• 7/7/2018 10:00 AM
  • Liu Yang

Destination Fly4free: Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s main tourist draws

Boasting three of the ancient Silk Road’s most important cities (Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand), Uzbekistan was once the cradle of culture and trade. Nowadays, it is known for well-preserved Islamic architecture with shimmering minarets and mosaic tile domes.

Where to stay:
In Bukhara, we encourage you to stay at 4* Malika Bukhara with excellent reviews. Centrally located just 50 m from Lyabi Havuz Complex, this 4-star hotel offers a spa centre and rich breakfast buffet with national and European dishes. WiFi is available throughout the property. Elegant rooms with classic-style décor are offered at the Malika-Bukhara Hotel. Rooms feature a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and a minibar. National and Western cuisine is served in the restaurant of the Malika-Bukhara Hotel. A wide variety of drinks is offered at the on-site bar. The spa centre features Russian and Turkish sauna and guests can use fitness centre. Minaret Kalyan and citadel Ark is 200 meters from the hotel. Bukhara Airport is 4.5 km away.

In Samarkand we recommend you to book 4* Platan Hotel. This top rated 4-star hotel offers free Wi-Fi and free parking. Rooms here will provide you with a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and cable channels. Featuring a shower, private bathrooms also come with a hairdryer and a bathrobe. You can enjoy a garden view from all the rooms. Extras include a desk, a safety deposit box and a laptop safe. The on-site restaurant serves Uzbek cuisine, and a variety of drinks is offered at the bar. At Platan you will find free airport shuttle service and a 24-hour front desk. Other facilities offered include ticket service and a tour desk. Samarkand Airport is 5 km from the property.

What to do:
Explore its amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites. Walk through open air museum cities like Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva to see one of the most well preserved Islamic architecture in the world.

Climb the minaret of Islam Hodja in Khiva.

Go shopping in the Central Bazaar in Samarkand. In the souvenir stalls you can buy everything from handmade teapots, carpets and silk to traditional furry wool hats.

Spend one day in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital, and admire its fancy buildings. Completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1966, the entire city was rebuilt and restored.

In Tashkent and Bukhara you can enjoy landscaped public parks and cafés.

Reach the Fergana Valley to learn about the light silk carpets, discover the fragrant vineyards and try some traditional food. Pay a visit to the Palace of Khudayar Khan in Kokand, once said to have been the largest and most opulent palace in Central Asia.

Enjoy the diverse landscapes of Western Tien-Shan, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Uzbekistan has become one of the most attractive places in the world for winter sports. Chimgan-Beldersay is the main skiing area in Western Tien-Shan (90 km far from Tashkent). There are few double-chair ski lifts and hoop lifts, where you can enjoy mountain skiing and snowboarding. Chimgan is the best choice for families with children, while Beldersay (5 km from Chimgan) is more appropriate for skilled skiers and snowboarders.

Explore the Ugam-Chatkal National Park, located in one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. This biosphere reserve is home to exceptionally rich biodiversity.

Hike through the Gulkam Canyon.

Take a trip to the Nurata Mountains, where you can see Stone Age petroglyphs.

Spend a night in a traditional yurt in the Kyzylkum Desert. Experience food cooking over the fire, a camel ride and stargazing.

Discover Elliq-Qala – the lost desert fortresses of Khwarezem.

Stand on the bottom of the Aral Sea.

Visit Nukus Museum of Art to see a unique collection of modern art from 1918 to 1935.

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Start planning your next trip with Lonely Planet’s travel guide >>

Uzbekistan 2017 from Pete R. on Vimeo.

Main photo: MehmetO, kot-obormot, Francesco Bonino - Shutterstock
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