Uzbekistan is a country blessed with attractions and sights that can be visited year-round, but as so many of its treasures are outdoors and weather dependent it can be a good idea to plan your trip so that it coincides with a climate that is best suited to your itinerary. The best time to visit Uzbekistan really depends on what you hope to get out of your journey, so take a look below at our summary of the best months for travel in this mysterious and historic land.
January – February
January and February are the coldest months of the year, in common with much of the northern hemisphere, and are the times of year when it's not uncommon for the temperature to drop below freezing most days. You'll have to wrap up warm, but the cold weather does bring the benefit of the low season for tourism, so you'll often have the tourist hotspots to yourself on days like this.
The clear, crisp air and bright sunshine also makes for excellent photography conditions without the intense heat of summer and the crowds, so it can be the best time to go if you're a budding snapper.
Events: New Year, Day of the Defenders of the Motherland, Chimgan Extreme
March - April
Visiting Uzbekistan earlier in the year is an unconventional choice, but as the year moves into March and April and temperatures increase, the possibility of tourism in the beautiful plains, deserts and mountains of the country becomes much more realistic, even though the sights will still be relatively quiet.
While the warmer weather brings with it an increased chance of rain, particularly in the wettest month of March, this is one of the best periods to visit Uzbekistan during the year before the hot summer weather sets in. It is often when the Uzbek plant life is at its best, and the famous flower meadows will be coming into bloom.
Events: International Women's Day, Nauruz (Persian New Year), Russian Orthodox Easter
May - June
The majority of people tend to find that the Uzbek climate is at its best during May and June, when temperatures reach 30 degrees Celsius, but this also means it is the most popular time of year to visit Uzbekistan with local and international tourists, so consequently the hotels will be at their busiest and most expensive.
This time of year competes with the Autumn for the title of the best time of year to visit Uzbekistan, and the winner is really down to personal taste. While the weather is generally warmer, it's also the busiest time of year to visit, so if fellow tourists aren't your thing, it might be a time to avoid.
It is at this time of year that it is most common to find the country's traditional craft, antique and arts markets open, especially along the old Silk Road, while it is also still possible to comfortably take in Uzbekistan's natural wonders in the mountains and deserts.
Events: Day of Memory and Honor, Silk and Spice Festival, Chimgan's Echo Festival, Ramazan Hait
July - August
The height of summer in Uzbekistan also brings the hottest weather when temperatures typically hit highs in the mid 30 degrees Celsius, and peaks of up to 40 degrees are not uncommon in the south while the north tends to be cooler. Not only is the weather very hot and dry, but the sun is also extremely strong, making travelling in Uzbekistan at this time very uncomfortable - especially in the hot plains and deserts.
The traditional stone materials used to build monuments and cities can make it difficult to stay in place for too long as they reflect the light and the heat, so it's not an ideal time for sight seeing in the towns either.
The heat also does significant damage to vegetation, causing a dust bowl effect which means there's often not much to see in comparison to the verdant spring on the plains. This time of year is less popular with tourists, for good reason, so tourist sites will be more accessible and hotels will be less busy.
Events: Sharq Tarolanari
September - October
In comparison to the scorching hot summer months, the early Autumn is often a much more agreeable time to visit Uzbekistan, with temperatures falling back to the pleasantly warm days of spring but without as much rain - especially in the south.
It is widely believed that the Autumn is the best time of year to visit Uzbekistan for a balance between the good weather and the number of fellow tourists you'll encounter. It's a good time to visit the cities or take the Silk Road before the colder temperatures of winter hit.
Not only will you have more time to linger at the country's historic cities and monuments, you'll also eat better too. The autumn is when the harvest is brought in, and when you'll find the ripest and freshest produce on sale in the country's many local and main city markets along the silk road and in urban areas.
Events: Independence Day, Kurban Hait, Teachers Day
November - December
The early winter months of November and December are also the times when the fewest tourists make the trip to Uzbekistan and footfall is at its lowest. Similar to January and February this means it can be a great time to explore the country relatively undisturbed as long as you don't mind bringing your winter clothes and wrapping up warm, but depending on where you intend to travel it can also disrupt your trip.
While the average temperature in December is above freezing there is great variation, and in the mountainous north it can drop as low as -40 degrees, so make sure this won't harm your travel plans.
Events: Bazar Art, Uzbek Flag Day