Samarkand

The Silk Road in a city of blue domes.

Explore Samarkand in Uzbekistan, known for its historic Registan Square, intricate tile work, and the rich flavors of traditional Uzbek cuisine like plov and shashlik.

4.8
out of 5

Located in southeastern Uzbekistan, Samarkand is a city where history feels tangible. Known for its monumental architecture and vibrant blue mosaics, the city’s Registan Square and Shah-i-Zinda complex showcase remarkable Islamic art and design. As a key site on the ancient Silk Road, Samarkand blends both Persian and Turkic influences, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in the crossroads of cultures.

Historical Landmarks

Samarkand's historical sites are some of the most captivating in Central Asia. Registan Square is the heart of the city, featuring three madrasahs that date back to the 15th and 17th centuries. The intricate tile work and grand architecture make this a must-see for any visitor. Nearby is the Shah-i-Zinda complex, a necropolis that has been expanded over nearly a thousand years. Its mausoleums and tombs are adorned with some of the most detailed ceramic work you'll find anywhere in the region.

Traditional Uzbek Cuisine

Food in Samarkand is deeply rooted in tradition. Try plov, a national dish made of rice, meat, and spices. You can find it at local restaurants like Platan, which offers a great introduction to Uzbek cuisine. Another dish worth sampling is shashlik, skewered and grilled meat that is often served with fresh bread and vegetables.

Places to Visit

Besides Registan Square and Shah-i-Zinda, another essential stop is Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum, the resting place of Tamerlane, the 14th-century conqueror. The structure’s blue domes and detailed ornamentation offer a glimpse into Timurid architecture. Don’t miss Bibi-Khanym Mosque, once one of the largest mosques in the Islamic world. Renovations have restored much of its original splendor.

Landscapes

The nearby Zeravshan River Valley provides scenic views and opportunities for hiking. The landscape around Samarkand changes with the seasons, offering different experiences throughout the year.

Transportation and How to Get Around

Navigating Samarkand is straightforward. You can reach the city by train from Tashkent or Bukhara. Once in the city, taxis are plentiful and affordable. Many key attractions are within walking distance from each other.

Average temperatures during the day in Samarkand.
June
25°
Jul
26°
Aug
24°
Sep
19°
Oct
13°
Nov
8°
Dec
3°
Jan
1°
Feb
2°
Mar
8°
Apr
15°
May
20°

What people say about Samarkand

4.8
People
5
Food
5
Spaces
4
Value
5
Safety
5
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