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View of Islamic buildings through blue mosaic archway.

Uzbekistan holidays

Uzbekistan possesses the cream of Central Asian architecture, epitomised by the magnificent Registan Square in Samarkand.

Back in the early ’90s, Steppes Travel was the only company in the UK to be offering trips to Uzbekistan. As such, our expertise in this region is unrivalled and we would recommend a trip to Uzbekistan for anyone who wants to get to the heart of Central Asia. 

Recent investment has produced some excellent hotels and small guesthouses that are brimming with character; plus, there are direct flights from London and some excellent high-speed train routes. It is now also a visa-free destination. Despite the modernisation, the traditional chapan (or coat) and long afternoon battles of chess and backgammon are still very much a common sight.

Ulug Beg Observatory, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Ulug Beg Observatory, Samarkand

What to expect on your Uzbekistan Holiday

Today, much of Uzbekistan is a shadow of its former glory, however, the buildings and architecture which remain, much dating from the 13th and 15th centuries, are truly magnificent and one can only wonder at the skills of the craftsmen who laboured with such primitive tools. The markets are a delight and a photographic paradise; while outside the cities, the dusty, isolated villages with their flocks of woolly, fat-tailed sheep have changed little over the years.

Explore Uzbekistan

  • Bukhara
  • Khiva
  • Samarkand
  • Tashkent
  • Fergana Valley
Fergana Valley Pass, Uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan
Kyrgyz nomad by yurt, Bulunkul, Tajikistan
Kyrgyz nomad in Tajikistan
Decorating Bread, Damla, Turkmenistan
Decorating bread in Turkmenistan

Beyond the Ordinary

In Eastern Uzbekistan, lies the fertile valley of Fergana. Shielded by mountains, this conservative region is an ethnic melting pot where mosques and bazaars are alive with activity. The centre for silk production, it was a crucial link on the fabled silk route. From the Fergana Valley, it is a short drive to cross the border into Kyrgyzstan which combines beautifully with Uzbekistan, showcasing mountainous landscapes and nomadic culture.

Tajikistan and Turkmenistan also combine well and offer diverse scenery, ranging from mountains to deserts and lakes; as well as a thriving felt-making industry and fascinating archaeological sites.

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Choose from our collection of curated experiences that will help us to create a bespoke and memorable journey for you.


Explore the UNESCO city of Khiva, possibly the best preserved of all the Silk Road cities.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Kyzylkum Desert

Visit Aydarkul Lake in the Kyzylkum Desert – camp out in yurts and ride a camel.

Discover Bukhara

Stroll through the atmospheric streets of Bukhara, home to bazaars, minarets and madrasas.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Hike in the Chimgan Mountains

Embark on a day trek or a more challenging multi day hike in the Chimgan Mountains.

Fergana Valley

Visit the fertile silk producing region of the Fergana Valley.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Registan Square

Wander around Samarkand exploring the restored madrasas flanking the edges of Registan Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the countries most iconic images.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveler chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.

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Very efficient, knowledgeable and personal service from Paul. The whole holiday exceeded my expectations and the guides were soviet style superb.


Very satisfied with all aspects of Steppes service and especially pleased with our guide whose deep knowledge of the country gave us a far better trip than we had even expected. We were inspired to keep learning more, both during the trip and afterwards.


Deborah, our main contact was quick to respond and thoughtful. We requested a guide who was excellent in the history and lore of the region and she secured us the best guide we have ever encountered. Great team, great trip!


Frequently asked questions about Uzbekistan

What money should I take with me to Uzbekistan?

ATM’s are not always reliable in Uzbekistan but have improved in recent years. We recommend you also bring some cash which can be exchanged at the bank with the help of your guide.

Do I need a visa to travel to Uzbekistan?

British passport holders travelling to Uzbekistan for tourism, for durations of up to 30 days do not require a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of departure from Uzbekistan.

Other nationals would need to check with the respective embassy or contact us for assistance.

How long is the flight to Uzbekistan?

Flying direct from London to the capital of Tashkent takes around seven hours.

What type of food should I expect in Uzbekistan?

Uzbekistan is not known as a culinary destination and food here merges influences from Russia, Tajikistan, Mongolia and Turkey. Popular dishes include ‘Plov’, a rice dish traditionally made with meat, vegetables and infused with herbs and spices, cooked together all at once. A wide variety of delicious and attractive flatbreads are also produced in Uzbekistan, some glazed and intricately patterned.

When is the best time of year to visit Uzbekistan?

It is best to visit Uzbekistan in the spring, between April and early June when days are dry and temperatures warm, and similarly in the autumn between September and early November. Winters can be bitterly cold and summers dry and extremely hot.

Can I drink alcohol in Uzbekistan?

Alcohol can be consumed, though is not always available due to Uzbekistan being a Muslim country. However, it does produce its own wine thanks to the perfect climate and terrain, and with around 14 Vineyards to choose from you will be spoilt for choice.

Can I travel by train in Uzbekistan?

More and more train routes are appearing and it is now possible to connect all the way from Tashkent to Khiva by high speed train.

What is the time zone in Uzbekistan?

Uzbekistan is five hours ahead of GMT.

Can I use my mobile phone in Uzbekistan?

Roaming agreements exist with a few international mobile phone companies, although the coverage is average and charges are high. Pre paid SIM cards are available, and can be topped up during your trip.
Phones are available at most hotels, though making a call from your hotel room can be very expensive. Enquire at the reception.

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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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