UNESCO Treasures

Architectural Gems

Vibrant Bazaars

Uncover the Rich Heritage of Uzbekistan's Iconic Silk Road Cities

Embark on an enlightening 11-day cultural Uzbekistan tour of its legendary Silk Road cities – Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. These cities, once vital caravanserais for Silk Road journeys, are steeped in history, where great emperors, scholars, and artisans left indelible marks.

Our journey begins within the ancient fortress of Itchan Kala in Khiva, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, you’ll immerse yourself in bustling markets and ornate mosques, experiencing the Silk Road’s vibrant past. Moving on to Bukhara, discover the spiritual significance of the city within the walls of the Ark fortress and the elegance of the Kalon Minaret. The intricate tapestry of the city comes alive in the trading domes and the charming Lyabi Hauz pool.

Finally, Samarkand unveils its grandeur, with the Registan ensemble’s blue-tiled madrasas and the ethereal Shah-i-Zinda necropolis. This cultural odyssey delves into the threads of history, culture, and architecture that shaped Uzbekistan. From Khiva’s enchanting alleys to Bukhara’s majestic courtyards and Samarkand’s resplendent facades, this tour offers a profound connection to the Silk Road’s heritage.

If our 11-Day Cultural Uzbekistan Tour doesn’t align with your holiday schedule, alternatively you may be interested in our 7-Day and 8-Day Cultural Uzbekistan Tours, which offer a similarly immersive experience in historical and cultural exploration, but within a shorter timeframe. If you need further guidance to choose the right tour for you don’t hesitate to contact us!

Highlights of the Tour

Wander through the vibrant Chorsu Bazaar and engage with friendly local vendors

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site Itchan Kala fortress - home to the oldest known copy of the Koran

Embark on a full-day excursion to ancient fortresses in Karakalpakstan

Venture on a scenic drive through the Kyzyl-Kum desert to Bukhara

Visit Sitorai Mohi Hosa, the summer palace, and explore the Bakhautdin Naqshband complex

Explore Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Siyob Bazaar, Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, and Ulugbek’s Observatory, built by world famous astronomer himself

Day 1 – Arrive in Tashkent: Meet with your driver who transfers you to the hotel.

Day 2 – A sightseeing Tashkent tour: Visit includes Independence Square, Amir Timur Square, History Museum, Khast Imam Complex, Chorsu Bazaar, Kukaldosh madrasa & more!

Day 3 – Flight to Urgench and transfer to Khiva: A full-day sightseeing tour awaits in Ichon Qala including visits to Kuhna-Ark citadel, Mohammed Amin Khan madrasa, Kalta Minor minaret & more.

Day 4 – Tour of Desert fortresses in Khiva: Toprak Qala, Qizil Qala, Ayaz Qala, and Guldursun Qala.

Day 5 – From Khiva to Bukhara: Drive through the Kyzyl Kum desert to transfer from Khiva to Bukhara.

Day 6 – Full day sightseeing Bukhara tour: Visit includes Labi Haus Ensemble, 12th-century Kalon Minaret, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Maghoki Attori Mosque, Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Ark Citadel & more.

Day 7 – Bukhara tour continued: Visits include Sitorai Mohi Hosa (summer palace), Chor-Bakr necropolis & Bakhautdin Naqshband complex.

Day 8 – Transfer from Bukhara to Samarkand: Half-day city Samarkand tour in the afternoon includes visits to the Registan Square and Gur Emir Mausoleum.

Day 9 – Full-day Samarkand city tour: Visits include Bibi-Khanum Mosque, Siyob Bazaar, Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, Afrosiab Museum, and Ulugbek’s Observatory.

Day 10 – Transfer from Samarkand to Tashkent: Enjoy a free afternoon exploring Tashkent on your own.

Day 11 – End of the trip: After breakfast meet your driver for a transfer to Tashkent International Airport.

Click the “Itinerary” tab to see a detailed itinerary.

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Trip Details

Trip Details


Your hotel in Tashkent

All year round.

Check the availability for this tour on the sidebar calendar.

11 days

Tashkent, Khiva and nearby desert fortresses, Bukhara and Samarkand

From 2 to 12 travellers


  • 10 nights in the hotels based on twin/double room sharing
  • 10 breakfasts
  • Economy class flight ticket: Tashkent to Urgench
  • Entrance tickets as per itinerary
  • Transport throughout the tour including airport pickups, drop offs and transfers between locations
  • Local English-speaking guides
  • All taxes and fees

  • International flights
  • Camera fees charged separately by museums and attractions
  • Lunches and dinners (consider EUR 150 – 160 approx. per person)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Additional hotel charges or extra services not mentioned as included


  • Driver for airport pick-up and drop off
  • English-speaking local guide

Your 11-Day Cultural Uzbekistan Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – Tashkent
Arrive at Tashkent airport in the afternoon and be transferred by our drivers to your hotel. Depending on the time of your arrival you may choose to go out for dinner or stay in and relax at your hotel.

Accommodation in Tashkent

Day 2 – Tashkent
Today, we’ll spend the whole day exploring sights and sounds on a Tashkent city tour. Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan, a Central Asian nation that has existed for more than 2,000 years. The city was completely rebuilt by the Soviet government with spacious avenues, large parks, and ever-present fountains after being flattened by the devastating earthquake of 1966. Our first stop will include visits to Independence Square, Amir Timur Square, and the History Museum of the People of Uzbekistan. Continuing on, we’ll visit the Khast Imam Complex, which contains the oldest known copy of the Koran dating from 655 AD.

From Khast Imam we’ll visit the nearby Chorsu Bazaar – the largest and oldest market in Central Asia. Wandering through this huge bustling market is a great way to see local people going about their daily lives. You will also meet many friendly local vendors who will engage with you as you pass by. The 16th century Kukaldosh madrasa – Tashkent’s most renowned Islamic learning centre and 15th century Juma Mosque are also both located at a short walking distance from Chorsu Bazaar. If time permits, we can still visit the Fine Arts Museum of Uzbekistan and the Museum of Applied Arts.

Accommodation in Tashkent

Day 3 – Tashkent – Khiva
An early flight takes us from Tashkent to Urgench (1 hour 40 min). From there we will be driven to the fabled city of Khiva (30 min) where you will check in to your hotel before venturing on a tour of the city.

Archaeological findings testify that in the territory of present-day Khiva, people have been living for two millennia. According to legend, the city of Khiva came into being after people discovered the Kheivak well in the area of the Ichon-Qala (inner city) fortress. The name of Khiva is believed to be derived from the name of this ancient well. Being strategically located on the Volga branch of the Silk Road, Khiva was one of the three important trading centres of the area. In the 19th century, Khiva was the capital of Khiva Khanate, which hosted the most famous slave market on the Silk Road. At present Khiva is one of the best preserved ancient cities in the region.

We’ll start exploring UNESCO World Heritage site Ichon-Qala. Entering through the gates of the walled Ichon-Qala fortress you will find yourself surrounded by beautiful mediaeval blue-tiled mosques, minarets, and madrasas, making you feel like you’re stepping back in time into a scene from the Arabian nights. Wander through a maze of twisted alleyways, bargain with locals on the market, and view the town from the top of Kuhna-Ark citadel. Today’s sightseeing tour includes visits to the Mohammed Amin Khan madrasa, Kalta Minor minaret, Kuhna-Ark citadel, Juma Mosque, Tosh-Hovli palace, Pahlavan Mahmud Mausoleum (Khiva’s patron saint), Mohammed Rakhim Khan madrasa and minaret of Islom-Hoja.

After a full day of extensive sightseeing, enjoy a free afternoon to roam around at your own leisure.

Accommodation in Khiva

Day 4 – Khiva
After breakfast, we embark on a full-day excursion to the ancient fortresses in neighbouring Karakalpakstan. 2000 years ago, people who lived in the fertile Amu-Darya delta built many fortresses to defend themselves against the invasions of nomadic tribes, who lived with their herds in the Kyzyl Kum desert. Most of the fortresses are located at the edge of the Sultan-Uiz Dag mountain range. From Khiva we will travel 100km passing the towns of Urgench, Beruni, and Boston to reach Toprak-Qal’a. The rectangular fortress dates back to the 2nd and 3rd century AD and was built on a 9 metre high platform. The city included a temple, a residential area, and gardens.
We’ll pass the nearby Kizil Qal’a, a small but well preserved fortress that is thought to have been an army base.

Ayaz Qal’a is one of the most spectacular fortresses of the region and consists of three fortress complexes. You’ll discover a stunning view from Ayaz Qal’a to the Kyzyl Kum desert, the small lake Ayaz, the Sultan-Uiz range, and the oasis. We’ll enjoy lunch at an Ayaz Qal’a yurt camp where you’ll be able to savour famous traditional dishes.

On the way back to Khiva, we will pass the huge city walls of Guldursun Qal’a (12th century) and learn about the fascinating legend of this fortress.

Accommodation in Khiva

Day 5 – Khiva – Bukhara
Today, we will be following in the trails of ancient caravans for a long drive to the historical city of Bukhara (6 hours /480 km) through the Kyzyl-Kum, the largest desert in Central Asia. The Kyzyl-Kum desert is populated by nomadic people and driving through this lifeless desert you will see odd shepherd’s huts and a herd of camels. The road to Bukhara runs alongside the Amu Darya River (Oxus River) which starts far from the snow-capped Pamir Mountains. We will try to break up this long journey as much as possible with stops along the way.

Arrive in Bukhara and enjoy a free afternoon wandering through busy trading domes full of embroideries, handicrafts, jewelleries, and various spices. You can also have tea while relaxing on the tapchans (tea beds) under centuries old mulberry trees in the local chaikhana at the delightful Lyabi-Hauz pool.

Accommodation in Bukhara

Day 6 – Bukhara
We spread our sightseeing program in Bukhara over two days as the city and the surrounding area offer many spectacular sites to visit. With more than one hundred unique monuments, Bukhara is regarded as the ‘Bastion of Islam’ and the holiest city in Central Asia.

On the first day, we enjoy a full day of sightseeing in the city, and on the second day, a half-day sightseeing tour leaving the afternoon free to spend at your own leisure.

Our first, full-day Bukhara tour starts with visits to Lyabi Hauz, 9th century mosque Maghoki-Attar, and Nadir Divan Begi madrasa. Passing mediaeval trading domes we’ll visit the Abdul Aziz Khan and Ulugbek madrasas and continue to the Kalon Ensemble consisting of Kalon Minaret and Kalon Mosque. The 47 metres tall Kalon Minaret was built by Bukhara’s ruler Arslan Khan in 1127. The minaret is also called “Tower of Death”, because prisoners were once flung to their death from the top of it on market days.

Opposite the Kalon Mosque, there is 16th century Mir-i-Arab madrasa, which is still in operation. We’ll continue further west from the Kalon Ensemble and visit the royal Ark fortress dating back to 5th century AD. This fortress was the ancient centre of Bukhara and the scene of many gruesome events. Inside the Ark, we’ll see the Juma Mosque, Reception & Coronation Court, Zindon (‘Bug Pit’ prison), and the emir’s official place of worship, Bolo-Hauz Mosque. After leaving the Ark fortress we’ll head through Registan Square towards Samani Park to visit the 10th century Ismail Samani and Chashma Ayub mausoleums. After our tour, you’ll have the evening to spend at your own leisure to explore the nightlife in Bukhara.

Accommodation in Bukhara

Day 7 – Bukhara
Today, our half-day Bukara tour will start with a visit to Sitorai Mohi Hosa – the summer palace of the last emir. Emir Alim Khan involved both Russian and local masters to build this summer residence so you will see the unique combination of Russian and local design, including opulently decorated palace halls with paintings and carpets. After visiting Sitorai Mohi Hosa, we’ll continue to the village of Qasri Orifon to explore the Bakhautdin Naqshband complex, with an en route stop at the Chor-Bakr necropolis. Bakhautdin Naqshband (1318–89) is the founder of one of the most influential Sufi orders in Central Asia. Within this striking complex, we will see a couple of mosques, a minaret, and the mausoleum of Bakhautdin Naqshband. This is one of Uzbekistan’s famous places of pilgrimage.

After today’s half-day Bukhara tour, you’ll return to your hotel to have the rest of the afternoon free to explore the city at your leisure. You’ll have plenty of time to visit artisan shops and wander the narrow twisting streets and alleyways. You might also enjoy going to see a local puppet show held in an old caravanserai or indulge in a mediaeval Hammam (steam bath).

Accommodation in Bukhara

Day 8 – Bukhara – Samarkand
This morning we’ll leave Bukhara and drive to the ancient city of Samarkand. One of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Samarkand is truly a jewel of the ancient and modern Silk Road. From its foundation in the 5th century BC, Samarkand was the centre of artisans and traders playing an important role on the trade crossroads between China, Persia, and India. The city was taken by Alexander the Great (in 329 BC) and ruined by Genghis Khan before it started to blossom as the capital of Amir Timur’s (Tamerlane) empire in the 14th century.

After checking in at your hotel, our sightseeing tour will begin in the afternoon by visiting the Registan ensemble containing Ulugbek, Sher Dor, Tilla-Kari madrasas, and the Registan Square. Being among the world’s oldest surviving madrasas, these three edifices were mediaeval academies from where region-renowned scientists graduated. Wander through blue tiled and majolica decorated madrasas of mighty Registan, considered one of Central Asia’s most captivating monuments. From there we’ll continue on to the famous Guri Amir Mausoleum. The mausoleum was originally built by Timur for his grandson and later became the resting place for himself, his sons and grandsons, as well as Timur’s teachers.

After today’s tour, the evening is free for you to wander around and explore the nightlife of majestic Samarkand. You might also like to sample traditional meals in the local chaikhana.

Accommodation in Samarkand

Day 9 – Samarkand
After an early breakfast, a continued half-day Samarkand tour takes us to the historical Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Siyob Bazaar, Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, the Afrosiab Museum and Ulugbek’s Observatory. Starting at the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, legend says that it was Bibi-Khanym, Timur’s beloved wife who gave the order to build this grand mosque with its huge cupola to surprise Timur, who at the time was away at war. The mosque was the biggest in the empire and originally aimed to accommodate over 10,000 people, but as a result of earthquakes it partly collapsed and later was reconstructed. The Bibi-Kahanym mosque overlooks the busy Siyob Bazaar, where you can test your bargaining skills with friendly local merchants and sample some fresh produce on offer. The bazaar serves as a fantastic photography opportunity to capture the bustling stalls and meet the hospitable local people.

On the opposite side of Siyob Bazaar, you will see Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, a row of beautiful mausoleums lavishly decorated with blue tiles and majolica, the place is also known as ‘Town of the Dead’. The most important site in Shah-i-Zinda is the shrine of Qusam ibn-Abbas, the cousin of Prophet Mohammed who was first to preach Islam in this area.

After leaving Shah-i-Zinda we’ll continue to Ulugbek’s observatory with an enroute stop at the Afrosiab Museum. Timur’s grandson Ulugbek was more famous for being an astronomer than a ruler. This great mediaeval astronomer built an extraordinary observatory that enabled him to calculate the length of the year to within 1 minute of what we now know it to be. Our half-day city tour of Samarkand comes to an end after exploring the observatory.

In the afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to spend some more time exploring Samarkand, to visit souvenir and handicraft stalls located in Registan, or simply wander around and take in the sights and sounds of local life.

Accommodation in Samarkand

Day 10 – Samarkand – Tashkent
After breakfast, we leave Samarkand on a 5 hour drive back to Tashkent. Upon arrival in Tashkent the afternoon is free to spend at your own leisure.

Accommodation in Tashkent

Day 11 – Tashkent
After breakfast meet your driver to be transferred to Tashkent International Airport.

End of the trip

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