Tashkent is commonly treated as a starting point to other tourist attractions of Uzbekistan. And merely anything more. “Don’t stay there longer than you have to” – we were advised before our trip. We’re glad we haven’t listened! The city is full of trees thus pleasant for walks and marked with lots of interesting places. We liked the countless small cafes, easiness of the public transport (the pretty Tashkent metro stations!) and good nature of the city inhabitants.
Located near the Chorsu Bazaar, the Tashkent circus made our day. There are several thematic circus shows, and we think you could pick just any, as the artists obviously know their job (see the international awards on the walls). First class acrobats, tightrope walkers, trapeze artists... all of them and much more we found in Uzbekistan, where the art of circus performance is still alive and kicking.
Our note: we didn’t find any information or the ticket sale online, so we went to the circus when visiting the nearby Chorsu bazaar, and bought the tickets for the evening show. There wasn’t any problem with buying tickets for the same day.
Location: Gafur Gulom metro station or walking distance from the Chorsu Bazaar. Its blue dome covering the characteristic round structure is easy to spot from far away.
If we could visit only one park in Tashkent, it would be Alisher Navoi. Especially recommended on weekends, when it’s full of cheerful people in their Sunday best, closely observed by the huge statue of Alisher Navoi, the worshiped Uzbek poet. There is a charming pond in the park where you can rent a paddle or a pedal boat. There’s also an amusement park with the Ferris wheel, good for panoramic photos of the city. Finally, there’s a huge wooden ship serving as a restaurant. It might be even open if you’re lucky.
Location: Milliy Bog metro station
Some people love bazaars, some hate them. We really enjoyed peeking at the merchants, especially that the peeking conditions were just superb – the huge dome of Chorsu made a perfect shelter against the sun and even more perfect background for our “daily life of Tashkent” photos. The locals were friendly, chatted with us and let us try delicacies they were selling. Plus the place is full of the stalls offering the first class food, so if you stay nearby, this is a destination you’ll look for during lunchtime.
Location: Chorsu metro station.
If your vision of “old town” is a neatly renovated district, where historic buildings are home to cozy cafes and restaurants, then even the best GPS won’t help you find it in Tashkent. Here the old town means literally the old town. Old houses with their “molded from clay” vibe, set along the old “molded from clay” streets. Only its lively inhabitants and occasional cars will assure you it’s not some mad potter’s fantasy.
Former Lenin Square is hard to miss – centrally located and monumental, more a park than a square. Dotted with fountains, it will allure you for longer than you plan, especially if you visit Tashkent in summer.
The legendary hotel with its kinky architecture was an obvious choice for a romantic dinner. With its lovely view on the Amir Temur Square (the restaurant is on the last floor), decent food, and – surprisingly – the cheapest beer in the city (the cheapest beer during our whole trip in Uzbekistan, to be precise!) our memory of Uzbekistan Hotel will always remain warm although somewhat blurred, due to the four bottles of Botchka.
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