Uzbekistan is an oriental fairy tale on the Silk Road. The country is rich in UNESCO World Heritage sites — entire cities are included in the lists of the organization.


Who and why should come to Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan will be of interest primarily to those who want to feel the original and vibrant culture of the ancient country. Here you can visit museums, mosques, madrasahs and mausoleums, look at the skeletons of ships on the dried bottom of the Aral Sea or visit the oases of the Kyzylkum desert.

Lovers of nature, sports and long walks go on excursions to the mountains, go skiing in the resorts of Chimgan or go fishing on local lakes and reservoirs. Uzbekistan is also famous for its interesting cuisine.

natural attractions

Lake Aydarkul

osera aidakul

The reservoir was accidentally formed during the flooding of the Arnasay lowland in 1969. By that time, the Syrdarya River was blocked, and the construction of the Shardara hydroelectric power station began. But there was a strong flood, which would have led to a catastrophe, if not for the floodgates opened into the lowland. The water bypassed human settlements and formed Lake Aydarkul.

Today it covers an area of ​​4,000 square kilometers in the middle of the Kyzylkum desert. The fauna of the reservoir was also artificially formed. Now pike perch, carp, sabrefish and other fish are found here, and catfish have chosen the bottom. There is a yurt camp on the shore of the lake, and tourists are offered camel and horseback riding, as well as water sports in the desert.

Muynak and the graveyard of ships

kladbishe korablei

The city on the shores of the drying Aral Sea, in the past a fishing center, a port and a manufacturer of canned fish, was slowly dying out after an environmental disaster. People who lost their jobs left Muynak, abandoning their homes. Now here is a desert, dotted with rusty ship hulls forever washed ashore in a chilling reminder of the violation of the delicate balance between nature and people.

But the dead ships have become a salvation for the city — now tourists are coming to see this strange cemetery. There are no hotels and hostels in Muynak, but any traveler will be welcomed by the locals. Karakalpak flavor, rich Uzbek cuisine and the bottom of the dried-up sea make Muynak attractive for tourists who want to get acquainted with the culture of Uzbekistan from the inside.

Chimgan mountains

gori chimgan

The mountain range, which is part of the Chatkal Range, resembles a dome in its shape. The main peak «Big Chimgan» stretched 3 kilometers into the sky. The natural rocky landscape is complemented by rivers flowing down the slopes: Aksay, Beldersay, Cholmirob and Gulkamsay. The country properly disposed of this wealth by organizing two ski resorts in Chimgan at an altitude of 1300-1600 meters, children’s health centers, tourist centers and sanatoriums.

After the collapse of the USSR, funding for facilities decreased, but the infrastructure remained in order. Both beginners and experienced athletes can ride here, and difficult tracks alternate with gentle slopes. In addition to skiing, mountaineering is developed on Chimgan — lovers of walking along mountain trails with a guide come here.

Ferghana Valley

ferganska valley

The Ferghana Valley remains a crossroads of religions, cultures and peoples of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. For Uzbekistan, the valley is the birthplace of the cities of the Great Silk Road: Andijan, Kokand, Fergana and Namangan. The founder of the Mughal Empire, Babur, was born here. And Ferghana itself has preserved the old traditions of pottery and silk crafts.

Desert Kyzylkum

pustinia kisilkum

The name of the desert is translated from the Turkic language as «red sand». The Kyzylkum desert ranks 16th in the world in terms of its size. The sandy wasteland is sandwiched in a valley between two rivers — the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya. Within the plain there are several large hills and depressions, and archaeologists have discovered ancient rock paintings in the Bukantau caves.

The northwestern region of the desert is dominated by takirs, clayey islands among sand dunes, which also contain several oases. Around the takirs there are settlements and agricultural activities are carried out. The fauna in the desert is not so diverse, but unusual: the Russian tortoise, saigas and antelopes are found here, as well as the steppe cat.

Charvak reservoir

chargvaskoe vodohranilishe

In the Tashkent region, a dam more than 150 meters high was built on the Chirchik River — this is how the Charvak reservoir turned out. There is an artificial lake between two mountain spurs of the Tien Shan. About 100 km of the coastline of the reservoir were occupied by settlements, camp sites and sanatoriums.

There are carp, whitefish, trout and other fish in the lake. In the same area there are the most ancient archaeological sites: the camp of primitive people, Chinar cave and others.

Notable cities of Uzbekistan



The capital of Uzbekistan quite accurately conveys the color and character of the country. Here, architectural monuments of the USSR period coexist with ancient history and ultra-modern buildings of the 21st century.

Museums, monuments, parks and squares, mosques and temples of other confessions coexist with amusement parks, zoos and attractions, and a botanical garden. You can have a bite to eat in a teahouse, restaurant or cafe — there are a lot of them here. Noisy bazaars offering spices, fruits and sweets deserve special attention.



The city, located on the Silk Road, is over 2000 years old. In Bukhara, a tourist is waiting for a journey to the cultural values ​​of the Muslim world: the tomb of Ismail Samanai, the Poi-Kalyan minaret, the Magoki Attori mosque and the Chashma Ayub sanctuary.

Other famous buildings of Bukhara: the poi-Kalyan group, the Lyabi-Hauz ensemble, the Kosh and Gaukushon madrasahs in the Khoja-Kalon ensemble. At the beginning of the 17th century, beautiful buildings were built, including the new large mosque of Qurna Magoki and the madrassah of Abdullaziz Khan.

However, the real significance of Bukhara lies not in its individual buildings, but in the general appearance of the city. Arriving in Bukhara, the traveler seems to fall into the fairy tales of Scheherazade.



The capital of the autonomy of Karakalpakstan is located in the north of the country near the Aral Sea. Although Nukus cannot match the cities of the Silk Road in terms of impressive architecture, it showcases the history of the Karakalpak people, reflected in fine jewelry, tapestries and other national artefacts. One of the most intriguing museums in Nukus houses Savitsky’s art collection.



Ancient Khorezm is known for numerous fortresses towering above the Kyzylkum desert. There are citadels that are over 2200 years old. Most of them were settlements with walls visible from another fortress — they helped to control the region and served to convey messages. Legends are associated with each of these ruins and have been confirmed by archaeological finds.

Interesting places

Oriental Bazaar Chorsu

vost basar charsu

A suitable place to feel the color and traditions of Uzbek culture. Near the metro station of the same name is the seven-headed Chorsu bazaar — not just a market, but a meeting place for merchants and merchants of the Great Silk Road.

The trade area is covered with seven blue domes. The many-voiced bazaar has not stopped trade since the time of the Mongol invasion. Here it is customary to bargain to the last penny, sit in a teahouse and eat fragrant pilaf, sipping tea. You can buy anything in Chorsu — from smoked fish and spices to local ceramics and Turkish fur coats.

Square of Amir Temur Khieboni

square amira

The construction of the park began in the 19th century at the behest of General M. Chernyaev. In the center of the square there is a bronze monument to the commander, at the foot of which the motto of Amir Temur «Strength in Justice» is engraved.

The monument is surrounded by fountains and flower beds, walking paths pass nearby, trees and well-groomed bushes grow. The square is surrounded by ancient buildings: the Law Institute (former women’s gymnasium), the museum of the commander Amir Timur, chimes and the Palace of Forums.

Registan Square

ploshad registan

The main square of Samarkand, where madrasahs and mosques stand, bears a name that means “sandy place” in translation. In the old days, the area was indeed strewn with sand. There was a crossroads of six roads, shopping arcades, as well as a meeting and resting place for merchants walking along the Silk Road.

Cultural attractions

Mosque Kalyan

mechet kalian

One of the outstanding monuments of Bukhara dates back to the 15th century. According to archaeological data, the original Karakhanid Juma mosque was destroyed by fire and dismantled, possibly during the Mongol invasion. Some time later, the building was rebuilt, but the reconstructed mosque did not last long. The new one was built in the 15th century.

The layout of the Kalyan mosque is traditional: a rectangular courtyard with a high and large room on the western side. The perimeter of the courtyard is built up with column-domed galleries (208 columns and 288 domes in total).

Tashkent TV tower


The majestic building with a height of 375 meters is 50 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but inferior to the Ostankino. The TV tower is a member of the World Federation of the Great Towers of the Planet. At a height of 94 meters there is an observation deck from which a picturesque panorama of the Uzbek capital opens. Four meters above, there are two restaurants, and further on there is a television center and a meteorological service.

Mausoleum Rukhabad


Directly opposite the Guri Amir mausoleum is another burial complex — the Rukhabad mausoleum. It was built over the grave of the preacher Burkhanuddin Sarrgis in the 14th century.

The Rukhabad mausoleum in the Uzbek language bears the name «abode of the Spirit». It is truly modest — there are no mosaics or other architectural decorations. According to legend, such was the life of a preacher. At the end of the 19th century, a mosque and a madrasah were built near the mausoleum, a pond was dug and a minaret was built.

Historical landmarks

Ark Citadel

citadel arc

The oldest building in Bukhara was built in the 5th century and has always been the residence of the Bukhara emirs. Today, this monumental structure has practically turned into ruins. Museums are located in the few surviving quarters, and at the top of the entrance ramp is the 17th-century Juma Mosque with beautiful carved columns.

Nearby are the former residential quarters of the kushbegi emir (prime minister), where foreign ambassadors were received. And now exhibits from the nearby archaeological sites of the Silk Road are stored here: Paikend, Varakhshi and Romitan.

In the oldest surviving part of the citadel, there is a huge reception and Coronation Court, the roof of which collapsed 100 years ago. The last coronation took place here in 1910.

Observatory Ulugbek


Ugulbek was the grandson of the commander Amir Temur and a very inquisitive young man. He was especially drawn to the stars. Having received a good education, the young man went to the sultanate with his famous grandfather and got acquainted with the observatory, which was built by an Azerbaijani scientist.

Returning to his native land, Ugulbek erected the same building. In 1964, a museum was opened next to the observatory in honor of the scientist who made a significant contribution to astronomy. By the way, the experiments described in his 15th-century treatise “The New Ephemerides of Guragani” were reproduced by European astronomers only two centuries later.

Shahi Zinda

shahi sinda

This is a complex of eleven mausoleums. The ensemble that tourists see today has grown and developed for nine centuries. The remains of representatives of the Karakhanid and Timurid nobility are buried in the mausoleums. In 2001, all these mausoleums were included in the World Heritage List.

Architecture of Uzbekistan

Mausoleum of the Samanids

mavsolei samanidov

Of all the medieval buildings in Bukhara, the mausoleum of the Samanids is of particular interest. This architectural masterpiece was built at the end of the 9th century as a family crypt, immediately after the death of Ismail Samani’s father. Later, Ismail himself and his grandson Khasr were buried in it.

Interestingly, at that time the construction of crypts was illegal, since Islam forbade the installation of any posthumous monuments on the graves of Muslim believers. However, the ban was violated by the caliph, for whom a special mausoleum of al-Suli-Biya was built. Ismail simply followed his example.


gur emir

Mausoleum of Tamerlane is located in Samarkand. Although it has suffered from time and earthquakes, the monument has been well preserved. Completed at the beginning of the 15th century, it was originally intended for the burial of Tamerlane’s grandson, Muhammad Shah, but his remains were buried there along with other family members.

The mausoleum that has survived to this day consists of a chapel crowned with a ribbed blue tiled dome and a wall with an arch. Inside, everything is covered with elegant turquoise arabesques and golden inscriptions. Gur Emir is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bibi-Khanum Mosque

mechet bibib

Bibi-Khanum was built according to the design of the cathedral mosque of Amir Temur in Samarkand and named after the eldest wife of the commander. Until the middle of the 18th century, opposite the mosque, there was a large madrasah bearing the same name.

Architects, artists and artisans from several countries were involved in the construction of this grandiose complex. Construction lasted over five years. The minarets surrounding the mosque reached up to 50 meters in height. The front entrance had bronze doors, which the Iranian Shah Nadir brought from Samarkand in 1740.

The interiors are decorated with mosaics and floral designs, including landscapes of the Garden of Eden.