Samarkand (Uzbekistan)

Samarkand Travel Guide and Trip Resources


Silk Road splendor

Samarkand is the second largest city of Uzbekistan and arguably its top tourist site. The city has a long history of over 2,500 years and, like Bukhara a few hundred kilometers to the west, had a central position on the Silk Road between Europe and China. Founded as the ancient city of Afrosiab around 700 BC, throughout its history the city came to be ruled by the Mongols (Genghis Khan), Timurid dynasty (when it had its most significant development) until finally the Uzbeks took control. Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Filled with monuments and buildings with detailed mosaics and characteristic blue domes, Samarkand is located in the oasis that spreads out around the Zerafshan River in eastern Uzbekistan. With its attractions also spread out across different parts of the city, you will have to properly plan your days when you go here. No matter what you plan to see, ensure that the Registan Ensemble (mosque and madrasahs), the Bibi-Khanym Mosque and Gur Emir Mausoleum are part of your itinerary.

The Registan (pictured) is perhaps one of the grandest sights in all of (Central) Asia. Literally meaning "Sandy Place" in Persian, this was a public square and mosque that stood at the heart of the ancient city. [Review by travelindicator]


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Key info

  • Samarkand is a city in Uzbekistan. It has a population of 708,000, is situated at an altitude of 2280ft and the best airport to fly into is SKD (Samarkand, Samarkand)
  • The currency used in Uzbekistan is the Uzbekitan som (UZS)

Samarkand Weather

Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):

45 48 57 70 79 90 93 91 82 72 59 48

Historical average rainfall per month (inches):

1.6 1.8 3.9 2.4 1.4 0.2 0.2 0 0.2 0.7 1.3 1.9

More Samarkand travel resources

We guess ("the original Samarkand travel guide!") is as good a place as any to start, it has some decent basics. Next is Advantour which has put a good effort in as well, followed by Visit Uzbekistan on the city. There's always our friends at Wikitravel and Lonely Planet. Other stuff we enjoyed reading were a piece about traveling overland from Pakistan to Samarkand and Go Nomad's writings on the place. Finally, World Heritage Sites writes about the place too.

Samarkand Attractions (Foursquare)

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Other travel destinations in Uzbekistan (by popularity)

Bukhara, Khiva, Samarkand, Tashkent [Browse all]