Architecture

The Registan Central Asia's most impressive ensemble comprises three huge medressas covered in stunning tilework.

Khiva The atmospheric Ichon Qala is an entire walled old town of medieval minarets, mosques and palaces

Shakhrisabz Timur's favourite city has a few tantalising remains, notably the huge gateway to his ruined summer palace

Gur-e-Amir Timur was laid to rest alongside his relatives under the ribbed dome of this fabulous mausoleum

Kalon Minaret Even Genghis Khan was impressed by this towering 12th-century brick minaret

Ismaili Samani Mausoleum Central Asia's finest brickwork is all the more remarkable because it dates from 905 AD.

Arts & Crafts

Rishton Ceramic Museum Central Asia's finest ceramics are made in this town in the Fergana Valley and visitors can tour workshops here.

Margilon The silk factory and workshops here are the best places to learn about Uzbekistan's famous ikat silks.

Khiva Silk Carpet Workshop The carpets here blend traditional and modern designs and use natural dyes.

State Fine Arts Museum One of Tashkent's best museums and a fine place to get an overview of Uzbekistan's rich design heritage.

Dil-Suzani Boutique Come to this shop in the Tilla-Kari Medressa to learn about the hidden designs in traditional suzani (embroidery).

Archaeology

Elliq-Qala More than a dozen ruined forts, palaces and city walls litter the desert outside Urgench.

Fayoz-Tepe The ruins of a Buddhist monastery just outside town are just one of several fascinating sites on the banks of the Amu-Darya.

Termiz Archaeological Museum A wonderful collection of finds from the region, from Buddha statues to Greek-influenced sculpture.

Afrosiab Museum The melted remains of Sogdian Samarkand, with a good museum explaining the site's fine murals.

Fortress of Alexander the Great Eroded walls and fortifications at this site founded by the Macedonian general 2300 years ago.

Bazaars

Siob Bazaar Samarkand's most interesting bazaar bustles under the shadow of Timur's ruined Bibi-Khanym Mosque.

Jahon Bazaar Sunday and Thursday are the days to head to this thunderous bazaar just outside Andijon.

Kumtepa Bazaar Uzbekistan's finest and cheapest ikat silks are for sale in this always-interesting bazaar outside Margilon.

Chorsu Bazaar Tashkent's most interesting bazaar is a great place to stock up on local produce and local crafts

Urgut Bazaar This weekly bazaar outside Samarkand is the place to pick up high-quality suzani (embroideries).

Off The Beaten Track

Aral Sea Getting to the Aral Sea is a major expedition these days, so figure on a two-day 4WD trip from Nukus.

Termiz There are many half-hidden ruins and Islamic shrines to discover in the countryside around this remote border town.

Nuratau Avoid architecture overload and get a taste of village life in this network of mountain homestays.

Kokand The least visited of Uzbekistan's three medieval khanates, the palace of Khudayar Khan is the highlight here.

Nukus It may feel like the end of the world but the capital of Karakalpakstan has a world-class museum.

Chimgan Uzbekistan may be light on mountains but you can still stretch your legs in the western reaches of the Tian Shan, near Tashkent.