Uzbekistan is a secular society where east and west blends into each other. When it comes to clothing it depends on the season you are travelling there. When you are visiting religious places, mosques and mausoleums it is considerate to cover your shoulder and chest and not to wear anything shorter than knee-length. If you want to have a close look at architectural decorations or city surroundings from top locations it is good to have a pair of binoculars. In spring you'd better take a warm coat, long-sleeved top and pullover sweater. Spring is a rainy season compared to other seasons in Uzbekistan.
However, due to continental weather, it does not rain a lot in Uzbekistan during Spring. But it is advisble to bring with you an umbrella. Hat, sunglasses, light shoes, sun blocks and light colored cotton clothes during summer are advisable. A folding fan can be useful to keep you cool during hot days of summer. Insects can really ruin your travel. That is why, it is recommended to bring with you DEET based insect repellent. In autumn you can wear the same type of clothes that you use for spring. In winter, make sure you have a good warm coat, comfy sweaters, some scarves, a pair of gloves and hat.
In spring, the weather is very variable; the warm days may be followed by chilly and cold days. The temperature of 30 C in early morning and 90 C in the evening is usual.
The winters are rather cold in Uzbekistan. The coldest month is January. The temperature goes down to -15 and -20 degrees Celsius below zero in the south, and it could be much colder in the northwest of the country at - 25 and -28 degrees Celsius below zero. The lowest monthly average of temperature is -5 °C in January. However, there are enough warm days throughout the country even in winter time.
Cold tap water is safe to drink in Uzbekistan. However, people in Uzbekistan usually boil water and make green or black tea. Black tea is popular mostly in Tashkent region and green tea is popular in other regions. Presence of salt in water is higher than average in the regions of Bukhara, Khorezm and Karakalpakstan. You can buy bottled water anywhere in Uzbekistan easily.
Uzbekistan is famous for its vegetables and fruits. Melons, grapes, pomegranates and apricots are recommended to be tasted if you are here in harvest time. It is advisable to rinse fruits and vegetables before consuming them. Uzbek cuisine is high in calorie. Uzbek cuisine - plav, shashlik, manti, tandir kabab and lagman are consumed with great appetite.
Consuming big quantities of meat and oil may upset your stomach. High calorie foods are not advised to be consumed before going to bed. You should try to avoid drinking cold water with main meal. Hot green tea or delicious fruits (melons and water-melons) after the main meal will help digest the food.
There are large markets (bazaars) all over Uzbekistan, which usually open at 8 am in the morning. Suggested purchases are spices, dry fruits, local Uzbek souvenirs, carpets, local wine and vodka. you may go to traditional markets or supermarkets to shop for freshly picked fruits. Remember bargaining sometimes works. Inexpensive fruits and souvenirs will save your money and give you unforgettable memories from your trip.
However, in case you purchase antiques from Bukhara / Samarkand, you must confirm the date it was made, since anything made before 1959 is not allowed for export without special permission and anything made after 1959 does not require any permission, except a few well-known works which belong to national heritage. A special permission from the Ministry of Culture could be gained in the main cities or in Tashkent Airport when you leave and it is liable to duty.
By customs regulations, there is a list of items that can be imported into the country, which is almost the same as the list of items in Western countries. Items you purchased during the visit to Uzbekistan, such as hand-made products, ceramics and recently produced goods can be freely exported from the country. If you plan to buy items of art and antique articles, old carpets or suzane (wall coverlets), books, weapons (swords, knives) and etc., you must have a license for them, issued by the Ministry of Culture of Uzbekistan. We recommend that you obtain those licenses directly from sellers when you buy such products. Otherwise, unlicensed items will be confiscated by customs authorities. To ensure the smooth passage through the Uzbek immigration authorities, you must have a valid passport and visa.
Uzbekistan is a secular state by constitution. Stability and prosperity are the cornerstones for the development of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is regarded among CIS countries as one of the most tranquil countries with low rate of violent crime. Petty crime is also low in Uzbekistan. However, if simple rules are not observed you can put yourself in a dangerous situation. It is advised to make copies of your passport and visa. If stopped by police, you should be able to provide the proof of your identity and citizenship (certified copy of your passport and Uzbek visa). You are not allowed to take pictures at airports, border controls and police stations. Emergency numbers in Uzbekistan are: 01 for fire; 02 for police; 03 for an ambulance; and 050 for the Ministry of Emergency Situations.