How much does it cost to plan a holiday trip to Uzbekistan on budget? Is it expensive to travel to Uzbekistan from the UAE? How much money should you take along when visiting Uzbekistan? How much does it cost per day? Is the food in Uzbekistan expensive? What is the best time to visit Uzbekistan? If you are planning a trip to Uzbekistan and wondering about the expenses involved, be glad as you will find all that you need to know about planning a budget trip to Uzbekistan from UAE.
This article is your passport to a wallet-friendly adventure, a roadmap that will transform your dreams of exploring Uzbekistan into an affordable reality. In the following pages, we will unravel the secrets of planning an enriching yet economical trip to Uzbekistan from the UAE, ensuring that your travel aspirations align seamlessly with your budgetary constraints.
So, if you’ve ever yearned to experience the magic of Uzbekistan without breaking the bank, read on and discover how to turn your travel dreams into a budget-friendly holiday trip.
Uzbekistan on Budget- Tips, Insights, and Recommendations
Nestled in the heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan attracts travelers with its rich tapestry of history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. From the bustling bazaars of Tashkent to the ancient Silk Road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, this landlocked gem offers a captivating journey through time. But what makes a visit to Uzbekistan even more enticing is the fact that it can be remarkably affordable, especially for travelers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or simply seeking adventure, you’ll discover that this Central Asian jewel is not only accessible but also surprisingly affordable. We understand that traveling on a budget is often a priority, and we’re here to show you how to make it not just possible but also immensely rewarding.
While Uzbekistan is one of the most expensive countries located in Central Asia, It is still a pretty affordable tourist destination. In the following pages, we’ll unveil a treasure trove of tips, insights, and practical advice on how to plan an unforgettable trip to Uzbekistan on budget from the UAE.
From cost-effective travel strategies to hidden gems that won’t dent your wallet, we’ll guide you every step of the way. So, let’s set forth on a journey where your dreams meet your budget!
Overall Costs- How Much Money Should I Take When Visiting Uzbekistan?
Popular tourist destinations in Uzbekistan like Samarkand, Khiva, Bukhara, and Tashkent have plenty of ATMs. You can always use your credit/debit cards to withdraw money in local currency.
Most of the guest houses, hotels, and hostels also accept credit/debit card payments. But despite all this, you should take around $200 (around ARD 700) in cash to be on the safer side. There can be times when an ATM might not work or a hotel won’t accept credit card payments. You should have cash in backup to avoid any unpleasant situation.
Most establishments in Uzbekistan accept payments in USD or Euros. So it’s recommended to take along cash in these currencies. And in case an eatery or retail outlet refuses to accept foreign currency, you can always exchange your currency for Uzbek Som through a currency exchange service provider.
Back in the day, it was a bit hard to exchange the Uzbek Som back into USD. But now things have changed. You can exchange the remaining local currency back into dirhams or USD at the end of your trip pretty easily. When you leave the country at the end of your trip, you can exchange the remaining local currency either at the bank outlets or currency exchange providers located at the airport.
Is Uzbekistan an Expensive Holiday Destination?
Uzbekistan is generally considered an affordable destination for travelers, especially when compared to many other countries in the region. However, whether Uzbekistan is expensive or not can depend on various factors, including your travel style, preferences, and spending habits.
If you are to explore Uzbekistan on a Budget, you can enjoy a cost-effective trip by staying in budget accommodations, eating at local restaurants, and using public transportation. Mid-range and luxury travelers may find Uzbekistan to be more expensive, especially if they opt for upscale accommodations and dining. Ultimately, with careful planning and budgeting, Uzbekistan can be a rewarding destination that offers great value for travelers of all budgets.
The entry fees for most of the historical sites including mosques, shrines, and museums range from $3 to $5 (AED 11 to AED 18). The hotel accommodations are also cheap. Depending on your choice, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $200 (AED 36 to AED 730) or more per night.
Transportation is also quite cheap. Public buses and minibusses (known as “marshrutkas”) are cost-effective options for getting around within cities. Fares are typically low, ranging from $0.20 to $0.50 (0.73 to 2 dirhams) per ride.
If you plan to travel between cities, consider taking a train. Uzbekistan’s rail system is efficient and affordable, with fares varying depending on the class of service and the distance traveled. A ticket for a longer journey might cost between $10 and $30 (36 to 110 dirhams).
How Much a Hotel Accommodation Cost in Uzbekistan?
Considering the rise in tourism, a lot of new hotels and guest houses are being opened up in the country. There are plenty of budget-friendly hotels and accommodations available in bigger cities like Tashkent, Bukhara, Samarkand, and Khiva.
The average cost of a 5-star accommodation in Uzbekistan is 100$ (365 dirhams) per night. You can also find cheaper options for as low as $10 (36 dirhams) per night. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend and what comfort level you prefer during your stay.
A mid-range hotel or guest house may charge $30 (100 dirhams) per night and a luxury hotel with 5-star amenities may cost you around $100 per night during the peak season.
To help you find affordable accommodation in Uzbekistan, here is a list of websites to find cheap hotels online.
There aren’t many hostels in bigger cities but you will find several affordable guest houses. But if you do find one, you would have to pay somewhere around $8 (30 dirhams) per night for a single bed during the peak season. In off-peak season, you can find cheaper options too.
However, in smaller cities and towns, finding affordable hotel accommodation is hard. But you can find homestays online and stay with local families to save money.
What is the cost of renting an apartment in Uzbekistan?
Another feasible and affordable option for accommodation is renting an apartment in Uzbekistan. You can find an Airbnb in bigger cities like Tashkent, Bukhara, Khiva, and Samarkand. You can find some cheap offers especially if you are planning on staying for a short time.
If you plan on staying for longer, here is a rough estimate of how much an apartment in Uzbekistan would cost you every month:
- 1 bedroom apartment in downtown: $380 on average (1400 dirhams)
- 1-bedroom apartment in suburban areas: $260 on average (950 dirhams)
- 3 bedroom apartment in downtown: $720 on average (2600 dirhams)
- 3-bedroom apartment in suburban areas: $460 on average (1700 dirhams)
What’s the cost of camping in Uzbekistan?
Camping is quite common in Uzbekistan now. Earlier tourists were allowed to stay in hotels and guest houses only but now you can camp around and save money on accommodation for a budget trip to Uzbekistan.
You can camp in the countryside and soak in the nature and calm vibes. Camping in Uzbekistan is free. You can just dig into your tent in a secluded space and enjoy with family or friends.
Cost of Transportation: Getting Around in Uzbekistan on Budget
Public and private transportation in Uzbekistan is not very expensive and is on the cheaper side. It is easier to get around the country via taxis, trains, and buses without burning a hole in the wallet.
The best mode of transportation is the train. They are pricier than buses but are more comfortable. To save more money, you can perhaps opt for hitchhiking.
Hitchhiking is a common practice in Uzbekistan and you may often find tourists standing alongside a road asking for a ride. Usually, people pay the driver for the ride but in case you are looking for a free ride, you ought to tell the driver beforehand to avoid unpleasant circumstances.
How much does renting a car in Uzbekistan cost?
Most of the rental car companies are located in the city of Tashkent. But you can rent a car from Tashkent and travel to other cities for an extra fee. The average cost of renting a car in Tashkent for a day is $40 (146 dirhams)
Cost of Travelling via Bus in Uzbekistan:
Traveling via bus is cheaper than taking a train. For example, a bus ticket from Tashkent to Bukhara costs $7 (25 dirhams) on average in the off-peak season. You can check bus schedules and ticket prices online for added comfort.
You will need to present your passport to reserve a seat on the bus. It is recommended to buy bus tickets at least a day before the travel date.
There are minibusses too to help people travel between small towns. Damas are the most common minibusses operating in Uzbekistan to let people commute to bigger cities and surrounding towns and districts. It is by far the cheapest transportation option to get around the big cities.
But bear in mind that these minibusses stop at different locations on their way towards the final destination, so sometimes it takes a lot of time to travel from one location to the other.
Cost of Taxi in Uzbekistan
A taxi trip of 2 to 3 hours would cost you somewhere around $7 (25 dirhams). But you can always bargain and negotiate in advance. People also often share taxi rides to cut down on travelling costs especially when going from one city to another. However, for longer rides, a taxi won’t be a comfortable option and it’s better to board a train for a smoother journey.
You can always board a private taxi to roam around the city. You just need to flag it down with your hand on the road. Alternatively, you can use Yoko Taxi or the Yandex Go app to book taxi rides online. These apps work well in all big cities and may help you book rides quickly and seamlessly.
Typically, a ride within a city costs around $1.5 (6 dirhams) on average.
Cost of Train Ticket in Uzbekistan
For exploring Uzbekistan on budget, the most suitable option is a train ride. Trains in Uzbekistan are well-maintained and offer a peaceful and comfortable ride especially when travelling from one city to another. They are also the cheapest option to travel between big cities.
For instance, a train ticket from Tashkent to Bukhara costs $7(25 dirhams) on average, and from Bukhara to Tashkent costs around $16 (58 dirhams) during peak season.
Metro in Uzbekistan
The metro of Tashkent is one of the most recommended things to do in Uzbekistan on budget. It’s kind of like a mini museum adorned very intricately. There is a ticket office at every metro station labeled as KASA on a yellow board.
A QR ticket is used to pay for a metro ticket. The cost of one metro ticket is $0.15 (0.5 dirhams). The QR code can be used only once at a time and remains valid for one hour after the purchase. You can continue riding on the metro with one token until you exit the metro station. This means you can visit all metro stations in Tashkent for only one ticket.
Cost of Restaurants/Meals/Food in Uzbekistan
The cost of food in Uzbekistan can be quite reasonable, making it a budget-friendly destination for travelers. Uzbek cuisine is known for its flavourful dishes, influenced by the Silk Road and the region’s rich history. Here’s an overview of the cost of food in Uzbekistan:
Street food stalls and small local eateries offer some of the most affordable and delicious meals in Uzbekistan. You can find dishes like shawarma, samosa (savory pastries), and kebabs for as low as $1 to $3 (4 to 11 dirhams) per serving.
Dining in mid-range restaurants in Uzbekistan is also relatively affordable. A meal at a decent sit-down restaurant can cost anywhere from $5 to $15 (18 to 55 dirhams), depending on the type of cuisine and location. Traditional Uzbek restaurants are known for their plov (rice pilaf), manti (dumplings), and lagman (noodle soup).
Upscale restaurants in major cities like Tashkent may offer international and gourmet cuisine. Prices at fine dining establishments can range from $20 to $50 (70 to 180 dirhams) or more per person.
Uzbekistan’s bazaars and local markets are great places to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, and snacks at very reasonable prices. You can purchase ingredients for a simple meal or picnic at a fraction of the cost of dining out
Non-alcoholic beverages like tea, coffee, and soft drinks are typically inexpensive, with prices ranging from $0.50 to $2 (2 to 7 dirhams). Bottled water is widely available and affordable. Alcohol is less commonly consumed in Uzbekistan due to cultural and religious reasons, but it is available in some restaurants and bars. Imported alcoholic beverages can be relatively expensive, while local options may be more affordable
Overall, food in Uzbekistan offers excellent value for money, especially if you’re willing to explore local eateries and try traditional dishes. Your food expenses can be budget-friendly, making it possible to enjoy diverse and flavorful cuisine without straining your wallet.
Do we have to tip in Uzbekistan?
Tipping customs in Uzbekistan are not as standardized as in some Western countries, but tipping is appreciated and common in certain situations. But in most cases, you do not have to tip as it’s included in the total bill of the restaurant.
However, it is not explicitly mentioned in the menus and most of the time the cost comes as a surprise for the tourists. Some think they are being overcharged for the food they ate but if you look closely, a service fee of 10 to 15% is added to the bill amount.
How Much Would a Trip to Uzbekistan Cost? The Average Cost of a Holiday Trip to Uzbekistan on Budget
The average cost of spending money on an 8-day trip to Uzbekistan, including food, accommodation, transportation, and activities, can range from approximately $500 to $1,000 (1800 to 3500 dirhams) for budget travelers, $1,500 to $2,000 (5,500 to 7,000 dirhams) for mid-range travelers, and $2,000to $3000 (7,000 to 11,000 dirhams) or more for those seeking luxury options.
For a 10-day trip, these costs would generally increase proportionally by about 20-25%. For a 14-day trip, you can expect costs to rise further, ranging from approximately $1,100 to $2,100 (4,000 to 7,500 dirhams) for budget travelers, $2,100 to $3,500 (7500 to 12500 dirhams) for mid-range travelers, and $3,500 to $5,500 (12500 dirhams to 20,000 dirhams) or more for luxury travelers. These estimates take into account varying preferences in accommodation, dining choices, and activities, with budget travelers opting for more economical options and luxury travelers enjoying upscale experiences.
Flight Ticket Costs from UAE to Uzbekistan
If you are planning a holiday trip to Uzbekistan on budget, you can save significantly on your air ticket if you act wisely. The cheapest flight route from UAE to Uzbekistan is via Dubai to Tashkent. You can buy return flight tickets for as low as 850 AED.
Here is an interesting read to help you save more money on your air tickets and make your Uzbekistan trip a bit more wallet-friendly.
Visa-free Entry for All UAE Residents
Visa-free entry from the UAE can be a substantial addition to your list of things for a holiday trip to Uzbekistan on budget.
UAE residents can travel to Uzbekistan with a warm embrace of visa-free entry! Imagine saving not only your hard-earned cash but also the precious time you’d spend navigating bureaucratic red tape. Uzbekistan, a land where history whispers through ancient streets and breathtaking landscapes await, is now at your fingertips, ready to be explored without the extra visa expenses.
All UAE residents with valid residency visas and local citizens can travel to Uzbekistan for visits of up to 30 days without any visa. The residence visa must be valid for at least 90 days to be eligible to enter Uzbekistan without a visit visa.
So if you are planning to embark on a holiday to Uzbekistan on budget, you can definitely do so and still make the most out of your trip without spending a bit over the odds. Feel the allure of the Silk Road, savor aromatic cuisine, and soak in the rich culture, all while keeping your travel budget in check. So pack your bags, unleash your wanderlust, and let the magic of Uzbekistan unfold before you, unburdened by visa concerns, and enriched by the savings you can invest in creating unforgettable memories. This is your chance to discover the hidden treasures of Uzbekistan, and the path is clear – visa-free, cost-effective, and absolutely captivating.
Also read: Top 20 Visa-free Countries for UAE Residents