In the foothills of the Tien Shan, in the center of a blooming oasis is located Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. This is a huge metropolis with many streets and streets, among which are parks and squares with fountains.
Tashkent combines modern elegance inherent in many European capitals with a special oriental flavor.
The architecture here is mixed with many styles: the medieval buildings, monumental buildings of the Soviet era, and modern dazzling skyscrapers of metal and glass.
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Climate and weather
Tashkent is located in a zone of sharply continental climate, therefore here, as well as throughout Uzbekistan, it is hot and arid. The winter temperature here ranges from – 8 to + 3 ° С, and in the mountains it can even drop to –16 ° С.
The hottest time is here in July: around the clock the temperature is around +40 ° C. At this time, try to avoid arid areas, get better in the mountains, it’s cooler there.
In the mountainous regions of Uzbekistan a lot of rain falls. In Tashkent, they are a little smaller. Most of the rain falls in the fall, in the winter snow falls here, on the mountain slopes it remains until May. At the same time here the whole year is quite low humidity.
Tashkent was founded in the valley of the Chirchik River. To the east and northeast of the city begin the foothills of the Tien Shan.
The city has a lot of greenery: parks, squares, gardens.
In the forests in the vicinity of the Uzbek capital are found such rare animals as the marketeer, gazelle, and in the mountains – mountain sheep, snow leopards, leopards. Some of these animals belong to endangered species. They are under state protection.
There are plenty of birds here too: pheasants, golden eagles, cuckoos, bearded men, crows and magpies … And this is not all birds, which can be found in Tashkent and its environs.
Fish is found in the Chirchik River, and the catfish, pike perch, carp, pike, perch, common carp, snakeheads, silver carp are also diverse.
For a long time Tashkent was located at the crossroads of trade routes, which left its mark on the image of the city. And even though the present capital of Uzbekistan has experienced both ups and downs, it has always remained a unique center of Central Asian culture.
You should start your acquaintance with Tashkent with Eski-Shahar, that is, the old part of the city. This is a real labyrinth of narrow streets between ancient adobe buildings, mosques and madrasas. The main adornment of the old Tashkent is the Sheikhantaur ensemble. It consists of three mausoleums: Yunus Khan, Sheikhantur and Kaldirgach Biya. They were built in the XIV-XVI centuries. And the last of them will replace these mausoleums with its pyramidal twelve-sided domes.
But this is not all the mausoleums and architectural ensembles of Tashkent. It is also worth exploring the others, but a few articles are not enough to tell about each of them.
Kukeldash madrasah is considered another religious building. It was built back in the 14th century, and it still operates. In addition, not so long ago it was restored.
If possible, visit the mosque in Tashkent. The Sheikh-Tilla mosque deserves special attention, it is located on Hast-Imam Square, which itself is already very picturesque.
Tourists are also attracted to the square and park of Amir Temur, because here is the statue of the great Tamerlane. Another cult place in Tashkent is Mustakillik Square. It is surrounded by government buildings that make up a rather curious ensemble. By the way, this is the largest area in the former USSR.
Try to find time to visit the residence of Prince Rakhmanov (architecture of the XIX century). Also worth seeing is the TV tower, which is the highest in Central Asia, its height reaches 375 meters.
Among the museums, the National Art Museum stands out. It contains a unique collection of “Suzani” – decorative panels with handmade embroidery in the Persian style.
Lovers of cultural events should definitely visit the Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theater, which is famous not only for its repertoire, but also for its architecture.
Uzbek cuisine is not just a set of dishes, these are real rituals! And for Uzbeks it is very important to follow these traditional rituals during cooking. All dishes here are distinguished by an abundance of meat, as well as fragrant spices and seasonings.
Plov can rightfully be considered the king of Uzbek cuisine. Each region of Uzbekistan has its own recipe for its preparation, but all of them are incredibly tasty.
Also you should definitely try such traditional dishes as shurpa, dimlama, manti and bouglam. They have long been popular around the world, because they are really very tasty, but only in Tashkent you can try them in the most traditional form of cooking.
They add a lot of fruits and vegetables to the dishes, and do not do without cereals. They entrenched themselves in the Uzbek cuisine a long time ago, since the ancient times the Uzbeks were famous for farming.
Here they consume a lot of dairy products.
The very same meal is as follows. First served tea, sweets and fruit. Then follow vegetables and salads. Next comes the turn of soups: mastava or shurpy. And they complete the meal with meat dishes: mantle, pilau, kebab.
Uzbeks eat with their hands, sitting on the floor or at a low table.
As for Tashkent, there are many restaurants, cafes and teahouses. There is an interesting place here – “Osh Markazi” or else “Pilaf Center”, where you can taste real wedding Tashkent pilaf.
In Tashkent, in comparison with other cities of Uzbekistan, there are no problems with hotels. Here you can stay in old hostels, as well as in good hotels from 2 to 5 stars.
The presence of hot water should be clarified on arrival, however, in large cities it usually is. As a rule, breakfast is included in the price.
InterContinental 5 *, Dedeman Silk Road 4 *, Raddus JSS 3 * are the most popular hotels in Tashkent.
Prices for accommodation in comfortable hotels start at $ 100 per night for a double room. Outside the tourist season, prices are reduced slightly.
In a guest house or mini-hotel you will have to pay less, about $ 40–60 per night.
Entertainment and recreation
In Uzbekistan as a whole and in Tashkent in particular, during the year many different festivals take place, each of which has its own history. If you are planning to visit Tashkent, try to get to one of these festivals.
March 21, on the day of the spring equinox, Nowruz, Islamic New Year, is celebrated in Tashkent. Usually the holiday takes place in the form of dance competitions and songs. The city shows a lot of street performances and organize special fairs.
Once in four years, the International Film Festival takes place in Tashkent. At this time, the whole beau monde of Uzbekistan and Russia gather here. In addition, various fairs are held in Tashkent throughout the year.
Excellent conditions have been created in Tashkent for active recreation. The city is located in the foothills of the Tien Shan, so it is easy to go to the mountains from here to go hiking or trekking. For this, dozens of routes of varying difficulty have been created here.
From Tashkent you can go to conquer the rough waters of the Syr Darya – a great opportunity to go rafting and kayaking!
Tashkent is one of the few cities in Uzbekistan where nightlife is bustling. There are nightclubs here, albeit an order of magnitude smaller than in European capitals. Popular are X Club, Colored Plaza, Rich, Niagara.
Eski Zhuva is the oldest bazaar in Tashkent. It is considered the best, because you can buy everything that your heart desires! Another famous market of the Uzbek capital is Chorsu, it is not far from the Kukeldash Madrasa. Eastern markets are very picturesque, the local atmosphere will be stored in memory for a long time, and souvenirs purchased here will be a bonus to pleasant memories.
Perhaps the most traditional Uzbek souvenirs are ceramics. Here there are many schools of ceramics, each has its own particular style.
National clothing is also brought from Tashkent: men’s festive dressing gown “zarchapan” and women’s kamzul. In addition, often acquire a traditional headdress – skullcap.
Hand-made embroidered pictures are brought from Tashkent as a memory of the journey. They cost a lot of money, but the variety of patterns and designs is simply amazing!
If possible, get a carpet here. Uzbeks weave natural silk carpets and decorate them with expensive threads. This carpet will last a very long time. In addition, it is a very stylish element of interior decor.
Another option is to bring some national musical instrument from Tashkent. For example, dombra, kobuz, tanbur, karnay, etc. They give not only beautiful and rich sound, but also look very elegant, because they are decorated with carvings and patterns.
The roads in Tashkent are a bit in better condition than in Uzbekistan as a whole. At the same time there is a good transport connection.
From Tashkent to any other major city in the country can be reached by bus or minibus. The interval between flights is small, as is the fare to them. True, the trip may not be as comfortable as we would like: many drivers save on air conditioning, so in the heat it is better to choose another type of transport.
Also from Tashkent to other cities can be reached by train. To the services of travelers – commuter trains and branded express trains. And more recently, a comfortable high-speed train “Afrosiyab” was launched between Tashkent and Samarkand.
If you don’t have enough time, and you don’t want to spend it on travels, take advantage of the flight service. It is established between Tashkent and all major cities.
In the city go city buses and minibuses. In addition, there is a metro in Tashkent, which is the only one not only in the country, but also in the whole of Central Asia.
And, of course, there are taxis here. But with the car rental, everything is not so good: there are no car rental companies here. There are only a few companies that represent the car with the driver.
Mobile communication in Tashkent complies with GSM 900/1800. For residents of Russia, mobile operators provide roaming services in Uzbekistan. The cheapest roaming from MTS.
You can connect to any of the local operators. The widest coverage of Beeline Uzbekistan, Ucell, UzMobile. True, only the first two correspond to the GSM standard.
You can make a call from the post offices. They pay for the conversation with plastic cards that are sold everywhere in stores or by mail.
In Tashkent, the Internet is in all large hotels and public places. In the city center you can find an internet cafe.
Due to the abundance of police officers on the streets of Tashkent there is a fairly calm criminal situation. Violent crimes are not committed in the city, although fraud is possible.
However, in a large number of police there are also disadvantages: many of them are engaged in extortion from tourists. The same situation with the customs: under the threat of confiscation, money is often extorted here.
Despite the relatively calm atmosphere, it is better not to walk in unfamiliar areas of Tashkent at night.
If you are planning a trip in the summer, you need to be vaccinated against certain skin diseases, typhoid, dysentery, malaria, hepatitis B and E, trachoma, cholera and rabies.
Water from the tap is not suitable even for cleaning your teeth and washing – remember this! Food is only processed, otherwise there is a high risk of contracting intestinal infections. Fruits must be peeled.
In recent years, the business climate in Tashkent has improved, the number of people willing to start their own business has increased, and the government of the country contributes to this in every way.
In 2012, there were several laws that simplify and facilitate the conduct of private business. Experts predict that this will have a very good effect on the economy of the city and country.
Analyzing the business climate of Tashkent, one can see areas in which investments are simply doomed to success: there are practically no specialized cafes. So the restaurant business here will be a good field for investment.
The city also has almost no companies that would be engaged in car rental. It can be said to be an empty niche here, so such a business will be very profitable.
In addition, in recent years, they are actively switching over to the electronic form of reporting and reducing bureaucracy, which simplifies the process of starting their own business.
Tashkent is the largest city of Uzbekistan. Here the real estate market is developing the fastest in the country.
Until 2008, he was on the rise: real estate was built a lot, there was demand for it. Now the market is in decline: the effects of the global economic crisis still affect. Housing is now built less, and the prices are low.
To purchase a one-room apartment in Tashkent, you will need a relatively small amount: for $ 20,000–25,000 you can become the owner of your own home in the capital of Uzbekistan.
At the present moment there is such a situation that a fairly large number of objects are put up for sale in Tashkent, and the prices for them are very profitable. If you are thinking of buying property here, then you should do it right now, until prices began to rise again.