Samarkand train station

Uzbekistan has a good rail network, and trains are the ideal way to travel between Tashkent, Samarkand, Bokhara and Urgench (for Khiva).

On this page...

Train travel between Tashkent, Samarkand, Bokhara & Urganch

Useful country information

Hotels & accommodation

On other pages...

Train travel from London, Paris & Moscow to Tashkent

Train travel from Tashkent to Almaty

Pictured right:  Samarkand's modern station.  Photo courtesy of Alan saunders.


Useful country information

Train operator in Uzbekistan:

www.uzrailpass.uz

 

 

Time zone:

 

GMT+5 all year.

Dialling code:

 

+998

Currency:

 

£1 = approx 3400 Som.  $1 = approx 2150 Som.   Currency converter

Visas:

Most western nationalities need a visa to visit Uzbekistan.

Tourist information:

No official tourist information site, but try www.lonelyplanet.com/uzbekistan

Travel advice:

Check with the Foreign Office's travel advice website,  www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/uzbekistan for travel advice.  They advise against all but essential travel to some parts of Uzbekistan near the Afghan border.

Page last updated:

16 October 2013.


Tashkent, Samarkand, Bokhara, Urgench for Khiva

Taking the train is the safe and comfortable way to travel between these cities...

Tashkent ► Samarkand, Bokhara, Urgench

 

Bokhara, Urgench, Samarkand ► Tashkent

Train number:

160

162

10

56

662

Train number:

55

9

161

159

661

Days of running:

Sat, Sun

daily

daily

**

daily

Days of running:

***

daily

daily

Sat, Sun

daily

Tashkent

depart

07:00

08:00

08:30

19:30

20:55

Urganch

depart

15:20

-

-

-

-

Samarkand

arrive

09:08

10:08

11:57

23:51

01:32

Bokhara

depart

|

08:05

-

-

20:00

Bokhara

arrive

-

-

15:10

|

06:27

Samarkand

depart

05:40

11:10

17:00

18:00

00:49

Urganch

arrive

-

-

-

13:05

-

Tashkent

arrive

10:25

14:47

19:10

20:10

06:00

Urgench (also known as Urganch) is the railhead for Khiva, 35km or 30 minutes away.  A taxi will cost around $9.  There are no direct trains from Bokhara to Urgench, as they are on different lines.

* Runs on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays.

** Runs on Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays.  

*** Runs on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays.

Train 1 & 2 Registan consists of luxury air-conditioned cars. 

Train 9 & 10 Sharq, air-conditioned, runs daily.

Trains 49/50 & 661/662 run daily, with spalny vagon 2-berth sleepers & kupé 4-berth sleepers.

Trains 55/56 runs 3 times a week with spalny vagon 2-berth sleepers & kupé 4-berth sleepers.

Trains 159/160 & 161/162 Afrosiyob = 250km/h high-speed air-conditioned Talgo 250 train, highly recommended, introduced 2012, with VIP class, Business class and Economy class plus a restaurant car.

How to check current train times...

You can check times and days of running using the Real Russia online system here or at www.poezda.net (Bokhara may appear as Bukhara or Buhara 1) or at the Uzbek Railways website www.uzrailpass.uz which now has an English version.  Don't be surprised if all 3 systems give different times!  There are several other irregular trains between Tashkent & Samarqand.

How much does it cost? 

Bought locally, Tashkent to Samarkand on the new Afrosiyob high-speed Talgo train costs 87,917 som in VIP class, 63,650 som in Business class, 45,763 som in Economy class.  Tashkent to Bukhara on train 9 or 10 Sharq costs 78,904 som in Luxe, 45,102 in 1st class, 29,148 in 2nd class, on train 661/662 it costs 76,361 som in 2-berth spalny vagon, 45,498 in kupé 4-berth.  £1 = 2,900 som, $1 = 1,800.  Fares can be checked at www.uzrailpass.uz.

How to buy tickets...

You can buy tickets at the station, or from outside Uzbekistan using the Real Russia online system here.

At the station...

Security is tight, you need a passport and ticket to enter the station, and there's a security check before boarding the train.  So arrive at the station in good time!

Train 9/10 Sharq...

The Sharq train  

A close-up of the Sharq. Photo courtesy of Gino

 

The Sharq. Photo courtesy of Gino

Train 161/162 Afrosiyob...

Uzbekistan's premier train, the Afrosiyob is a Spanish-designed 250km/h Talgo 250 which now links Tashkent with Samarkand in just 2½ hours.  It has VIP class, Business Class, Economy class (pictured below) and a restaurant car.  Photos courtesy of John Saunders & Gino.

The Afrosiyob talgo train   The Afrosiyob 250km/h train from Samarkand to Tashkent
     
Economy class seats on the Afrosiyob train   The Afrosiyob at Samarkand station.

Uzbek sleeper train...

4-berth sleeper   Uzbek sleeper train

A 4-berth soft sleeper on an Uzbek night train.  The train shown here is actually a weekly (and possibly seasonal) train between Bokhara and Urganch, but train 661 & 662 is likely to be similar.  Photo courtesy of John Saunders.


Find hotels...

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Get travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash (up to a limit) and belongings.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year (I have an annual policy myself).  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you're resident in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you're resident in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including the USA, Australia, South Africa and EU.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy £20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


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