Uzbekistan is such a wonderful country. It is absolutely safe to travel in Uzbekistan and we have the proof by travelling through the whole country by car all by ourselves. If you plan to travel soon don’t forget to arrange your visa and know everything in advance about how to apply for a Uzbek visa.
Is it safe to travel to Uzbekistan?
Uzbekistan is a very safe country to visit. Other than Tashkent, you will be able to travel comfortably without having your belongings and camera strapped to your wrist. We tend to always wrap the camera around our wrist anyway to prevent from dropping it but whilst visiting Uzbekistan we felt very safe. We travelled on our own, driving our own car from the west border to towards Tajikistan and at no time we felt threatened. The locals don’t speak too much English but are very nice people and are always willing to help you.
Is it safe to travel to Tashkent Uzbekistan?
The capital Tashkent is safe for tourists and also solo travellers. Like most cities around the world, if you are not careful with your belongings you can get your stuff snatched but this is the only city in Uzbekistan where it is most likely to happen. Note that Tashkent has an enormous police presence so it helps to avoid petty crimes. Just be aware even thought you felt safe in Samarkand, Bukkhra, Kihva, etc.
Do not worry about security in Tashkent, you will love it and you have to see the famous underground metro!
Crime and Scams in Uzbekistan
Crime is very rare in Uzbekistan. It is probably the safest country in Central Asia to travel which makes also Uzbekistan a great place for solo female travellers. Note that you won’t find much press about crime when it happens since it is a police state and media is quite controlled.
Common Scams in Uzbekistan
Although Uzbekistan isn’t a country we would say has a lot of scams, there are a few ones that exist and if you encounter signs of these please be beware. This would more likely to happened in Tashkent, not much anywhere else.
So the common scam involves a stranger coming up to you saying they found cash lying on the street and will then try to involve you in a complicated scheme to “split” the cash . If you get greedy and end up accepting, the scenario can get all sorts. Just avoid accepting anything that seems shady. Do avoid scams from strangers inviting you to discover the “nightlife” of the city as well. Only trust your guide or trusted travel websites.
Bribes in Uzbekistan
Bribes are quite common in all police states, dictatorships and communist countries. Just make sure to always obey the law and you will be fine. Make a copy of your passport in colour so you can avoid bringing the original copy in case a cop wants to see it and confiscate it unless you give a bribe. Note that cops usually try to get bribes from locals and rarely from foreigners. If a cop tries to get a bribe out of you, always be firm, don’t show fear and just waste his time by responding correctly but in a way that you are a loss cause for him to pull out some bribe money!
Local laws in Uzbekistan
Note that wherever you stay in Uzbekistan, you will need to register where you are. Hotels and guesthouses will do the paperwork of registering you so no worries in how to register yourself in Uzbekistan. Do keep it safe with you in case anyone needs to verify it. We advice you to take a photo of it once you get it back. It is said on few forums that some travellers have been asked for them at border crossings to show evidence of their passage through Uzbekistan. Note that homosexuality is illegal under Uzbek law so you should be aware to not show public displays of affection.
Can you fly your drone in Uzbekistan
If you were allowed to sneak your drone in, note that it is strictly illegal to fly and you can get in trouble. We were lucky to get in the country with it via land crossing (they did not say anything) but it is known from forums that many are scared and has to smuggle it in to not get it confiscated. Just don’t be stupid, don’t fly your drone. Being a police state, photography in general can upset the authorities so you double check before taking photos especially near checkpoints, border controls, airports, military areas, any police entities and bridges.
Some websites will tell you that it is forbidden forbidden to take photos of Tashkent’s metro stations. It was indeed illegal until 1 June 2018 because they were considered military installations and the system’s secondary role as a nuclear bomb shelter, crazy huh? You are able to take photos since 1 June 2018, so no worries! If you get in trouble, do firmly state them you are allowed.
How to travel safely in Uzbekistan
Like any other country, don’t flash your expensive things. Uzbekistan is also a land locked country with borders to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. If you are travelling on your own by car, you should make your research since some borders are closed. Since many border areas are not really marked properly, it is advised to only cross at authorized border crossing points you can find online.
Is it safe for women to travel in Uzbekistan?
Last and not least, many solo females travellers wonder if it is safe for women to travel in Uzbekistan and most importantly alone. It might seem scary at first since travelling in Central Asia in general is not easy like visiting Thailand or Western Europe. We have talked to many solo female travellers and from experience travelling through the country, we can assure you that you have nothing to fear and that Uzbekistan is solo female traveller friendly! You have nothing to fear most importantly because Uzbek people are very hospitable, helpful people and kind. Although not equipped with the best roads, there are many options to travel through the country so you will be fine travelling alone. There are a lot of policemen around too which can make you feel more at ease. If you ever feel that a man is talking too much to you constantly, don’t feel afraid to walk to a local closer to you and ask them nicely to tell the other person to leave you alone. Uzbeks are very kind and it’s important for them for foreigners to like their country to drive more economic advantages through tourism.
Obviously, if you travel by train, at each exit you might get bothered by taxi drivers than want to get you as a client and to show you the city but this is like almost anywhere around the world, we trust you in knowing how to ignore or bargain! Always make sure to get informed about the price of things before engaging with price negotiations. If you have travelled solo in Uzbekistan, we would LOVE to read about your experience in the comments below.
When is the best time to visit Uzbekistan?
Now that you know that it is safe to visit Uzbekistan, you should get ready to go visit! The best time to visit Uzbekistan is spring and autumn (which means April to May, and September to early November). Summers can be quite hot, we went end of August and it was just perfect actually. During the suggested periods, it’s typically warm and dry so you can enjoy Uzbekistan without being a sweaty wet mess!
Cover pic location: Khiva, Uzbekistan
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🇺🇿 UZBEKISTAN 🇺🇿 ✨ PLACES YOU MUST-SEE IN KHIVA ✨ Save this post and join our footsteps in #Uzbekistan! ❋ Juma mosque ❋ Kalta Minor ❋ Itchan Kala ❋ Ark Kuhna ❋ Dvorets Tash-Khauli ❋ Khodja Madrasa ❋ Mohammed Amin Khan Madrasa ❋ Kalta Minor ❋ Pakhlavan Makhmoud Mausoleum ❋ So much more will be on AdventureFaktory.com . Uzbekistan is filled of wonderful towns and Khiva is a place you should spend a few days! We didn’t stay as long as we wanted, so make sure you give yourself at least 2 full days before heading to your next spot. It is tough to get to, but well worth it! #AdventureFaktoryinUzbekistan – 📷 @NikonMEA #D850 + 14-24mm AF-S Nikkor | See all our @Nikon shots on #AdventureWithNikon – 🗺 Travel guides & inspiration ➡ AdventureFaktory.com!