The Orient Express

Group sightseeing tour of Uzbekistan with transfers by train


Country: Uzbekistan
Tour duration: 5 days / 4 nights
Itinerary: TashkentPhysics of the Sun Institute (Solar Furnace) – Tashkent – Samarkand – Bukhara


The Orient Express 2022

This short but intensive Uzbekistan tour will carry you to the atmosphere of the magic East with its sun, delicious Uzbek cuisine and fabulous medieval architecture. We will visit historic and architecturally beautiful cities of the Silk Road – Samarkand, Bukhara and Tashkent, will see the most beautiful breathtaking sites, and a quite unique place - Big Solar Furnace, one of the two existing in the world!

Besides exciting excursions, we will enjoy wine tasting in a private winery at the suburbs of Parkent, interesting and tasty culinary master classes in cooking national dishes: manty and true Bukhara plov. The chef will share all the secrets and nuances that can't be found in any written recipe.

All relocations between cities of Uzbekistan are made by train that will save your time and efforts for excursions and promenades.

Welcome to our beautiful, hospitable and sunny country!

  • Tour program,
    Services & costs
  • FAQ
  • Useful Informtion,
    Route map


Tour program:
Day 1. Arrival in Tashkent. Tashkent (sightseeing).
Meeting at the airport, transfer to a hotel and check-in.
At 11:00 – sightseeing in the Old Town of Tashkent: : Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah, the oldest bazaar of Tashkent “Chorsu”..
Lunch at the Central Asian Plov Centre, where genuine Tashkent plov is cooked in huge cauldrons. There you can see the whole process of cooking from roasting meat to laying vegetables, spices and rice.
Sightseeing in the modern part of Tashkent: Independence Square, Amir Temur Square.

► Option with accommodation in hotels 3*:
After sightseeing – free time.
► Option with accommodation in hotels 4*:
After sightseeing – free time and spa treatments at the hotel.

Meals: breakfast, lunch.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2. Excursion to the Physics of the Sun Institute. Transfer to Samarkand by train.
Train travel time: 2 hours.
At 09:00 - check-out of the hotel. Transfer to the unique scientific object – Solar Energy Institute, which is situated in Parkent district of Tashkent region, at the foothills of the Tian Shan Mountains.
Excursion to the Physics of the Sun Institute (Solar Institute).We will learn about the Solar laboratory and find out why this region of Uzbekistan was chosen for the construction of the famous Big Solar Furnace – one of the two existing in the world! We will see solar heliostats which direct rays to a giant concentrator, consisting of 10,700 mirror elements. The temperature at the focus of the concentrator rays reaches 3000 degrees.
We will take the lift to the top floor of the concentrator, from where a stunning view of the Chatkal Range, Parkentsai and neighboring villages is opening.
Lunch at a local café (chaykhona), tasting of the famous Parkent kebabs.
Afetr lunch – transfer to a private vineyard Uzumfermer, tour of the territory and acquaintance with the local technology of wine production. Wine tasting.
Return to Tashkent. Transfer to the railway station.
Transfer to Samarkand by train.
Meeting at the railway station and transfer to a hotel.
Meals: breakfast, lunch.
Overnight at a hotel.

Day 3. Samarkand (sightseeing). Transfer to Bukhara by train.
Train travel time: 1,5 hours.
Sightseeing in Samarkand: the most impressive square in the entire Central Asia – the Registan Square (Madrasah of Ulugbek, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilya-Kori Madrasah); Gur-e Amir Mausoleum – necropolis of the Timurids; Bibi-Khanym Mosque; architectural ensemble Shah-i-Zinda, Ulugbek Observatory.
Lunch at a local national house, a culinary master class and tasting of manty - an authentic Uzbek dish that has the form of large dumplings filled with meat and steamed in a special pot.
Transfer to Bukhara by train. Meeting at the railway station and transfer to a hotel.
Meals: breakfast, dinner.
Overnight at a hotel.

Day 4. Sightseeing in Bukhara
Sightseeing in Bukhara: Mausoleum of Samanids, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo-Khauz Complex, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex, Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, Ulugbek Madrasah, Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah. Visit the shopping district with domed shopping arcade of the 16th century, where national arts and handicrafts workshops are presented.
A culinary master class on cooking Bukhara plov. A professional chef oshpaz, who is specializing in cooking plov, will tell about all the culinary secrets of cooking this perfect Uzbek dish.
Final dinner with tasting of Bukhara plov at a national house.
Meals: breakfast, dinner.
Overnight at a hotel.

Day 5. Bukhara (departure).
Transfer to the airport. The end of the tour program. Departure from Bukhara.
Meals: breakfast.

The cost of the tour, 5 days:

Accommodation Hotels 3* Hotels 4* (comfort)
The cost for 1 person 655 USD 840 USD
SGL supplement +95 USD +175 USD

* Agent’s commission is included into the tour price (single supplement is specified as a net price).
This tour is guaranteed and will be arranged whatever final number of persons in a group

The cost of the tour includes:

  • Meeting and seeing off at the airport.
  • Accommodation at the hotels on twin/double sharing basis with breakfasts.
  • Railway tickets for the trains: Tashkent – Samarkand, Samarkand – Bukhara.
  • Guided sightseeing tours according to the program.
  • Visiting of the Physics Of The Sun Institute (Solar Institute).
  • Wine tasting at the private vineyard.
  • Meals - according to the tour program.
  • Culinary master classes.
  • Comfortable air-conditioned transport during the entire itinerary.
  • Mineral water on each day of the tour.
  • Memorable souvenirs.

The cost of the tour doesn’t include:

  • International flights.
  • Entrance fees at museums and monuments ~ 40 USD/pax for the entire tour program.
  • The cost of meals, except mentioned in the tour program.
  • Medical costs and insurance.

Additional Services:

  • Supplement for additional night on arrival or departure (hotel 3*):
    • Single room – 45 USD/per room /per night;
    • Double room – 55 USD/per room /per night.
  • Supplement for additional night on arrival or departure (hotel 4*):
    • Single room – 145 USD/per room /per night;
    • Double room – 165 USD/per room /per night.

This tour comes with the following types of accommodation:

City Hotels 3* Hotels 4*
Tashkent Orient Inn Hotel / Samir Hotel
or similar
Wellness Hotel & SPA
or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel / Zilol Baht Hotel
or similar
DiliMah Premium Luxury
or similar
Bukhara Kabir Hotel / Fatima Hotel
or similar
Sahid Zarafshon Hotel
or similar

During the tour the following types of transport will be provided depending on the number of people in a group:

Group Vehicle
Group 1-2 pax "Chevrolet Lacetti"
Group 3-6 pax. "Hyundai Grand Starex"
Group 7-9 pax. "Toyota Hiace" / "King Long"
Group 10-15 pax. "Eurise"
Group 16-25 pax. "Golden Dragon"



Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it necessary to get a stay permit (temporary registration of stay) while visiting Uzbekistan?
    Any foreigner to Uzbekistan is to get a stay permit within 3 working days (consecutive or not) during his / her visit to the country. If he / she stays at an Uzbekistan hotel or a guesthouse, such a stay permit for the period of stay at it is granted automatically. (Inquire whether the hotel / guesthouse you want to stay at provides such a permit unless your accommodation is organized by a host tour operator. Also make sure you are given your stay permit certificate with the seal of your hotel / guesthouse when you check out.) If you stay at other lodging facilities during your visit, you will have to get your stay permit from a local visits registration police department.
  2. What is Uzbekistan’s currency? Where can I exchange money?
    The national currency of Uzbekistan is the som (UZS). There are 100, 200, 500, 1.000, 5.000, 10.000 and 50.000-som banknotes used currently. The banknotes are similar in size but vary in color; they depict Uzbekistan’s cultural and heritage sites.
    You can exchange money at Uzbekistan’s National Bank outlets, most of the hotels and official currency exchange offices commonly located near bazaars and at shopping centers. You will need your passport to exchange money through them.
    Note that the most common foreign currency in Uzbekistan is US dollars. The US banknotes you exchange in the country should be in good condition - without defects, bad folds, worn areas and scribbles - or it will be hard to exchange them.
  3. Can I use credit cards in Uzbekistan?
    You can use Visa and MasterCard cards mainly in Tashkent and at fewer locations in Samarkand and Bukhara for cash withdrawals through ATMs (cash machines) in their large hotels or banks. You can also make payments with these cards at some hotels, restaurants and stores in Tashkent. However, technical failures of the card handling equipment may occur, so it is advisable to always have enough cash on you.
  4. What is the difference between GMT and Uzbekistan time?
    It is GMT plus 5 hours in Uzbekistan.
  5. Can foreigners to Uzbekistan use the services of a local mobile network operator during their stays in the country?
    Yes, they can if they have a stay permit to show.
  6. Can I bring alcoholic beverages into Uzbekistan?
    A person is permitted to bring a maximum of 2 liters of alcoholic drink(s) into the country.
  7. What maximum amount of cash can I bring into Uzbekistan?
    There is no limit on the amount of cash in a currency that is foreign to Uzbekistan a person can bring into the country. If you bring in over 5,000 USD (or the equivalent in other currencies), you will be given a ТС-28 certificate. If you bring in over 10,000 USD, you will have to pay a 1% duty on this sum.
  8. What maximum amount of cash can I take out of Uzbekistan?
    The amount of cash (in a currency foreign to Uzbekistan) you can take out of the country must not exceed the sum you brought in as per your arrival customs declaration. Taking out the amount exceeding the sum you brought in is possible if permitted by Uzbekistan’s Central Bank or another Uzbekistan’s authorized bank. Note that taking out Uzbekistan soms is not permitted unless they are several souvenir coins or banknotes.
  9. Can I use a photo / video camera at the tourist sites?
    Photographing and videoing at the tourist sites is allowed unless a site has a prohibition sign. They charge fees for using cameras at most tourist attractions though. Photographing and videoing is prohibited in Tashkent metro, at the airports and railway stations. Using a camera at the functioning mosques is possible if allowed by the worshippers there.
  10. What kind of clothes should I wear in Uzbekistan? Are there any clothing requirements for women in the country?
    Clothes made of cotton and other natural textiles will be the best choice in warm and hot weather. Both men and women will feel best in T-shirts and shorts. Your footwear must be comfortable, light and strong, since you will have to walk a lot. Have sunglasses, a light headwear and sunblock lotion.
    If you travel early in spring (March to the beginning of April) or at the end of autumn (October to November), it is advisable to take a windbreaker, a sweater or a similar garment. In winter the temperature may fall to minus 10°С or so, so a raincoat, a warm coat and headwear will be necessary.
    There are no strict limits on women’s clothing in the country. However, you should be considerate towards the local traditions, culture and religion. While visiting religious places women should wear loose garments covering most of their arms and legs, and of course the cleavage. Headscarves will also be advisable to put on. Note that you will have to take off your shoes while entering some of the sacred places.
  11. What languages do people in Uzbekistan speak?
    The official language is Uzbek; it is spoken by a majority of the population. Russian is spoken by the country’s largest Slavic minority and is still used widely in business and as a lingua franca, especially in Tashkent and other major cities. Tajik is widespread in Samarkand and Bukhara for their large Tajik ethnic minorities. Karakalpak is spoken in the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan where it is an official language besides Uzbek. English is popular as a foreign language to study but there is little chance of coming across a good English speaker in the street. However, in the historic cities of Bukhara and Samarkand many young souvenir sellers dealing with foreigners speak elementary English.

Photos of the tour:

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Our video gallery:

Cuisine of Central Asia
Pilafs in Tashkent Узбекские фрукты и овощи
Uzbek Fruit and Vegetables
Tashkent tourist attractions
Tashkent tourist attractions

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