Tashkent was the starting point of my 2.5-month solo trip to Central Asia. Most tourists skip Tashkent and hop on to another destination in Uzbekistan. I decided to take my time in Tashkent and spent about a week here. That’s when I found that there are some really cool things to do here.
Here are a few recommendations on what to do in Tashkent as a tourist.
Take a Free Walking Tour
If you don’t know about this, Free walking tours are usually tip-based. You pay the guide whatever you like after you finish the walk.
We came across some interesting sights and learned more about their histories like Hotel Uzbekistan, the National War Memorial, and the statue of Amir Timur among others.
Btw Amir Timur is part of the national identity of Uzbekistan and a national hero here which is quite surprising as he is one of the most controversial figures in human history.
Visit the Metro Stations
Metro stations in Tashkent here are an attraction in themselves.
Cost per ticket: 1400 Uzbek som
A lot of the metro stations here are from Soviet times and as all Soviet metro stations go – they are quite stunning!
But it was actually prohibited to photograph here until 2018 as it also functioned as a bomb shelter.
I’d say visiting metro stations is a perfect thing to do especially during the daytime in the summer months as it’s pleasantly cool inside.
Each station here honors Uzbek heritage, most named after Uzbek poets, writers, and other notable figures in the nation’s history.
Alisher Navoi Metro Station
The first poet to write in the Turkic language. Uzbek belongs to the Turkic group of languages, so he is incredibly famous here.
Apart from this metro station, even a university, park, and theatre, in Tashkent are named after him.
You’ll find Alisher Navoi everywhere. You cannot miss him when you are here.
This has to be my favorite metro station in Tashkent.
Valentina V. Tereshkova, the first woman in space, and Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space are celebrated here.
Visiting metro stations are such a cool thing to do in Tashkent that I also came back here with my husband Monty when we explored Uzbekistan after my 2 months solo trip.
Another must-visit place in Tashkent is the Chorsu Bazaar – the biggest and oldest bazaar in Central Asia.
Although Chorsu Bazaar’s dome catches your attention first, the market actually spreads out from here in different directions.
From carpets, souvenirs, and furniture, to day to day groceries – you’ll find everything here.
The main dome of the bazaar is the focal point of the bazaar. Here, you’ll find meat and milk on the ground floor and dry fruits and spices on the first floor.
Try the local food in Plov
Of course, I had to try the local food here.
Starting with the Central Asian Plov Center recommended by Lonely Planet.
The traditional dish Plov is made up of long-grain rice, onions, carrots, and chunks of lamb which is served with bread and salad.
But you would be surprised that in this high meat eating region, I managed to find a vegetarian plov as well.
I’d say the Uzbek Plov is very similar to the Pulao that we have in India but it’s a little greasy.
Visit Lal-Bahadur Shashtri Monument
I’m sure all Indians would appreciate – a statue dedicated to the 2nd prime minister of independent India – Lal Bahadur Shastri. He died in Tashkent and there’s a monument here in honor of him. He is the one who popularized the slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”.
A cab driver in Tashkent told me about the monument when he found out I’m from India. How thoughtful!
So what do you plan to do on your visit to Tashkent?
Let me know in the comments below.
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