Uzbekistan is located in the heart of Central Asia, and as a result has a rich and fascinating history. Various civilizations — from Persians to Arabs to Russians — have conquered and influenced the development of this land. Several of Uzbekistan’s ancient cities, such as Samarkand, were important trading hubs on what was once known as the Silk Road.
Uzbekistan is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world, the other being Liechtenstein. This means that it is surrounded by countries that are themselves all landlocked. These bordering countries are Kazakhstan to the north, Tajikistan to the southeast, Kyrgyzstan to the northeast, Afghanistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest. The country’s area is close to 449,000 square kilometers, making it the 56th biggest in the world.
In 2014, the population was estimated at around 29,000,000. The largest ethnic group is the Uzbek people, while there are also significant numbers of people from Russian, Tajik, and Kazakh origin. The country’s official language is Uzbek, while Russian is also widespread especially for administrative purposes, as well as signage.
The climate in Uzbekistan is classified as continental, with hot summers and cool winters that are characterized by extremes in temperature. In fact, the temperature in summer often goes above a sweltering 45°C, while the average temperature in winter is -2°C, but has been known to fall as low as -40°C. The majority of the country is arid, with little to no rainfall between the months of July and September, which halts the growth of vegetation.
Uzbekistan has a rich and varied natural environment, but also suffers from some problems in this area. Chief among these is the drying up of the Aral Sea, which since the 1960s has lost about two thirds of its volume.
When moving to Uzbekistan, you can import an unlimited amount of foreign currency into Uzbekistan, although a declaration form has to be filled out when you arrive. Passengers carrying more than 1,000 USD, or its equivalent in other currencies, may be checked physically.
When it comes to taking foreign currency out of the country, the limit is 2,000 USD for residents. Larger amounts can be exported with a special permit from the Central Bank. As a foreigner, you may export sums up to the amount you carried into the country, hence the necessity to declare large sums of money on entry.
In terms of physical goods, the following can be imported duty-free into the country, provided their total value does not exceed 1,000 USD and that you are not traveling from a neighboring country:
In general and regarding any other items not listed, you are only allowed to bring reasonable quantities for your own personal use. This includes any personal items and household items.
If you are moving to Uzbekistan from or via one of the following countries, you may only bring along goods with a total value of up to 10 USD: imported from Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan.