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.

Historical Uzbekistan

Where to see Uzbekistan's Islamic architecture

Historical Samarkand is often the first stop for visitors to Uzbekistan – with the exception of capital Tashkent which serves as a transport hub. The high-speed train from Tashkent to Samarkand takes two hours, halving the time it takes to drive between the two cities. Samarkand was the capital of Amir Timur, a 14th-century master general who built an empire spanning Central Asia and Persia, killing 17 million people in the process...read more

  • Khiva

    Khiva

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  • Bukhara

    Bukhara

    ...
  • Samarkand

    Samarkand

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  • Tashkent

    Tashkent

    ...
  • Termez

    Termez

    ...
  • Derbent

    Derbent

    ...
  • Fergana Valley

    Fergana Valley

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Uzbekistan Tours

Highlights of the "Five Stans"

Explore the heart of the Silk Road

22 daysFrom €4,580
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Tour Type Small group tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Cities

In Depth Uzbekistan

Guided tour of Uzbekistan's historical highlights

14 daysFrom €2,590
Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Termez, Derbent
Tour Type Small group tour
Activity Culture

Historical cities of the Silk Road

In the footsteps of Marco Polo

15 daysFrom €4,060
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Tour Type Small group tour
Activity Culture, Cities

Best of Uzbekistan

Where the ancient and modern world collide

8 daysFrom €1,540
Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent
Tour Type Small group tour
Activity Culture

Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan

Land of nomads and Silk Road traders

15 daysFrom €2,480
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
Tour Type Small group tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, Culture

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, 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

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