Must-see attractions in Uzbekistan

  • Registan square in Samarkand.



    This ensemble of majestic, tilting medressas – a near-overload of majolica, azure mosaics and vast, well-proportioned spaces – is the centrepiece of the…

  • SAMARKAND, UZBEKISTAN - AUGUST 28, 2016: Gur-E Amir Mausoleum, the tomb of the Asian conqueror Tamerlane or Timur, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan
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    Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum


    The beautiful portal and trademark fluted azure dome of the Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum marks the final resting place of Timur (Tamerlane), along with two sons…

  • Decorative features of a mausoleum in the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis complex.
Decoration, Uzbekistan, Tile, Horizontal, Turquoise Colored, Tomb, Mausoleum, Samarkand, Close-up, Photography



    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,…

  • Ark fortress in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.



    The spectacular-looking Ark, a royal town-within-a-town, is Bukhara’s oldest structure, occupied from the 5th century right up until 1920, when it was…

  • Savitsky Museum


    The Savitsky Museum houses one of the most remarkable art collections in the former Soviet Union. About half of the paintings were brought here in Soviet…

  • Kalon Minaret and the Poi Kalon religious complex, Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

    Kalon Minaret


    When it was built by the Karakhanid ruler Arslan Khan in 1127, the Kalon Minaret was probably the tallest building in Central Asia – kalon means…

  • Inner Mosque in Tosh Hovli palace.

    Tosh-Hovli Palace


    This palace, which means ‘Stone House’, contains Khiva’s most sumptuous interior decoration, dense with blue ceramic tiles, carved wooden pillars and…

  • Eggs for sale and a crowd of people visiting Kumtepa bazaar.

    Kumtepa Bazaar

    Fergana Valley

    The fantastic Kumtepa Bazaar, 5km west of Margilon centre, is a time capsule full of weathered Uzbek men in traditional clothing exchanging solemn…

  • Mausoleum of Pahlavan Mahmoud, medieval poet and pahlevani champion.

    Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum


    This revered mausoleum, with its sublime courtyard and stately tilework, is one of the town’s most beautiful spots. Pahlavon Mahmud was a poet,…

  • Char Minar in the historic city of Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

    Char Minar


    Photogenic little Char Minar, in a maze of alleys between Pushkin and Hoja Nurabad, bears more relation to Indian styles than to anything Bukharan. This…

  • Yodgorlik silk factory in Margilon, Uzbekistan.

    Yodgorlik Silk Factory

    Fergana Valley

    Margilon's main attraction is this fascinating factory, a block west of the central Dekon Bazaar. English-language guides can walk you through traditional…

  • Kalta Minor minaret and city walls in Khiva, Uzbekistan.

    Kalta Minor Minaret


    This fat, turquoise-tiled minaret was begun in 1851 by Mohammed Amin Khan, who according to legend wanted to build a minaret so high he could see all the…

  • People shop in the meat section of the Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

    Chorsu Bazaar


    Tashkent’s most famous farmers market, topped by a giant green dome, is a delightful slice of city life spilling into the streets off the Old Town’s…

  • Museum of Applied Arts of Tashkent.

    Museum of Applied Arts


    The Museum of Applied Arts occupies an exquisite house full of bright ghanch (carved and painted plaster) and carved wood. It was built in the 1930s, at…

  • Bibi-Khanym Mosque


    The enormous congregational Bibi-Khanym Mosque, northeast of the Registan, was financed from the spoils of Timur's invasion of India and must have been…

  • Poi Kalon Mosque and Minaret in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

    Kalon Mosque


    At the foot of the minaret, on the site of an earlier mosque destroyed by Chinggis Khan, is the 16th-century congregational Kalon Mosque, big enough for…

  • State Fine Arts Museum


    The four floors of this excellent museum walk you through 1500 years of art in Uzbekistan, from 7th-century Buddhist relics from Kuva and the Greek…

  • Maghok-i-Attar


    Between the two covered bazaars, in what was the old herb-and-spice bazaar, is Central Asia’s oldest surviving mosque, the Maghoki-Attar, a lovely…

  • Khan’s Palace

    Fergana Valley

    The palace of the Khan of Kokand, with seven courtyards and 114 rooms, was built in 1873, though its dazzling tiled exterior makes it look so perfect that…

  • Earthquake Memorial


    The New Soviet men and women who rebuilt Tashkent after the 1966 earthquake are remembered in stone at the Earthquake Memorial just north of Mustaqilik…

  • SAMARKAND, UZBEKISTAN - AUGUST 28, 2016:  Detail of gold mosaic in Tilya Kori Madrasah in Samarkand, Uzbekistan; Shutterstock ID 567517564; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Tilla-Kari Medressa


    On the northern side of the Registan is the Tilla-Kari (Gold-Covered) Medressa, completed in 1660, with a pleasant, gardenlike courtyard. The highlight…

  • Ulugbek Madrasa, Bukhara, Uzbekista, HDR Image; Shutterstock ID 1544294381; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Ulugbek Medressa


    The Ulugbek Medressa, on the western side of the Registan, is the square's original medressa, finished in 1420 under Ulugbek who is said to have taught…

  • View of Sher Dor Medressa - Registan - Samarkand - Uzbekistan; Shutterstock ID 189546986; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

    Sher Dor Medressa


    The entrance portal of the Registan's Sher Dor (Lion) Medressa, opposite the Ulugbek Medressa and finished in 1636, is decorated with roaring felines that…

  • The watchtower of the Khuna Ark, the fortress and residence of the rulers of Khiva, in Uzbekistan.



    Khiva's Ichon-Qala is one of the great highlights of Uzbekistan. The perfectly preserved medieval walled town is home to dozens of mosques, medressas and…

  • Summer mosque inside ancient Kuhna Ark in Khiva, Uzbekistan.

    Kuhna Ark


    To your left after you enter the West Gate stands the Kuhna Ark – the Khiva rulers’ own fortress and residence, first built in the 12th century by one Ok…

  • Gate of Ak Saray palace, built during time of Timur (Tamerlane), Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan.

    Ak-Saray Palace


    Just north of the centre, Timur’s summer palace has as much grandeur per square centimetre as anything in Samarkand. There’s actually little left except…

  • Lyab-i Hauz, Bukhara, Uzbekistan.



    Lyabi-Hauz, a plaza built around a pool in 1620 (the name is Tajik for ‘around the pool’), is the most peaceful and interesting spot in town – shaded…

  • Ismail Samani Mausoleum

    Ismail Samani Mausoleum


    This mausoleum in Samani Park, completed in 905, is the town's oldest Muslim monument and one of its most architecturally interesting. Built for Ismail…

  • View of Hazrati Imam Mosque and Muyi Muborak Madrasah (Moyie Mubarek Library Museum) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

    Moyie Mubarek Library Museum


    The primary attraction of Khast Imom square is this library museum, which houses the 7th-century Osman Quran (Uthman Quran), said to be the world’s oldest…

  • Termiz Archaeological Museum.

    Termiz Archaeological Museum


    The Termiz Archaeological Museum is reason enough to visit Termiz. Unveiled in 2001, the museum is a treasure trove of Buddhist and Bactrian artefacts…

  • The Ayaz Qala fortresses in the Kyzylkum Desert, Uzbekistan.



    Impressive mud-walled Ayaz-Qala, located 23km north of Boston (Bustan), is actually a complex of three forts. Its heyday was the 6th and 7th centuries…

  • Minor Mosque, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

    Minor Mosque


    The striking new Minor Mosque, also known as the white mosque for the colour of its marble, is proof that Uzbekistan still knows how to create sublime…

  • Entrance to Assumption Cathedral in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

    Assumption Cathedral


    It's impossible to miss the handsome gold onion domes, pastel blue walls and 50m bell tower of the impressive Assumption Cathedral. Built in 1958 and…

  • The watchtower of the Khuna Ark, the fortress and residence of the rulers of Khiva, in Uzbekistan.



    At the back right corner of the throne room in the Kuhna Ark, a door in the wall leads to a flight of steps up to the watchtower, the original part of the…

  • City walls of Khiva in Uzbekistan.

    City Walls


    One highlight for which no ticket is needed is the walk along the northwestern section of the Ichon-Qala wall. The stairs can be accessed at the North…

  • Ruins of the Toprak Qala fort in Uzbekistan.

    Toprak Qala


    This fort about 10km west of Boston was the main temple complex of the Khorezm kings who ruled this area in the 3rd and 4th centuries. The many rooms of…

  • Islom-Hoja Minaret, Khiva, Uzbekistan.

    Islom Hoja Minaret


    It's possible to climb this 57m tall minaret, Uzbekistan's highest, for fine views over the old city. Morning light offers the best views. With bands of…

  • Urgut Bazaar


    The town of Urgut, 40km south of Samarkand, is best known for its bazaar. This is one of the best places in the country to buy jewellery, suzani and…

  • Jahon Bazaar

    Fergana Valley

    Andijon’s Jahon Bazaar is the biggest bazaar on the Uzbek side of the Fergana Valley. There are silk stalls here, in case you miss Kumtepa Bazaar in…