"A city rebuilt" Top 5 Page for this destination Tashkent by TheWanderingCamel

Tashkent Travel Guide: 269 reviews and 596 photos

Risen from the dust

Just 40 years ago Tashkent was little more than a huge pile of rubble - the result of two major earthquakes and hundreds more tremors that destroyed the city almost completely. A tiny remnant of the pre-quake city remains in the alleys and lanes behind the Chorsu bazaar, virtually everything else you see here is due to a prodigious orgy of rebuilding, much of it done by forced labour. The workers have left behind an attractive city of wide tree-lined avenues ( usually all but deserted of traffic) that is far more appealing than any reading of a guidebook would have you believe.

With its excellent museums, busy bazaar, shady parks, opera house, chaikhanas and public monuments there is plenty to see and do here so don't dismiss the capital of Uzbekistan (and the biggest city in Central Asia) as just another boring Soviet-era city. Allow yourself some time to both explore the city and relax into its quiet pace and charm.

The second time around - 2009

Returning to Tashkent was a real pleasure. Arriving at the end of September, we were in time to catch the last days of summer, the trees still green, their shade welcome. Three weeks later, returning from our tour around the country, the first winds of autumn were enough to send showers of gold fluttering around us as we walked through the park near our hotel.

Apart from the seasonal change, the city seemed much as it had been when we first visited in 2005. A few more restaurants here, a couple of buildings gone there, the stacks of money handed over in exchange for our dollars not quite so enormous, a bit more traffic on the roads but mostly still the same. With a guide and a bus at our disposal for one of our days we saw some places time and location had excluded from our previous visit. Having made a couple of business trips to the city in the last year, MrL had sussed out others - there was more than enough to fill the days I had allocated to bookend our tour of Uzbekistan.

I had promised the group an attractive, accessible city, strongly Russian-influenced but unmistakeably Central Asian - an interesting mix and far more appealing than the guidebooks suggest. By the end of our first day - one that had included seeing the oldest Koran in existence, a walk through the heart of old Tashkent, standing on the spot that was the epicenttre of the quake that devastated the city in 1969 and a wonderful dinner at the home of one of the country's foremost ceramicists - they all agreed. It was just the start of our journey into the country that lies at the very heart of Asia.

  • Last visit to Tashkent: Oct 2009
  • Intro Updated Dec 2, 2009
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Reviews (32)

Comments (18)

  • Cdnexpat's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    It is a bit of a shame that Broadway was cleaned in 2005-2006. Now it is deserted. Cafes are now locates in varios parts of the city, and usually clustered. Every division of the city has them.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2009 at 11:50 PM

    Ah, yes, the Fine Arts museum is the best :-) And thanks for having changed my perception, so the Kandinsky is not only real but there due to Romanov's will. The dinner at Rakhimov's family sounds fantastic!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2009 at 9:58 AM

    Leyle, fascinating page about Tashkent. Especially your restaurant tips sound very tempting. So I could live with a shashlik and beer right now.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    May 30, 2007 at 12:06 PM

    Thank you for yet another wonderfully evocative page. It's good to know that something of the old city remains. I like the sound of the Fine Arts Museum and maybe a night at the opera :)

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2007 at 1:18 PM

    I took me some time to find out that Temur the Lame was he who was named Tamerlan in French! I can almost smell the scent of the central market when I look at your photo! Does the name of Communard's Garden has anything to do with the "Commune de Paris"?

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2007 at 6:34 PM

    A fascinating tour around an interesting and changing city - with some surprises such as the jazz club and near give-away opera tickets.

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2007 at 6:03 AM

    do apprciate the insights into an old city evolved ;-)))

  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2006 at 11:36 AM

    Nice expose on a town reclaiming its own identity after many decades of Soviet domination.

  • ellielou's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2006 at 5:41 PM

    lyrically written and great photos! thanks!

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2006 at 7:44 AM

    You seem to have captured a city of contrasts. Well done with very interesting comments and lovely photos!

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