So you’ve booked your trip to Uzbekistan, woohoo! I’ll bet people are asking you “how in the heck did you choose that vacation destination?” Well once they hear your stories and see your amazing photos, they’ll understand.
But you’re probably wondering what to see and do in Uzbekistan, how to prepare for your trip to Uzbekistan, and what to pack. We’ve got you covered on all of your packing essentials below. And we’ve written a ton of posts about the highlights of Uzbekistan that you can check out here:
- Tashkent: The Top 13 Things to Do in the City
- The Top 14 Things to do in Samarkand
- Bukhara: 18 Amazing Things to See and Do
- Top 12 Things to See and Do in Khiva
- Muynak: A Visit to the Aral Sea Ship Cemetery
Quick Navigation Links
What to wear in Uzbekistan
The predominant religion in Uzbekistan is Muslim, but the country overall is not overly conservative. Most of the younger women do not cover their heads and you won’t be expected to cover yours either, even in the religious sites.
However, most Uzbek women do keep their knees and shoulders covered so you’ll probably feel more comfortable if you do as well. The women also tend to wear beautiful, colorful dresses and jackets, no matter where they are going. So you may feel a bit out of place in yoga pants, a puffy coat, and tennis shoes.
Weather in Uzbekistan
Winters in Uzbekistan can be quite cold, and summer temperatures can be blazing hot. The most ideal and temperate time of the year to visit is during the spring and fall months (April to June and September through October).
Regardless of the time of year that you visit, evenings can be quite cold. And since many of the restaurants in Uzbekistan are in outdoor courtyards, you’ll have a chilly dining experience if you don’t bundle up.
What to Pack for a Vacation in Uzbekistan
If you choose to stay in the old city area of Bukhara or Khiva, your taxi may not be able to drop you off right in front of your hotel. You may have a bit of walking to do. And while many of the sidewalks in Uzbekistan are made with uneven stones, you’ll probably prefer having a roller bag over a heavy backpack or duffel.
This set by Merax is super durable and will be easy to spot on the luggage belt when you arrive!
Anti-Theft Carry-On Bag
Uzbekistan is an incredibly safe country but if you do have concerns about petty theft, an anti-theft bag is a great investment. This one by PINCNEL is perfect for the plane or for wearing around town as it has backpack straps and a long shoulder strap depending on your preference. And the anti-theft functions will give you peace-of-mind while you’re out exploring.
Compression Packing Cubes
The best way to make the most out of your packing space while staying organized is to separate your clothes into compression packing cubes. You’ll always know where everything goes and you can compress everything down to make room for your Uzbekistan souvenirs on your way home! They are ideal for packing for Uzbekistan or any other long trip.
Extra Packable Duffel Bag
There is amazing shopping in Uzbekistan so you’re going to want some extra space in your luggage, trust me. Save yourself the cost and hassle of shipping a box home by simply packing this compact, foldable duffel bag. Pack it full of your new treasures and then either carry it on or check it for your return flight.
If you’re coming to Uzbekistan from the US, you’ve got a long flight ahead of you. And if you’re anything like me, finding a comfortable sleeping position on the plane is next to impossible. This travel pillow by Trtl will keep your neck secure and, unlike most travel pillows, it packs down super small to easily fit in your carry-on.
Travel Power Adapter
The outlets in Uzbekistan are type C and F. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Meaning that if you’re coming from the US, you’ll need to purchase a travel power adapter. Invest in a quality universal power adapter that can be used anywhere in the world for Uzbekistan and all of your future travels!
There are some phenomenal photo opportunities in Uzbekistan and you won’t want to rely on capturing it all on your cell phone. Invest in a high quality camera by a known brand that is also lightweight like this one by Sony. It’s easily fit into your daypack or your pocket.
Clip-on Wide Angle Lens
Most of the historic buildings in Uzbekistan are absolutely massive and being able to fit the entire thing into a cell phone photo is next to impossible. This wide angle lens by Xenvo clips right onto your phone to allow you to fit more of the scenery into your frame. It’s the perfect addition to your Uzbekistan packing list.
Investing in a compact, flexible travel tripod is ideal for any vacation, especially if you’re traveling solo. This one by UBeesize is awesome because the wireless remote allows you to take photos from up to 30 feet away! It works with smartphones up to 3.54″ wide.
You’ll be relying on your cell phone a lot during your trip to Uzbekistan. Not just for taking photos, but also for navigation and for using Google Translate to communicate with the locals. You’ll want to be sure and pack an external battery in case your phone runs out of juice mid-day. And don’t forget to pack your phone charger!
If you plan to venture outside of Tashkent, you’ve got a few long train rides in your future. Not to mention that really long flight going to and from Uzbekistan! Be sure you’ve got some wireless bluetooth headphones in your bag and a few interesting podcasts downloaded (my current favorite is Dr. Death).
Travel Gear Organizer
I find it really difficult to keep all of my charging wires untangled and organized unless I have the help of a travel gear organizer. It keeps everything easily accessible and detangled, all in one place.
Entertainment for the Plane
- Don’t forget to download offline maps of the cities you’ll be visiting in Uzbekistan!
- Download a few of our favorite podcasts to keep up with the news or for background noise while you gaze out the window of the plane.
- Get a subscription to Amazon Audible for access to a huge selection of audiobooks in case in-flight movies aren’t available.
- Bring a few Uzbekistan travel guides and a highlighter on the plane to plan your must-see sites!
There are plenty of small markets around Uzbekistan where you can purchase body soap or shampoo. However, you’ll probably have a difficult time finding specific brands that you love or tampons. So be sure to pack those if you’ll want them during your trip. A few important health and beauty products to remember are:
- Face wash
- Face and body lotion
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Body wash
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss
- Feminine hygiene products
- Any medications
- Hairbrush and hair ties
- Travel hair dryer
- 2 in 1 travel curling iron and straightener
Clothing, Shoes and Accessories
You’ll find that men and women in Uzbekistan tend to dress up, no matter what the date or occasion. Most of the women wear long dresses or velour pants with matching tunics with long velour coats over the top. You’ll probably feel a bit out of place if you only pack yoga pants and puffy coats.
Evenings in Uzbekistan can get very chilly, even in the spring and fall months. Check the weather before you go and pack a warm jacket, just in case. Silk and embroidered jackets are some of the most popular items to purchase in Uzbekistan but they won’t provide a lot of warmth. Make sure you leave some room in your bag to bring one home with you!
Regardless of the time of year that you visit Uzbekistan, you’ll probably feel more comfortable if you have your knees and shoulders covered. Most of the locals dress fairly conservatively as it is a predominantly Muslim country.
In the spring and fall months you’ll want to pack thicker pants, such as jeans, that can be dressed up or down depending on your preference. And lightweight, breathable pants if you are traveling in the summertime. You’ll probably want to pack both if the weather looks like it’s fluctuating.
Pack a few comfortable, lightweight tops that are casual enough for a day of exploring Uzbekistan, but can also be dressed up for a nice dinner. Be sure they are made of a material that won’t wrinkle easily. Click on the links below to see more size and color options!
You’ll want to pack a few long, comfortable travel dresses that won’t wrinkle easily when packed. Check out my 7 favorites here! You’ll see in our other posts that I wore my floral off-the-shoulder maxi dress constantly in Uzbekistan, I just kept it on the shoulder. Personally, I always feel more comfortable dressing as the locals do, and they usually kept their knees and shoulders covered.
Another brand that offers cute but inexpensive dresses is KOH KOH. They have several pretty dresses and jumpsuits that are modest but flattering for any size. Vibrant blue dresses will look amazing against the pretty blue mosaic tile that you’ll see all over Uzbekistan!
Other Clothing Items to Pack
- A light sweater
- A swimsuit if you plan on visiting a hammam
- One pair of underwear per day
- Two bras
- One pair of socks per day
- Nylons to wear under your pants or dress if the weather looks really cold
Comfortable Walking Shoes
You’ll be walking a lot in Uzbekistan! Especially in Bukhara and Khiva where most of the sites are in the pedestrian-friendly area where cars are not allowed. Pack two pairs of shoes – one that you can walk several miles in each day without getting blisters, and one that is comfortable for walking but can also be dressed up for a night out!
Foldable Sun Hat
You’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in Uzbekistan so you’ll want something to protect your face from the harsh sun. Joyebuy makes foldable straw hats that can pack up small in your bag but won’t lose their shape.
Other Accessories to Pack
- Knit hat, gloves, and scarf if the weather looks really cold
- Flip flops if the weather will be really hot
- Small crossbody bag
Pick up a Russian Phrasebook to help you get around since most people in Uzbekistan don’t speak English. If you can find an Uzbek phrasebook, that would be even better!
And be sure to download Google Translate and initiate the camera function. That will allow you to hold your phone over any restaurant menus written in Russian text and Google will translate. It will make ordering so much easier!
- Your passport!
- Your Uzbekistan visa!
- To call your credit card company and release your card for use in Uzbekistan
- Better yet, sign up for a credit card with no international transaction fees! (We use and recommend the Chase Sapphire Prefered Credit Card.)
- Get a Debit card that will refund your ATM fees (we use and recommend the Charles Schwab Debit Card).
- A backup credit card in case you have any issues with your primary
- To upgrade to an international cell plan during the month that you’ll be gone or unlock our phone so you can buy a SIM card
Things to Leave at Home
- Tank tops
- Midriff baring tops
- A ton of cash