Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Samarkand, Uzbekistan


Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Why now

Set foot in Samarkand and you’ll be instantly transported
through its stunning architecture back to 7th Century BC. A Unesco
World Heritage Site, Samarkand is one of the first centres of human
civilisation alongside Alexandria and Babylon, prospering from its
location on the trade route between China and the Mediterranean
(also knows as the Silk Road). Uzbekistan as a whole has only
recently been exposed to tourism, so you can enjoy being one of the
only travellers (or even sometimes alone) while you explore some of
the world’s most famous monuments – get lost between soaring
minarets and intricately tiled mosaics. It is generally safe for
women to travel alone here, although naturally you have to be
respectful of dress codes.

When to go

Spring (April-May) when temperatures range between 20-30

Who to take with you

Someone who isn’t afraid to try new things and is interested in
ancient cultures.

Most likely to bump into

Locals – less than two million tourists visit the whole of
Uzbekistan every year.

Don’t miss

The incredible architecture of the ancient sites, which are some
of the most important in the East. Start at the Bibi-Khanum Mosque
and continue to the Siab Bazaar, Shakhi-Kinda Necropolis and Gur
Emir. After sightseeing spend your afternoon in one of the many
teahouses or banyas (spas) which specialise deep tissue massages.
Finally, you musn’t leave without trying the bread – every region
has its own speciality – as well as the Uzbeki national dish of
lamb, rice and apricots.

An essential you need to bring with you

A torch – the streets can get quite dark once you are away from
the main areas.

How to get there

You can fly there with BA from £335. If you want to explore
other cities in Uzbekistan such as Takshent and Bukhara, the new
‘Afrosoiyob’ bullet train is pretty efficient and inexpensive.

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