Tashkent International Airport serves the city of Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan in Central Asia. Considered the main gateway into Uzbekistan as well as one of the busiest air transport hubs of Central Asia (probably due to its strategic location), Tashkent International Airport handles more than 2 million passengers annually and is a popular transit stop for flights between Europe to Southeast Asia and Australia. The airport consists of 3 passenger terminals, though only 2 are open to the general public: Terminal 2 is used mainly for international flights, whilst Terminal 3 (operational from 2011) is reserved for domestic flights. Terminal 1 is not open to the public, but used only for VIPs and state visits (as of August 2015). Terminals 2 and 3 are separated by the runway, so travelers will need to exit the airport and take a bus or taxi to get from one to the other.
Tashkent International Airport is the hub of flag carrier Uzbekistan Airways, and is also served by airlines like British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Asiana Airlines, Aeroflot and others.
Tashkent Airport is located only about 10 kilometres from the heart of Tashkent city, so getting to and from the airport is relatively easy. Taxis can be found directly outside the airport terminals, but tourists are advised to pre-book one in advance to avoid being overcharged on their fare. If you prefer grabbing one upon arrival, be sure to agree on a fare to your destination with the driver before beginning the ride (which should take about 20 minutes).
What to see and do
Looking for an authentic Uzbek experience? A visit to the amazing Chorsu Bazaar in the Old Town of Tashkent should give you a little taste of that. Located on the ancient East-West trading route, the Silk Road, the Chorsu Bazaar has been a bustling place of trade since ancient times, when merchants, monks and pilgrims alike would hawk their wares and swap tall tales. Today the Chorsu Bazaar maintains its status and location, though it looks prettier than it did in the past. Under a majestic blue domed roof you’d find everything you could possibly dream of – from fragrant spices, vegetables, sweets, fruits, livestock, embroidered carpets and clothes to skullcaps, jewelry, ceramics, handicrafts and more.
Need more cultural immersion? How about a theatre production at one of Tashkent’s most famed theatres, Ilkhom Theatre? Known for its progressive productions, Ilkhom Theatre was founded in 1976 by Mark Weil and often put up plays that delve into sensitive themes like racism and homosexuality. Though staged in Russian, English subtitles are often available.
Other must-sees in Tashkent include the Tellya Sheikh Mosque, the Kukeldash Madarsa museum, and the Mustakillik Square (otherwise known as Independence Square).
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