Visitors to Uzbekistan, a country rich in culture and steeped in history, often remark on the distinct atmosphere of each of its major cities. Tashkent is a bustling metropolis known for its immaculate parks, central square and historic metro system; Samarkand stands majestic as the former capital of an expansive empire; and Bukhara’s Old City has retained the layout and ambience of an ancient caravan city.
Welcome to Uzbekistan Tour is the perfect package for anyone who may have time constraints or other travel plans yet still wants to see the best of Uzbekistan. This 5-day tour will walk you through the must-see sights of Uzbekistan’s three key cities, giving you an excellent feel for the country. The schedule has been carefully planned to maximize your time in-country while still allowing for independent exploration and free time.
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 (all 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 touching 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
With your private local guide, enjoy a walking tour of the most impressive sights of Bukhara’s Old City:
- Lyabi-Hauz ensemble, holding the largest artificial reservoir of medieval Bukhara (14th-17th centuries). This ensemble includes some of the largest madrassahs in the city: the Khanaka Madrassah, Kukeldash Madrassah and Nadir Divan Beghi Madrassah (all 16th century).
- Magoki-Attori Mosque, the oldest mosque in Bukhara (12th century).
- Four Trade Domes (15th-16th centuries), which still house local handicrafts for sale.
- Poi Kalyan Ensemble (12th-16th centuries), consisting of the Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque, Amir-Alimkhan Madrasah and Miri-Arab Madrasah.
- Ulugbek Madrasah (15th century) and Abdulazizkhan Madrasah (17th century), relatively untouched yet impressive religious schools.
- Ark Fortress (4th century), the ancient center of Bukharan statehood and currently home to a small museum.
- Bolo-Khauz Complex, consisting of an artfully decorated 18th century mosque, a minaret and reservoirs that once provided water for the entire city.
- Samanids Mausoleum (9th-10th centuries), believed to be the most ancient brick building in Central Asia, and the Chashma Ayub Mausoleum.
Tour duration: 6-7 hours
Transfer to the Samarkand hotel, followed by free time to rest or explore the city.
Overnight in Samarkand.
- Gur Emir, the imposing burial site of Tamerlane and Mirzo Ulugbek.
- Registan Square, the commercial center of Samarkand for centuries and Samarkand’s most celebrated site: the Square includes the 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 twenty 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
- Airport and train station transfers.
- Accommodation based on double/twin room in 3-star hotel with breakfast (4 nights).
- Private, local English-speaking guide and entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary.
- Transportation during the city tour (1-2 ppl in sedan; 3-8 in minivan).
- Economy class train tickets for the Tashkent-Bukhara-Samarkand-Tashkent route (on rare occasions when the high-speed train is unavailable, we will replace it with a reservation on the regular train).