Uzbekistan remains the most-visited country in Central Asia for one key reason: the history of this land remains vibrant and tangible through its numerous palaces, madrasahs, fortresses, mausoleums and monuments. It’s here that history comes alive through world-renowned sites that have maintained the delicate balance of historical preservation and needed renovations, a country that welcomes tourists to its ancient ruins without being overcrowded or showy.
The Historical Spots of Uzbekistan Tour is a weeklong excursion to the greatest historical attractions of Uzbekistan’s most famous cities – Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Tashkent – ensuring that your trip will be infused with hands-on discovery, cultural immersion, historical knowledge and unforgettable memories. Best of all, this tour includes individualized options that allow you to truly customize the trip to meet your budget and traveling preferences.
Your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel to begin your Tashkent city tour. Your private tour will include:
- Excursion to the Old City, including the Khazret-Imam Architectural Complex, which holds the oldest known Quran in the world. Also on site are the Madrasah of Barak-Khan (16th century), Tillya-Sheykh Mosque, Juma Mosque and Mausoleum of Saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi (15th century).
- Visit to Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent’s most well-established bazaar that includes a large selection of traditional Uzbek ceramics, jewelry, handbags, garments and more.
- Ride on the Tashkent Metro, an immaculate subway system with each station decorated in colored mosaics and ceramics to depict a specific theme.
- Walk through Amir Temur Square, with a massive statue of none other than Tamerlane himself at the center.
- Independence Square, including the moving Mourning Mother Monument and the Eternal Flame, burning continuously in memory of more than half a million Uzbek soldiers who died during World War II.
- Drive to the Sacred Heart Cathedral, a 20th-century Roman Catholic Church with beautiful stained-glass windows and Gothic-style architecture.
- Tour of the Applied Arts Museum, an informative collection of Uzbekistan’s finest handicrafts housed in an ornately decorated villa.
Tour duration: 4.5 - 5 hours
- Gur Emir, the imposing burial site of Tamerlane and Mirzo Ulugbek.
- Registan Square, the commercial center of Samarkand for centuries and Samarkand’s most famous site today. The square includes three madrasahs: Ulugbek Madrasah (15th century), Sher-Dor Madrasah (17th century) and Tilla-Kori Madrasah (17th century).
- A boulevard lined with workshops, souvenir stores and ice cream stands.
- Bibi Khanum Mosque, built by Tamerlane for his favorite wife
- Siab Bazaar, a multi-level complex where you can shop for souvenirs and sample sweets, fruits and Samarkand’s famous bread.
- Shakhi-Zinda, a burial complex built between the 9th-14th centuries. Climb the blue-domed path and explore more than 20 small mausoleums that line the broad alleyway.
- Ulugbek Observatory, where you can see the remains of a 14th-15th century sextant and tour the Ulugbek Museum.
Tour duration: 6-7 hours
Explore Bukhara on a walking tour with your local guide. Enjoy your private tour of the Old City’s most impressive sights:
- The Lyabi-Hauz ensemble holds the largest artificial reservoir of medieval Bukhara (14th-17th centuries). This ensemble includes some of the largest madrassahs in Bukhara: the Khanaka Madrassah, Kukeldash Madrassah and Nadir Divan Beghi Madrassah (all 16th century).
- The Magoki-Attori Mosque is the oldest mosque in Bukhara (12th century).
- Walk through the four Trade Domes (15th-16th centuries)
- Continue your city tour of Bukhara to the Poi Kalyan Ensemble (12th-16th centuries), consisting of the Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque, Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah and Miri-Arab Madrasah.
- Explore the relatively untouched Ulugbek Madrasah (15th century) and Abdulazizkhan Madrasah (17th century).
- Head to the Ark Fortress (4th century), the ancient center of Bukharin statehood and currently home to a small museum.
- Stop by the Bolo-Khauz Complex, consisting of an artfully decorated 18th century mosque, a minaret and reservoirs that once provided water for the entire city.
- Complete your city tour of Bukhara at the Samanids Mausoleum (9th-10th centuries), the most ancient brick building in Central Asia, and the Chashma Ayub Mausoleum.
Tour duration: 6-7 hours
Arrive in Khiva in the afternoon and check in to your hotel for a rest. You’ll be staying near “Ichan Qala” the historical center of Khiva that’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Overnight at the hotel.
After beginning your excursion at Kunya-Ark Fortress, the inner citadel of Ichan-Qala, you’ll continue on to some of Khiva’s most famous sites:
- a href="/uzbekistan/khiva/kalta_minor.htm">Kalta Minor Tower, once destined to be one of the tallest minarets in Central Asia.
- Muhammad Amin-Khan, the biggest medieval madrasah and educational institution in Khiva.
- Muhammad Rahim-Khan Madrasah, a sprawling complex that once stood as one of the largest in all Central Asia.
- Juma Mosque, built with 212 wooden columns and a minaret 32.5 m high.
- Tash-Hauli Palace (Stone Courtyard Palace), which resembles a fortress with high battlements, towers and garrisoned gates
- Necropolis of Pahlavan Mahmud, the ancient religious center of Ichan-Qala.
- Minaret and madrassah of Islam Khodja, the vizier of the last khan. The complex consists of a madrasah and a minaret whose top platform has a height of 45m, the highest observation point in town. Climb the minaret yourself to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view!
Tour duration: 6-7 hours
You’ll visit each of the archaeological monuments of the Desert Castles of Ancient Khorezm in the Ellik Kala (Fifty Fortresses) region:
- Kyzyl-Kala (Red Fortress), a remnant of antique history from the Kushan dynasty.
- Toprak-Kala (Earthen Fortress), one of the most unique monuments in all Khorezm due to its size and architecture. You’ll have the chance to explore this ancient settlement, which served as the capital of Khorezm in the 3rd century AD.
- Kirk-Kyz Kala (Fortress of Forty Virgins) - a fortress dating back to the 1st-6th centuries AD and believed to be part of ancient Khorezm’s border defense system.
- Ayaz-Kala - one of the largest fortresses in Khorezm, this complex dates back to the height of the Kushan Empire in the 2nd century AD. Here you can also visit a yurt camp and go for a camel ride.
Upon arrival to Tashkent, transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Tour duration: approximately 7 hours
- Airport and train station transfers;
- Accommodation based on double/twin room in 3-star hotel with breakfast (6 nights);
- Private, local English-speaking guide and entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary;
- Transportation during the city tours (1-2 ppl in sedan; 3-8 in minivan);
- Economy class flight ticket from Urgench to Tashkent (flight times subject to change based upon availability);
- Economy class train tickets for the Tashkent–Samarkand–Bukhara-Khiva route (on rare occasions when the high-speed train is unavailable, we will replace it with a seat on the regular train).