Khiva is a walker's town, with most of the monuments within a short distance of each other. The minaret is Khiva's highest point and, if you can climb all 118 steps, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the town and the desert beyond.
Things to do in Uzbekistan
In Samarkand the monumentally ornate edifices of Registan Square are amongst the oldest medressas in the world, Bukhara is renowned for its extraordinary mosques and minarets, while Khiva’s well-preserved old city is like an open-air museum piece.
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Ideas for experiencing Uzbekistan
Experiences you have as you travel often hold the longest memories. As part of their research trips, our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know Uzbekistan, and the best local guides. These activities reflect some of their best-loved experiences.
The Alisher Navoi Opera House is one of Tashkent's most picturesque buildings. It was originally built by Japanese and Korean prisoners of war in 1947 to the design of Shchusev, the man who built Lenin's tomb.
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.
The sheer quantity of sights here means most visitors cannot see everything. One of the city’s most recognisable monuments is the Kalon mosque and minaret complex. Climbing up this 46 metre ornamental minaret rewards you with a stunning view over the whole city and the biggest Friday mosque in Bukhara.
Tashkent sprawls in all directions from its focal point - Amir Timur Square. It is here that you can see Uzbekistan's curious elevation of Tamerlane to national hero.