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Hi everyone, in this article, I wanted to tell you about the best things to do in Tashkent in 2 days and whether Tashkent is worth visiting during your trip to Uzbekistan.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Is Tashkent worth visiting? What to expect from Tashkent?
If you’re wondering whether Tashkent is worth visiting, the short answer is yes. The capital of Uzbekistan might not have all the landmarks, but it certainly has its charm. I think it’s a great place to start getting to know Uzbekistan without being overwhelmed. As a capital, Tashkent has a lot of international chains, convenient taxi services and fast internet. A lot of people (in hotels and restaurants) speak English and there are also excellent restaurants where you can try local and international food.
However, don’t expect too much from Tashkent – due to a very devastating earthquake in the middle of the previous century, it has lost most of its Old town, so the city is very modern and there aren’t many landmarks.
I would recommend spending one day in Tashkent – you will be able to see all the main attractions. However, if you’re a slow-paced traveller and you’re enjoying spending more time in each location without feeling rushed or you’re coming from a place with a significant time difference (Uzbekistan is +5 hours GMT), then you can totally stay in the capital for 2-3 days.
Where to stay in Tashkent
Let’s talk about the best places to stay in Tashkent. When we were choosing a hotel, it wasn’t clear what are the best places to stay in Tashkent, area-wise. I got used that most cities have a defined Old Town and it’s better to stay somewhere nearby if you want to do a lot of sightseeing. However, Tashkent is a very large city – distances between districts are huge, streets are wide and overall, there is no defined best area to stay in the city. However, most hotels are located near the Amir Temur Square, which is the main square of the city and “Broadway” – the liveliest street in the capital.
However, there are plenty of hotels that are located in other areas of Tashkent, and it doesn’t mean that these areas are worse than the others. In any case, due to the distances in Tashkent, you will be taking taxis to go pretty much everywhere. Taxis are very cheap, you can use the app called Yandex Taxi and pay in cash at the end of the ride. For us, the taxi rides were, on average, $1-1.5 each.
Best hotels Tashkent for any budget:
Here are the hotels we stayed at in Tashkent: Wyndham Tashkent and Marriott Courtyard Tashkent. While Wyndham was in a better location, I liked Marriott a bit more because it was newer and overall, more stylish!
However, if you have a slightly larger budget, everyone recommends staying in Hyatt Recency Tashkent – we went there to eat in a restaurant called Khiva and it was a great experience. The hotel was also super impressive, so I would definitely recommend it.
Where to eat in Tashkent: the best Uzbek & international restaurants
Before we start with the best attractions and things to do in Tashkent, let’s talk about the best restaurants you should visit in Tashkent. As I mentioned before, Tashkent has amazing food. Yes, the prices are slightly higher than in Bukhara and Samarkand, but the food quality, in my opinion, is better. Plus, if you get tired of traditional Uzbek dishes, you can always try international food like burgers, salads, steaks and pasta – there are plenty of restaurants in Tashkent that serve them.
So here are my recommendations for the best places to eat in Tashkent:
– Afsona – for the best Uzbek food in Tashkent
– Khiva restaurant in Hyatt Hotel – for great Uzbek food in a fancy environment
– Meat.me – for international food & some local dishes
– Chorsu market food stalls – for street food connoisseurs
The best things to do in Tashkent in 2 days:
Finally, let’s talk about the best things to do in Tashkent in 2 days, e.g. during a weekend. If you only have one day in Tashkent, you will also be able to visit all these places; you just need to wake up a bit earlier and spend less time in each of the attractions.
Having spent two full days in Tashkent, we visited most of the landmarks of the city. Here are the ones I would recommend to you:
My absolutely favourite thing in Tashkent was its metro! Tashkent metro was the first one to open in Central Asia and it’s actually very beautiful. Since it was build during the USSR times, Tashkent received the team that built some of the stations in Moscow and St. Petersburg (hey, if you’re interested in reading about the most beautiful stations in Saint Petersburg, head to THIS post).
Pretty much every single metro station in Tashkent is impressive and has a different design. However, there are a few stations that are even more remarkable than the others. If you don’t have the entire day to be able to stop at every single station (the gaps between trains are 8 minutes, so it might take a while), I recommend you visiting at least these five:
– Alisher Navoi
If you want to see the full list of the metro stations I would recommend visiting in Tashkent, head to this article.
Amir Timur Square
Another must-visit attraction and one of the best things to do in Tashkent is Amir Timur square. The main square of Tashkent is very spacious and monumental and, what I liked the most, – it’s pedestrian-friendly. In the middle of Amir Timur square, you can find the monument of Amir Timur – the famous general Timur (often called Tamerlan), who conquered half of Central Asia back in the 14th century. He is one of the most important figures in the history of Uzbekistan, so a lot of buildings and monuments are dedicated to him.
Amir Timur Museum
Amir Timur museum is located just a few hundred meters away from Amir Timur square. It opened in 1996, and it’s dedicated to.. guess whom? To Amir Timur. So if you want to know a bit more about the hero of Uzbekistan (or in his times, it was called Sogdiana or Sogdia), head there!
Another place that is worth visiting (especially in spring or autumn) is the famous Broadway Street. Broadway is a vibrant street with a lot of music, street food and overall, a very cheerful vibe! Unfortunately, we didn’t get to experience its liveliness in winter, as everything was closed, however, I’ve seen a lot of videos of how cheerful it is in spring. If you’re visiting Tashkent in spring, make sure to head these.
One of the main landmarks of Tashkent is the Chorsu Bazaar – a bustling market located in the centre of Tashkent. A lot of cities in central Asia are built around markets – they are an integral part of life in Centra; Asia. And the markets in this region of the world are very unique: they are enormously big, and they are also divided into different sections, such as veggies, fruits, spices, dairy and other milk products, meat, sweets, drinks, baked goods and an edible area (street food). Chorsu is the most impressive market in entire Uzbekistan as it has a very beautiful round hall!
However, as a tourist, you would be most interested in the second floor – where all the spices and sweets are. One thing to keep in mind: Chorsu is the most touristy market in Tashkent. Hence, the prices are significantly higher than in the other cities. Since you are going to visit Samarkand and maybe even Bukhara, I recommend doing most of your shopping in these cities rather than in Tashkent. Don’t forget to bargain at the market because as a foreigner you would get offered prices that would be significantly higher than prices locals would pay!
Old city & mosque
As I mentioned before, there are not so many old buildings in Tashkent because the city suffered a devastating earthquake back in the previous. However, you can visit the old town (there isn’t much left) and the new mosque that is still being constructed (as of the beginning of 2022). Once it’s finished, it will be very impressive. Right now there is a complex of a few different mosques, but I would wait for a couple of years before the new mosque gets finished.
Take a walking tour with a private guide
If you want to learn more about the history of Tashkent and get around with the guide, I can totally recommend buying one of the Tashkent day tours. Most of the guides would be able to provide a car as well (you definitely need a car to get from one location to another) or, alternatively, you all can get around by taxis. However, your guide will be able to show you some unique and interesting locations that you might not be able to visit on your own. Getting a private guide in Tashkent won’t be very expensive! You can check the prices and availability here: Tashkent private city tour.
Summary of Tashkent in 2 days: best things to do. Is Tashkent worth visiting?
Alright, let’s summarise everything! In my opinion, Tashkent is worth visiting, however, I would advise on spending one day in Tashkent – you would be able to see most of the landmarks and get used to Uzbekistan before going deeper into Uzbek food and culture! Tashkent is a very grand city – even the residential buildings are spread across a large territory! However, there is also a downside associated with that – Tashkent is not a very walkable city!
You will have to ask a taxi every time you need to go somewhere or take a bus / metro / minibus (which might be tricky if you don’t speak Uzbek or Russian). In order to ask for a taxi, just install the Yandex Taxi app (it’s also pretty handy if you head to Russia later – it’s the main taxi app in Russia as well).
Overall, we enjoyed Tashkent a lot and loved the food there – and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!
Here are some other posts that you might find helpful:
Four days in Uzbekistan: Tashkent and Samarkand in one trip (+ Bukhara, optional)