As a city resident with few opportunities to leave the city (mountains? never heard of them), the Tashkent Botanical Garden is my first choice for an easy escape from the urban landscape and dusty air. I leave the park feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
The Tashkent Botanical Garden has an area of over 65 hectares, making it second-largest in the CIS. For Tashkent residents, it’s a place for dates, family walks, and picnics. There are many paths to walk, and it is permitted to sit in the tramped down areas for a snack or to relax. It is also possible to rent a bicycle or electric scooter and see the various gardens and plants with the wind going through your hair. In the part of the garden opposite the entrance, you may find Soviet-made World War Two tanks. The unusual sight is left over from May 9th (Soviet victory day) celebrations in 2019, when the park was transformed into an immersive demonstration of history, which showed people how soldiers (nearly a quarter of the population at the time) left for the front in 1939 until the end of the war.
Although the Garden is relaxing, be warned – the toilets are few, and they are outhouses. Bring wet napkins, regular tissues, and hand sanitizer to use in the toilet once done. In a way, it’s far closer to real nature than you might have expected!