BUS AND TAXI IN TASHKENT

tashkent transportThe main long-distance bus station is the Tashkent avtovokzal (tel. 793929), five minutes’ walk through a bazaar from Sobir Rakhimov Metro (western terminus of Chilonzor line).

Ticket-sellers may request you first register upstairs with the station police (OV1R). The further the destination, the less frequent the buses, so consider buying tickets a day in advance.

The good news is that privately-run Daewoo minibuses, outside the bus station, provide faster and more frequent services, leaving when full, while share-taxis also compete for your custom.

There are currently no bus services to the Ferghana Valley, so try a share-taxi from the Severnay Vokzal, where night buses to Samarkand and elsewhere also wait, A taxi to Samarkand or Ferghana will cost around US$30 for the car.

AIRPORT IN TASHKENT

Located just seven kilometres south of the city centre, Tashkent (Yuzhny) airport will pleasantly surprise previous visitors, with its renovated terminal, and better transit facilities. However, departing passengers should still allow plenty of time to clear customs. There are two terminals 200 metres apart: international (Uzbek: halqaro, Russian: mezhdu narodniy) and domestic (Uzbek: makhalliy, Russian: messniy).

At the international terminal, arrivals are on the ground floor, departures on the first. Second and third floor offices include various airlines (potential tickets—see list below), and a branch of Uzbek immigration (potential visa extensions). The international airport tax of USS10 is pre-paid in your ticket, but a recent ‘security tax’ of US$3 has to paid at check-in.

Transport to/from the airport: a taxi to the centre (e.g. Hotel Uzbekistan) should not exceed USS10-15, though late arrival times and the somewhat intimidating throng of drivers persuade many visitors to request airport transfer from their travel agent/hotel/ B&B. Alternatively, take a bus into town from the domestic terminal: no. 25 stops at the Khokkimiyat (Mayor’s Office) near the Hotel Uzbekistan; No. 67 services Hotel Grand Mir, No. 11 Hotel Chorsu, and trolleybus 14 Alisher Navoi metro. The other three buses also connect with the metro.

Uzbekistan Airways Tickets: The Hotel Uzbekistan, among others, has an air ticket desk (minimum US$5 surcharge) to save you the sometimes frustrating experience of visiting the “Aviakassalar—Uzbekistan Airways” main ticket office for domestic and international flights, opposite the Hotel Grand Mir at 9 Shota Rustaveli St (tel. 563837, open daily 9am-5pm). All flights are charged in US dollars.

For same-day departures, try the airport dispatchers (international: 591556; domestic/CIS: 551954). For airport information (in Russian/Uzbek), try 006, 066 or 548637.

Foreign Airline Offices:

Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, la Abdullah Kodtri St, tel. 1200505
Asiana Airlines, 1 Bukhara St, Daewoo Unitel Building, tel. 1207385
Avia-Lux (for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Siberia and Tartarstan airlines), 79A Nukus St, tel. 1523018
Baykal/Belavia/Byelorussia, 6 Niyozbek Yuli St, tel. 2341343
British Airways, 5 Shakhrisabsz St, tel. 2337111, general@britishairways.uz
Domodedovo, 77 Bobur St, tel. 1523940/1 (office also handles Ural, Perm and Orenburg
airlines), airport 545953; cheap Tashkent-Moscow service
El-Al (Israel), 65 Pushkin St, tel. 2371162; airport 2503409
Iran Air, 1 Toy-Tepa St, tel. 591374
PIA, 4 Khalklar Dustligi St, tel. 459192, airport 549215.
Pulkovo Airlines, Apt 205, 42 Khalklar Dustligi, tel. 2739897.
Turkish Airlines, 11 Navoi St, tel. 2367989.
Transaero (Russia), 6A Khalklar Dustligi St, tel. 2339935.
Turkish Airlines, 11A Navoi St, tel. 1368979, thytasmng@sarkor.uz.
Ukrainian Airlines, 52 Shevchenko St, tel. 1527137.
Uzbekistan Airways, Head Office, 41, Movarounnakhr St, tel. 1334207.

Here is more information about air transport.

TASHKENT VOKZAL

Tashkent Vokzal, formerly the Severnay (North) Vokzal, south of the centre on Tashkent St (tel. 1997627, Toshkent metro is the nearest), remains the main station for all services to or from Tashkent, following the closure of Yuzhni (South) Vokzal, further southwest on Usmon Nosir St. The popular No. 662 to Bukhara departs at 8pm and arrives at 7:40am (one hour later in winter). Tickets cost USS10-16 in a 4-berth kupe, or US$31 for a 2-berth SV. The new ‘high-speed’ Samarkand train leaves daily at 7am, arrives 10:50am, and costs US$8-13, including light meal. Moscow in a four berth costs the equivalent of US$155. For rail information, telephone 1364049 or 005.

The International Ticket Office is at the right-hand corner of the main advance booking office ten minutes walk away at 51 Movarounnakhr St (open daily 8am-5pm, tel. 1364848.

TASHKENT TRANSPORT

Tashkent’s excellent metro runs from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm and should be first choice when possible. A third line nears completion to bring most of the city within its reach. A flat fare (500 sum in 2011) applies so buy a handful of tokens each time. The metro is one place where you might get hassled by police on the take, particularly at the busy Alisher Navoi and Amir Timur intersections.

Bus, trolleybus and tram networks (for a fare of 500 sum) connect the centre with the remotest suburbs—ask fellow passengers for advice.

While most cars on Tashkent streets also serve as taxis, safety and comfort are more likely from official firms including Taxi Ekipage (082), Tashkent Taxi Service (062) and Taxi Voyage (1392222). In 2011, the official rate was a 5000 sum minimum for the first 5km, then 500 sum per km after that. To cross the city should cost US$l-3 in sum (e.g. 3000 sum from centre to airport). Confirm the rate with the driver before boarding. Hailing the nearest vehicle may be slightly cheaper, and few problems are reported—remember to confirm the price first. It pays to take a map and the name of your destination written in Russian.

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