Samarkand, Uzbekistan: Best Things To Do & See Samarkand, Uzbekistan: Best Things To Do & See

Uzbekistan
Travel Guide

Beautifully-tiled mosques, hearty, aromatic food, and some of the most welcoming people you will ever meet.

Map of Uzbekistan

Map of Uzbekistan

Weather in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s weather is continental, meaning it’s dry year-round, with sweltering summers and cold winters. For this reason, the seasons of spring and fall are the best times to visit when the weather is milder for exploring the incredible cultural highlights of the Silk Road.

Best
Good
Mixed
Poor
🌤
6°C
Jan
🌤
8°C
Feb
🌦️
13°C
Mar
🌤
19°C
Apr
☀️
25°C
May
☀️
31°C
Jun
☀️
34°C
Jul
☀️
31°C
Aug
☀️
25°C
Sep
☀️
17°C
Oct
☀️
10°C
Nov
🌤
6°C
Dec
Hello / Greetings:Salom
Thank you: Raxmat
Excuse me: Kechirasiz

Part of the epic Silk Road (an ancient trade route that connected China with the West), Uzbekistan welcomes travelers with its rich cultural heritage. With stunning Islamic architecture around every corner and gold and blue domes dotting the skyline, every inch of the country brings history to life. It’s also home to some of the friendliest people in the world, providing an extremely hospitable travel experience.

Uzbekistan is a dream for budget travelers, mainly because it is relatively new as a travel destination. With such a low cost of living, you can stay in beautiful hotels for anything between $15 – $30 and dine on plates of doughy flatbreads, fresh fruits, and honeyed tea for $2 – $5. Even the excellent train network is affordable, making it accessible for every kind of traveler!

There are still some concerns about tap water quality in Uzbekistan, so it’s better to stay hydrated by using a reusable water bottle with a filter system. Alternatively, refill your bottle at hotels or restaurants with water filtration systems to quench your thirst and explore worry-free!

Most travelers need a visa to explore Uzbekistan, but the good news is that it’s super easy to apply. Simply check your country’s entry requirements, apply online, pay the visa fee (which varies according to nationality), and wait for approval. Once accepted, pack your bags and get ready for the trip of a lifetime!

The Turkic language of Uzbek is spoken in Uzbekistan, which is a blend of continental influences from Arabic to Persian. Luckily, the alphabet is a Latin script so it’s easy to learn a few useful phrases before your trip — particularly helpful if you’re traveling outside larger cities like Tashkent. Grab your phrase book and get practicing to connect with the wonderful local people. 

Having travel insurance for your vacation in Uzbekistan is always a good idea, acting as a safety net for unforeseen circumstances like lost belongings and medical emergencies. Insurance will keep you protected on the go and ensure peace of mind while you explore this mesmerizing nation.

Uzbekistan is one of the safest countries to travel to, with a low crime rate and a government that works hard to foster a warm, tourist-friendly environment. Of course, like any destination, it’s always a good idea to watch out for petty crime in major cities and busy areas; keep an eye on your belongings and leave any valuables at home to be on the safe side.

The standard plug used in Uzbekistan is the two round-pin plug, known as plug type C (used widely in Europe), and the three flat-pronged plug type I. Make sure to bring an adapter or purchase one at the airport to keep connected during your trip.

The rich Silk Road history is what beckons travelers to explore Uzbekistan. As you travel throughout the country, discover palatial Islamic buildings, ancient-preserved traditions, fantastic food, and warm hospitality. From one moment, explore the beautiful green mountain valleys and contemporary cities in the east, and in the next, travel to the sandy deserts and magnificent fortresses of the west.

Uzbekistan Travel 

Discover the jewel of the Silk Road on a vacation in Uzbekistan, one of the most astonishingly beautiful destinations on the planet. Tourism is relatively new to the country, and, as a result, the hospitality of the local people is overwhelming. Experience the journey of a lifetime through a variety of phenomenal landscapes from East to West, making memories and friends that will last forever.

How to plan your trip to Uzbekistan

Use our Uzbekistan travel guides to create the ultimate adventure! Whether you’re planning to explore the cosmopolitan capital Tashkent, eager to take in the cultural wonders of ancient Silk Road cities like Bukhara and Samarkand, or looking for a desert experience in the far West, our guides have you covered with all you need to plan the perfect Uzbekistan holiday

On a backpacking Silk Road adventure? The affordable nation is the perfect place, best explored on an Uzbekistan itinerary of 10 days. This covers a range of cultural highlights, allowing you to discover all the best places in Uzbekistan.

Best time to visit Uzbekistan 

Heading on vacation to Uzbekistan? Plan ahead for the best time to visit according to the season, and find the perfect time for you!

Spring and Fall (April – June, September – November): The best time to visit Uzbekistan is during these seasons when the temperatures are milder and perfect for exploring. Because of this, though, these months see the highest number of visitors, so booking your accommodation and tours well in advance is advisable. This period brings temperatures between 17°C – 25°C with fresh blooms in Spring and colorful foliage in Fall, making the landscapes even more beautiful.

Winter (December – February): Winter in Uzbekistan can get very cold, with some regions seeing below-freezing temperatures; you may even get some snow in the higher, more mountainous areas! Particularly over the festive period, this brings a cozy feel to your Uzbekistan travels, with twinkling lights, markets, and charming guesthouses providing a warm and welcoming environment for a fraction of the prices seen in the high season. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly trip, this is the best time to visit Uzbekistan!

Summer (June – August): Summer in Uzbekistan is scorching! Daily temperatures are above 30°C, and afternoons see an intensely dry heat, which can make it a difficult time to explore. Therefore, avoiding these months is best, as it can make touring the Silk Road a little more challenging. Higher regions like Fergana Valley in the East can see slightly cooler temperatures during the summer, so it is a good alternative. 

Other than the summer months, which can be intensely hot, Uzbekistan weather is typically beautiful, clear, and dry year-round, perfect for exploring the architectural gems of the Silk Road. 

Landscapes in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is a double landlocked country, so it’s not a destination for those looking for beaches and coastlines. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting, though! Although often considered a dry, arid destination, it has some surprisingly luscious and green areas, offering an incredible diversity of landscapes. 

Follow an Uzbekistan itinerary from East to West, covering green rolling valleys, mountains, and arid deserts. The one constant, however, is a horizon dotted with the endless turquoise-blue domes of stunning mosques, palaces, and madrassas. The best places in Uzbekistan are the cities home to these architectural beauties; discover a time capsule to a fascinating past. Enter through fort walls to find sensational golds, oranges, and blues of mesmerizing palaces, religious relics, and squares. Witnessing this architecture against a backdrop of varied landscapes is one of the most extraordinary things about a vacation in Uzbekistan.

Food, culture, and religion in Uzbekistan

From the divine smells that float down every ancient passageway to the vibrant blue domes of the mosques that pepper the landscapes, Uzbekistan is a nation where food, culture, and religion are integral to its story, each with a spectacular history just waiting to be discovered.

Food: Exciting cuisine might not be the first thought when considering a holiday in Uzbekistan. However, the country is home to some incredibly diverse dishes from a range of continental influences. Dine on fragrant rice plates bursting with aromatic spices, or savor warm doughy flatbreads, hearty dumplings, or flaky pastries selected from sensory bazaars. Tea traditions in Uzbekistan are also important (the national drink), served green or black on arrival in every home and office, and drunk from a traditional bowl named piala. Even in the height of summer, hot tea is served as a thirst-quencher when walking in warm temperatures.

Culture: Uzbekistan’s culture is all about vivid details — in the detailed soviet mosaics on many walls in Tashkent, in the intricate patterns of the tiles or carved wood, and the rainbow colors of market fruit and veg. The best way to discover these wonders is to travel the country’s length via train, stopping off at living museums like Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. Discover iconic sites like the Ark Fortress and the Registan, and explore vibrant markets with Uzbek textiles, ceramics, and food, all created from ancient methods passed down for generations.

Religion: Religion is an integral part of Uzbekistan life, with most of the population following Islam. Predominantly, this is Sunni Islam, the largest branch of the religion that strives for a harmonious community. As you travel Uzbekistan, you’ll see and hear this influence through the stunning mosques, majestic mausoleums, and daily calls to prayer, showcasing the country’s dedication, spirituality, and sacredness of faith. 

Why you should travel to Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is a delight for the senses, offering culture vultures one of the most enriching travel experiences in the world. As the jewel of the Silk Road, the county is home to ancient civilizations that have stood the test of time, with perfectly preserved cities like Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva acting as open-air museums and providing a unique window into the past. Detailed tilework, gold detailing, epic fortress walls, and awe-inspiring religious buildings showcase architectural wonders on a different scale, and you can’t help but marvel at the work of the Uzbek in creating such magic. 

Witnessing history in this way is truly something magical; you’ll not only learn about it, but you’ll become a part of the rich tapestry as you travel — the story of your Uzbekistan holiday leaving its own imprint on the people and cities. Immerse yourself in fantastic flavors, make local friends, and explore an incredible diversity of landscapes as you tread the Silk Road for yourself. 

Additionally, as a relatively new travel destination, Uzbek locals are eager to greet you, tell you their stories, and show you around their cities, providing an unrivaled travel experience. Warm smiles greet you at every market, restaurant, and guesthouse as people open their doors with an infectious patriotism for their country that’s hard to beat.

Safety and travel advice Uzbekistan

Traveling Uzbekistan, a landlocked land of mysteries in central Asia, is one of the most rewarding journeys. Follow our Uzbekistan travel guides to get the most out of your trip and take the necessary precautions using this safety information.

Crime and safety in Uzbekistan: Crime rates are very low in Uzbekistan, and the government has worked hard to create a warm and welcoming environment for tourists. As such, Uzbekistan feels like one of the safest destinations to travel in Asia. However, it’s always good to exercise caution, especially in popular tourist areas where there may be pickpockets. Be aware of your belongings and surroundings, and leave any important valuables at home or in your hotel.

Natural Disasters: Uzbekistan can be prone to earthquakes, particularly in regions like the Fergana Valley. Earthquakes are often minor, but there have been reports of significant damage, so it’s essential to learn about safety procedures for your trip. Stay informed about your vacation in Uzbekistan by registering with your embassy for telephone updates. 

Driving in Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan has a generally good infrastructure, but road quality can be mixed, especially outside major cities. As such, it’s a good idea to research ahead of time if you’re considering driving in Uzbekistan. Ensure you have an international driving license and stick to the speed limit, as speed checks are frequent.

Travel Insurance: Don’t forget travel insurance for your vacation in Uzbekistan! This will cover you for unexpected incidents such as medical emergencies, flight delays, and theft, ensuring you have a worry-free trip. 

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