Uzbekistan is a crossroads of civilizations and has been one of the nerve centers of great empires, from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan, from the reign of Tamerlane to the Tsars of Russia. Different lifestyles have met here over the centuries, from nomadic tribes to the oldest cities in the world, such as Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. With cultural crossroads, Uzbekistan was at the center of the mythical Silk Road, which connected China to Europe. A large number of famous travelers, such as Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, Rui Gonzales de Klavixo traveled through Samarkand and Bukhara on their expeditions and later wrote books about their adventures. In Uzbekistan, there are more than ten sites under UNESCO protection, which are other reasons to visit this beautiful country.
What is the climate like in Uzbekistan?
Uzbekistan's climate is typically continental, with frigid winters and particularly hot summers. Temperatures can range from a minimum of 15/20°C below zero in January in the mountainous areas to 41/42°C in summer in the extreme south of the country (Termez). Precipitation is low, generally between 200 and 300 mm per year. Especially in lowland and hilly areas, the temperature range between day and night can be considerable. The particular characteristics of Uzbekistan's climate make it advisable to seek travel experts' advice before organizing a stay in Uzbekistan.
What is the best time to travel to Uzbekistan?
Although the best times to visit Uzbekistan are in spring and autumn, when temperatures are milder, you can explore this fascinating country from the beginning of March until the end of November. On the other hand, the winter season is generally not recommended due to the cold nighttime temperatures and the short duration of the days. The best solution for organizing a tour to discover the wonders of Uzbekistan is undoubtedly to contact a tour operator specializing in trips to the Middle and the Far East and Central Asia.
What language is spoken in Uzbekistan?
The official language of the state is Uzbek. It is interesting to note that since 1991 the country has adopted the Latin alphabet, whereas previously the Cyrillic alphabet was in use. Among the languages spoken by the country's minorities is Tajik, an eastern variant of Neopersian. Finally, several ethnic groups, as well as commercial and government institutions, still use Russian.
What are the typical dishes of Uzbekistan?
Uzbek cuisine is one of the country's tourist attractions. Traditional Uzbek dishes are the result of a mixture of different peoples (Turks, Kazakhs, Tatars, Mongols, and Tajiks) and include dishes such as kebabs, pelmeni, manti, bughirsok and lagman, as well as local specialties such as samsa, shashlik, and shurpa. While the northern regions are famous for plov, a dish of roasted meat accompanied by bread and noodles, in the south, rice and vegetable dishes, as well as numerous desserts, are among the most popular dishes.
Now that you have the basic information about this country, we can pass to the Uzbekistan visa policy.
How to get visa to Uzbekistan: European Citizens?
To get Uzbekistan tourist visa, you must contact the Embassy of Uzbekistan in your country. The documents mentioned below must be attached to the application. The Embassy issues visas for 30 days, with 1, 2 or 3 entries. The higher the number of entries, the higher the cost of the visa for Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan Tourism Visa Requirements
- Uzbekistan Visa Form - must be completed in full online, printed and submitted at the time of Uzbekistan tourist visa application
- Passport valid for at least three months from the date of expiry of the visa (and not from its issuance as is the case with most visas) with two consecutive free pages
- Copies of 1,2 and 3 passport pages, as well as the page where the renewal of the passport is indicated
- Two recent passport photos on a white background
- Letter of Assignment (only for those using the courier visa service)
Fee for a tourist visa to Uzbekistan
Consular fees are for a single entry. They should be increased by 10 euros for each additional entry, up to a maximum of three entries in total.
- Consular fees for a 30 day Uzbekistan visa:
- Consular costs: 60 euro
- Total costs through Agency: 95 euro + shipping
Uzbekistan E-visa requirements
E-visa provides a tourist or business visa, which allows single, double, or multiple entries to Uzbekistan for a period up to 30 days and is valid for 90 days from the day of application.
It is worth applying to the e-portal at least three days before traveling to Uzbekistan - the application is processed within two working days. A ready visa is sent to the applicant's email as a link to the portal. After authorization in the portal, you need to download (PDF file) the visa and print it.
Important: Keep the printed version of the e-visa, since you have to show it at the passport control while coming to Uzbekistan, also when leaving the country.
Fee for a tourist e-visa to Uzbekistan
E-visa to Uzbekistan costs $20 for single entry, $35 for double entry, and $50 for multiple entries, respectively. The fee is to be paid through VISA. However, the applicant does not have to be a VISA cardholder to pay the visa fee.
Uzbekistan e-visa policy and steps to obtain it
Step 1: forming of application
After accessing the e-Visa portal, the applicant shall fill in the form, where the personal data and the planned date of entry to Uzbekistan should be specified. Attach the portrait photo and scanned copy of the passport as well. If the applicant is a national of a country that has an agreement on visa-free entry to Uzbekistan, the application process is terminated, and the applicant is notified about no visa requirements.
Step 2: activation and payment
After completing all the information, the applicant must provide an email address, to which a confirmation of acceptance of the application, an application code, and an activation link will be sent. The application code from the email must be entered into the portal and the payment for the visa can be made. After the payment is made, a second email will be sent to the applicant's email address, notifying him/her of the acceptance of the application.
Step 3: receiving the visa
The time of consideration of the application is 2 working days (not including the day of submission). After this time period expires, the applicant receives an answer to the email indicated when applying to the portal. If the applicant receives a positive result, they will get an email with the electronic visa to Uzbekistan, which is a PDF file, that can be saved on the phone or printed out to be presented at the border.
In the case of refusal, the visa applicant shall also receive an e-mail notification. The reason for refusal may be a wrongly-filled visa application form, mistakes and inconsistencies in the information provided, and exceptional cases provided by the Uzbek legislation. In case of refusal, the fee is not refunded.
Electronic visa to Uzbekistan - rules for photos:
- When uploading a facial photo, you have to follow the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization:
size 35x40 mm, quality 300 dpi;
- the face occupies 70-80% of the frame;
- plain light background.
When uploading a copy of your passport, the information must be readable, and the file size must not exceed 500kb.
Uzbekistan visa free countries
A visa-free entry regime has been introduced in Uzbekistan for Russian citizens. The visa-free regime for 60 days is extended to such states as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan.
Among the non-CIS, Uzbekistan visa free countries are Israel, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, and Japan have visa-free travel with Uzbekistan since 10 February 2018. It is valid for trips of up to 30 days.