Uzbekistan: The Essentials

The options to see and do in Uzbekistan are many, since it is a country rich in history, heritage, and tradition. It is located in Central Asia, surrounded by countries such as Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is located right in the middle of the ancient Silk Road that ran from Xian to Rome, passing through Constantinople, sometimes deviating to pass through Egypt, Persia or India. In 1991 Uzbekistan managed to become an independent nation and free itself from the USSR

What to see and do in Uzbekistan

Ancient cemetery of Mizdakhan at the sunset, in Nukus, Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan is off the beaten path for many. But  since there are three of the most important historical cities and World Heritage Sites in this country.You should consider going.  In addition to impressive and unique landscapes. Go check out the World Heritage Sites.

Kyzyl Kum Desert

Line of yurts in the Kyzyl Kum Desert against blue sky on sunny day.

Contemplating a desert is an overwhelming experience. The Kyzyl Kum is located in the Karakalpakistan region.   Its vast expanse of sand, – it is dotted with the ruins of ancient fortresses, some of which date back to the 4th century BC. They are called “kalas,” and ares some of the most beautiful. There are Toprak Kala, Guldur Son Kala, or Qizil Kala.

Another attraction of the Kyzyl Kum desert is that the visitor can stay overnight in an authentic yurt. Yurts are the tents used by ancient nomadic peoples in Central Asia. They are still in use in regions like Mongolia. If we want to sleep in one of these rooms, it is important to do so in summer.

Ayaz Kala Fortress

Central Asia, Uzbekistan the largest ruins castles of ancient Khorezm “u2013 Ayaz – Kala

Aya Kala is the largest fortress in the Kyzylkum desert. It is also the oldest. It was built in the 4th century BC, but annexes continued to be built during the following centuries until it was completed in the 2nd century AD. From that splendor, there have been gigantic remains of what were enormous defensive structures that today stand in the middle of the desert. A desert  in those days was a splendid garden full of life. The first part of Ayaz Kala, despite being the oldest, is the best-preserved. From the top, there are splendid views of the entire desert and the yurt camp. In winter, the desert is covered with snow, and it gives us an unforgettable picture.

Itchan Kala, the walled city of Khiva

Aerial Drone Point of view over Itchan Kala – Ichan Qala Old Town in Khiva. Iconic Islam Khoja Minaret – Islom-Hoja Minaret in the old town of Khiva – Xiva – Хива. The Islam Khoja Minaret is the tallest Minaret in Uzbekistan along the Silk Road. Aerial Old Town view towards the Minaret under the blue summer skyscape. Islam Khodja Minaret, Itchan Kala, Khiva, Xhiva Ichan Qala – Chiva, Xorazm Region, Uzbekistan, Central Asia

Khiva was one of the stops on the Silk Road crossing through Uzbekistan. An oasis city in the desert, where you can see the fortress of Kyzyl Kum. Itchan Kala is located within Khiva and is a beautiful walled city that has been listed as a World Heritage Site.

It is surrounded by adobe walls built more than five centuries ago. Its narrow streets of Islamic architecture are full of charm and dotted with ancient madrasas. In the Kukhna fort, after climbing a long staircase, you can enjoy a viewpoint with a panoramic view of domes and roofs. The Juma Mosque has 218 columns. Of course, it is essential to know the old slave bazaar and visit the museums.


Khiva was once called Khorezm, and the inhabitants of the region were Khorezm. There, Al-Khorezmi, a renowned astronomer, mathematician, and astronomer, was born. Here we have adapted the pronunciation, and it is known as Al-Juarismi. Words such as numbers, algebra, or algorithms derived from the name of this scholar. This is one of the most curious data of this city that seems taken from the Thousand and One Nights.

The historic city of Bukhara

The view o famous bazaar street in Khiva

Like Itchan Kala, this historic city has also entered the UNESCO World Heritage classification, although it is much less known internationally than, for example, Samarkand. Bukhara was, for many centuries, the largest and most important center of Islamic culture in the Central Asian region. It has valuable madrasas, or Islamic schools, such as Kukeldash, the largest in the area, or those of Ulugh Beg or Abdul Aziz Kan. Mosques are often erected near the madrasas, and in Bukhara, the one in Kalon stands out with its impressive minaret. It was built in 1127 and was, at that time, at 47 meters high, the tallest building in Central Asia.


This city was also a stop for travelers who traveled the Silk Road and therefore has three traditional bazaars that have survived time. Taki-Telpak Furushon, dedicated to hats; Taki-Sarrafon, to find coins and Taki-Zargaron, for those who search for jewels.

Samarkand, Queen of Uzbekistan

Shah-i-Zinda or Shohizinda (The Living King), a necropolis in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

An essential thing to see and do in Uzbekistan is to visit Samarkand, the most popular city in this country. Its name alone evokes oriental exoticism, magic, and splendor. It makes us think of sumptuous palaces, merchants from around the world, and ancient legends. Samarkand was destroyed and rebuilt several times, and turned into a true work of art commanded by Tarmelan and his successors. It is a mythical city that lives up to the expectations of the traveler, and it never disappoints those who visit it.




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