"Samarkand - Central Asia's Eternal Beauty" Top 5 Page for this destination Samarkand by Trekki

Samarkand Travel Guide: 319 reviews and 1,394 photos

Sаmаrqаnd -

Samarkand was the fourth Uzbek city I visited, after Tashkent , Khiva and Bukhara , on my way to Tajikistan and Pamirs .

Please make sure that you also read what Leyle of the WanderingCamels wrote about Samarkand .
She was the one who “brought” me to Uzbekistan and Samarkand with what she wrote here on VT.


Pearl of the Orient

Once, Alexander the Great wrote about Samarkand, or Marakanda, that it was more beautiful than he ever imaginated. Given the time, it must have been a glory of the days before Christ already. Since that time, it had quite a maiifold regimen by Chinese Han-Dynasty, Sassanids, Turks and Arabs. It was capital of Transoxania and then reigned by Samanids, Seljuqs and the Khans of Choresm (see Khiva ). Mongols under Genghis Khan destroyed the city around 1200, making it uninhabitable for quite a period.

And then famous Timur came and made Samarkand capital of his empire. It was a famous cultural, scientific and trade centre; marvellous buildings have been erected with the idea to show power and make Samarkand the most beautiful city of Timur’s days.
Timurid period ended around 1500 and under the Shaybanids, who did choose Bukhara as their capital, went into meaninglessness.

1868, Russians took over; it became the centre of Russian Turkestan, later capital of Uzbek SSR, but Tashkent was selected final capital, which it still is in the state of Uzbekistan since 1991.

Always an important trade centre

Since a long time, Samarkand had been an important centre for international trading. Goods were transported from China to the western world and other goods from the western world to Asia.
Already in 751, Samarkand had its own paper manufacturing, adopted by the Chinese. This might have been the reason why it did develop to such an important cultural and scientific centre with early bookwritings.

Today it is a very lively town with 450.000 inhabitans, interesting mixture between ancient sights, which look more randomly scattered around town and modern Uzbek life.
It definitely pays to spend more than just one day here, to immerse in the fame of ancient Silk Road, to take in the special position of Samarkand as centre of Timurid period with its special architecture.

Now lets begin and start our virtual tour to Samarkand – enjoy.


All pictures have been taken by me, if not marked otherwise.
Please do not use any of them without my permission.
The same applies for my writings here.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Marvellous architecture - lovely people - busy lively town
  • Cons:bloody hot in summer
  • In a nutshell:Marvellous - but it might reveal its splendor not directly
  • Last visit to Samarkand: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated Sep 22, 2013
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Reviews (34)

Comments (41)

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2016 at 5:25 AM

    The BBC news website is running a feature on Samarkland this week; a place which, to my shame, I'd never heard of. Of course I had to run right off to VT to see what we had in our guides, and just look who I found! Fascinating place, and I very much enjoyed Trekki's tour. :O) Now I'll have to some reading up on Timur he's another subject I'm woefully ignorant about.

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Jan 7, 2016 at 6:07 AM

      No, I haven't seen it but apparently I should!

    • Trekki's Profile Photo
      Jan 7, 2016 at 6:36 AM

      Oh yes, please do so!! I watched it for the second time before Christmas and ... just to see Ben Kingsley alone is worth to watch :-)

  • wabat's Profile Photo
    Jun 27, 2014 at 6:03 AM

    Ingrid, thoroughly enjoyed you things to do selection and will return soon for more.

    • wabat's Profile Photo
      Jun 27, 2014 at 11:11 PM

      Ingrid - Indeed they may but I do like to know how things were at a point in time.

    • Trekki's Profile Photo
      Jun 27, 2014 at 11:13 PM


  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Beautiful architecture! Interesting about the post cards never arriving, they probably reused the stamps!

    • Trekki's Profile Photo
      Jan 21, 2013 at 2:21 AM

      Thank you for having taken your time to read through my Samarkand page :-) Yes, that's what we thought: they reused the stamps. Even until now none of them arrived.

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2012 at 5:12 AM

    Ingrid- thank you for such a wonderful thorough set of pages. I had seen pictures of this before. the colors and the architecture just look amazingly beautiful to me.

  • pure1942's Profile Photo
    Nov 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Fantastic, informative page Ingrid...love the way your tips seem to flow into each other. Your photos are also superb...they really bring to life the colours of Samarkand. I hope to see them for myself some day. Thanks for sharing.

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    Samarkand is a dream destination for me- I have always been interested in history of Timur & his empire. A great page of history with astute observations and excellent pics. I will return to finish reading these tips.Thanks.

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2009 at 8:12 AM

    and if you did drink too much and fall into a drain channel, how much does it cost for a mule to drag you out.

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    Samarkand is fascinating --- all the way to your stories about Aleander liking it....I am envious you go to such wonderful locations! You're lucky, Ingrid! Norman :)

  • iwys's Profile Photo
    Dec 26, 2008 at 9:55 AM

    Thank you for a fascinating and beautiful page.

  • Lhenne1's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Your pictures are spectacular. I couldn't get through the entire site in one try...I'll certainly be back to see more!


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