If you’re planning a trip to Uzbekistan in the near future, then you’re probably wondering about the myriad of things to do and places to see in this underrated Central Asian hub.
With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, you’ll find an enchanting blend of experiences that span centuries. From the ancient Silk Road cities steeped in history to the natural wonders that grace its diverse landscapes, Uzbekistan invites you to discover a wealth of top-rated things to do and places to visit.
Whether you’re an avid history buff, a lover of art and architecture, or simply seeking adventure in uncharted territory, this blog is your ultimate guide to discovering top-rated experiences that await you in Uzbekistan.
We looked at TripAdvisor’s list of hundreds of tourist attractions in Uzbekistan and ranked them based on their average ratings from a total of 23,934 online reviews! (Read what we did at the end of the page).
So, grab your travel journal, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the heart of Central Asia as we walk through the very best things to do in Uzbekistan.
- Top 10 Places to Visit in Uzbekistan
- Best 90 Things to Do in Uzbekistan
- Uzbekistan Tourist Attraction Statistics
Top 10 Places to Visit in Uzbekistan
To find the best places to visit in Uzbekistan we included all tourist attractions such as historical and religious sites, landmarks, bazaars, museums, parks and more. Here are the highest-rated tourist attractions according to our study:
1. Shah-i-Zinda, Samarkand
Shah-i-Zinda, situated in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, is a mesmerizing necropolis that showcases the city’s historical and architectural splendor. This sacred site is a collection of beautifully adorned mausoleums and tombs, featuring vibrant mosaic work and intricate tile designs.
It is a place of pilgrimage and reverence, believed to house the tomb of Qusam ibn Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad.
2. Itchan Kala, Khiva
Itchan Kala, nestled in Khiva, Uzbekistan, is a remarkable ancient walled city that immerses visitors in a living museum of history. Encircled by formidable fortress walls up to 10m in height, this UNESCO World Heritage site preserves the essence of a Silk Road trading post.
Inside, you’ll discover well-preserved architectural wonders, including mosques, madrasahs, palaces, and bazaars, each showcasing intricate tilework and intricate craftsmanship. Walking its narrow, winding streets feels like stepping back in time, offering a glimpse into the rich heritage of Khiva.
3. Ulugh Beg Madrasa, Samarkand
Constructed by Ulugh Beg, a celebrated astronomer and ruler, during the 15th century, this madrasa is a vivid reflection of Islamic scholarship and architectural excellence. Its façade showcases exquisite azure tilework and a majestic entrance portal.
Within its walls, Ulugh Beg Madrasa once served as an educational hub, nurturing the pursuit of knowledge. Today, this splendid institution continues to enchant visitors with its splendid design, offering insight into the intellectual and artistic accomplishments of Samarkand’s bygone era.
4. Registan Square, Samarkand
The Registan Square, located in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, is an architectural marvel that embodies the city’s rich history and grandeur. Comprising three stunning madrasahs, Ulugh Beg, Sher-Dor, and Tilya-Kori, the Registan Square is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a testament to Islamic art and culture.
Adorned with intricate tilework, majestic arches, and vibrant blue domes, it serves as a captivating symbol of Samarkand’s past glory and continues to awe visitors with its timeless beauty and historical significance.
A visit to Samarkand’s Registan even makes it on our list of best things to do in Uzbekistan in winter.
5. Tillya Kori Madrasah, Samarkand
Tillya Kori Madrasah, nestled in the heart of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, is an architectural marvel that echoes the profound historical significance of the city. Constructed during the 17th century, this madrasah boasts a resplendent facade adorned with gleaming golden embellishments and an imposing entrance.
Within its hallowed halls, Tillya Kori Madrasah once served as an educational center, fostering the pursuit of wisdom. Today, it continues to enthrall visitors with its opulent design, providing a glimpse into the intellectual and artistic achievements of Samarkand’s storied past.
6. Kalta Minor Minaret, Khiva
Kalta Minor Minaret, nestled in the enchanting city of Khiva, stands as a distinctive architectural wonder that echoes the rich historical tapestry of this ancient city. This distinctive minaret, commissioned by the Mughal noble Muhammad Amin Khan, reaches a height of 26 meters. Its original design, which aimed for a height of 70 meters, was halted due to his passing in 1855.
Its tower soars majestically above the cityscape, a testament to the architectural finesse of the time. Within the embrace of its historic walls, Kalta Minor Minaret tells a compelling story of Khiva’s past, alluring visitors with its singular design, offering a glimpse into the city’s cultural heritage.
7. Gur Emir Mausoleum, Samarkand
Gur Emir Mausoleum, is an architectural relic hailing from the city’s historical zenith. Constructed during a pivotal era of Samarkand’s prominence, this mausoleum boasts a distinctive domed structure that reflects the artistic ingenuity of its time. Originally built to be the tomb of Muhammad Shah, grandson of conqueror Timur (Tamerlane), the tomb later also became the resting place of Timur himself after his death in 1405.
8. Great Minaret of the Kalon, Bukhara
The Great Minaret of the Kalon in Bukhara, is a remarkable historical landmark dating back to the 12th century. Rising to a height of 47 meters, it was constructed during the reign of Arslan Khan, and its purpose extended beyond architectural grandeur.
This minaret served as a beacon for Silk Road travelers, guiding them through the desert expanse and highlighting Bukhara’s significance as a bustling trade hub. Its iconic brickwork, adorned with intricate geometric patterns, is a testament to the architectural mastery of its time, drawing history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike to explore its storied past.
Read more about visiting Bukhara.
9. Poi Kalyan Mosque, Bukhara
Poi Kalyan Mosque in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, is an architectural jewel steeped in history. Dating back to the 12th century, it was constructed during the reign of Arslan Khan and has since withstood the test of time.
The mosque’s grandeur is evident in its vast courtyard and stunning turquoise domes. Its spiritual significance has drawn worshippers for centuries. It’s not just a mosque; it’s a living testament to Bukhara’s enduring cultural heritage.
10. Imam Bokhari Mausoleum, Samarkand
The Imam Bokhari Mausoleum, gracing Samarkand’s landscape, is not just a final resting place but a work of art. Its intricate tilework, geometric designs, and tranquil garden setting create an ambiance of serenity and beauty.
Constructed in honor of Imam Bukhari, a prominent Islamic scholar, this mausoleum captures the essence of Samarkand’s artistic and spiritual heritage. Visitors are treated to a visual feast of Islamic architectural brilliance, where every detail tells a story of reverence and admiration.
The mausoleum is currently closed for reconstruction.
List of the Best Things to Do in Uzbekistan
For our top list of things to do in Uzbekistan we also included categories such as places of natural beauty, theaters, and shopping malls among others.
|3||Ulugh Beg Madrasa||4.77||Samarkand|
|5||Tillya Kori Madrasah||4.74||Samarkand|
|6||Kalta Minor Minaret||4.74||Khiva|
|7||Gur Emir Mausoleum||4.73||Samarkand|
|8||Great Minaret of the Kalon||4.73||Bukhara|
|10||Poi Kalyan Mosque||4.64||Bukhara|
|11||Imam Bokhari Mausoleum||4.63||Samarkand|
|15||Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum||4.54||Khiva|
|16||Mohammed Amin Madrassah||4.51||Khiva|
|17||Stone Palace (Tash Khauli)||4.51||Khiva|
|25||Islam Khodja Complex||4.41||Khiva|
|26||Ensemble Hazrati Imam||4.40||Tashkent|
|28||Bakhautdin Naqsband Mausoleum||4.37||Bukhara|
|31||Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art||4.35||Karakalpakstan|
|32||Navoi Opera Theater||4.35||Tashkent|
|33||Bibi Khanym Mosque||4.32||Samarkand|
|35||Fortress Toprak Kala||4.32||Karakalpakstan|
|36||Assumption of the Virgin Cathedral||4.31||Tashkent|
|38||Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art||4.29||Tashkent|
“In Memory of the Victims
|44||Monument of Courage|
|46||Alisher Navoi National Park||4.20||Tashkent|
|47||Palace of Moon-like Stars |
|50||Nodir Devon Begi Madrasasi||4.15||Bukhara|
|55||Hamman Bozori Kord||4.08||Bukhara|
|56||Ulugh Beg Observatory||4.07||Samarkand|
|57||Amir Timur Museum||4.07||Tashkent|
|59||Nodir Devon Begi Xonaqosi||4.07||Bukhara|
|61||Tomb of Sayid Allauddin||4.05||Khiva|
|62||Monument to Hodja Nasreddin||4.04||Bukhara|
|64||Amir Temur Square||4.02||Tashkent|
|66||The Palace Complex of Ak-Saray||4.01||Qashqadaryo|
|67||Hazrat Khizr Mosque||4.00||Samarkand|
|70||Hovrenko Wine Factory||3.98||Samarkand|
|71||Ark of Bukhara||3.97||Bukhara|
|72||Fine Arts Museum of Uzbekistan||3.96||Tashkent|
|73||Maghak-i ‘Attari Mosque||3.94||Bukhara|
|74||Alla Kuki Khan Madrasah||3.90||Khiva|
|77||Saint Daniel’s Tomb||3.88||Samarkand|
|78||Palace of the Romanovs||3.86||Tashkent|
|79||Samarkand Darvoza Mall||3.84||Tashkent|
|81||Statue of Amir Timur||3.82||Qashqadaryo|
|85||Chasma Ayub Mausoleum||3.73||Bukhara|
|86||State Museum of History of Uzbekistan||3.72||Tashkent|
|87||Tashkent TV Tower||3.69||Tashkent|
|88||Statue of Amir Temur||3.64||Samarkand|
Tourist Attraction Statistics
What We Did
Our study looked at hundreds of activities on TripAdvisor and collated 23,934 reviews to rank the best things to do in Uzbekistan.
We included all under the following categories: Religious or Historic Site, Museum or Theater, Landmark, Place of Natural Beauty, Bazaar or Shopping, Park, Neighborhood, and Spa and Wellness.
TripAdvisor only assigns ratings in increments of 0.5 stars (such as 4, 4.5, 5 etc.), so in order to get a better we calculated the exact average rating for all attractions featured on the list. To avoid anomalies we removed any attractions with less than 50 ratings in order to give us the very best list of things to do in Uzbekistan.
- Not surprisingly, the majority of our list was made of religious or historic sites. This comes as no surprise since Uzbekistan is probably best known as a cultural hub with a long and intricate history.
- Only two of the bazaars made the list: Chorsu and Siab bazaars. In terms of landmarks, Muynaq’s ship cemetery was the most popular, followed by Tashkent’s metro and Monument of Courage Memorial.
- In terms of provinces, Tashkent had the most to offer at 29 out of the 90 attractions, with Bukhara a close second at 25.
- Samarkand dominated the top ten of the country’s best places to visit however, with 5 out of the top 10 being located in the Samarkand region.
Top Rated Attractions By City
- Tashkent: Ilkhom Theater, 4.68
- Samarkand: Shah-i-Zinda, 4.85
- Bukhara: Great Minaret of the Kalon, 4.73
- Khiva: Itchan Kala, 4.81
- Karakalpakstan: Ships Cemetery, 4.51
- Qashqadaryo: The Palace Complex of Ak-Saray. 4.01
Related Post: Tourist Attractions in Tashkent
In conclusion, Uzbekistan is a treasure trove of historical and cultural wonders waiting to be explored. From the enchanting necropolis of Shah-i-Zinda in Samarkand to the living museum of Itchan Kala in Khiva, and from the splendid madrasahs of Ulugh Beg and Tillya Kori in Samarkand to the towering minarets of Kalta Minor in Khiva, the country offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you in awe.
Our comprehensive study, based on thousands of TripAdvisor reviews, has unveiled the top-rated attractions in Uzbekistan, allowing you to plan your journey with confidence. Whether you’re interested in religious and historic sites, museums, landmarks, or places of natural beauty, Uzbekistan has something to offer everyone.
If you’re interested in learning more about this Silk Road country then try our guide to visiting Uzbekistan.