Uzbekistan SAMARKAND nighttime lowres
Uzbekistan Khiva medieval gates of old town

Central Asia’s showstopper, Uzbekistan is synonymous with the famed Silk Road which weaved its way through much of this historic country. Cities like Bukhara and Samarkand bustled with life as spice and silk traders plied their wares along the route. However, with trade came trouble and Uzbekistan has seen its fair share of problems over the years.

Today, Uzbekistan offers intrepid visitors a mix of Islamic architecture and ancient cities. Look for Samarkand’s Registan - a public square at the heart of the city, crowned by three madrasahs (Islamic schools) all showcasing distinctive architecture. In contrast, capital Tashkent – completely destroyed in 1966 by a merciless earthquake – is a mishmash of restored 12th-century mosques and the brutalist Russian buildings that sprung up during its recovery.

Visiting Uzbekistan isn’t just about its cities. The Kyzyl Kum Desert is the world’s 11th largest and is famous for its red sand, camel treks and yurts offering starlit nights. Remote Karakalpakstan has fortresses, castles and the infamous Aral Sea, which is now a dry, barren but spectacular sight.

It’s impossible to ignore the complexity of Uzbekistan’s authoritarian regime. Homosexuality is illegal and the country’s state has a reputation for corruption. However, most visitors find only friendship, fun and intrigue among Uzbeks. A word of warning – pick your season. November to February can be bleak, with temperatures regularly below freezing, while the intense heat of July can see 50C melt Tashkent’s pavement.

The Five Stans

Where to go and what to do in Central Asia

The Five ‘Stans… just a handful of countries, but covering a vast swathe of Central Asia. Where do you start an introduction to a region that stretches from China in the east, to the Caspian Sea in the west, when just one of the countries, Kazakhstan, is almost the same size as Europe?Some definitions to get us going: the Five 'Stans consist of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and the largest, Kazakhstan. Although these five countries have much in common, they also have quite different cultures and more

14 days

Essential Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan

Explore the historical heritage of Persian Central Asia
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12 days

The Uzbekistan Loop

Explore the highlights of Uzbekistan
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21 days

Tajikistan & Uzbekistan Adventure

The Pamir Highway and the Uzbekistan loop
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21 days

The Silk Road Trail

Explore Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan
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  • Khiva


    The walled city of Khiva is made up of mud-brick buildings and has over 50 historic monuments meaning you will need a few days to explore the city...
  • Bukhara


    Bukhara is over 2,000 years old, built on the site of a former Buddhist monastery, it has hundreds of minarets, mosques and madrassas with key sites being the Kalyan minaret, that's tower is a prominent landmark of the city, the Ismail Samani mausoleum and Bolo Haouz Mosque, one of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city...
  • Samarkand


    A rebuilt 14th-century city, Samarkand in Uzbekistan is a striking place to visit with mosques covered in ceramic tiles and sand coloured buildings...
  • Tashkent


  • Termez


  • Derbent


  • Fergana Valley

    Fergana Valley

  • Urgench

  • Urgut


  • Nukus


Places to go in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan Tours

Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan (and 1 more)

Best of Central Asia

Experience the people, history and nature of the 'Five Stans

22 daysFrom €5,360
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

Historical Cities of Central Asia

Following in the footsteps of Marco Polo

15 daysFrom €4,740
Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent (and 3 more)

Uzbekistan in Depth

Explore Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Termez and Fergana Valley

14 daysFrom €2,890
Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan

Best of Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan

Follow the footsteps of the Kyrgyz Nomads and ancient Silk Road traders

15 daysFrom €3,680

Uzbekistan Travel Companies

Central Asia

Kalpak Travel

Small group tours of Central Asia

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