Attractions

Top Choice Plaza in Samarkand

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…
Top Choice Mausoleum in Samarkand

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 and two grandsons (including Ulugbek). It's a surprisingly mod…
Top Choice Islamic Tomb in Samarkand

Shah-i-Zinda

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…
Top Choice Fortress in Bukhara

Ark

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 bombed by the Red Army. For centuries it was the residence of th…
Top Choice Museum in Nukus

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 times by artist and ethnographer Igor Savitsky, who managed t…
Top Choice Mosque in Samarkand

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 the jewel of his empire. Once one of the Islamic world’s bigges…
Top Choice Islamic Site in Bukhara

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 ‘great’ in Tajik. It’s an incredible piece of work, 47m tall with 10m-…
Top Choice Palace in Khiva

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 elaborate ghanch. Built by Allakuli Khan between 1832 and 1841 as…
Top Choice Bazaar in Margilon

Kumtepa Bazaar

The fantastic Kumtepa Bazaar, 5km west of Margilon centre, is a time capsule full of weathered Uzbek men in traditional clothing exchanging solemn greetings and gossiping over endless pots of tea. Rows of handmade k…
Top Choice Mausoleum in Khiva

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, philosopher and legendary wrestler who became Khiva’s patron saint. His…