Life at Tashkent International Airport used to be a chaotic affair because of incompetent management. It got a lot better in recent time (since late 2017). It’s still a small place (a new terminal is planned for 2019), and airplanes tend to arrive simultaneously (in the middle of the night).
This makes for a slow process getting in and out of the airport. What does not help are the many security checks, scans, passport controls and customs declarations (in duplicate). Waiting for luggage can take time as well. Foreigners tend to wait extra long.
We are looking for more experience reports on the new, apparently improved situation in the airport.
For now, to be on the safe side, still count 2-3 hours to get through it all. Depending on how nervous you get before getting on an airplane you might even want to come earlier.
For important details concerning customs and entering Uzbekistan, see Peculiarities of crossing the Uzbek border. We also have more on air travel to, from and inside Uzbekistan, and timetables and booking possibility for domestic flights.
Money exchange and services
Exchanging sum back into another currency at the end of your trip is not yet possible inside the airport. Exchanging your money into sum at the airport is possible, though. There are no functional ATMs at the airport, bring cash.
Seating space is limited, but there are a few points where you can charge your phone. A business lounge is available at the elevated cost of 125$. A few shops and bare-bones food places are still in business since people who do not read this website come to the airport with pockets full of sum, only to find out they cannot be exchanged. All services are open 24h a day.
Sleeping at the airport is not comfortable: seats have armrests between them, it is noisey and the guards eye you suspiciously.
Wi-fi is available at the airport, but the signal is bad: do not expect it to be of any use. Trollies are limited and not readily available. You have to buy a token to unlock the trollies as well.
Domestic to international terminal
Note that while the domestic and international terminals (terminals 3 and 2) are at the same airport, the only way to get from one to the other is by road (map).
For the 5-minute taxi ride, locals would not pay more than 2000 sum. Alternatively, there are 2 buses that operate between both terminals: #11 and #77. Walking would take close to an hour.
Transport between airport and city center
A taxi is an inexpensive and fast way to travel between the airport and the city center. The airport is close to the city center. A fair price, depending on where you are staying in the city, would be between 6000 and 10 000 sum.
When exiting the airport, a mass of unofficial taxi drivers will be fighting for your custom. It’s good to keep walking through the initial storm towards the taxi stand 50m off. This is where official taxis are standing. From here, you can start negotiating.
Not necessarily a pleasant first experience in Uzbekistan, especially at 4am after waiting for your bags for 2 hours, but stay tough and do not get ripped off!
To catch a bus from the international terminal, walk straight out, past the parking lot. The bus stops are just before the main road.
From the domestic terminal, the bus stop is to the left of the terminal (walking out of the terminal) in a large parking lot that does not look like a bus stop.
Buses run from 6am until midnight.