Top Rated Things to Do and Places to Visit in Uzbekistan in 2024

Places to Visit in Uzbekistan

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.

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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, Samarkand
Shah-i-Zinda, Samarkand (David Stanley)

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. Khiva
Itchan Kala, Khiva (Patrickringgenberg)

Itchan Kala, nestled in Khiva, is a remarkable ancient walled city that immerses visitors in a living museum of history. Surrounded 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. Any visit to Khiva will center around Itchan Kala.

3. Ulugh Beg Madrasa, Samarkand

Ulugh-Beg-Madrasa, Samarkand
Ulugh Beg Madrasah (Francisco Anzola)

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.

The 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

Samarkand's Registan
Myself and Nilufar at the Registan

The Registan Square, the centerpiece of the city of Samarkand, 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
Tillya Kori Madrasah

The Tillya Kori Madrasah, the final structure to make up Samarkand’s Registan, is perhaps the most extravagant of them all. Constructed during the 17th century, this madrasah boasts a resplendent facade adorned with gleaming golden embellishments and an imposing entrance.

Tillya Kori, meaning ‘decorated with gold‘, once operated 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.

Gaze up at the ceiling to spot the world’s most grandiose optical illusion!

6. Kalta Minor Minaret, Khiva

Kalta Minor Minaret, Khiva
Kalta Minor Minaret (David Stanley)

Kalta Minor Minaret, nestled in Khiva’s Itchan Kala, stands as a unique architectural wonder that echoes the rich historical tapestry of this ancient city. This distinctive turqoise 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.

These days the minaret is popular not only with tourists but with local soon-to-be-weds who parade past the minaret with friends and family as a part of a photoshoot.

7. Gur Emir Mausoleum, Samarkand

Gur Emir Mausoleum, Samarkand
Gur Emir Mausoleum (Michał Huniewicz)

The Gur Emir Mausoleum, with its stunning azure dome, houses a central chamber encircled by seven marble tombstones and a dark-green slab that was claimed to be the world’s largest piece of jade.

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 unexpected death in 1405.

8. Great Minaret of the Kalon, Bukhara

Great Minaret of the Kalon, Bukhara
Great Minaret of the Kalon (Yves Picq)

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 grisly past also included being used as an execution tower from which criminals were hurled to their death.

Remarkably, it’s one of the the few structures in Bukhara which survived Genghis Khan’s destruction as legend says even he was too impressed to demolish it.

Read more about visiting Bukhara.

9. Poi Kalyan Mosque, Bukhara

Poi Kalyan Mosque, Bukhara
Poi Kalyan Mosque (Fulvio Spada)

The Poi Kalyan Mosque in Bukhara, 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.

The grand portal to the mosque is located just at the foot of the afore-mentioned Great Minaret of the Kalon. Head back here at night time to see these landmarks beautifully illuminated.

10. Imam Bokhari Mausoleum, Samarkand

Imam Bokhari Mausoleum, Samarkand
Imam Bokhari Mausoleum (Daniel Mennerich)

The Imam Bokhari Mausoleum, is not just a final resting place but a work of art. The mausoleum features a cube-shaped structure with a 17-meter dome, adorned with glazed tiles, marble, onyx, and granite. The mausoleum is set in a tranquil garden creating an ambiance of serenity and beauty.

Constructed in honor of Imam Bukhari, a prominent Islamic scholar born in 810, this mausoleum captures the essence of Samarkand’s artistic and spiritual heritage. The memorial complex at his tomb, abandoned for centuries, was restored post-Uzbekistan’s independence in 1997, marking the 1225th anniversary of Imam al-Bukhari’s birth.

The mausoleum is currently closed for reconstruction.

RELATED POST: When is the Best Time to Visit Uzbekistan?

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.

2Itchan Kala4.81Khiva
3Ulugh Beg Madrasa4.77Samarkand
5Tillya Kori Madrasah4.74Samarkand
6Kalta Minor Minaret4.74Khiva
7Gur Emir Mausoleum4.73Samarkand
8Great Minaret of the Kalon4.73Bukhara
9Ilkhom Theater4.68Tashkent
10Poi Kalyan Mosque4.64Bukhara
11Imam Bokhari Mausoleum4.63Samarkand
12Juma Mosque4.59Khiva
13Mir-i-Arab Madrasa4.57Bukhara
14Citadel Kunya-ark4.57Khiva
15Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum4.54Khiva
16Mohammed Amin Madrassah4.51Khiva
17Stone Palace (Tash Khauli)4.51Khiva
18Ships Cemetery4.51Karakalpakstan
19Samanid Mausoleum4.50Bukhara
20Minor Mosque4.50Tashkent
22Moschea Bolo-khauz4.44Bukhara
23Teleshayakh Mosque4.42Tashkent
24Charvak Reservoir4.41Tashkent
25Islam Khodja Complex4.41Khiva
26Ensemble Hazrati Imam4.40Tashkent
28Bakhautdin Naqsband Mausoleum4.37Bukhara
29Kosh Madrasah4.36Bukhara
30Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah4.35Bukhara
31Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art4.35Karakalpakstan
32Navoi Opera Theater4.35Tashkent
33Bibi Khanym Mosque4.32Samarkand
35Fortress Toprak Kala4.32Karakalpakstan
36Assumption of the Virgin Cathedral4.31Tashkent
38Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art4.29Tashkent
39Tashkent Metro4.28Tashkent
40Barak-Khan Madrassah4.28Tashkent
41State Museum
“In Memory of the Victims
of Repression”
42Trading Domes4.26Bukhara
43Siab Bazaar4.23Samarkand
44Monument of Courage
Earthquake Memorial
45Chorsu Bazaar4.20Tashkent
46Alisher Navoi National Park4.20Tashkent
47Palace of Moon-like Stars
48Railway Museum4.18Tashkent
49Japanese Garden4.18Tashkent
50Nodir Devon Begi Madrasasi4.15Bukhara
51Chor-Bakr necropolis4.14Bukhara
52Kukeldash Madrasah4.13Bukhara
53Ulugbek Madrasah4.13Bukhara
54Independence Square
(Mustakillik Square)
55Hamman Bozori Kord4.08Bukhara
56Ulugh Beg Observatory4.07Samarkand
57Amir Timur Museum4.07Tashkent
58Old Tashkent4.07Tashkent
59Nodir Devon Begi Xonaqosi4.07Bukhara
60Dovudi Hammam4.06Samarkand
61Tomb of Sayid Allauddin4.05Khiva
62Monument to Hodja Nasreddin4.04Bukhara
63Broadway Alley4.03Tashkent
64Amir Temur Square4.02Tashkent
65Khan Palace4.02Fergana
66The Palace Complex of Ak-Saray4.01Qashqadaryo
67Hazrat Khizr Mosque4.00Samarkand
68Bukhara Synagogue4.00Bukhara
69Kukeltash Madrasah4.00Bukhara
70Hovrenko Wine Factory3.98Samarkand
71Ark of Bukhara3.97Bukhara
72Fine Arts Museum of Uzbekistan3.96Tashkent
73Maghak-i ‘Attari Mosque3.94Bukhara
74Alla Kuki Khan Madrasah3.90Khiva
75Dorut Tilovat3.90Qashqadaryo
77Saint Daniel’s Tomb3.88Samarkand
78Palace of the Romanovs3.86Tashkent
79Samarkand Darvoza Mall3.84Tashkent
81Statue of Amir Timur3.82Qashqadaryo
82Afrasiyab Museum3.80Samarkand
83Nurullaboy Saroyi3.75Khiva
84Tashkent Zoo3.74Tashkent
85Chasma Ayub Mausoleum3.73Bukhara
86State Museum of History of Uzbekistan3.72Tashkent
87Tashkent TV Tower3.69Tashkent
88Statue of Amir Temur3.64Samarkand
89Dor Us-Siyodat3.57Qashqadaryo
90Rukhabad Mausoleum3.49Samarkand
Top 90 tourist attractions in Uzbekistan according to TripAdvisor ratings

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.
Number of Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Uzbekistan

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.

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