Samarkand – A Historical City of Uzbekistan

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Samarkand – A Historical City of Uzbekistan

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Samarkand, the oldest town in Central Asia, has been entitled the “Crossroads of Cultures” in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Whoever visits Samarkand City marvels at the astonishing architecture, profound history, and archeological charms. Once the major trading center of the Silk Road, the ancient city of Samarkand has been a center of attraction for a long time. Filled with jaw-dropping attractions, majestic backdrops, stunning architectural sites, and exquisite mausoleums & mosques, it takes travelers on an over-the-top journey.

First-time visitors to Samarkand may be puzzled about where to go, what to do, what to shop, what to eat, and when to visit. But don’t worry! We have made you a whole travel guide around the Samarkand attractions, things to do, the best time to visit, the history of the city, and things to eat. So, skim through everything and plan your vacation accordingly.

A Quick History of Samarkand


Samarkand has nearly 3000 years long history and is considered one of the oldest cities in the world. It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as crossroads of cultures. Over 2000 years, Samarkand City was an eminent trading hub on the Silk Road in Central Asia. Many cultures and religions found a home in Samarkand during the medieval period, including Buddhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Hinduism.

Amir Timur built this city from scratch and made it the capital city of the Timurid Empire in the 1370s. He considers the hero of the nation and has his statues in different places all over the country. The history of this city is as rich as its architectural marvels.

Top-Rated Samarkand Attractions

Samarkand is a culturally, historically, and aesthetically rich city that attracts many tourists yearly. The attractions of this city perfectly showcase the significance of its past, present, and architectural excellence. If you want to see the ancient architecture, glittering minarets, and gleaming turquoise domes & mosaics, Samarkand attractions await your arrival.

1. Registan Square


Registan Square is the most-loved attraction in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Encompassed by three grand madrasahs shimmering with intricate tile work and blue domes, the square boasts a majestic aura. The names of three prominent madrasahs are Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilya-Kori Madrasah, and Ulugh Beg Madrasah. Registan Square falls on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

2. Gur-Emir Mausoleum


Gur-Emir Mausoleum is one of the stunning Samarkand attractions. It is one of the most recognized landmarks in Uzbekistan. The architecture and vibrant tile work of the Mausoleum makes it look grand and enchanting.

3. Shakhi-Zinda


Shakhi-Zinda is one of the most-liked tourist attractions. It is one of the visually stunning Samarkand attractions that draws the attention of many travelers. It holds a deep spiritual significance for Muslims and is considered one of the sacred sites in Central Asia.

4. Siyob Bazaar


Siyob Bazaar counts as one of the most vibrant Samarkand attractions in Uzbekistan. This bustling market offers an array of things, from ceramics to scarves to hats to hand-carved boxes to embroidered bags and more. It is a perfect place to take a leisurely stroll and soak in all the good & cultural vibes.

5. Ulug Bek Observatory


Ulug Bek Observatory is an ancient attraction in Samarkand. This observatory was a center of astronomical research in the 15th century. The observatory was founded by Ulug Bek, who was a great astronomer.

Best Time to Visit Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Samarkand is a pleasant destination to visit throughout the year. The ideal time to travel to this city depends on your preferences, like summer, winter, or crowd levels. If you like to fly during summer, the best time to visit Samarkand is from May to September. Moreover, if you want fewer crowds, the ideal time to travel is during winter. The tourists are relatively less in winter as most people avoid travelling. If you want a warm and pleasant experience, the best time to visit Samarkand is spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October).

Popular Things to Do in Samarkand

Samarkand is one of the best cities in Central Asia. It has a rich history and cultural significance. It offers many things that attract the attention of the masses. From architectural marvels to cultural richness to vibrant markets to captivating sights and more, there is a long list of things to see, do, and experience. Here’s a list of a few of them you can consider while visiting Samarkand City.

1. Admire the magnificent elegance of Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum


Gur-e-Amir boasts a majestic and splendid tile work that makes this mausoleum look more stunning and magical. You can even take an insight into the grand era of Timur.

2. Explore the whole of Registan Square


Registan Square, the most breathtaking attraction, is a crown jewel of Samarkand City. It is surrounded by three madrasahs- Tilya Kori, Ulugh Beg, and Sher-Dor. Each of the madrasahs is adorned with intricate work, grand arches, and beautiful blue domes.

3. Click many beautiful pictures inside & outside Registan Square


Registan Square is an ideal spot for photoshoots. You can click so many Instagram-worthy photos for your social media.

4. Enjoy traditional performances at Registan

During dusk, the Registan becomes the most spectacular sight. It lights up in the evening, and traditional performances happen inside the Sher-Dor Madrasah.

5. Indulge in local delicacies


Uzbek food is one of the highlights of the Samarkand trip. The Uzbekistan cuisines are rich in flavors that can satiate your foodie soul. Plov, Shurpa, Manti, and Samsa are a few famous delicacies you can try in Samarkand.

Uzbek Cuisines to Try in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Samarkand City is not only filled with surreal landscapes, jaw-dropping architecture, historical attractions, and captivating markets but also offers mouthwatering delicacies. There is a delectable array of traditional cuisines that are sure to make your tastebuds happy. The culinary delight of Uzbekistan is a journey into the country’s culture and hospitality. So, if you are in Samarkand, do not forget to try the following dishes:


1. Plov- Plov is the most famous Uzbek food among tourists. This aromatic rice dish is filled with mutton, vegetables, and flavored spices.

2. Manti- Manti is the most favorite Uzbek dish that holds a special place in everyone’s heart. This dumpling-like dish is made up of minced meat and other vegetables.

3. Samsa- Samsa is one of the most loved dishes. These are triangle-shaped pastry which is stuffed with different flavors. You can find Samsa at any local food corner in Samarkand.

4. Halva- Halva is one of the popular desserts in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. It comes in different textures and flavors. If you have a sweet tooth, we recommend you try Halva.

5. Shashlik- Shashlik is another mouthwatering delicacy in Uzbekistan. It is also known as Uzbek Kebabs. It is prepared with meat, vegetables, spices, and other ingredients.

Things to Buy in Samarkand City

Samarkand has elegant markets that offer an array of unique and fascinating things. You can buy traditional and quirky items for your loved ones as gifts. From vibrant souvenirs to creative handicrafts to captivating apparel, shopping in Samarkand is a lively affair. Here is the list of things you can buy in Samarkand:


1. Silk Products- Samarkand has a longstanding history of producing the finest silk. The city’s past relating to the silk road is one of the main reasons for record-breaking silk production. Some of the silk-related products are silk scarves, apparel, and accessories with intricate designs.

2. Ceramics & Pottery- The artisanal pottery and ceramics boasts Samarkand’s artistic heritage. Handcrafted bowls, plates, cups, and tiles are some of the most popular in the market, featuring traditional blue and turquoise patterns.

3. Carpets & Rugs- Samarkand City is known for its magnificent craftsmanship, which can be seen in its carpets and rugs. These traditional carpets and rugs are handwoven with beautiful patterns & vibrant hues.

4. Miniature Paintings- Miniature Paintings are another popular things to buy in Samarkand. These paintings depict the scenes of Uzbekistan’s surreal landscapes, historical events, Uzbek folklore, and everyday life.

5. Wood Carvings- Wooden crafts are some of the most bought things in Samarkand. These wooden carvings, like carved boxes, decorative pieces, and frames, feature captivating motifs and designs.

Tips to Note Down Before Travelling to Samarkand, Uzbekistan


Visiting Samarkand is always a delightful experience that offers a glimpse into history, culture, artistic architecture, and stunning attractions. But to get on this enchanting vacation, you must be prepared for the trip. We have listed a few tips below to help you enjoy your holiday in Samarkand.

1. Always plan ahead for the trip. Make a list of attractions you want to visit, dishes you want to eat, and activities you want to experience.
2. It is important to dress appropriately in Samarkand as it is a conservative city. Therefore, tourists should always be dressed modestly, especially in religious sites.
3. Be in your comfortable footwear. As most of the attractions in Samarkand are within walking distance of each other, it is advisable to put on your comfy shoes.
4. You can do bargaining while shopping. The people of Samarkand often indulge in polite negotiations with tourists.
5. While English is widely used in Uzbekistan, learning a few words in Uzbek can go a long way in communicating with locals.
6. Always take note of weather conditions in advance while planning your trip.
7. Cultural Sensitivity is important when you are in Uzbekistan. Always respect local customs and traditions.

Ready to Take off to Samarkand, Uzbekistan?

We are sure this guide has everything you need to know about Samarkand travel. If you want to plan a vacation in Samarkand, Dook International is the one-stop destination for all your travels. We have ample Samarkand tour packages that are affordable and customizable. You can have a personalized holiday experience in Samarkand with Dook. We provide thorough assistance to tourists throughout the trip and ensure a hassle-free vacation. If you choose Dook as your travel partner, you will relish the best time on vacation. So, hurry now!

Read More About Uzbekistan:

Popular Uzbekistan Cities

Best Restaurants in Uzbekistan

Top Places to Visit in Central Asia

Top-Rated Uzbekistan Attractions

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