Northern Uzbekistan comprises nearly one half of Uzbekistan, dominated by the barren Kyzylkum Desert and the enormous semi-autonomous Republic of Qaraqalaqstan.
- Khiva — historic Silk Road city, home to UNESCO World Heritage site Itchan Kala.
- Moynoq — depressed former fishing town, now miles away from the receding Aral Sea.
- Nukus — the region's only large city, and the capital of Qaraqalpaqstan.
- Urgench — a big, drab Soviet sort of city, gateway to Khiva.
- Zarafshan — a city truly in the middle of nowhere, Uzbekistan's Gold Capital, home to the Navoi Mining & Metallurgy Combinat.
- Kungrad — The first city you will come to if traveling from the west, i.e. Beyneu, Kazakhstan. No hotel, only guesthouses. Ask in the Beeline office or one of the shops opposite the train stationfor guesthouses in the neighborhood behind. These are cheap (20000Som/room) but they cannot register you. Supposedly, the town sanitorium can register foreigners but did not confirm this.
The language of Qaraqalpaqstan is called Qaraqalpaq. It is it more similar to Kazakh than to Uzbek. Uzbeks can hardly understand it. In this remote region people rarely talk in Russian—Uzbek is more handy.
There are several flights a week from Tashkent to Nukus.