The New Year Night in Samarkand

 

Country: Uzbekistan. View the route map »»
Itinerary: Tashkent - Samarkand - Tashkent.
Tour duration: 4 days / 3 nights.

Dates of the Tour: 30.12.2016 - 02.01.2017

We invite you to the grandiose and unique city of Samarkand to celebrate the New Year 2017! Mild and light winter, the most ancient monuments of the East capped with white snow, a first-class restaurant with the delicate and generous Uzbek kitchen, a holiday show and the enchanting dances of oriental beauties and many other pleasures are awaiting you on the New Year night in the historical centre of the ancient Sogdian Empire.
On the New Year’s Eve Samarkand looks particularly solemn and majestic. The bea utified city is ready for the celebration of the New Year: the Samarkand bazaar is full of exotic food, while the family table resembles that in the palace of a medieval shah receiving respectable guests.
Let this original New Year tour fill you with a lot of light, festive emotion and charge you with the wise energy of the East for the whole year of 2016!

  • Itinerary /
    Services & Cost

  • Itinerary in Detail

  • FAQ
  • Useful Information
    Route Map
  • Optional Excursions & Leisure Activities

 

Itinerary
Day 1.
30 Dec 2016
Arrival in Tashkent.
Passport control, customs and formalities. Meeting at Tashkent airport. Transfer to Ramada Tashkent Hotel 4* and check-in. Dinner in restaurant, entertainment show-program. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2.
31 Dec 2016
Tashkent - Samarkand.
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to railway station. Departure from Tashkent to Samarkand by high-speed train «Afrosiyob» (08:00-10:15). Meeting at Samarkand railway station. Transfer to Emirkhan Hotel 4*and check-in. Guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand: Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah), Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (Tamerlane’s sepulcher), Rukhabad Mausoleum; after lunch: Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, Ulugbek Observatory. New Year night at restaurant ‘Dastarkhan’, holiday show.
Day 3.
01 Jan 2017
Samarkand - Tashkent.
Breakfast at hotel. Free time. After lunch - walking tour of the New Year Samarkand and visiting famous Samarkand bazaar ‘Siab’ to buy some presents and souvenirs. Departure from Samarkand to Tashkent by high-speed train «Afrosiyob» (17:00-19:10). Transfer to Ramada Tashkent Hotel 4* and check-in. Leisure time. Final dinner in restaurant.
Day 4.
02 Jan 2017
Tashkent. Departure.
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport. Departure.
The cost of the tour in USD for 1 person
The cost of the tour for 1 person 445 USD
Single supplement +110 USD

Cost includes:

Accommodation at the best hotel in Samarkand Emirhan 4*
English-speaking guide
Comfortable air-conditioned means of transportation throughout tour, including airport - hotel - airport transfers
Full board during Day 2 and Day 3
Alcoholic and soft drinks during the gala dinner
New Year night at restaurant ‘Dastarkhan’
Souvenirs.

Cost does not include:

International airfares
Travel health insurance
Uzbekistan visa support
Photo and video shooting charges at museums and monuments.

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 Fridge 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

 

ITINERARY IN DETAIL

Day 1 (30 Dec 2016). Arrival in Tashkent.
Passport control, customs and formalities. Meeting at Tashkent airport. Transfer to Ramada Tashkent Hotel 4* and check-in. Dinner in restaurant, entertainment show-program. Overnight at hotel.

Welcome to Asia for the New Year time! You will arrive in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan and the largest city in Central Asia, to be immersed immediately into the New Year atmosphere. In winter Tashkent is beautiful in its own way: white, snow-clad trees and fresh frosty air, which somehow communicates particularly well the mind-blowing smell of shashlik shish kebab (shashlyk) or hot samsa pasties (somsa, samosa, samoosa), remind you of the actual time of the year, while the merry sun and deep blue sky paint the Uzbek winter in bright and warm colours.

In the evening you will go to restaurant where enjoy delicious uzbek cuisine and entertainment show-program.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 2 (31 Dec 2016). Tashkent - Samarkand.
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to railway station. Departure from Tashkent to Samarkand by high-speed train «Afrosiyob» (08:00-10:15). Meeting at Samarkand railway station. Transfer to Emirkhan Hotel 4* and check-in. Guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand: Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah), Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (Tamerlane’s sepulcher), Rukhabad Mausoleum; after lunch: Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, Ulugbek Observatory. New Year night at restaurant ‘Dastarkhan’, holiday show.

This day will begin with a journey to Samarkand by the high-speed train ‘Afrosiab’. How great and magnetic is this ancient city! The legendary Samarkand is one of the most ancient cities in the world, which Alexander the Great’s biographers referred to as the wealthy capital of ancient Sogdiana. Samarkand was founded in about the 8th century BC, which means it is as old as Rome!

The bright sun and clear sky help a lot create an excellent festive mood! Light frost will allow having a complete tour of Samarkand visiting the city’s main monuments.

We shall begin our excursion to Samarkand by visiting the Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (1404, also spelled Gur-Emir, 1404), the Timurids’ tomb to this day keeping the remains of Tamerlane (Amir Timur), the great medieval military and political leader.

One of the highlights of our Samarkand excursion will certainly be the Registan Square (15th-17th centuries), the most spectacular square in Central Asia, which, adorned by all the elements of winter and the New Year holiday, looks particularly solemn and grandiose. There you can see a lot of tourists who often look astounded by the size and beauty of the three madrasahs surrounding the square - the Ulugbek Madrasah (1417-1420), the Sher-Dor Madrasah (1619-1636, also spelled Sher Dor, Sherdor, Shir Dor, Shirdor) and the Tilla-Qori Madrasah (1647-1660, also spelled Tilla-Kori, Tillya-Kori, Tilya-Kori, Tilla-Kori).

After lunch we move to the Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis (also spelled Shakh-i Zinda, Shahi-Zinda, Shohizinda), which was being formed for nine centuries (since the 9th century) and which includes over 20 constructions. There exists an interesting New Year tradition in Samarkand: one should count steps in a famous stairway at the Shah-i-Zinda, first when going up and then when coming down. If in both cases the number is the same, then the wish one made for the New Year will come true!

The grandiose Bibi-Khanym Mosque (1399-1404, also spelled Bibi-Khanom, Bibi-Khanum; Uzbek: Bibi-Xonim masjidi) and the legendary Ulugbek Observatory (1424-1428) also deserve our attention.

In the evening you will go to the first class restaurant ‘Dastarkhan’, where a table with a holiday dinner will be laid for you and where you will enjoy a special New Year show. The dinner including oriental delicacies and accompanied by the dances of beautiful eastern girls is a perfect atmosphere to celebrate the New Year! Let this year begin with new emotions, new journeys and astounding discoveries! Happy New Year!

Day 3 (01 Jan 2017). Samarkand - Tashkent.
Breakfast at hotel. Free time. After lunch - walking tour of the New Year Samarkand and visiting famous Samarkand bazaar ‘Siab’ to buy some presents and souvenirs. Departure from Samarkand to Tashkent by high-speed train «Afrosiyob» (17:00-19:10). Transfer to Ramada Tashkent Hotel 4* and check-in. Leisure time. Final dinner in restaurant.

The lazy morning of 1 January is rather special and actually begins only after midday. To make haste is the last thing one would want in the first morning of the new year; however, not to prolong it until the evening, we suggest that after lunch (breakfast?) we should make a leisurely walk through the festive Samarkand and call at the famous Samarkand bazaar ‘Siab’ to buy some presents for your friends.

Almost every historic building in Samarkand is accompanied by an interesting legend concerning its history and the origin of its name. There are several absolutely different versions as to the derivation of the name of the city. Historians and linguists consider that the word ‘Samarkand’ was formed from ‘Marakanda’, as the Greeks called this ancient city, the name deriving from the ancient Persian ‘Meru kand’ (‘holy city’) or ‘Maurakand’ (‘a blessed city at a river with a lot of fruit and verdure’). According to another version, Samarkand was named so after certain Samar and Kamar, who built this city (‘kand’ and ‘kent’ mean ‘city’ or ‘town’). The third legend says that a Samar once dug up a spring in the place, and a settlement grew around it afterwards.

Walking through the festive city you will realise why Tamerlane made it the capital of his enormous empire. Along with foreign aggressors, Samarkand always attracted mystics and those seeking for esoteric knowledge, and to this day is regarded by Muslims as ‘a city protected by the God’.

Feel the truly oriental spirit, which permeates the narrow streets of the ancient city!

In the evening you will departure from Samarkand to Tashkent by the same high-speed train «Afrosiyob» (17:00-19:10). In Tashkent you will have delicious final dinner in restaurant.

Day 4. Day 4 (02 Jan 2017). Tashkent. Departure.
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport. Departure.

Our short tour of Samarkand on the New Year days is coming to an end, and today you will come back home, which you left last year! Celebrating the New Year holiday in this original and legendary city will surely make your 2016 full of discoveries and joyful adventures!

We hope that in the next year you will choose another interesting tour of Uzbekistan and visit the generous Uzbek land again. We are always happy to see you and to show and share the best we have!

 

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?
The winter in Uzbekistan is sunny and mild.
Outer clothes should include European winter jackets meant for the temperature range between –7 and +7 and sleet. You should also choose appropriate footware, warm and water-proof, so that your feet would feel comfortable in cold and humid weather. Sometimes the temperature may drop considerably (to –10°C and lower). In order to go to mountain regions you should have a special set of clothes: a ski jacket, warm and high boots and warm and water-proof trousers.
Women meet no restrictions as to their clothes. However, when visiting cultic or religious places they should have a scarf or a kerchief to cover the head and the shoulders.

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.

 

Optional Excursions & Leisure Activities

You can go to the unique Khovrenko Winery in Samarkand set up by the Russian entrepreneur D. M. Filatov in 1868. The winery was later managed by Professor M. A. Khovrenko, a gifted viniculturist, who could maintain the production of the widely popular wines created by his predecessor and develop new ones. You can sample over 10 best Uzbek wines and visit the local museum on the premises.
The excursion costs - 20 USD per pax.
Dinners at the local Central Asian traditional style art restaurants can be a wonderful addition to the tour. The restaurants feature exquisite Central Asian interiors, wonderful cuisines and gripping shows.
Take a look at the old-style paper mill and workshop where, using a centuries-old technology, they make antique Samarkand mulberry paper (nicknamed Sultan’s Paper in Tamerlane’s times). The site located in the village Koni Gil near Samarkand was built as a result of a heritage craft revival project supported by UNESCO, Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and Aid to Artisans (an international development non-profit based in Washington, DC, USA). Welcoming guests, there are also other handicraftsmen in the village: ceramists, embroiderers, silk weavers, jewelers, wood and stone engravers, miniature painters, makers of national musical instruments and toys.
The excursion costs - 10 USD par pax.

Photos of the tour:

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Our video gallery:

Tashkent Tourist Attractions
Tashkent Tourist Attractions
Traditional cuisine of Central Asia
Traditional cuisine of
Central Asia
Oriental Sweets: Navat
Oriental Sweets: Navat
Pilafs in Tashkent
Pilafs in Tashkent

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Useful links:

Information about Uzbekistan.
Remarkable sights of Uzbekistan.
Tashkent.
Samarkand.
Bukhara.

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