Known for the Silk Road, with UNESCO cities like Samarkand and Bukhara

Uzbekistan is different because of its rich past. You can marvel at the centuries-old Islamic architecture here. A tour here is an adventure for the senses. The food is delicious, the sights remarkable and the people very friendly.

The diverse Uzbekistan is one of the pearls of Central Asia. The country was part of the Soviet Union and has been independent since 1991.
A tour of Uzbekistan is a journey full of wonder, where you will often be surprised. I traveled for almost two weeks through Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, as well as the mountains of the country.

The Silk Road in Uzbekistan

The beautiful architecture of Khiva in Uzbekistan. ©Corno van den Berg

Uzbekistan was once part of the famous Silk Road, when the precious silk was transported to the West. It brought unprecedented wealth to the country, which is still on display today. Especially in the cities.

In addition to silk, the large caravans of camels brought satin, rubies, diamonds, pearls and porcelain to the West.

Architecture of the Soviet Union

Still, much of the architecture in the cities of Uzbekistan is typically Russian. Especially at the pompous government buildings. This is often large and imposing. The buildings are decorated with hefty ornaments.

But often this form of building is also angular, bombastic and a little colourful. Tashkent metro stations excel in colours including green and blue. It's a matter of taste whether you like it or not.

Highlights of Uzbekistan

The main attractions of Uzbekistan are the capital Tashkent, but also cities such as Samarkand, and oasis cities such as Bukhara and Khiva. These three are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The country may not be one of your first countries to visit, but it is certainly worth it. Uzbekistan has diverse nature, from mountains and deserts to valleys and steppes and there are many special animal species.

Be sure to visit one of the many lively bazaars. The friendly and welcoming Uzbeks are only too happy to let you taste their merchandise such as apricots, dates, fresh bread and other delicacies.

A family making a video call in Samarkand. ©Corno van den Berg

Kitchen of Uzbekistan

The cuisine is a delicious mix of Central Asia. With influences from Russia, China and the surrounding countries. With lots of meat, but also a lot of fresh vegetables. And they're usually large portions.

The traffic scene in Uzbekistan is amazing. You almost only see Chevrolets on the road. The reason is simple; there's a big factory which is the only factory here. And the cars are almost all white. The  logic behind this is that your car will be easier to sell later. The car brand Lada is extremely widely represented in the countryside. They are used for transporting just about everything.

Is travel easy in Uzbekistan?

The country is often visited by means of a tour.  This is usually pre-organised. The roads in this country are good except around Khiva. Most sights can easily be visited by car with a guide. It borders Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan.