The national currency of Uzbekistan is the som (UZS). There are 100, 200, 500, 1 000 and 5 000-som banknotes and 25, 50, 100 and 500-som coins used currently. The banknotes are similar in size but vary in color; they depict Uzbekistan?s cultural and heritage sites.
You can exchange money at Uzbekistan?s National Bank outlets, most of the hotels and official currency exchange offices commonly located near bazaars and at shopping centers. You will need your passport and stay permit to exchange money through them.
There is also a black market of currency exchange in Uzbekistan. Although its rates are higher, we do not recommend that you exchange money through its dealers (commonly individual money changers in the street, usually near bazaars). There is a risk of falling prey to cheaters or be arrested red-handed if you go for their services.
Note that the most common foreign currency in Uzbekistan is US dollars. The US banknotes you exchange in the country should be in good condition – without defects, bad folds, worn areas and scribbles – or it will be hard to exchange them.
You can use Visa and MasterCard cards mainly in Tashkent and at fewer locations in Samarkand and Bukhara for cash withdrawals through ATMs (cash machines) in their large hotels or banks. You can also make payments with these cards at some hotels, restaurants and stores in Tashkent. However, technical failures of the card handling equipment may occur, so it is advisable to always have enough cash on you.