Inspiro Group - Travel and Logistics
Inspiro Group - Travel and Logistics
Inspiro Group - Travel and Logistics
96, Boulevard Erkindik, Bishkek,
720040, Kyrgyz Republic
Tel.: +996 (312) 30-46-17, 90-12-95
Fax: +996 (312) 90-12-95
e-mail: booking@inspiro.kg
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Tashkent travel information


Tashkent travel information

 
Get in

By plane
Tashkent airport is just a few kilometers from the city centre. Airlines serving Tashkent are Aeroflot, airBaltic, Asiana, Uzbekistan Airways and Turkish Airlines. A short and inexpensive ($2-3 / UZS2000-3000) taxi journey is the easiest way to get to the center. One should bear in mind, however, that upon exiting the international terminal, a large number of men will be crowded at the (sole) exit door offering "taxi" services. For the most part, these are not "official" taxis, often old, beat-up Ladas. "Taxi" drivers will attempt to charge whatever they believe the market will bear. For those without Russian or Uzbek language skills it is best to arrange to have someone meet you at the airport. Fair fares are usually only obtainable by those who understand the system and speak at least some Russian or Uzbek. Taxi drivers will rarely accept small bills (dollars, euros or pounds), and cannot be counted upon to give change (in any currency). Baggage reclaim and customs formalities can take 2 hours.

Before passing through customs, you will need to fill out 2 copies of the Customs Declaration. These forms are often handed out on the flight or can be found on the stands in the baggage reclaim area. The customs officers will keep one copy and stamp the other. You will need this form when you leave the country and may find it difficult to leave without it. Make sure to declare all money and valuables (cameras, PC's etc). You may not be able to leave with more money or valuable items than you arrive with. The Uzbek government does not like money leaving the country.

The departures area is on the upper floor. The access road has been closed, so you have to walk around the left hand side of the arrivals level and up some stairs or up the road. Allow plenty of time when leaving the country via Tashkent airport. Check-in, customs and passport control can be very time consuming, especially if there are large numbers of passengers. Make sure and have the customs form you were given when you entered the country.

By train
Tashkent is a key stopping point for rail services from Central Asia. It is possible to travel from or to Turkmenistan, Dushanbe in Tajikistan, Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Almaty in Kazakhstan and Moscow. It is possible to travel to China through Almaty and to Iran and via Turkmenistan. Ticket prices are cheap by western standards, but will need to be paid for in cash, preferably USD. There are many warnings about thefts of personal belongings on the trains.

By car
There are road routes from surrounding countries but the borders may not be open and there have been security problems. The border from Afghanistan is frequently closed or not open to non Uzbek/Afghan nationals. There is a risk from land mines in some border areas. The crossing from Kazakhstan near Saryagash is open and safe. Allow one or two hours to get through, especially from the Uzbek side.

Get around

Air
Tashkents recently renovated airport is Central Asias main hub. The domestic terminal is about 150 m. from the international terminal.

From Tashkent, Uzbekistan Airways flies twice daily to Bukhara, three times a day to Urgench, one or two times daily to both Fergana and Andijan, and six times a week to both Namangan and Samarkand. There are no flights to Kokand. Other destinations with three or more flights a day include Quarshi and Termiz in the south, and Nukus

By bus
The city has a good public transport system which is cheap. The metro/underground system is typical of the old Soviet style with large and impressive stations and is actually quite modern. There are also modern busses and trams which are being renewed in 2008. Tickets (which on the metro are small blue coin size tokens) cost 300 SUM for any single journey. It is not permitted to take photographs in the metro stations. Police will usually be present on all platforms. Do not risk taking photos "while the policeman is not watching" because they have security cameras everywhere and policeman will approach you instantly and check your documents. In all cases do have documents while in metro (and anywhere in city), you can be checked any time.

Taxis can be cheap after some negotiation, however some of the vehicles are very old. While there are official, authorized taxis (with the appropriate sign on the roof of the car), in reality almost any driver in Tashkent can double as a taxi driver. The local custom is to simply stand by the side of the road with your arm extended downward and slightly away from the body. A driver will pull over and you then state your destination and negotiate the fare in advance

None of the major international car hire companies operate in Tashkent. Where car hire is available, it will include a driver.

The Tashkent long-distance bus station is about 10km southwest of the city and about 200m northwest from Sobir Rakhimov metro station, across the divided highway. Dont confuse it with the regional bus stand beside the Metro station.

If the bus you want to catch is about to leave, try buying the ticket from the driver. Major destination and departure frequencies include Samarkand, Bukhara, Termiz and Nukus/Hojeli. For buses to Chimgan use the bus station at the Mashinasozlar metro.

The busy private bus yard is in the parking lot west of the Ippodrome Market. Buses for Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Quarshi, Termiz, Khiva and Nukus depart when full. There arent any schedules so the best thing you can do is arrive early and see what is going where.

See

Tashkentland, (Near Aqua park, not far from Tashkent TV tower). It is an amusement park of Tashkent. It has few nice rides, nothing special if you have been in big park but nice place to spend a free afternoon with friends. Although it is also worth a visit to a simple park in Tashkent - they have less attractions and less exciting, but they give more authentic feeling. 7000 sum.
Tashkent Galley of Modern Art, (Not far from Amir Temur square and Westminster University). It is a nice modern gallery. Now (2008 June) there are some UN posters, some pictures and very nice excibition of young artist. FOr students its only 500 sum entrance.
Alisher Navoi Theater for ballet and opera.
Various other theaters including the impressive Russian Drama Theater on Navoi street.
Amir Temur Monument and museum in the Amir Timur park.
The Japanese Garden behind the Intercontinental Hotel is popular for wedding photos.
Boghi Eram Recreation Park. Fun fair for the young and not so young.
The central market 'Oloy Bozori' (known by most locals as the 'Alayskee Bazaar', Amir Timur Street has beautifully laid out displays of local produce, dried fruit and nuts.
War memorial, eternal flame and park, Sharof Rashidov Avenue (City Center).
Tashkent TV Tower. Viewing levels and restaurants with views of the city.
Muslim visitors may wish to visit the mosque in the Hast Imam area of the city. The library there contains the remaining fragments of the world's first Koran, written only 19 years after Muhammad's death.

Do
Aqua Park, Amir Temur road, near TV Tower. The park has a several pools, one with a wave machine, water schutes and high slides. Well worth a few hours in the hot weather. Take your own towel and pool footwear (the paths get very hot). There is a restaurant and bars inside. Adult 7000 Sum, Child 4000 Sum for 3 hours.

Work
A typical monthly wage rate in Tashkent is different among different people. Usually state office workers get around $100 a month. Private firm workers usually get higher salaries. It is possible to live cheaply if you do not visit any restaurants or other attractions. Most people rely on support from their family and friends.

Buy
Local produce - fruit, nuts, and vegetables can be very good, especially when in season. In the late summer, local melons appear on the streets and in the bazaars and are rich in flavor and very cheap.

Most local residents do their primary shopping in bazaars. There are many of them in Tashkent, the largest of which is the Chorsu Bazaar. It is huge, colorful, teaming with humanity and offers just about anything that can be purchased locally, from produce to locally-made furniture and hardware. Hand-crafted items, including crockery, rugs, traditional dress, etc., are also available and far less expensive than in the shops frequented by tourists. Have a local go with you to the bazaars if at all possible. Foreigners are inevitably charged higher prices. Bargaining is common, but requires some language skills.

Saligokh Street, known locally as 'Broadway', has some street artists, etc. The street is easy to find from the Amir Temur monument, just head away from the Uzbekistan Hotel. The 'mirstore' just off of Saligokh Street has a modern supermarket, coffee bar and hugely overpriced fashion stores. This area, known locally as "Demir," also has MirBurger, which has burgers, pizza and local dishes at generally reasonable prices. There is also a Georgian restaurant ("Tblisi") and a chinese restaurant. There is a heavy police (militsiya) presence here and foreigners are not often, but occasionally asked for their documents. It is advisable to keep a photocopy of your passport and visa with you, but leave the originals in your hotel safe.

Recently, modern designer fashion and luxury goods shops from the famous international brands have started to appear in Tashkent. Catering for the wealthy, these can be found in the Broadway area, Amir Temur street and Pushkin street.

There is a shop on Shota Rustavelli street, not far from the Grand Mir hotel called Human House. It features hand made crafts and clothing of all sorts, ranging from full outfits to purses, beautiful hand-painted tea sets, ceramics, etc., at very reasonable prices. It is operated by a non-profit and is meant to help provide income to the craftspersons, who are often from remote, very poor villages.

Eat
Uzbek national dishes are similar to those of other Central Asian countries. The national dish is Plov (also called Osh, "Pulau" in Urdu). It is a mixture of rice, mild spices, yellow or orange carrots, mutton, meat, cumin (zira) and, according to individualized recipes, occasionally other ingredients. Shashlik - meat (usually mutton, beef or chicken) and chunks of fat roasted kebab style over charcoal. Samsa ("Samosa" in Urdu) are similar to South American empanadas - meat (beef or mutton) and onion encased in pastry and baked in wood-fired, clay ovens shaped like inverted beehives called tandories. The local bread, round and flat, is also baked in tandories. It is called Non (or in Russian, "lepioshki,", "Naan" in Urdu) and is usually delicious. Non from Samarkand is especially well regarded by many in Samarkand but each region takes pride in its own version of non just as it does its verion of Osh.

There are hundreds of small cafes in Tashkent (and other Uzbek cities and villages) offering these and other local dishes at very inexpensive prices. A meal of salad, bread, tea, soup and shashlik at around 2-3 USD isn't difficult to find. Bear in mind that sanitation standards leave a lot to be desired in many of these cafes. Especially on warm days, look to see if the meat is kept refrigerated before it is cooked. Often, it is not.

Budget
There are many small restaurants serving simple meals at good prices. Burgers and kebabs are common. Borsch (soup) is tasty and perfect on a cold day.

Bravissimo at junction of Shahrisabz Street and Movarounnakhr Street serves cakes and good local food. Russian language only. Neft i Gaz kitchen, it is a canteen of a company, but many people from around go there, as it is cheap and tasty. It serves most traditional dishes - plov, lagman (a soup with spagetti, meat and other ingredients), borsh. Languages russian and uzbek, but it is easy to order, as it is canteen type and you can just show what you want. Lunch shouldn't cost more than 2000 sums. It is not far from Amir Temur boulevard and Westminster University. If you ask around people will know it and can show you more specifically as it is in the backyard and not so easy to find. Note: It works only from 12-16 p.m.

Mid-range

Polyanka Cafe.
Not far from Boghi Eram Recreation Park. Excellent food and cabaret entertainment (suitable for families). edit

Nam Dae Mun
? +998 71 1320105. 24 Buhara Street, near Alisher navoi Theatre and Broadway. Fine Korean and Japanese restaurant. Reasonably priced too. edit

Tang Cheng Chinese Restaurant
60A Amir Temur St, ? +998 71 1358916. Good Chinese restaurant.

Al Delfin. Excellent Arabic food.
The best sheesha in the city can be found only here.

Ariston.
Sabir Rahimov, st.Lashkarbegi, 2 (Off of Pushkin street). Like Polyanka, excellent food and cabaret entertainment (suitable for families).

Ariston Park.
One of a few good places to eat in Boghi Eram Recreation Park

Amfora Greek Rastaurant
Near junction of Shahrisabz Street and Movarounnakhr Street. Greek themed restaurant.

La Riva.
Fast food plus huge variety of different International dishes from Russia, Korea, Italy, Tatarstan and etc. Many colleage students drop in throughout the day and the evening. Right next to the restaurant "Ocean".

Khan Kuk Kwan.
South Korean Cuisine.

Mir Burger.
So called Turkish McDonald's. Located on Tashkent Broadway.

Splurge

Drink
In common with other countries in central Asia, tea is drunk by most people. Coffee, where available will usually be Nescafe. A better cup of coffee can be found in Cafe Amore at the MIR store just off of Broadway.

Alcoholic drinks are sold freely in shops or street stalls. Outdoor bars are popular in good weather. Uzbek wine, vodka (very strong) and many different beers are available. The Russian Baltika beer is popular. Baltika 3 is good and similar to other international beers. Baltika 0 has no alcohol, Baltika 5 and 7 are also good and Baltika 9 is very strong. A new local beer, Sarbast, has been launched and should be about half the price of imported beers. Its quite good and at 4.2% (red label), not too strong. Sarbast is also available with a blue label at 5.6%.

Nightclubs, as everywhere offer expensive drinks and typically play a mix of Russian and Western music. Strip shows are common.

Rich night club is part of Dedeman hotel.

Club Diplomat S, Navoy Street. 200m from Dedeman hotel. Has billiard tables. Entrance 3000 Sum (free for ladies). It can be very busy and getting in may be difficult if your face does not fit.

Studio Caf?, S.Azimova Street. Very modern cafe/bar with good food and drink.

Fashion Bar, 25 Kunaev Street. At the junction with Shahrisabz Street. Another modern bar/cafe, showing Fashion TV on large screens with music until late at night.

Diamond Club nightclub, below Arkada center on the Broadway. New and modern nightclub with a sci-fi theme. Check out the 'Predator' look-alikes.

The Chelsea Arms in Kakhara Street is a 'traditional' themed English pub. It looks like it has been transplanted from the East End of London. It also offers Wifi! Tashkent also has at least two Irish theme bars - the new Irish Pub and Patrick's Irish pub, Akhunbabaev street.

Sleep

Tashkent Intercontinental Hotel
Tashkent has many good hotels, most of which are empty. The exception is the Dedeman which has become the hotel of choice for most international visitors. The image of the Intercontinental Hotel is typical of the new buildings in Tashkent. Budget

Mid-range
Malika Hotel, tel: +998 71 1730203. Probably the best bang-for-the-buck in Tashkent. Well-equipped and nicely outfitted. Ownership includes an American partner. Room rates from 35-45 USD including breakfast. Also in Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.
Expo Tashkent Hotel - Located just next to the Expo Center.
Rovshan Hotel

Splurge

Grand Mir Hotel, 2 Kunaeva Street, Tashkent , Tel: +998 71 140 20 00, fax +998 71 140 20 40 -Luxury hotel for business travellers. Wireless internet connection is available. Rates include fitness centre services and healthy breakfast.

Dedeman Silk Road Hotel, Amir Temur St,Tel: +998 71 2340101. Excellent and new hotel in city centre. Drinks are over priced. Free Internet connection in rooms. Rack rates from $160/night but booking through an agent will get a double for $105 with breakfast. The deluxe double rooms are best and will cost $130 with breakfast.

Markaziy Hotel, Amir Temur St,Tel: +998 71 1383000. Markaziy Hotel was opened in 1999 by Sheraton and was run by them until a few years ago, when they left having lost money after some alleged financial irregularities. The hotel is one of Tashkents taller buildings. The rooms are still very good, but service and maintenance are not quite up to Sheraton standards. A single room will cost $70+ and a premium double $120+ including breakfast. Bar/restaurant bills must be paid in cash.

Tashkent Palace Hotel (used to be Le Meridien) 56, Buyuk Turon Street. Traditionally styled and visually impressive hotel.

Le Grande Plaza Hotel (formerly BUMI) 2, Uzbekiston Ovozi Street

Radisson SAS, Amir Temur St. About 2km from the city centre.

InterContinental Hotel, Amir Temur St. Opposite Radisson SAS Hotel.


Contact

Telephone number change
During November 2007 the Tashkent telephone number plan has been changed. The changes are complex. Some numbers that began with the number one have been changed to begin with two. Golden Pages has a list of the changes.

Cope
The local currency is SUM. Exchange offices should be used since the black market is illegal and rates are poor. US dollars, Euros, British pounds or Japanese Yen are the only currencies that can be readily exchanged, but notes must be in perfect condition with no marks or damage. Money from surrounding countries, including Russia and Kazakhstan is very difficult to find or exchange. The exchange rate is about 1350SUM to 1$ or 2600SUM to ?1. Local ATM's (known as Bankomat's) do not work with foreign cards. US dollars are available inside banks using international credit cards with commission of about 2%. The dollars can then be changed for local currency with another commission charge. Newer shops and hotels are accepting credit cards and Maestro.
British Embassy, Tel. +998(71)1207852. Embassy of the United States, Tel. +998(71)1205450

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