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15 BEST Things to Do in Samarkand, Uzbekistan [2023]

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Don’t miss out on these fascinating things to do in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on your travels to this stunning Silk Road city!

Home to some of the world’s most intricate and exquisite architecture, Samarkand in Uzbekistan has been rising in popularity to become a real tourism hotspot.

Famous for its mind-blowing Silk Road buildings, this large city is best known amongst historians for being the base for Timur’s empire.

Also known as Tamerlane, Shuja-ud-din Timur was one of the world’s greatest conquerors.

READ MORE: Check out our brand new guide with everything you need to know to travel to Uzbekistan!

Once known as Maracada, in the 4th century BC Alexander the Great took over the city on one of his campaigns, and thus started a long history of brutal wars and battles.

During the centuries it was controlled by the Central Asian Turks, the Arabs, the Samanids of Iran and the Khwarezm-Shah dynasty.

In the year 1220 Chinggis Khan stormed Samarkand, destroying it during his conquest across Asia.

It was later on when the Empire of Timur and the Mongols fought for control of the city in 1365 that Tamerlane finally took over.

Lady Walking Things To Do In Samarkand
A lady walking through the Necropolis.

Amir Timur turned Samarkand into the main economic and cultural centre in all of Central Asia, building many of the iconic buildings that still stand today.

The buildings of Samarkand were considered so beautiful that in future years the Uzbeks and Russians couldn’t bring themselves to destroy them during their own tough campaigns.

READ MORE: Here’s our guide to the best things to do in Tashkent!

Places To Visit In Samarkand
Don’t miss these places to visit in Samarkand!

The Best Things to Do in Samarkand 

Today, Samarkand is one of the best places to visit in Central Asia, and one of the real highlights of any journey along the Silk Road.

With mind-blowing buildings such as the Registan and Shah-I-Zinda, it boasts a rich history, but also has a range of awesome modern attractions to keep everybody interested.

It’s worth getting a guide for at least a day so you can learn more about the history of Samarkand, and to dive deep into the current trends that have made it an Islamic centre for scholarly study in Central Asia.

Having visited twice, first in 2015 and again in 2019, I’ve decided to put together this list of the best things to do in Samarkand to help you plan your own trip here.

Things To Do In Samarkand

Visit the Registan

By far one of the most popular places to visit in Samarkand, the Registan was the very…

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