Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan and one of the most important hubs of Central Asia. In many ways the city offers a somewhat predictable outcome to the formula Central Asia + Soviet influence + Islam = ... (think broad boulevards, Soviet-style apartment blocks, huge mosques and imposing statues). Add to that that this is not exactly the most free and liberal country in the world, and the scene is set. All of that is not to say however, that the city is not worth a visit. If anything, the above ingredients make it a fascinating place to drop by.
Falling into Persian, then Mongol, then Russian hands throughout its history has naturally left a mark on it. Unfortunately, an earthquake in 1966 demolished a lot of the ancient city. Some interesting sights remain, however:
- The Chorsu bazaar is a colorful must-see where Uzbeks sell and buy their wares (carpets, ceramics, watermelons).
- Near the bazaar you will find the Kukeldash Madarsa which is the so-called "center of muslim education" and the city's central ensemble. The monument stands on a pedestal and showcases some beautiful mosaics.
- Independence Square (formerly Red Square) is a must-see for tourists, offering plenty of great (literally) monuments and room for a peaceful stroll through the gardens.
- The Teleshayakh Mosque which houses the oldest Quran in the world.
Besides these sights, the restaurant and nightlife scene has been coming up to steam as well in recent years. The climate in Tashkent is most comfortable in Spring (March-May) and Autumn (September-November), when maximum temperatures on average reach between 14-27 degrees Celsius (57-81 degrees Fahrenheit). [Review by travelindicator]
- Tashkent is a city in Uzbekistan. It has a population of 1,978,028, is situated at an altitude of 1414ft and the best airport to fly into is TAS (Yuzhny, Tashkent)
- The currency used in Uzbekistan is the Uzbekitan som (UZS)
Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):
Historical average rainfall per month (inches):
More Tashkent travel resources
Other places to keep reading about Tashkent are firstly Wikitravel and Lonely Planet. The Tashkent travel guide from Advantour isn't half bad and Journeymart has some interesting stuff too. Next, head over to CNN, read the Chronicles of a misfit Pakistani in Tashkent. This blog has loads of pictures of travels in Uzbekistan and touches down in Tashkent as well. Happy reading.