Top things to do

Top Choice International in Samarkand


Possibly the best restaurant in Samarkand, Platan has a gorgeous summer terrace for shady al fresco dining in the summer months, while inside there's a choice of two dining rooms, one of which is on the noisy side a…
Uzbek in Samarkand


This Uzbek theme restaurant remains one of the most popular places for groups and independent travellers alike. The national- and Russian-influenced cuisine can be enjoyed in a variety of settings, from private coun…
Bar in Samarkand

Blues Cafe

A surprisingly tasteful and low-lit bar deep in the Russian old town, Blue Cafe no longer has live music, but that may change (a forlorn piano stands in memory of a happier time). Instead there's an 80s soundtrack, …
Museum in Samarkand

Afrosiab Museum

The Afrosiab Museum was built around one of Samarkand’s more important archaeological finds, a chipped 7th-century fresco of the Sogdian King Varkhouman receiving ranks of foreign dignitaries astride ranks of elepha…
Mosque in Samarkand

Bibi-Khanym Mosque

The enormous congregational Bibi-Khanym Mosque, northeast of the Registan, was finished shortly before Timur’s death and must have been the jewel of his empire. Once one of the Islamic world’s biggest mosques (the c…
Mosque in Samarkand

Hazrat-Hizr Mosque

Across the intersection from the Siob Bazaar, the Hazrat-Hizr Mosque occupies a hill on the fringes of Afrosiab. The 8th-century mosque that once stood here was burnt to the ground by Chinggis Khan in the 13th centu…
Plaza in Samarkand

The Registan

This ensemble of majestic, tilting medressas – a near-overload of majolica, azure mosaics and vast, well-proportioned spaces – is the centrepiece of the city, and arguably the most awesome single sight in Central As…
Mausoleum in Samarkand

Rukhobod Mausoleum

Rukhobod Mausoleum, dated 1380 and possibly the city’s oldest surviving monument, now serves as a souvenir and craft shop.
Cemetery in Samarkand


Samarkand’s most moving and beloved site is this stunning avenue of mausoleums, which contains some of the richest tilework in the Muslim world. The name, which means ‘Tomb of the Living King’, refers to its origina…
Mausoleum in Samarkand

Tomb of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel

The restored Tomb of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel lies on the banks of the Siob River (turn left off Toshkent yo'li 400m northeast of the Afrosiab Museum). The building is a long, low structure topped with five …