Kalpak Travel Samarkand Registan Square
Uzbekistan samarkand
Uzbekistan Samarkand blue

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

One of the major stops along the Silk Road, Samarkand is divided into the old city and the new city with the majority of historical monuments located in the old city.

The Registan is just one of the highlights, a large, open square (the name means “sandy place”) where people gathered, heard royal proclamations and watched executions. The buildings are covered in ceramic tiles and date back to the 15th century, restored in the 20th, they are among the finest examples of Islamic architecture anywhere.

Other sights include the Bibi Khanum Mausoleum, Ulughbek Observatory and a number of mosques and madrasas including the Ulughbek and the Shirdar Madrasas. The Shah-i Zinde is one of the key sights in Samarkand, which is a complex made up of mausoleums and mosques that houses the most important Muslim shrines that gives the complex its name, ‘the tomb of the living king’ - thought to be the grave of Qusam ibn-Abbas.

Paper-making is a craft that gets little attention among the splendour of Uzbekistan’s other artistic endeavors, but Samarkand’s paper museum is trying to change that. The museum traces down the history of paper from China to the Middle East and Europe, and shows the process as it is still being used today.

Drinkers, on the other hand, will enjoy a visit to the Hovrenko wine factory to hear the story of viticulture in a Muslim country.


Unique heritage

No place on the long and winding Silk Road captures the imagination quite like Uzbekistan's Samarkand, the beautifully-preserved 14th-century city and centre of the mighty Timurid Empire. The dazzle of ceramic tiles lining the monuments is a sight to behold, inviting you to delve into the city’s long and turbulent history. How could Timur, an emperor renowned for his cruelty, be responsible for something as lovely as Samarkand? His conquests clearly paid off: by dragging skilled artisans from around Eurasia to his capital, he created an arresting architectural statement that has stood the test of time...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

Samarkand 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

Samarkand Travel Companies

Central Asia

Kalpak Travel

Small group tours of Central Asia

Why Horizon Guides?

Impartial guidebooks

Impartial travel guides

Our 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.