Uzbekistan - How Much Does It Cost?

Want to know how much it costs to travel around Uzbekistan?

We spent 10 days exploring the country and came up with this handy guide based on our experiences there.

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Accommodation

Most of the hotels in Uzbekistan lay squarely in the budget to medium range category. You might find some 5 star luxury digs in Tashkent though.

During our travels, we mostly stuck to the $30-70/night hotels and found them to be clean, quiet, and staffed with friendly locals.

Price ranges for hotels:

Hostel: $10

Mid-range Hotel: $30-$70

Nice Hotel: $70-$140

5-star Hotel: $200+ (Tashkent)

Food

Plov - one of the staples of Uzbek Cuisine

Plov - one of the staples of Uzbek Cuisine

Eating out in Uzbekistan is very affordable, although a bit limited in it’s offerings. For $5 a person, you can get salad, bread, a drink, and a main dish (plov, manti dumplings, or shashlik kebab). Higher end restaurants will run you around $10-$25 per person, although we found the best restaurants were the ones filled with locals.

Most restaurants are decorated with beautiful Uzbek patterns

Most restaurants are decorated with beautiful Uzbek patterns

 

Entrance Fees

Most entrance fees will range from 10,000 - 30,000 som ($1 to $4).

I’ve heard from locals and other travelers that there is always a free secret/back entrance for locals. But I’m sure you’ll stick out like a sore thumb if you try to do that. Registan, for example, has several hawk eyed guards who are quite adept at keeping track of which guests have paid, tried to sneak in, and who are local residents.

In Khiva though, there is a daily flat fee at around 120,000 som ($14) which allows you to see all the sights in one day. But the fees quickly start to add up if you stay in Khiva for more than one day.

Marvelous Shah-I-Zinda

Marvelous Shah-I-Zinda

 

Visa/Flights

In the past, getting a visa to Uzbekistan was an ordeal. But now, there is an online visa application which will, in most cases, get you a visa in 2-3 days. The application fee is $20.

There are also major airlines, such as Aeroflot, Turkish Air, and Asiana, flying into Uzbekistan. The main international airports are Tashkent (TAS) and Samarkand (SKD), but you can also fly into Urgench (UGC) now. Uzbekistan Airways is a cheaper option to fly in with. They don’t usually show up on Google Flights, so you’ll have to book directly on their website.

Sample Roundtrip Fares

From USA: $800 - $1200

From Europe: $400 - $600

From Asia: $800-$1200

 

Getting around town

Most taxis can be flagged down from the road or called by your hotel. Since most towns in Uzbekistan are pretty small the fares range from 5,000 - 10,000 som ($.50 to $1.17)

Taxis from the airport will cost around 10,000 - 15,000 som ($1 to $1.75), although this is where you’ll see some price gouging.

 

Getting around internally

The Uzbek Railway modernized the trains on the main tourist routes recently, so using them was easier than we expected. You’ll pay around 70,000 som ($8) for a seat on one of the modern trains from Samarkand to Bukhara and Bukhara to Khiva.

Internal flights are served mostly by Uzbekistan Airways, which was a pleasant surprise. The planes seemed mostly new with well trained staff. An internal flight will run you around 428,000 - 860,000 som ($50-$100)

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Staying connected

Most of the cities on the main tourist route have 3G/LTE with numerous shops selling SIM cards from UCell, Beeline, or UMS. Most plans will run from 50,000 - 80,000 som ($6 - $10) giving you around 5GB - 10GB of data and a large amount of local calls / sms. We ended up going with UCell and were quite pleased with the speeds in most cities.

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Henry WuComment