No, as of right now there are no flights to Tashkent from any airport in the United Kingdom. However, passengers travelling from London Heathrow use Turkish Airways to get to Tashkent. The trip takes only ten hours and has a brief stopover in Istanbul.
Almost six flights are leaving for Istanbul from London Heathrow Airport alone every day. Turkish Airlines has dedicated flight from Manchester and London Gatwick Airport as well. From Istanbul onwards, nine flights are leaving for Tashkent Airport, twice on Fridays and Wednesdays. These flights depart for the Uzbek capital at 1 AM and land at 7:15 AM local time with a total flight duration of four and a half hours.
Tashkent is a Muslim majority city, which is why people do not flock to Tashkent over Christmas holidays as is the trend in much of the western world. For those who would like to spend their holidays in a more exotic setting, and that too on the cheap, visiting Tashkent between December and February can give you that pleasure. Even in the middle of winter the temperatures never go below 0°C. Many national and cultural days celebrated during this time also tempt the tourists to prolong their stay. The snow and rainy season peak in March but the rest of the time is quite pleasant for winter. How about saving a few hundred pounds on your Christmas holidays and heading to Tashkent for a cheap vacation.
The Tashkent International Airport (TAS) is also named as Islam Karimov International Airport is the third busiest airport in all of Central Asia. The airport of the Uzbek capital handles about 3 million passengers per year. The newly renovated airport is only 12 kilometres from the city centre. The government plans to build a new airport for Tashkent by the year 2030.
There are two phases of the ideal time to visit Tashkent. The first period is from early April to the first week of June, and the other is from September to the first week of November. During these times the weather is pleasant, and the temperature remains between the 25°C to 30°C. In the nights, the chill in the air drops the mercury down to 15°C, so you would still need a light jacket for a walk under the starlit sky over Tashkent. There might always be some chance of experiencing a rainy day in the April to June time frame, but in the September – November phase there is virtually no need to bring an umbrella. Despite the hotter climate in the June, July and August, the high summer season is still the busiest season of tourism in Tashkent. Coming to the city might be slightly more expensive with increased airfare and lodging prices during this time; however, it certainly worth it.
Tashkent is an ancient city, through which the Chirchiq River flows. The town celebrated its twenty-two hundred and tenth birthday in 2019. Tashkent thrived on the trade brought over by the Silk route and continues to be a regional economic and cultural hub.
- The Chorsu Bazaar is the old market that resides in the centre of Tashkent. The bazaar bustles under a circular concrete tent, decorated by blue tiles and geometric patterns. The bazaar was built in the 1570s and continues to bring customers with long lists in their hands to the local farmers selling their produce at this bazaar. There are heaps of spices of all sorts, not only from Tashkent but from all around Central Asia waiting to be discovered by a western palette. Apart from that, there are cured meats and fermented, pickled and fresh vegetables. There are even a few stalls for traditional handicrafts.
- The Amir Timur Museum is a dedicated institution for preserving the history and heritage of the Tamerlane and the Timurid Dynasty. The museum’s structure closely resembles the mausoleum of Tamerlane but with a modern flare. The Amir Timur Museum contains around five thousand artefacts that describe Tamerlane’s life and military campaigns. There are exhibits of antique maps, weapons and centuries-old coins. Coming to the museum would introduce the traveller to not only the past of Tashkent but also with the city’s great future.
- Kukeldash Madrasah in the old centre of Tashkent is one of the last remaining medieval Islamic structures still standing in the town. The madrasah's location is quite close to the Chorsu Bazaar. The school structure stood the test of time, even through multiple earthquakes and invasion. With the Soviet capture of the city, the Madrasah School became a museum of atheism, but now, upon the independence of Uzbekistan, the original purpose of the building was restored. The Madrasah is perfectly preserved and is kept intact.
After the independence of the country from the Soviet Union in 1990, Uzbekistan went on a soul searching mission. Festivals that were once only celebrated in privacy, in the name of communist unity, were brought into daylight. Tashkent celebrates the ‘Day of the defenders of the Native land’ on the 14th of January and pays homage to those who lay their lives for peace. Uzbek women lead the march in March on Women’s Day. In the same month, Tashkent celebrates the Navruz, the Persian New Year festival. On this day you will not find any house in Tashkent without Halim and Pilov cooking on the stove. May is the month of remembering the heroes of the Uzbeks; people who helped secure the country’s freedom and accelerated economic and social development. Shark Taronalari is also a summer festival that highlights the folk music in and around Tashkent.
Tashkent has a very modern and cheap metro system with three lines that web under the city. The stations are awe-inspiring and vast – a legacy of the Soviets. The metro ticket costs only 1200 so'ms which is equal to about 10 pennies. For security reasons, it is prohibited to take pictures while using the metro. Please carry your passports and documents as the police can ask you to prove your identity at the stations. The three lines that run under the city are known as Blue, Red and Green Lines.
Apart from that the city also has safe and comfortable taxis roaming through its streets. You would always need to bargain and negotiate the fare before taking the ride. The traveller would require some proficiency in Russian or Uzbek language since English is not widely understood in Tashkent. For those who do not incline to learn a new language at all for their travels, have someone draw a map of where you want to go, with instructions in Russian or Uzbek. It is preferable to use a rent-a-car. A car significantly increases your security and freedom of movement even though it is relatively more expensive.
Tashkent is rapidly modernising, with luxury hotels and resorts being built near the city centre and in the more peaceful suburbs of the city. There is an ever-increasing business potential in Central Asia of which Tashkent is ready to reap the benefits. These luxury hotels boost the city’s influence in the country and beyond.
- Hyatt Regency Tashkent
- Grand Atlas Hotel
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Tashkent
- Botanic Boutique Hotel
- Wyndham Tashkent