Let’s explore Uzbekistan, a land of rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes. In Central Asia, Uzbekistan is a treasure trove of ancient cities, architectural wonders, and traditional arts. Whether you’re an adventurer, a history enthusiast, or a curious traveler, Uzbekistan has something to offer everyone. In this article, we will explore the top things to do in Uzbekistan, this fascinating country.
The Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum is the final resting place of the great conqueror, Amir Timur. This majestic structure is an architectural masterpiece, showcasing the grandeur of Timurid’s design. The interior is adorned with intricate mosaics and calligraphy, making it a feast for the eyes.
The Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis is a sacred site that houses a series of mausoleums and tombs. This enchanting place is said to be the burial site of Kusam ibn Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. The stunning blue-tiled structures and the spiritual aura of the place make it a must-visit for anyone exploring Uzbekistan’s cultural heritage.
Ulugh Beg Observatory
For science enthusiasts, we highly recommend including a visit to the Ulugh Beg Observatory into their things to do in Uzbekistan. Ulugh Beg Observatory is a fascinating destination. Built during the 15th century by the renowned astronomer and ruler Ulugh Beg, this observatory was once one of the most advanced in the world. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of the observatory and learn about its contributions to astronomy.
One of the most iconic landmarks that you should include in your top things to do in Uzbekistan is visiting Registan Square, located in the heart of Samarkand. This magnificent square is surrounded by three grand madrasahs, each adorned with intricate tilework and majestic domes. The Ulugh Beg Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, and Tilya-Kori Madrasah create a stunning architectural ensemble that takes you back to the days of the Silk Road.
Located near Registan Square, Samarkand Bazaar is a bustling market where you can shop for souvenirs, spices, and intricate textiles. Don’t miss the chance to taste the flavorful plov, a traditional Uzbek rice dish. The Siab Bazaar is the largest market in Samarkand, which is pleasant for both tourists and locals.
Ark of Bukhara
The Ark of Bukhara is an ancient fortress that served as the residence of the emirs of Bukhara. This massive structure holds within its walls a rich history and offers panoramic views of the city. Exploring the various rooms, courtyards, and museums inside the Ark provides insight into Bukhara’s past.
Kalon Minaret and Mosque
The Kalon Minaret and Mosque are iconic landmarks that dominate Bukhara’s skyline. The minaret, over 45 meters tall, is an architectural marvel adorned with intricate geometric patterns. The nearby Kalon Mosque is equally impressive, with a vast prayer hall and stunning blue domes. It’s the stunning architecture and design of these iconic landmarks that make them so stunning.
Lyab-i Hauz Complex
To experience the local ambiance, head to the Lyab-i Hauz Complex, a charming area surrounding a historic pond. Here, you can relax in the shade of mulberry trees, enjoy a cup of tea in a traditional chai khana (teahouse), and observe daily life in Bukhara. Shopping is a must among the things to do in Uzbekistan. You may want a souvenir from this lovely country. Bukhara is the source of all the handmade woven items. Uzbekistan’s silk fabrics and carpets along Lyabi-Hauz Square can make a nice souvenir from Uzbekistan to take home.
Chor Minor, meaning “Four Minarets,” is a unique and picturesque structure located near the heart of Bukhara. The building’s four slender minarets and blue domes create a fairy-tale-like scene you won’t find like it anywhere else in the world. There are so many photography opportunities in every corner. Therefore, make sure you got your photography equipment with you. You should most definitely visit Chor Minor as one of the best things to do in Uzbekistan.
Bukhara’s Trading Domes
Bukhara’s Trading Domes offer a glimpse of the ancient Silk Road trading culture. Explore the domes, now converted into shops and boutiques, to find unique handicrafts and traditional items to take home as keepsakes. Since Bukhara was located on the Silk Road, the markets and trading stores were even more busy crossroads of public roads. Several centuries passed since then, and four trading domes have only survived today.
Kalta Minor Minaret
The unfinished Kalta Minor Minaret stands as a testament to the ambitious projects of the past. Intended to be the tallest minaret in Central Asia, it remains an intriguing landmark and offers an insight into the construction techniques of the time. Visiting this landmark may be interesting for some of the visitors among their things to do in Uzbekistan.
The Juma Mosque is a unique place of worship with its 212 intricately carved wooden columns supporting the roof. Stepping inside, you’ll be captivated by the interplay of light and shadow, creating a serene and contemplative atmosphere. Here is a fascinating place to visit if you enjoy observing historical landscapes with Islamic art designs.
Tash Hauli Palace
Tash Hauli Palace is a grand residence that once served as the home of Khiva’s rulers. The palace’s ornate courtyards, stately halls, and beautiful tilework give visitors a glimpse into the opulence of Uzbekistan’s history.
The walled city of Ichan Kala is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a living museum of ancient architecture. Walk through the narrow streets, marvel at the ornate palaces, mosques, and minarets, and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the bygone era. Khiva’s most treasured attraction is the main fortress – Ichan-Kala. You should definitely include Ichan Kala among your things to do in Uzbekistan.
The Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent is a vibrant marketplace where you can find everything from fresh produce to traditional handicrafts. Engage with the friendly locals, sample local delicacies, and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the bazaar. This will be absolutely among the best things to do in Uzbekistan.
Urgut Sunday Market
For an authentic local experience, head to the Urgut Sunday Market. Held every Sunday, this lively market is where you can find a variety of goods, from textiles and clothing to livestock and antiques.
Uzbekistan, with its captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, offers a truly enriching travel experience. From exploring the ancient cities of Samarkand and Bukhara to discovering the desert oasis of Khiva and immersing in the lively bazaars, the country has something special for every traveler. So, pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey to this Central Asian gem.
Are you planning to travel to Uzbekistan? Check out our Uzbekistan Tour.