One-day Tour to Penjikent from Samarkand
Sarazm, Republican Museum of History, Olim Dodkhoh Madrasah, Panjakent Bazaar, Ancient Penjikent
Lying along the roughly chiseled border between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan sits Penjikent (also called Panjakent), a small town that’s big on archaeological attractions and ancient regional influence. Both Penjikent proper and nearby Sarazm can trace their roots back thousands of years, and their extensive city ruins that echo the region’s former prominence are an inheritance of immense value for our world today.
One-day Tour to Penjikent from Samarkand bridges the gap between flamboyant Samarkand and quietly impressive Penjikent, separated by a short distance and an international border which was closed to foreign travelers until recently. Aided by our knowledgeable guides and drivers, you’ll travel from Uzbekistan into Tajikistan for a private, guided tour of Sarazm, historical Panjakent and its modern-day equivalent, with excursions to a bazaar, museum, mosque, archaeological sites and local café included in the tour.
Samarkand – Penjikent - Samarkand:
In the morning our driver will pick you up from your Samarkand hotel for transfer to the Uzbekistan-Tajikistan “Jartepa” border crossing (50km, 1hr). After passing through customs on both sides, your Tajik guide and driver will meet you at the border. Drive to Penjikent (30km, 40min), stopping on the way at the ancient settlement of Sarazm, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sprawling ancient city founded by 3500BC. The excavation site is divided into three sections and still holds intact structures of palaces, temples, altars, homes, city walls and paved roads. Continue driving to Panjakent, where you’ll tour the city’s greatest sites:
- Republican Museum of History (Rudaki Museum), which has eight exhibition halls on archaeology, nature, history, culture, lifestyle, Tajik customs and the life of Rudaki, the founder of Tajik-Persian classical literature.
- Central Mosque and Olim Dodkhoh Madrasah - originally from the Middle Ages and rebuilt in recent times, it now serves as the city’s main mosque and a popular gathering place for locals.
- Penjikent Bazaar, a bustling bazaar at the junction of the city’s main roads, complete with all the standard goods and Tajik souvenirs.
- Ancient Penjikent (5th century BC), a labyrinth of walls and passages decorated with amazing murals, the site includes foundations of homes, Zoroastrian fire temples, a cemetery and reconstructed living spaces.
During the tour you will have lunch at a local restaurant. Drive back to the border in late afternoon, pass through customs and re-enter Uzbekistan. Return to Samarkand for drop-off at the hotel. End of one-day Tour to Penjikent from Samarkand.
Duration of Tour:
Travel time - approximately 3 hours
City tour time - approximately 4 hours
- All transportation in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (1-3 people by car; 4-8 in minivan);
- Private, local English-speaking guide for your entire time in Tajikistan;
- Entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary;
- Lunch in Penjikent.
CITY TOUR NOTES
The tour is private with your personal guide. There will be no other people joining the tour.
Our guides will follow your own pace.
The starting time of the tour is up to you and may vary from 09.00 am to 16.00 pm.
We are happy to offer this tour for air/train passengers too. Our guide will meet you at the arrival station.
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