How much money do you need to travel in Uzbekistan? It depends on you, of course. Getting there is expensive. Prices for food are low, transport costs a bit more. Budget accommodation is still in its infancy, and Couchsurfing is tricky due to the need to register your stay, but if you have a bit of money to spend, some marvelous rooms come in view.
2 important tips to make things dramatically cheaper:
- Exchange your money on the black market for higher rates.
- Bargain everything (if you feel you should be paying less).
All prices below are quoted with black market exchange rates in mind.
There are a few hostels in Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara, but elsewhere, budget accommodation is impossible to find. High taxes mean high starting prices, but if you are traveling as a couple you can get beautiful rooms at affordable prices in Bukhara and Khiva. Other cities will have you pay a bit extra for a nice room.
- Dorm bed/homestay: 8-15$/€
- Double in a cheap hotel: 10-30$/€
- Double in a nice/very nice hotel: 25-140$/€
- Double in a 5-star hotel: 200$/€
2 plates of plov and tea in a simple local restaurant will cost around 2-3$/€. Fast food sells for 1-2$/€. At the market you can expect prices to be around 25-50% of Western prices for basic foodstuff. Don’t be afraid to try a slightly fancier restaurant, prices for a meal will rarely go above 10$. Upmarket restaurants charge 10 to 25$/€ for a meal.
- Train Tashkent – Bukhara: 20$/€
- Flight Tashkent – Khiva: 80$/€
- Bus or metro in Tashkent: 20 cents
- Taxi from the airport to the center of Tashkent: 4$/€
Tours, activities and entrances
Unlike Iran or Turkey, many religious buildings in Uzbekistan can be entered free of charge, but this does not count for famous monuments like eg. the Registan. 2-3$/€ is generally the price for an entrance ticket. Museums have a similar price tag. You could be charged several times in places like Khiva: once for entering the old town, again for photo permission, a third time for a special mosque. It adds up in the end.
The services of a guide or driver are very affordable. For a whole day, budget 40$/€ for a driver and the same for a guide.
Getting into Uzbekistan is expensive. The visa costs around 80$ (more for Israelis and Americans), and most nationalities need an additional letter of invitation, which costs a similar amount.
If you are flying in and out of the country, expect to pay around (this is a very rough estimate) 500$/€ for a return flight from Europe or Asia.