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Is Uzbekistan Safe For You? A Safety Review

With its rich history, stunning architecture, and warm hospitality, Uzbekistan beckons travelers seeking an authentic cultural experience. However, like any destination, safety concerns may linger in the minds of prospective visitors.

In recent years, however, the government has made significant strides in enhancing security measures to invite travelers from across the globe. In this article, we will go through various aspects of safety in the country.

Is Uzbekistan Safe for Travelers?

Yes, Uzbekistan is safe for traveling. The country falls under the First level of Travel Advisory, defined by the US government. The level classification tells that travelers need to exercise standard precautions while traveling to the country.

After the election in 2016, the government deployed several initiatives and measures to promote the country’s tourism industry. 

The government has invested in improving infrastructure, including transportation networks and tourist facilities, to ensure safer and more comfortable experiences for visitors. There has also been an increase in security measures at tourist sites, airports, and other key locations to ensure the safety of tourists. Uzbekistan has established tourist police units in major tourist destinations like Bukhara, Samarkand, etc., to assist visitors, address safety concerns.

However, like any destination, it’s essential to exercise caution and remain vigilant, especially in crowded areas and tourist hotspots. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing can occur, so it’s wise to take common precautions like safeguarding valuables and avoiding unlit or isolated areas at night.

Let us dive into the safety details of some targeted groups.

Solo Female Travelers

As a sole female traveler, you will not be bothered by men, and there will be no unnecessary nuisance. If you explore some towns and villages in the country, you may get invited by the locals for tea or meals. However, some taxi drivers are pretty annoying, which is typical for tourists in most countries.

Students and Expats

Students and expats like to migrate to Uzbekistan for higher studies owing to its peaceful environment and low crime rate. Most of the major cities in the country are clean and well-maintained. With the deployment of tourist police, the crime rate is also pretty low, and students can explore the parks and streets without any stress.


Uzbekistan is safe for people traveling with their families, especially with kids. You can visit old cities like Bukhara, Khiva, and Samarkand with your kids to explore the attractions and enjoy some quality time. However, make sure that all the members are up-to-date with the vaccinations that are recommended by the US CDC.

Pro Tip: As a US citizen, you can enroll in the STEP to receive all the alerts and notifications related to any safety concerns in the country. Moreover, the authorities can quickly locate you if you have enrolled in this program in case of any emergency.

Is Uzbekistan Safe At Night?

Exploring the cities in the country is safe during nighttime. The streets are adequately lit and there are tourist police deployed in all the major cities. However, you should avoid exploring less crowded and poorly lit areas for more safety.

How Safe Is Food In Uzbekistan?

Uzbek cuisine and street food are safe to consume. However, eating raw vegetables and fruits washed with tap water can cause some stomach issues for many travelers.

The cuisine mainly revolves around meat, rice, noodles, and vegetables. One of the most iconic dishes is pilaf, known locally as “plov.” Made with rice, meat (usually lamb or beef), carrots, onions, and various spices, plov is often cooked in large quantities and served at weddings, festivals, and family gatherings. Another staple is “shurpa,” a hearty soup made with meat, vegetables, and aromatic spices, providing warmth and nourishment during cold winters. “Samsa,” a type of savory pastry filled with minced meat and onions, is a popular snack enjoyed throughout the day.

As a vegetarian, you can still find some dishes in the country but if you are a vegan then it is impossible to consume Uzbek cuisine.

How Safe Is Public Transport In Uzbekistan?

Public transport is the safest mode of exploring the country. The railway network is good, and you get different options between the cities. The trains also allow you to travel from one city to another without hassle. 

You can also opt for shared taxis, but they are old and not well-maintained. Drivers drive fast, and the taxis commonly lack rear seat belts. There are buses available to travel, but their schedule is quite unpredictable.

What About Healthcare In Uzbekistan?

The medical care system is below the western countries standard. So, there can be a shortage of essential medical supplies. The medical personnel are knowledgeable in the hospitals, but only a few members speak English. Moreover, there is less staff at night time. 

In case of any emergency, you can dial 103 if you are in Tashkent and 03 if you are in any other part of the country. Make sure you use # before 03 when dialing it from your mobile phone.

Here is the list of popular clinics and hospitals in the country that you can check in case of any emergency.

Terrorism Risk

There have been past incidents of terrorism in Uzbekistan, but the government has gone to extended lengths to maintain safety for everyone. Today, travelers can visit the country to explore its attractions safely, as there has not been any attack in the past 15 years.

Is Tashkent Safe? Which Areas Should Travelers Avoid In Uzbekistan?

Tashkent is a safe city. It has witnessed significant improvements in safety and security in recent years, with low levels of violent crime against tourists. With its warm hospitality, rich heritage, and diverse attractions, Tashkent promises an unforgettable experience for travelers. 

However, you should be aware of pickpockets in the crowded bazaars and big markets. The whole country is safe for travelers but the border areas should be avoided in general unless you need to cross the border for some reason. 

Safety Tips For Travelers

Get Familiar With Entry And Exit Procedures

The entry and exit procedures used to be strict where the traveler was checked extensively. Moreover, tourists had to keep all the receipts of their stay in the country and show them to guards when exiting from the country. However, now there is no extensive checking, and travelers don’t need to keep all these records. 

You can consult with the embassy to make sure that you don’t carry any prohibited items to the country, like sensitive religious material, adult content, etc. Also, you have to apply for a visa in advance before you travel to the country. If you have to cross borders to visit neighboring countries, then you have to apply for a multiple-entry Uzbek visa and the other relevant ones for those countries. 

Moreover, you must declare the cash you carry while entering and exiting the country.

Drinking Tap Water Is Not Advisable For Tourists

Drinking tap water in the country is generally safe for locals as they are used to drinking it. However, tourists can face some stomach issues if they consume it. So, it is advised to drink bottled water while spending time in the country.

Also, you must be aware of the ice that is used in beverages as it is made of the same local tap water.

Drive Carefully 

You will find decent roads in Tashkent with few bumpy exceptions. However, the roads beyond the major cities and rural areas of the country are not well maintained, so you have to drive carefully if you opt for a car rental to explore the cities.

The speed limit is 60 Km/h across the country. There are speed traps so always drive under the speed limit of the road.

Driving at night time can be risky due to poor lighting. Only a few roads in major cities have proper streetlights. Livestock, farm equipment, and other related elements are found on roads at any time of the hour, so you have to stay alert while driving the vehicle.

There are no fuel issues in Tashkent but as you move away from the major cities the availability of fuel will become scarcer.

Besides all this, local drivers often ignore the traffic signal, and other safe driving techniques and pedestrians can cross the road without analyzing the traffic.

Protect Belongings In Crowded Places

The country’s crime rate is low, but there are pickpocket incidents. When traveling in crowded places in Uzbekistan, safeguard your belongings to prevent theft or loss. Use a secure bag with zippers or hidden pockets to store valuables like passports, money, and electronics. 

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and keep important documents in a safe place. Stay alert in crowded areas, such as markets and tourist attractions to avoid any unfortunate accident.  If you need police assistance then you can dial 102 or 02 to contact the police.

Check Travel Insurance

Make sure that you have good travel insurance that offers proper overseas coverage while you travel to Uzbekistan. You can check the details here for the providers that offer overseas coverage.

Learn Some Uzbek and Russian Words

English is not the native language of the people in the country. They speak Uzbek which is their native tongue or Russian which is the second most popular language in the country. However, you can learn some basic words and phrases in these languages that can help you interact with the locals and get the required things in case of emergencies.

Here are some of the phrases in Uzbek and Russian


  • Salom/Qalaysiz: Hi!
  • Assalomu alaykum: Hello
  • Tanishganimdan hursandman: Nice to meet you
  • Rahmat: Thank you
  • Xayr: Goodbye


  • Privet (Привет): Hi
  • Poka (Пока): Bye
  • Izvinite (Извините): Excuse me
  • Prinesite, pozhaluista, schyot (Принесите, пожалуйста, счет): I would like to pay