14 Fun Things To Do In Tashkent In 2024

Tashkent Music Festival

Tashkent’s history as the capital city of Uzbekistan dates back only to 1930. Before that, it primarily served as a bustling trade hub in the Central Asian region, while Samarkand held the position of the country’s capital and housed many of its significant monuments.

Due to this historical background, Tashkent may not boast the same level of historical infrastructure as some other Uzbek cities. However, it more than compensates for this by emerging as the dominant modern city of the nation. Tashkent stands out as the epicenter of contemporary culture, offering the best restaurants, the most modern cafes, and the trendiest bars for you to explore.

Even if you only have a short stay in Uzbekistan make sure you spend a couple of days in Tashkent as it has plenty of tourist activities to offer.

In this article we share 12 fun things to do in Tashkent.

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What are the Best Things to Do in Tashkent?

1. Ride The Tashkent Metro

Although it may sound strange for public transport to be listed as a tourist attraction, Tashkent metro is certainly unique.

Opened in 1977 as the first metro in Central Asia, the stations of the metro are all uniquely decorated, including chandeliers, murals, mosaics, geometric patterns, and more.

Each station has a different theme and they offer some excellent opportunities for photos. One of the most popular stations is Kosmonavtlar, which has a space theme, including murals for the famous Soviet cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova.

Tashkent Metro ceiling

A single journey between any two stations costs a flat fee of 2,000 som and your ticket is valid as long as you stay within the metro system.

So why not enjoy what is probably the world’s cheapest tourist attraction and go station hopping on the Tashkent metro.

Tashkent Metro
Go station hopping on the Tashkent metro

2. Chorsu Bazaar

Experience the hustle and bustle of Tashkent’s Chorsu Bazaar, a marketplace with over 2,000 years of history. You can find everything from the traditional spices, silk, gold, honey, and fruit to the more recent additions of cheap toys and imported phone chargers at this hectic bazaar.

Chorsu Bazaar
Chorsu Bazaar’s Famous Blue Dome

There are also food stalls where you can find traditional Uzbek street food such as shashlik (grilled skewers), norin (noodles with horse meat), and khanum (meat or potato wrapped in a floury dough with tomato paste).

3. Enjoy an Elevated Dining Experience At Tashkent TV Tower

Tashkent TV Tower
Tashkent TV Tower view from the Japanese Gardens

The Tashkent TV Tower, towering at a height of 375m, is a prominent landmark visible from all corners of the city. Besides serving as a broadcasting tower, it also doubles up as a popular tourist attraction, offering some of the most breathtaking views of the city.

Recently, in 2022, the tower underwent renovations, and the restaurant, in particular, received significant improvements. Positioned at an elevation of 109m, the restaurant offers an amusing and unique dining experience with its rotating floor, allowing visitors to enjoy panoramic vistas as they dine.

4. Museums

Although it lacks the grandeur of the historical monuments in Samarkand and Bukhara, Tashkent is unparalleled for its museums. There are more than 20 in total, and while the quality of exhibits varies, they provide an excellent introduction to the complex identity of Uzbekistan.

Amir Temur Museum Mural
Mural and Chandelier at State Museum of the Temurids

One of the best museums for tourists is the State Museum of the Temurids, offering background knowledge of this period of Uzbekistan’s history, considered its golden era. Much of the architecture in Samarkand, for example, was commissioned by Amir Temur or his successors.

For children, a visit to the Railway Museum is worthwhile, especially on weekends when the mini train is running.

5. Alay Bazaar

For a more relaxing bazaar experience, try Alay Bazaar (Oloy Bozori in Uzbek), primarily a farmers market. Here, you can find local treats such as spices, apricots, honey, nuts, yogurt, and a variety of foods found in Uzbekistan.

Many locals go to Alay Bazaar for its high-quality meat, fruit, and vegetables. It’s reputedly where the president does his food shopping, so it is well-regulated and known for stocking the best quality foods.

Just like all bazaars, prices can be negotiated. If you don’t like to haggle, take an Uzbek friend or accept you’ll pay a little extra. In any case, the atmosphere at Alay Bazaar is friendly enough just for a stroll around and a glance at the rainbow of fruits and vegetables they sell.

Tomatoes at Alay Bazaar
Vegetable Stand at Alay Bazaar

In addition to that, the market also offers a variety of other products such as meat and dairy, fresh flowers and plants, as well as luxurious imported food items. Moreover, you’ll come across a separate building selling gold and silver jewelry.

Planning on visiting Tashkent? Find out the top hotels in Tashkent.

6. Parks and Gardens

Despite it’s population of over 2 million people, Tashkent rarely feels densely populated. The city is spread out over a large area and has well over a dozen parks and gardens where the locals go to relax.

Due to the heat, they’re quite empty during the day time but really come to life at night with young and old alike.

Our personal favourites are Park V Tashkente and Ecopark.

Park V Tashkente is a small lively park packed with families, couples, skaters, cyclists, buskers, street vendors and tourists. You can play table tennis, take kids on small rides, find shashlik restaurants, listen to live music or just relax on the benches.

Tashkent Ecopark is famous for its lake, fountain and bridges and popular for jogging, badminton, football, and volleyball. It also has a cafe with some really nice views of the lake.

Ekopark Lake
Tashkent Ecopark Lake

Other parks worthy of a visit are Tashkent City Park and Alisher Navoi Park. Most of the parks are free with the exception of the Japanese Garden which costs 30,000 Som (around $2.50).

RELATED POST: Best Areas and Where To Stay in Tashkent.

7. Take a day tour to the mountains

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Uzbekistan’s countryside and embark on an exhilarating 5-star rated mountain tour in Tashkent.

Leave the city behind and venture to the majestic Chimgan mountains for a day of awe-inspiring landscapes and exciting activities. Enjoy horse riding and thrilling quadricycle (buggy) rides in the picturesque Chimgan Valley, with the impressive Greater Chimgan peak towering above.

Explore the renowned Amirsoy resort, a world-class ski destination that brings joy to both locals and tourists. Then, indulge in optional boat rides, jet skiing, and paragliding sessions over the pristine blue waters of the enchanting Charvak Reservoir, known as the Pearl of Tian Shan Mountains.

This 5-star rated tour has received glowing reviews from solo travelers, families, and outdoor enthusiasts, making it a must-do adventure in Uzbekistan. Book now and get ready for an extraordinary journey through the heart of Tashkent’s scenic wonders.

8. Amir Timur Square and Monument

Amir Timur Square, Tashkent
Amir Timur Square, Tashkent

You can’t go to Tashkent without at least a short trip to Amir Timur square.

Born in 1336, Timur (also known as Tamerlane) was a descendent of Genghis Khan and an all around jolly chap. A barbarous conqueror famous for the Timurid Empire stretching from modern day Turkey all the way to India, he was also quite partial to art and literature.

You can visit his statue in the center of the city at Amir Timur Square which is a small green area with fountains surrounded by other grand buildings such as the Ministry of Justice, a university, a couple of trendy restaurants and bars, and even the Amir Timur Museum.

Amir Timur Statue in the evening

The park is not that big so once you’ve finished celebrating bloodthirsty warriors, you might want to stroll down Sailgokh Street alongside Kashgar park, which feels almost like a fairground.

The street is lit up at night and you can play street games, get a personal portrait, eat junk food and buy art from local artists. It’s open during the day but has a much better vibe at night when it gets busier.

9. Eat Tashkent Plov

Each region of Uzbekistan has a different variation of national dish plov and the Tashkent version fries and mixes the main ingredients from the start. It is traditionally cooked in a giant cast iron pot in the street, over a wood fire.

Located behind Tashkent Tower, the Plov Center, now known as Besh Qozon, is a huge, no-frills plov restaurant, popular with foreigners and Uzbeks alike. The place can seat hundreds of guests and is a great place for a local experience of plov.

Read more about dining in Tashkent.

10. Shop For Soviet Souvenirs on Broadway Alley

Antiques on Broadway Alley
Antiques for Sale on Broadway Alley

While walking around some of the parks and open spaces, you’ll often come across people selling various memorabilia, typically from the Soviet era, spread out across a cloth. These items range from military badges, artwork, telephones, and cameras to statuettes of Stalin and all sorts of old and broken items that you wouldn’t necessarily have a use for.

Broadway Alley, just off Amir Temur square, is the best place to go shopping for this type of antique souvenirs.

Planning on visiting Uzbekistan? Read more about travel in Tashkent.

11. Soviet Architecture

Like all former Soviet cities, Tashkent is home to some fascinating architecture, from the ugly block-style apartment buildings to some of the quirkier buildings such as the State Museum of History.

One example is the iconic Hotel Uzbekistan, which towers over Amir Timur square. Looking like a folded Lego brick, this previously grand hotel would have been highly regarded at its opening in 1974. It’s still in operation but probably past its heyday now.

At nighttime, its latticed front becomes illuminated like a giant billboard for advertisements. On the 17th floor, there’s a Soviet-style bar where you can enjoy a drink while marveling at the wonderful view of the city.

Uzbekistan Hotel
Hotel Uzbekistan

To see more of its Soviet architecture, including the metro, try this tour of Tashkent, given by a local.

12. Amusement Parks

With so many families with young children in Tashkent, there’s a need for recreational spaces, and amusement parks seem to fulfill that need perfectly.

Dotted around the city are around a dozen small and medium sized theme parks. Entry is usually free and you only pay for the rides or activities you choose. There’s a really cheerful yet laid-back atmosphere in these places and you’ll see couples and young families strolling around enjoying sweets and drinks in the sun.

There’s a nostalgic Soviet feel to some of the older rides whilst the modern ones may be more familiar. These parks are always busy and the local kids love them!

Three of the most popular parks are Ankhor LokomotivMagic City Park and Central Park Tashkent, all easily reachable within the city.

Go to Ankhor Lokomotiv Park to find some of the biggest rides and rollercoasters as well as go-karting and central Asia’s largest Ferris wheel.

You can get a great view of the city if you ride the wheel and you’ll even find a mini city in the center of the park! Styled like the old cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, here you’ll find a labyrinth of restaurants and souvenir shops.

Star of Ankhor Ferris Wheel
Central Asia’s largest Ferris wheel ‘Star of Ankhor’

Magic City Park on the other hand is Tashkent’s version of Disneyland. Looking like an illuminated fairy tale street, the park offers a number of rides, an aquarium, a cinema and has regular firework shows.

If you’re travelling with kids this would be a great way to spend a few hours but might be a miss for a group of adults only.

13. Ankhor Canal

Ankhor Canal, Tashkent
Ankhor Canal, Tashkent

The Ankhor canal in Tashkent makes a cool place for an evening stroll, a picnic, or a relaxed night at one of the many restaurants that line its banks. 

Spanning over 20km, it bisects the city roughly into its old and new districts.

It passes a ton of monuments including Tashkent Television Tower, Minor Mosque (and its famous turquoise dome), Pakhtakor stadium and Navoi park.

Ankhor Canal
Ankhor Canal and Tashkent Minor Mosque

In warm weather you’ll sometimes spot locals swimming in it.  We haven’t (yet) tried it but we hear that you can also kayak it!

It’s also great for jogging in the day time as the trees provide cover from the sun.

14. Walk Around the City For Random events

Ekopark Music Festival
Yoga and Psytrance in Tashkent Ekopark!

In my first 2 months walking around Tashkent I ended up being invited to a fashion show, watching Muay Thai fights, seeing Uzbek celebrity singer Rayhon for $1, winning a table football competition and stumbling upon a hippy music festival.

None of it was planned and just happened spur of the moment.  There’s plenty to see and do around Tashkent, you just need to get out!

Tashkent Fashion show
Feeling like a fraudster at a Tashkent fashion show

Tashkent has loads of live performances and events all for free.  As a clueless foreigner I had no idea how to find them (I still don’t!) but befriend a local or just go walking around, especially in the evening. 

Uzbek people are very welcoming to foreigners and unlike Istanbul where a ‘friendly stranger’ is best avoided, Tashkent people are curious and genuine.

Uzbeks are quite forward so don’t be surprised if a stranger moves fast to invite you some place.  Be cautious of course, especially for women and solo travelers.

Read more on safety in Uzbekistan.

There’s a load of events in public spaces  so make the most of it and enjoy the city if a local offers to show you around.

Are you planning a trip to Tashkent?  Already been and think we missed something from the list?

Read our full guide to planning a vacation in Uzbekistan.

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