The Andijan Region is on the eastern edge of Uzbekistan, but the city is about an hour away from the land border with Kyrgyzstan - Do’stlik. Very roughly speaking, the city is divided in half by the train line which runs parallel to Muqimiy Road and cuts diagonally across the city. The northern part is usually referred to as Eski Shahar (“Old City”), and the southern part is typically thought of as Yangi Bozor (“New Market”). Yangi Bozor also includes the Mikrorayons (“Micro Regions/Districts”) which are numbered neighborhoods made up primarily of apartment buildings where the former Russian influence in the city is still most felt.
Most taxis to other other cities will depart from a large parking lot near the Yangi Bozor area that is referred to locally as the "Avtovokzal". Groups of taxi drivers going to the same city will stand in one area calling out for passengers. There are also buses and "Damas" minibuses travelling between cities at cheaper prices, but they might not have storage room for luggage. Drivers will usually drop you off at whatever spot you ask them to in the destination city. The average rates to different destinations are listed below. Note that the exact price might depend on the specific seat and also the time of day:
- To/From Tashkent - 85,000-120,000 som (June 2021);
- To/From Fergana - 30,000-40,000 som (June 2021);
- To/From Kokand - 40,000-50,000 som (Oct 2019);
- To/From Margilan - 40,000-50,000 som (Jan 2022).
Uzbekistan Airways operates flights from
- 3 Andijan Train Station. - The train station is in the center of the town.
There is now a train service connecting Andijan with Tashkent, avoiding Tajikistan. The station offers service to Tashkent 2-3 times a day. Some of the trains have seating compartments while others have sleeper compartments. There is also an Andijan-Khiva train several times a week. The average price of an economy class ticket to Tashkent is 70,000-90,000 som and the ride takes 5-6 hours.
There is also a special intra-valley train that runs between Andijan and Kokand 1-2 times a day and costs only 8,000 som. At the time of writing (Jan 2022) you can only buy tickets for this type of train at the ticket office (kassa).
- 4 Andijan Bus Station.
The bus station is not far from the train station. You can get to Andijan from any other city of Ferghana Valley by taxies or minibuses. Most of these bus lines run fairly regularly from around 07:00 until 17:00, though they sometimes run a bit later. If you miss the last bus you may end up having to take a much more expensive taxi.
- To/From Fergana - 12,000 som on a large bus (Jan 2022);
- To/From Margilan - 10,000 som on a mini-bus (Jan 2022);
Travelling within the Andijan regionEdit
In Andijan there are several areas where Damases and shared taxis gather in order to take you to some of the smaller districts in Andijan. The main ones are:
- Taxis. It's very easy to hail taxis anywhere on the street in Andijan.
At the time of writing, ride-sharing apps such as Yandex/MyTaxi don't yet work in the Andijan region. There are however several taxi companies that offer telephone dispatch services. You can call the operator, explain where you are, and they will send a taxi driver to your location fairly quickly. The taxi driver will usually call you to confirm your location, so some command of Uzbek or Russian is recommended for using this service. The main advantage of these is that the taxi fare is determined by a meter running on the driver's phone, so you will be charged a fair price:
- Royal Taxi - 1187
- Biznes Taxi - 1064
Taxis are slightly more expensive than in Ferghana/Namangan, and so expect to pay 5000 - 10,000 som for a ride in the city.
- Damas. An iconic means of transportation in Andijan.
Because for a long period Damas vehicles were manufactured in Andijan, they are ubiquitous on Andijan's streets, leading to some locals even giving the city the moniker "Damasiston." Damases will usually have a number (or name of a destination) glued to their window and go back-and-forth along their route picking up passengers along their way and stopping whenever someone asks to get off. Some might say you have not really "been to Andijan" unless you had the experience of riding at least one Damas. Tpyical fairs are 3000-5000 som per ride, making Damases very cheap. The main disadvantage of Damases is that sometimes they park for a few minutes at large intersections waiting to fill up with passengers.
Some examples of useful Damas lines are:
* Line 33 - runs from the 1st Microdistrict, through Yangi Bozor, all the way to the old city driving along Navoiy road
* Line 222 - runs from Yangi Bozor to the large football stadium, driving along Bobur road and passing some university campuses along the way, such as AndMI, INYAZ, and Sharda
There are also 4-passenger shared taxis which run along these same lines. They cost a bit more than Damases, but they tend to get you to your destination faster.
- 1 Bog'ishamol. A nice sizeable park located on hills overlooking Andijan and dedicated to the city's most famous son Bobur; it has amusement park rides, a cable car, hiking trails, restaurants, and plazas where outdoor dancing often takes place. A very nice way to take in a view without going to the trouble of heading to further Xonobod. The area also hosts a mosque and a museum.
- 2 Devanoboy Friday Mosque. The Devanoboy Friday (Juma) mosque is the largest mosque in Andijan, and following renovations completed in the spring of 2021 is also one of the most beautiful sites to visit in Andijan.
- 3 Andijan Regional Museum, 258 Fitrat St. 08ː00-18ː00 daily. Archeology, ethnography, a section on Babur. Near the museum is the “Registan" square of Andijan, a complex of several traditional buildings with a minaret placed in the center. One of the buildings houses a small photo gallery.
- 4 Site of 2005 Incident (Bobur Square) (Navoi Square).
- 5 Kompleks Kala/Tsarist Fort (крепость). The remains of an old Russian fortress built during the Tsarist period. It hosts a small museum and when on site a local caretaker who can explain a bit about the history of the site (in Russian.).
- 6 Pushkin Park. A small amusement park with a ferris wheel and other attractions and rides.
- 7 Ahmadbek-Xoji's Hotel (Ahmadbek Xojining Mehmonxonasi). This unique traditional building was constructed as a hotel by Andijan native Ahmadbek xoji after 1903. It has traditional Central Asian architecture together with some foreign influence, and at one point in the 2000s hosted a handcrafter's gallery. Now the building is unfortunately in a state of disrepair, and the gallery is apparently abandoned. Nonetheless, it's worth visiting for the beautiful artwork adorning the walls and calm atmosphere. You can read more about it here in Russian.
Andijan has many karaoke venues, an ice skating rink, roller blade clubs, and amusement parks for children.
- 1 La Veranda. Without question the “fanciest” (and most expensive) restaurant in Andijan, serving consistently good food from a diverse menu. Located near City Hall and the O'zbegim trade center in eski shahar. On some evenings they have a violinist playing for the audience. The downstairs section, “Melody,” serves alcohol.
- 2 Anor. A humble but excellent Uyghur restaurant in the 2nd microdistrict serving great laghman and other dishes that can be hard to find elsewhere. Tuxum Say recommended.
- 3 Sultan Ahmet. One of the best restaurants in Andijan. It serves very authentic Turkish food (as attested to by the Turkish expat clientele) and has great desserts too. They have a second location in the O’zbegim mall which has live music on weekends.
- 4 Balzac. A newly opened “fancy” restaurant in the 3rd microdistrict with a wide menu which often hosts events and concerts (these require reservations.) The interior is very aesthetically designed and the food is high quality, but the atmosphere doesn’t necessarily feels a bit too family-oriented to justify the high price.
- 5 Beyefendi Steakhouse. The best steakhouse in Andijan, located in the 4th microdistrict. If you are interested in eating meat that is not Uzbek national food, this is the place to go. They have opened a branch in the new Navruz mall.
- 6 Avja. Another Ugyhur restaurant serving what is probably the best laghman in all of Andijan. Located near the "soy" (water channel) on the northern side of town.
- 7 Billionaire. A nice Turkish restaurant located in O’zbegim mall associated with the "Abu Dhabi" chain. They often have a guitarist playing music in the background.
- 8 Kuksu. A newly opened Korean restaurant in the third microdistrct that serves excellent kuksi soup and other Korean fare. Alcohol is served as well.
- 9 Coffee Room. A great restaurant which serves coffee and has pleasant outdoor seating when the weather gets warm enough.
- Ser Sol.
- Istanbul Kewap.
Coffee culture used to be non-existent in Andijan, with most places sufficing to serve 3-in-1 coffee. Nowadays however a budding coffee scene has taken hold and there are a number of places where you can get real coffee, primarily in the microdistricts.
- 1 Mr. Arabic. A nice coffee shop in the second microdistrict opened by a pair of locals who spent time living abroad honing their barista skills. The place has no food menu, but instead a wide variety of coffee options and a rotating dessert menu.
- 2 Big Ben Coffee.
- 3 Marrom (Eski Shahar).
- 4 Marrom (2nd Microdistrict).
- 5 Safia.
- 6 Coffee by Nimir. A small coffee truck, sometimes moves location to inside the nearby Eco Park.
Nightlife and AlcoholEdit
Despite Andijan's reputation as a conservative city, and some travel vloggers' claims that it's impossible to find alcohol in the city, it is actually fairly easy to find stores which sell liquor (especially in the microdistricts) and there are several clubs in the city as well as restaurants which sell alcohol.
Bars and Watering HolesEdit
Andijan doesn't have any traditional pubs where individuals can come and sit on stools and socialize with strangers. Instead, most places which offer alcohol are restaurants/clubs designed to cater to groups of people sitting at large tables. Additionally, places which do offer draft beer will usually only have one or two types available. Still, there is at least one relatively new place (Jiguli Bar) which is trying to introduce a new genre of social drinking, and there are a myriad of establishments which offer cheap drinks along with a very narrow food menu geared towards local pockets. These kinds of places where the main draw is the alcohol and the food itself are probably best thought of as "watering holes" (in some cases these places are called разливайка - razlivaykas.)
Hostels and HomestaysEdit
- 3 Shohrux Hostel, ☏ . Single bed in a shared room for 55,000 so'm. Slightly rugged, and the owner doesn't speak English. Not really geared towards backpackers.
- 4 Hostel House, ☏ . Private rooms for 150,000 so'm. They have dorm rooms as well.
- 5 Qodir Family Guesthouse, ☏ . Dorm room beds for 100,000 so'm. Private double room for 250,000 so'm.
- 6 Dunyo Air Tour Hostel, ☏ . Dorm room beds for 100,000 so'm. Private double room for 200,000 so'm.
- 7 Hostel Farko, ☏ . Dorm room beds for 50,000 so'm. No English-speaking staff, but some foreign medical students live there and might be able to assist.
Andijan was the site of what many have termed a massacre in May 2005. The story is complicated, but in brief, an armed raid on a local prison, followed by the occupation of a government building where local government officials were held hostage, led to a gathering of several thousand people in the town square. At some point, firing began and the end result was the death of what most believe to be hundreds of innocents, shot down by government troops. The official government version of these events was that the entire event was triggered by Islamic extremists and that only 187 people died - virtually all "extremists", government officials and troops. Eyewitnesses to the tragedy, however, (and there are many who fled the country and have been granted asylum in various countries) say that hundreds of innocent citizens, including women and children, were gunned down in the streets as they tried to flee.
Much of what took place at that time in Andijan may never be fully known. The government of Uzbekistan has refused demands from the West for an impartial investigation and has intimated that the "extremists" who triggered the event were financed by the West.
Andijan is accessible for tourists as any other place in Ferghana Valley. The only special precautions would be not discussing the events of 2005 and respecting the religion, as Ferghana Valley, especially Andijan, is Islamic. Dressing should be modest.
- Osh (Kyrgyzstan) 70 km away through the Do'stlik/Dostyk border crossing. Public transport and shared taxis available on both sides. The bus to do'stlik leaves from the main avtovokzal every 20 minutes between 07:00-19:00 and costs 5,000 som per seat. Taxis leave from Yangi Bozor near the restaurant "Sultan Ahmet" and cost 20,000 per seat.