At the Crossroads of Europe & Asia

What’s New in Central Asia

New hotels, new air service, Turkiye goes visa free

Discover Uzbekistan With MIR

Central Asia is having a moment, and as our currently most sought-after destination, we want to share some exciting updates with travelers planning Silk Road trips. We’re always sourcing travel news from our seasoned team of guides, tour managers, hotel partners, and staff in our affiliated ground office in Tashkent, Uzbekistan – and MIR’s President is also on the ground in Uzbekistan right now conducting inspections of new hotels and restaurants. Read on for some firsthand insights from the field on what’s new in Central Asia.

1. Tashkent Emerges as International Flight Hub – New Flights by Qatar Airways and LOT Polish Airlines

Award-winning Qatar Airways has announced the latest addition to its summer schedule, with the launch of four weekly flights to Tashkent, Uzbekistan via Doha. Tashkent flights will commence on June 2, 2024, and reservations are now open. The Uzbekistan capital is the second city served by Qatar Airways in Central Asia after Almaty, Kazakhstan. Exploring Central Asia has never been easier, especially with our travel experts ready to assist you in choosing the right trip plan for your wanderlust, and MIR’s in-house air desk ready to book your international flights for you.

For those planning to explore Europe and Central Asia, LOT Polish Airlines has great news for you. Starting from March, there will be direct flights from Warsaw to Tashkent. The first flight to Tashkent took place on March 13th. Connections on this route will be operated with Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

2. New Hotels Across Uzbekistan

Samarkand has exploded with new hotels over the last year or so, including a tourist complex called ‘Silk Road Samarkand’ housing eight international hotels. Created to host international conferences, there are four- and five-star properties, a microbrewery, a rowing canal, wellness center, and all sorts of related hospitality services.

Boutique hotels have also cropped up in the oasis cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva as well as the city of Nukus. One of our favorites is the Alexia Hotel in UNESCO-listed Bukhara. Located in the heart of Old Town, with Labi-Hauz Plaza’s vibrant atmosphere nearby, Alexia boasts 17 spacious guestrooms with heated floors, plush seating, oversized desks, and modern amenities. The upper terrace showcases intricate woodwork, a nod to Bukhara’s Jewish master artisans.

3. Another Reason to Fly Turkish Airlines

U.S. citizens can now visit Türkiye visa-free for 90-day stays! Turkish Airlines is by far the leading air carrier to Central Asia in terms of access and frequency, with flights into every ‘Stan capital – Almaty, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Tashkent, and Ashgabat – and beyond to places like Tbilisi and Baku in the South Caucasus. So it’s the perfect choice for your international flight plans to the region, and did you know that MIR can handle your Istanbul stopover plans, or any extended travel throughout Türkiye?

Turkish Airlines now serves 16 North American gateways with more coming! Turkish currently flies out Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York (JFK and Newark), San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. They also fly out of Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, Canada.

There are now direct flights between Istanbul and five cities in Uzbekistan (Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Urgench, and Fergana) as well as four cities in Kazakhstan (Aktau, Almaty, Astana, Turkistan), providing added flexibility in designing your perfect itinerary.

Keep in mind that MIR travelers can take advantage of MIR’s in-house, full-service air department. If you’re booked on a MIR tour, contact us and we’re happy to provide estimates and answer questions. You’ll get a reply from a real person at MIR by email or phone potentially lengthy airline hold times, especially at this busy time of year if you book direct with the airline.

4. Cultural Celebrations 2024

Central Asia stands as a rich repository of history, culture, and natural splendor and boasts numerous cultural celebrations, providing a glimpse into daily life with traditions that have withstood the test of time. Here are two festivals you won’t want to miss. Contact us for more details on these cultural celebrations.


Chat with one of our destination specialists today!

PUBLISHED: March 12, 2024

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