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  • 10 Trending Places To Visit In Uzbekistan For A Fabulous Vacation In 2024

23 Mar 2023

The current showstopper of world tourism, Uzbekistan- which was almost absent in the tourist map until 2011 – has become a trending destination. The bloody history of the Silk Road, and the cultural assortment of ancient cities have contributed to the budding tourism in Uzbekistan. In the year 2017, Uzbekistan witnessed an influx of 3 million tourists, ranking it 76th in the world in absolute terms. Ever since the Arab Spring, tourists have shown a greater interest in the history, culture and architecture of Uzbekistan. If you are planning a classic tour, make sure to scale these trending places to visit in Uzbekistan for an impressive experience.

10 Trending Places To Visit In Uzbekistan

Steeped in rich cultural history, Uzbekistan offers a vivid window for tourists to capture amazing glimpses of its eccentric attractions, architectural wonders and rugged terrains. From the futuristic city of Samarkand to the sprawling city of Tashkent – Uzbekistan holds the potential to be the topmost destination for your next holiday. While you are here or planning a visit to explore Uzbekistan, check out the list of the 10 best places to visit in Uzbekistan:

1. Ark, Bukhara

Ark, Bukhara

Image Source Boasting one royal town inside another town, the impressive Ark is Bukhara’s oldest structure till date. Ark, Bukhara, also the residence of the emir of Bukhara for many centuries, remained occupied from the 5th century to the early 20th century. Although the structure was bombed by the Red Army in 1920, it still reflects the royalty of the past. Plan a visit to the ruins to witness the remaining royal quarters now converted into museums.

Must Read: E-Visa To Uzbekistan Will Soon Be Valid For 51 Countries Including India!

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2. Registan, Samarkand

Registan Samarkand

Image Source Equipped with majolica, mosaics, and well-proportioned spaces, Registan is a vast, cambering medressas occupy the heart of Samarkand. Undoubtedly one of the most stunning sights in Central Asia, Registan makes up for three magnificent edifices which were constructed as per the Islamic architecture. Although destroyed by Chinggis Khan, it still boasts the world’s oldest preserved medressas and holds pride in being one of the major Uzbekistan tourist attractions. Visit anytime in the day for a stunning glimpse.

3. Amir Timur Museum, Tashkent

Amir Timur Museum, Tashkent

Image Source Named after the Mongol emperor, Timur, the Amir Timur Museum in Tashkent is home to more than 5,000 exhibits of heirloom which represent the culture and history of the Timurid Dynasty. Only in the year 1996, it was inaugurated in the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. An interesting fact about the Museum is that it is deliberately constructed to replicate the Gur-e Amir mausoleum in Samarkand. And no one knows why!

4. The Walled City of Khiva

The Walled City of Khiva

Image Source Often known as Khorasam, Kiva is an ancient city which is 2,000 years old. Protected by the crenellated brick walls, Kiva is abundant in amazing places and monuments. UNESCO named the walled inner city – Itchan Kala- as the first Uzbek World Heritage Site. It is suggested to spend a night in Khiva because the old town offers some marvelous views of sunsets and sunrises.

Suggested Read: Uzbekistan Visa For Indians: Everything You Need To Know And Remember!

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5. Chor Minor, Bukhara

 Chor Minor, Bukhara

Image Source

Located in the northeast of Bukhara, Chor Minar was constructed in the 18th century. A rich merchant, Khalif Niyazkul, is accredited for its construction. True to its meaning, “four minarets”, Chor Minor is a long-standing symbol of the four cardinal points of geography. Do not miss out on the strikingly unique decorations in the Minor as you get to explore more of Chor Minor which is also one of the impressive places to see in Uzbekistan.

6. Gur-e-Amir, Samarkand

Gur-e-Amir, Samarkand

Image Source Mausoleum of the 14th-century Mongol conqueror, Timur, Gur-e-Amir is an ancient structure remarkable for its beautiful azure dome constructed in the shape of a flute. The dome holds special importance because Timur and his sons and grandsons were cremated here. A visit during night enhances the beauty of the dome manifold.

Suggested Read: 8 Uzbekistan Famous Landmarks That Will Make You Time Travel!

7. Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent

Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent

Situated in the centre of Tashkent, Chorsu Bazaar is a blue-domed building which is famous for its traditional market. From clothes to trinkets – the bazaar offers a host of articles for tourists and locals, equally. Make sure to visit the Kukeldash Madrasah which is present at the end of the bazaar which is definitely one of the top places to visit in Uzbekistan.

Suggested Read: Uzbekistan Nightlife: Explore The 10 Most Vibrant And Exciting Nightlife Spots

8. Palace Of Khudayar Khan, Kokand

Palace of Khudayar Khan, Kokand

Named after Khudayar Khan, the last ruler of Kokand Khanate, the Palace was once housed seven magnificent courtyards and 119 rooms. It was built in the year 1871 and occupied four acres of green land. Also known as ‘the Pearl of Kokand,’ it is now left with only two courtyards and 19 rooms which are open for public visits.

9. Lyab-i-Hauz, Bukhara

Lyab i Hauz Bukhara

Lyab-i Hauz, built in the early 17th century, stands as one of the few remaining ponds in Bukhara. It is quiet plaza which is surrounded by tall mulberry trees and watered by an ancient canal. There is a historic city of Jewish Quarter located towards the south of Lyab-i-Hauz which definitely demands attention as one of the nicest places to visit in Uzbekistan.

10. Aydarkul Lake

Aydarkul Lake

Image Source Created by the Soviets, Aydarkul Lake is a semi-natural lake which covers more than 4,000 sq kms in the present time. It is located near a smaller seasonal lake amidst the Kyzylkum desert. This place is not only a tourist attraction but also offers a few things to do during vacation.

Further Read: 10 Ancient Museums In Uzbekistan For An Exciting Historical Tour

While these are some of the most trending and remarkable places to visit in Uzbekistan, there are many others which demand less or similar attention. Once you are in Uzbekistan, hit out the streets and alleyways to discover the mysterious Silk Road and many more. If you haven’t planned yet, make haste and reserve your Uzebkistan vacation with TravelTriangle for an even more memorable experience.

Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Please Note: Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and one must not take any action before consulting a professional medical expert of their own choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Uzbekistan

What Uzbekistan is famous for?

Uzbekistan is famous for its amazing Islamic architecture in the form of mosques and mausoleum some of them belong to the 17th century. History and culture of this place have attracted a lot of tourists in recent times.

Is Uzbekistan safe to visit?

Traveling to Uzbekistan is absolutely safe and has a very relaxed atmosphere even for solo travelers who often find their solo trip quite rewarding.

What is the best time to visit Uzbekistan?

April to May and September to November is the best time of the year to visit Uzbekistan. During this time you can enjoy the warm and dry climate which is quite pleasant and does not get uncomfortable.

What should I wear in Uzbekistan?

There is no particular dress code to follow in Uzbekistan but the conservative dressing is very much appreciated. Long pants and skirts along with long sleeves shirts are the most preferred dress code for both men and women.

Can you drink alcohol in Uzbekistan?

Alcohol is a part of the culture and day to day life for most people of Uzbekistan. So you are free to drink alcohol and can find them being served in most of the restaurants and hotels.

What is the climate like in Uzbekistan?

Uzbekistan enjoys a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The temperature in summers reaches up to 40℃ and in winters drops to -2℃.

What is there to do in Uzbekistan?

Some of the fun things to do in Uzbekistan are: 1. Explore Uzbekistan’s History at Gur-e-Amir 2. Enjoy sightseeing at Sher Dor Madrasa 3. Check Out Mosques And Madrasas at Registan 4. Shop For Handicrafts in Tashkent 5. Dig into the most delicious Pilau at Plov Center

What can I buy in Uzbekistan?

Some of the must-buys in Uzbekistan are: 1. Ceramics. 2. Wood carvings. 3. Ikat fabrics -Uzbek textiles. 4. Embroidery. 5. Samarkand paper. 6. Puppet. 7. Miniature paintings. 8. Metal art – engravings. and jewelry.

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The 25 BEST Things to Do in Uzbekistan [2024 Edition]

Richard Barnes

  • Last Updated: February 5, 2024

From visiting the shrinking Aral Sea to exploring the architecture of the Registan in Samarkand, here’s our list of the absolute best things to do in Uzbekistan.

For millennia the cities of modern-day Uzbekistan were some of the most important along the ancient silk road.

Traders and merchants would gather in Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva to buy, sell and trade their goods. 

The borders of modern-day Uzbekistan were created by a certain Josef Stalin, and bear little resemblance to the cultural and linguistic divisions that already existed in the region.

Although the national language is Uzbek, you will be able to get around with Russian, as in all former Soviet nations.

English is usually spoken in hotels and guesthouses although this is certainly not a given. Outside of that environment, English is rarely spoken.

Uzbekistan ranges from the mountainous Fergana Valley and the Tajik border in the east, to sprawling deserts of the west.

This mix of climates and landscapes is one of the things that makes Uzbekistan particularly unique.

Uzbekistan is also home to some of the worlds most spectacular Islamic architecture, history at almost every turn, plenty of Soviet memorabilia, and the best plov in Asia. 

READ MORE: Be sure to use this guide to plan your trip to Uzbekistan !

Table of Contents

1) See a Play at the Navoi Theatre

2) chow down at the chorsu bazaar, 3) take a wander down the kolkouz canal, 4) enjoy islamic architecture and a slice of history at khast imam, 5) check out the spectacular art on the tashkent metro, 6) hike in the ugam-chatkal national park, 7) watch the sunset over the aral sea, 8) visit the ship graveyard in moynaq, 9) see some banned soviet art at the savitsky museum, 10) enjoy a beer whilst watching the sunset in khiva, 11) climb the islam khodja minaret, 12) explore the elliq-qala fortresses, 13) take an early morning walk around the city walls, 14) visit the ark, 15) explore the deserted madrasa kosh, 16) check out the bug pit in zindan prison, 17) visit the spectacular kaylan mosque, 18) explore bukhara’s backstreets, 19) marvel at the registan, 20) check out gur-e-amir at night, 21) explore shah-i-zinda, 22) find the gumbaz synagogue, 23) be amazed by the aksaray palace ruins in sharisbaz, 24) visit the khan’s palance in kokand, 25) learn about traditional silk making at the yogorlik silk factory in margilon, the best things to do in uzbekistan.

If you’re not sure what to do in Uzbekistan then check out this article for our rundown of the best things to do in this rarely visited nation.

Tashkent and Around

Tashkent does get overlooked at times, with many preferring to focus on the counties other big hitters, however, the largest city in Central Asia is home to some pretty awesome things to do .

So make sure you give yourself a few days here to explore!

This gorgeous Soviet era theatre is a great place to catch a ballet show. Don’t expect anyone at the ticket office to speak English, so you’ll need a mixture of google translate and some Russian.

We bought tickets to a ballet show, and then on the night, it had changed to a performance of classic Russian dance.

Nonetheless, it was a fantastic show.

The Chorsu Bazaar’s blue dome is one of Tashkent’s, and indeed Uzbekistan’s most iconic sights. The bazaar spills out of Chorsu and onto the surrounding streets and is always buzzing with life.

Inside the main building itself expect to find meat, mounds of spices, fruit and vegetables, of both the fresh and pickled varieties. 

There is a great eating area just outside with numerous vendors offering plenty of Central Asian classics including plov, shashlik, manti, Samsa and beshbermak. The shashlik and plov, in particular, are excellent.

Chorsu-Bazaar

Starting from close to Tinchlik subway station the Kolkouz Canal winds its way through sleepy old Tashkent to Khast Imam and beyond. 

Gated houses, precariously parked Lada’s and invites in for tea are commonplace in this hospitable and fascinating area of Tashkent. It’s a part of Tashkent that doesn’t reflect the cities’ recent modern developments or tip a hat to its Soviet past.

Very close to the starting point of the canal is Chitagay Mosque and bazaar which are well worth checking it. 

Old Lada's Line The Kolkuz Canal In Tashkent

This is probably the most well known and spectacular piece of Islamic architecture in Tashkent.

If you wander along the Kolkouz Canal there is a point where you can leave the trail and in a few minutes you will be in the centre of Khast Imam complex.

The three main buildings are the Hazroti Imom Friday mosque built-in 2007 under the orders of President Islam Karimov, the 16th century Barak Khan Madrasa and the Moyie Mubarek Library Museum . 

The latter is said to hold one of the world’s oldest copies of the Quran, written in the 8th or 9th century. It also contains a number of rare books, so it’s definitely worth a visit. 

Just to the northwest is the small, but beautiful, Kaffal Shoshi Mausoleum that is also well worth checking out. 

If you can find a spot in the shade, take a seat and just simply enjoy. 

Khast-Iman-Tashkent

There is certainly a bit of Soviet influence here with some amazing designs that are quite breathtaking. 

Until recently there was a ban on taking photos of the subway. However, you are welcome to take photos now and enjoy the art whether you take a picture or not!

Uzbekistan is not as well known for hiking as it’s neighbours Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, however, there is a outdoor activities are becoming more accessible and more popular.

Just two hours northeast of Tashkent you will find the Ugam-Chatkal National Park . There are plenty of hiking trails as well as kayaking and rafting in some parts. 

Chimgan will be your first port of call. You can either hike in the area of delve further into the national park. 

If you find yourself in Uzbekistan in the height of the summer then do yourself a favour and head to the Ugam-Chatkal National Park for some cool mountain air.

READ MORE: Check out these other amazing things to do in Tashkent !

Karakalpakstan Region

Uzbekistan’s desolate northeastern region is known for a handful of things: the desert, the Aral Sea and an art museum housing banned Soviet-era paintings. 

Welcome to one of mankind’s most spectacular environmental disasters. The Aral Sea was once the world’s fourth-largest lake. However, now it’s 20% of its original size and shrinking fast. 

Things started going downhill when the Soviet government began diverting tributary rivers to Uzbekistan’s thirsty cotton field. Sadly it came with some truly dire consequences, that are still not fully understood to this day.

A visit to the Aral Sea will leave you torn between the area’s beauty and the region’s tragic history.

With breathtaking views from the Ustyurt Plateau , the gargantuan military-grade runway at South Ustyurt and the abandoned fishing village of Urga , a visit to the Aral Sea is a once in a lifetime experience that will take you on an emotional journey. 

Sunset over the Aral Sea is nothing short of spectacular – a perfect time to reflect on everything you have seen.

Aral Sea Sunset Things To Do In Uzbekistan

This is probably more famous than the Aral Sea itself is the ship graveyard in the town of Moynaq. 

Back when the Aral Sea was still the world’s 4th largest lake, Moynaq was home to a thriving fishing industry. 

Now the ships that were at the heart of that industry lie rusting on the former seabed with the Aral 100 or so kilometres away.  

It’s a surreal experience, but absolutely one of the best things to do in Uzbekistan.

Moynaq-Ship-Graveyard

This museum holds a rather lovely collection of artwork that was once banned by the Soviet authorities and is certainly worth checking out if you’re in Nukus. 

Savitsky-Limo

Khiva and Khorezm  

Khiva is one of Uzbekistan’s most well known ancient towns. However, unlike Samarkand and Bukhara, Khiva is still surrounded by its old city walls.

Many travellers skip over Khiva. However, this would definitely be a mistake.

READ MORE: Definitely check out our guide to the best places to visit in Uzkebkistan to finalise your trip!

When people think of Khiva, Itchan Kala , the walled city is what often springs to mind. Filled with gorgeous mosques, madrasas, mausoleums, and a rather odd museum in praise of Islam Karimov it’s one of Uzbekistan’s most evocative sites. 

The west gate is the main entrance, with the gateway flanked by the walls that encircle the city’s interior.

Grab a beer at one of the many guesthouses opposite the western walls and watch as the walls change from yellow to a deep orange as the sunsets.

Khiva-Sunset

In the southeastern corner of Khiva’s Itchan Kala, you will find Islam Khodja Minaret. It certainly does not have the same outward visual appeal as the Kalta Minor Minaret, but the views from it are pretty spectacular. 

Try and time it so that you get here early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the light is better for photographs.

Minaret-Khiva

A short drive from Khiva are the Elliq-Qala fortresses, a collection of 50 of so ancient desert fortresses. The majority have sadly been lost to time and erosion.

However, there are a number of them that rise proudly from the desert landscape.

Your guesthouse should be able to arrange a private taxi for you. Alternatively, you can head out to the north gate and arrange one with the taxi and marshrutka drivers that congregate there.

Expect to pay around $20-40 for a four-person car for the day. 

Make sure you bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a good hat as the heat can be brutal.  

Elliq-Qala-Khiva

When visiting Khiva you should buy a ticket at the entrance that is valid for two days and allows entry to a number of sights with Itchan Kala.

One freebie and one that is rarely taken advantage of by visitors is walking around the northern section of the city wall. 

Unsurprisingly there are plenty of excellent viewing spots. But if you really want to enjoy this walk then get out early to get the best light, and avoid the searing daytime heat. 

City-Walls-Khiva

READ MORE: Add these great things to do in Khiva to your itinerary!

Bukhara and Around

Bukhara sits between Khiva and Samarkand and is a city shrouded in history.

For many years the Khanate of Bukhara was one of the most powerful in Uzbekistan. 

Make sure you spend time wandering the back streets, especially first thing in the morning and watch the sunset from the Chashrai Mirob, a great cafe with spectacular views over the heart of Bukhara. 

This imposing fortress on the western side of Bukhara has welcomed numerous merchants and dignitaries throughout history.

There’s an interesting museum that provides a great insight into the ark and its history. 

Built in the 5th century AD, this earthen fort was historically the seat of power in the Bukhara.

It was the residence of the Emir of Bukhara. And it came to the attention of the British Empire when two army officers Charles Stoddart and Arthur Conolly were beheaded after being charged with spying for the British Empire in 1842. 

To the west of The Ark, you will find a large market and the beautiful Madras Kosh. There are some buildings that are starting to crumble, but the vast majority are in great condition.

Amazingly this madrasa is often deserted as the majority of travellers stay within the old town. 

The market next door sells plenty of fresh fruit and Uzbek street snacks including some incredible samsa.

Bukhara

Prior to their beheading in front of The Ark, Charles Stoddart and Arthur Conolly languished in the bug pit at Zindan prison at the behest of the Emir of Bukhara, Nasrullah Khan. 

The bug pit was by far the worst of the cells in the prison. On a daily basis, scorpions, bugs and rodents would be poured onto the prisoners who waited at the bottom of the 4-meter deep pit. 

Whilst the dummies in the prison are certainly not convincing, it’s an interesting museum that sheds some light on a rather gruesome period in Uzbekistan’s history.

At the heart of Bukhara is the Kaylan Mosque. Alongside the Mir-i-Arab and the Kaylan Minaret, it forms a central square the city’s winding roads feed into.

Visiting first thing in the morning is a great time to visit as the city begins to awaken.

Then head to Chashmai Mirob at sunset for some spectacular views over the Kaylan Mosque and surrounding buildings. 

Kaylan-Mosque-Bukhara

Bukhara’s backstreets offer numerous hidden gems and gorgeous old crumbling buildings. 

The area to the west of Lyabi Hauz is a great place to explore first thing in the morning as the city is waking. 

To the south of the city, you will find a number of crumbling old mosques as well as a Jewish cemetery and 2 synagogues.

This area of Bukhara is very much off the tourist trail.

The Backstreets Of Bukhara Offer A Different Side To This Gorgeous City

READ MORE: Check out all these great things to do in Bukhara !

Samarkand and Around

For many, Samarkand is the most beautiful city in Uzbekistan. It doesn’t have the backstreets like Bukhara or the old city walls of Khiva.

But in Samarkand, the city’s modernity has grown around its ancient wonders accentuating its splendour and elegance. 

This is what Samarkand is most well known for . The spectacular collection of 3 buildings lies at the heart of the city.

The oldest is is the Ulugh Beg Madrasa which was built in 1417. The Tilya-Kori and Sher-Dor madrasas were both built in the 17th century. 

Ancient travellers from China, North Africa and Europe have written about the Registan, with George Curzon, a future Viceroy of India, claiming it to be the noblest public square in the world.

It’s a spectacular combination of opulent architecture and dazzling tile work. As you stroll through the 3 madrasa’s it’s hard not to have your breath taken away. 

Registan-Samarkand

A mausoleum to the most well known Central Asian leader in history, Timur (or Timurlane, as he is occasionally known). It is believed that his conquests of the region lead to the death of 5% of the world’s population. 

In spite of his brutality, Timur is revered in Uzbekistan with numerous statues and museums dedicated to him all over the country. The most famous being Amir Timur Square in Tashkent. 

This gorgeous blue-domed mausoleum lies away from the throngs visiting the Registan. Being tucked away in a quiet corner of the city gives it an almost magical feel. 

As beautiful as it is during the day, come back at night to be truly amazed.

Gur-E-Amir Is Spectacular At Night

Shah-i-Zinda’s rather unassuming exterior is a contrast with its stunning interior. The narrow alleyways and winding corridors contrast grandeur of the Registan, Gur-e-Amir and Bibi Khanym Mosque. Shah-i-Zinda’s spectacular tile work sets it apart from many other sights in Uzbekistan. 

The mausoleum was built over 8 centuries and now contains 20 different mausoleums squeezed together with breathtaking tile work throughout.  

If you count the 40 steps when entering and descending it is believed you will have a pure soul and thoughts. 

This is absolutely one of the best things to do in Uzbekistan.

Shah-I-Zinda-Samarkand

Hidden amongst a maze of streets close to Shah-i-Zinda is the Gumbaz Synagogue. Built in 1891 it was the centre of Samarkand’s Jewish community. 

It is definitely worth visiting. However, you will need to call ahead to check if someone’s there as it’s not manned 24-7.

About an hour from Samarkand is the city of Sharisabz. 

It is one of Central Asia oldest cities, being founded 2700 years ago. Formerly known as Kish or Kesh, it was the birthplace of Central Asia’s greatest conqueror Amir Timur.

There is a mausoleum to Timur here, although he is actually buried at Gur-e-Amir in Samarkand. 

At the heart of the city is the ruins of the Aksaray Palace as a summer residence for the great conqueror himself.

Commissioned by Amir Timur in 1380, it took 25 years to construct. Sadly the vast majority of the palace has collapsed into the desert.

However, the pishtaqs that remain give you an idea of just how spectacular this palace was in its heyday.  

READ MORE: Here are 15 more great things to do in Samarkand !

Aksaray-Shakhrisabz

Fergana Valley

The Fergana Valley is probably the most off-the-beaten-track region in Uzbekistan. It’s a region that has been blighted with instability and political challenges.

Built in 1873 this spectacular palace is another architectural gem. Khudayar Khan was a cruel individual who cemented his unpopularity when he took the side of Russia, who had recently conquered Central Asia.

Nestled in the heart of one of the country’s most turbulent regions this is a highly recommended spot in the Fergana Valley. 

This silk factory makes silk the traditional way. The cocoons are placed in warm water to loosen the threads. When the threads are found they are then hand-woven into the khan-atlas style for which Uzbekistan is famous.

These dense silk fabrics are absolutely spectacular, with clothes, carpets and embroidered all available to purchase. 

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The Perfect Uzbekistan Itinerary (2024 Guide)

The 14 BEST Places to Visit in Uzbekistan [2024 Guide]

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Samarkand, The avenue of tombs-Shahr-I-Zindah, visit Uzbekistan

  • Heritage & Culture

The Top 13 Places To Visit in Uzbekistan

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Uzbekistan may not be at the top of most people’s travel lists. However, the fascinating Central Asian country has a lot to offer. There are many places to visit in Uzbekistan. From its Silk Road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara to the many palaces and museums, it is home to four significant UNESCO World Heritage sites you cannot miss.

With such a rich cultural heritage and so many amazing places to visit in Uzbekistan, it should definitely be on your list of potential holiday destinations. And, to make things easier, Uzbekistan also recently announced a new e-visa system which promises to make it much easier to visit.

1 Registan Square, Samarkand

The famous Registan Square in Samarkand, cities of Uzbekistan

Samarkand’s Registan Square was once called one of the most beautiful squares in the world, and it’s easy to see why. This public square was the heart of the ancient city of Samarkand during the Timurid dynasty. It is known for its beautiful Islamic architecture and three imposing madrassas. In Tajik, Registan translates to “sandy place”.

2 Gur-e-Amir, Samarkand

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

The Gūr-e Amīr is the mausoleum of the 14th-century Mongol conqueror Timur. Literally translating to “Tomb of the Commander,” it has a beautiful fluted azure dome. The mausoleum is also the resting place for two of Timur’s sons and grandsons. The tomb also inspired Mughal architecture in India, especially Humayun’s Tomb and the Taj Mahal.

3 Amir Timur Museum, Tashkent

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

The Amir Timur Museum in Tashkent is dedicated to the Mongol conqueror, Timur. It was opened in the capital, Tashkent, in 1996 after the country gained independence. The museum has over 5,000 exhibits artefacts related to Timur and the dynasty that followed him, the Timurid Dynasty. The building itself is meant to resemble the Gur-e Amir mausoleum in Samarkand.

4 Chor Minor, Bukhara

Chor Minor, Bukhara, Uzbekistan

This historic mosque located to the northeast of Bukhara was built in the 18th century by a rich merchant, Khalif Niyazkul. The four minarets for which the mosque is named (Chor Minor literally means “four minarets”) symbolize the four cardinal points. They each also feature unique decorations.

5 Lyab-i-Hauz, Bukhara

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

Built in the 1600s, the Lyab-i Hauz is a serene plaza built around one of the few remaining ponds (hauz) in Bukhara. The pond itself is fed by an ancient canal system and is surrounded by beautiful mulberry trees. To the south of the Lyab-i-Hauz lies the historic Jewish Quarter of the city.

6 Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

This blue-domed building in the centre of Tashkent is a traditional bazaar. It is a popular spot for both tourists and locals, as here you can get everything from clothes and trinkets to delicious food. The Kukeldash Madrasah is located at one end of the bazaar.

7 The Walled City of Khiva

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

The ancient city of Khiva, also known as Khorasam, is over 2,000 years old. The walled inner city Itchan Kala, was the first Uzbek site added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Encircled by crenellated brick walls, it is full of fascinating places and historic monuments. Entering the walled city is like going back in time.

8 Palace of Khudayar Khan, Kokand

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

This is the palace of the last ruler of the Kokand Khanate, Khudayar Khan. Often called the ‘the Pearl of Kokand,’ it was built in 1871 and cover four acres of lush green land. It once had seven courtyards and 119 rooms. However, only two courtyards and 19 rooms are open to the public today.

9 Nukus Museum of Art, Nukus

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

Also known as the Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art, this museum in Nukus contains over 82,000 items, mostly collected by  I.V. Savitsky. Among these are antiquities from Khorezm to Karakalpak folk art, Uzbek fine art, the second largest collection of Russian  avant-garde  in the world.

10 Aidarkul Lake

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

This semi-artificial lake was created by the Soviets near a smaller seasonal lake. Today, it covers over 4,000 square kilometres in the middle of the Kyzylkum desert. It is also a popular place to go camping, or to spend the night in a traditional yurt.

11 State Museum of History of Uzbekistan, Tashkent

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

Previously known as the National Museum of Turkestan, this is one of the oldest museums in Central Asia, founded in 1876.  It has over 250,000 exhibits reflecting Uzbek history from prehistoric to modern times. Among these are: a well preserved Gandharan alabaster Buddha relief from Termez; Tamerlane calligraphy; and ethnic art and costumes.

12 Zindan of Emir, Bukhara

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

“Zindan” means prison in Persian, and this prison, built in the 18th century was used to house criminals and dissenters during the Bukhara Emirate. Able to house up to 40 prisoners, the brick structure also has a circular pit.  After the fall of Bukhara Emirate in 1920, the Zindan of Emir ceased to operate, and was eventually turned into a museum.

13 Muynak, Aral Sea

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

The Aral Sea was once a massive body of water between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. It was a major source of fish, and so many fishing towns, such as Muynak, grew along its shores. However, the Aral Sea has been shrinking since the 1960s due to poor irrigation management. Most of it has turned into a parched desert, filled with the hulls of rusting ships.

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1303 steps to the cave of Hazrati Daud (David)

Ensemble dorut tilovat - "house of reflection", sheikhantaur ensemble, chorsu art gallery, alisher navoi grand theatre, virtual galleries, gastro-symbols of chorsu bazaar, the state museum of the temurids history, the state museum of history, house museum of jahon-otin uvaysi, suzuk-ota complex, kukeldash madrasah, erkin vohidov memorial museum, monument "courage" in tashkent, geological museum, savitsky state museum of arts, islam karimov museum, museum of victims of repressions, the state museum of applied atrs of uzbekistan, museum of nature, ancient settlement of ming urik, monument to shamakhmudovs family, khoja nasreddin effendi monument, sitora-i mokhi-khosa - the country residence of the last emir of bukhara, the tashkent house of photography, the amazing story of tashkent chimes, margilan craft centers, through the thorns to the stars. ulugbek observatory, japanese garden.

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Top 9 Best Places To Visit In Uzbekistan: Your Bucket List!

Thinking about visiting Uzbekistan? Wondering what to do in Uzbekistan? What are the best places to visit in Uzbekistan? What are the top things to do in Uzbekistan?

You are in the right place!

Uzbekistan is a fabulous country to visit. In fact, before I started thinking about visiting Uzbekistan, I had no idea just how many awesome Uzbekistan places to visit there are. I was blown away while still in the planning phase!

Itchan Kala, walled inner town of the city of Khiva, Uzbekistan

After reading this article of all of our top picks of the best places to visit Uzbekistan, I am sure you will be equally blown away. There are many interesting historical places in Uzbekistan and many places in Uzbekistan where you can experience more of the interesting cultures you will find here.

The best part is that even though tourism in Uzebkeistan is growing, the numbers of tourists are still not high – which means you can enjoy these famous places in Uzbekistan without being overrun by others. In fact, sometimes it can feel like you are the only tourist there. The prices are also very reasonable and travelling easy. All in all, Uzebkeistan is a great place to visit!

And whether you are interested in natural Uzbekistan tourist places, historical places of Uzbekistan or getting up close to the locals, there are many opportunities in the following top places to see in Uzbekistan for whatever it is you want to experience on your trip.

  • 1.1 Samarkand
  • 1.2 Bukhara
  • 1.3 Tashkent
  • 1.5 Shahrisabz
  • 1.7 Fergana Valley
  • 1.8 Moynaq or Muynak
  • 1.9 Aydarkul Lake
  • 2 Map Of The Things To Do In Uzbekistan

Top 9 Best Places To Visit In Uzbekistan

Registan, an old public square in the heart of Samarkand

The country’s second largest city, sandwiched between Tashkent and Bukhara, Samarkand should be on your list of things to see in Uzbekistan.  An iconic crossroads between East and West on the Silk Road and the fabled city from 1001 Nights, Samarkand was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2001. 

Today, the city is an urban sprawl of modern buildings with hidden time-worn ruins – on par with Rome or Athens – that showcase influences from previous rulers and magnificent Islamic architecture.

An impressive 14th century public square built in the heart of the city by the Timurid Empire, the Registan is regularly top in listings for Uzbekistan top attractions.   Meaning “sandy place” in Persian, the Registan was a place for travelers to trade their wares, hear Royal proclamations, watch parades and executions.

Framed by three uniquely designed madrasahs (14th and 17th century Islamic schools), they form what is noted as one of the world’s most dramatic grand squares.  The blue domes, tall minarets, patterned mosaics, and bright tiles have influenced far across the world’s cities, from Isfahan in Iran to Russia’s St Petersburg. 

Visit early before the crowds arrive and stroll amongst the majestic arches in the early morning sun or return at night to catch a 3D light show that illuminates the square in a colorful glow.

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

Explore Shah-i-Zinda, meaning “The Living King”, with its 40 buildings protecting 9-14th century mausoleums – including the legend that Kusam ibn Abbas (the cousin of the prophet of Muhammed) is buried here. 

Move on to visit Gur Emir Mausoleum, the family vault of Amir Timur – a Turco-Mongol conqueror from the 14th century and regarded as one of history’s greatest military leaders.  Built in 1404, and supposedly the blueprint for Agra’s Taj Mahal, observe the richly decorated entrance with carved bricks and various mosaics, and the ornate carved headstones. 

Lists of top Uzbekistan sightseeing places always include the Bibi-Khanym Mosque and Mausoleum.  In the 15th Century, this beautiful cathedral mosque was one of the largest and most magnificent in the Islamic world.  Named after Amir Timur’s wife, the mesmerizing blue dome is a sight to behold!

Take a drive out to the Afrasiyab Settlement & Museum, located in the high hills, and wander these ancient ruins of the pre-Mongolian period.  You will also find the Prophet Daniel Mausoleum in the Afrasiyab suburbs, a 5-domed building that stretches along a steep hill, guarding a spectacular 18-metre long sarcophagus.

Spend a second day discovering local culture and meeting locals.  Stroll through the Alisher Navoi Central Recreation Park before dropping into a local chaykhana (teahouse) for Uzbek cuisine of stews, dumplings, or snack on Samarkand Non (a giant bagel). 

Spend a few hours at the colourful Siyob Bazaar, adjacent to the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, and taste the local fudge-like sweet, halva.  Visit Hudjum, a traditional silk carpet factory showcasing hand-made rugs by Uzbek female masters, or drop by the Hovrenko Wine Factory for a taste of locally made sweet wines.  End the day at a Hammam for sauna followed by an intense traditional massage.

Getting to Samarkand:  Fly into Samarkand International Airport or take a high speed bullet train from Tashkent in little over 2 hours, passing through stunning landscapes and mountain ranges.

Top attraction to visit:  Registan

Best place to stay in Samarkand:    DiliMah Premium Luxury Hotel – Click here for the latest prices

Historic Centre of Bukhara

A holy city of the Muslim world and once the capital of the Samanid Empire, it’s no surprise UNESCO listed the spectacular historical centre a World Heritage Site.  Filled with Uzbekistan famous places, including over 140 architectural monuments – mosques, shrines, madrasahs, and a massive royal fortress – some built 2300 years ago. 

Once known as Madinat Al Tujjar, The City of Merchants, Bukhara is rich with history stretching back to the 15-day siege by Genghis Khan and most recently the siege by the Red Army in the Russian Civil War.  The city has long served as a centre of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion, with traders travelling from India to Venice along the Silk Road.  These days many of the merchant houses have been converted into wonderful B&Bs.

The Bukhara symbol is the 47-metre-high Kalyan Minaret, built in 1127 by the Turkic Karakhanid dynasty and found in the Po-i-Kalyan Complex.  Decorated with terracotta bricks, giving the structure its distinctive stripes, it was once the highest minaret in Central Asia and used as a lighthouse to show the way for trade caravans and pilgrims.  Within the same complex, visit the Kalan Mosque, completed in 1514, and able to accommodate up to 12,000 people.

Equally spectacular is The Ark Fortress, a fortified castle that has been a symbol of power for millennia.  This enormous white washed military fortress housed many of the kingdom’s royals and in the Samanid era housed a large library with rare books from all over the world.  Visit the onsite museums to learn more about the dramatic history of the Ark, one of the must see places in Uzbekistan.

Across from the Ark check out the intricate ceiling and richly carved wooden pillars of Bolo-Hauz Mosque, a beautiful building also not to be missed.

Uzbekistan’s cities all have amazing bazaars, but none take you back in time to the old Silk Road as those of Bukhara.  Four interlinked trading domes still operate today, selling gold, embroidery products, carved furniture, silk and spices.  Look out for the famous “Bukhara carpets”, historically woven by nomadic or village Turkomans.

Unlike Samarkand, Bukhara’s Old Town is an authentic maze of narrow paved side streets, magnificent structures decorated with intricate ornaments, blue domes, minarets and leafy plazas.  And, despite being heavily restored, the Old Town has retained its authentic feel.

Lyab-i-Hauz Uzbekistan

Take a break from the historical sites and visit Lyab-i-Haus, a leafy oasis in the heart of Old Bukhara, built around a small pond lined with quaint cafes that back onto mosaic covered madrassas and monuments.  Relax at a tea house and select from specialities such as saffron and ginger tea, or coffee with cardamom. 

Alternatively, head to Samanid Park, another nice break from the hectic city, which is also home to the  Samanid Mausoleum with the remains of Ismail Samani who ruled Bukhara in the 9 th century.

In the evening, dine at the Sukhov Water Tower’s second floor restaurant and admire splendid views of the Ark of Bukhara.

Next day, learn how wealthy merchants used to live by visiting the 19 th century Khodjaev House Museum or visit the Bukhara Photo Gallery.  Take a trip outside the city to the 20 th century palace Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa (as beautiful as the moon, as the stars).  Home of the last Emir, the palace was inspired by Russia’s great imperial palaces and has lavishly decorated halls, plus a great collection of Chinese porcelain and Venetian glass. 

Finally, visit the 500-year-old famous Hammam Borzi Kord for a relaxing treatment – a good end to a busy few days overflowing with activities in Uzbekistan.  

Getting to Bukhara:  Fly into Bukhara International Airport or arrive by bus or train.  Bukhara is the largest transport hub after Tashkent in Uzbekistan, with roads and railroad links to all major domestic cities.

Top attraction to visit:  The Ark of Bukhara

Best place to stay in Bukhara:  Hotel Malika Bukhara – Click here for the latest prices

Alisher Navoi theatre of Opera and ballet in Tashkent

Uzbekistan’s capital city is known for its wide tree-lined streets, numerous fountains, and pleasant parks.  Though most of the ancient city was destroyed in the 1917 revolution and further in the 1966 earthquake, the city has a wealth of museums and Soviet-era monuments, alongside plenty of modern restaurants and buildings. 

If starting your Central Asia adventures in Tashkent head to the Chorsu Market, centuries-old and housed in a Soviet-constructed blue-domed building. It offers glimpses of the ethnic and cultural blend Tashkent is famous for.  Make sure you try one of the hundred types of kurut – a local snack of dried cheese balls.  And, if you enjoy shopping, there are up to 20 bazars in Tashkent to keep you busy!

With many places to visit in Tashkent Uzbekistan there is perhaps nowhere better to start than at the Hazrat Imam Complex.  Mosques, with turquoise domes similar to those in Samarkand, wait to be discovered, along with the Muyi Mubarak Library said to contain the world’s oldest Quran and a hair from Prophet Mohammad.

Stroll on to the Kulkedash Madrassa, an old Islamic school dating back to the 16 th century, used in later years as a fortress and a place for public executions. 

Time for lunch?  Buy a token and take a ride on the stunning Tashkent Metro.  Built deep in the ground during the Soviet’s reign, each station is elaborately decorated with marble, mosaics and massive candelabras, making this one of the famous things in Uzbekistan. 

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

Jump off at the Central Asian Plov Center, one of the best places in Uzbekistan to taste plov.  Fried rice is cooked in lamb fat, with raisins, carrots and different types of meat.  This local delicacy is usually cooked in massive pans which can feed hundreds of people!

Back on the Metro to Timur Square, look out for the impressive Hotel Uzbekistan – a hulking classic Soviet-style hotel.  Built in the form of an open book, you’ll want to capture this on camera before heading to the Amir Timur Museum, dedicated to the Mongol warlord.  Admire The Palace of International Forums, considered the country’s most spectacular palace, and pass fountains and statues, as you walk through to Independence Square.

End your day with a visit to the Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Arts to discover the local industries of silk weaving and ceramics, or visit the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan. 

In the evening, drop by the Tashkent TV Tower – the tallest building in Uzbekistan – and take in the stunning city views from the observation deck.

If you have time, extend your stay with a visit to the Charvak Reservoir or drive up into the surrounding Chimgan Mountains.  

Getting to Tashkent:   Fly into Tashkent International Airport, connecting the city to Asia, Europe and North America.  

Top attraction to visit:   Amir Timur Museum

Best place to stay in Tashkent:   International Hotel Tashkent – Click here for the latest prices

Archaeologists say that Khiva was founded in the 5th or 4th centuries BC, and later flourished as a trading post on the Silk Road.  By the 19th century the city was divided into the Inner (Itchan Kala) and Outer (Dishan Kala) cities, separated by a 10-metre perfectly preserved high wall. 

Wandering through the UNESCO listed old town, it is not hard to imagine camel caravans loaded with spices and silks or frenetic bazaars filled with merchants on their way from Istanbul to Venice, passing stunning mosques and madrasas.  Once synonymous with slave trade and barbarism, Khiva is now closer to a living museum. 

Peppered with over 50 historic monuments and 250 old houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, a historian’s idea of heaven, Khiva is one of the most beautiful places in Uzbekistan.  Within the mudbrick walls fine examples of Muslim architecture, spanning over two millennia, wait to be discovered showcasing some of the best sightseeing places in Uzbekistan. 

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

Visit the Djuma Mosque, perhaps the most outstanding structure with over 200 columns in the main chamber, or spend time exploring the two magnificent palaces built at the beginning of the 19th century by Alla-Kulli-Khan.  Another contender for standout beauty is the small Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum – still an active place of worship and pilgrimage spot for local Uzbekistanis.   

From the long list of Khiva Uzbekistan places to see, the Kalta Minor Minaret, rather recently constructed in 1851, is one for the energetic.  Climb the steps of this 45-metres Islam Hoja minaret for beautiful city views.

One of the more interesting places in Uzbekistan, the old town’s wall has four main gates.  Pay to enter through the Western Gate – giving you entrance to most of the museums and buildings found inside – and you’ll find the Kuhna Ark.  

Home of past Khiva rulers, this 12th century fortress and residence offers a peek into the life of the Khans – their harem, mint, stables, arsenal, throne-room and pretty Summer Mosque.  Pay extra to climb up to the watchtower for extraordinary city views.    

Getting to Khiva:  Fly into Urgench International Airport and share a 30 minutes taxi to Khiva.  Alternatively reach Urgench by the night train from Tashkent or standard train from Bukhara.  A train station in Khiva is under development.

Top attraction to visit:  Kalta Minaret

Best place to stay in Khiva:  Arkanchi Hotel – Click here for the latest prices

Ancient complex Dorut Tilavat XIV-XV century in Shakhrisabz

Famed as the birthplace of the 14 th century conqueror and national hero, Emperor Timur, Shahrisabz (green city) is one of the most ancient cities in Central Asia.  A small, traditional Uzbek town in Kashkadarya province, it was listed in 2000 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a popular day trip from Samarkand.

Timur’s Summer Palace, Ak-Saray Palace, (white, light, magnificent palace) was a white-marbled lavish palace back in the 1400’s, taking almost 25 years to complete and almost 50,000 slaves.  Unfortunately not much remains, but you can walk through the central area with the massive walls towering over you.

Pass by the Amir Timur statue and continue through a park until on your left you’ll find the Medrese Chubin, home to the Amir Timur Museum.  Not the greatest selection of artifacts or information, you can choose to skip this if you have already visited the museum in Tashkent.

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

From the park you’ll see the large blue dome of the Dorut Tilovat Complex, housing the Kok Gumbaz Mosque and two mausoleums. 

Further on is your final spot for the day, the Dor-Us-Siyadat Complex which houses the crypt that was originally meant for Amir himself, but is the resting place of his beloved grandson who died unexpectedly.

Not as impressive as Samarkand, Shahrisabz is worth a trip out for the dramatic scenery along the route.

Getting to Shahrisabz:  Located 55 miles south of Samarkand, it is best visited as a day trip.  Taxi drivers take you the 2-hour scenic drive, passing through small villages and roadside markets with towering mountains dominating the view.  Your driver will wait whilst you spend approx 2-hours discovering the town, before returning to Samarkand.

Top attraction to visit:  Ak-Saray Palace

Best place to stay in Shahrisabz:  Stay in Samarkand

Nukus city square in front of the Soviet Art Musesum

Nukus grew from a small settlement in 1932 to a large, modern Soviet city with broad avenues and large public buildings, surrounded by a landscape of desert dry scrub.  However, recent modernization is slowly destroying its Soviet past, though it has a rather desolate feel as most new buildings remain empty and has yet to join most traveler’s lists of sightseeing places of Uzbekistan.

Visit Nukus for its remoteness and isolation, but you will still find a few interesting things to do that make this a worthwhile destination in your Uzbekistan itinerary. 

Within the city visit the world-class Igor Savitsky Art Museum – the lost Louvre of Uzbekistan – housing an unusual collection of artifacts recovered from archaeological digs, traditional jewelry, costumes and musical instruments.  The museum is most noted for its rare collection of modern Russian and Uzbek art from 1918-35, making it one of the most unique places of interest in Uzbekistan. 

Take lunch at the typical central Asian bazaar where you can try local delicacies such as beshbarmak (thin boiled dough served with a meaty broth) and kymyz (fermented horse milk).  

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

One of the stranger Uzbekistan things to see, is the Mizdakhan Necropolis.  Located just outside of Nukus it’s still an active place of worship where people bury their dead, but amongst the new tombs are hundreds of ancient tombs offering an insight into the mixed ethnic history of the region.  

Most tourists use Nukus as the gateway to the Aral Sea – with daily buses departing morning and returning late afternoon – and the desert of Karakalpakstan, with its famed ancient fortresses and mausoleums.  

Getting to Nukus:   Fly into Nukus Airport, with domestic flights from Tashkent (2 hours) and internationally from Moscow.   Train connection from Taskkent (approx 20 hours). 

Top attraction to visit:   Igor Savitsky Art Museum

Best place to stay in Nukus :  Hotel Jipek Joli – Click here for the latest prices

Fergana Valley

Bazaar in Margilan

Stretching across Central Asia, the Fergana Valley formed a crucial part of the Silk Road.  With the Tien-Shan mountains to the North and the Gissar-Allai to the South, it is an area of stunning natural beauty and a major source of food.  Despite the relatively dry climate, the valley is green and fertile plains are fed by the Rivers Naryn and Kara Darya. Wheat, cotton, rice, vegetables and fruit are farmed across the 22,000 sq km of flat plains. 

Historically, the location for many territorial battles, the area reaches across eastern Uzbekistan, through Kyrgyzstan and to Tajikistan.  Spend time here to understand authentic Uzbekistan and learn about the local culture, ethnic diversity, historical conflicts, and environmental issues.  Hang with locals, stroll through parks, and stop at the numerous local cafes to meet, what many say, are the nicest people in Uzbekistan.

Base yourself at one of the main cities and take day trips to explore the region and visit, what we feel, are some of the most beautiful places of Uzbekistan.  We recommend staying at Fergana City or Margilan.

Fergana City is the capital of the Fergana Valley and home to excellent restaurants, and a transport hub with frequent connections to Margilan, Rishton, Andijon and Kokand.  A relatively new town with a large Russian population, there is not too much to see except for the central park.

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

Twenty minutes from Fergana, is Margilan.  A traditional town with small back alleys showcasing every-day life, bursting with character.  Visit the Yodgorlik Silk Factory to see the painstaking processes involved in producing the beautiful handmade material, and the colourful Kumtepa Bazaar.  A handful of madrassas and mosques are also open to visitors.

For more than 800 years Rishton has been the centre of pottery in Uzbekistan, with the local red clay so pure it needs no additives.  Ceramics are decorated with distinctive, naturally produced, blue and green shades.  Search out the Usmanov Ceramic Workshop for a free tour by one of the oldest masters.

Another standout city, and at one time as important as Bukhara, Kokand has many of the Uzbekistan best places to visit including the beautiful Khudayar Khan Palace, built in the 19 th century boasting seven courtyards and 113 rooms, and the Modari Khan Mausoleum.  Home of the Norbutabiy Mosque and the Juma Mosque – a beautiful 19 th century mosque noted for its colourful minaret supported by columns made from Indian Redwood trees.

In Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan, beautiful places in the south of the Valley await your discovery.  Travel to the Blue Lake of Shahimardan, in the hills of the Allai Mountains.  Take the cable car from the centre of Shahimardan up to Kurbal Kul and admire a photogenic blue alpine lake.  Set peacefully amidst the mountain peaks this is one of the top places to visit in Uzbekistan in winter.

The best way to get around the Valley is by shared taxi.  Fergana to Margilan is 30 minutes, Rishton 1 hour, Kokand 2 hours, Andijon 1.5 hours.

Getting to Fergana Valley:   Modern train from Tashkent, approx 3-4 hours or fly into Fergana International Airport.

Top attraction to visit:   Margilan

Best place to stay in Fergana Valley:  Sakura Inn, Fergana – Click here for the latest prices

Moynaq or Muynak

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

The Aral Sea was once the fourth largest lake in the world.  But in the 1960s the Soviet Union undertook a major water project diverting two main rivers to arid plains and away from the Aral Sea, devastating the region.  This ecological disaster means that today only 10% of the Aral Sea remains and salinity is so high that almost all marine life has perished.  

As the Aral Sea dried up, fisheries and communities that depended on them collapsed.  The former shores and the desert ex-seabed are now littered with rusting hulks of boats which can be best viewed at Moynaq, once a thriving harbour town and now strangely one of the top Uzbekistan tourist attractions.  

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

Moynaq has seen some recent development, giving the town a new city centre but there is little to do outside of visiting the ship cemetery and a small museum.  However, with the 3-hour road travel from Nukus, travelers often choose to stay a night.

Visit the ship cemetery at dusk to grab some great sunset silhouette photos.  

Beyond the boats is the vast empty desert waiting to be discovered.  From within Moynaq, arrange a 4-wheel drive to take you to Sudochie Lake.  Once a freshwater lake connected to the Aral Sea, it is a smaller but still thriving lake home to over 200 bird species, including pink flamingos.  Off the route for travelers, we rate this as one of the don’t-miss places to go in Uzbekistan.

Up for a longer drive?  Take a 3-4 hour drive by 4-wheel vehicle from Moynaq to the current shore of the Aral Sea, approx 150km away.  

Getting to Moynaq:   3 hour bus from Nukus.

Top attraction to visit:   Ship Cemetery

Best place to stay in Moynaq :  Yurt Camp at the Moynaq Lighthouse – book on arrival

Aydarkul Lake

Aydar Lake in the saline depressions of the south-eastern Kyzyl Kum

Located 30 miles from the city of Nurata, in the north west of Uzbekistan, is the crystal blue water of Lake Aydarkul.  Formed when the Syr Darya River burst its banks in the flood of 1969, the lake is 3000 sqm and a haven to countless species of fish, birds and plant life.  A strong Uzbekistan tourist attraction, visitors flock here to enjoy the many activities and spend long days lost in the natural surroundings.

The rich flora and fauna that cover the banks of the “sea amid sand” are home to hundreds of species of wildlife and birds.  Come with your binoculars and cameras, and spot pelicans, eagles and vultures.  Visit in Spring or Summer to catch the alpine grasslands changing colours, with bright red tulips and snowy-white acacia.   

Substitute the camera for a fishing rod and spend a day angling for a catch in the spectacular lake.  Carp, bream, perch and catfish will tease you, as a pleasant day is spent bobbing around on the lake.  Seasons are April-May and August-September.

Away from the lake, discover the rugged and winding mountain passes surrounding the Lake on foot, or by horseback or camel.  View the ancient rock paintings gallery in the Sarmysh Gorge, showcasing more than 3,000 petroglyphs from the Stone and Bronze ages.  Or choose to do nothing, and relax taking in the spectacular views and serene silence.

Getting to Aydarkul:   By road, approx 3 hours from Samarkand or Bukhara, passing through deserts and mountains with fascinating views.

Top attraction to visit:   Aydarkul Lake

Best place to stay in Adyarkul :  Aydar Yurt Camp, 7km from the Lake – book on arrival

Map Of The Things To Do In Uzbekistan

To help you plan your trip to Uzbekistan, find all the top 9 places to visit in Uzbekistan on the map below.

Best Places To Visit In Uzbekistan map

We hope you enjoyed this list of the top 9 tourist attractions in Uzbekistan. Looking for more inspiration and planning tips in Uzbekistan? Find all our guides here .

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is an Australian who loves Central Asia. She loves sharing her love of this region here so you can have great travel experiences in this part of the world.

Best attractions in Uzbekistan: Top 30

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is a bright and inspiring country of the East. Rich architectural heritage, lots of historical monuments, colorful bazaars, generous nature, which is carefully protected in the protected parks - this is all that everyone can see in Uzbekistan, even without a solid budget. It’s simply impossible to count all the interesting sights of Uzbekistan, but you should definitely visit at least the main ones, which will be discussed further in this article.

What to see first of all in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is divided into several regions, each of which holds a lot of its unique attractions. But every tourist, as a rule, is faced with the need to “fit” all the memorable places in a limited time, given for traveling and exploring the country, often even have to choose what to see in Uzbekistan for 1 day. Exactly to simplify the process of choice and competent planning of future trip this rating is compiled.

1. Tashkent

Tashkent - the sights of Uzbekistan

The review begins with the capital of the country - Tashkent, which is one of the five largest cities in the CIS in terms of population. Among the tall modern buildings are hidden historical buildings, ancient mosques and modern shopping centers alternate with traditional oriental bazaars and markets. It is worth noting that many of the old buildings have been restored - in 1966, a powerful earthquake partially destroyed them, and the look of the renewed city has since changed significantly.

Official site: http://tashkent.uz/

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2. tashkent tv tower.

Tashkent TV Tower - Sights of Uzbekistan

This structure is considered the tallest in all of Central Asia - the TV Tower of Tashkent is 375 meters high, and its long spire, piercing the sky, can be seen from anywhere in the city. At the height of about a hundred meters you can visit the observation deck in the TV tower, and one level higher there are restaurant halls, where you can not only admire the panoramic views from the windows, but also have lunch. Guides in Uzbekistan eagerly cover the history of the construction of the structure, take visitors through the interior, including the museum, the exposition of which reveals the role and place of the TV tower among other similar structures in the world.

Official website: http://www.tv-tower.uz/

3. Amir Temur Square

Amir Temur Square - Sights of Uzbekistan

The square, which bears the name of the famous commander, was built at the end of the 19th century. Then it was a small park in the center of Tashkent, at the intersection of two main city streets. Only in 1994 a monument to Amir Temur was installed there, and the park was cleared and turned into a square with greenery and fountains. Today the square is surrounded by such famous buildings as a hotel, a law institute, a museum in honor of Amir Temur, and the Palace of Forums, where many official ceremonies are held.

4. Chorsu Oriental Bazaar

Chorsu Oriental Bazaar - Sights of Uzbekistan

Visitors have a lot to visit in Uzbekistan once they find themselves in Tashkent’s central square, Eski Zhuva. Despite the modern look that this market has today, the history of Chorsu market goes back centuries. About two thousand years ago, an ancient settlement was founded in this area, the center of which was traditionally a bazaar. As time passed, a fair was established where an active exchange of goods began and merchants from different parts of Central Asia streamed here. Since some time the bazaar became the center of town life, and to this day Chorsu, located at the intersection of four shopping streets, attracts visitors with its fresh fragrant fruits, oriental sweets and colorful Uzbek souvenirs.

5. Samarkand city

Samarkand City - Sights of Uzbekistan

The city of Samarkand is famous for its amazingly long history - it is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded as far back as 8 centuries before our era. Some time ago this city was the most important point connecting the East and the West, and the Great Silk Road passed exactly through Samarkand. That’s why here, like nowhere else, a great number of cultural and historical monuments have been preserved, such as mausoleums, museums, mosques, ruins of ancient settlements and many other things.

Official website: http://www.samshahar.uz/ru

6. Registan Square in Samarkand

Registan Square in Samarkand - Sights of Uzbekistan

The best sights of Uzbekistan should certainly be complemented by another historical place - Registan Square, which has existed for more than 6 centuries. Some of the buildings on the square have been preserved here in their original form since the moment of their construction. The complex of three medieval madrasahs (schools) faced with mosaic in traditional national style deserve special attention. The square itself was paved with cobblestone and burnt brick back in the late 19th century.

Official website: http://www.centralasia-travel.

7. Bibi-Khanum Mosque in Samarkand

Bibi-Khanum Mosque in Samarkand - Sights of Uzbekistan

Another ornament of Samarkand is the Bibi-Khanum Mosque, a sacred monument of the 15th century. It is believed that the mosque was erected by order of Tamerlane Khan, who returned from India with a triumphant victory. The great commander wanted to erect a lifetime monument as a testimony of his victories. About 7 hundred people were involved in the construction, including a huge number of masters from other Asian countries. To this day, despite numerous earthquakes, the mosque was able to retain its original grandeur and beauty, it contributed to the large-scale restoration work, which was carried out here for 35 years, starting in 1968.

Official website: http://www.centralasia-travel.com/ru/

8. Rukhabad Mausoleum in Samarkand

Ruhabad Mausoleum in Samarkand - Sights of Uzbekistan

Official website: http://www.centralasia-travel.com

9. Bukhara city

Bukhara City - Sights of Uzbekistan

The following recommendations will touch on another ancient city founded 2.5 thousand years ago. Bukhara is a real museum city: every building there is a landmark, a real exhibit. Ancient mosques, citadels, mausoleums, madrassahs, monuments - all this you can visit, enthusiastically walking through the city, because here every corner of the land keeps its memory. Once upon a time the Great Silk Road ran through Bukhara, which is being purposefully revived these days.

10. Lyabi-Hauz in Bukhara

Lyabi-Hauz in Bukhara - Sights of Uzbekistan

And, of course, when mentioning the best sights of Uzbekistan, it is impossible not to sound at least some of the sights of Bukhara. One of the main squares of the city, Lyabi-Hauz, is a real treasure of Bukhara - there is a whole architectural ensemble consisting of a mosque, madrasah and a monument in honor of Khoja Nasreddin - a favorite character in oriental folklore. The square is surrounded by a wonderful clean pond with a fountain. Lyabi-Hauz has become a favorite place for various mass festivities and official celebrations in Bukhara.

11. Samanid Mausoleum (Bukhara)

Samanid Mausoleum (Bukhara) - Sights of Uzbekistan

The Samanid Mausoleum, an ancient family tomb, another masterpiece of architecture created at the juncture of the 9th-10th centuries, is located in Samanid Park, on the territory of the ancient Bukhara cemetery. Despite the fact that the facade and interior decoration of the structure does not play with bright colors, amazing openwork finish, which builders managed to achieve using ordinary bricks, impresses. On the territory of the tomb there used to be an ancient Muslim cemetery, and later there was laid out a park with ponds, which became a place for mass festivals.

12. The Minaret and Mosque of Kalyan in Bukhara

Kalyan Minaret and Mosque in Bukhara - Sights of Uzbekistan

Choosing where to go in Uzbekistan, traveling through Bukhara, it is definitely worth visiting Poi-Kalyan, the main architectural complex that has become a symbol of Bukhara, which includes a minaret, a mosque and a madrassah. Constructed in the 12th century of burnt brick, the minaret of Kalyan rises more than 46 meters, and its top is crowned with a conic lantern. The minaret is connected to the roof of the Kalyan Mosque by a bridge, from where, in turn, a spiral staircase leads up to the dome itself, where a spectacular panoramic view opens up. The mosque itself was built a little later than the minaret, in the 16th century, and to this day it is the main cathedral mosque of the city.

13. Khiva city

Khiva city - sights of Uzbekistan

Another city, many centuries ago located on the Great Silk Road, is the ancient Khorezm, or Khiva, as it is called now. Khiva may be regarded as an open air museum, not without reason it is included in the UNESCO list, because here every building is an ancient landmark. In the old part of the city of Ichan-Kala, founded about 5 century AD, kept about 60 historical monuments, including a citadel, palaces, mosques, minarets and mausoleums. Outside the walled old city is another ancient part, Dishan-Kala, where there were residential buildings and trading rows.

14. Ichan Qala Fortress in Khiva

Fortress of Ichan-Kala in Khiva - Sightseeing in Uzbekistan

Now more details about the citadel of Ichan-Kala, which like nothing else preserves the image of the ancient eastern city of Khiva. The conclusions of archaeologists suggest that Old Khiva, which already existed in the 5th century, served as a stopover on the Great Silk Road. The old city within the walls of Ichan-Kala occupies about 30 hectares and is surrounded by a massive wall of 6-8 meters. Ditches were dug on the outer side of the walls and filled with water. There are also four gates in the fortress wall, reinforced with percussion towers and augmented with observation galleries.

15. Ulugbek Observatory

Ulugbek Observatory - Sights of Uzbekistan

The background to the appearance of this landmark in Uzbekistan was the birth of the famous Tamerlane’s inquisitive grandson Ulugbek, who from an early age was reaching for knowledge. During one of his grandfather’s expeditions, the boy saw and visited an observatory for the first time, and ever since then he dreamed of building one of his own. At a fairly young age, becoming the ruler of Samarkand, Ulugbek begins to realize the dream, and by 1423 a famous observatory appears in Samarkand. Only one part of the observatory has survived to our time - a sextant with a radius of 40 meters, which was used to measure the height of the celestial bodies.

16. Shahi Zinda Architectural Monument

Shahi Zinda Monument of Architecture - Sights of Uzbekistan

Not far from Bibi-Khanum mosque in Samarkand there is one of the most beautiful and picturesque memorial complexes, the street-cemetery, Shahi Zinda necropolis. The history of this ensemble begins in the 11th century, when a cousin of the prophet Muhammad - Abbas, nicknamed Shahi Zinda, which translates as the Living King, was buried on the southeastern slope of the settlement of Afrasiab. Today there are 14 mausoleums, whose facades sparkle with blossoms of blue and blue ornaments and painted domes. Here are the tombs of famous personalities, military leaders, scientists and masters who have entered the glorious history of Samarkand.

17. Ark Citadel

Citadel Ark - Sights of Uzbekistan

One of the interesting places, which can be attributed to the ancient cultural monuments of Uzbekistan, is located in Bukhara - the Ark Citadel. Archaeological research determined the age of the citadel - its foundations were laid between the 6th and 3rd centuries BC. Up to the beginning of the 20th century the citadel served as a palace for the rulers of Bukhara. During its long history many creative and scholarly minds, including Avicenna, Ferdowsi and Omar Khayyam, lived on the territory of the citadel. Nowadays the citadel has turned into a big museum, where there are several departments - for example, history, numismatics or nature department.

18. Gur-Emir (Tamerlane Mausoleum)

Gur-Emir (Tamerlane Mausoleum) - Sights of Uzbekistan

Like many other famous monuments of Samarkand, Gur Emir Mausoleum is associated with the name of the famous warrior Tamerlane. Many descendants and associates of Amir Timur found their last resting place here. And the beginning of the construction of the tomb was associated with the sudden death of one of Tamerlane’s grandsons - Muhammad-Sultan. The family vault of the Timurid dynasty is a large single-domed building, the expressive design of which left a mark on many of the great architects of all Central Asia. The intricate wall paintings, filigree blue and gold patterns, and the combination of precious materials are further reminders of how great personalities rest within these centuries-old walls.

Sights of Uzbekistan: what else to see in Uzbekistan

The main sights of Uzbekistan were briefly listed above, but this is only a part of the memorable places, whose glory through the centuries has reached our days. In addition to man-made monuments, there are a lot of beautiful and amazing places created by nature itself on the territory of the country. Natural attractions of Uzbekistan photo with names and descriptions are given in the continuation of the review.

19. Charvak reservoir

Charvak Reservoir - Sights of Uzbekistan

Charvak reservoir would be a simple artificial reservoir, if not for its emerald waters on the background of the magnificent nature, so harmoniously framing the banks. In the background are the peaks of the Tien Shan mountains, and the total length of the reservoir shoreline is almost a hundred kilometers. This contributed to the fact that with the advent of the reservoir began to actively develop and resort infrastructure: the coast is now the best hotels in Uzbekistan, summer camps, resorts and tourist centers, the entire coastal area is divided into several large recreation areas.

20. Kyzylkum desert

Kyzylkum Desert - Sights of Uzbekistan

In the Uzbek lands between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers lies the great desert of Asia - Kyzylkum. In addition to Uzbekistan, Kyzylkum partially extends into the lands of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, occupying a total area of 300 square kilometers. Despite the lifeless sand massifs, dry and sharply continental climate, flora and fauna is quite diverse, especially with the advent of spring when precipitation increases. Also the lands of Kyzylkum have been partially developed by man - small oases are created on the basis of artesian basins, gold ore deposits are discovered, and sheep breeding is carried out.

21. Fergana valley

The Fergana Valley - the sights of Uzbekistan

Fergana Valley is a real gem of Uzbekistan with a rich and very picturesque nature. This fertile land, full of water resources, various natural resources and oasis lands, cultivated by sedentary farmers, and the perimeter of this land is surrounded by majestic Tien Shan ridges. Even in ancient times representatives of different civilizations lived in this blooming oasis, as evidenced by numerous archaeological finds.

22. Chimgan mountains

Chimgan Mountains - what to see in Uzbekistan

Chimgan mountains are not only beautiful nature, picturesque slopes overgrown with relict bushes, valleys and gorges with the cleanest mountain rivers. It is also a popular tourist area where skiing, paragliding, hiking thrives. The reviews testify that a trip to Chimgan Mountains allows you to “reload” and recover, being nourished by the inexhaustible source of energy - nature itself. They come here not only on vacation but also on weekends and holidays, and a large number of active tourist facilities and hotels can always find a suitable place for accommodation and overnight stays.

23. Ship cemetery in Muinak

Ship graveyard in Muinak - what to see in Uzbekistan

Muynak was once a real oasis city where fishing flourished and the Aral Sea was one of the world’s largest salt lakes. Beginning in the 1960s, the sea began to be regularly drained by man in order to change the direction of the rivers to irrigate the fields. As a result of these activities, the sea began to die, denuding the land of much dust and poisonous chemicals. The rusty remains of ships are a sight to see, illustrating the sad consequences of the unwise treatment of the Aral Sea. The seaport that was once there has turned into a graveyard of ships, to the ruins of which you can go down and walk along the former seabed.

24. State Museum of the History of the Timurids

State Museum of the History of the Timurids in Uzbekistan

In the heart of the main city of Uzbekistan, the capital city of Tashkent, the State Museum of the History of the Timurids is located - its collection contains more than 5 thousand exhibits from the era of Amir Timur and the Timurid dynasty. Opening of the museum in 1996 was timed to coincide with the 660th anniversary of Tamerlane’s birth, and the site was located next to the square of Amir Timur, surrounded by beautiful parks, public and educational institutions. The style of the building is appropriate to the epoch it is dedicated to - the round building is crowned with a huge blue dome, the walls are lined with mosaics in the national style. The interior rooms are solemnly decorated and impress with their pomp; the second and third floors are completely devoted to the history of the famous dynasty. The interior of these halls is richly decorated with gold leaf, marble, oriental paintings and miniature paintings; on the walls there are frescos depicting historical paintings. The exposition includes archeological, numismatic and ethnographic materials, military ammunition, skilful miniatures, pictures of Amir Timur performed by talented European masters.

25. History Museum of Uzbekistan

Museum of the History of Uzbekistan in Uzbekistan

The eventful history has found its reflection in numerous museums - these national attractions of Uzbekistan can be found even in the smallest towns of the country. What to say about the capital - in Tashkent at the end of the 19th century was founded the National Museum of Turkestan, which at the beginning of the last century was transformed into the Museum of History. The vast and original cubic building houses a large scale composition describing the country’s historical development through cultural objects such as tools, crockery and household items, jewelry, mirrors and many others. On the first floor there is administration, conference hall and cinema hall. And the most interesting places are on the 3rd and 4th floors. Around ten thousand exhibits are on display here, and this is just a small part of the 250-thousand collection in the funds. Among the most famous exhibits are a huge Saka cauldron from the 4th-5th centuries BC, a Buddha figure with 2 monks called “Triad” from the 1st century AD, samples of ancient fabrics and ceramics, coins, historical photographs and documents.

Official website: http://www.history

26. Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Tashkent

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Uzbekistan

Against the background of the usual Tashkent skyline of blue domes and minarets stands the gothic silhouette of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the main Catholic cathedral in Uzbekistan known to locals as the “Polish church”, which is not typical of Central Asia. It is worth saying that Christianity first began to spread in Central Asia in the first centuries AD thanks to the development of the Great Silk Road. Nevertheless, the first Catholic churches did not appear until many centuries later - for example, the construction of this cathedral started in 1912, and the process was mainly carried out by prisoners of war, among whom there were many specialists - architects, engineers, sculptors, etc. The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture. Its odious and gloomy façade is adorned with stained-glass windows and spires, the interior is lined with granite and marble, and the furniture and doors are made of precious wood. The main hall is adorned with a 2-meter statue of Jesus Christ and a musical organ.

Official website: http://www.uzinform

27. Assumption Cathedral in Tashkent

Assumption Cathedral in Uzbekistan

The history of the Assumption Cathedral is unique in that it was once a small cemetery church, called the Church of St. Panteleimon. In the middle of the last century work began to expand the temple. In the 1930s and 1940s, the church was closed, and its premises were used for the needs of a hospital. After the end of the Second World War, the church was consecrated with the name of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and appointed the main Orthodox cathedral in the capital. In 50-60’s the church was almost rebuilt, the new premises could accommodate up to 4 thousand worshipers. After the collapse, the cathedral was thoroughly renovated and restored. Today you can visit the territory of the cathedral by passing through a triple arch, topped with a golden dome. The constructions in the courtyard are strikingly beautiful. They are all designed in the same style according to classicism; the white decor in combination with the blue facades give the composition an airy feeling. The 5-tier openwork belfry, reconstructed in the 20th century, deserves special attention.

Official website: http://pravoslavie

28. Bolo House Complex

Bolo House Complex in Uzbekistan

For travelers to Uzbekistan, there’s a good reason to take a hot tour with a visit to Bukhara. This city is famous for its many historical buildings that testify to turbulent historical events, among them the majestic Ark fortress occupies a special place. Another striking example of the architectural traditions of the East is the Bolo-Hauz Mosque, built near a spring of water. In general, the tradition of erecting artificial reservoirs, as well as mosques near them, appeared many centuries ago - there have always been problems with water on the territory of Central Asia. The beautiful architectural ensemble Bolo-Khauz has the status of Bukhara’s historical landmark. The mosque rises on Registan square and is decorated with 20 carved wooden columns. Near the mosque you can see the minaret, erected a few years after the mosque - this elegant structure for a long time before the reconstruction was in a slightly inclined condition, but later was thoroughly strengthened and acquired an upright appearance.

29. Khoja Donier Mausoleum

Khoja Donier Mausoleum in Uzbekistan

The status of the most revered landmark of Samarkand has theMausoleum of Khoja Doniyer, located in the ancient settlement of Afrosiab. Today, thousands of pilgrims come to the tomb, including not only Muslims, but also Jews and Christians. All because Donier, in Orthodoxy Daniel is a prophet, significant in these three world religions. Anyway, it is worth visiting this sacred place for everyone who comes to get acquainted with Samarkand - it hides a lot of amazing beliefs and keeps a blessed spirit. Daniel was endowed by God with the ability to see and understand dreams and visions, and some of those concerning the end of the world and the second coming of Christ were recorded by the prophet and carried by peoples through the ages. One of the legends says that Amir Timur, making a pilgrimage to the place of the saint’s original burial, decided to move some of his relics to Samarkand, and now that is where the mausoleum is located. It is captivating in its peacefulness, and for many believers it is an ideal place to rest in peace and quiet, to find a state of grace.

30. Kukeldash Madrasah in Tashkent

Madrasah Kukeldash in Uzbekistan

During the Middle Ages, arid Central Asia was a true cultural oasis. Intellect, knowledge of the basics of art and theology were the most important abilities of men of that time. At that time madrasahs served as educational centers, Muslim educational centers and, at the same time, religious seminaries, and nowadays they are historical and cultural landmarks of Tashkent. Kukeldash is the largest institution of its kind and an important architectural monument in the center of the Uzbek capital. This “high school” was founded in the 16th century by one of the people close to the Tashkent khans. This man had a nickname “kukeldash”, which in Uzbek means “foster brother of khan”. During centuries of the existence Madrasah was both fortress and hotel, it survived two strong earthquakes. That’s why the building has been restored many times, and only modern restorers were able to restore its original appearance - today the architecture and size of the madrasah is fully consistent with the canons of medieval architecture. The urge to explore the world more and more attracts modern travelers to Uzbekistan. Today almost everyone can afford it, even having a relatively modest budget. Uzbekistan is one of the post-Soviet countries, where with the fall of the “Iron Curtain” began a slow but steady development of tourism. Bright sun, exotic cuisine, an abundance of fruits and vegetables, oriental flavor, an unimaginable number of historical sites - this is what gives its guests a fabulous sunny country of the East.

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Samarkand city view with Bibi Khanum mosque in Uzbekistan

#4 Shahrisabz

This flourishing city of the Timurid Empire is the birthplace of the great medieval conqueror Amir Temur.  It has exceptional monuments from 14 th to 15 th centuries though its history dates back over 2000 years.  Its historic center retains the layout from the original Timurid city planning.  Amir Temur ordered the Ak Sarai – the white summer palace – to be built as well as his own grave. Tamerlane’s summer palace was one of the highlights of the Timurid architecture.  These days you can still see the remains of the palace’s 65 meter high monumental gates.

#5 Tashkent

Tashkent Earthquake monument in Uzbekistan

#6 Aidarkul Lake & Nurota Mountains

Aidarkul lake with yurts in Uzbeksitan

#8 Ancient Fortress Ruins

Ancient Khorezm fortresses in Uzbekistan

#9 Fergana Valley

Fergana pottery master in Uzbekistan

#10 Karakalpakstan

Aral Sea ship on sand in Uzbekistan

Keep up with our blog or travel to Uzbekistan yourself to learn more first hand about the country’s fascinating history and rich culture.

You can find all our small-group tours to Uzbekistan here . All listed departures are guaranteed. If you prefer a custom private tour, please don’t hesitate to contact us .

On Tripadvisor you can read reviews from some of our travelers about their trips to Central Asia and Uzbekistan.

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Amazing places to go when you visit Uzbekistan

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Visit Uzbekistan

18 of the Best Places to Visit in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is one of those countries many people never heard about.

For most travelers, this doubly landlocked country is somehow deep inside our imaginary of being a faraway Silk Route nation, full of exotic people, ancient architecture and where Alexander the Great fell in love with Roxana- his future wife.

Visit Uzbekistan

I entered Uzbekistan five times:

  • July 2004 – Border of KZ – fly out to IR – Backpacking Central Asia
  • June 2012 – Border of KZ to TJ – Central Asia Rally
  • June 2012 – Border of AF to TJ – Driving alone
  • July 2012 – Border of TJ to KG – Driving with my wife
  • December 2017 / January 2018 – Border of TJ to KZ – Driving with my wife

AF = Afghanistan KG = Kyrgyzstan KZ = Kazakhstan IR = Iran TJ = Tajikistan UZ = Uzbekistan

Friendly Uzbek People

Uzbek people are always very friendly and curious to talk with foreigners.

My TOP 5 – Visit Uzbekistan

Islam Khoja Medressa and Minaret in Khiva

This is my favorite historical place in Uzbekistan. Its distance from other major touristic destinations in the country makes it even more authentic. According to legend, Khiva was founded in the place where Sem – son of Noah – dug the well Keivah. The old city – Ichan Kala – is a well preserved example of Muslim architecture in Central Asia.

Muynak boat cemetery in Uzkekistan

Moynaq is an old port south of the Aral Sea. Under Lenin’s orders, Moynaq fishermen played a major role in the struggle against the Russian famine of 1921-1922. Today there is no water nearby, so we can visit the “boat cemetery” with a dozen rusty carcasses of ships, and a small monument that confirms the scale of the current natural disaster that made the water disappear.

Mir i Arab Medressa in Bukhara

At the heart of the Silk Road and the ancient Persian kingdoms, Bukhara is a lovely historical town. I’ve been to Bukhara many times and never get tired of it. Its tiny alleys with brick buildings are very charming, but Bukhara’s impressive medressas and mosques are simply breathtaking.

Ukhum mountain village in Uzbekistan

There’s not much to see or do in Ukhum. This place is on my top experiences in Uzbekistan on a “people’s” level. After I had camped in Lake Aydar for the weekend, I gave a ride to two local Uzbek ladies. After a small talk I ended up taking them all the way to their village, deep inside the mountain through dirt tracks. I stayed in their house for a couple of days, being hosted by an amazing friendly Uzbek family.

5. Samarkand

Registan Square in Samarkand

Samarkand is probably the most famous city of Central Asia. Rich in magnificent historical monuments, Samarkand was once upon a time, the heart of the Silk Road – located between China and the Mediterranean. Samarkand is on the list of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia.

20 Places to Visit in Uzbekistan

On this page I make a list of 18 Amazing Places which are undoubtedly the country’s major tourist attractions.

1. Shahrisabz

Just married couple in Shahrisabz Timur square

Birthplace of Amir Timur aka Tamerlane – a 14th century Turco-Mongol conqueror, Shahrisabz is a historical city south of Samarkand. Many Uzbek come to the famous Timur statue to make pictures after they get married. I stayed in a very nice guest house located near Shahrisabz city center. The old quarters of Shakhrisabz hold exceptional monuments and ancient neighborhoods, dating back from the 15th to the 16th century. My favorite Shahrisabz monuments are the Tomb of Timur, the Aq-Saray Palace and the Kok Gumbaz Mosque. The Historic Center of Shakhrisyabz is inscribed on the World Heritage list.

2. Aral Sea

Aral Sea in Uzbekistan

The Aral Sea is an ancient salt water lake bordering Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. During the 1960’s, the Aral Sea was the fourth biggest lake in the world. Unfortunately and due to terrible Soviet irrigation projects that diverted the rivers, Aral became one of the world’s worst environmental catastrophes. I was able to cross the bottom of this dried lake during the Central Asia Rally.

NOTE : Visit my other blog post about Central Asia Rally – Race into History. 6500 km / 4000 mi Road Trip Adventure.

Mir i Arab Medressa and Po-i-Kalyan Islamic religious complex in Bukhara

Bukhara is one of my favorite cities around the world. Involved in charming streets, Bukhara has many centuries of history that can be experienced while exploring the old city. My favorite Bukhara monuments are the Char Minor, the Mir i Arab Medressa, the impressive Kalon minaret, Bukhara Fortress, the Ark and Nadir Divan-Beghi madrasah. To get to Bukhara one can take the epic train trip on the Bukhara Express – on the Tashkent – Samarkand – Bukhara line. The historic centre of Bukhara is inscribed on the World Heritage list.

Kokand Jami Mosque in Uzbekistan

Kokand is located in the Uzbek province of Ferghana. Kokand was a market stage of the Silk Road during the 10th century. Later Genghis Khan made this city his principal residence and since then its regional relevance lasted for ages. The most important places to visit in Kokand are the Palace of Khudayar Khan, the Jummi Mosque, the Amin Beg Madrassah and the Kokand Khans necropolis. This is the first relevant city after entering the Fergana Valley if you come from Tashkent.

Kalta-minor Minaret in Khiva

Khiva is located in the northwest of the country. Its old name was Khwarizm, which made part of an important region south of the Aral Sea, between Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. Khiva was the capital of the Khanate of Khiva between the 16th century to the early 20th century. The old city is called Ichan Kala and is surrounded by ten meters high brick walls and you can visit many century-old monuments on a short walk. Khiva was an important stop during the Silk Road era. Khiva’s Ichan Kala is inscribed on the World Heritage list.

6. Republic of Karakalpakstan

Republic of Karakalpakstan

The Republic of Karakalpakstan is an autonomous republic in western Uzbekistan near the Aral Sea. Its capital city is Nukus. Karakalpaks were once nomadic herders and fishermen, but life changed as there is no more water in the Aral, and the desert is not suitable for animal herding anymore. I crossed Karakalpakstan coming from Kazakhstan and driving through Moynaq and down to Nukus.

Read my page:

13 of the Best Places to Visit in Karakalpakstan

7. Orom Lake

People in Orom Lake

Out of Uzbekistan capital – Tashkent, Orom Lake is a peaceful lake loved by local people that come here during the weekend to relax and cool down from the summer heat. I was taken here by a friend of mine, Sanjar, and his group of friends. We stayed at his friend’s family house and had lots of fun.

Nurata upper view from Alexander the Great castle

On my way to Aydar Lake I came across the city of Nurata. In Uzbekistan, Nurata is known for its water source, considered to be holy by Muslims. The ruins of a fortress built by the army of Alexander the Great still resists its final days. We can go up the fortress hill, but the structure is almost all lost.

9. Samarkand

Gur-e Amir Mausoleum in Samarkand

Samarkand is a famous historical city. Located in the heart of the ancient Silk Road, Samarkand was one of the largest cities of Central Asia. Alexander the Great conquered Samarkand in 329 BC and it was near here that he fell in love with Roxana – to whom he got married. My favorite Samarkand monuments are the Registan Square, the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis and the Gur-e Amir Mausoleum. Samarkand lively market is a must while visiting the city. Samarkand – Crossroads of Culture – is inscribed on the World Heritage list.

10. Tashkent

Friendly people in Tashkent market

Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan. Although this is one of the big metropolis of Central Asia, the oldest known ancient site in the region – Kanka – dates back from the 3rd century BC. The Uzbek capital is the only city in Central Asia where each subway station is sumptuously decorated with a particular theme. It is also one of the fastest subway systems in the world, where trains go really fast. Important places to visit in Tashkent are the 16th-century Kukeldash Medressa, the Amir Temur Square, the Opera and Ballet Theater Alisher Navoi and the Prince Romanov’s Palace.

Muynak dried sea front in Uzbekistan

Today, Moynaq is a witness of the environmental disaster suffered by the region due to shrinkage of the Aral Sea, which lies about 35 km north and is no longer visible on the horizon from the old port. You can visit the cemetery of old rusty boats and also the memorial monument with satellite pictures, explaining the disaster process throughout past decades.

Ukhum family house

Luckily after giving a ride to two old ladies, I was invited to go to their place to drink tea. I accepted the invitation and in Mullali, I drove out of the main road to reach their village in the middle of the mountains. I stayed for a couple of days visiting the neighboring villages and their family friends. I was very well received and people were very friendly and curious to have two foreigners (I was with my girlfriend) in their place. I was offered different types of cakes, cookies, juices, homemade jams, bread, butter, honey, omelet. The whole family were very happy to have us around and didn’t want us to leave. This was one of my top experiences while traveling in Uzbekistan.

Upper view of Katta Langar village

Deep in the countryside and a few dozen kms detour from the main road Shahrisabz to Guzar, I found the interesting village of Katta Langar. I didn’t know what to expect when I came here, as I was actually looking for something else pointed out on my road map. Langar is a mountain village with traditional mud houses, where a special holy place among Uzbeks is located. The 16th-century Mohammed Sadik mausoleum was built on the top of a hill overlooking the village. The views from the cemetery and the mosque are breathtaking. People are very welcoming and you can even join the holy water drinking at the bucket ceremony on the main gate.

14. Margilan

Woman preparing silk in Margilan

Located in the heart of the Fergana Valley, Margilan was a major Silk Road stop before crossing the Alai Mountains to reach Kashgar, China. All around Fergana, but specially in Margilan, people keep a very strict way of conservative Islam. During Soviet times, an important silk factory complex was built, which is today one the largest in Uzbekistan. I visited the silk factories and carpet weaving workshops where everything is done in a traditional way.

15. Fergana

Fergana bazaar in Uzbekistan

Fergana was my last stop before I left Fergana Valley and crossed the border to Kyrgyzstan. The modern city of Ferghana was founded by the Russians in 1876 as a colonial garrison town. Important places to visit are the Ferghana Regional Museum, the old fortress of Fergana and the lively Bazaar in the city center, one of the busiest in Uzbekistan.

16. Dengizkul Lake

Dengizkul Lake in Uzbekistan

Dengizkul Lake is mainly surrounded by sandy desert with large sand dunes covered with acacia bushes – it corresponds to the northern part of the Sundukli sands. I got stuck in sand with my car, and had to wait for 3 hours until someone came to tow me, but he also got stuck, so we had to wait for 2 hours until another person came to save us all.

Sundukli Sands in Uzbekistan

17. Kasri Arifon

Man in Bahauddin-Naqshbandi in Bukhara

This is a small village located not far from Bukhara. Although almost no tourist knows about this place, it is in fact one of the most famous religious sites in the Muslim world. It was here that was buried one of the most revered founders of Sufi Islam, Mohamed Bahauddin Naqshbandi (1317-1388). While this is off-limits for non-Muslims, I was taken there under protection of an old man that showed me around the complex. I visited the sacred tree and the Naqshbandi mausoleum.

18. Aydar Lake

Goats near Aydar Lake in Uzbekistan

Off the beaten path destination in Uzbekistan, the Aydar Lake is located along the Uzbek – Kazakh border over a length of 250 km / 155 mi. Here you will not find any hotel or camping.

Camels in Aydar Lake

The only daily activity is watching curious camels and goats from local shepherds passing by. I camped here during the weekend before starting my way to Fergana Valley via Tashkent.

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

16 things to know before visiting Uzbekistan

Bradley Mayhew

Aug 12, 2023 • 9 min read

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

Everything you need to plan a trip to Uzbekistan from someone in the know © Andrii Lutsyk / Ascent Xmedia / Getty Images

Uzbekistan is the Central Asian destination that you’ve been dreaming about. Magnificent blue-domed mosques, towering minarets, atmospheric Silk Road cities and ancient bazaars are coupled with the region’s best accommodation, easiest transportation and great value for money. It’s the most visited of the Central Asian republics and with good reason.

A decade ago, Uzbekistan had a reputation for tricky travel. The country was plagued by complex visa rules, corruption and bureaucratic hassles, but all this has changed dramatically in recent years and it’s now a surprisingly easy place to explore.

If you are at all tempted to explore the glories of Uzbekistan’s iconic Silk Road cities, then all the planning tips you need are here. I've been visiting since the mid-1990s as a Lonely Planet writer for the region and have dealt with pretty much every travel challenge you can imagine!

1. Uzbekistan can be uncomfortably hot in summer

Time your trip to coincide with the best weather. Land-locked Uzbekistan has an extreme continental climate, which means cold winters and hot, dry summers. It’s possible to visit Uzbekistan year-round but the most comfortable months weather-wise are from March to May, and September to November.

July and August’s summer heat often bring punishing temperatures of over 40C (104F), though you may have to visit at this time if you are heading onward to the mountains of neighboring Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan .

2. Most nationalities get a visa-free one-month stay

Getting a visa for Uzbekistan is easy these days. Over 60 nationalities now qualify for visa-free travel for up to a month, including the UK, most EU countries, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Israel. Other countries (including the USA and India) are required to apply for an e-visa online , but this is an easy process that only takes a couple of days. Gone are the days of complicated visa invitations and trips to obscure embassies – hurray!

Passengers waiting for the trains to Tashkent and Bukhara surrounded by beautiful stained glass, chandeliers and architecture

3. Book high-speed train tickets in advance

The most comfortable way to travel the modern Silk Road between Tashkent , Samarkand , Bukhara and the Fergana Valley , is on Uzbekistan’s modern high-speed Afrosiyob train service. It takes just over two hours to travel from Tashkent to Samarkand, and the same again to reach Bukhara from Samarkand. For longer distances, Russian-style sleeper trains are an atmospheric way to travel overnight between Tashkent and the remoter cities of Nukus, Khiva or Termiz.

However, seats do sell out on popular routes, especially for high-speed tourist services, so book tickets a week or more in advance. Try online via the Uzbekistan Railway e-ticket portal , use the Uzrailway phone app, or book through a local travel agency (for a markup).

4. Book B&Bs well ahead of your arrival in the high season

The traditional towns of Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara all offer an excellent selection of stylish, comfortable, family-run B&Bs, which are easily the most interesting places to stay. The best ones fill up quickly in late spring and summer, so be sure to book a few weeks in advance. Contact owners directly, or see what comes up on Booking.com .

5. Pre-book an airport pickup when flying into Tashkent Airport

Many international flights to Tashkent arrive into Uzbekistan’s sprawling capital in the dead of night. If you don’t fancy negotiating with a scrum of eager taxi drivers, while still bleary-eyed after a seven-hour flight, it might be worth booking an airport pickup through your accommodation.

If you'd prefer to take a taxi, be aware that overcharging by taxi drivers is not uncommon in Uzbekistan – always try to get a rough idea of the correct fare beforehand. The easiest way to arrange a taxi ride in Tashkent is via the ride-sharing app Yandex Go , though you’ll need a local sim card to use it.

A woman looking up at the memorial buildings of Shah-I-Zinda Mausoleums in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

6. Travel is easier if you speak a few words of Uzbek or Russian

English is not widely spoken in Uzbekistan outside of tourist hotels, so it helps to learn some words of Uzbek (a Turkic language similar to old Turkish), or Russian, which remains a lingua franca amongst older people right across the former Soviet Union. Street signs are mostly in Uzbek Latin script, though you may also see some Russian-style Cyrillic script; it’s useful to learn both so you can at least read signs for place names and bus destinations.

Knowing numbers in Uzbek or Russian will come in particularly handy when negotiating with shared taxi drivers. Google Translate can help, but only if you have smartphone data – to minimize roaming costs, tourist sim cards valid for a month are available from several local companies, notably Beeline and Ucell.

7. Be ready for the local bureaucracy

Uzbekistan is very tourist-friendly these days, but there are a few bits of lingering bureaucratic red tape that are worth knowing about. When entering the country, you cannot bring in any codeine-based medications (such as painkillers) and you may need to declare how much foreign cash you are carrying. In reality, you are unlikely to be quizzed at customs if you arrive by air into Tashkent, but you might be when entering via land crossings.

You may also find that your hotel or B&B gives you a small paper registration slip when you check in. In the past you had to show these for every night of your trip when leaving the country; these days, the old paper system has been superseded by an online system and slips are rarely checked, but you should still keep these when given them, just in case.

Be sure to carry your passport (or at the very least a photocopy) with you when you go sightseeing in Uzbekistan. Police have the right to inspect your passport on demand, and you’ll likely need to show it at checkpoints on any long-distance trip. Keep a photocopy to hand to avoid having to dig through your money belt in public.

8. Don’t bother with the black market when changing money

Changing money is relatively straightforward in Uzbekistan these days. You’ll get the same rate at banks and ATMs as you do from shady bazaar money changers, so there’s little reason to change money through unofficial channels.

Credit and debit cards (especially Visa) are accepted by most accommodation and upmarket souvenir stalls. ATMs in major cities accept foreign cards, but stock up on Uzbek som (the local currency) if you are headed into the countryside.

Uzbek bills now come in denominations up to 100,000 som , so you won’t have to carry around the brick-sized wads of cash that were the norm just a few years ago. It’s always a good idea to have a stash of small denomination bills in Euros or US dollars for an emergency or a border crossing.

Two tourists sitting having tea at East Islam City Center Square in Uzbekistan

9. Brush up on your chaikhana etiquette

Chai (tea) is Central Asia’s social lubricant, so it helps to know the local tea etiquette. Look like an expert in the local chaikhana (teahouse) by pouring the first two bowls of tea back into the pot before drinking, to help it brew. Choose from Russian-style kara (black) or Asian-style kok (green) chai.

10. Body Language

Uzbeks are big hand-shakers, so be sure to shake the hands of any men you come into contact with, especially elders (known as aksakal in Central Asia). Another particularly graceful gesture used by Uzbeks and Tajiks is to place your hand on your heart when meeting someone. When meeting women, a slight bow is the norm, in place of a handshake.

At the end of a meal, Uzbeks and Tajiks generally place their hands in front of their face in a cupped prayer gesture and run them lightly over their face to give thanks for the meal. Following suit will earn you respect for understanding and following Uzbek customs.

11. Haggle, but don’t push things too far

Haggling over things like the price of taxis and buying produce at markets is common in Uzbekistan, but prices are not vastly overinflated, so only expect a modest discount. Aggressive haggling is not appreciated – keep things light-hearted and friendly. You may also be able to bargain for a discount on accommodation prices outside the high season.

12. Bazaars are your friend if you’re vegetarian

Food in Uzbekistan is quite meat-heavy, focused on the four staples of shashlik (lamb kebabs), plov (pilau rice), shurpa (stew) and laghman (noodles) – all sometimes featuring more fat than visitors may be used to. But there are almost always some vegetarian options, including plenty of Russian-influenced salads, so don’t be afraid to ask for a meat-free meal.

For food on the hoof, Uzbekistan’s bazaars are good places to stock up on dried fruits and nuts, fresh fruit (Uzbek melons and peaches are legendary), spicy Korean salads, jars of mountain honey and freshly cooked non (naan) bread.

Aerial view down towards the famous Kalyan Poi Kalon Complex and Poi Kalon Minaret, Poi Kalan or Po-i-Kalyan and Mir Arab Madrasah (right side) in the center of the old town of Bukhara

13. Uzbekistan is generally safe

Uzbekistan is generally a very safe country for tourists. Despite sharing a border with Afghanistan, there is little religious extremism and crime against foreigners is rare. As in big cities anywhere, watch out for pickpockets on crowded city buses and bazaars in hubs such as Tashkent; tourist police frequent the more popular tourist sights.

14. Women travelers face few problems

Uzbekistan is a Muslim country, but people are very relaxed. There aren’t many things to worry about when it comes to clothing, and women travelers will have few problems traveling solo here. Short skirts, tank tops and yoga pants are best avoided, and you may want to cover your arms and legs when visiting the conservative Fergana Valley . Bring a headscarf to cover your hair when entering active mosques.

15. Health Issues

The most common complaints amongst visitors are heat exhaustion in summer and the occasional dodgy tummy after eating too much oily plov or shashlik. Wash your hands, avoid the tap water, and wash all fruit and salads before eating and you should be fine.

16. Get more from the sights

We have a couple of bonus tips. Be sure to return to the exteriors of the main architectural sights in Samarkand at night, as most are spectacularly lit up. Also, when planning your itinerary, avoid visiting Tashkent on a Monday, when most of the museums are closed.

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Places to Visit in Uzbekistan

  • Places To Visit

Tourist Places to Visit in Uzbekistan

Here is the list of best places to visit in uzbekistan:.

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Shahrisabz happens to be a city in Qashqadaryo in southern Uzbekistan about 80 km to the south of Samarkand. As per history, the city is known as Kesh or Kish and it was one of the major cities of Central Asia as well as the urban centre of Sogdiana which was the province of Achaemenid Empire of Persia. The city is very much famous for being the birthplace of Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur. Shahrisabz happens to be one of the beautiful places to visit in Uzbekistan that is adorned with pristine landscapes and age old architectural marvels with beautiful intricate designs. You will surely fall in love with the heritage sites. Shahrisabz is home to some of the architectural marvels and tourist places like the famous Palace Complex of Ak-Saray, Dorut Tilovat, statue of Amir Timur, crypt of Tamerlan, and Dor Us-Siyodat. While on a trip to Shahrisabz, you can capture the glimpse of the beautiful construction  of Ak-Saray Palace, explore the relics of the past era at Amir Timur Museum, enjoy your time at the peaceful courtyard shaded by trees of Dor-Us Siyadat Complex. The summer season of Shahrisabz is hot, arid and clear however the winters are very cold, dry, and partly cloudy. The average temperature of these places remains in the range of 32 - 95 degree celsius.

Karakalpakstan

1617612353 karakalpakstan

Karakalpakstan which is also known as the Republic of Karakalpakstan happens to be an autonomous republic that is located to the northwestern end of Uzbekistan. The capital city of this region is Nukus. The territory of this region covers the land of Khwarezm. Karakalpakstan is one of the enchanting cities of Uzbekistan that is packed with pristine landscapes and enthralling architectural marvels that display the intricate artworks of the bygone era. During your trip to Karakalpakstan, you will be marvelling at Savitsky Museum which is known for its remarkable art collections, unexpectedly modern and hip place Cinnamon Cafe, ruins of the beached ships close to the  Aral Sea memorial, Karakalpak State Museum of Regional Studies which is home to some of the ethnographic and jewellery displays, and Moynaq Museum which stores  interesting photos and paintings of the area. Explore the remarkable art collections in the former Soviet Union at Savitsky Museum, sip some real coffee and a tempting array of cakes and home-made gelato at Cinnamon Cafe, and explore the underground vault of the Mausoleum of Mazlum Khan Slu at Mizdakhan Necropolis. Karakalpakstan happens to be one of the coldest regions in Uzbekistan that has an average daily high temperature of 20 degree celsius. The climate of this place is basically cold and wet and it corresponds to most Central European Weather.

1617611435 khiva

Khiva which is also known as Kheeva, Khwarizm, Khoresm, Khorasam, Khwarzam, and Chorezm in the past is a city in the Xorazm region. The city is believed to have been established about 1500 years in the past. The city has served as the capital of Khwarezmia. Khiva was the very first place in Uzbekistan to be included in the world heritage site by UNESCO because of its architectural beauty and rich heritage. The city flaunts some of its heritage constructions that are fashioned with the best ever artworks. The popular attractions of Khiva are Itchan Kala GatesKhiva Gates in Uzbekistan known for its oriental atmosphere, Kunya Ark which is home to mosque, Arsenal, harem along with a royal residence, and Blue Minaret which is known for its colorful tiles. During your stay in Khiva, you can walk on top of the Northwestern Wall, capture the beautiful view over Khiva from the watchtower, witness the blue and green tile decorations  of Kalta Minor Minaret, and appreciate the beauty of Juma mosque. Khiva happens to be located at an elevation of 98 meters above the sea level. It has got a desert type climate with no rainfall during the year. The climatic condition of Khiva is classified at BWk by the Kopper Geiger classification system. The average annual temperature is recorded to be 14.9 degree celsius and the annual rainfall is about 103 mm.

1620762894 shutterstock 1328975858

Kokand happens to be a city in the Fergana Region that is located in Eastern Uzbekistan. The city is situated about 228 km southeast of Tashkent, 88 km west from Fergana, and 115 km west of Andijan. The name of the city derives from the well known tribal family group of Kokan which belong to the Kongrat tribe of Uzbeks. Popularly known as the city of winds, Kokand is a beautiful place that is popular for its colorful architectural marvels. Tourists love to capture the scenic moments in their cameras so that they can cherish all through their life. The popular tourist attractions of Kokand are Chimgan popular for its ecotourism, Alisher Navoi Grand Theatre which is popular for its operas and ballet theatres, The State Museum of the Timurids History which stores a wide range of relics of the past, and The Ak-Saray Palace in Shakhrisabz which happens to be a grandiose monument of the Medieval era. While heading out on a trip to Kokand, you can think of spending time exploring some of the age old museums and boutiques, relishing a delicious meal, hangouting in cafes, taking in a show at a theatres, walking hand in hand with your partner along the streets. You can also choose to visit some of the art galleries to capture the beautiful portraits made by local artists. The climate of Kokand is hot and humid. It is one such city of Uzbekistan which experience all the climate changes ie. monsoon, winter, and summer. The average annual rainfall is recorded at 300 mm - 900 mm and the average temperatures remain in the range of 40 - 22 degree celsius.

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Bukhara is the 5th largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of the Bukhara Region. This place has been inhabited for more than five millenium and the city has been existing for more than half of it. It has served as a centre of trade, religion, culture and scholarships in the bygone era. It has also served as the capital of the Samanid Empire. Bukhara City is one of the most beautiful cities in Uzbekistan because of its arches and cupolas that take you back in the timeline to witness age old art and architecture. Bukhara can be considered as an architectural mirror of the past. Some of the popular places in Burkha are Ark Fortress which was a military fort and the symbol of the state’s power, Poi Kalon Ensemble which is famed for its blue cupola of the Madrasah, and Ismail Samani Mausoleum which is one of the few marvels left out of the rich Persian Samanid dynasty. You can stroll around the city and marvel at its architectural legacy of the city which is home to more than 140 beautiful monuments. Tourists can marvel at the architectural complex in Bukhara, Khoja Gaukushan Complex, explore the beautiful and reflect daily scenes of Uzbek life at Bukhara photo gallery, and shop souvenirs at the covered bazaars. The city of Bukhara can be considered as an epitome of beautiful architectural marvels. It is home to more than 140 architectural marvels which stand tall as the testimony for the intricate design styles. UNESCO has also listed the city as a world heritage site because of its beautiful mosques. Bukhara has a Central Asian Coll Arid type climate. As per the Koppen Geiger classification, the climate of Bukhara is classified into BWk. The maximum average temperature is 37.2b degree celsius in the month of July and 6.6 degree celsius in the month of January. The annual precipitation is recorded at 135 millimeters.

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Termez happens to be a city in the southernmost part of Uzbekistan that is located close to the Hairatan Border crossing of Afghanistan. It is the capital of Surxondaryo Region. It is believed to be founded more than 2500 years in the past. Termez is very much popular for its amazing brick works and pristine Buddhist monasteries adorned with colorful deities and prayer flags. The most sought after attractions in Termez are Al Hakim At-Termizi Mausoleum, Fayaz-Tepa, Fortress Kirk Kiz, Friendship Bridge, Jarkurgan Minaret, Karatepa, Kokildor-Ota Khanaka, Stupa Zurmala, and Sultan Saodat Ensemble. During your stay in Termez, you can Visit Fayaz-Tepe Buddhist Monastery, Dine at Rich Restaurant, Visit Sultan Saodat Complex, Eat at Restaurant Dubai, Go on a Samosas Tour, Visit Surxon Ipagi Silk Factory, See the Silk Road Gate, and Enjoy a Soviet Breakfast at Café Bistro. Termez is located at an elevation of 302 m above the sea level. It has got a cold desert type climate that is very hot, long summer and short, cool winters. As per the Koppen Geiger classification, the climate of the city is classified as BWk.

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Andijan happens to be a city in Uzbekistan that serves as the administrative, cultural and economic centre of the region. Located in the south eastern edge of Fergana Valley close to the border with Kyrgyzstan. It is one of the oldest cities in the Fergana Valley and it dates back to almost the 7th and 8th centuries. It is widely famous for being the birthplace of Babur, a mighty Mughal Emperor. Andijan is very much famous for its beautiful architectural marvels that are adorned with intricate design elements of the bygone era. You will also get to witness some wonderful scenic beauty as well. Some of the popular attractions of Andijan are Jami Madrasa which is a popular religious school and Ruins of the fortress Ershi which housed the capital of the ancient state of Davan. During your stay at Andijan, you can think of exploring the Garden of Winds, go spices and the souvenir shopping at the Local Bazaar, learn more about the Andijan local culture at Juma Mosque, stroll along the collection of art and history at Babur Museum, and witness the work of art and splash of colors at Babur Memorial Park. The city has got a cold semi arid type climate. It experiences cold winters and hot summers and midler winters. The precipitation in this area is a bit light and erratic.

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1617611589 tashkent

Tashkent is one of the largest cities as well as the capital of Uzbekistan. It is also one of the most populous cities of Uzbekistan. It is located in Northeastern Uzbekistan close to the border with Kazakhstan. The city has got a islamic influence and you will find prevailing Sogdian and Turkic cultures. It has been one of the important parts of the famous silk route and has witnessed a major growth. Tashkent is a beautiful city with a decorative heritage. It is home to extremely wide avenues and the centre of cultural tradition. You will come across beautiful architectural marvels that not only have great heritages but also have got beautiful designs. Some of the must visit tourist places of Tashkent are Chorsu Bazaar which is well known for handicraft shopping, massive, old-fashioned Hotel Uzbekistan, and Central Asian Plov Center which offers delicious meals. During your stopover at Tashkent, you can eat at Minor Somsa, visit the Khazrati Imam Complex, tour Chorsu Bazaar to purchase souvenirs for your loved ones. If you wish to explore the history of Tashkent, you can visit Amir Timur Square and admire the Hotel Uzbekistan. Tourists can also visit Minor Mosque to capture the glimpses of the scenic mosaic works, and dine at Lagman House which is popular for its wide range of cuisines. Tashkent has got a mediterranean climate with a humid continental climate. The city experiences cold and snowy winters and hot and dry summers. It receives a peak of precipitation in the early winters as well as in the spring season. The climate of the city remains hot for most of the time of the year and receives very little precipitation in the form of snow.

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Samarkand is located in Southeastern Uzbekistan. It is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia that was inhabited. As per the records, human activities have been found in these places from the late Paleolithic Era. The city is believed to be founded in between 7th and 8th century BC. It lies on the ancient silk road that connects China and Mediterranean sea and was one of the largest settlements of Central Asia. Samarkand happens to be the home of contemporary Uzbek culture. With beautiful historical monuments and holy places, the city is very much popular among the pilgrims and architecture lovers. You will get to enjoy some of the best architectural marvels here.Samarkand is home to some of the beautiful tourist attractions like Registan which is popular for its beautiful madrassah that dates back to the 15th and 17th century and Gur-e-amir Mausoleum which is considered to be the architectural model of Taj Mahal in India. While visitng Hovrenko’s wine factory lets you taste some exotic spirits, the Tomb Of The Prophet Daniel is famous for its impressive 18 meter long sarcophagus. While on a trip to Samarkand, you can explore the masterpieces of ancient architecture, impeccably glittering minarets, sparkling turquoise domes and hypnotic mosaic. You can stroll along the narrow avenues witnessing blue tombs and various spectacular mausoleums. Samarkand has got a Mediterranean Climate which means you will find hot, dry summers and wet, variable winters. The hottest months of the year are July and August whereas the coldest month is January. The average summer temperature is recorded at 40 degree celsius while the winter temperature can drop till -22 degree celsius.

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Urgench is a city located in western Uzbekistan and is the capital of Khorezm Regions. The city is about 45 km west of Bukhara which is across the Kyzylkum Desert. Urgench is famous for its orchards and serene landscapes. During your visit, you will not only be able to witness the architectural marvels and age old heritage sites, but you will also be able to take a tour of the agricultural lands of cotton and rice. Some of the popular tourist places of Urgench are Statue of Muhammed al-Khwarizmi who was a mathematician known especially in Algebra, Itchan Kala a World Heritage site by UNESCO, and Of Note which was constructed in remembrance of the twenty Komsomol members. While on a tour of Urgench, you can offer prayers at the Bibi Khanym Mosque, explore the heritage monument of Statue of Amir Timur, marvel at the beautiful Shah-i-Zinda, and head out on beautiful countryside tours with your loved ones. Located at an elevation of about 101 meters above the sea level, it has a desert type climate. There is absolutely no rainfall in this place all through the year. As per the Koppen Geiger classification, the climate of the city is classified as BWk. The average annual temperature of this place is recorded to be 14.5 degree celsius and the rainfall recorded is about 103 mm.

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Nukus is the 6th largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital city of the Republic of Karakalpakstan which is an autonomous city. The city of Nukus is very much popular for being the centre of the world class Nukus museum of Art. Nukus is very famed for its countryside environment and old fortresses. During your visit to the city, you will be heading out on various exploration tours to witness the intricate art of the artisans of the bygone era. Some of the popular tourist places to visit in Nukus are Qaur Qala Fortress which is popular for its beautiful location on top of the hill, Moynaq & Aral Sea which is a popular ship cemetery, Karakalpak Homestay known for its traditional Karakalpak culture, and Mizda Khan Necropolis which happens to be an  active place of worship. Capture the glimpse of some Russian avant garde paintings at Savitsky Art Museum, try local delicacies like samsa, kymyz and kurut at the bazaars, walk along the amu darya river, explore the ultimate collection on traditional Karakalpak culture at Karakalpak Homestay, and find some architectural marvels that date back to the soviet era. Nukus has a cold desert climate which is BWk as per the Koppen Geiger classification. The summer season in this place is experienced for a long period of time and the atmosphere remains dry and hot. The winters are very short, cold and snowy. The city overall experiences a dry continental type climate.

Other Attractions

Aydarkul lake.

Aydarkul Lake

Nurota Mountains

Nurota Mountains

Greater Chimgan

Greater Chimgan

Fergana Valley

Fergana Valley

Lake Charvak

Lake Charvak

Ugam Chatkal National Park

Ugam Chatkal National Park

Amir Timur Museum

Amir Timur Museum

Chorsu Bazaar

Chorsu Bazaar

Palace Of Khudayar Khan

Palace Of Khudayar Khan

Lyab I Hauz

Lyab I Hauz

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Bukhara, Uzbekistan: 18 Amazing Things to See and Do

Bukhara (also spelled Buxoro ) is the shopping mecca in Uzbekistan. You can’t enter a madrasah or walk down any of the pedestrian-friendly roads in the Old Town District without seeing the amazing hand-woven textiles that Uzbekistan is famous for. If you want to pick up a few Uzbek souvenirs during your trip, Bukhara is the place to do it!

Aside from shopping, Bukhara is also full of gorgeous mosques and madrasahs that have been expertly restored. There are 140 protected buildings to be exact. The architecture here isn’t as flashy as it is in Samarkand , but the city of Bukhara has more history. It was a prominent stop on the Silk Road trade route and a major center for Islamic theology and culture.

You’ll love getting lost in the alleyways and trading domes of the busy, bustling city of Bukhara!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).

Bukhara Travel Basics

Know before you go.

  • The currency of Uzbekistan is the Uzbekistani Soʻm (UZS). At the time of writing, the conversion was 8,450 UZS to $1 USD. In this post, we’ll be referring to prices in Uzbekistan currency.
  • Learn a few words to get around! Most people use the standard Islamic greeting of “assalomu alaykum” (sounds like “salom allycoomb”) to say hello. It translates to “peace be with you”. And you can say either “rahmat” (Uzbek) or “spasiba” (Russian) to say “thank you”.
  • The sites in Bukhara begin to run together as they all look quite similar. Pick the top things you must see but don’t burn yourself out trying to see it all.

Getting to Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Kalyan Mosque

There are regular trains departing to Bukhara daily from Samarkand and Tashkent . From Samarkand, it will about 2.5 hours on the regular train and the price is ~80,000 UZS per person. It’s easiest to book your tickets directly at the station and you’re better off reserving a seat a few days in advance. There is also a fast train if you want to pay a bit more.

A taxi from the train station to the central tourist area of Bukhara should cost you 30,000 UZS. However, you’ll have to do a bit of negotiating as prices generally start at 50,000 UZS. If you booked a hotel in the Old Town District, you’ll be dropped off in a parking lot and will have to walk to your hotel through the pedestrian area.

Getting Around Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah

Bukhara is a very small town and the things that you’ll want to see are all concentrated in one area. So as long as your hotel is centrally located, you can walk pretty much everywhere you want to go! There are also plenty of taxis waiting right outside of the Old Town District as the alleyways surrounding the lake are pedestrian-only.

Where to Stay in Bukhara

The Best Hotels in Bukhara the Komil Bukhara Boutique Hotel

Komil Bukhara Boutique Hotel

The Komil Bukhara Boutique Hotel books out pretty far in advance so you have to plan early to get a room here. The rooms are decorated with darling, colorful, ornate fabrics, wall hangings, and furniture. The building itself is old and traditional and you’ll love how close you are to the Old Town District.

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The Best Hotels in Bukhara Uzbekistan Amelia Boutique Hotel

Amelia Boutique Hotel

Amelia Boutique Hotel also has really cute, whimsical touches in the unique rooms. The terrace is a lovely place to enjoy afternoon tea, which the helpful hotel staff is happy to bring you at any time of day. Guests love the cozy rooms, the amazing staff, and the central location of this hotel!

The Best Hotels in Bukhara Uzbekistan Amulet Hotel

Amulet Hotel

The Amulet Hotel is in an old, traditional-style stone building with gorgeous wooden accents. Traditional Uzbekistan-style tapestries cover the beds and it has charming decor touches throughout. The breakfast here is superb! This is another one you should consider booking well in advance.

Where to Eat in Bukhara

Where to Eat in Bukhara, Uzbekistan - Best Restaurants

Mavigri Restaurant is in a beautiful courtyard of a traditional building with tapestries hanging on the walls. We’d recommend ordering the #6 salad and the traditional beef soup with rice. The prices are super reasonable and the food is outstanding! Be sure to stop at the Bukhara Photo Gallery right nearby to see the beautiful photos of Uzbekistan people and sites.

The best restaurant in town for a delicious dinner in a beautiful setting is Ayvan Restaurant . You’ll need to walk into the lobby of the Lyabi House Hotel and your first thought will be “there’s no way a restaurant is in here.” But it is, through the courtyard that is off to the right. The interior of the restaurant is stunning, with intricate designs covering the walls. Definitely make a reservation as they fill up every night. And try the lamb ravioli!

Bolo Hauz is a little local joint near the Ark that serves up traditional Uzbek food like plov, lagmon, and beef and chicken shashlik (kabobs). They don’t have a menu in English so you’ll just have to tell them which of those you want and add a salad, some dip, and bread.

Where to Drink Tea & Coffee in Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Silk Road Tea House

Silk Road Tea House is a cute little spot right in the Old Town District where you can enjoy afternoon tea or coffee. For 30,000 UZS, you’ll choose your tea or coffee flavor which comes with a selection of yummy Uzbekistan sweet treats.

Cafe Ulugbek is right outside of the courtyard where the Ulugbek Madrasah and the Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah face each other. The view of both buildings from the lovely rooftop seating area is spectacular. It’s the perfect place to enjoy an early morning coffee.

Minzifa Restaurant has a rooftop terrace that has a nice view of the domed buildings below. We found the food to be bland and on the pricey side so we’d recommend having just a tea to enjoy the view, but eating elsewhere.

The Wishbone Cafe is a small German-style coffee shop inside the Tim Abdulla Khan Trading Dome. They serve sandwiches, waffles, some desserts, and a selection of coffees. The space is really lovely as you’ll be inside of the large, white-washed dome.

18 Amazing Things to See and Do in Bukhara

1. admire the chor minor.

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Chor Minor

The Chor Minor is tucked back into a neighborhood, just outside of the main tourist area of town. The name “chor-minor” translates to “four minarets” in Tajik. And those four pillars topped with vibrant blue domes are what give this structure such a unique shape.

The Chor Minor was built in 1807 by Khalif Niazkul and was part of a complex with a now destroyed madrassah. Each of the four minarets has a unique shape and design, and it is believed that a different world religion is reflected in each one. One of the pillars contains a staircase to the roof that you can climb for a fee of 4,000 UZS per person. There is also a small souvenir shop in the main room.

2. Shop in Bukhara’s Trading Domes

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Trading Domes

There is no shortage of shops in Bukhara, not only on the streets but also in most of the historical sites that you’ll be visiting. The most interesting shopping areas are the large, covered trading domes that have existed since the days of the Silk Road.

Toqi Sarrofon Bazaar, Toqi Telpak Furushon Bazaar, Tim Abdulla Khan Trading Dome, and Toqi Zargaron are the four trading domes that are still standing to this day. They are conveniently located along the popular road that leads from Lyabi Khause to the Kalyan Mosque so you’ll undoubtedly pass through them while exploring the city.

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Trading Domes

Here you’ll find the traditional suzanis which are beautifully embroidered blankets, pillowcases, and jackets. Also jewelry, hand-forged knives, ceramics, handbags, and everything in-between. But get ready to bargain, prices here are more expensive than in Tashkent or Samarkand.

3. See the Ark of Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: The Ark (Fortress)

The Ark of Bukhara is the oldest structure in Bukhara. It is a massive fortress that was constructed during the fifth century and occupied until it fell to Russia in 1920. Most of the fortress is now in ruins, but before it was bombed it housed essentially an entire city within its walls. It was home to the emirs of Bukhara and included a jail, workshops, mosques, an armory, and more.

Today those rooms have been transformed into small museums that hold various artifacts. From atop the walls that stand between 52 and 66 feet tall, you can see nice views of the city below. There are also plenty of souvenir shops in the Ark if you aren’t already shopped out.

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: The Ark (Fortress)

The outer walls of the Ark are an interesting, bulbous shape and are quite iconic in Bukhara. Be sure to snap a few photos at the base of the walls as well as from the top.

Entrance Fees: 15,000 per person

4. See the View of the Ark from the Observation Deck

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Observation Deck

If you want to get a better view of the Ark from a higher vantage point, head to the Buxoro Minorasi Majmuasi observation deck across the street! Don’t worry, you can take an elevator all the way to the top.

Entrance Fees: 40,000 per person

5. Check out the Bolo Hauz Mosque

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Bolo Hauz Mosque

The most impressive feature of the Bolo Hauz Mosque is the tall, intricately carved pillars that line the front entrance. The mosque was built in the 17th century and the entire complex includes a small pond that was used as a water reservoir and a short minaret.

Visitors will need to remove their shoes to enter the mosque, but ladies do not need to worry about covering their heads here.

6. Shop for Antiques in the Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah

Built in 1652, the Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah is directly opposite the Ulughbek Madrasah and together they form the Kosh Madrasah. The front entrance to the Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah is spectacular, with an intricately carved and painted archway. Unfortunately, the inside has essentially been converted into a souvenir market. It makes it impossible to appreciate the architecture without someone asking you to come inside their shop.

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah

Inside the front entrance is also the Museum of Wood Carving Art which houses a small collection of wood carvings. The room that houses the collection was once used as a mosque. And the Lecture Hall is now used as a shop for embroidered blankets. The courtyard is flanked on all sides by antique and souvenir shops.

Entrance Fees: 13,000 UZS per person which includes 8,000 to enter the madrasah and 5,000 for the museum. Keep your ticket, it’s good for three days.

7. Visit the Ulugbek Madrasah

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Ulugbek Madrasah

The Ulugbek Madrasah is smaller than the Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah and is currently under reconstruction. So the courtyard isn’t particularly picturesque at the moment.

There are a few small shops inside but the architecture here doesn’t compare to some of the amazing sites around Bukhara. The best view is out the front door of the Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah across the street.

Entrance Fees: Free!

8. Marvel at the Kalyan Mosque

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Kalyan Mosque

The Kalyan Mosque (also spelled Kalan or Kalon) dates back to the fifteenth century and has been beautifully preserved over the years. From the moment you descend the stairs into the central courtyard, you will be in awe of the magnificent architecture and vibrant colors. There is a large central courtyard, lined on all sides by white arched galleries that are comprised of 288 domes on 208 pillars. These hallways provide lovely views of the central courtyard.

The name Kalyan Mosque translates to “the great mosque”. It is the second-largest mosque in Uzbekistan and can hold up to 12,000 worshippers at a time.

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Kalyan Mosque

The Kalyan Mosque, Kalyan Minaret and the Mir-i-Arab Madrasah all make up the Po-i-Kalyan Complex. And from the Western end of the Kalyan Mosque, you can view the inner courtyard as well as the blue domes of the Mir-i-Arab Madrasah and the Kalyan Minaret towering above.

Entrance Fees: Free! We think. There is a front desk area that is occasionally manned by someone who appears to only be selling postcards, not selling entrance tickets, but it’s hard to tell.

9. Snap a Photo of the Kalyan Minaret

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Kalyan Minaret

The Kalyan Minaret is the central focal point of the Po-i-Kalyan Complex as it stands almost 150 feet above the ground. This is the second iteration of the minaret that is meant to summon Muslims to prayer five times a day, as the first collapsed due to the unstable ground underneath. The ground was fortified and the current minaret was completed in 1127.

The Kalyan has an interesting history as it was spared by Genghis Khan as he appreciated its beauty while he was destroying everything around it. It is also known as the “tower of death” because for several centuries criminals were executed by being tossed from the top.

Be sure to check out the Kalyan Minaret at night as well, when it is all lit up against the night sky!

10. Peek Inside the Mir-i-Arab Madrasah

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Mir-i-Arab Madrasah

The Mir-i-Arab Madrasah was constructed during the 16th century and is actually still in use to this day. Visitors can’t enter the complex as future religious leaders are receiving their education, but you can peek through the front entrance and admire the interior courtyard.

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Mir-i-Arab Madrasah (Interior Courtyard)

The shiny bright blue domes that sit on the roof are easy to spot from a distance and perfectly picturesque.

11. Have a Beer on the Lyab-i Hauz Lake

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Lyab-i Hauz

The Lyab-i Hauz is a small, man-made lake that sits directly in the center of the Old Town District. This area is buzzing with activity all day as it is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and madrasahs.

The best time to enjoy the lake is around sunset, at one of the outdoor tables on the edge of the water. You can order a draft beer from the Lyabi Hauz Restaurant and people watch as the sun goes down.

The lake is surrounded by beautiful buildings. The Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah is the most impressive and it’s listed below. The Kukaldosh Madrasah is across the street.

There are a few oddball shops inside but the madrasah has fallen into disrepair. However, it is one of the few in Uzbekistan that allows you to climb to the second floor. And the Museum of “Old Varakhsha and Ceramic” is inside the Nadir Divanbegi Khanaka which you can tour for 5,000 UZS per person.

12. Shop in the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah

The Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah is a large structure adorned with tiles in the shape of peacocks, right on the Lyab-i Hauz Lake. It’s free to enter and is filled with souvenir shops on all sides. The middle of the courtyard has dozens of tables that are used for the evening concert.

The concert starts at 5 pm and tickets are 35,000 UZS per person, or 85,000 UZS if you want to add dinner. Tickets are available to purchase beginning 15 minutes before the show starts.

13. Bathe in an Ancient Hammam

After a long day spent wandering around Bukhara, treat yourself to a relaxing massage and a scrub at a traditional hammam. Both men and women can visit the Hamman Bozori Kord , one of the oldest working hammams in the world. You can enjoy the steam room and the self-service bath area, and then a traditional massage. It’s a great way to warm up on cold, rainy evenings in Bukhara!

Off-The-Beaten-Path Sites in Bukhara

Looking for less touristy activities in Bukhara? The following sites aren’t necessarily “must-see”, but they are far less crowded than the ones above and are good to check out if you have some extra time.

14. Buy Fresh Fruit at the Kolkhoznyy Rynok

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Kolkhoznyy Rynok Market

If you’re sick of the touristy trading domes of Bukhara and want to get a feel for the local markets, head to the Kolkhoznyy Rynok. Here you’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, meats, spices, and very few other tourists. It’s a good place to pick up some snacks for your next train ride.

15. Visit the Memorial Complex of Imam al-Bukhari

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Imam al-Bukhari Memorial

The museum isn’t nearly as interesting as the building itself but it’s worth admiring the view from the outside.

Entrance Fees : 5,000 per person

16. Check out the Museum of the History of Bukhara Water Supply

Directly across from the Memorial Complex is the Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum which now houses the Museum of the History of Bukhara Water Supply. You’ll learn about how the water supply in Bukhara has evolved over the centuries.

Entrance Fees : 10,000 per person

17. Snap a Photo of the Mavzoley Samanidov Mausoleum

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - The Best Things to See & Do: Mavzoley Samanidov Mausoleum

Located in a park just outside of the touristy area of Bukhara, the Mavzoley Samanidov Mausoleum (also known as the Samanid Mausoleum) provides a bit of solitude from the crowds. It is said to be the tomb of Ismail Samani as well as a few other members of the Samanid dynasty.

The Samanid Mausoleum was built between 892 and 943 CE and was spared the wrath of Genghis Khan as it had been buried in mud. It was rediscovered in 1934.

There’s no real need to pay the entrance fee to go inside. It’s a very small space and it’s easy to simply peek at the entrance. The best place to admire the mausoleum is from across the pond.

Entrance Fees: 5,000 per person

18. Visit the Museum of the History of Carpet Weaving

The Museum of the History of Carpet Weaving is inside the Magoki Attori Mosque. It’s a lovely collection of old rugs with some signs explaining the history of carpet weaving. The building is small but beautiful and for the small entrance fee, it’s worth spending 10 minutes inside.

Entrance Fees: 10,000 per person to enter, 10,000 to take photos, 20,000 to take video

Need more help planning your trip to Uzbekistan? Check out our favorite travel guides!

Uzbekistan Travel Guide by Bradt

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About the Author:

Valerie Wheatley

Val grew up in Portland, Oregon but moved to Oahu on a whim back in 2013. She sold her house and all of her belongings and bought a one-way ticket. Since then she’s taken two around-the-world trips and has visited 60-ish countries while living out of a duffel bag. Val started documenting the Wandering Wheatleys travels back in 2013 as a way to update friends and family about her whereabouts and to relay humorous daily interactions. The only readers were her mom and her mother-in-law but that didn’t stop her! These days you’ll find Val dreaming up future trips, creating new travel content, managing a team of amazing travel enthusiasts, and chasing around her two adorable but naughty kids.

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1 thought on “bukhara, uzbekistan: 18 amazing things to see and do”.

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

I recently traveled to Uzbekistan and enjoyed 3 days in Bukhara, Everything in this article was exactly as the writers described…but even better. The markets, the mausoleums, the large city park…with an amusement park AND an ancient mausoleum AND a decrepit zoo tucked inside it, the mosques, the madrassahs. Bukhara is an amazing city. Easy to walk around. Friendly people. Many restaurant options…especially if you like the local cuisine. The ‘new’ city outside the old city is also worth a visit, with many new shops and restaurants that show the very modern side of Uzbekistan. While not quite easy to get to, this is a city worth the time and effort it takes to get there. Beauty at every turn!

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Journal of Nomads

The 15 Best Things to do in Tashkent Uzbekistan – Tashkent City Guide

Tashkent will be very likely the first city you’ll arrive in when you travel to Uzbekistan. What are the best places to see in Tashkent Uzbekistan? Read this travel guide to have a wonderful stay in Tashkent city!

Uzbekistan’s modern capital Tashkent lives a bit in the shadows of the more attractive-looking Silk Road cities Samarkand ,  Bukhara  and  Khiva . 

It’s a shame because Tashkent is a really nice destination to visit and spend some time if you know where to go.

Tashkent city can be seen as an introduction to the stunning Islamic architecture – probably the reason why you’re going to travel to Uzbekistan – as it has some beautiful historical sites.  It’s also a very modern city with many parks and fountains, beautiful statues, nice cafes, and great restaurants.

How to get from Almaty to Tashkent - Journal of Nomads

Tashkent city is a fantastic base from which to explore the rest of Uzbekistan.  It’s very easy to take buses or trains from Tashkent to all the other interesting destinations around the country.

You’ll very likely begin and end your trip to Uzbekistan here as it’s home to the country’s international airport. If you prefer to travel overland, it’s also very straightforward to travel from Almaty (Kazakhstan),   Bishkek   (Kyrgyzstan) or Osh (Kyrgyzstan) to Tashkent by bus or train. 

It’ll also be a nice place to hang out at the end of your travels in Uzbekistan because trust me, after spending days and/or weeks of staring intensely at radiant colors and interlaced patterns of architectural masterpieces, you’ll be feeling a little “ tiled-out” !

Tip: See my  Uzbekistan Travel Page  for a complete overview of all my travel guides and blog posts about Uzbekistan!

Uzbekistan Travel Guide - Traveling to Uzbekistan - Journal of Nomads

The 26 most beautiful and best places to visit in Uzbekistan

What to see in Tashkent Uzbekistan

Disclaimer: This posts might contain affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission. Thank you for helping to support this website!

Plan your trip to Uzbekistan

  • 18 important things to prepare your trip to Uzbekistan
  • 26 beautiful places to visit in Uzbekistan
  • Uzbekistan Itineraries: 1 to 4 weeks in Uzbekistan
  • How to travel aroun d Uzbekistan by train
  • What to pack for Uzbekistan
  • Uzbekistan Safety Guide
  • Uzbekistan Money Guide
  • Tours & Experiences: Guided City Tours in Uzbekistan, Adventure Tours in Uzbekistan

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Tashkent City – Things you need to know before you go

Tashkent is the economic and cultural center of Uzbekistan and one of the wealthiest cities in Central Asia. It used to be the most populated city of ex-Soviet Central Asia and the 4th largest city of the Soviet Union. 

It’s very easy and cheap to get around Tashkent by metro. It only costs $0.15, there are metro stations near all the must-see places to visit in Tashkent and one of the top things to do in Tashkent is riding its metro as the city has some of the most beautiful metro stations in the world! 

Taking the metro in Tashkent - Journal of Nomads

Another way to get around Tashkent is by taxi. Install the Yandex Taxi app on your phone to easily order a taxi and see the rate in advance. This saves you the hustle of bargaining or the risk of paying triple the standard rate.

Tashkent is also a very clean and green city filled with Soviet, Islamic and modern-day architecture. It’s really not as conservative as you might think and I was even surprised to see young women walking around in cute little dresses.

This doesn’t mean you can start wearing tank tops and shorts that barely cover your bum but you also don’t need to cover yourself completely. 

How to dress in Tashkent Uzbekistan

Tashkent has many banks where you exchange your money for Uzbekistani Som (UZS). There are also ATMs in the city where you can withdraw Uzbekistani Soms or US Dollars.

The best time to visit Tashkent (and Uzbekistan) is during spring (April – May) and fall (October – November). The weather during those seasons is very pleasant and the temperatures are usually around 20°C (68°F). 

Summers in Tashkent (July-August) are dry and hot with average temperatures of 35°C (95°F). Once the sun has set though, it’s nice to walk around the parks and boulevards as this is the time when the city and its inhabitants come to life. 

Winter in Tashkent can also be a nice time if you want to see the city covered in snow. The average temperature during the winter is usually around 5°C (41°F).

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Is Tashkent safe for tourists?

The capital of Uzbekistan is very safe for travelers and it has even become safer now that the government introduced a ‘tourist police’. You’ll find their boots in every tourist destination in Uzbekistan.

Is it safe to travel to Uzbekistan - Tourist Police Uzbekistan - Journal of Nomads

So in case you’d ever feel uncomfortable or in danger – which I highly doubt – just go to one of those touristic police stands and they will help you.

When I traveled for the first time to Tashkent in 2017, I was a bit worried about my safety. 

I was a woman traveling alone, I didn’t know many people who had been there before, and the country was a bit of a mystery to me.

Solo female travel Uzbekistan - traveling as a woman alone in Uzbekistan

Whether you’re a solo traveler or not, you shouldn’t worry too much about your safety in Uzbekistan and in Tashkent.

The Uzbeks are very friendly and have no bad intentions whatsoever. If they see you’re lost or you’re in need of help, they’ll kindly approach you and offer you their help.

When I traveled for the second time to Tashkent with my friend, we had a bit of an awkward situation in the metro.

A group of young guys surrounded us and our first instinct was to walk away as we thought they might want to rob us. But they were students and just wanted to have a chat so they could practice their English with us!

There might be cases of petty crime such as pickpockets, especially in crowded places and in the bazaars of Tashkent, but they don’t happen often. Just always keep your valuables in a safe place, no matter where you are in the world.

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What I recommend to avoid being pickpocketed is to always keep your wallet in your front pocket or carry a money belt . Another great option is to travel with a slash-resistant and lockable anti-theft bag .

I would also recommend getting good travel insurance that covers theft .

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The 3 most budget-friendly travel insurance companies compared!

Need Travel Insurance for Central Asia ? I use and highly recommend HeyMondo Travel Insurance . As a reader of Journal of Nomads, you get a 5% discount off your insurance plan!

The 15 Best Things to do in Tashkent Uzbekistan - Tashkent City Guide

15 places to visit and top things to do in Tashkent in one day

While Tashkent is a nice place to relax and do some sightseeing for a couple of days, you might not have much time on your trip around the country.

That’s why I made a 1-day itinerary for Tashkent so that even if you only have one day to spare in Uzbekistan’s capital city, you won’t miss out on the highlights and main tourist attractions in Tashkent. I would also recommend going on a guided city tour in Tashkent as you’ll learn so much more about the history and importance of Uzbekistan’s capital.

If you follow the map below, you’ll have an enjoyable time and you’ll also find out what Tashkent is famous for!

Tashkent Tourist Places – Map

I marked the places and attractions on the map below. You can open this map on your phone and also quickly find your way to and from the nearest metro stations.

1. See the world’s oldest Koran at the Hazrat Imam Complex

The Hazrat Imam Complex , also known as the Hast-Imam Ensemble or Khast Imam, is the religious heart of Tashkent. It’s the perfect place to start your Tashkent sightseeing trip.

While you walk around the complex, you’ll see some beautiful architectural monuments, such as the Barak Khan Madrasah, the Tilla Sheikh Mosque and the mausoleum of Saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi. 

Hazrat Imam Complex Tourist Places to visit Tashkent Uzbekistan

They are a nice introduction to the impressive Islamic architecture that you’ll find in other Uzbek cities like Bukhara . You can freely enter the courtyard of the Barak Khan Madrasah.

Barak Khan Madrasah - Hazrat Imam Complex - places to visit Tashkent- Uzbekistan - Journal of Nomads

Barak Khan Madrasah

Hazrat Imam is also home to the Muyi Mubarak Library, a library with oriental manuscripts and the Uthman Koran, which is claimed to be the world’s oldest Koran. The entrance fee to visit this library is  30,000 UZS (around €3/ US$3). 

Muyi Mubarak Library in Hazrat Imam Complex - Tashkent sightseeing - Journal of Nomads

How to get to Hazrat Imam Complex

Get out at the Gafur Gulom Metro Station . Follow Abdulla Qodiriy Street to the left and turn into Qorasaroy Street (see map).

The Hazrat Imam Complex is a 10-minute walk from the metro station and on your way there, you’ll get a glimpse of the old town of Tashkent. 

2. Shop at Chorsu Bazaar

The Chorsu Bazaar is Uzbekistan’s largest market where locals can buy anything from raw food products, fresh fruits and veggies, honey and spices to clothing, jewelry, beauty products and more. You can find everything here!

Chorsu Bazaar - places of interest in Tashkent

The central part of the bazaar is covered by an impressive blue dome but you’ll also find many outdoor food, textile and household stalls in the surrounding streets and alleys. It seems like this market just goes on forever!

Chorsu Bazaar Tashkent attractions Uzbekistan

Even if you don’t want to buy anything, the Chorsu Bazaar is an ideal place to do some people-watching and observe the cultural blend Tashkent is famous for. 

Shopping at Chorsu Bazaar, top things to do in Tashkent Uzbekistan

How to get to Chorsu Bazaar

The moment you walk out of Chorsu metro station , you’ll be in the midst of bread and cheap Chinese products stalls. You’ll also quickly see the blue dome.

If you’re coming from the Hazrat Imam Complex, walk back to Abdulla Qodiriy Street and go right at the intersection. Follow the road towards Zakaynar Street (see Tashkent Tourist Places map above).

It’s about 15 minutes walking from Hazrat Imam to the Chorsu Bazaar.

3. Visit the Kukeldash Madrasah and the Dzuma Mosque

The Kukeldash Madrasah is the largest madrasah and one of the most famous historical places in Tashkent.

While Kukeldash is not as impressive as the three madrasahs surrounding Registan Square in Samarkand , the building still is a beautiful example of Islamic architecture and worth a quick visit.

Tashkent's famous Kukeldash madrasah - Uzbekistan

Kukeldash was originally an educational institution (madrasah means ‘school’ or ‘college’ for Islamic education) but over the centuries the building has been used as a caravanserai for merchants, a fortress of the Kokand rulers and even as a place of execution.

The Madrasah survived several earthquakes and has repeatedly been repaired and restored. Today Kukeldash functions again as a spiritual institution.

You can enter the courtyard of the madrasah where you’ll find a small wood carving workshop. The entrance fee to the courtyard is 10000 UZS .

Kukeldash Madrasah - beautiful places Tashkent Uzbekistan

The Dzuma Mosque is right next to the Kukeldash Madrasah and worth a quick stop to admire the architecture.

Dzuma Mosque - Tashkent tourist places of interest

How to get to Kukeldash Madrasah and Dzuma Mosque

Kukeldash Madrasah and Dzuma Mosque are right outside the Chorsu Bazaar and the Chorsu Metro . Just walk between the outdoor stalls in the direction of Beruniy Street (see the Tashkent Tourist Places Map above). 

4. Admire the Minor Mosque

Minor Mosque is a striking new mosque in Tashkent. It was built in 2014 on the banks of the Ankhor Canal.

Minor Mosque Tashkent Things to do in Tashkent - Tashkent City Guide

Locals call it the “Snow Mosque” because it’s completely made of white marble. It’s particularly beautiful when the sun rays hit its walls, making the mosque sparkle and shine. 

Minor Mosque Tashkent Things to do in Tashkent - Tashkent City Guide

How to get to Minor Mosque

Take the metro (at Chorsu metro station if you’re following this itinerary) and get out at Bodomzor Station . Walk along Amir Temur Avenue until you reach the intersection with Kichik Halqa Ring Road.

Turn right and keep walking along Little Ring Road until you reach Minor Mosque. It’s about 15 minutes walking from Bodomzor metro station.

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5. Climb the Tashkent TV Tower

The Tashkent Tower is at its 375 meters, the 11th tallest tower in the world. You can take the elevator to the 6th floor and enjoy the panoramic views over the city from the observation deck.

There’s also a restaurant on the 7th floor where you can have a beer and/or enjoy a meal at a reasonable price. 

The entrance fee to go to the observation deck is  40,000 UZS . You’ll also need your passport to go up the tower. The Tashkent Tower is open daily from 10 am until 8 pm. 

It could be a nice spot to return in the evening and see how the sun sets over the city’s skyline.

Tashkent TV-Tower - Things to do in Tashkent - Tashkent City Guide

How to get to Tashkent TV Tower

Get out at  Bodomzor Station   and walk along Amir Timur Avenue in the direction of “Tashkent Land”. The Tashkent TV Tower is a 5-minute walk from the metro station.

6. Visit the Memorial to the Victims of Repression and the surrounding park

  I really enjoyed spending some time near the Memorial to the Victims of Repression and the park surrounding it.

Memorial to the Victims of Repression Tashkent Things to do

The memorial itself is a large gazebo-shaped structure with a blue dome.

Memorial to the Victims of Repression Tashkent Monuments

The museum of the Victims of Political Repression is also a beautiful building but the story behind it is a bit sad.

Museum of the Victims of Repression Tashkent Musea Uzbekistan

The museum is dedicated to the people who fought for the independence of Uzbekistan during the Soviet Union time and who were killed by the government. Inside you can find photographs, documents and personal belongings of those killed.

If this sounds a bit too heavy, just stroll around the complex and enjoy the peace and quiet of the park near the river bank.

What to see in Tashkent -Museum of the Victims of Repression Tashkent Uzbekistan Mus

How to get to the Memorial to the Victims of Repression

The museum and Memorial to the Victims of Repression are across the Tashkent TV Tower. You have to cross Amir Timur Avenue to reach it.

7. Have lunch at Besh Qalan, the Central Asian Plov Center

Plov is the most famous Central Asian dish. This traditional Uzbek dish consists of rice fried with raisins, carrots, and spices with meat on top of it. It’s usually cooked in lamb fat and served with pieces of lamb meat. 

Where to eat in Tashkent - Plov Uzbekistan

You can find this dish anywhere in Uzbekistan and Central Asia but Besh Qozon claims to have the best Plov of the whole region.

What is really cool about this Plov Center is that you can see how the plov is made in huge pots that can serve hundreds of people!

Uzbekistan tradtional dish Plov - Central Asian Plov Center Tashkent

Eating plov at the Central Asian Plov Center is an activity you can’t skip while in Tashkent!

For about 25000 UZS ($2.50) you get a big bowl of plov, freshly baked bread, pickled veggies, and lemon tea. Keep in mind that the Plov center closes at 2 pm . 

How to get to the Central Asian Plov Center

The Central Asian Plov Center is located across the Memorial to the Victims of Repression and next to the Tashkent TV Tower. The nearest metro station is  Bodomzor .

8. Ride the metro

Another top thing to do in Tashkent is to ride its metro. It’s the perfect activity to do in the early afternoon during the summer when it’s scorching hot outside as the metro has air conditioning. 

Things to do in Tashkent - taking the beautiful metros in Tashkent - Journal of Nomads

Tashkent has some of the most beautiful metro stations in the world! Visiting Tashkent’s subway was one of the most memorable highlights of my time in the city!

Most beautiful metro stations in Tashkent Uzbekistan - Alisher Navoi Metro Station - Journal of Nomads

Almost every metro station in Tashkent is fascinating. They all have their own unique architectural features and artistic elements.

Kosmonavtlar Metro Station Tashkent Uzbekistan - Journal of Nomads

The 1 3 m o s t b e a u t i f u l m e t r o s t a t i o n s i n T a s h k e n t

Beautiful metro stations in Tashkent Uzbekistan - Bodomzor - Journal of Nomads

9. Leaf through some books at the Book Bazaar 

If you love books and old magazines, you might enjoy this small Book Bazaar. 

We stayed in an Airbnb next to the park where this bazaar is located so we stumbled upon it by chance.

The Book Bazaar has little bookstalls lined up along a pedestrian street in a nice green park.

Tashkent Book Bazaar

Most books are only in Russian but it’s quite fun to leaf through the books and find some old-school English books as well.

At one side of the bookstalls, you’ll also find some souvenir stalls and people selling antique items. 

Things to do in Tashkent - Book Bazaar Tashkent

On the other side of the book bazaar, you’ll pass some ice-cream shops and little dining places selling Uzbek and western food. 

How to get to the Book Bazaar

Get out at the  Kosmonavtlar metro station . This is a metro station you really can’t miss when visiting Tashkent! 

Kosmonavtlar Metro Station Tashkent Uzbekistan - Journal of Nomads

Cross the intersection of Afrosiyob and Mirabad Street and walk towards the park. That’s where you’ll find the book bazaar. 

10. Learn about Uzbekistan’s history in the State Museum of History

If you want to learn a bit more about Uzbekistan’s history, then the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan is the place to be.

This museum has 2 floors with a range of exhibits showing the history of Uzbekistan over the past 2500 years. 

The entrance fee is  10000 UZS, 25000 UZS  if you want to take photos (not really worth it in my opinion) and you can get an English-speaking guide for  8000 UZS  (this is worth it if you want to learn more).

The museum is open daily, except on Mondays, from 10 am until 6 pm. 

If you’re not really into musea, it’s worth passing there anyways as the architecture of the museum is quite interesting to see.

It’s built in the form of a cube, blending a Soviet approach with oriental decorative patterns. This Soviet-Modernism architecture can also be found back in other places in Central Asia. 

Soviet architecture Uzbekistan Tashkent State Museum of History of Uzbekistan

How to get to the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan

The nearest metro station is  Mustakilik Maydoni , one of the most beautiful metro stations in Tashkent!

Safety in Metro Tashkent Uzbekistan - Mustaqillik Maydoni Station - Journal of Nomads

If you’re following this itinerary, it’s a 7-minute walk from the Book Bazaar to the museum. You’ll pass the beautiful Alisher Navoi Opera on the way. 

Alisher Navoi Opera of Tashkent - Fun things to do in Tashkent

If you want to see a performance in the opera building, you can check the program at the small ticket office outside the building. I didn’t go inside the opera building but I’ve heard it’s quite grandiose. 

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11. Watch the stunning fountains and monuments at Independence Square

Independence Square , also known as Memorial Square, is a popular gathering place for the residents of Tashkent. It’s located right in the center of Tashkent. 

Victory park Tashkent - traveling from Almaty to Tashkent - Journal of Nomads

This square used to be known as Lenin Square during the Soviet Union but upon declaration of independence in 1991, it was re-named Mustakillik Maydoni, which translates to Independence Square in English.

It’s used for large gatherings and performances on festive days, like Uzbekistan Independence Day (1st of September) and New Year (1st of January). 

Independence Square has some of the most beautiful fountains of the city and a number of significant monuments.

Independence Square Tashkent Uzbekistan

Among them, 16 marble columns joined by a bridge and sculptures of storks on top of it that symbolize peace, the Independence Monument itself and a statue of a woman holding a baby, the symbol of Motherland. 

How to get to Independence Square:

Mustakilik Maydoni   metro station is right at Independence Square. It’s a stunning metro you definitely have to see!

If you’re coming from the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan, just keep walking down the road. Independence Square is just a 5-minute walk from the museum.

12. Go for a stroll around Amir Timur Square

Amir Temur, also known as Tamerlane, is Uzbekistan’s national hero and the most famous Central Asian conqueror.

You’ll hear his name very often in Uzbekistan, especially in  Samarkand   as this city was the center of his Temurid Empire. 

from Almaty to Tashkent - statue of Timur - Journal of Nomads

The Amir Temur Square is a little park and ideal for an afternoon stroll or to take a break from all your sightseeing in Tashkent. 

The highlight of the square is the 7-meters high statue of Amir Temur on his horse, which is a popular spot for the locals to take photos and selfies. 

Amir Timur Square Tashkent places of interest

How to get to Amir Timur Square:

Get out at  Amir Temur   metro station. 

If you’re following this itinerary, you can make the pleasant 7-minute walk from Independence Square to Amir Temur square along Sailkogh Street (see #15 below). 

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13. Have a beer at Hotel Uzbekistan

Hotel Uzbekistan is one of the most iconic sights of Tashkent. It’s a must-see place in Tashkent if you like Soviet architecture.

Hotel Uzbekistan Tashkent - Journal of Nomads

The inside of the hotel isn’t really spectacular but you can walk in and go to the bar on the 17th floor for a beer and a good view of the city.  Tip: Go there for sunset!

Hotel Uzbekistan View over Tashkent city

How to get to Hotel Uzbekistan

Hotel Uzbekistan is behind the Amir Timur statue so get out at Amir Temur metro station. The hotel is so massive that you can’t miss it. 

14.  Visit Amir Temur Museum

As I’ve mentioned already above, Amir Temur is the national hero of Uzbekistan and this museum is dedicated to him.

Amir Timur Museum Tashkent Things to do

The architecture of the building is quite photogenic. The inside of the museum is also very beautiful with its golden-domed ceiling.

The entrance fee to visit the Amir Temur Museum is 16000 UZS  ( 30000 UZS  if you want to take photos).  You’ll find some paintings and belongings of Amir Temur, as well as a copy of the Qoran and small-scale models of the most important mosques of Uzbekistan.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am until 5 pm. It’s closed on Mondays.

Amir Temur Museum Tashkent what to see

How to get to Amir Timur Museum

The Amir Timur Museum is located next to Amir Timur Square. Get out at  Amir Temur metro station.

15. Enjoy the evening on Broadway Boulevard (Sailkogh Street)

Sailkogh Street is a pedestrian street that unites the two most important squares of Tashkent: Amir Temur Square and Independence Square. 

The street is known as Broadway Boulevard is a very popular place for the locals to enjoy time with their friends and families.

Sailkogh Street Broadway Boulevard Tashkent Uzbekistan

You can find all kinds of food, souvenir, and art stalls on this boulevard, along with street artists and carnival games for kids. 

Tashkent tourism places to visit Sailkogh Street Broadway Boulevard

It’s particularly nice to walk there during the early evening when Broadway Boulevard is illuminated by all kinds of lights. 

Tashkent at night Sailkogh Street Broadway Boulevard

How to get to Broadway Boulevard

You can get out at Amir Temur metro station   and walk from Amir Temur Square or the museum to the boulevard.

You can also get out at Mustakillik Maydoni metro station  and walk along Broadway Boulevard after you’ve visited Independence Square.

Broadway Boulevard Tashkent City Guide

Tashkent City Tours and Experiences

There are several guided city (walking) tours you can do in Tashkent. I often like taking a guided tour around a city as it allows me to learn more about the local culture and the history of a destination.

Tashkent is also on the itinerary of my Uzbekistan Adventure Tours .

Here are a couple of city tours in Tashkent I recommend:

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Where to eat in Tashkent – Tashkent Restaurants

Tashkent is a big city so the restaurant options are practically endless. There’s a wide selection of restaurants that can satisfy travelers with different budgets.

Whether you want a traditional restaurant where you can try some Uzbek Plov or you’re craving some western food, you’ll find plenty of savory options in Tashkent.

Here are the restaurants I suggest:

1.Besh Qozon

This is the place you don’t want to miss in the capital of Uzbekistan. Eating at Besh Qozon is one of the top things to do while in Tashkent (see above). 

This restaurant is a bit outside of the city center but believe me, eating there is absolutely worth it! If you arrive there a bit before noon, you’ll witness hundreds of kilograms of rice being cooked right in front of you.

The ambiance of this place is fantastic. When you’ll walk in, you’ll see men stirring the rice in a giant pot. It’s mainly locals who eat there. This is great because the best way to capture the spirit of Tashkent is to eat where the locals do.

The plov served here is delicious and it only costs 25000 UZS (around $2.50) for a big bowl of plov. You’ll find the Central Asian Plov Center in Tashkent near the metro station of  Bodomzor . 

Where to eat in Tashkent Central Asian Plov Center

2. National Food

National Food is one of Tashkent’s best restaurants. You’ll get a wonderful culinary experience of Uzbekistan’s cuisine and the restaurant is set in a traditional Uzbekistan decor that offers a warm and welcoming ambiance. National Food is located at walking distance from Gafur Gulom Metro Station .

Caravan is another great budget-friendly Tashkent restaurant that offers delicious traditional food, rustic decor, and live music. It’s located in a small suburb, about 30 minutes walking from Tashkent Metro (best would be to take a taxi to get there). They have great manti (Central Asian dumplings ), salads, and Uzbek wine. Caravan has both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

Afsona is a modern Uzbek restaurant with a terrace, located near Ming O’rik metro station . The budget-friendly menu offers traditional Uzbek dishes such as plov, somosa, manty and dolma, as well as vegetarian options. There’s often some live music so it’s a nice place to relax after a day of sightseeing.

Uzbekistan Fergana Valley - Kokand - Things to do in Fergana Valley - Khan's Palace Kokand

Uzbekistan Budget Guide: How much does it cost to travel in Uzbekistan?

Shopping Tashkent Chorsu Bazaar

Where to stay in Tashkent?

Tashkent offers a wide choice of hostels for budget travelers to top-end hotels for those who enjoy that extra bit of luxury. I also stayed a couple of times at an Airbnb in Tashkent.

1. Budget Hostels (less than $20 per person)

  • Topchan Hostel

Topchan hostel’s location is ideal if you’re traveling by yourself and visiting Tashkent for the day. It’s at a 30-minutes walking distance from the railway station to start (or finish) your travels in Uzbekistan. See the rates and availability for “Topchan Hostel”

  • Light Hostel

This is another hostel conveniently located in Tashkent. It’s about 40-minutes walking from the train station and a 20-minute walk from Oybek metro station, from where you can easily travel to Tashkent’s city center. See the rates and availability for “Light Hostel”

  • Jules Verne Hostel

Jules Verne is a lovely hostel located near the Minor Mosque in Tashkent. You don’t have to go far to get to a metro station or walk to the city center of Tashkent. Click to check out rates and availability for “Jules Verne Hostel”

2. Mid-range (between $20 and $50 per night)

  • Leader Hotel

I stayed at the Leader hotel while hiking in Uzbekistan and it was my base across the trip. It has beautiful rooms (one of mine had a *chandelier*), hot showers, great food, and excellent service. The rooms average around $50 per night.  Check out rates and availability for “Leader Hotel”

  • Great Trip Mini-Hotel

Great Trip Mini-Hotel offers comfortable rooms with a shared lounge, free private parking and a garden. It’s located in a quiet residential area close to the Tashkent TV-Tower and Japanse Garden and other places of interest in Tashkent. See rates and availability for “Great Trip Mini-Hotel”

  • Hotel Suzuk-Ota

Hotel Suzuk-Ota is a highly-rated hotel in the center of Tashkent. It offers clean and nice rooms, a shared lounge and a garden and is located in a park next to the Suzuk Ota Mosque, at walking distance from a mall and many restaurants. The closest metro stations are Chorsu and Bunyodkor. Click to check out rates and availability for “Hotel Suzuk-Ota”

3. High-end (+ $50 per night)

  • Hyatt Regency Hotel

If you like to splurge a bit, you can stay at the  Hyatt Regency Hotel   with its stunning rooms, indoor swimming pool and a restaurant on the 7th floor. Check out rates and availability for “Hyatt Regency Hotel”

  • Ichan Qal’a Hotel

Another stunning luxurious hotel we’d recommend is the Ichan Qal’a Hotel. This hotel doesn’t only offer beautifully decorated rooms but also an indoor fitness center and swimming pool.  See rates and availability for “Ichan Qal’a Hotel”

The 6 Best Places to visit in Fergana Valley Uzbekistan - Yodgorlik Silk Factory in Margilan - Journal of Nomads

6 Best Places to visit in the Fergana Valley – The Complete Travel Guide

My Tashkent photography gear

This is the gear I used to capture Tashkent. You can also see my article on photography essentials and cameras for travel photographers for more information.

  • Camera: Panasonic LUMIX DC-90
  • Main lens: Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6
  • Wide-angle lens : Leica DG Vario-ELMARIT 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0
  • Prime lens: Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7
  • Tripod: Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod (Hybrid Head)

Where to stay in Tashkent

How to get to Tashkent?

Tashkent is very well connected by train with other Uzbek cities such as Bukhara , Khiva or Samarkand .

It’s a city that is also very easy to reach from Almaty in Kazakhstan or from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan .

1. How to get from Tashkent airport to the city center

It’s a 30-minute drive to get from the airport to the city center of Tashkent by taxi.

As soon as you exit the airport, you’ll be greeted by eager taxi drivers who are happy to bring you to the city center of Tashkent for 50.000 UZS.

This is the same rate as the “official” taxi office in the airport, which doesn’t make sense as the standard price for a taxi from the airport to the city center of Tashkent is between 20.000 and 25.000 UZS (around US$2 – US$3).

This means you’ll have to negotiate the price with the driver and you might not feel like playing the bargaining game after a long flight. So here’s a good tip.

When you exit the airport, ignore the taxi drivers who are standing at the gate. Walk to the left towards the parking lot across ‘Departures’. There you’ll find taxi drivers who just drove travelers from the city center to the airport.

They’ll be happy to quickly return to the city center and therefore are a lot easier to negotiate with. Offer the driver 20.000 UZS, max 25.000 UZS.

Show him the money and tell him to take it or leave it. He’ll probably try to ask for more but as soon as you start walking towards another taxi, he’ll very likely take it…

Another way is to install the Yandex Taxi app on your phone. You can easily order a taxi through the app and it shows you how much you have to pay upfront.

2. How to get to Tashkent from Almaty by public transport

It’s possible to travel from Almaty to Tashkent by bus and by train. Although the bus and train rides can take a long time (13 and 16 hours respectively), it’s a very relaxing journey.

It’s definitely a good option to travel this way if you’re on a budget and/or if you have plenty of time to spare.

Visit Almaty City - Things to do in Almaty - Places to visit in Almaty - Almaty Travel Guide

How to get from Almaty to Tashkent by bus or by train. 

Bus station Tashkent - Journal of Nomads

3. How to get to Tashkent from Bishkek by public transport?

There is now a bus line connecting Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan with Tashkent in Uzbekistan.

Traveling between the two cities by bus takes about 8 to 13 hours depending on how long it takes to cross the borders and this bus runs at night.

What are the best things to do in Bishkek

How to get from Bishke k to Tashkent by bus. 

4. How to get to Tashkent from Bukhara by public transport?

Getting from Bukhara to the Uzbek capital is very easy. There is a high-speed train that connects the two cities as well as a standard train. It’s also possible to take a night train towards Tashkent. It leaves Bukhara at 10:30 PM and arrives in Tashkent around 6:30 AM.

Traveling between the two cities by bus is also super convenient.

Getting from Bukhara to Tashkent by train

Bukhara’s train station is about twenty minutes by taxi from the old town. It’s located in the newer part of Bukhara called Kogon.

You can reach it from the old city center by taxi for 20000 som. Taxi drivers tend to overcharge tourists but you shouldn’t pay more than this.

You’ll need your passport to buy a train ticket. The train station is usually very crowded with people so it’s preferable to arrive there early in the day.

You can book your tickets online on the official Uzbek Railways website . It also shows you the train schedules. Read my Uzbekistan Railways Guide with all the information on how to take trains in Uzbekistan and how to order tickets online.

In Tashkent, you will arrive at the Northern train station. It’s right next to a metro station so it’s easy to reach the city center from the station. You can also reach the city center of Tashkent from the station for 16000 som.

Train Station Tashkent Uzbekistan - Journal of Nomads

It’s possible to take a bus from Bukhara to Tashkent from the northern bus station on Gijduvon street, north of town.

How to get from Bukhara to Tashkent by bus?

Reaching Tashkent from Bukhara by bus takes around 8 hours and costs around 60000 som. You can buy your ticket directly at the bus station or through the official website where you can also check the bus schedules.

5. How to get to Tashkent from Khiva by public transport?

How to get from khiva to tashkent by train.

It’s possible to take trains from Khiva to Tashkent. There are currently 2 trains a day connecting Tashkent and Khiva and the journey takes around 16 hours.

Tashkent Travel - What to see in Tashkent Uzbekistan

I hope this guide was useful and that you’ll have a great time in Tashkent.

If you have any questions or updates about Tashkent, let me and other readers know in the comments below!

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12 thoughts on “the 15 best things to do in tashkent uzbekistan – tashkent city guide”.

hello Cynthia, what an incredible journey you’re sharing with us! Your adventures in Uzbekistan are truly captivating. I’ve been planning my own trip there next month, and your vlogs have only heightened my excitement and really a great help for me. Your insights into the culture, the food, and the breathtaking landscapes are invaluable for someone like me who’s about to embark on a similar adventure. Thank you for taking us along with you on this unforgettable expedition!”

Hello Eloisa, thank you so much for your kind words, it means a lot!! Wishing you a fantastic time in Uzbekistan!

Enjoyed reading your page and learning about you, Cynthia. We are planning a 5-day trip to Tashkent and Samarkand in November. Will let you know abour our experiences there.

Have a great time Suresh and always happy to hear more about your experiences!

Is the Central Asian Plov Center will be opened during Ramadan? I will be visiting Uzbekistan next month, and my visit to Tashkent still falls during Ramadan.

The Plov Center should be open as Ramadan isn’t as strictly followed in Uzbekistan as in other countries. Have a great trip!

Very help full information, currently planning a backpacking budget tour to Kazahstan & Usbekistan. Your detail information will definitely help me a lot, thanks.

Hi Jayshree, I’m very happy to hear that my travel guides are helping you! When are you planning to travel to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan?

Dag Cynthia Vermits jij in België woont veronderstel ik dat je Nederlands spreekt…indien niet dan zal ik de mail opnieuw sturen maar dan in ‘t Engels. Ik ga op m’n eentje van 9-26 oktober naar Uzbekistan. De route ligt vast. Maar ik zou je advies knn gebruiken ivm kiezen tussen een dag meer in Tashkent (1 dag of 2 dagen) ipv Khiva (2 ipv 3 dagen) . Het verschil is een ochtendvlucht in Tashkent (7.25u dus vroeg uit de veren) of een avondvlucht om 19.00u. Super dankje voor je advies en de prachtige foto’s !!. Fijne, zonnige groetjes uit Boechout. Peggy.

Nu begrijp ik wat je in je mailtje bedoelde 😀 Ik had je reactie hier nog niet gezien! Je hebt vermeld dat je intussen al je beslissing hebt gemaakt. Eigenlijk kan je alles in Khiva in 2 dagen bezichtigen, tenzij je nog een daguitstap vanuit Khiva naar de woestijn wil maken.

Groetjes! Cynthia

It is nice journey to know about Uzbekistan

I’m happy you enjoyed the post!

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World countries facts

  • World countries
  • Central Asia
  • Tourist attractions

Republic of Uzbekistan Central Asia Tashkent 28,929,716 inhabitants 447,400 sq km 64.66 inhabitants/sq km Uzbekistani soum (UZS) population evolution

Top tourist attractions in Uzbekistan

Here is a list of top tourist attractions in Uzbekistan . Only the topmost tourist destinations are presented here. To see other destinations, please check the images from Uzbekistan section.

Curious if any of these place from Uzbekistan made it our best tourist attractions in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

You can also view all tourist attractions in Uzbekistan and other countries on our tourist attractions map .

Tourist attraction

The Registan was the heart of the ancient city of Samarkand of the Timurid dynasty, now in Uzbekistan. The name Registan means "Sandy place" in Persian.

The Gūr-e Amīr or Guri Amir, Persian: گورِ امیر‎, is a mausoleum of the Asian conqueror Tamerlane in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. It occupies an important place in the history of Turkic-Persian Architecture as the precursor and model for later great Mughal architecture tombs, including Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra, built by Timur's Persianised descendants, the ruling Mughal dynasty of North India. It has been heavily restored.

Bibi-Khanym Mosque

Islamic Place of Worship

Bibi-Khanym Mosque is a famous historical Friday mosque in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, whose name comes from the wife of 14th-century ruler, Amir Timur.

major tourist attractions in uzbekistan

IMAGES

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VIDEO

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COMMENTS

  1. 9 of the best places to visit in Uzbekistan

    Here are our top recommendations of places to visit in Uzbekistan for architecture, culture, nature and immersion in the arts. 1. Registan, Samarkand. Best for dramatic architecture. The historic Registan Square in Samarkand impresses first-time visitors more than any other attraction in Uzbekistan. Included on the UNESCO World Heritage list ...

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    7. Ulugbek Madrasah. 451. Architectural Buildings. In the present Registan square in the XV century on the behest of Mirzo Ulugbek bin Shahrukh there were built several buildings: khamam, mosques, caravanserai, khanaka and majestic and incomparable building of Palace of Sciences - madrasah.

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    The current showstopper of world tourism, Uzbekistan- which was almost absent in the tourist map until 2011 - has become a trending destination. ... it still boasts the world's oldest preserved medressas and holds pride in being one of the major Uzbekistan tourist attractions. Visit anytime in the day for a stunning glimpse. 3. Amir Timur ...

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    1. Step back in time in the cities of the Silk Road. Magnificent Samarkand, noble Bukhara, atmospheric Khiva - the cities on the path of the historic Silk Road have a special allure. Conquerors such as Alexander the Great, Genghis (Chengiz) Khan and Amir Temur (Tamerlane) left behind an amazing legacy, bringing together thinkers, traders and ...

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    Table of Contents. The Best Things to do in Uzbekistan. Tashkent and Around. 1) See a Play at the Navoi Theatre. 2) Chow Down at the Chorsu Bazaar. 3) Take a Wander Down the Kolkouz Canal. 4) Enjoy Islamic Architecture and a Slice of History at Khast Imam. 5) Check Out the Spectacular Art on the Tashkent Metro.

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    13 Muynak, Aral Sea. The Aral Sea was once a massive body of water between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. It was a major source of fish, and so many fishing towns, such as Muynak, grew along its shores. However, the Aral Sea has been shrinking since the 1960s due to poor irrigation management. Most of it has turned into a parched desert, filled ...

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    Turkmenistan. Discover the best attractions in Uzbekistan including Registan, Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum, and Shah-i-Zinda.

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    per adult (price varies by group size) Uzbekistan 8 Days Private Tour Tashkent-Urgench-Bukhara-Samarkand-Tashkent. 24. Historical Tours. from. ₹83,240. per adult (price varies by group size) Uzbekistan 3 Day Private Tour Tashkent-Bukhara-Samarkand Bullet Train. 5.

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    2023. 7. Ulugbek Madrasah. 451. Architectural Buildings. In the present Registan square in the XV century on the behest of Mirzo Ulugbek bin Shahrukh there were built several buildings: khamam, mosques, caravanserai, khanaka and majestic and incomparable building of Palace of Sciences - madrasah.

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    The best way to get around the Valley is by shared taxi. Fergana to Margilan is 30 minutes, Rishton 1 hour, Kokand 2 hours, Andijon 1.5 hours. Getting to Fergana Valley: Modern train from Tashkent, approx 3-4 hours or fly into Fergana International Airport. Top attraction to visit: Margilan.

  14. Best attractions in Uzbekistan: Top 30

    17. Ark Citadel. The Ancient Walls of Citadel Ark. One of the interesting places, which can be attributed to the ancient cultural monuments of Uzbekistan, is located in Bukhara - the Ark Citadel. Archaeological research determined the age of the citadel - its foundations were laid between the 6th and 3rd centuries BC.

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    It is a unique place to sleep in a yurt surrounded by desert and ride horses or camels. If you would like to support eco-tourism in Uzbekistan, there is a possibility to drive further to Nurota Mountains. There are local guesthouses where you can stay overnight and do some light hiking. #7 Termez. Few tourists ever venture as far south as Termez.

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    The old city - Ichan Kala - is a well preserved example of Muslim architecture in Central Asia. 2. Moynak. Moynak boat cemetery in Uzbekistan. Moynaq is an old port south of the Aral Sea. Under Lenin's orders, Moynaq fishermen played a major role in the struggle against the Russian famine of 1921-1922. Today there is no water nearby, so ...

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    Uzbekistan is generally a very safe country for tourists. Despite sharing a border with Afghanistan, there is little religious extremism and crime against foreigners is rare. As in big cities anywhere, watch out for pickpockets on crowded city buses and bazaars in hubs such as Tashkent; tourist police frequent the more popular tourist sights. 14.

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    National Food is one of Tashkent's best restaurants. You'll get a wonderful culinary experience of Uzbekistan's cuisine and the restaurant is set in a traditional Uzbekistan decor that offers a warm and welcoming ambiance. National Food is located at walking distance from Gafur Gulom Metro Station. 3.

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    The next-largest group (24%) visited Uzbekistan to observe its culture, way of life, and customs. [1] In 2019, 6.75 million tourists visited Uzbekistan. The industry earned a total of $1.68 billion. [2] The tourism industry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with both tourist numbers and revenue dropping heavily. [3]

  23. Top tourist attractions in Uzbekistan

    Gur-e Amir. Tourist attraction. The Gūr-e Amīr or Guri Amir, Persian: گورِ امیر‎, is a mausoleum of the Asian conqueror Tamerlane in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. It occupies an important place in the history of Turkic-Persian Architecture as the precursor and model for later great Mughal architecture tombs, including Humayun's Tomb in ...