Visiting Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent

Chorsu Bazaar Tashkent

If you’re planning a trip to Chorsu bazaar, don’t be fooled into expecting a relaxing touristic experience to share on Instagram.

It’s a gritty, hectic place full of locals going about their daily grind.

From the mountain tea vendors calling across to you to the pushy hawkers selling dried fruit and nuts, it’s very much a hustle and bustle kind of place.

In a city which seems to struggle to find its post-Soviet identity, Chorsu bazaar stands out as one of Tashkent’s most culturally significant monuments.

If you’re visiting Tashkent and want to see a snapshot of traditional shopping in Uzbekistan then Chorsu bazaar is definitely worth a visit.

Facts about Chorsu bazaar

  • Chorsu is a word of Persian origin, meaning “crossroads” or “four paths”.
  • Chorus market originated over 2,000 years ago, according to historian Abdumannop Ziyaev.
  • The modern Chorsu bazaar was designed in 1980 by architects Vladimir Azimov and Sabir Adylov.
  • Chorsu bazaar’s renowned feature – its main blue dome – is an impressive 80 meters in diameter.
Blue-Domed Bazaar
The Famous Blue-Domed Bazaar


According to local historian Abdumannop Ziyaev, Chorsu was thought to have been a small trading area for a population of only 3,000 people at its origin more than 2,000 years ago.

During the Timurid dynasty of the 14th and 15th centuries, the marketplace grew to serve a population of up to 30,000 people and over time the architecture around the marketplace began to expand.

Hawkers selling Uzbek Kurt
Hawkers selling Uzbek Kurt

As Islam spread to Uzbekistan, so did the religious buildings around Chorsu. Today, the bazaar sits adjacent to both the Kukeldash Madrasa and the Hoja Ahror Valiy Mosque (Juma Mosque).

Other cultures to trade here include Indians who brought pearls, spices and medicines and the Chinese who brought silk and porcelain. Neighboring Kazakhs also brought herds of cattle here.

Traditional Uzbek plates

As the Soviets came to power in Uzbekistan in the 1920s both religion and private businesses were curtailed, causing huge disruption to the way of life of its residents. Many wealthy vendors were arrested and only agricultural products continued to be sold.

In the 1980s local architects Vladimir Azimov and Sabir Adylov began to rebuild the bazaar with its current design, best known for its large blue dome.


The bazaar is the biggest in Tashkent and sells all kinds of products including silk, spices, tea, porcelain, plants, bread, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, handcrafted knives, medicines, shoes and lots of imported Chinese products.

Inside Chorsu's Blue Dome
Inside Chorsu’s Blue Dome

There are several sections to the bazaar and the most iconic is the marketplace under the large blue dome. Stalls on the first floor sell mainly red meat and the second floor is packed full of dried fruit, nuts and Uzbek sweets.

Fruit and nut stall

Although this section is the best known part of the bazaar, it’s not the most pleasant part. The ground floor is somewhat pungent and vendors on the second floor can be over eager to catch your attention. Still it’s definitely worth a short visit to get a glimpse of the dome’s interior.

Elsewhere in the bazaar, there are separate areas for fruit and vegetables, traditional Uzbek clothes, typical Uzbek tableware, and much more.

There are also a couple of buildings selling jewelry including Uzbek gold and silver but the section selling flowers and plants is perhaps the most relaxed area.

Plant stalls
The plants stalls are the quieter parts of the bazaar

Mountain tea is popular with tourists. It’s made from a mix of mountain herbs including thyme, chamomile and saffron and is said to be excellent for health.

Other traditional medicinal products include pumpkin which is dried out and then rehydrated before being consumed. It is said to be anti-carcinogenic.

Dried pumpkin
Dried pumpkin is sold as a health product


There’s also a small street food area in the bazaar with stalls selling traditional Uzbek food.  It’s actually one of the few places to eat street food in Tashkent.

Chorsu Street Food
Chorsu Street Food

Visitors can try liver sausage khasip, steamed pastry dish khanum, horsemeat with noodles norin, and the more familiar shashlik, grilled meat skewers. All of this can be washed down with a glass of kompot, seasonal fruits boiled in water.

Shashlik, achichuk salad, and khasip
Shashlik, achichuk salad, and khasip

The street food area is particularly lively. Don’t be surprised if you’re approached by locals selling everything from tea and cumin to Biro pens! A polite decline is enough to move them on.

Tips for Visiting Chorsu Bazaar

As with most traditional markets, there is room for a small amount of bargaining but don’t expect huge reductions.

Some products such as spices will be vastly overpriced for foreigners but there’s not always wriggle room for bargaining. For the best prices go with a local if you can.

The bazaar is located in Eski Shahar, the old city of Tashkent, a more traditional part of the city. As such it’s advisable to dress conservatively.

Traditional hats and jackets

The bazaar is perfectly safe to visit but there have been cases of pickpocketing so keep your valuables stored tightly. Read more tips on staying safe in Uzbekistan.

Chorsu bazaar is quite large and busy. It’s also easy to get lost in for first time visitors. For a more relaxing visit to a local bazaar, try visiting Alay bazaar instead. It’s mainly a fresh produce market but there are also stalls selling spices, plants, gold, clothes and all kinds of other things.

Other than the bazaars, there are plenty more things to do in Tashkent.

How to Get There

To get to Chorsu Bazaar you can order a taxi via an app like Yandex or MyTaxi but it’s more fun to ride the metro. Chorsu has its own metro station on the blue Uzbekistan line.

Sources: UzNews

If you’re planning a trip to Central Asia, read our complete guide to tourism in Uzbekistan.

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