- Drinking from the water fountain at the Hazrati-Imam complex
- Sampling treats at the bazaar
Prepare in advance
Pack your swimsuits, towels and either drinking water or a reusable water bottle.
Good to know
The water in Tashkent is safe to drink, although as with anywhere, drink at your own risk. It's possible to bring a water bottle and fill up as you go.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are half-price for women at the pool, so pick one of these days if you can.
Recommended time of the year
July and August can be hot, which is great for swimming, but makes it difficult to spent too much time outside.
About This Day
Tashkent, Uzbekistan has so much to offer, from it's Silk Road history to modern day, Central Asian life. This mini-adventure in Tashkent with kids lets you discover a bit of both and includes some pool and/or play time. Start off by visiting the Hazrati-Imam Complex, it is was built this century and has been designed to emulate the original Silk Road mosques and madrassas. If you're lucky, there may be a few artisans working near the souvenir shops on crafts that have persisted for centuries. No trip to Tashkent would be complete without wandering through Chorsu Bazaar. The first stop offered some history of the Silk Road for kids and adults. Next, get a view of modern day, Uzbek life at the bazaar. There's a bit of everything for sale, but the dried fruit and nuts inside the central circular building are the highlight of the visit. Wandering in the heat can be tiring, especially for your little nugget! The Furqat nomli bog'i (Furqat Recreation Park) has a large, lovely outdoor pool which is a fantastic place to cool off. If swimming isn't for you, there are a number of amusement park rides and a bouncy castle. These are all in the shade and will give the kid's something to look forward to after a day of adventuring.
The first stop in this itinerary in Tashkent with kids is the Hazrati-Imam Complex. It contains a number of buildings and two tall minarets, all built this century. It's interesting to see new buildings keeping with the style of the older buildings in the country. Unfortunately, you're not allowed to climb the minarets, but they provide a great landmark. Between the minarets is the mosque. As it's active, ensure you're respectful when you visit by taking off your shoes and covering your head (females) if you choose to enter. It's also possible to peek through the open doorways into the various rooms around the courtyard. Behind the mosque is a large square and on the opposite side is another beautifully tiled building. Within the courtyard of this building are a number of souvenir shops. Even if you're not buying, it's worth perusing as there may be a few craftsmen at work.
DIRECTIONS The Hazrati-Imam Complex is on the north end of Tashkent, on Qorasaroy ko'chasi. It's easy and inexpensive to take a taxi here. Once one stops say "Hazrati-Imam" or show the location on your phone. Some may not be willing to go this far, depending on where you're staying, but most will.
TIP Within the courtyard, just behind the mosque, is a water fountain. It's a great place to stop for a drink before heading across the large square for some souvenir shopping.
Chorsu Bazaar is the beating heart of Tashkent. It’s great for viewing locals going about their daily shopping or picking up some souvenirs of travel food for an onward journey. The market is divided into different sections: fruits, vegetables, cloth, animals and other foods. The covered fruit and veggie areas are a great place to start before heading into the large round building in the centre. The bottom floor has meat, pickles, cheeses, pasta, honey, etc. The top mezzanine is where you'll find the dried fruit and nuts. Many vendors will let you sample as much as you'd like, especially if you have kids with you. Our favourites were the pickles, the dried fruit and nuts. We always tried to find the "little old lady" to buy from, as they always seemed to lavish a lot of love on our girls and give us the best deal.
DIRECTIONS From the Hazrati-Imam Complex, it's easiest to just take a taxi to the bazaar. Simply say 'Chorsu Bazaar' and every driver will know where you want to go.
TIP Most of the market is outside, although much of it is covered. Wear a hat and dress accordingly to keep the sun off you.
After marvelling at the blue-tile work of the mosque and wandering the bazaar, it's nice to have a bit of play time. Furqat nomli bog'i is a large park-like complex with everything from a large outdoor swimming pool to a bouncy castle to little kid rides. My suggestion is to go for the pool and take time on a few rides if you really want. The pool is located in the middle of the complex and is well set up for all ages. There's a great little kid's pool with a few small waterslides. There are also two large waterslides for the older kids and a very large deeper pool. The one thing it's missing is a diving board, but really the point is to splash around and escape from the heat. Both the kid's pool and the larger pool have lounge chairs along the edges. Bring a bit of money too, as there's snack food and cold drinks available inside.
DIRECTIONS This complex is on the south side of town, quite a ways from Chorsu Bazaar. Walk out to the street where you were dropped off at the bazaar (there's only one taxi drop-off point) and negotiate with another driver to take you to Furqat nomli bog'i. As this isn't a commonly visited location, it may be best to have your hotel write it down in Russian or Uzbek for you to hand to the driver.
TIP You'll be required to get a locker, so make sure you have somewhere to put the key.
WE LOVEDThe family room was well laid out with a double bed and bunk beds. There were a couple great common spaces to lounge after the kids went to bed and chat with other travellers. The owner, and other staff, are very knowledgeable about both Tashkent and the rest of Uzbekistan, so it's a great place to plan the rest of your trip in Uzbekistan.
WE DIDN'T LIKEBreakfast was very similar each morning, so we got a bit sick of the same thing. That being said, breakfast was included, so that made it okay.
TIPYou're able to have the staff make either scrambled eggs or fried eggs if you'd like in the morning, you just have to ask. There's also laundry on site, just bring your own laundry soap.