Tashkent Layover Guide
If you are flying with a transfer and the interval between flights is a few hours, you can take Tashkent layover tour to spend time pleasantly and interestingly then wandering cafes and souvenir shops of the airport. We have packed the most interesting and timesaving route in our Tashkent layover guide to make the best of your few hours in the capital of Uzbekistan and the biggest city in Central Asia.
Most popular sights
One of the most interesting and colorful places in the capital city is the Old Town (“Eski shahar” in Uzbek) where “Chorsu”, the largest and oldest market of Tashkent is located. There a real atmosphere of oriental bazaar prevails: scents of spices in the air, stalls filled with ripe fruits, vegetables, sweets and other delicacies – no chance to leave it with empty hands. Chorsu bazaar is also famous for street food so-called “food rows” and you should head there hungry: the choice includes the most delicious dishes of the local cuisine like naryn, somsa, plov, fish, shashlik that will be cooked in front of your eyes and the prices are indeed affordable. There is a complex of Hast-Imam located not far from the bazaar. It is a religious center of Tashkent standing amid clay houses that went through the earthquake of the 1966. There you will see the main madrasa and mosques of the country: Barak-khan madrasa of the 16th century, Tilla-Sheikh mosque, Mausoleum of Holy Abu-Bakr Kaffali Shashi and the Islamic Institute named after Imam al Bukhari.
After a walk in the Old Town, we recommend to take the “Chorsu” metro station and travel to the center of Tashkent. Ride in Tashkent metro is a part of city excursions and is a must-see sight of the capital. Here metro consists of 29 stations; like in Moscow, each station has its own unique architectural look embodied in marble and granite with rows of columns and bas reliefs.
Reaching the station “Mustaqillik maydoni (Independence Square)”, take a walk to the new part of the city. From the Independence square, walking through a broad alley that locals call “Broadway”, you can get to the heart of Tashkent – the square of Amir Temur and see the symbol of the city and its business card – Tashkent chimes. There is an interesting building located not far from the Amir Temur Square – Alisher Navoi State Academic Big Theatre. You can walk there enjoying the views of the modern Tashkent. The building of the theatre was constructed in 1948 according to the project of architect Aleksey Shusev, who was the author of the project of the mausoleum on the Red Square in Moscow. The theatre building combines both European and oriental architecture. Arches are supported by foundations reminding oriental ayvans (recreational sitting place) and the portal is assembled with towers resembling Bukhara minarets. Halls and foyer of the theatre are exquisitely adorned with wonderful clay gypsum carving. Beautiful fountain is in front of the theatre building in the shape of the cotton – the spot beloved by locals and crowded on summer evenings. There are also an oldest hotel of Tashkent and TSUM (Central Shopping Center during USSR times ) nearby.
Where to go with kids
For those traveling with kids in Tashkent, Tashkent layover guide recommends to go to the attractions park “Lokomotiv”, where you can have great family time. For shopping and entertainment, it is better to visit one of the malls of Tashkent such as “Samarqand Darvoza”. For more educational leisure time in Tashkent, you can also give a choice to museum of locomotives or polytechnic museum, where you can track the history of cars on the ground floor, and visit the upside-down room on the first floor, the mirror labyrinth, Ames room or just have fun playing games.
However, if you wish to visit special places that are rarely found in guidebooks, then head to the house-museums of prominent writers, artists, dancers, composers and musicians of the last century. You will see the life of creators, that can’t be described with book or paintings. Specially developed tour to house-museums is popular among unusual cultural adventure seekers.
Art fans may visit Museum of applied art of Uzbekistan, where over 7000 samples of national applied art are stored: hand-made weaving, tyubeteika (head dress), jewelry, carpets and other pieces of crafts since the beginning of the 19th century up to our days.
If you still have some little time left, then take a ride to the Minor mosque – it is the newest sight of Tashkent on the banks of the Ankhor channel. White marbled mosque is constructed in the best traditions of oriental architecture and surrounded with nicely developed infrastructure. You can complete your trip in Tashkent in one of the local restaurants. It would be a crime being in Uzbekistan and not trying the famous Uzbek cuisine. Thus, if you didn’t make it to the Chorsu “food rows”, then it is time to treat yourself now.