How much money do you need to travel in Uzbekistan? Not much these days. In the past, just getting a visa would already set you back 150$, but these days, it’s either visa-free, or a cheap e-visa can be had for 20$ for most travelers.
Prices for food are still very low, and transport doesn’t cost a whole lot more either. Budget accommodation has grown up in the past few years, and Couchsurfing is legal as well. Even for the top boutique hotels prices are very reasonable (outside Tashkent).
The upshot is that you are left with more pocket money to spend on silk scarfs and ceramic dishes. The souvenir industry produces such oversupply that, with a bit of bargaining, excellent deals can be done here as well.
The magic word has dropped: bargain. You can (try to) bargain everywhere. No one gets offended, it’s the local style – much more so than in the surrounding Stans.
For info on money exchange, withdrawing money, what currency to bring etc., see money in Uzbekistan.
There are a few hostels in Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara, but elsewhere, budget accommodation is still difficult 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 good hotel: 20-30$
- Double in a boutique bnb: 50-120$
- Double in a 5-star hotel: 120-300$/€
More tips and info on your sleeping options at accommodation in Uzbekistan.
2 plates of plov and tea in a simple local restaurant will cost around 2-3$/€. 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$
Renting a car in Uzbekistan is very affordable: prices start at 25$/day.
More details about transport in Uzbekistan on the overview page.
Tours and activities
Unlike Iran or Turkey, many religious buildings in Uzbekistan can be entered free of charge, but this does not count for famous monuments like eg. the Registan. 2-3$ 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.
Tours are not all that expensive: for instance, a 10-day highlights of Uzbekistan trip with transport, guides and accommodation pre-booked comes out at less than 100$/day.
Visas and flights
Uzbekistan is now visa-free for 50 countries. If you are not visa-free, you can get a cheap e-visa – just costs 20$, or an additional 20$ if you let an agent handle it for you. If you have a less desirable passport (most likely Pakistani), count on 120$ for visa + invitation letter. Find out more at the Uzbekistan visa page.
If you are flying in and out of the country, expect to pay around (this is a very rough estimate) 300-500$/€ for a return flight from Europe or Asia.
Budget and expense questions for your trip are welcome in the Silk Road travel budget forum thread.