Visit Samarkand, Uzbekistan
"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 travellers, 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.
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.
South of Samarkand, across the Zerafshan Mountains is the small town of Shakrisabz. 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 metre high portal of the Ak Saray Palace with a Kufic inscription proclaiming "The Sultan is the Shadow of God".
Suggested itineraries featuring Samarkand
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Samarkand, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan
China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan
Map of Samarkand
Places & hotels on the map
Photos of 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.
Hotel Malika Prima is ideally located close to Gur Amir, the resting place of Tamerlane. It is a small hotel with just 22 rooms and has great views from its rooftop terrace.
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.
Unlike Bukhara, where walking from sight to sight is possible, Samarkand's attractions are spread right across the city. Starting in the centre, 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.
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.