Tashkent is the modern, buzzing capital of Uzbekistan and the only gateway to this rich and fascinating country. Its city centre is a mix of old and new and the city has a definite European feel and appeal. Samarkand on the contrary, a mere 2 hour high speed, comfortable train ride from Tashkent, boasts with its opulent architecture dating back to the high time of wealth as the centre of the Silk trade. Registan square and its colourful madrassah, its Bibikhanum mosque and lively bazaars have earned Samarkand nicknames such as ‘The Mirror of The World’, the garden of Soul’ or ‘The Pearl of the Orient’. Want to check for yourself? Why not head there and find out for yourself ?
Day 1 - Tashkent
Tashkent is the gateway to and capital of Uzbekistan. As soon as you arrive, your airport - hotel transfer awaits. Start your city exploration in your own time tour at your own pace. The contrast between old and new is nowhere more apparent than here. Glass, modern constructions rub shoulders with historic edifices and yet there is no culture shock. The city feels very European and safe and travel within the city is easy and efficient. Make sure to visit the old city centre at dusk when the all main monuments are lit and a fairy-tale like atmosphere looms over this part of town. There is a choice of local and international restaurants (Turkish, Italian, Korean).
Day 2 - Tashkent
Today you may consider renting a bike as the weather is bound to be fine and the impressions of the city are more intense as you cycle through this green city from park to park. Pop in at the famous, lively and ancient Chorzu-bazaar to taste the local cuisine and meet the hospitable vendors in their colourful, traditional costumes sell peaches, melons, herbs and spices. You may wish to lunch here and try the national dish called ‘pilov’, a rice based dish with carrots and usually lamb. If you didn’t have the time yesterday make sure to head to Independence and Amir Timur Square where ancient monuments form a string of ‘pearls’ and the hippest of Western brands have their flagship stores.
Day 3 - Tashkent - Samarkand
Today you head towards the railway station for a 2-hour train ride to the next stunning stop on your journey: Samarkand. Time for a whole new chapter in your Uzbek exploration. It will soon be apparent that a visit to this city centre is like a walk through the tales of 1001 nights. The skyline here is dotted with fairy-tale like onion domes, grand minarets which rub shoulders with fascinating mosques; towering madrassah or Quran schools and mausoleums. The royal blue mosaics which can be found all over the city centre are intriguing and bright and some depict animals which is highly unusual for the Islam belief system. The pedestrian promenade between Registan Square and the Bibikhanum mosque stands in sharp contrast to the wide avenues of Tashkent and make a peaceful stroll between these two major highlights, the Shah-i-Zinda, the Kahzret Khirz Moque and Ulugbeks’ Observatory a real pleasure. Make sure to listen to the stories and legends as told by local guides. It will make the monuments truly come to life!
Day 4 - Samarkand
Second day of your exploration of Samarkand offers some more insight into the glorious past of this open air museum. Why not head south, southwest today and discover the Gur Emir, Rukhabad & Ak Sarai mausoleums and the green pastures near the Art Gallery, the Puppet and Al Merosi Theatre where you can see national historical costumes or if you are lucky, attend a traditional wedding. The covered market is the spot to be for a fresh lunch. Feel like relaxing in a quiet spot? The city centre is dotted with cosy restaurants and bars which often look out on the city skyline and a number of comfortable to luxury hotels offer dinner at reasonable rates. It is clear Samarkand will steal your heart and stretch your imagination as far as architecture is concerned.
Day 5 - Samarkand - Tashkent
- Belgian travelers (including children) must be in possession of an international passport that is valid for 3 months. No visa is required for a stay of up to 30 days for tourist purposes. More specific information about the visa can be found on the website of Uzbekistan's foreign affairs in English via the link: http://www.mfa.uz/en/consular/visa/.
- Travellers with a non-Belgian nationality and / or persons travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously report this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy (s) or Consulate (ate) to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents.
Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year. We guarantee you the best protection at the best price.
The online tours are just a few examples of possible travel itineraries. Each one can be tailored to suit your specific needs. If you want to book a specific destination or combine it with a mini-tour then we will gladly make you a tailor-made offer. For a personalised day-by-day program please contact our destination experts
Would you like to travel in a group; with your entire family, friends or colleagues? (min. 10 people required). Put our know-how to the test and send us your details and wishes. We will gladly turn the blueprints of your trip into a detailed quote and a lasting memory for you to cherish. Contact our Connections' Group Service by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone on +32 (0)2 550 01 65. We would love to hear from you.
No compulsory vaccinations. Please consult the websites of the Institute for Tropical Medicine ( www.itg.be.) and the World Health Organization (www.who.ing) at least 6 weeks before your departure for updated information on recommended vaccinations or recent developments.
Hygiene: with exception of hotels and classy restaurants, the sanitation is quite bad. It is advised to take your personal toilet roll.
Timezone:GMT +3 (Summer) & +4 (Winter)
Sum (UZS) : 1 EUR = 9.537 UZS & 1000 UZS = 0.104 EUR (25/10/2017)
- Take US Dollars to exchange locally.
Uzbekistan has a continental or land climate, that is, quite warm during the summer (although the desert keeps humidity levels and as such the persperation at bay) that runs from May to October and cold to very cold from November to February. Variables are associated with the altitude and location (plains or mountains). Best travel period is spring and autumn.
Average max. temperatures (°C):
- Return airport - hotel transfers in Tashkent
- 2 nights accommodation incl. breakfast In Tashkent in the listed hotels or equivalent
- 2 nights accommodation incl. breakfast In Samarkand in the listed hotels or equivalent
- Your return train trip Tashkent - Samarkand and return transfers from train stations to hotels
- A farewell dinner at a local restaurant
What's not included?
Good to Know
The day-to-day programme is merely presented as guideline. You may choose to travel on to your next destination as from day 2. In that case the extra night at Tashkent will be spent on your last day of your city break, ideally adapted to the departure time of your return flight.