The capital and largest city of Uzbekistan, Tashkent has served as a transport hub for numerous countries since ancient times. It is more than 2,200 years old and dotted with almost 50 museums. With a pleasant continental climate, this destination is a blend of old-world elegance and modern architecture. You'll find beautiful mosques, madrassahs, and skyscrapers at every corner of Tashkent.
Top things to see and do in Tashkent
- Explore your religious side at the Minor Mosque. Situated on the banks of the Ankhor Canal, it was opened in 2006 and can hold over 2,400 people. Built in the traditional Uzbek and Oriental styles, this house of worship is beautifully decorated with quotes from the Koran and the Hadith.
- Dive into the history of Tashkent by visiting the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan. One of the oldest museums in Central Asia, it has more than 300,000 exhibits to offer. Situated on Rashidov Street, it houses a stunning collection of ancient fabrics, ceramics, coins, and historical works of art and documents. You can even find a sculpture of Buddha from the 1st century and a bronze Saka cauldron from the 5th century here.
- Honour the men and women who rebuilt the beautiful city of Tashkent after the 1966 earthquake at the Monument of Courage. The earthquake’s epicentre was located at nearly 10 kilometres below the city. Located at Mustakillik Avenue, this monument was erected as a symbol of courage for the people who helped restore the city.
- Experience Tashkent’s soulful culture by attending a play at the Ilkhom Theatre, also known as Tashkent theatre. Situated on Pakhtakorskaya Street, it was established in 1976 by Mark Weil, a famed Soviet and Uzbek theatre director. The plays here are performed in Russian and Uzbek, and sometimes in Yiddish and Italian. They are enacted using an art style of improvisation and timed coordination.
- Gaze into the starry sky at the Tashkent Planetarium on Zarkainar Street. It was founded in 2003 on the occasion of Uzbekistan’s 12th Independence Day anniversary. Increase your knowledge of astronomy at this planetarium, which offers a chance to admire the stars and solar system with modern equipment.
- Head to the Central Asian Plov Center and indulge your tastebuds in plov, Uzbekistan's signature dish, consisting of succulent pieces of meat slow-cooked with rice, onions, carrots and spices. Soak in the colourful atmosphere as you savour a plate of authentic plov. And thats not all, the cuisine has a variety of scrumptious and flavour packed delights to offer such as the Tandir Kebab, Manti, Patyr & Lag'mon; each one worth a try.
Tips for travellers
Do not miss out on the ancient cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, which are located on the Great Silk Road. About three hours from Tashkent by speed train, both cities are over 2,500 years old. The historical centers within these cities are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The legendary Samarkand Square is a trade and public center, home to three grand madrassahs, Ulughbek, Tillya Kari and Sher Dor. Bukhara is home to more than 140 ancient momuments, like the Ismail Samani Mausoleum and the beautiful Ark fortress, among many others. Although the tap water in Bukhara is safe to consume, it has a salty taste. So, make sure you carry a bottle of drinking water when you visit.