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Discovering the Enchanting Charms of Samarkand: A Journey Through Uzbekistan's Architectural Gem

I was left astonished in Samarkand, where history and beauty blend seamlessly to create an unforgettable short travel experience (from Dubai at least). As you embark on this fascinating journey through Uzbekistan's architectural gem, you'll find yourself immersed in a rich culture, art, and architecture. With a friendly and easy-to-read guide, we present a delightful list of things to do and visit in Samarkand, along with some mouthwatering local delicacies to try along the way.

Day 1:


1. Start your day at the magnificent Registan Square, a mesmerising ensemble of three grand madrasahs that will leave you in awe. Marvel at the intricate tilework and step back in time as you explore Ulugh Beg Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, and Tilya-Kori Madrasah.

2. Take a short walk to the Gur-e-Amir mausoleum, the final resting place of Timur and his descendants. Admire the stunning blue mosaic artistry and delve into the history of this legendary conqueror.


3. Visit the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, a stunning architectural masterpiece adorned with ornate tiles. Step inside and feel the spiritual essence of this historic place.

4. Your next stop is the vibrant Siyob Bazaar. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, interact with friendly locals, and pick up some traditional Uzbek souvenirs and spices to remember your trip.


5. As the sun sets, head to the enchanting Shah-i-Zinda complex. The illuminated mausoleums and tombs dating back centuries will transport you to a different world. Take a leisurely stroll through this awe-inspiring site and capture some magical moments.

Day 2:


1. Kick off your morning at the Ulugh Beg Observatory, a testament to the brilliant astronomical achievements of ancient Central Asia. Learn about the stars and the past while exploring this historical site.

2. Continue your journey through history at the Afrosiab Museum. Discover the fascinating artifacts from the ancient city of Afrosiab and admire the remarkably preserved wall paintings.


3. Pay your respects at the Mausoleum of Imam al-Bukhari, a revered figure in Islam. Find solace in the peaceful ambiance and learn about the life and teachings of this esteemed scholar.

4. Unveil the secrets of silk paper production at the Samarkand Silk Paper Workshop. Witness the traditional process and even create your own unique souvenirs to cherish.


5. As the day winds down, treat yourself to a feast of authentic Uzbek cuisine. Head to a local restaurant and savor the delicious flavors of plov, shashlik, and delectable Uzbek pastries. Your taste buds will thank you!

Day 3:


1. Embark on a day trip to Shakhrisabz, the ancient city just a short distance from Samarkand. Explore the impressive Ak-Saray Palace, the majestic entrance gate, and the Dorus-Siadat mausoleum, offering glimpses into Timur's grand empire.


2. Return to Samarkand and immerse yourself in the captivating artifacts at the Museum of History of Uzbekistan. Unravel the region's intriguing past, from ancient times to the present day.

3. Find tranquility in the lush gardens of the Mausoleum of Khodja Doniyor. Take a moment to reflect and admire the beauty of this serene sanctuary.

Suggested Food to Try in Samarkand:

While exploring the historical wonders of Samarkand, make sure to indulge in the mouthwatering local cuisine. Here are a few traditional dishes you must try:

  1. Plov: A staple dish in Uzbek cuisine, plov is a flavorful rice pilaf cooked with meat (usually lamb or beef), carrots, onions, and aromatic spices. The tender meat and fragrant rice make it a must-try dish.

  2. Shashlik: Savor the succulent grilled meat skewers, known as shashlik. Choose from various options such as lamb, beef, or chicken, marinated in a blend of spices and served with freshly baked bread and salad.

  3. Manti: These steamed dumplings are filled with a delicious mixture of minced meat (often lamb or beef) and onions. They are typically served with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of sumac or black pepper.

  4. Samsa: Enjoy these baked pastries filled with savory fillings such as minced meat, onions, and spices. The golden crust and flavorful filling make them a popular street food snack.

  5. Laghman: This hearty noodle dish consists of handmade noodles tossed with vegetables, meat, and a savory sauce. It's a comforting and satisfying meal, perfect for replenishing your energy after a day of exploration.

  6. Chak-Chak: Indulge your sweet tooth with this traditional Uzbek dessert made from fried dough pieces, drizzled with honey and often topped with nuts. It's a delightful treat to end your culinary journey in Samarkand.

Please note that this itinerary provides a general outline of the top attractions in Samarkand, but you can adjust it based on your specific interests and pace of exploration. Enjoy your trip!


by Guillermo Zambrano aka Memo Zambrano


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