If you are reading this post, it is because you plan to go to Uzbekistan in the future or because you may have already bought the tickets to embark fully on the Silk Road. Either way, you are in the right place.
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan, although it is not very touristy. Most of the people who come to visit the country do not stop for one night in the city, but go to visit their sisters Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, this one, they say is the most beautiful in the entire country. However, the capital also hides a few secret gems that you must visit and it is worth at least spending a few hours.
We visited Tashkent last, because as I mentioned in previous posts, the train from Bukhara arrives in Tashkent at 10 at night, so there is no time to catch a return flight, but you have to spend the night in the city. Thanks to this reason, I was able to get to know Tashkent. However, based on my experience and because it is the one that I consider of least interest than the others, I would therefore recommend visiting it first.
Tashkent is characterised above all by having wide avenues and buildings with a very Soviet style. It is still highly appreciated that this country belonged to the Soviet Union until its independence in 1991 so it is still very recent. It also had Persian, Arab and Turkish influence.
Uzbekistan was the crossroads of two worlds, where different cultures and civilizations were found. Thousands of caravans from the Silk Road passed through here, connecting the Mediterranean and the Middle East with China and India.
I think the order to visit the country should be Tashkent ~ Samarkand ~ Bukhara ~ Khiva.
Next, I detail what you must visit in the capital.
What to see in Tashkent?
- Metro: One of the traces left by its Soviet influence was the Metro. In fact, Tashkent is the only city in Central Asia that has a metro and it was difficult to build due to be in a seismic zone. Some equate in beauty the metro in Tashkent to the one in Moscow. I can not say it because we could not visit the metro at the end and after living in Moscow, where the subway is so beautiful, there was no need either. They say that at the time the best painters and decorations in the entire Republic were counted for its decoration and that it is lined with marble and granite, as well as ceramics. All accompanied by chandeliers, bas-reliefs and murals. It is said that taking photographs in the suburban is prohibited because it is considered a military area, equivalent to nuclear shelters. The stations of Kosmonavtlar and Paxtakor are worthwhile.
- Madrasa of Barak-Khan. It literally means “lucky ruler” since the dignitaries thus considered the ruler of that time, who was the grandson of Ulugbek. It is from the 16th century and its construction was related to the cultural and political changes that took place at that time. The building is made of brick with three blue domes.
- Khazret-Imam Complex: This whole complex built in the 16th century was magnificent. It is located next to the Madrasa of Barak-Khan so it is less than 5 minutes walking. As a result of various earthquakes, wars or due to the passage of time, some buildings have lost part of their decoration. The name of the complex derives from one of the most respected Imams in Tashkent. This complex encompasses the Tilla Sheikh Mosque, also from the 16th century and which is still in operation today. His name means the “golden sheik” because they say it keeps a piece of the prophet Muhammad’s golden hair. In front of the mosque there is a gallery to pray outdoors and on the sides two minarets, a library and some rooms. Another building within this complex is the Madrasa Muyi Muborak, from the 16th century as well and famous because the Koran of the Caliph Osman, a Muslim relic, written in the 7th century and considered the original source of the holy book, is kept here. The caliph was killed and his blood is said to remain among the pages of that Koran. The whole complex is very beautiful because it is grandiose, a center of spirituality in the modern city of Tashkent, full of endless blue domes, so characteristic of the architecture of Uzbekistan.
- Chor-Su Ancient Market. Chorsu Bazaar is the largest market in Tashkent, where locals can buy anything from raw food products, fresh fruits and vegetables, honey and spices to clothing, jewelry, beauty products, and more. You can find everything here! The central part of the Bazaar is covered with an impressive dome and inside, you will find from a meat products, fish to textiles, household items and even animals such as chickens, rabbits, birds, etc. I recommend, if you have time, go for a walk for how truly picturesque it is.
- Minor Mosque. It is a surprising new mosque in Tashkent. It was built in 2014 on the banks of the Ankhor Canal. Locals call it the “Snow Mosque” because it is completely made of white marble. It is particularly beautiful when the sun’s rays hit its walls, making the mosque shine and shine.
Where to stay?
We stayed at a hotel called The Mirage. It was all super new, very clean, modern and nice. We paid, the three of us, for one night, 58 €, breakfast included. The room was a Suite with a balcony and it was huge and the bathroom also included a jacuzzi. The staff was very friendly people, in fact, we checked out before going to visit Tashkent and we were able to leave all our bags at the hotel since the flight was in the afternoon.
This hotel has an 8.4 rating on booking.com. Here you have the link here in case you are interested in booking here.
Where to eat?
It was rated well on Trip Advisor so we decided to go there. Very beautiful, with a very Uzbek aesthetic, with an open patio an a fountain with running water which gave it a very Zen atmosphere. The food very good. We ordered again, Plov, the typical Uzbek dish.
If you have any questions or questions, you can send me an email or write it in comments.
Thank you so much for reading me.
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