Panjakent-Samarkand Border Crossing Between Tajikistan & Uzbekistan

Updated September 2023, The Panjakent-Samarkand Border Crossing Report Between Tajikistan & Uzbekistan was originally written in December 2019

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have many beefs with each other, which I am not going to go into in this blog post.

In 2018 with some thawing of bureaucratic ties between the two countries the long-closed Panjakent-Samarkand border re-opened.

The biggest benefit of this border crossing re-opening is that you can once again easily combine a visit to Samarkand to Tajikistan’s Fann Mountains, without having to make a several-hours-long detour through the Oybek border post way up by Khujand.

It’s also worth noting that Uzbekistan has largely relaxed its visa scheme, making passport holders of several nationalities able to visit the country either visa-free or with an e-visa.


Plan the perfect trip: A two week Uzbekistan & Tajikistan itinerary


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Visas

Tajik Visa

visa policy of tajikistan
Map by Twofortnights

Starting in January 2022, Tajikistan introduced a visa-free policy for up to 30 days for passport holders of 52 countries, making visiting Tajikistan easier than ever.

In 2016 Tajikistan eased up its visa policy by introducing an e-visa for several nationalities. In my experience, the e-visa has taken 2-4 days to issue, however, but I’d advise applying earlier just in case as sometimes applications get ‘stuck’.

Note that if you enter Tajikistan visa-free or you don’t get your GBAO permit when you apply for an e-visa, you will need to visit the OVIR office in Dushanbe to get a GBAO permit, for those of you headed to the Pamir after.

Uzbek Visa

Visa policy of Uzbekistan
Uzbek visa policy by Twofortnights

In 2018 Uzbekistan eased its visa policy in hopes to entice more visitors. Now, several nationalities can visit with an e-visa or visa-free, making a visit to Uzbekistan a much more painless process than it used to be.

How To Cross The Tajikistan-Uzbekistan Border At Panjakent-Samarkand

Panjakent, Fann Mountains, Tajikistan, Panjakent Bazaar
Inside Panjakent Bazaar

Get To Panjakent

If you will be crossing from Tajikistan to Uzbekistan, you’ll first need to reach Panjakent. As Panjakent is a larger town in Tajikistan, it’s easy to reach from Dushanbe, Khujand, and just about anywhere in between.


Have some time in Panjakent? Plan your visit with my Panjakent Travel Guide


Get A Shared Taxi From Panjakent To The Border

Head to the lot opposite the Panjkaent Bazaar where the shared taxis to the border wait. You can charter an entire car for 40 TJS, or pay 10 TJS for a seat and wait for it to fill up. In all, the drive time to the border is less than 15 minutes.


Plan the rest of your Tajikistan visit: The Ultimate Tajikistan Travel Guide


Exit Tajikistan

Once to the border, pay your driver and walk over to the gate with your luggage. Show your passport to the officer at the gate and he’ll wave you through to Tajik exit immigration. Walk to the Tajik window where they’ll check your documents and stamp you out of Tajikistan.

Enter Uzbekistan

Walk across the border to the Uzbek side. Here you’ll hand over your passport (and e-visa if you even need one), once documents are checked you should be stamped into Uzbekistan and will continue toward the parking lot.

Note that I did not have to scan my bags through an x-ray or answer any questions (a much-welcomed change to entering/exiting Uzbekistan from my last visit in 2016!).

Ulugbek Observatory, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Ulugbek Observatory in Samarkand

Get A Shared Taxi From The Border To Samarkand

Once to the parking lot you’ll likely be approached by several drivers offering different prices for a ride to Samarkand.

For a seat in a shared taxi, expect to pay about 7,000 UZS for the roughly 45 minute ride to Samarkand, or charter an entire car for about 28,000 UZS.

You may have to bargain hard as the initial prices thrown at you will be quite high.


Plan your time in Samarkand: The Samarkand Travel Guide


Doing It From Samarkand To Panjakent

If you’re crossing from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan, you’ll need to head to Kaftarkhona Bus Station on the east outskirts of Samarkand (take marshrutka #41 for 1,300 UZS from the Registan).

From Kaftarkhona Bus Station you can take a shared taxi to the border for 7,000 UZS per seat.

After you exit Uzbekistan and enter Tajikistan there will be cars waiting on the Tajik side to take you to Panjakent Bazaar for 10 TJS per seat.

Money Exchange At The Panjakent-Samarkand Border

There were people offering to exchange money on both sides of the border, but nothing that I saw that was official.

If you do exchange with someone in a parking lot, just make sure you have the most current exchange rate and double count all your money to make sure you don’t get scammed.

I was able to trade my last Tajik Somoni with my driver on the Tajik side for Uzbek Som at a good rate.


Find out more about all of Tajikistan border crossings with neighboring nations


Have Any Questions About The Panjakent-Samarkand Border Crossing?

Ask your Panjakent-Samarkand border crossing questions in the comments section below. I recommend getting copies of Bradt Tajikistan and Bradt Uzbekistan to help you plan your adventures in both countries.

More Posts from Uzbekistan:

More Posts from Tajikistan:

11 thoughts on “Panjakent-Samarkand Border Crossing Between Tajikistan & Uzbekistan”

  1. Hi,
    I’m planning to travel from Samarkand to Panjakent,Tajikistan and back to Samarkand after a day in Tajikistan on Nov 1st.
    I would like to know the time taken to reach the boarder crossing from Samarkand also Visa process on the Tajikistan side.
    Thanks a lot
    Dr Manoj Felix

  2. Hi, do you know if it possible Go and come back from Samarkand to Panjakent in the same day with European passport? I mean it’s possible to have 2 entry stamps in Uzbekistan in less than 15 days? Thanks

    1. I’ve not done it myself as a day trip but there are plenty who have come across the border to do an over night trip to Panjakent/Haft Kul and hasn’t seemed to be an issue.

  3. Hi,
    Thanks for the super thorough guide 🙂
    Just one question regarding border crossing, have you ever tried doing the trip by train?
    I’m trying to figure out the best path to go from Samarkand to Dushanbe.

    Thanks a lot in advance

    Claire

    1. I heard from some friends in Tajikistan that the Dushanbe-Samarkand-Tashkent train route has began operating again this year but I haven’t taken it myself. I don’t know the days of week or time of day it runs and I’m guessing it will take going into the train station in one of those cities and asking. I’d guess it’s a slow trip too, so shared taxi would be much quicker.

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