Samarkand Favorite Tips by Trekki Top 5 Page for this destination

Samarkand Favorites: 24 reviews and 44 photos

Opening hours, and “how much does it cost”

Favorite thing: A recent conversation with a friend led me to the idea to make a short summary of opening hours and prices, to give you a rough overview of the costs you can expect for Samarkand. This all is as of summer 2006 and my travel style, which involves basic to medium accommodation and two meals per day plus snacks. And of course, visiting the sights.

Opening hours:
mostly from 9 am to 5 or 6 pm on “normal” days. Expect different hours for Fridays, as this is the “Sunday” in the Islamic world.

Travel expenses – for 3 days plus 1 afternoon/evening – per person:
Accommodation costs (4 nights): 40 USD (including breakfast);

Food costs: 22.000 som (equals 17 USD) ;

Snack and water costs: 5 USD;

Costs for visting sights including camera fee: 17.000 som (equals 14 USD).

Transport from Samarkand to Tajikistan in shared taxi: seat 1600 som (equals 1,30 USD)
Transport from Bukhara to Samarkand in shared taxi: seat 15 USD.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 24, 2007
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Further reading (websites)

Favorite thing: Some websites will give you further reading and information. Some are of travel agencies, but they still have a lot of interesting information.

Travel Agency Orexa

Sairam Tours - Samarkand

Samarkand’s website

Samarkand at UNESCO

Timur’s Samarkand by Mark Dickens, with a lot of interesting reading, sights to see, architecture and Timurid period.

The most facinating and very detailed site about Samarkand’s architecture however is available only in German. But I can highly recommend to read it, as Bernhard Peter has put a lot of effort and knowledge into it:

Architecture of Samarkand , and then Samarqand.

(I might add more websites in the future, as I plan to go back)

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 24, 2007
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Bibi Khanum Mosque - in the morning - Samarkand

Bibi Khanum Mosque - in the morning

How many days to plan for Samarkand ?

Favorite thing: Now how many days should you plan for Samarkand ? As I am living in Germany with that unbelievable amount of 30 plus days to spend for holiday per year, I don't really think about tight time schedules.

But let me give it a try:
Samarkand can be visited in 1 day, provided the visitor is used to seeing-all-in-1-day visits, and that most of it is “done” by car (taxi or group bus). But this implies minimum 1 night stay, better 2 nights.

For a one day visit, I would suggest the following tour:
Start early and visit:
Bibi Khanum Mosque (to get the gorgeous morning light conditions),
then walk northeast to Shah-i-Zinda,
grab a taxi and visit Ulug’bek Observatory,
go back with taxi to Gur-I-Amir Mausoleum and Timur’s statue, if of interest.
Walk back to Registan to visit the medressas and try and climb on Ulughbek Medressa Minaret in late afternoon, just before sunset.
Inside Ulug’bek Medressa, maybe do some souvenir shopping and finish your evening with either the folklore dance show in Sher Dor Medressa or with a dinner at a nice restaurant.


Fondest memory: .
Best time for photos:
Bibi Khanum Mosque should be a must in the morning, with light shining through the wooden window into the main sanctuary;
Shah-i-Zinda is best also in the (late) morning, as most of the colourful mausoleums face east.
Gur-i-Amir is time-independent, as the most intresting sights are inside.
Registan is best in late afternoon and evening.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 24, 2007
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Landmark - Hotel Samarkand - Samarkand

Landmark - Hotel Samarkand

Orientation and distances in Samarkand

Favorite thing: As mentioned earlier, Samarkand can roughly be divided into two parts: the eastern more old city with the ancient monuments, stretching northeast from Registan. And the modern part, which is west to southwest of Registan.
Hotel Samarkand is a good landmark, if you think, you got lost. You can see this almost from everywhere west of Registan. How ever, it is no longer in use as hotel (as of mid 2006).

Walking distances:
Registan to Hotel Samarkand: approx. 30 minutes
Registan to Shah-i-Zinda: approx. 45 minutes

I also add a screenshot of GE (scale referring to 1 km), to give you an idea how far the sights are located. You might decide upon taking a taxi for visiting some monuments.
Samarkand is definitely not as “concentrated” as Bukhara.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 24, 2007
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Samarkands students - ready to help travellers - Samarkand

Samarkands students - ready to help travellers

Students – help for travellers

Favorite thing: A concept, which I liked very much and of which I hope it will last for long, is the one of Samarkand students helping travellers. They are obviously studying tourism at the University of Samarkand and, assisted by their professors, have set up a small stand at the State Museum of Cultural History, just east of Registan. They have a whole pile of information of any kind, such as transport, restaurants, accommodation, sights, prices and recommended travel agencies.
They won’t charge anything, you even get something to drink (tea or soft drinks) and you can have a nice chat with the guys and girls. Needless to say that they speak pretty well English.

Definitely something to do and to support; the kids are nice and it is a both way learning.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 23, 2007
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Trekki

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