Classical Uzbekistan

 

Country: Uzbekistan Route map: 5-days itinerary »»; 8-days itinerary »»
Tour duration: 5 days / 4 nights; 8 days / 7 nights.
Itinerary: 5-days itinerary: Tashkent - Bukhara - Samarkand - Tashkent
8-days itinerary: Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva - Bukhara - Samarkand - Tashkent

Dates for guaranteed combined groups:

 

5-days itinerary:

 

8-days itinerary:

 
  Group No. 1. 04.09 - 08.09.2016
Group No. 2. 06.10 - 10.10.2016
Group No. 3. 16.10 - 20.10.2016
Group No. 4. 27.10 - 31.10.2016
(group is full)
(group is full)
(group is full)
 
  Group No. 1. 01.09 - 08.09.2016
Group No. 2. 03.10 - 10.10.2016
Group No. 3. 13.10 - 20.10.2016
Group No. 4. 24.10 - 31.10.2016
(group is full)
(group is full)
(group is full)
 
 

Dates for guaranteed combined groups in 2017:

 

5-days itinerary:

   

8-days itinerary:

   
  New Year Holidays Group: 04.01 - 08.01.2017
  ⚹⚹⚹          
  Group No. 1. 19.03 - 23.03.2017
Group No. 2. 02.04 - 06.04.2017
Group No. 3. 16.04 - 20.04.2017
Group No. 4. 11.06 - 15.06.2017
Group No. 5. 03.09 - 07.09.2017
Group No. 6. 28.09 - 02.10.2017
Group No. 7. 08.10 - 12.10.2017
Group No. 8. 22.10 - 26.10.2017
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Group No. 1. 16.03 - 23.03.2017
Group No. 2. 30.03 - 06.04.2017
Group No. 3. 13.04 - 20.04.2017
Group No. 4. 08.06 - 15.06.2017
Group No. 5. 31.08 - 07.09.2017
Group No. 6. 25.09 - 02.10.2017
Group No. 7. 05.10 - 12.10.2017
Group No. 8. 19.10 - 26.10.2017
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The classical itinerary featuring the ancient cities of Uzbekistan is a trip to the principal and most famous historical monuments - the grandiose must-see objects, which are an inherent part of Uzbekistan’s image.

Medieval mosques, madrasahs and minarets, artisans’ workshops, bustling bazaars surrounded by quiet narrow ancient streets, the burning Asian sun and cool nights, the fantastically delicious Uzbek cuisine and contrast between deserts and oases will make you deeply feel the aura of the oriental culture. Uzbekistan's greatest cities provide an ideal base from which to explore the country's rich and diverse cultural and historical heritage.

Classical Uzbekistan is a group tour; you can join any of the combined groups that would suit you best in terms of the tour’s date and duration. We offer 2 options for the classical itinerary: a short tour (5 days) and a long one (8 days). In the second option the fairy tale Khiva is added to the tour in the very beginning, after which the group transfers to Bukhara, where it unites with the first group. The groups cover the rest of the tour (Bukhara - Samarkand - Tashkent) together.

Choose the program suitable to you by clicking on the corresponding tab (5 or 8 days) upon scrolling down.


  • 5-days itinerary

  • 8-days itinerary

 

  • Itinerary /
    Services & Cost

  • Itinerary in Detail

  • FAQ
  • Useful Information
    Route Map

 

Itinerary
Day 1.
(Sunday)
Arrival to Tashkent. Night train in Bukhara.
Early arrival in Tashkent. Meeting at Tashkent airport. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out at 12:00. Sightseeing program in Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah; the oldest bazaar of Tashkent “Chorsu”. After lunch continuation of sightseeing program in Tashkent: Museum of Applied Arts. Transfer to the railway station. Night train in Bukhara №56 (21:10-07:15). Overnight in train.
Day 2.
(Monday)
Bukhara.
Arrival in Bukhara. Meeting at the railway station. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Bukhara: Mausoleum of Samanids, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Complex, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah. After lunch continuation of sightseeing program in Bukhara: Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3.
(Tuesday)
Bukhara - Samarkand.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the railway station. Transfer to Samarkand by premium service train «Shark» (08:20-11:25). Arrival in Samarkand. Meeting at the railway station. Transfer to the hotel and check-in. Sightseeing program in Samarkand: the most impressive square in the entire Central Asia - the Registan Square (madrasah of Ulugbek, Sher-Dor madrasah, Tilya-Kori madrasah), Gur-e Amir mausoleum - necropolis of the Timurids, Rukhabad mausoleum, Siab Bazaar. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4.
(Wednesday)
Samarkand - Tashkent.
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Samarkand: Bibi-Khanym mosque, architectural ensemble Shah-i-Zinda, Ulugbek observatory. Transfer to the railway station. Transfer to Tashkent by premium service train «Afrosiab» (17:00-19:10). Meeting at the railway station. Transfer and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 5.
(Thursday)
Tashkent. Departure.
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out at 12:00. Leisure time. Visiting the eastern bazaar Chorsu. Walking around the city. Independence Square, Amir Timur Square and National Park named after Alisher Navoi. Transfer to the airport. Departure.

Upon having switched from Group Tour to Private one, you may become familiar with the tour’s cost and the list of included services.

The group tour is held according to guaranteed departure dates as mentioned at the head of the page. You can join any combined group which allows you to share some expenses with other participants.

Private tour provides an opportunity to book a private tour as per any date convenient for you. The prices are specified depending on a number of people.


  • Group Tour

  • Private tour

 

The cost of the tour in USD for group tours in 2016
and for New Year Holiday group:
The cost of the tour for 1 person: 300 USD
SGL supplement +65 USD

 

The cost of the tour in USD for group tours in 2017:
The cost of the tour for 1 person: 340 USD
SGL supplement +75 USD

* This tour is guaranteed and will be arranged whatever final number of persons in a group.

Cost includes:

Accommodation at the hotels 3* on twin/double share with breakfast;
Sightseeing tour in each city according to the tour program;
Sightseeing tours with local guides in cities;
Services of the driver with comfortable transport during the tour, including airport - hotel - airport transfers;
Train tickets (4 seats in a compartment) for night train №662 (Tashkent - Bukhara);
Train tickets (economy class) for premium service train «Shark» (Bukhara - Samarkand);
Train tickets (economy class) for high speed premium service train «Afrosiab» (Samarkand - Tashkent);
A bottle of mineral water on each day of the tour;
Memorable souvenirs.
 

Cost does not include:

International air flights;
Sites entrance fees;
Meals;
Medical insurance.
 

Additional Services:

Sites entrance fees - 50 USD/per person/on all route;
Update to 2 seats in a compartment (lux compartment) for night train Tashkent - Bukhara - 20 USD/per person;
Board:
  - Half board (evening meals) - 70 USD/per person/on all route;
  - Full board - 130 USD/per person/on all route.
Visa support for Uzbekistan - 45 USD/per person.

The tour comes with the following accommodation:

City Hotels 3*
Tashkent Arien Plaza Hotel 3* / Samir 3* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* / Orient Star Samarkand Hotel 3* or similar
Bukhara Siyavush Hotel 3* / Modarikhan Hotel 3* or similar

Transportation
On this route will be used the following type of transport (depending on the number of people in a group):

"Hyundai Grand Starex"
(up to 6 seats)

Hyundai Grand Starex

"Mitsubishi Rosa"
(up to 15 seats)

Mitsubishi Rosa

"Golden Dragon"
(up to 45 seats)

Golden Dragon
Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Fridge
Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex

 

The cost of the tour in USD for group tours in 2016 in USD for 1 person:
Group 2 3-4 5-6 7-9 10-15 SGL supplement
The cost of the tour in USD for 1 person: 545 540 520 450 440 + 70 USD

Cost includes:

Accommodation at the hotels 3* on twin/double share with breakfast;
Sightseeing tour in each city according to the tour program;
Sightseeing tours with local guides in cities;
Services of the driver with comfortable transport during the tour, including airport - hotel - airport transfers;
Train tickets (4 seats in a compartment) for night train №662 (Tashkent - Bukhara);
Train tickets (economy class) for premium service train «Shark» (Bukhara - Samarkand);
Train tickets (economy class) for high speed premium service train «Afrosiab» (Samarkand - Tashkent);
A bottle of mineral water on each day of the tour;
Memorable souvenirs.
 

Cost does not include:

International air flights;
Sites entrance fees;
Meals;
Medical insurance.
 

Additional Services:

Sites entrance fees - 50 USD/per person/on all route;
Update to 2 seats in a compartment (lux compartment) for night train Tashkent - Bukhara - 20 USD/per person;
Board:
  - Half board (evening meals) - 70 USD/per person/on all route;
  - Full board - 130 USD/per person/on all route.
Visa support for Uzbekistan - 45 USD/per person.

Hotels
We choose the most conveniently located and reputable hotels for our customers to stay at hotels 3* - very comfortable hotels providing excellent facilities and services with notable for very warm hosting and home-like atmosphere; mainly located in or near city centers.

The tour comes with the following accommodation:

City Hotels 3*
Tashkent Arien Plaza Hotel 3* / Samir 3* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* / Orient Star Samarkand Hotel 3* or similar
Bukhara Siyavush Hotel 3* / Modarikhan Hotel 3* or similar

Transportation.
On this route will be used the following type of transport (depending on the number of people in a group):

"Chevrolet Lacetti"
(up to 3 seats)

Chevrolet Lacetti

"Hyundai Grand Starex"
(up to 6 seats)

Hyundai Grand Starex

"Mitsubishi Rosa"
(up to 15 seats)

Mitsubishi Rosa
Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Fridge
Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex

 

Itinerary in Detail

Day 1 (Sunday). Arrival in Tashkent. Night train to Bukhara.
Early arrival in Tashkent. Meeting at Tashkent airport. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out at 12:00. Sightseeing program in Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah; the oldest bazaar of Tashkent “Chorsu”. After lunch continuation of sightseeing program in Tashkent: Museum of Applied Arts. Transfer to the railway station. Night train in Bukhara №56 (21:10-07:15). Overnight in train.

Welcome to Tashkent! It is the fourth largest CIS city with a population of around 3 million. Tashkent grew to its present size mainly during the Soviet times, especially after the destructive earthquake of 1966. Today it has all the features of a modern metropolis, with a lot of Central Asian-style newly-built structures and Soviet-era buildings.

After you have relaxed and freshened up after your flight, you set out on a guided sightseeing tour of the city. First you go to Tashkent’s Old City to see Khazrati Imam Architectural Complex (also Hast Imam), consisting of Barak-Khan Madrasah, Tilla Sheikh Mosque, Muyi Muborak Madrasah, Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum (also spelled Kaffal Ash-Shashi), Namazgoh Mosque and the new Khazrati Imam Mosque. The complex is the top Tashkent historic site and Islamic center. Thoroughly restored in 2007, the edifices of the complex, with the earliest of them dating back to the 16th century, show their original splendor now. The new mosque featuring traditional Islamic architectural elements adds to the grandeur of the site.

Next, you visit the old Islamic college Kukeldash Madrasah (16th c.) and the large traditional Central Asian bazaar Chorsu near it. After lunch you see the modern part of the city, including the Independence Square and the Istiklol Square, Amir Timur Square, and visit Museum of Applied Arts boasting an abundance of fascinating exhibits.

In the evening you transfer to Tashkent railway station for night travelling to Bukhara. The carriages of night train Tashkent - Bukhara are comfortable, which makes it possible for the passengers to sleep properly during the night. Thus, the tourists’ schedule is arranged in the best way, allowing them to sleep in the train at night and spend the day on sightseeing in Bukhara.

Overnight in train.

Day 2 (Monday). Guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara.
Arrival in Bukhara. Meeting at the railway station. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Bukhara: Mausoleum of Samanids, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Complex, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah. After lunch continuation of sightseeing program in Bukhara: Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade. Overnight at the hotel.

Bukhara is one of the world’s oldest cities. It is over 2,500 years old, and seems to be emanating the breath of history. The city was a large political and religious center in the Middle Ages. It is one of the seven holy cities of Islam. Bukhara boasts a large number of old mosques of different architectural styles, as well as a lot of madrasahs, minarets and mausoleums. The historic center of Bukhara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Your tour of Bukhara begins with Ismail Samani Mausoleum (9th c. - 10th c.), one of the most esteemed Central Asian architectural monuments. It was built as the sepulcher of Ismail Samani, the founder of the last Persian dynasty ruling in Central Asia. The mausoleum features fascinating brickwork patterns that look different as the light changes during the day.

The next sight is Chashma Ayub Mausoleum. Chashma Ayub is translated as ‘Job’s spring’ in Persian. According to a legend, the biblical saint Job (Ayub) once visited the place during a severe drought in the area and opened a spring with a blow of his staff. This spring water is still there, fresh and pure, and is considered to be healing. The mausoleum was built in the 15th century by master builders Tamerlane had brought from Khorezm after capturing Khiva, so the building features a Khorezm-style conical dome, uncommon in Bukhara.

Then comes Bolo Hauz Complex (17th c.). It is the hauz ‘pond’ and two surviving structures of Bukhara registan central square complex - a mosque, still functioning, and a minaret. Very rich in ornaments, the mosque is called ‘a mosque of 40 pillars’ because all its 20 pillars, decorated with beautiful engravings, are reflected in the pond.

Next, you go to the Ark, the impressive Bukhara citadel (6th c. - 7th c.). It is the location the city grew from. It is hard to imagine that just 100 years ago they still beheaded criminals on the square before the citadel and its dungeons were full of inmates suffering from poisonous insects. Today’s Ark is a most interesting tourist attraction featuring reconstructions with dummies and housing a few museums.

Po-i-Kalan Complex (12th c. - 16th c.) you proceed to consists of Kalyan Mosque, Mir-i-Arab Madrasah and the famous Kalyan Minaret - a 45.6-meter-tall circular-pillar brick tower, narrowing upwards (built in 1127). The minaret miraculously survived many wars and invasions. It was used as an observation tower and an execution tool in the past: criminals were killed by being tossed off the top of it in the past, so it is also known as Tower of Death.

You also see Ulugbek Madrasah, built in 1417 by order of Ulugbek, Tamerlan’s grandson, the famous mathematician and astronomer called ‘a scientist on the throne’, and then Lab-i Hauz Complex (1568-1622) consisting of Kukeldash Madrasah (1568-1569), a khanaka monastery and hospice for Sufi travelers (1622) and Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah (1622). All the structures of the complex stand around a large pond that is a perfect place to relax in the outdoor teahouses around it in hot summertime. You can also take a look at the statue of a man riding his donkey there. It is Nasreddin, the legendary medieval Central Asian folk character, famed for his wit and humor.

Visiting the above-mentioned Bukhara sights, you go past unique medieval domed shopping arcades. They are still used for retail sale and offer an abundance of souvenirs and other traditional merchandise: garments, old Bukhara coins, jewelry. We recommend that you visit them during your leisure time after the tour.

Overnight rest in hotel.

Day 3 (Tuesday). Bukhara - Samarkand.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the railway station. Transfer to Samarkand by premium service train «Shark» (08:20-11:25). Arrival in Samarkand. Meeting at the railway station. Transfer to the hotel and check-in. Sightseeing program in Samarkand: the most impressive square in the entire Central Asia - the Registan Square (madrasah of Ulugbek, Sher-Dor madrasah, Tilya-Kori madrasah), Gur-e Amir mausoleum - necropolis of the Timurids, Rukhabad mausoleum, Siab Bazaar. Overnight at the hotel.

Today you will make a journey to the beloved city of Tamerlane, the capital of his once great and mighty empire - SamarkandSamarkand is probably the best-known Uzbekistan’s historic city. Over 2,750 years of age, it boasts very impressive architectural monuments and has a rich history. Geographers and poets called Samarkand ‘Rome of the Orient’ and even ‘Eden of the Orient’ in the past. Samarkand, like Khiva and Bukhara, boasts world-famous masterpieces of medieval Islamic architecture, most of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

A museum-city, the heart of caravan trade, the junction of cultures on the Great Silk Road, Samarkand has retained an aura of a Central Asian megalopolis. Samarkand occupied a key position on the caravan routes between China and Europe. Its favourable situation on the junction of caravan routes made Samarkand the centre of trade and cultural exchange. Unique recipes, religious ideas, innovations and even trade secrets used to travel along the roads of the Great Silk Route together with merchants.

Sightseeing program in Samarkand:
First, you see the Registan Square and the three grand madrasahs (Islamic colleges) on its sides. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is certainly one of the world’s most impressive historic squares. The madrasahs date from different times. Ulugbek Madrasah, the earliest of them, was built in 1417 - 1420 by order of Ulugbek. Two centuries later Sher-Dor Madrasah (“Possessing Lions”; also spelled Sherdor) and Tilla-Qori Madrasah (“Gilded”) were erected by order of Samarkand governor. Each of the madrasahs features unique decoration: fascinating tile mosaics, delicate stone carvings, splendid gilt ceilings, etc.

Then you certainly visit Gur-e Amir Mausoleum, the sepulcher of Tamerlane (Timur) and the Timurid dynasty (1404; also spelled Gur Emir). It contains the graves of Tamerlane, his two sons, two grandsons, and his spiritual mentor. Gur-e Amir (“tomb of the king”) is the precursor of the famous Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and Taj Mahal in Agra, which were built by Tamerlane’s descendants, the ruling Mughal dynasty of North India.

Next, you go to nearby Rukhabad Mausoleum (“abode of spirit”; also spelled Ruhabad). This small mausoleum dating from the 14th century is said to contain seven hairs of Muhammad the Prophet.

We also recommend visiting Siab Bazaar, where you can find various fruits and nuts, spices and dried fruits, traditional sweets and souvenirs, and famous Samarkand bread (flat round loaves).

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4. Guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand. Railway crossing to Tashkent.
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Samarkand: Bibi-Khanym mosque, architectural ensemble Shah-i-Zinda, Ulugbek observatory. Transfer to the railway station. Transfer to Tashkent by premium service train «Afrosiab» (17:00-19:10). Meeting at the railway station. Transfer and accommodation at the hotel.

Today you will continue visiting the most spectacular sights of Samarkand.

You go see the Friday communal prayer mosque Bibi-Khanym (“senior princess” or “senior wife”; also spelled Bibi-Khanum). Built in 1404, it is one of the largest historic mosques in the Islamic world. According to Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo, a Spanish ambassador to Samarkand in Tamerlane’s times, the mosque was built by order of Tamerlane in honor of his senior wife’s mother by 200 best architects and 500 workers brought from all the corners of his empire.

Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis (12th c. - 15th c.; also spelled Shohizinda, Shah-i-Zinde means “living king”) you see next is a complex of more than 20 mausoleums with 44 tombstones; most of them are of Tamerlan’s relatives, as well as military and clergy aristocracy. The main of them is the mausoleum of Kusam ibn Abbas, the cousin of Muhammad the Prophet. According to a legend, Kusam ibn Abbas came to Samarkand with Arab conquerors to preach Islam and was beheaded for faith in the city. However, he took his head and went down to a deep well where he remains alive.

You also see the surviving part of Ulugbek Observatory (15th c.). It still has a section of the mural sextant, once the world’s largest, which Ulugbek used to compile his world-famous star catalogue, the best between Ptolemy’s and Brahe’s. Ulugbek’s discoveries greatly advanced knowledge in the field of astronomy and mathematics in the Middle Ages.

Then you go to the railway station and departure for Tashkent by the high-speed train Afrosiab (17:00 – 19:10).

Overnight rest in Tashkent hotel.

Day 5. Tashkent. Departure.
Breakfast in hotel. Leisure time. Visiting bazaars, City Park named after Alisher Navoiy, Tashkent Metro. Transfer to airport. Departure from Uzbekistan.

On the last day of your tour you may still have time (depending on your flight) to visit Tashkent Metro - one of the world’s most beautiful underground railway systems. Its stations are real works of art, each featuring unique designs covering various themes, such as famous people, events, valued notions, terms or just common nouns. For instance, there are stations named Pushkin, Cosmonauts, Great Silk Road, and Apple Orchard. Note, however, that taking photos in Tashkent metro is prohibited for security reasons.

You can also visit bazaars and choice some original Uzbek souvenirs, and also go for a walk in City Park named after Alisher Navoiy.

During the trip you’ve seen many of Uzbekistan’s contrasting aspects. Unfortunately, this short tour does not include visiting the fairy-tale medieval Khiva, gigantic Lake Aydarkul (Aydar) amidst a desert or the sorrowful shore of the disappearing Aral Sea, seeing the civilisation of the thousand clay fortresses of Ancient Khorezm, feeling the freshness and wildness of the Chimgan Mountains, swimming in the sky-blue Charvak Reservoir or driving across the fertile and unique Fergana Valley… This, however, will inspire you to come to the country again, for a longer tour now! Uzbekistan is full of contrasts, but some things remain stable and unchanged for many centuries: the Uzbek land always greets its guests with a warm sun, hospitality and an incredibly rich and delicious table!

We are looking forward to seeing you!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1

What nationals need visas to enter Uzbekistan?
Citizens of any countries other than Uzbekistan and the CIS countries enjoying visa-free regime agreements with Uzbekistan need visas to enter Uzbekistan or travel through its territory. These people can obtain Uzbekistan entry visas through a Visa Invitation Letter (Visa Support) from their host parties (host tour operators). Citizens of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland and the UK can apply for Uzbek visas to embassies or consulates of Uzbekistan without getting Visa Invitation Letter, independently. Please read here for more information.

2

Is it necessary to get a stay permit (temporary registration of stay) while visiting Uzbekistan?
Any foreigner to Uzbekistan is to get a stay permit within 3 working days (consecutive or not) during his / her visit to the country. If he / she stays at an Uzbekistan hotel or a guesthouse, such a stay permit for the period of stay at it is granted automatically. (Inquire whether the hotel / guesthouse you want to stay at provides such a permit unless your accommodation is organized by a host tour operator. Also make sure you are given your stay permit certificate with the seal of your hotel / guesthouse when you check out.) If you stay at other lodging facilities during your visit, you will have to get your stay permit from a local visits registration police department.

3

What is Uzbekistan’s currency? Where can I exchange money?
The national currency of Uzbekistan is the som (UZS). There are 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 5,000-som banknotes and 25, 50, 100 and 500-som coins used currently. The banknotes are similar in size but vary in color; they depict Uzbekistan’s cultural and heritage sites.
You can exchange money at Uzbekistan’s National Bank outlets, most of the hotels and official currency exchange offices commonly located near bazaars and at shopping centers. You will need your passport and stay permit to exchange money through them.
There is also a black market of currency exchange in Uzbekistan. Although its rates are higher, we do not recommend that you exchange money through its dealers (commonly individual money changers in the street, usually near bazaars). There is a risk of falling prey to cheaters or be arrested red-handed if you go for their services.
Note that the most common foreign currency in Uzbekistan is US dollars. The US banknotes you exchange in the country should be in good condition - without defects, bad folds, worn areas and scribbles - or it will be hard to exchange them.

4

Can I use credit cards in Uzbekistan?
You can use Visa and MasterCard cards mainly in Tashkent and at fewer locations in Samarkand and Bukhara for cash withdrawals through ATMs (cash machines) in their large hotels or banks. You can also make payments with these cards at some hotels, restaurants and stores in Tashkent. However, technical failures of the card handling equipment may occur, so it is advisable to always have enough cash on you.

5

What is the difference between GMT and Uzbekistan time?
It is GMT plus 5 hours in Uzbekistan.

6

Can foreigners to Uzbekistan use the services of a local mobile network operator during their stays in the country? s
Yes, they can if they have a stay permit to show.

7

Can I bring alcoholic beverages into Uzbekistan?
A person is permitted to bring a maximum of 2 liters of alcoholic drink(s) into the country.

8

What maximum amount of cash can I bring into Uzbekistan?
There is no limit on the amount of cash in a currency that is foreign to Uzbekistan a person can bring into the country. If you bring in over 5,000 USD (or the equivalent in other currencies), you will be given a ТС-28 certificate. If you bring in over 10,000 USD, you will have to pay a 1% duty on this sum.

9

What maximum amount of cash can I take out of Uzbekistan?
The amount of cash (in a currency foreign to Uzbekistan) you can take out of the country must not exceed the sum you brought in as per your arrival customs declaration. Taking out the amount exceeding the sum you brought in is possible if permitted by Uzbekistan’s Central Bank or another Uzbekistan’s authorized bank. Note that taking out Uzbekistan soms is not permitted unless they are several souvenir coins or banknotes.

10

Can I use a photo / video camera at the tourist sites?
Photographing and videoing at the tourist sites is allowed unless a site has a prohibition sign. They charge fees for using cameras at most tourist attractions though. Photographing and videoing is prohibited in Tashkent metro, at the airports and railway stations. Using a camera at the functioning mosques is possible if allowed by the worshippers there.

11

What kind of clothes should I wear in Uzbekistan? Are there any clothing requirements for women in the country?
Clothes made of cotton and other natural textiles will be the best choice in warm and hot weather. Both men and women will feel best in T-shirts and shorts. Your footwear must be comfortable, light and strong, since you will have to walk a lot. Have sunglasses, a light headwear and sunblock lotion.
If you travel early in spring (March to the beginning of April) or at the end of autumn (October to November), it is advisable to take a windbreaker, a sweater or a similar garment. In winter the temperature may fall to minus 10°С or so, so a raincoat, a warm coat and headwear will be necessary.
There are no strict limits on women’s clothing in the country. However, you should be considerate towards the local traditions, culture and religion. While visiting religious places women should wear loose garments covering most of their arms and legs, and of course the cleavage. Headscarves will also be advisable to put on. Note that you will have to take off your shoes while entering some of the sacred places.

12

What languages do people in Uzbekistan speak?
The official language is Uzbek; it is spoken by a majority of the population. Russian is spoken by the country’s largest Slavic minority and is still used widely in business and as a lingua franca, especially in Tashkent and other major cities. Tajik is widespread in Samarkand and Bukhara for their large Tajik ethnic minorities. Karakalpak is spoken in the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan where it is an official language besides Uzbek. English is popular as a foreign language to study but there is little chance of coming across a good English speaker in the street. However, in the historic cities of Bukhara and Samarkand many young souvenir sellers dealing with foreigners speak elementary English.

 

  • Itinerary /
    Services & Cost

  • Itinerary in Detail

  • FAQ
  • Useful Information
    Route Map

 

Itinerary
Day 1.
(Thursday)
Arrival to Tashkent. Night train to Urgench.
Early arrival in Tashkent. Meeting at Tashkent airport. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out at 12:00. Sightseeing program in Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah; the oldest bazaar of Tashkent “Chorsu”. After lunch continuation of sightseeing program in Tashkent: Museum of Applied Arts. Transfer to the railway station. Night train in Urgench №56 (20:15-12:53). Overnight in train.
Day 2.
(Friday)
Urgench - Khiva.
Arrival in Urgench at 12:53. Meeting at the railway station. Transfer to Khiva and check-in at hotel. Leisure time in Khiva. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3.
(Saturday)
Khiva.
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Khiva: Ichan-Kala (historical inner city), Pakhlavan Mahmoud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, Islam Hajji Madrasah & Minaret, Tash Khauli Alakuli Khan Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammadaminkhan Minaret & Madrasah, and Avesta Museum. Overnight at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4.
(Sunday)
Khiva - Bukhara.
Breakfast at the hotel. Ride across the famous Kyzyl-Kum desert and along the Amudarya River to Bukhara. Lunch en route. Arrival to Bukhara. Leisure time. Visiting the souvenir shops and workshops. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5.
(Monday)
Bukhara.
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Bukhara: Mausoleum of Samanids, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo-Khauz Complex, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah. After lunch continuation of sightseeing program in Bukhara: Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6.
(Tuesday)
Bukhara - Samarkand.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the railway station. Transfer to Samarkand by premium service train «Shark» (08:20-11:25). Arrival in Samarkand. Meeting at the railway station. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Sightseeing program in Samarkand: Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah) - the most impressive square in the entire Central Asia, Gur-e Amir Mausoleum - necropolis of the Timurids, Rukhabad Mausoleum, Siab Bazaar. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7.
(Wednesday)
Samarkand - Tashkent.
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Samarkand: Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, Ulugbek Observatory. Transfer to the railway station. Transfer to Tashkent by premium service train Afrosiab (17:00-19:10). Arrival in Tashkent, meeting at the railway station. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8.
(Thursday)
Tashkent. Departure.
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out at 12:00. Leisure time. Visiting the eastern bazaar Chorsu. Walking around the city. Independence Square, Amir Timur Square and National Park named after Alisher Navoi. Transfer to the airport. Departure.

Upon having switched from Group Tour to Private one, you may become familiar with the tour’s cost and the list of included services.

The group tour is held according to guaranteed departure dates as mentioned at the head of the page. You can join any combined group which allows you to share some expenses with other participants.

Private tour provides an opportunity to book a private tour as per any date convenient for you. The prices are specified depending on a number of people.


  • Group Tour

  • Private tour

 

The cost of the tour in USD for group tours in 2016:
The cost of the tour for 1 person: 490 USD
SGL supplement +95 USD

 

The cost of the tour in USD for group tours in 2017:
The cost of the tour for 1 person: 525 USD
SGL supplement +100 USD

* This tour is guaranteed and will be arranged whatever final number of persons in a group.

Cost includes:

Accommodation at the hotels 3* on twin/double share with breakfast;
Sightseeing tour in each city according to the tour program;
Sightseeing tours with local guides in cities;
Services of the driver with comfortable transport during the tour, including airport - hotel - airport transfers;
Train tickets (4 seats in a compartment) for night train №56 (Tashkent - Urgench);
Train tickets (economy class) for premium service train «Shark» (Bukhara - Samarkand);
Train tickets (economy class) for high speed premium service train «Afrosiab» (Samarkand - Tashkent);
A bottle of mineral water on each day of the tour;
Memorable souvenirs.
 

Cost does not include:

International air flights;
Sites entrance fees;
Meals;
Medical insurance.
 

Additional Services:

Sites entrance fees - 70 USD/per person/on all route;
Update to 2 seats in a compartment (lux compartment) for night train Tashkent - Urgench - 45 USD/per person;
Board:
  - Half board (evening meals) - 95 USD/per person/on all route;
  - Full board - 180 USD/per person/on all route.
Visa support for Uzbekistan - 45 USD/per person.

Hotels
We choose the most conveniently located and reputable hotels for our customers to stay at hotels 3* - very comfortable hotels providing excellent facilities and services with notable for very warm hosting and home-like atmosphere; mainly located in or near city centers.

The tour comes with the following accommodation:

City Hotels 3*
Tashkent Arien Plaza Hotel 3* / Samir 3* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* / Orient Star Samarkand Hotel 3* or similar
Bukhara Siyavush Hotel 3* / Modarikhan Hotel 3* or similar
Khiva Orient Star Khiva Hotel 3* / Arkanchi Hotel 3* or similar

Transportation
Depending on the size of a group the following means of transportation are used during the tour:

"Hyundai Grand Starex"
(up to 6 seats)

Hyundai Grand Starex

"Mitsubishi Rosa"
(up to 15 seats)

Mitsubishi Rosa

"Golden Dragon"
(up to 45 seats)

Golden Dragon
Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Fridge
Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex

 

The cost of the tour in USD for 2016:
Group 2 3-4 5-6 7-9 10-15 SGL supplement
The cost of the tour for 1 person 710 665 345 340 330 + 95 USD

Cost includes:

Accommodation at the hotels 3* on twin/double share with breakfast;
Sightseeing tour in each city according to the tour program;
Sightseeing tours with local guides in cities;
Services of the driver with comfortable transport during the tour, including airport - hotel - airport transfers;
Train tickets (4 seats in a compartment) for night train №56 (Tashkent - Urgench);
Train tickets (economy class) for premium service train «Shark» (Bukhara - Samarkand);
Train tickets (economy class) for high speed premium service train «Afrosiab» (Samarkand - Tashkent);
A bottle of mineral water on each day of the tour;
Memorable souvenirs.
 

Cost does not include:

International air flights;
Sites entrance fees;
Meals;
Medical insurance.
 

Additional Services:

Sites entrance fees - 70 USD/per person/on all route;
Update to 2 seats in a compartment (lux compartment) for night train Tashkent - Urgench - 45 USD/per person;
Board:
  - Half board (evening meals) - 95 USD/per person/on all route;
  - Full board - 180 USD/per person/on all route.
Visa support for Uzbekistan - 45 USD/per person.

Hotels
We choose the most conveniently located and reputable hotels for our customers to stay at hotels 3* - very comfortable hotels providing excellent facilities and services with notable for very warm hosting and home-like atmosphere; mainly located in or near city centers.

The tour comes with the following accommodation:

City Hotels 3*
Tashkent Arien Plaza Hotel 3* / Samir 3* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* / Orient Star Samarkand Hotel 3* or similar
Bukhara Siyavush Hotel 3* / Modarikhan Hotel 3* or similar
Khiva Orient Star Khiva Hotel 3* / Arkanchi Hotel 3* or similar

Transportation
Depending on the size of a group the following means of transportation are used during the tour:

"Chevrolet Lacetti"
(up to 3 seats)

Chevrolet Lacetti

"Hyundai Grand Starex"
(up to 6 seats)

Hyundai Grand Starex

"Mitsubishi Rosa"
(up to 15 seats)

Mitsubishi Rosa
Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Air conditioner Audio system Safety belt Fold-back seats Lighting in saloon Fridge
Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet Lacetti Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex Hyundai Grand Starex

 

Itinerary in Detail

Day 1 (Thursday). Arrival to Tashkent. Night train to Urgench.
Early arrival in Tashkent. Meeting at Tashkent airport. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out at 12:00. Sightseeing program in Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrasah; the oldest bazaar of Tashkent “Chorsu”. After lunch continuation of sightseeing program in Tashkent: Museum of Applied Arts. Transfer to the railway station. Night train in Urgench №56 (20:15-12:53). Overnight in train.

Welcome to Tashkent! It is the fourth largest CIS city with a population of around 3 million. Tashkent grew to its present size mainly during the Soviet times, especially after the destructive earthquake of 1966. Today it has all the features of a modern metropolis, with a lot of Central Asian-style newly-built structures and Soviet-era buildings.

After you have relaxed and freshened up after your flight, you set out on a guided sightseeing tour of the city. First you go to Tashkent’s Old City to see Khazrati Imam Architectural Complex (also Hast Imam), consisting of Barak-Khan Madrasah, Tilla Sheikh Mosque, Muyi Muborak Madrasah, Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum (also spelled Kaffal Ash-Shashi), Namazgoh Mosque and the new Khazrati Imam Mosque. The complex is the top Tashkent historic site and Islamic center. Thoroughly restored in 2007, the edifices of the complex, with the earliest of them dating back to the 16th century, show their original splendor now. The new mosque featuring traditional Islamic architectural elements adds to the grandeur of the site.

Next, you visit the old Islamic college Kukeldash Madrasah (16th c.) and the large traditional Central Asian bazaar Chorsu near it. After lunch you see the modern part of the city, including the Independence Square and the Istiklol Square, Amir Timur Square, and visit Museum of Applied Arts boasting an abundance of fascinating exhibits.

In the evening we shall transfer to the Tashkent railway station and on a comfortable night train leave for Urgench, the administrative centre of Khorezm Province (also spelled Khwarezmia, Khwarizm, Khwarazm, Khwarezm, Khoresm, Khorasam, Harezm, Horezm, and Chorezm), situated in the opposite part of Uzbekistan. Most of the train route’s length lies in the famous Kyzylkum Desert. Travelling by train during the night allows you to use your time in the best way, leaving the day for more interesting things.

Overnight in train.

Day 2 (Friday). Urgench - Khiva.
Arrival in Urgench at 12:53. Meeting at the railway station. Transfer to Khiva and check-in at hotel. Leisure time in Khiva. Overnight at the hotel.

The train arrives in Urgench at 1:05 pm, after which you will be transferred in half an hour to the fabulous Khiva, a city of ancient Khorezm (35 km).

Khiva is an amazing historic city called ‘a museum under the open sky’. Khiva’s Ichan-Kala ‘inner city’ historic part (also spelled Itchan-Kala), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a walled medieval Central Asian town being preserved as it was in the past - an artifact town. Although protected by the state and having the status of a museum reserve, Ichan-Kala is populated with real people, mainly artisans. Khiva has no tall modern buildings and wide roads with much traffic. It seems time has stopped here to preserve what was built centuries ago. You are seeing a lot of magnificent Oriental architectural monuments and medieval adobe homes.

We recommend that you visit Khiva’s bazaar and handicraft shops, where traditional Khorezm carpets, suzani tapestries, robes, embroidered scull-caps and an abundance of other souvenirs are offered. Only at the restaurants of Khiva you can taste traditional Khorezmian dishes that are cooked nowhere else in Uzbekistan.

Khiva is particularly beautiful at sunset. You can take magically beautiful pictures of the setting sun and the ancient city flooded with orange light standing on some elevation, such as the top of a minaret or an observation deck.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3 (Saturday). Khiva.
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Khiva: Ichan-Kala (historical inner city), Pakhlavan Mahmoud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, Islam Hajji Madrasah & Minaret, Tash Khauli Alakuli Khan Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammadaminkhan Minaret & Madrasah, and Avesta Museum. Overnight at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

All the sights of Khiva are compactly located within the historical Ichan-Kala old town walls. Ichan Kala is encircled by brick crenellated walls whose foundations are believed to have been laid in the 10th c. The walls themselves date back to the late 17th c. Behind them there are over 50 architectural monuments and 250 old houses; most of them date back to the 18th - 19th c.

When you are in Ichan-Kala, you feel you find yourself in a Scheherazade’s story of 1001 Nights. You can climb the stairs of the 44.5-meter-high Islam-Hajji Minaret - the highest minaret in Ichan-Kala and the symbol of Khiva - and have a fabulous panoramic view of the city from its top window. Do not miss Djuma Mosque, which was built in the 10th c and rebuilt in 1788 - 1789. It is famed for its hypostyle hall, which still has 213 wooden pillars of the previous 10th-century structure, decorated with unique carvings. Take a look at unfinished minaret Kalta-Minor, Kunya-Ark Fortress and the complex of Pakhlavan Mahmud, the famous Khiva’s poet and powerful knight who became a local saint after death. Avesta Museum in Ichan-Kala deals with the history of Zoroastrianism; Khwarezm, with Khiva as its center, is believed to be its cradle. It is really worth seeing these and many other sights in Khiva "live".

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4 (Sunday). Khiva - Bukhara.
Breakfast at the hotel. Ride across the famous Kyzyl-Kum desert and along the Amudarya River to Bukhara. Lunch en route. Arrival to Bukhara. Leisure time. Visiting the souvenir shops and workshops. Overnight at the hotel.

After breakfast you set out on a long (7-8 hours) and exciting journey to Bukhara across the Kyzylkum Desert (also spelled Kyzyl-Kum, Qyzylqum) and along the Amudarya River (also spelled Amu Darya; known as the Oxus from its Ancient Greek name in historical sources).

Bukhara is one of the world’s oldest cities. It is over 2,500 years old, and seems to be emanating the breath of history. Bukhara was a large political and religious center in the Middle Ages; it is one of the seven holy cities of Islam. Bukhara boasts a large number of old mosques of different architectural styles, as well as a lot of madrasahs, minarets and mausoleums. The historic center of Bukhara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After you have checked in at your hotel, you still have some leisure time to spend before your overnight rest. We recommend that you stroll about the surroundings, feeling the charm of the city in the evening, and visit souvenir shops. In Bukhara you can perceive the Orient in full. At every step you will encounter a trader offering fine craftwork: astrakhan hats, masterly embroidered suzani, national shirts, skullcaps, knives and artfully decorated jewelry. This urge for trading seems to be inherited from the ancestors who used to travel in caravans along the trails of the Great Silk Road.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5 (Monday). Guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara.
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Bukhara: Mausoleum of Samanids, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo-Khauz Complex, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah. After lunch continuation of sightseeing program in Bukhara: Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi, domed shopping arcade. Overnight at the hotel.

Your tour of Bukhara begins with Ismail Samani Mausoleum (9th c. - 10th c.), one of the most esteemed Central Asian architectural monuments. It was built as the sepulcher of Ismail Samani, the founder of the last Persian dynasty ruling in Central Asia. The mausoleum features fascinating brickwork patterns that look different as the light changes during the day.

The next sight is Chashma Ayub Mausoleum. Chashma Ayub is translated as ‘Job’s spring’ in Persian. According to a legend, the biblical saint Job (Ayub) once visited the place during a severe drought in the area and opened a spring with a blow of his staff. This spring water is still there, fresh and pure, and is considered to be healing. The mausoleum was built in the 15th century by master builders Tamerlane had brought from Khorezm after capturing Khiva, so the building features a Khorezm-style conical dome, uncommon in Bukhara.

Then comes Bolo Hauz Complex (17th c.). It is the hauz ‘pond’ and two surviving structures of Bukhara registan central square complex - a mosque, still functioning, and a minaret. Very rich in ornaments, the mosque is called ‘a mosque of 40 pillars’ because all its 20 pillars, decorated with beautiful engravings, are reflected in the pond.

Next, you go to the Ark, the impressive Bukhara citadel (6th c. - 7th c.). It is the location the city grew from. It is hard to imagine that just 100 years ago they still beheaded criminals on the square before the citadel and its dungeons were full of inmates suffering from poisonous insects. Today’s Ark is a most interesting tourist attraction featuring reconstructions with dummies and housing a few museums.

Po-i-Kalan Complex (12th c. - 16th c.) you proceed to consists of Kalyan Mosque, Mir-i-Arab Madrasah and the famous Kalyan Minaret - a 45.6-meter-tall circular-pillar brick tower, narrowing upwards (built in 1127). The minaret miraculously survived many wars and invasions. It was used as an observation tower and an execution tool in the past: criminals were killed by being tossed off the top of it in the past, so it is also known as Tower of Death.

You also see Ulugbek Madrasah, built in 1417 by order of Ulugbek, Tamerlan’s grandson, the famous mathematician and astronomer called ‘a scientist on the throne’, and then Lab-i Hauz Complex (1568-1622) consisting of Kukeldash Madrasah (1568-1569), a khanaka monastery and hospice for Sufi travelers (1622) and Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah (1622). All the structures of the complex stand around a large pond that is a perfect place to relax in the outdoor teahouses around it in hot summertime. You can also take a look at the statue of a man riding his donkey there. It is Nasreddin, the legendary medieval Central Asian folk character, famed for his wit and humor.

Visiting the above-mentioned Bukhara sights, you go past unique medieval domed shopping arcades. They are still used for retail sale and offer an abundance of souvenirs and other traditional merchandise: garments, old Bukhara coins, jewelry. We recommend that you visit them during your leisure time after the tour.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6 (Tuesday). Bukhara - Samarkand.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the railway station. Transfer to Samarkand by premium service train «Shark» (08:20-11:25). Arrival in Samarkand. Meeting at the railway station. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Sightseeing program in Samarkand: Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah) - the most impressive square in the entire Central Asia, Gur-e Amir Mausoleum - necropolis of the Timurids, Rukhabad Mausoleum, Siab Bazaar. Overnight at the hotel.

Today you will make a journey to the beloved city of Tamerlane, the capital of his once great and mighty empire - SamarkandSamarkand is probably the best-known Uzbekistan’s historic city. Over 2,750 years of age, it boasts very impressive architectural monuments and has a rich history. Geographers and poets called Samarkand ‘Rome of the Orient’ and even ‘Eden of the Orient’ in the past. Samarkand, like Khiva and Bukhara, boasts world-famous masterpieces of medieval Islamic architecture, most of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

A museum-city, the heart of caravan trade, the junction of cultures on the Great Silk Road, Samarkand has retained an aura of a Central Asian megalopolis. Samarkand occupied a key position on the caravan routes between China and Europe. Its favourable situation on the junction of caravan routes made Samarkand the centre of trade and cultural exchange. Unique recipes, religious ideas, innovations and even trade secrets used to travel along the roads of the Great Silk Route together with merchants.

Sightseeing program in Samarkand:

First, you see the Registan Square and the three grand madrasahs (Islamic colleges) on its sides. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is certainly one of the world’s most impressive historic squares. The madrasahs date from different times. Ulugbek Madrasah, the earliest of them, was built in 1417 - 1420 by order of Ulugbek. Two centuries later Sher-Dor Madrasah (“Possessing Lions”; also spelled Sherdor) and Tilla-Qori Madrasah (“Gilded”) were erected by order of Samarkand governor. Each of the madrasahs features unique decoration: fascinating tile mosaics, delicate stone carvings, splendid gilt ceilings, etc.

Then you certainly visit Gur-e Amir Mausoleum, the sepulcher of Tamerlane (Timur) and the Timurid dynasty (1404; also spelled Gur Emir). It contains the graves of Tamerlane, his two sons, two grandsons, and his spiritual mentor. Gur-e Amir (“tomb of the king”) is the precursor of the famous Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and Taj Mahal in Agra, which were built by Tamerlane’s descendants, the ruling Mughal dynasty of North India.
Next, you go to nearby Rukhabad Mausoleum (“abode of spirit”; also spelled Ruhabad). This small mausoleum dating from the 14th century is said to contain seven hairs of Muhammad the Prophet.

We also recommend visiting Siab Bazaar, where you can find various fruits and nuts, spices and dried fruits, traditional sweets and souvenirs, and famous Samarkand bread (flat round loaves).

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7 (Wednesday). Guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand. Railway crossing to Tashkent.
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Samarkand: Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, Ulugbek Observatory. Transfer to the railway station. Transfer to Tashkent by premium service train Afrosiab (17:00-19:10). Arrival in Tashkent, meeting at the railway station. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Overnight at the hotel.

Today you will continue visiting the most spectacular sights of Samarkand.

You go see the Friday communal prayer mosque Bibi-Khanym (“senior princess” or “senior wife”; also spelled Bibi-Khanum). Built in 1404, it is one of the largest historic mosques in the Islamic world. According to Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo, a Spanish ambassador to Samarkand in Tamerlane’s times, the mosque was built by order of Tamerlane in honor of his senior wife’s mother by 200 best architects and 500 workers brought from all the corners of his empire.

Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis (12th c. - 15th c.; also spelled Shohizinda, Shah-i-Zinde means “living king”) you see next is a complex of more than 20 mausoleums with 44 tombstones; most of them are of Tamerlan’s relatives, as well as military and clergy aristocracy. The main of them is the mausoleum of Kusam ibn Abbas, the cousin of Muhammad the Prophet. According to a legend, Kusam ibn Abbas came to Samarkand with Arab conquerors to preach Islam and was beheaded for faith in the city. However, he took his head and went down to a deep well where he remains alive.

You also see the surviving part of Ulugbek Observatory (15th c.). It still has a section of the mural sextant, once the world’s largest, which Ulugbek used to compile his world-famous star catalogue, the best between Ptolemy’s and Brahe’s. Ulugbek’s discoveries greatly advanced knowledge in the field of astronomy and mathematics in the Middle Ages.

Then you go to the railway station and departure for Tashkent by the high-speed train Afrosiab (17:00 – 19:10).

Overnight rest in Tashkent hotel.

Day 8 (Thursday). Tashkent. Departure.
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out at 12:00. Leisure time. Visiting the eastern bazaar Chorsu. Walking around the city. Independence Square, Amir Timur Square and National Park named after Alisher Navoi. Transfer to the airport. Departure.

On the last day of your tour you may still have time (depending on your flight) to walk around the city or visit Tashkent Metro - one of the world’s most beautiful underground railway systems. Its stations are real works of art, each featuring unique designs covering various themes, such as famous people, events, valued notions, terms or just common nouns. For instance, there are stations named Pushkin, Cosmonauts, Great Silk Road, and Apple Orchard. Note, however, that taking photos in Tashkent metro is prohibited for security reasons.

You can also visit bazaars and choice some original Uzbek souvenirs, and also go for a walk in City Park named after Alisher Navoiy.

We have attempted to show you the main and most picturesque attractions of Uzbekistan in this tour. However, it is but a small portion of interesting things you can find in this country. During your next trip you should visit gigantic Lake Aydarkul (Aydar) amidst a desert or the sorrowful shore of the disappearing Aral Sea, see the civilisation of the thousand clay fortresses of Ancient Khorezm, feel the freshness and wildness of the Chimgan Mountains, swim in the sky-blue Charvak Reservoir or drive across the fertile and unique Fergana Valley… This, however, will inspire you to come to the country again, for a longer tour now! Uzbekistan is full of contrasts, but some things remain stable and unchanged for many centuries: the Uzbek land always greets its guests with a warm sun, hospitality and an incredibly rich and delicious table!

We are looking forward to seeing you!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1

What nationals need visas to enter Uzbekistan?
Citizens of any countries other than Uzbekistan and the CIS countries enjoying visa-free regime agreements with Uzbekistan need visas to enter Uzbekistan or travel through its territory. These people can obtain Uzbekistan entry visas through a Visa Invitation Letter (Visa Support) from their host parties (host tour operators). Citizens of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland and the UK can apply for Uzbek visas to embassies or consulates of Uzbekistan without getting Visa Invitation Letter, independently. Please read here for more information.

2

Is it necessary to get a stay permit (temporary registration of stay) while visiting Uzbekistan?
Any foreigner to Uzbekistan is to get a stay permit within 3 working days (consecutive or not) during his / her visit to the country. If he / she stays at an Uzbekistan hotel or a guesthouse, such a stay permit for the period of stay at it is granted automatically. (Inquire whether the hotel / guesthouse you want to stay at provides such a permit unless your accommodation is organized by a host tour operator. Also make sure you are given your stay permit certificate with the seal of your hotel / guesthouse when you check out.) If you stay at other lodging facilities during your visit, you will have to get your stay permit from a local visits registration police department.

3

What is Uzbekistan’s currency? Where can I exchange money?
The national currency of Uzbekistan is the som (UZS). There are 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 5,000-som banknotes and 25, 50, 100 and 500-som coins used currently. The banknotes are similar in size but vary in color; they depict Uzbekistan’s cultural and heritage sites.
You can exchange money at Uzbekistan’s National Bank outlets, most of the hotels and official currency exchange offices commonly located near bazaars and at shopping centers. You will need your passport and stay permit to exchange money through them.
There is also a black market of currency exchange in Uzbekistan. Although its rates are higher, we do not recommend that you exchange money through its dealers (commonly individual money changers in the street, usually near bazaars). There is a risk of falling prey to cheaters or be arrested red-handed if you go for their services.
Note that the most common foreign currency in Uzbekistan is US dollars. The US banknotes you exchange in the country should be in good condition - without defects, bad folds, worn areas and scribbles - or it will be hard to exchange them.

4

Can I use credit cards in Uzbekistan?
You can use Visa and MasterCard cards mainly in Tashkent and at fewer locations in Samarkand and Bukhara for cash withdrawals through ATMs (cash machines) in their large hotels or banks. You can also make payments with these cards at some hotels, restaurants and stores in Tashkent. However, technical failures of the card handling equipment may occur, so it is advisable to always have enough cash on you.

5

What is the difference between GMT and Uzbekistan time?
It is GMT plus 5 hours in Uzbekistan.

6

Can foreigners to Uzbekistan use the services of a local mobile network operator during their stays in the country? s
Yes, they can if they have a stay permit to show.

7

Can I bring alcoholic beverages into Uzbekistan?
A person is permitted to bring a maximum of 2 liters of alcoholic drink(s) into the country.

8

What maximum amount of cash can I bring into Uzbekistan?
There is no limit on the amount of cash in a currency that is foreign to Uzbekistan a person can bring into the country. If you bring in over 5,000 USD (or the equivalent in other currencies), you will be given a ТС-28 certificate. If you bring in over 10,000 USD, you will have to pay a 1% duty on this sum.

9

What maximum amount of cash can I take out of Uzbekistan?
The amount of cash (in a currency foreign to Uzbekistan) you can take out of the country must not exceed the sum you brought in as per your arrival customs declaration. Taking out the amount exceeding the sum you brought in is possible if permitted by Uzbekistan’s Central Bank or another Uzbekistan’s authorized bank. Note that taking out Uzbekistan soms is not permitted unless they are several souvenir coins or banknotes.

10

Can I use a photo / video camera at the tourist sites?
Photographing and videoing at the tourist sites is allowed unless a site has a prohibition sign. They charge fees for using cameras at most tourist attractions though. Photographing and videoing is prohibited in Tashkent metro, at the airports and railway stations. Using a camera at the functioning mosques is possible if allowed by the worshippers there.

11

What kind of clothes should I wear in Uzbekistan? Are there any clothing requirements for women in the country?
Clothes made of cotton and other natural textiles will be the best choice in warm and hot weather. Both men and women will feel best in T-shirts and shorts. Your footwear must be comfortable, light and strong, since you will have to walk a lot. Have sunglasses, a light headwear and sunblock lotion.
If you travel early in spring (March to the beginning of April) or at the end of autumn (October to November), it is advisable to take a windbreaker, a sweater or a similar garment. In winter the temperature may fall to minus 10°С or so, so a raincoat, a warm coat and headwear will be necessary.
There are no strict limits on women’s clothing in the country. However, you should be considerate towards the local traditions, culture and religion. While visiting religious places women should wear loose garments covering most of their arms and legs, and of course the cleavage. Headscarves will also be advisable to put on. Note that you will have to take off your shoes while entering some of the sacred places.

12

What languages do people in Uzbekistan speak?
The official language is Uzbek; it is spoken by a majority of the population. Russian is spoken by the country’s largest Slavic minority and is still used widely in business and as a lingua franca, especially in Tashkent and other major cities. Tajik is widespread in Samarkand and Bukhara for their large Tajik ethnic minorities. Karakalpak is spoken in the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan where it is an official language besides Uzbek. English is popular as a foreign language to study but there is little chance of coming across a good English speaker in the street. However, in the historic cities of Bukhara and Samarkand many young souvenir sellers dealing with foreigners speak elementary English.

Photos of the tour:

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Our video gallery:

Traditional cuisine of Central Asia
Cuisine of Central Asia
Pilafs in Tashkent
Pilafs in Tashkent
Wine-Making in Uzbekistan
Wine-Making in Uzbekistan
Uzbek fruit and vegetables
Uzbek Fruit and Vegetables

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