Places to Visit in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan has long retained its popularity among tourists — from being an important part of the Silk Route to now home to multiple UNESCO listings, there is no dearth of places to visit in Uzbekistan.

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List of Places to Visit in Uzbekistan

Not only is this landlocked country home to some incredible monuments and historical sites, but also full of abundant natural beauty. The country's spellbinding past and versatility promise something to every kind of traveller. Be it nature, history, culture or food, the country is full of delights.

Places to Visit in Uzbekistan

Take a look at some of the best places to visit in Uzbekistan:

  • Samarkand
  • Bukhara
  • Khiva
  • Tashkent
  • Karakalpakstan
  • Shahrisabz
  • Termez
  • Aydarkul Lake
  • Fergana Valley
  • Lake Charvak

As you plan your trip, don’t forget to buy the best international travel insurance plan for Uzbekistan to have a safe vacation. While the country is pretty safe for tourists, it is always helpful to take precautions. A travel insurance will save you from any unwanted financial expense that may otherwise spoil your careful planning.

Tashkent

Uzbekistan's populous capital is a large metropolis with plenty of attractions to hold any visitor's attention. The city has been inhabited since the 5th century BC and remains an important stop for any visitor. It is also usually the starting point for most visitors which makes it one of the unavoidable places to visit in Uzbekistan.

Tashkent reflects a great amalgamation of old and new, with several Soviet-era street layouts, buildings and some old historical monuments in the same city. Some of its most popular attractions include the Chorsu Bazaar, Teleshayakh Mosque, Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art, Navoi Opera Theatre, Amir Temur Square and Barak Khan Madrassah.

Samarkand

One of the oldest Central Asian cities, Samarkand is notable for its age-old monuments and holy places. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is deeply rooted in traditions. The city goes as far back as the late Palaeolithic Era and is believed to have been inhabited since the 7th or 8th century BC.

Some notable historical structures here include the Registan Square, Shi-i-Zinda Complex, the Bibi Khanum, Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum, a madrasah dating back to the 15th century and the 18-metre long sarcophagus in the Tomb of the Prophet Daniel. Visitors can explore the city's architectural masterpieces, its iconic blue tombs and narrow avenues leading to even prettier places.

Bukhara

An important base for Islamic theology, Bukhara is a must if you're looking for some of the best-preserved places to visit in Uzbekistan. The city has also been recognised as an exemplary mediaeval city by UNESCO and has been a seat for Islamic science and theology for centuries.

Some of its most popular attractions include the 10th-century tomb of Ismail Somoni, Great Minaret of the Kalon, Mir-I-Arab Madrasa, Samanid Mausoleum, Chor Minar, and Poi Kalyan Mosque. The Ark of Bukhara is perhaps the greatest attraction of the region, because of its grand past. It is also the oldest structure in Bukhara and now serves as a museum.

Khiva

The desert town of Khiva is one of the most important places to visit in Uzbekistan. It is also the first UNESCO World Heritage City of Central Asia and has more than 50 historical sites. For this reason, it is also referred to as an open-air museum. This sandcastle town has remarkable clay-coloured houses within its gigantic fortress walls. The city was undoubtedly an important centre on the Silk Road and has retained its ancient traditions and monuments to date.

Some of its best attractions include the Islam Khoja minaret, and Itchan Kala- Khiva's Old Town. Other notable attractions include the Kalta Minor Minaret built in the 1850s, the 218 wooden pillars of Juma Mosque dating back to the 10th century, and the magnificent Task Khauli Palace. Other than these, there are plenty of bazaars and local markets where tourists can shop for handicrafts and intricate textiles.

Karakalpakstan

Located in the north-western part of the country, the Republic of Karakalpakstan is an enchanting city packed with calming landscapes and stunning architecture with intricate artworks. The top highlights of this autonomous republic include the Aral Sea Memorial, the Moynaq Museum, the Savitsky Museum, and the Karakalpak State Museum of Regional Studies.

Visitors to this museum can see some authentic paintings and pieces of jewellery common in the region. Tourists can also head to the ancient fortress of Ayaz Kala and the Mizadkhan Necropolis if they want to know more about the regional history.

Shahrisabz

Some 80 km from Samarkand, visitors can go to Shahrisabz which was historically called Kish. The city is famous for being the birthplace of the Mongol conqueror Timur and possesses historical architectural marvels and pristine landscapes. Some of its best attractions include Dorut Tilovat, Crypt of Tamerlan and the Palace of Ak Sara, making it one of the best historical places to visit in Uzbekistan. The city also has many interesting places including the Amir Timur Museum and the beautiful courtyards of Dor-Us Siyadat Complex.

Termez

Termez is usually skipped by tourists because of its distance from the main country. Historically, Termez was called Achaemenids, which was conquered by Alexander the Great. However, for those interested in archaeology, it is one of the best places to visit in Uzbekistan. It has some exceptional archaeological sites dating back to pre-Islamic times.

The city has been mentioned often in the works of Ibn Batuta, the famous Moroccan traveller. Tourists can still see the city's ruins and remnants of Fayaz Tepe, Kara Tepe, Buddhist monasteries and the famous Kyrk Kyz Fortress. Interested history buffs can head to Termez Archaeological Museum which exhibits more than a millennium of Buddhist, Islamic and Zoroastrianism history.

Aydarkul Lake

This is a semi-artificial lake which was created by the Soviets. The lake covers over 4,000 sq km and is located in the Kyzylkum desert. For this reason, it is also known as the sea amid the sand.

The sandy beaches have become a popular place for tourists to have a serene time here. The lake is also rich in marine life and attracts migratory birds, offering plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities. Vacationers can do a lot of things here, including Yurt camping, fishing, horse riding or camel riding.

Tourists can also head to the nearby Nurota Mountains for an overnight stay in local guest houses or go for a day trek. The lake is also a part of the Nuratau-Kyzylkum Biosphere Reserve and offers plenty of aquatic, semi-aquatic and mountain ecosystems to explore.

Fergana Valley

Truly a crossroads of different cultures, the Fergana Valley is an important place to visit in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. This diverse city is truly multicultural and is known for the important Silk Route cities of Fergana, Kokand, Andijan and Namangan.

Those who are familiar with Mughal history may remember this as the birthplace of Babur. Some of its best attractions include the Khan Palace and Juma Mosque, both located in Kokand. Tourists can also head to Rishtan for their distinctive blue-green pottery.

Lake Charvak

In the mountain region of Tashkent lies the Charvak Reservoir, commonly known as the Charvak Lake. It is known for its distinctive clear blue water and mesmerising beauty, making it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Uzbekistan. Tourists can explore this area while they're in Tashkent as it is one of the most popular day tours offered by tourism companies there. It is also a great place to swim, hike or simply relax.

Places to Visit in Uzbekistan - FAQs

  • Q1. What places do tourists usually visit in Uzbekistan?

    Ans: Since there is no shortage of attractions here, tourists usually stick to the most popular places to visit in Uzbekistan. Some of these tourist hotspots are Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Tashkent, Nurota Mountains, Aydarkul Lake, Fergana Valley, and the natural salt cave Khodja Ikon.
  • Q2. What is the most beautiful place in Uzbekistan?

    Ans: Other than its historical landmarks, Uzbekistan is also famous for its natural beauty and some of the best scenic landscapes. Some of the most beautiful and popular natural attractions in Uzbekistan include Jade Lakes, Koja Gur-Gur Ota, Ustyurt Plateau, Karakum and Kyzylkum deserts. Tourists interested in exploring these parts can plan their trip accordingly to get the best experience of these places.
  • Q3. Is Uzbekistan good for tourists?

    Ans: Uzbekistan is extremely well known among tourists for being an important part of the ancient Silk Road. The country is famous because of its several important UNESCO World Heritage & Cultural Heritage sites. Other than these, it has several important architectural monuments, magnificent palaces, old fortresses, cultural events and popular craft workshops.
  • Q4. How many days are enough for Uzbekistan?

    Ans: This depends on the itinerary and the things you want to do here. If visiting for a relaxing holiday, a few days should be enough. Since Uzbekistan is extremely rich in attractions, a week should be sufficient to travel across its most popular attractions. However, if you're a history buff who can't get enough of ancient monuments, then even a week may not be enough for you.
  • Q5. Is travel insurance required for Uzbekistan?

    Ans: While it is not compulsory to buy insurance for your trip to Uzbekistan, seasoned travellers will agree that insurance is only going to make your trip smoother. You can easily buy affordable travel insurance for your trip so that you’re covered in case of financial emergencies or unpleasant situations.
  • Q6. What is the best time to visit Uzbekistan?

    Ans: Spring and autumn are the best time to visit Uzbekistan. Spring in Uzbekistan lasts during April and May, while the autumn season here lasts from September to November, giving a lot more time to explore the country. The temperature is also pleasantly warm during this time, ranging from 14°C to 30°C.
 
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