Local Expert Guides
Immerse Yourself in Uzbekistan's Treasures
Get ready to embark on an enriching 7-day cultural journey that unveils the gems of Uzbekistan’s illustrious history. Begin in Tashkent, where you’ll have the privilege of viewing the oldest known copy of the Koran — an artefact steeped in centuries of significance. Traverse further to Samarkand, a city adorned with majestic blue-tiled and majolica-decorated madrasas that compose the awe-inspiring Registan ensemble—a testament to architectural mastery.
The journey continues to the heart of Bukhara, a city synonymous with devotion and spiritual significance. Here, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a tapestry of monuments that hold tales of empires and dynasties long past. Beyond the landmarks, the tour delves into local experiences, affording you the opportunity to wander the vibrant bazaars of Samarkand and Bukhara. Step into the artisans’ world with visits to local handicraft shops, where time-honoured traditions come to life.
Join us for this remarkable voyage—an immersion into the cultural heritage, architectural marvels, and vibrant traditions of Uzbekistan. In just 7 days, you’ll uncover the layers of history that have shaped this land into the captivating country it is today.
Highlights of the Tour
See the oldest known copy of the Koran
Uncover the radiant treasures of Bukhara and Samarkand
Wander through the vibrant and bustling oriental marketplace Siyob Bazaar
Savour authentic Uzbek cuisine
Engage with local artisans and partake in exclusive handicraft workshops
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 – Transfer by car to a Samarkand city tour: Visit includes Gur Emir, Registan, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, and Siyob Bazaar.
Day 4 – Half Day Samarkand tour before transfer to Bukhara in the afternoon: Visit includes Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, Afrosiab Museum, and Ulugbek’s Observatory.
Day 5 – Full day sightseeing Bukhara tour: Visit includes 12th-century Kalon Minaret, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Ark citadel, and other monuments.
Day 6 – Bukhara city tour continues: Visit includes Sitorai Mohi Hosa (summer palace), Chor-Bakr necropolis, Bakhautdin Naqshband complex.
Day 7 – Return to Tashkent: Meet your driver who will transfer you to your hotel or Tashkent International Airport.
END OF THE TRIP
Click the “Itinerary” tab to see a detailed itinerary.
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Your hotel in Tashkent
All year round.
Check the availability for this tour on the sidebar calendar.
Tashkent, Samarkand & Bukhara
From 2 to 12 travellers
- 6 nights in the hotels based on twin/double room sharing
- 6 breakfasts
- Train ticket: Bukhara-Tashkent (2nd class, for Sharq Train)
- Entrance tickets as per itinerary
- Transport throughout the tour including airport pickups, drop offs, and transfers between locations
- Local English-speaking guides
- Letter of Invitation for a Tourist visa (if required)
- International flights
- Lunches and dinners (consider EUR 120-130 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 7-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-Samarkand
This morning a driver will take you to Samarkand where you’ll be met with your guide for the day. 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 in 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 with a visit to the 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. From here, we move on to 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 the Registan, we’ll walk further north through the busy handicraft and souvenir stalls of Tashkent Street towards 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 Bibi-Khanym mosque overlooks the busy Siyob Bazaar, where you can test your bargaining skills with friendly local merchants and sample some fresh produce on offer. This place also serves as a great photo opportunity to capture the many bustling stalls and meet the hospitable local people. The evening is free for you to wander around and explore the nightlife of majestic Samarkand.
Accommodation in Samarkand
Day 4 – Samarkand – Bukhara
After an early breakfast, our half-day city tour begins with visits to Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, the Afrosiab Museum, and Ulugbek’s Observatory. 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, a driver will transfer you to Bukhara, and upon arrival you can enjoy the rest of the day at your own leisure wandering through busy trading domes full of embroideries, handicrafts, jewelleries, and various spices. You may also have a tea 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 5 – 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 6 – 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 7 – Bukhara-Tashkent
After an early breakfast, you’ll take a train back to Tashkent at 8:40 am. Upon arrival in Tashkent at around 11:45 am your driver will transfer you to your hotel or Tashkent International Airport.
End of the trip
Private Tour Enquiry
All our tours are available as private tours. To request private tour departure dates you can send us an enquiry here. Please fill in your details and select your preferred cultural tour in the form below and we will get back to you with available departure dates.