Uzbekistan is smack bang in the centre of that little-known part of the earth known as Central Asia. You might have heard of Uzbekistan and know that it’s “one of those former Soviet Stans”, but hopefully we can help you locate it a bit more confidently than that.
Where is Uzbekistan?
To locate Uzbekistan, the first thing you’ll need to do is find Central Asia. It’s that area that most people forget about that’s sandwiched between China, Russia, the Middle East and the Sub-Continent. Uzbekistan is right in the middle of Central Asia, with Kazakhstan to the north and West, Turkmenistan to the south, and Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to the East.
With an area of about 447,000 km², it’s the 56 th largest country in the world, and is about the same size as Sweden.
Regions of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan comprises of 13 administrative regions. The largest by area is Karakalpakstan in the east of the country, which is home to the Aral Sea and culturally and historically is the most distinguishable. The most populous though is of course Tashkent, home of the national capital of Tashkent.
Tashkent is by far the biggest city in Central Asia, and until about the 70s or 80s was the most diverse, international and well-known city in Central Asia, until for some reason its reputation was surpassed by Almaty’s. Still though, with a population of around 2.4 million, it’s more than double the size of Almaty.
Most people visiting Uzbekistan arrive and/or depart from Tashkent International Airport, but a lot of travellers pass through without spending much time in the city, which we think is a mistake. Although it’s not oozing with history in the same way as Samarqand or any of the other famous cities, Tashkent has a lot to offer and we definitely reckon it’s worth a couple of days of exploration.
It’s a very easy city to navigate with a fairly extensive metro (first in Central Asia, and still the most extensive), very cheap and easy to use taxis, and a clear centre that’s easily walkable.
Border crossings in Uzbekistan
Crossing by land border either in or out of Uzbekistan is quite a popular way to travel. Since it’s surrounded by other countries that you might be visiting on the same trip it’s quite a convenient way to do it. There are several crossings with each neighbouring country. For information on specific land border crossings, visit our Travel Guide page .
Uzbekistan Trivia Question
For those of you who like to show off your knowledge of obscure geography, this is a great one to keep up your sleeve.
There are two double land-locked countries in the world. Firstly, some may not understand what a double land-locked country is. Well it just simply means that it’s land-locked by countries that are also themselves land-locked. Most people first of all start thinking of places in Central Africa, reckoning that there are a lot of small countries quite far from a coast, but actually neither of them are there.
The first is of course, as you’ve obviously realised from the context, Uzbekistan. Bordered by Kazakhstan (land-locked by Russia and China), Kyrgyzstan (land-locked by China and Kazakhstan), Tajikistan (land-locked by China, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan), Afghanistan (land-locked by China and Iran), and Turkmenistan (land-locked by Iran and Kazakhstan), meaning that to get to an ocean you’d need to go through at least two countries.
And the second is Liechtenstein, with both of its neighbouring countries – Switzerland and Austria – also being land-locked.