Uzbekistan is a Central Asian country located at the heart of the famous Silk Road, which used to be a trade route connecting China, the Middle East, and Europe. The country was closed off to tourists for a long time, but since 2018, Uzbekistan has been welcoming visitors from around the world.
Thanks to the change of leadership, Uzbekistan’s tourism industry is now thriving, with an estimated seven million international tourists expected to visit in 2023. Uzbekistan has plenty of fascinating tourist destinations that offer a unique blend of the old and the new, eco and agrotourism opportunities, and a rich history.
Samarkand, known as the ‘Crossroad of Cultures,’ is an ancient city that dates back to the 6th century BC. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia and is home to the monumental Registan Mosque, one of the most recognized mosques globally. Visitors can also learn about Uzbekistan’s ancient paper tradition by visiting the Meros Paper mill in Samarkand.
Another must-visit destination is Bukhara, an ancient Islamic city that dates back over 2,500 years. Bukhara is a hub for Islamic culture in Uzbekistan, with stunning architecture that dates back over 1,000 years. Some of the top attractions include the Hammam Bozori Kord, one of the oldest functioning bathhouses globally, and the epic Kalon minaret.
For eco-tourists, Uzbekistan’s Ugam-Chatkal National Park in the far northeast of the country is a must-visit destination. The park is known for rare flora and fauna, and visitors can spot animals such as snow leopards and red foxes. The area around Mount Chatkal is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve and is home to ancient drawings dating back to 1000-2000 BC.
Uzbekistan is not just about its ancient history and natural beauty; it is also a paradise for food lovers. Visitors can try traditional Uzbek bread such as ‘non’ and enjoy meat cooked over charcoal, tandoor kebabs, pilafs, and a vast selection of fresh and dried fruits and nuts.
With 93 countries, including all EU member states and UK citizens, being able to travel to Uzbekistan visa-free, and over 50 countries able to visit with an electronic visa, there has never been a better time to explore this beautiful country.
Uzbekistan is an excellent destination for tourists interested in history, culture, nature, and food. It has much to offer, from the ancient cities of Samarkand and Bukhara to the Ugam-Chatkal National Park and its delicious cuisine. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime on the Silk Road.