Local laws and customs

Uzbekistan has a secular constitution. Most Uzbek people are Muslims. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.

In 2018, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start on 15 May and finish on 14 June, but these dates are subject to change. See Travelling during Ramadan

You should carry your passport with you at all times as this is a legal requirement in Uzbekistan. The police often carry out checks.

Possession of drugs is illegal. There is a ban on the sale of alcohol and tobacco to those under 20. Prison sentences can be lengthy. While prison conditions have reportedly improved, reports of widespread hepatitis and tuberculosis and allegations of mistreatment of some prisoners by officials remain a concern.

Homosexuality is illegal under Uzbek law and is still very much frowned upon socially. You should take care over public displays of affection. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Any form of photography can upset the authorities, particularly photographs of government buildings including the Palace of Forums in Tashkent and sometimes in local bazaars not normally visited by tourists. You should check before using a camera, especially near airports, border checkpoints, military barracks, bridges, police stations and metro stations.