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Halal Travel in Uzbekistan – Why Go to Uzbekistan as a Muslim Traveller!

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Uzbekistan is one of the new hot destinations that everyone seems to be going to, especially Muslims and after 1 week in Uzbekistan I can see why! Halal Travel in Uzbekistan is perfect for so many reasons which I’m going to tell you about in this Uzbekistan travel blog!

I have just returned from a 1 week tour in Uzbekistan with Halal Travel Guide where I got to travel around the country visiting 3 cities and endless attractions with a local guide and a group of like minded Muslim ladies.

Our guide told us that tourism in Uzbekistan has been increasing the last few years and I know I have seen more and more people go on social media so NOW really is the time to go whilst it’s still relatively unknown but so easy to visit!

Halal Travel in Uzbekistan

halal travel in Uzbekistan,
Keep reading for my guide to halal travel in Uzbekistan!

Muslim travel in Uzbekistan is perfect as there are places to pray, halal food, the chance to meet local Muslims, endless impressive Mosques, Madrasa’s and Mausoleums to visit.

Due to a very interesting, and recent history of 70 years of soviet rule, only ending in 1991 which stripped the country of it’s religion, there’s a lot to learn in Uzbekistan as a Muslim travelling there.

Many are also surprised to hear that the must-visit city of Bukhara is where Imam al Bukhari was born and his body is now in another must-visit city of Samarkand.

So in this Uzbekistan travel guide, I’m going to give you more reasons why you should visit Uzbekistan as a Muslim, some Uzbekistan travel advice I picked up from my visit and my Halal Travel Guide Review as I had such a great week with them and really recommend their tours to you!

halal travel in Uzbekistan,  group of ladies in Tashkent mosque complex
Why is Uzbekistan so good for Muslim travellers?

How to Visit Uzbekistan

Firstly, I cannot recommend travelling to Uzbekistan with Halal Travel Guide enough! They have been running Uzbekistan tours for Muslims for the last few years and have perfected their itineraries.

I did the 7 day, 6 night trip visiting Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand. This trip is perfect for those tight on time as we saw so much in such little time but it didn’t feel rushed or tiring thanks to the itinerary.

If you have longer to spend in Uzbekistan and want to get to know the country even more, I recommend the 10 day, 9 night tour which also visits Khiva and Shakhrisabz. Khiva is one of the best places to visit in Uzbekistan but due to how far North it is, it’s hard to visit with just 1 week in Uzbekistan!

Click here to view all their Uzbekistan tours and the other tours they offer!

Halal Travel Guides run ladies only Uzbekistan tours which was what I joined and we had a lovely group of 7 British Muslims on the trip, however they run mixed tours too!

halal travel in Uzbekistan,  Ellie outside mosque in Samarkand
Group tours = lots of friends to take your photos!

Travelling independently to Uzbekistan

Whilst Uzbekistan is safe to travel independently, it’s one of those countries where travel logistics have not been smoothed out just yet and that’s why I think it’s best to visit on a tour with a local guide.

Uzbekistan is well connected by train, however, our guide told us train tickets are not easy for foreigners to get and you’ll likely end up needing a local travel agent to help.

English is not that widely spoken making it more difficult to get around although it is still possible.

If you want to travel independently whilst also learning about the Islamic history and sites you are seeing, I recommend hiring a local Muslim guide in the cities you visit.

halal travel in Uzbekistan,  bullet train in Uzbekistan
Trains are an easy way to get around Uzbekistan but they are hard to book yourself online!

Is Uzbekistan Muslim Friendly?

Uzbekistan is extemeley Muslim friendly with around 80% of the population being Muslim.

On the outside, Uzbekistan is different to many other Muslim countries as looking at locals you may not think they are Muslim… After a long soviet rule where being religious meant you were persecuted, it is taking them time to come out of this history but having Muslim tourists visit who are openly Muslim in how they dress and wanting prayer spaces is also helping.

As a hijabi, I felt extremely welcome and safe. There were many other Muslim tourists around when I visited in April and many of the locals greeted me with an ‘Assalaamu Alaikum’ which was really nice and helped create a connection with them I felt.

Uzbekistan is also Muslim friendly for many of practical reasons which I’ll go into now!

Related post to read afterwards: What to wear in Uzbekistan!

halal travel in Uzbekistan,  Ellie in uzbekistan in blue print dress
I loved my time in Uzbekistan and felt very safe and welcome!

Halal Food in Uzbekistan

You really don’t have to worry about halal food in Uzbekistan as it is halal!

Our guide told us they do serve pork in a very small minority of places like in Korean restaurants but even then, the rest of the meat is halal and it’s unlikely that as a tourist eating in tourist areas you’ll find these types of places anyway.

I ate amazingly in Uzbekistan! Their national dish is Plov which is a rice and meat dish that also comes with some vegetables and quails eggs which I found very unique. When in Tashkent, I recommend visiting the famous Besh Qozon aka The Plov Centre to get your first fix of Plov!

halal travel in Uzbekistan,  plov in uzbekistan with other sides
Plov has to be one of the first dishes you try in Uzbekistan!

Manti was another one of my favourites which we had with meat and another time with pumpkin and I tried Laghman for the first time which is a pulled noodle dish from the Uyghur cuisine and Central Asian cuisine which we saw on nearly every menu.

halal travel in Uzbekistan,  manti and a table of other foods in Uzbekistan
Manti was one of the things I enjoyed eating in Uzbekistan..
halal travel in Uzbekistan,  Laghman noodles in Uzbekistan
So was Laghman!

One of the surprising things I found about the food served was the wide range of Salads on offer which were so fresh and delicious!

One of the things you need to know about visiting Uzbekistan is that their food is very meat and bread heavy! They love their meat and if you order a selection of meat.. let’s say, you’ll be served a selection of meat! Bread comes with all meals and it’s so fresh and tasty!

halal travel in Uzbekistan,  table of halal food in Uzbekistan
A table full of delicious halal food!

Places to Pray in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is full of mosques which makes praying on-the-go very easy.

Our guide told us that women from Uzbekistan generally pray at home which is due to the countries past history meaning there are less spaces for women to pray in mosques, however these days because of the amount of Muslim tourists visiting and foreign women needing places to pray in mosques, women’s areas have become more common and I prayed in some beautiful prayer areas.

halal travel in Uzbekistan,  inside ladies area of mosque in Tashkent
Inside the ladies area of a mosque we visited in Tashkent
halal travel in Uzbekistan,  inside ladies area of mosque in Uzbekistan
This mosque is stunning and not in any big city, we visited during our drive from Bukhara to Samarkand!

2 out of 3 of our hotels whilst travelling with Halal Travel Guide had the direction of the Qibla on the hotel room ceiling and offered prayer mats in the room which I loved. Hotel Al Anvar in Tashkent even had a prayer room.

halal travel in Uzbekistan, Sunset at Friday mosque in Bukhara
Just before Maghreb Prayer in Bukhara. All tourists are asked to leave before prayer time so it was nice and quiet for us to enjoy!

Islamic History in Uzbekistan

Many tourists travel to Uzbekistan to see the beautiful blue and green ornately designed Mosques and Mausoleums which are incredible to witness, but to visit as a Muslim and understand their meaning, their history and relevance in our religion is something really special and why I urge Muslims to travel to Uzbekistan!

Islam was brought to modern day Uzbekistan in the 8th & 9th Century which is known as the Golden Age, with Bukhara becoming the most important centres in the Islamic world!

halal travel in Uzbekistan, Ellie outside trading dome in Bukhara
Bukhara was my favourite place in Uzbekistan, it’s so rich in Islamic History!

In Bukhara, one of the most famous and impressive mosques Kalan Mosque was built in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 16th century after being destroyed by Genghis Khan. Next to it stands Kalon Mineral which is not only famous for its design but because it was one of the few monuments Genghis Khan did not destroy!

halal travel in Uzbekistan,  Kalon Mosque and minaret in Bukhara
On the right is Kalon Mosque, Kalon Minaret in the middle and a Madrasa on the left.

Also in Bukhara, close to the trading domes and the ruins of the Hammam, you’ll see Magoki Attori Mosque which was also built in the 12th century. From the 12th to 16th century it was used as a working synagogue as well as a working mosque. It was later covered in sand and rediscovered.

halal travel in Uzbekistan, Ancient Magoki Attori Mosque from the front
Ancient Magoki Attori Mosque
halal travel in Uzbekistan,  sign at the Bahoutdin Architectural Complex Bukhara
Sign at the Bahoutdin Architectural Complex Bukhara

Imam Al Bukhari

We all know of Imam Al Bukhari but many of us don’t realise that he was born in Bukhara which is now modern day Uzbekistan and this alone is one of the reasons to visit Uzbekistan!

Imam Al Bukhari lived from 810 to 870. He was born in Bukhara and died in Samarkand after travelling the world.

Right now, just outside of Samarkand, the government is building a new Memorial complex of Imam Al Bukhari which is hoped to be finished in 2025 with a huge mosque and accommodation facilities around for tourists to visit and stay at for awhile.

halal travel in Uzbekistan, Construction of a new Memorial complex of Imam Al-Bukhari in Samarkand
Construction of a new Memorial complex of Imam Al-Bukhari in Samarkand

Whilst in Samonids Recreation Park near the centre of Bukhara, there is a small Memorial complex of Imam Al-Bukhari.

halal travel in Uzbekistan, Memorial complex of Imam Al-Bukhari in Bukhara
Memorial complex of Imam Al-Bukhari in Bukhara

Cultural Immersion Activities

One of the things that makes Halal Travel Guide so great is their focus on cultural immersion. We learnt about the national dish Plov, and then we had a go at making it. We learnt about pottery and calligraphy, and then we had a go at it ourselves.

I really love that the cities in Uzbekistan offer the chance to get to know the craftsmanship of the country and let you have a go. These are crafts that Muslims have been doing for centuries here and around the world and it feels special to be able to connect with them when visiting.

halal travel in Uzbekistan, plov in uzbekistan with other sides
The Plov our group helped make!
halal travel in Uzbekistan, 6 pottery bowls from a pottery class
We painted these!

Halal Travel Guide Review

As I hope you can tell, I had the best time travelling Uzbekistan with Halal Travel Guide and I 100% recommend them to you for many reasons!


We managed to see 3 cities in just 6 days, we saw so many attractions and took part in 3 cultural activities but it didn’t feel like a really intense or tiring trip (and I say that as a woman who was 22 weeks pregnant at the time!).

Our itinerary had plenty of free time which we mainly used to rest, explore ourselves and get dinner by ourselves. I love it when tours offer this as it allows you to get to know the place independently and split from the group for some alone time if you’re craving it.

halal travel in Uzbekistan, muslim ladies walking in Uzbekistan
I highly recommend Halal Travel Guide!

Bukhara and Samarkand are very walkable so it was nice being able to get dinner and shop in these cities alone and choose what we wanted to do with our time.

Explore the tours to Uzbekistan and other destinations Halal Travel Guide run here!


We stayed in 3 different hotels and each one was a bit different. In Tashkent and Samarkand the hotels were pretty modern which was nice, our hotel in Tashkent was just 15 minutes from the airport making arriving and departing very pleasant and in Samarkand we stayed along a beautiful green boulevard close to the top tourist attractions.

In Bukhara we stayed in a guesthouse in an old stone building right in the old city which was very fitting for Bukhara and I’m glad we had this experience and were within walking distance to all of the shops and restaurants.

halal travel in Uzbekistan, old guesthouse in Bukhara
I loved staying in this historic, boutique guest house in Bukhara!
halal travel in Uzbekistan, twin bedroom in Al Anwar hotel Tashkent
And a nice modern hotel room in Tashkent!

All our hotels offered halal breakfast buffets and 2 of them had signs for the Qibla on the hotel room ceilings and prayer mats which is a nice touch for Muslim travellers.

Local Guide

Humoyun was our local guide on this tour and he was outstanding! He was constantly available for us to speak to and get advice from and he gave us a lot of information about the country and the places we visited whilst not piling too much information on us.

He told us a lot about what it was like to grow up in Uzbekistan at the time of the Soviet rule, like how during Ramadan they were not allowed to fast and they were not allowed to pray or women wear hijab, and this local insight into a country is invaluable.

He was also incredibly patient with us ladies who liked to take a zillion photos and shop a lot!

Halal Travel Guide also arranged for us to have a local guide in Bukhara and Samarkand which was a lovely touch and both guides were female. It was lovely to hear about the sites and attractions from an extra local guide and I appreciated the initiative to support female tour guides here too!

Explore the tours to Uzbekistan and other destinations Halal Travel Guide run here!


The price of the tour to Uzbekistan by Halal Travel Guide is very competitive and includes a lot of things.

I spent £150.00 in spending money whilst the trip which covered the 5 dinners that are not included, tips and my own personal shopping. As a rough guide, we spent about £6.00 on dinner each night as the prices are very reasonable and some of the ladies felt lunch filled them up and opted just for a dessert instead of dinner on some nights.

Included in the tour were 3 cultural experiences which I feel really enhanced our itinerary and our connection with locals.

We learnt about the national dish Plov, and then we had a go at making it. We learnt about pottery and calligraphy, and then we had a go at in ourselves!

halal travel in Uzbekistan,  calligraphy class in Samarkand
From our calligraphy class in Samarkand

Group of like minded people

Finally, I do feel like tours bring together such a group of like minded people and I can say this is true for my tour. As it was a ladies only tour, there were 7 of us ladies and it is happened that we were all from the UK which made us connect more and I hope we will see each other and stay in touch in the future.

One of the wonderful things about travelling on a tour is going alone and meeting new friends to connect with. We had a lot of laughs and spent a lot of good time together.

2 of the ladies had been to Bosnia with Halal Travel Guide before which is another destination they excel in when it comes to tours and I can see why they came back on another tour run by the company!

I also know many Muslims want to travel as a couple or with their siblings and as female Muslim travel groups are more popular, this is hard to do, but Halal Travel Guide offer mainly mixed tours with some ladies only tours too!

Explore the tours to Uzbekistan and other destinations Halal Travel Guide run here!

halal travel in Uzbekistan,  Ellie outside mosque in Samarkand

Uzbekistan Travel Advice

I hope you are convinced about Muslim travel in Uzbekistan so lets look at some of the practical information to help you visit!

When is the best time to visit Uzbekistan?

April/May and September/October are great times to visit Uzbekistan and these shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn are the peak season in Uzbekistan.

This is because Uzbekistan experiences hot summers and cold winters. Temperatures in Bukhara which has a dry desert type heat can reach 50c in July!

I went at the end of April and the weather was perfect, it was warm and verging on hot during the day but cooled down at night a lot whilst still being really comfortable and pleasant.. especially when coming from the UK in April!

halal travel in Uzbekistan,   Registan Square in Samarkand
April was a great time to travel to Uzbekistan with blue skies and nice but comfortable weather!

How to get to Uzbekistan?

It’s likely you’ll need to transit in Istanbul Airport when flying with Turkish Airlines to reach the capital city of Tashkent which is what my group did from Manchester and London. Although there are some direct flights from London to Tashkent too!

Search for flights on Skyscanner to Tashkent here.

Is Uzbekistan safe to visit?

I was on a tour with a guide for my trip to Uzbekistan so of course I felt very safe but as an avid traveller (this was country 74 for me!) I was sure to pick up on how it would feel to be in Uzbekistan on my own as I did experience times on my own too and I can still say I felt very safe.

On my Instagram content from Uzbekistan, many women said they have been to Uzbekistan recently and felt safe travelling alone or in a group of female friends and I can completely imagine this!

As a tourist to Uzbekistan you’re likely going to stick to the tourist centred cities like Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva and the tourist attractions here which are very well signposted and looked after making them feel safe and secure.

We got 2 bullet trains and the stations and trains are modern and easy to figure out.

I used an eSim and therefore had pretty constant internet access which always make me feel more comfortable.

Then, in terms of hygiene safety. We ordered salads and lots of different types of food, I brushed my teeth with the tap water and none of our group became ill from this making it safe to travel in this way too.

What to wear in Uzbekistan?

Uzbekistan offers tourists the chance to dress in a variety of ways although a level of modesty is needed inside mosques and other Islamic sites.

Click here for my full post on What to Wear in Uzbekistan as a tourist!

halal travel in Uzbekistan, muslim ladies walking in Uzbekistan
For What to wear in Uzbekistan, check out my travel guide!
halal travel in Uzbekistan,   buildings in Shah-i-Zinda
Be prepared for incredible sights like this at Shah-i-Zinda!

Uzbekistan Travel Tips

  • Bring cash like £ or USD and exchange it once there. Uzbekistan is a cash society although in modern areas of the cities and when buying items at a high price point, you can pay by card but I wouldn’t rely on it.
  • Download Russian and Uzbek on your Google Translator App as you’ll more than likely need to translate the menus and some signs. You can do this via taking a photo and the app translates it.
  • How to say thank you in Uzbek is – Rahmat.
  • How to say hello in Uzbek is – Salaam or of course ‘As Salaamu Alaikum’.
  • Ladies should always have a shawl to put over shoulders and head to cover inside certain attractions if they are not wearing hijab.

Remember to check out the tours to Uzbekistan that Halal Travel Guide offer and you won’t regret it!

I hope this post has helped you realise that Muslim travel and halal travel in Uzbekistan is easy to do and a great idea!

Disclaimer: I attended this trip to Uzbekistan with Halal Travel Guide as a press trip however all opinions and thoughts written are my own.