The Orient Express

Group sightseeing tour of Uzbekistan with transfers by train


Country: Uzbekistan Road map »»
Tour duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Itinerary: TashkentSamarkand – Bukhara – Tashkent – Physics of the Sun Institute (Solar Furnace) – Tashkent

The Orient Express 2023

This short but intensive Uzbekistan tour will carry you to the atmosphere of the magic East with its sun, delicious Uzbek cuisine and fabulous medieval architecture. We will visit historic and architecturally beautiful cities of the Silk Road – Samarkand, Bukhara and Tashkent, will see the most beautiful breathtaking sites, and a quite unique place - Big Solar Furnace, one of the two existing in the world!

Apart from the interesting guided tours, we are going to:

  • Have lunch at the Middle Eastern pilaf center in Tashkent where they cook over 10 tons of the best pilaf in the country every day;
  • Have lunch at a chaykhana where we will get to taste the famous Parkent kebab;
  • Have a guided tour of a private winery near Parkent and have a wine tasting.

All relocations between cities of Uzbekistan are made by train «Afrosiyob» or «Sharq» that will save your time and efforts for excursions and promenades.

Welcome to our beautiful, hospitable and sunny country!

  • Tour program,
    Services & costs
  • FAQ
  • Useful Informtion,
    Route map


Tour program:
Day 1. Arrival in Tashkent.
Airport pick-up and transfer to the hotel; check-in begins at 14:00. Free time without transfers or guided tours.
Tashkent – is the multifaceted capital of modern Uzbekistan. Tashkent’s architecture is very impressive in its diversity: archeological monuments from the Zoroastrianism time, which are already older than 2200 years, architectural masterpieces of the Middle Ages, monumental buildings of the late 19th century, the most beautiful metro in the world and, of course, numerous new buildings.
We recommend walking around the modern part of Tashkent.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 2. Tashkent (guided tour). Tashkent – Samarkand.
Guided tour around Tashkent (Old town): Khast-Imam Square, Barak Khan Madrassah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mazar Mausoleum, Kukeldash Madrassah, the oldest bazaar in Tashkent - Chorsu. In the Old City area, in addition to the traditional oriental architecture, you can see some authentic old mahallas (residential quarters) with adobe houses and narrow streets.
Lunch at the famous Middle Eastern pilaf center – “Besh Qozon”.
Transfer to Samarkand by taking an evening train.
Meals: breakfast, lunch.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 3. Samarkand (guided tour).
Samarkand is as old as Rome. It is called the “pearl of the East”, the capital of the legendary Sogdiana, Marakand, and then, the capital of the huge Timur’s empire. It is a true museum-city, the heart of the caravan trade of the Great Silk Road, Samarkand, even in today’s environment, has greatly conserved its unique medieval Asian aura.
Samarkand guided tour: the most famous square in Central Asia – Registan (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tillya-Kari Madrasah), Gur-Emir mausoleum – the tomb of the Great Timur, the Bibi-Khanum mosque, the famous Siab bazaar, the Shakhi-Zinda architectural ensemble, the Ulugbek observatory.
Meals: breakfast.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 4. Samarkand – Bukhara. Bukhara (guided tour).
Transfer to Bukhara by taking a morning train.
Bukhara is one of the oldest cities in the world. It used to be one of the stopping points of the Great Silk Road. Medieval Bukhara used to be one of the main political, cultural, and religious centers of the Middle East. More than 140 architectural monuments have been perfectly preserved in this city. The historical center of Bukhara is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Bukhara guided tour: Lyabi-Hauz Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divanbegi Madrasah. A visit to the trade quarters of indoor markets and bazaars of the 16th century, a lot of folk craft workrooms are presented here.
Meals: breakfast.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 5. Bukhara (guided tour).
Bukhara guided tour continuation: mausoleum of the Samanids, the tomb of Chashma Ayub, the Bolo-Khauz complex, the ancient fortress of Ark, the madrasah of Abdulaziz Khan, the madrasah of Ulugbek. A visit to one of the most impressive parts of the program – the Poi-Kalyan complex (XII-XVI centuries). This is the central ensemble of Bukhara which includes the famous Kalyan minaret (46.5 m), the Kalyan Mosque and the Miri Arab madrasah. Minaret Kalyan is the oldest building of the front square and the main symbol of Bukhara.
Meals: breakfast.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 6. Bukhara (guided tour). Bukhara – Tashkent.
Bukhara and its surroundings guided tour continuation: Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace – the "Palace of the Moon and Stars", the summer residence of the Emir of Bukhara, which is an amazing combination of Russian, Eastern, and European architecture.
Nextup, we will visit the "Central Asian Mecca" – the Sufi complex of Bahautdin Nakshbandi. Nakshbandi was the spiritual mentor of Amir Timur and the founder of the Naqshbandi Sufi order, which soon became one of the most famous orders in the East.
Transfer to Tashkent by train.
Meals: breakfast.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 7. Tashkent – Physical-Technical Institute "Physics-Sun"– Tashkent (150 kilometers).
Physical-Technical Institute "Physics-Sun" guided tour.
Transfer to the Parkent district of the Tashkent region, to the unique scientific site – the Physical-Technical Institute "Physics-Sun". Guided tour of the territory of the Physical-Technical Institute "Physics-Sun": We will learn about how a solar laboratory works and why it is this region of Uzbekistan in particular that has been selected for building the famous Solar furnace – one of the two such furnaces existing in the world! We will see solar heliostats up close, which direct their rays to a giant concentrator, consisting of 10700 mirror elements. The temperature at the focus of the rays of the concentrator reaches 3000 degrees.
We will take the elevator to the top floor of the concentrator, where a stunning panorama of the Chatkal Range, Parkentsai, and neighboring villages (villages) opens.
Lunch at a chaykhana, tasting of the famous Parkent kebab.
Visit to Uzumfermer – a private winery and farm, getting acquainted with the local technology of wine making. Wine tasting. Return to Tashkent.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Meals: breakfast, lunch.

Day 8. Tashkent
Group transfer to the Tashkent International airport. End of tour program.
Meals: breakfast.

The cost of the tour includes:

  • Group transfers from and to the airport.
  • Accommodation at hotels in double rooms with breakfast.
  • Economy class “Afrosiyob” or “Shark” train tickets for travels from Tashkent to Samarkand, from Samarkand to Bukhara, from Bukhara to Tashkent.
  • Group guided tours in accordance with the tour program.
  • Visit to the Physical-Technical Institute "Physics-Sun".
  • Wine tasting at a private grape and wine plantation.
  • Lunch at the Middle Eastern pilaf center – “Besh Qozon”
  • Meals – in accordance with the tour program.
  • Comfortable transfer vehicles equipped with air conditioning throughout the entire tour program.
  • Mineral water for every day of the tour.
  • Memorable merchandise and souvenirs.

The cost of the tour doesn’t include:

  • Cost of international flight to Tashkent.
  • Tickets and fees for visiting the monuments in the cities.
  • Meals apart from those specified in the tour program.
  • Medical instances and insurance.

Additional Services:

  • Additional night upon arrival and departure at a 3-star hotel:
    • Single room – 50 USD/per room /per night;
    • Double room – 60 USD/per room /per night.
  • Individual airport transfer to and from the hotel: starting from 25 USD/person one way.

We recommend accommodation in cozy hotels often decorated in a national style. It is completely unique: it combines modern comfort in every detail and a unique culture of hospitality in a chamber atmosphere with almost home cosiness. Hotels of this level are characterized by a warm welcoming, empathetic and friendly attitude by the staff and enable you to familiarize yourself with the national culture.

City Accomodation
Tashkent Sato 3* / Reikartz Xon or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* / Jahon Palace 3* or similar
Bukhara Kabir Hotel 3* / Kavsar Hotel 3* or similar

During the tour the following types of transport will be provided depending on the number of people in a group:

Group Vehicle
Group 1-2 pax "Chevrolet Lacetti"
Group 3-6 pax. "Hyundai Grand Starex"
Group 7-9 pax. "Toyota Hiace" / "King Long"
Group 10-15 pax. "Eurise"
Group 16-30 pax. "Golden Dragon"



Frequently Asked Questions

  ► Memo: Useful tips for tourists »»

  1. 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.
  2. 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, 5.000, 10.000 and 50.000-som banknotes 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 to exchange money through them.
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. What is the difference between GMT and Uzbekistan time?
    It is GMT plus 5 hours in Uzbekistan.
  5. Can foreigners to Uzbekistan use the services of a local mobile network operator during their stays in the country?
    Yes, they can if they have a stay permit to show.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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:

View all photos»»

Our video gallery:

Cuisine of Central Asia
Pilafs in Tashkent Узбекские фрукты и овощи
Uzbek Fruit and Vegetables
Tashkent tourist attractions
Tashkent tourist attractions

View all videos »»

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