the day when the faithful should make a gratifying oblation in accordance with their personal incomes. After the ritual praying the faithful go on visits or receive guests at home. On this day those who are poor and suffering are taken a special care of.

(The date is shifting from year to year as  it is established according to the lunar calendar)

   RAMAZAN-KHAIT       Ramazan-Khait is a holiday of moral purification and spiritual revival. This holiday comes after 30-day fast and falls at the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. During these days it is a custom to commemorate the deceased, to visit and help the sick, lonely and poor.

(The date is shifting from year to year as  it is established according to the lunar calendar)


There is a variety of yearly festivals held in Uzbekistan, too. They are very popular with the people and treated as holidays. One of them is the folk festival ‘Boysun Bakhori’ (‘Boisun’s Spring’), which is held in the mountainous Boysun District, Surkhandarya Province in mid-May. The way of life of many generations has remained almost unchanged in this area. Each family preserves and passes down from generation to generation the standards of home arrangement, old rituals, traditions and customs that date back to the age of the pre-Muslim pagan culture. In Boysun ritual songs and dances, performances of the akyn narrators of folk tales and legends continue to live their natural life, not as a theatrical performance for tourists.

It is here that a thousand years ago akyn narrators composed the heroic epic ‘Alpamysh’. The people of Boysun consider themselves to be the descendants of the legendary Alpamysh. They tell stories about him and his deeds relevant to surrounding gorges and villages. Thus it is no wonder that along with 19 other regions in the world, in 2001 Boysun District was included in the UNESCO List of ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’.

Every year the participants of ‘Boysun’s Spring’ come from scores of countries. The festival attracts a lot of professional and amateur folklorists. During the festival one can travel in time and learn the ancient secrets of fire-worshippers’ rituals and shaman cults, make acquaintance with the life of the distinctive region where culture and traditions of ancient peoples have been well preserved.

The international musical festival ‘Shark Taronalari’ has become very popular and prestigious. For the first time it was held in Samarkand in 1997 on the initiative of Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan’s President. The venue of the festival was not a random choice at all: they took into account the fact that Samarkand – as an ancient center of the Great Silk Road and a depositary of the cultural heritage of the Uzbeks – is of great significance not only to Central Asia but to the countries to the east and west.

The first festival was a success beyond expectations. Folk music performers from 29 countries took part in it. The fifth festival held in August 2005 attracted a record number of participants and visitors from over 50 countries. Unforgettable were the performances of the throat singing band ‘Uran Khai’ from the Republic of Tuva, (Altay, Russian Federation), the folk singer Simara Imanova from Azerbaijan, Chinese and Indian musicians. Everybody was deeply impressed by the Uzbek performers of the ancient national musical genre makom.

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