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"Sweet to ride forth at evening from the wells
When shadows pass gigantic on the sand
And softly through the silence beat the bells
Along the Golden Road to Samarkand"

Few names invoke such romance as that of Samarkand, for countless centuries a glorious magnet for travelers, scholars, tyrants and poets. Evidence of the city’s extraordinary 2,500 year history is everywhere, from the crumbling remains of Marakanda — the old Greek city — to the grand imposing monuments of the Islamic Renaissance.

Exploring Samarkand

Take an afternoon stroll through Registan Square, gaze on buildings that have passed into legend and absorb the same atmosphere of opulence and grandeur that have drawn visitors to the city for so long.

Around Samarkand

Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Bukhara, UzbekistanSouth of Samarkand, across the Zarafshan Mountains is the small town of Shakhrisabz. As the birthplace of Tamerlane it became a symbol of the tyrant’s enormous, though transient, power. The remains of some gargantuan buildings can still be seen, including the 45-meter-high portal of the Ak Saray Palace with a Kufic inscription proclaiming "The Sultan is the Shadow of God".

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Map of Samarkand

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Samarkand

    Accommodation choices for Samarkand

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Samarkand. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Samarkand

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Samarkand, and which use the best local guides.

    • Samarkand City Tour
      Ceiling Detail, Gur Amir Mausoleum, Samarkand, Uzbekistan

      Samarkand City Tour

      Samarkand City Tour

      Unlike Bukhara, where walking from sight to sight is possible, Samarkand's attractions are spread right across the city. Starting in the center, the Mosque of Bibi-Khanym dominates the skyline. It was once the biggest mosque in the world and has been partially rebuilt with UNESCO help.

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    • Urgut Excursion
      Cloth Trader, Urgut Market, Uzbekistan

      Urgut Excursion

      Urgut Excursion

      Not far from Samarkand, high in the hills next to the Tajik border, is the town of Urgut. It has one of the best rural markets in Uzbekistan and the people here have their own distinct culture.

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