Uzbekistan SAMARKAND nighttime lowres
Uzbekistan Khiva medieval gates of old town
023_Uzbekistan_Samarkand_lowres

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

A guide to the cultural and historical highlights of the Silk Road

The Five ‘Stans…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 traditions...read more

14 days

Essential Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan

Explore the historical heritage of Persian Central Asia
View itinerary
12 days

The Uzbekistan Loop

Explore the highlights of Uzbekistan
View itinerary
21 days

Tajikistan & Uzbekistan Adventure

The Pamir Highway and the Uzbekistan loop
View itinerary
21 days

The Silk Road Trail

Explore Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan
View itinerary
  • Khiva

    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

    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

    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

    Tashkent

    ...
  • Termez

    Termez

    ...
  • Derbent

    Derbent

    ...
  • Fergana Valley

    Fergana Valley

    ...
  • Urgench

    ...
  • Urgut

    Urgut

    ...

Places to go in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan Tours

Best of Central Asia

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

22 daysFrom €4,580
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Tour Type Small group tour, Private guided tour
Activity Active, Walking, Culture, Cities, Museums & Galleries, History, Responsible Travel, Community-led Tourism, Solo Travel

Historical Cities of Central Asia

Following in the footsteps of Marco Polo

15 daysFrom €4,060
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Tour Type Small group tour, Private guided tour
Activity Culture, Cities, Museums & Galleries, History, Responsible Travel, Community-led Tourism, Solo Travel

Best of Uzbekistan

Explore Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva

8 daysFrom €1,540
Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent
Tour Type Small group tour, Private guided tour
Activity Culture, Cities, Museums & Galleries, History, Responsible Travel, Community-led Tourism, Solo Travel

Uzbekistan in Depth

Explore Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Termez and Fergana Valley

14 daysFrom €2,590
Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Termez, Derbent, Fergana Valley
Tour Type Small group tour, Private guided tour
Activity Culture, Cities, Museums & Galleries, History, Responsible Travel, Community-led Tourism, Solo Travel

Best of Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan

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

15 daysFrom €3,160
Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
Tour Type Small group tour, Private guided tour
Activity Responsible Travel, Community-led Tourism, Solo Travel

Uzbekistan Travel Companies

Kalpak Travel

Small group tours of Central Asia
Central Asia
Custom itinerary, Small group tour, Private guided tour
Adventure, Hiking & Trekking, Active, Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Solo Travel

Why Horizon Guides?

Impartial guidebooks

Impartial guidebooks

Our travel guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for impartial travel advice.

Expert itineraries

Expert itineraries

Suggested itineraries and routes to help you scratch beneath the surface, avoid the tourist traps, and plan an authentic, responsible and enjoyable journey.

Specialist advice

Specialist advice

Get friendly, expert travel advice and custom itineraries from some of the world’s best tour operators, with no spam, pressure or commitment to book.