A country soaked in history and culture, Uzbekistan is still, luckily for us travellers, an unexplored gem in Central Asia. Its ancient walls await a patient ear to listen to its intriguing stories, its mausoleums await its admirers and its museums await visitors who will be left captivated.
If you plan on exploring a destination that is heavy on the travel memories but light on the pocket, look no further than Uzbekistan. Afterall, 1 AED is approximately equal to 2,590 Uzbekistani Som (UZS)! To help you with the travel itinerary, here are 12 places in Uzbekistan that will cost you less than 50 AED.
12 Places In Uzbekistan That Cost Less Than 50 AED
1. Hazrat Imam Complex, Tashkent
How much: Free
The most popular attraction in the capital city of Tashkent, the Hazrat Imam Complex is made up of the gorgeous architectural monuments of the Kaffalyaash-Shashi mausoleum, the Islamic Institute of al-Bukhari, the Dzhuma Mosque (AKA Jami Mosque) and the Muyi Mubarak Library. An interesting trivia about the library is that it is home to the world’s oldest Quran. The Muyi Mubarak Library is also where a relic in the form of a hair is kept. This hair is believed to be of Prophet Muhammad.
Although entry to the Hazrat Imam Complex is completely free, an entrance fee is levied on the Muyi Mubarak Library. It is of 15,000 UZS, approximately 5.80 AED for tourists.
2. Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent
How much: Free
Super impressive from the outside as well as from the inside, the Chorsu Bazaar is located in the heart of Tashkent, in its old town area. If you are searching for the freshest produce or want to experience a cultural phenomenon, head over to the Bazaar early in the morning. From vegetables that look like they have just been harvested to the juiciest of fruits, from spices that smell heavenly to dairy products and pulses, to even unique souvenirs, you will find it all under one roof, in Chorsu Bazaar!
3. Lake Charvak, Uzbekistan
How much: Free
A popular recreational getaway from Tashkent, Lake Charvak is a water reservoir with a coastline of approximately 100 kilometres. Activities one can undertake around the lake area include hiking, camping, swimming, paragliding and boating. And although entry to this lake is free, activities such as paragliding and boating will cost you money. Don’t forget to carry some cash with you; card payments may not be accepted everywhere. Also don’t forget to bring your camera along for this one!
4. Amir Timur Museum, Tashkent
How much: 6,000 UZS, approximately 2.32 AED
Dedicated to the Mongol conqueror (and a controversial personality) Amir Timur, the Amir Timur Museum has on display over 5000 artefacts depicting the ruler in all his glory, as well as representing the history of the nation. Ancient manuscripts, beautiful paintings and murals, weapons of warfare, ancient household items, old clothes, historical coins and antique engravings can be found lining the galleries of the museum.
The museum’s building itself is a sight to behold; its blue dome resembles the dome of the Gur-i Amir mausoleum in Samarkand.
Also read: 8 reasons to visit Uzbekistan!
5. Kukeldash Madrasah, Tashkent
How much: 10,000 UZS, approximately 4 AED
Dating back to the year 1570, the Kukeldash Madrasah in Tashkent is a historical gem. Back then, it was built as an educational institution. However, over the centuries, it fell to decay due to wars, conquests as well as earthquakes. In its long history, it also went from being a place of education to a place of execution to a roadside inn to a place of reign to a museum. Today, it is back to being a place of education. And although you cannot enter the classrooms, you can enter its huge, magnificent courtyard and explore the small wood carving workshop that it houses.
6. State Museum of Applied Arts of Uzbekistan, Tashkent
How much: 21,000 UZS, approximately 8 AED
The State Museum of Applied Art has on display various craftsmanship samples of applied arts, viz-a-viz embroidered cloths, traditional jewellery dating back to the 19th century, handmade skullcaps, traditionally woven carpets, musical instruments and handmade porcelain objects. At the end of the museum tour, you could also proceed to buy cute souvenirs from the two gift shops that the museum houses.
7. Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum, Samarkand
How much: 27,000 UZS, approximately 11 AED (including camera fees)
A beautiful representation of Persian-Mongolian Architecture, the Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum in Samarkand is a must-visit for everybody. The tilework on this marvellous piece of architecture is spellbinding and so is its exquisite dome. Dating back to the 14th century, the mausoleum houses the tombs of conqueror Timur (AKA Taimur), his sons and grandsons and also the tomb of Timur's teacher, Sayyid Baraka.
Trivia – the architecture of the Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum served as a prototype for the construction of the famous Taj Mahal in Agra, India.
8. Ulugh Beg Observatory, Samarkand
How much: Approximately 18,000 UZS (7 AED)
The stunning Ulugh Beg Observatory was built in the 1400s by Ulugh Beg, the grandson of emperor Timur. He was known for his in-depth study of mathematics and science. To take this study further, he built the observatory and employed many brilliant scientists, mathematicians and astronomers. However, the present-day structure is fairly new; the original one was destroyed by Ulugh Beg’s son Abd al Latif. Abd al Latif was also responsible for getting Ulugh Beg killed.
Considered to be the finest observatories back in the day, during Ulugh Beg’s rule, the observatory was a three-story cylindrical building housing an enormous meridian arc. After it was destroyed, it remained in a heap and got lost in time for centuries to come until Russian archaeologist Vassily Vyatkin discovered and uncovered its remains.
9. The Registan, Samarkand
How much: Free
Located in the heart of Samarkand, Registan is an ancient public square which doubles up as a monument of medieval architecture. During the rule of the Timurid Empire, this square was used mainly for two purposes - royal proclamations and public executions.
In the modern times, this central square doubles up as a cool hangout spot as well as a Instagram worthy photography location. The Registan is home to three sublime madrassahs, namely the Ulughbek madrassah, the Sher-dor madrassah and the Tilla-Kori madrassah. You should definitely check them out on your visit to Uzbekistan.
10. Samanid Mausoleum, Bukhara
How much: USD 5.5 for foreigners, approximately 20 AED
Built in the 10th century, the Samanid mausoleum is an architectural masterpiece. It was built as a family crypt after the death of Ismail Samani's father; the Samanids were the rulers of the Samanids Empire.
The beauty of this structure lies in its simplicity. Its simple bricks and mud façade and its subtle interiors are what make Samanid Mausoleum a sight to behold.
11. Po-i-Kalyan, Bukhara
How much: Free
The Po-i-Kalyan complex is an architectural complex located in Bukhara’s main square. It is made up of the following structures:
Kalyan Minaret: Built in the 12th century, in the year 1127, the Kalyan Minaret is the oldest structure within the Po-i-Kalyan complex. It is also the most original structure; it has never been refurbished or restored. A lovely symbol of the city of Bukhara, this minaret has narrow spiral steps that can still be climbed to get to the top to enjoy panoramic views of the city.
Mir-i Arab Madrasah: Dating back to the 16th century, the Mir-i Arab Madrasah is still a functioning madrasah (Islamic school) and thus, you can admire its beauty only from the outside. The intricate tile work on the madrasah’s façade might leave dumfounded!
Kalyan Mosque: The main mosque of Bukhara, the Kalyan Mosque features traditional Islamic architectural design. The Eastern entrance of the mosque features delicate mosaic while the inside of the mosque features vaulted galleries with 288 domes on numerous pillars. Although entrance is free, a fee might be levied on foreigners. This fee generally ranges been 5,000 to 6,000 UZS (approximately 2.5 AED).
12. Ark Of Bukhara, Bukhara
How much: Approximately 18,000 UZS, 7 AED (including camera fees)
The Ark Of Bukhara is a huge fortress that dates back to the 5th century. Although most of the structure is in ruins, you can still find some pretty interesting rooms and halls within these ruins. For example, within the massive fortress doors you will find a musical pavilion, an audience chamber, horse stables, a mosque, a coronation court, several small stores, prison cells and the massive throne-room of the Bukharan emir (Emirate of Bukhara) with the takht (throne) still intact.
Now that you know about these 12 places in Uzbekistan that will cost you less than 50 AED, are you ready to explore this stunning country? These Uzbekistan travel packages might help you with the exploration.