During my trip, I tested several means of transport. I chose to fly between Tashkent to Khiva and also from Khiva to Bukhara: the flight times were practical when I planed my trip. All the rest was done by train, from Bukhara to Samarkand and from Samarkand to Tashkent. Transports in Uzbekistan aren’t always reliable but I was able to get to each destination without too much delay.
Traveling by train in Uzbekistan is easier than by car. Afrosiob (the high speed trains) and Charq trains connect Uzbekistan’s mains cities pretty well. Tickets can be purchased from Advantour or directly from the Uzbekistan Railway website. Note, the site works intermittently! Taking the train is Uzbekistan is relatively simple. For now, there is no translation of the tickets in English but it’s quite easy to understand. The staff is very friendly and will direct you to your carriage. Don’t forget your passport as it will systematically be requested. If you have booked your tickets online, you will need to exchange them at the cashier beforehand.
Afrosiyob – high speed trains
It has VIP class, Business Class, Economy class and a restaurant car. Even in economy, the carriages have air conditioning. Trains are very comfortable and include a free snack. The Afrosiyob was designed by the Spanish. It is the is the equivalent of the TGV/Shinkansen and connects Tashkent to Samarkand in just 2.5 hours.
Note that some Afrosiyob tickets are only sold online two weeks before departure.
Tashkent – Bukhara (4h)
Tashkent – Samarkand (2h30)
Samarkand – Bukhara (1h30)
The Sharq is one of the main types of trains and connects the 3 main cities of Uzbekistan: Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara. The train can reach a speed of 140 km / h. Sharq “in Uzbek translation means” East “.
The national Airline Uzbekistan Airways has a monopoly on the Uzbek sky. You can book your flights directly on their website. Is it safe to fly Uzbekistan Airlines? They have updated their fleet and have Boing and Airbus planes. They also fly internationally: this means that IATA (International Air Transport Association, the body checking airline safety) approved the airline.
Another mean of transport is the shared taxi. These taxis leave at a specific location (usually outside the city) ad your hotel will know where to find them. You will share these taxis with other passengers and it leaves when it is full.
To reach Khiva, it’s at Urgench (or Urganch) that you will have to arrive (train or plane). The city is located 35 km from Khiva and about half an hour by taxi ($10).
The Tashkent metro is one of the most ornate in the world (like St-Petersburg, Moscow or Kiev). It uses a “zheton” token system which must be bought in the machine or at the cash register. A journey costs 1,200 Soms (12 cents), making it the cheapest metro journey in the former USSR!