17 Dec Uzbekistan Transport Guide 2020
How to Get Around Uzbekistan in 2020
In recent years, getting around Uzbekistan has become even easier. The developments in transportation with constant international and domestic flights have made Uzbekistan a more welcoming place for tourists. The main gateway to enter Uzbekistan is Tashkent Airport and this will be the place where you start thinking about which type of transportation to use to reach your hotel. In this blog post, we will explain all the possible ways to get around Uzbekistan and recommend our suggestions.
Taxi (Yandex Taxi, EasyTaxi, MyTaxi)
Taxis are always convenient in every country, providing the best option to move around if the price is low. Uzbekistan has one of the most affordable taxi services in the world, since any local person can get a license easily to be a taxi driver. Travelers can easily catch a taxi. You will usually find dozens of taxi drivers offering their services just around the airport main exit. If no tour agents are waiting for you to guide you to your hotel, it is advised to negotiate the fare before taking a ride. Usually, there is no fixed price for the service, and drivers tend to charge tourists more than the normal price. The fare depends on the distance, and it may vary around $1-$10. After 9 PM, most of the drivers charge a bit more than they do in the daytime. However, it is safer to use officially marked taxis with fixed prices. The most popular agents in this field are considered Easy Taxi, My Taxi or Yandex taxi. You can reach Easy Taxi by searching Easytaxibot on your Telegram account, which is much more convenient rather than downloading a mobile application and going through all the registration processes. Unfortunately, the bot is run only in Uzbek and Russian and it can be a problem for many tourists who do not speak these languages. English is not spoken much in Uzbekistan and you might not be able to explain to a taxi driver where you want to go. In this case, Yandex Taxi is a lifesaver, but you need to download their mobile application. The navigation of the application is very easy. You just need to put your destination on the search box of the app and search the closest taxi and the driver will come to your location. Once a driver picks up your order, you can see the plate number, car model/color and phone number of the driver. This is similar to Uber; you need to look for the car you ordered when the application says your driver has arrived. For a Yandex Taxi application for iPhone, click here; for Android, click here, and for instructions on how to order a ride, click here. In the same way, you need to download an app for MyTaxi; it works almost the same. The only problem here is you need to have a local sim card to receive a verification code for registration. Sometimes, the driver may not be able to find you and drivers use a registered number to confirm the exact location by calling.
Tashkent has a regularly scheduled bus. The prices are quite reasonable. For a 1400 Uzbek sum, or for 15 cents, you can reach any place you want within the city. The app called 3TM shows the direction of all public buses to make your journey more convenient. During rush hour, such as around 8-9 a.m and 6-7 p.m, the buses can be a little bit overcrowded. However, if you have a late-night or an early-morning tour around the city, you had better not think public buses or subways as the option, as their working hours are 6 a.m- 11 p.m.
Tashkent’s underground system is one of the most beautiful in the world. The ticket fare for the Tashkent subway is 1400 sum (15 cents). Tashkent metro is 37.5 km in total length, with 29 stations, each completely unique. The architectural and artistic decoration of each station reflects its name. Tashkent metro has three lines: Chilanzar, Uzbekistan, and Yunus-Abad. The subway is the favorite form of transportation for people in Tashkent. Using the metro, you can go to most places in the city. Taking pictures in the metro used to be prohibited, but now, you can. Stopping by a few stations is recommend; you can see Soviet architecture and be amazed at how each station is built uniquely. Sometimes, you might be asked to show your bags for inspection in the metro entrance, for safety reasons.
Trains are perhaps the safest and most comfortable form of local overland transport in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan railways link Termez, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Fergana Valley, and Nukus.
There are two train stations in Tashkent: North, and South. This means you must be sure about the station of your train. You can buy tickets from Uzbekistan Railways’ official website; the only issue is you need to use national cards to execute the payment and most people complain that it does not work all the time, but there are few success stories. Even if you book using the link, you will get a voucher on the confirmation page by clicking the provided link and exchange it for a train ticket at the station. Keep in mind ticket counters might be very busy during peak seasons. If Samarkand and Bukhara are on your travel list, then you should consider Afrosiyob high-speed train as the best option. Most tourists know Afrosiyob is the better option, so they book their tickets as early as possible because the high-speed trains get fully booked close to departure. From Tashkent to Samarkand, Afrosiyob takes around 2 hours and you do not want to get a flight for that, because you will have to go through all the safety checks, and it might take more than 2 hours for the whole flight.
Flying is a time-saver between Tashkent and far-off Khiva and Termez, or possibly Fergana Valley. However, you should carefully plan your trip if you want to travel by air in Uzbekistan. There are limited routes and limited seats available since Uzbekistan Airways is the only option there. Make sure your air tickets are booked before coming to the country and make a proper schedule so you do not need to wait for your flight for 1-2 days to reach other cities from Tashkent. Use Uzbekistan Airways’ official website to familiarize yourself with flight schedules and to safely buy your ticket for both domestic and international flights.