The main international gateways to Tashkent are Moscow and Istanbul, through there are direct flights from most European and Asian cities.
Airports & Airlines
If arriving by air, your grand entrance into Uzbekistan will most likely occur at Tashkent International Airport. A few flights from Russia arrive in regional hubs such as Samarkand, Bukhara and Urgench.
The numerous aviakassa (private ticket kiosks) scattered around major cities can help book international tickets on national carrier Uzbekistan Airways as well as other airlines.
In 2017 air links were reintroduced between Tashkent and Dushanbe for the first time in over 20 years. Uzbekistan Airways flies once a week.
Departure tax is included in the price of a ticket.
To & From Afghanistan
The Friendship Bridge linking Termiz with northern Afghanistan has been opened to tourist traffic since 2005, though the Uzbeks have been known to close their side of the border for security reasons or other concerns. Contact a reliable travel agency in Tashkent to make sure it’s open before setting out. Travel to Afghanistan was not considered safe at the time of research.
To get to the tamozhnya (border, or ‘customs house’) at Hayratan from Termiz, take a taxi (25,000S) or track down marshrutka 255 from near Yubileyny Bazaar (1500S, 20 minutes). The bridge is 15km southeast of Termiz. There’s a fair bit of walking involved to get between the various checkpoints on the Uzbek side, and then across the bridge. From the Afghan side you’re looking at about a 30-minute taxi ride to Mazar-e-Sharif (US$10).
To & From Kazakhstan
Despite their very long common border there are just two main places to cross from Uzbekistan into Kazakhstan: Chernyaevka between Tashkent and Shymkent, and the remote Qongirot (Kungrad)–Beyneu crossing from Karakalpakstan into Kazakhstan's far west.
Crossing at Chernyaevka is the easiest from the point of view of public transport, but it can sometimes involve long lines, so go early and be patient. To get to Chernyaevka from Tashkent is a 30,000S taxi ride, or you can take a shared taxi (5000S, 20 minutes) or marshrutka from Yunusobod Bazaar.
If you have your own vehicle, Yallama (60km southwest of Tashkent) is where you should cross, as private cars cannot cross at Chernyaevka.
The other crossing is by train or road between Karakalpakstan and Beyneu in western Kazakhstan. Train 917 departs daily at 9.20am from Nukus to Beyneu (10 hours). Other trains crossing this border include Tashkent–Volgograd (weekly) and Tashkent–Saratov (twice weekly).
A twice-weekly Tashkent-Almaty fast train started in 2017. The Spanish-built Talgo train leaves Tashkent at 3pm on Tuesday and Sunday, arriving at 9.30am the next morning, with a three-hour wait at the border. There are three classes (two with two berths per compartment, and economy with four berths). Fares cost 80,000/200,000/260,000S in economy/kupe/VIP.
To & From Kyrgyzstan
The only border crossings into Kyrgyzstan that are open to foreigners are at Uchkurgon/Shamaldy-Say (northeast of Namangan) and Dostyk (Dustlyk), between Andijon and Osh. They are generally hassle-free, although long lines do occur.
Most travellers use the Osh crossing. In Andijon, frequent shared taxis to the border at Dostyk (10,000S, one hour) depart from the Yangi Bazaar stand, southeast of the train station. Walk across the border and pick up a minivan or taxi for the short trip to Osh.
Limited public transport and taxis are available at the Uchkurgon crossing.
To & From Tajikistan
There are two main border crossings between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan: Oybek between Tashkent and Khojand and the Denau–Tursanzade crossing in southeastern Uzbekistan. The once popular Samarkand–Penjikent crossing has been shut for years now, and shows no signs of reopening.
Those heading from Tashkent to Dushanbe normally drive to Khojand via the pain-free Oybek border crossing and then take a shared taxi from Khojand to Dushanbe (US$20). To get to this border from Tashkent, take a marshrutka or shared taxi from Kuyluk Bazaar to Bekobod and get off at Oybek (15,000S, 1½ hours), about 35km shy of Bekobod, near Chanak village. An ordinary taxi between Tashkent and Oybek costs about US$30. Once across the border take a taxi to Khojand (US$15), or a taxi to nearby Bostan (US$1) and then a minibus to Khojand.
The fairly remote Denau–Tursanzade crossing near Sariosiyo can see long lines. Denau is a 1½-hour drive from Termiz or a five-hour drive from Samarkand. You can get shared taxis to the border from either city. A private taxi from Samarkand to the border costs around US$60. From Termiz regular shared taxis head to Denau (25,000S) from the bus station and some carry on to Sariosiyo (30,000S) and the actual border (35,000S). There are also two daily local trains directly to the border town of Sariosiyo (5000S, four hours), 15km north of Denau, but this is a slow way to travel. From Denau, take a minivan to Sariosiyo, cross the border and proceed by taxi from Tursanzade to Dushanbe (US$10, 45 minutes).
A third, little-used crossing is at Andarhon, between the towns of Kokand and Khojand in the Fergana Valley. Shared taxis and buses run from the Afghan Bog road junction, 9km southwest of Kokand, to the Tajikistan border, which is situated between the Uzbek town of Besh Ariq and the Tajik town of Kanibodom. A taxi for the 50km drive costs around 100,000S and is a wise investment. Check in advance that the border crossing is open.
To & From Turkmenistan
The three border crossings between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are reached from Bukhara, Khiva and Nukus. Each crossing requires a potentially sweltering walk of 10 to 20 minutes across no man’s land due to the absurdly designed border posts. Shared taxis or minibuses are sometimes available to ferry travellers across, but don't count on them.
From Bukhara the easiest option is to take a taxi (100,000S, 1½ hours) to the border at Farab. Shared taxis (8000S, 40 minutes) make the trip from Bukhara's Markaziy (Kolkhoz) Bazaar to Olot (Alat), about 20km short of the border. If there are no taxis to Olot then you'll have to change in Karakol. From Olot another shared taxi to the border costs from 10,000S. There are slow local trains to Olot from Kagan (3000S, two hours, twice daily), but it's much quicker to take a taxi. You'll need to take two short minibus rides to cross no man's land but be prepared to walk if they aren't operating. Once over the border, take a shared taxi to Turkmenabat (40 minutes).
From Khiva it costs about 50,000S to hire a taxi to the border (one hour), from where you'll have to take a taxi across no man's land then a short taxi ride to Dashogus. In the other direction drivers often ask for up to US$30. By shared taxi you'll likely have to change at Koshkapur (5000S) and then probably again at Shavat, the nearest town to the border. Ask around at the shared taxi stand beside Dekon Bazaar. There are buses to Shavat (2000S, one hour, three daily) from Dekon Bazar.
From Nukus it’s about a 20km ride to the Konye-Urgench tamozhnya (30,000S). Alternatively take a shared taxi to Hojeli from Nukus' Konye Qala bus stand and then take a taxi from there to the border (12,000S). Once you’ve walked across the border you can pick up a shared taxi to Konye-Urgench (US$2).
It's not possible to travel to double-landlocked Uzbekistan by sea.