Are you planning a trip to Uzbekistan and flying to Tashkent and wondering if you can buy a sim card on arrival at the airport? This is a complete guide for buying a sim card for Uzbekistan at Tashkent Airport on arrival including up to date prices as per August 2023, my recommendation, the best e-sim cards for Uzbekistan, a vlog about my experiences on arrival and everything else you need to know before buying a sim card for traveling to Tashkent.
Traveling with a working data connection on your phone is so much more convenient and therefore looking for the best way to stay connected when traveling abroad is one of the first things I do. To save money on high roaming costs you can order a sim card for Uzbekistan on the internet and arrive prepared or buy a sim card at Tashkent Airport on arrival.
Traveltomtom is on a journey to travel to every country in the world and everywhere I go I write sim card guides for travelers to find the best way to stay connected. That is how on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: Asia, Tajikistan, Dubai, Thailand, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel, Tel Aviv, Turkey, Istanbul, London, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Europe, USA and many more.
Of course did Traveltomtom also write an extensive guide for buying a sim card for traveling in Uzbekistan in 2023, including 4G/5G coverage maps, all about e-sim cards for Uzbekistan and more info about the best Uzbekistan sim card for tourists.
So next time you are planning your trip abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your holiday destination. Bookmark me!
Traveltomtom recommends buying a Beeline prepaid sim card for tourists at Tashkent Airport. There are only 2 options at Tashkent Airport. Is Beeline the best sim card for Uzbekistan in 2023? No! Find the best Uzbekistan sim card for tourist in the link.
If you want to arrive prepared and rather buy a sim card for Uzbekistan on the internet then look into ordering an e-sim card for Uzbekistan. Prices for Uzbekistan e-sim cards start from $4.5 USD, see below for more info.
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If your trip in Central Asia crosses through more countries then check out international prepaid sim cads. These sim cards are valid in multiple countries. Traveltomtom also listed the best sim cards for traveling in Asia in 2023.
Best e-sim cards for Uzbekistan
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Uzbekistan in 2023 is an e-sim card. No need to visit a sim card store anymore or buy a sim card at Tashkent Airport. As soon as the plane lands you are online!
You order an e-sim card for Uzbekistan directly online, receive a QR code, scan it, instal the e-sim card in just a couple simple steps and you are done in less than 2 minutes.
Check out the following e-sim card plans for Uzbekistan from Airalo:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $7.5 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $9.5 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $13.5 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $22 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $34 USD
Click here to directly order an Uzbekistan e-sim card from Airalo.
The above Uzbeknet e-sims are data-only and valid only in Uzbekistan. They operate on the Beeline 4G/LTE network.
There are also international e-sim cards for traveling to Uzbekistan. These e-sim cards are more expensive but are valid in multiple countries around the world. Check out the following international data-only e-sims for Uzbekistan:
- 6 GB data (Uzbekistan only) for 10 days = $17.90 USD
- 6 GB data for 8 days = $19.90 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD
- 6 GB data for 30 days = $39.90 USD
Click here to directly order an international e-sim card for Uzbekistan from SimOptions.
Before ordering an Uzbekistan e-sim card make sure your phone is first of all unlocked and second, make sure your phone is e-sim card compatible. E-sim cards only work in unlocked phones. Pretty much all newer smartphones are e-sim card compatible.
Arrival at Tashkent International Airport
Tashkent is probably one of the easiest to navigate airports. Uzbekistan is a very easy going country and so is the Tashkent Airport. There is free WiFi at Tashkent Airport and it is working pretty fine.
After you get off the plane you arrive in a huge hall, more like a huge hangar. In this hall you will find everything. First you have to get through passport control, right behind passport control there are the luggage belts, sim card shops, tourists information and ATM’s. Then when you collect your baggage you go through a security check where they scan your hand luggage and before you realise you are standing outside.
Check out my vlog about arriving at Tashkent Airport and my experiences buying a sim card for tourists.
Where to buy a sim card at Tashkent Airport
There is one place where you can buy a sim card at Tashkent Airport and there are 2 sim card shops. Both sim card shops are in the Baggage claim area and can’t be missed. When you walk through passport control they are in the middle of the baggage claim hall.
There is a shop from Ucell and there is a tourist information / Beeline store. Both sim card stores are open 24 hours and they accept USD and the local Uzbekistan currency Som, as well as Visa and Mastercard.
If you decide to buy a sim card at Tashkent Airport then make sure to buy your sim card before you go through the last baggage security check. Once you are outside there are no stores anymore and you can’t go back into the baggage claim area anymore.
Prices prepaid sim cards Tashkent Airport
All the information below is updated in August 2023 and prices are in Uzbekistan Som. As per August 2023 $1 USD = 11.600 UZS and 10,000 UZS = $0.86 USD.
At the Ucell shop at Tashkent Airport they offer 4 prepaid sim card plans for tourists. All prepaid tourist plans are valid for 1 month and they include unlimited social media apps: Instagram, Facebook, Telegram and WhatsApp:
- 20 GB data + unlimited calls + 1,500 sms = 50,000 UZS – $4.3 USD
- 35 GB data + unlimited calls + 2,000 sms = 70,000 UZS – $6
- 50 GB data + unlimited calls + 2,500 sms = 100,000 UZS – $8.6 USD
- 200 GB data + unlimited calls + 3,000 sms = 150,000 UZS – $13 USD
Ucell sim cards are price-wise a great deal but the Ucell 4G network is much smaller compared to other mobile internet operators in Uzbekistan.
The big plus about Ucell is that they offer e-sim cards for tourists. However, keep in mind they have a very limited 4G/LTE network.
At the Beeline store they offer 6 different Uzbekistan sim cards for tourists. All prepaid plans are valid for 1 month:
- 10 GB data + unlimited calls + 1,000 sms + 20 GB social media* = 80,000 UZS
- 20 GB data + unlimited calls + 1,000 sms + 40 GB social media** = 100,000 UZS – $8.6 USD
- 35 GB data + unlimited calls + 1,000 sms + 70 GB social media** = 130,000 UZS
- 50 GB data + unlimited calls + unlimited sms + 100 GB social media** = 170,000 UZS
- 100 GB data + unlimited calls + unlimited sms + 200 GB social media** = 190,000 UZS – $16.5 USD
- Unlimited everything = 230,000 UZS – $20 USD
As you can see Beeline sim cards are much more expensive, but the Beeline mobile network coverage is much better than Ucell.
Beeline only sells physical prepaid sim cards for Uzbekistan, they do NOT provide e-sim cards as of August 2023.
Best sim card for tourists at Tashkent Airport
It is a simple conclusion that Beeline is the best sim card at Tashkent Airport in 2023. When comparing Ucell and Beeline we see that the prices for Ucell sim cards are much cheaper, but we are talking about just a couple dollars.
The 4G network of Beeline is much stronger and therefore it is recommended to spend a couple dollars extra to have faster data speed and better network coverage, especially when traveling around Uzbekistan.
However, the title of this paragraph is the best sim card for tourists at Tashkent Airport and not best sim card for tourists in Uzbekistan. Traveltomtom’s first sim card recommendation for Uzbekistan is actually not a Beeline sim card but a UZ Mobile sim card and that has all to do with the 4G/5G network coverage. For more info check out my guide for the best sim card for traveling in Uzbekistan in 2023.
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However, there is no UZ Mobile sim card shop at Tashkent Airport. If you really want a UZ Mobile sim card (like me) you have to buy a sim card in Tashkent city at a phone shop or at a UZ Mobile store.
E-sim cards for Uzbekistan are also a great option, especially since the e-sim cards you can order on the internet are also from Beeline. When you order an e-sim card for Uzbekistan and activate it before your flight to Tashkent you are already online as soon as the plane lands. And remember that e-sim cards start from just $4.5 USD.
If you want an e-sim card for traveling in Asia then click on the link and check out my list of the best sim cards for Asia in 2023.
Order a sim card for Tashkent online
Remember that e-sim cards can only be used in e-sim compatible phones. If your phone is not e-sim card compatible and you want to order a sim card for Uzbekistan on the internet then you have to look into international prepaid sim cards for Uzbekistan.
These pre-activated sim cards will be delivered to your home address. You put them in your phone during your flight and you are online as soon as the plane touches the ground in Tashkent. Unfortunately there is only one prepaid international sim card for Uzbekistan available and it is NOT worth it:
- 50 MB for 14 days = $49.90 USD
Yes, you read that good 50 Megabyte NOT Gigabyte.
Please do NOT buy this international sim card for traveling in Uzbekistan. As soon as there will find better Uzbekistan physical prepaid sim cards I will update you.
My experiences buying a sim card at Tashkent Airport
When on arrival I saw that there was no UZ Mobile sim card shop at Tashkent Airport I was disappointed. On my trip to Uzbekistan I was traveling around the country by train for 10 days so I wanted to be connected to the best mobile data network in Uzbekistan.
I chose therefore to buy a UZ Mobile sim card the next day in Tashkent city center. However, to stay connected I ordered an e-sim card with 1 GB data for 7 days through Airalo for just $4.5 USD by using the free WiFi of Tashkent Airport.
I am sure the above tips on how to stay connected when traveling to Tashkent where helpful. If you have any additional questions then please leave me a comment below or reach out to me on social media.
Curious what the road to 197 / visiting every country in the world looks like then head to my Instagram @traveltomtom and follow along. As of August 2023 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still more than 40 to go.
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Enjoy your trip to Tashkent!
Some links in this article about the best sim cards for traveling to Tashkent are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I earn a small commission. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you.