Travel to Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Guide for Conference Participants: Visa, Travel, Accommodation, Currency, and Local Sights
Visa to Uzbekistan
Traveling to Uzbekistan can be an exciting experience, but it's important to understand the visa requirements before you embark on your journey. This comprehensive guide will provide you with detailed information about the visa requirements for Uzbekistan.

Visa Types:
  • Tourist Visa: This visa is suitable for individuals visiting Uzbekistan for tourism purposes.
  • Business Visa: This visa is for those traveling to Uzbekistan for business-related activities.
  • Transit Visa: This visa allows travelers to pass through Uzbekistan while en route to another destination.
Travel to Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Samarkand, located in Uzbekistan, is a city renowned for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. Whether you choose to travel by air, train, or car, this travel guide will provide you with essential information for your journey to Samarkand.

By Air:
  • The most convenient way to reach Samarkand is by flying into Samarkand International Airport (SKD). The airport is well-connected to major cities in Uzbekistan and some international destinations, including Istanbul (Turkey), Dubai (UAE), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Moscow (Russia), St. Petersburg (Russia)/.
  • Several airlines offer flights to Samarkand, including Uzbekistan Airways, Turkish Airlines, Flydubai, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, Qanot Sharq, Aeroflot, Pobeda, and S7 Airlines. From the airport, you can take a taxi or pre-arrange a transfer to your accommodation in Samarkand.
  • You may also find it convenient to fly to Tashkent International Airport (TAS), which is the largest airport in Uzbekistan, and then take a domestic flight to Samarkand (or one could take a train instead).

By Train:
  • Samarkand is well-connected to other major cities in Uzbekistan by train, making it a popular choice for travelers.
  • The high-speed Afrosiyob train is the most comfortable and fastest option. It operates between Tashkent and Samarkand multiple times a day, with a travel time of around 2 hours.
  • Alternatively, slower trains like the Sharq or Registon provide a more budget-friendly option but take longer to reach Samarkand.
  • Train tickets can be purchased at train stations, through travel agencies, or online in advance. Contact the organizers to book the tickets in advance.

By Car:
  • Traveling to Samarkand by car offers flexibility and the opportunity to explore the scenic countryside of Uzbekistan.
  • The road network in Uzbekistan is generally well-maintained, although driving conditions can vary.
  • The main route to Samarkand is from Tashkent, which is approximately 300 kilometers away and takes around 4-5 hours by car.
  • Renting a car with a driver is a common option for travelers who prefer not to drive themselves. Many car rental agencies and tour operators provide this service.
Accommodation in Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Samarkand, with its rich history and cultural attractions, welcomes travelers from around the world. To ensure a comfortable stay in the city, this detailed accommodation guide provides information on various types of accommodations in Samarkand.

  • Samarkand offers a range of hotels catering to different budgets and preferences.
  • Luxury Hotels: Samarkand boasts several luxury hotels that provide upscale amenities, elegant rooms, and excellent service. Some popular options include the Registan Plaza Hotel, Grand Samarkand Superior Hotel, and Hotel Asia Samarkand.
  • Mid-Range Hotels: There are numerous mid-range hotels in Samarkand offering comfortable rooms, good facilities, and value for money. Examples include Malika Prime Hotel, Platan Hotel, and City Hotel.
  • Budget Hotels: Travelers on a tight budget can find affordable options such as Jahongir B&B, Samarkand Travel Inn, and Caravan Serail Hotel, which provide basic amenities and clean rooms at reasonable rates.

Guesthouses and B&Bs
  • For a more intimate and local experience, consider staying in guesthouses or bed and breakfast accommodations in Samarkand.
  • These establishments are often family-run, providing a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Guesthouses like Jahon Guest House, Tilyakori Guest House, and Platan Guest House offer comfortable rooms, traditional Uzbek hospitality, and homemade meals.

Boutique Hotels
  • Samarkand has a selection of boutique hotels that combine comfort, style, and local character.
  • These smaller, often historic properties offer unique design elements and personalized service.
  • Some recommended boutique hotels in Samarkand include Malika Prime Boutique Hotel, Emir Han Hotel, and L'Argamak Hotel.

  • For an authentic cultural experience, consider staying in a homestay in Samarkand.
  • Homestays allow you to live with local families, offering a glimpse into Uzbek traditions, cuisine, and daily life.
  • You can find homestay options through local travel agencies or online platforms like Airbnb and

Tips for Choosing Accommodation
  • Location: Consider staying in the heart of Samarkand, close to major attractions like Registan Square and Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum. This allows for easy exploration and saves travel time.
  • Reviews: Read reviews from previous guests to gauge the quality of service, cleanliness, and facilities offered by the accommodation.
  • Amenities: Check for essential amenities such as Wi-Fi, air conditioning, hot water, and breakfast options, based on your preferences and needs.
  • Accessibility: If you are relying on public transportation, choose accommodation near bus stops or train stations for convenience.
  • Safety and Security: Ensure that the accommodation provides a safe and secure environment for guests.

Additional Information
  • It is advisable to make advance reservations, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your preferred accommodation.
  • Most hotels in Samarkand accept major credit cards, but it's always a good idea to carry some local currency for smaller establishments or unexpected situations.
  • Some accommodations can arrange airport/train station transfers and guided tours to enhance your stay. Inquire about these services if needed.
Money & Currency in Uzbekistan
When traveling to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, it's essential to have a good understanding of the local currency, exchange rates, and banking facilities. This guide will provide you with important information about money and currency in Samarkand to ensure a smooth financial experience during your visit.

  • The official currency of Uzbekistan is the Uzbekistani Som (UZS). The currency is denominated in banknotes, with denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, and 10,000 Uzbekistani Som.
  • Coins are rarely used in Uzbekistan, and transactions are mostly conducted in banknotes.

Exchange Rates
  • The exchange rate between the Uzbekistani Som and foreign currencies fluctuates. It's advisable to check the current exchange rates before your trip.
  • Exchange rates are generally more favorable when exchanging US dollars or euros compared to other currencies.
  • Exchange rates can vary between banks, exchange offices, and hotels, so it's recommended to compare rates and fees before making currency exchanges.

Exchanging Currency
  • Currency exchange services are available at banks, official exchange offices, and some hotels in Samarkand.
  • Banks typically offer reliable exchange rates, but they may have limited operating hours, especially on weekends and public holidays.
  • Official exchange offices, known as "Obmenniy Punkt," can also be found throughout Samarkand, offering currency exchange services. They are generally open longer hours than banks.
  • Avoid exchanging money with unauthorized street money changers, as they may offer unfavorable rates or engage in fraudulent activities.

ATMs and Credit Cards
  • ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) are available in Samarkand, mainly located at banks and shopping centers. They accept major international debit and credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard.
  • It's advisable to inform your bank or credit card provider about your travel plans to Uzbekistan to avoid any potential issues with using your cards abroad.
  • While credit cards are accepted at some hotels, upscale restaurants, and larger establishments in Samarkand, it's important to carry enough cash for smaller businesses, local markets, and transportation.

Cash Usage
  • Cash is widely used in Samarkand, especially for everyday transactions, local markets, and smaller establishments.
  • It's recommended to carry small denominations of Uzbekistani Som for convenience and to make transactions easier.
  • ATMs and currency exchange services can help you obtain local currency as needed.

Currency Regulations
  • There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency you can bring into Uzbekistan, but you must declare amounts over 5,000 USD (or equivalent) upon arrival.
  • When leaving Uzbekistan, you can exchange any remaining Uzbekistani Som back into foreign currency at banks or exchange offices, provided you have proper documentation (e.g., exchange receipts).

  • Tipping is not widely practiced in Uzbekistan, but it is appreciated for exceptional service.
  • In restaurants and cafes, a service charge may already be included in the bill. If not, leaving a small tip (around 5-10% of the total) is considered polite.

Safety and Security
  • Keep your money and valuables secure, and use hotel safes or secure pouches to store them.
  • Be cautious of pickpocketing in crowded areas and public transportation. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

It's worth noting that currency regulations and practices can change over time. It's advisable to check with your bank, consult official sources, or contact your embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information on currency and money matters in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, before your trip.
Local Sights and Famous Places in Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Samarkand, with its rich history and architectural wonders, offers a treasure trove of attractions for travelers. From grand mosques to ancient mausoleums, this guide will introduce you to the must-visit sights and famous places in Samarkand.

Registan Square:
  • Registan Square is the heart of Samarkand and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the stunning architecture of three madrasahs (Islamic schools): Ulugh Beg Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, and Tilya-Kori Madrasah. Admire the intricate tile work, towering minarets, and majestic domes.

Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum:
  • This mausoleum is the final resting place of Tamerlane (Timur), the great Central Asian conqueror. Explore the beautiful blue dome, elaborate mosaic work, and the tranquil interior adorned with intricate calligraphy.

  • Shah-i-Zinda is a stunning necropolis known for its vibrant tile work and exquisite Islamic architecture. Discover a series of mausoleums, including the breathtaking avenue of tombs leading to the main shrine.

Bibi-Khanym Mosque:
  • This grand mosque, originally built in the 15th century, is a remarkable architectural masterpiece. Admire the colossal blue dome, towering minarets, and intricate tile work. Explore the ruins and the surrounding complex.

Ulugh Beg Observatory:
  • Built in the 15th century by the astronomer Ulugh Beg, this observatory was once one of the most advanced of its time. Discover the remains of the sextant used for astronomical observations and learn about ancient astronomical knowledge.

Samarkand Bazaar:
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the local bazaar, where you can experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of Uzbekistan. Sample fresh fruits, spices, traditional sweets, and explore the bustling market for unique souvenirs.

Afrosiyob Museum:
  • Visit the Afrosiyob Museum to explore the rich history of Samarkand, starting from ancient times to the present. Discover artifacts, archaeological finds, and exhibitions that showcase the city's cultural heritage.

Hazrat-Khizr Mosque:
  • This serene mosque is dedicated to Hazrat Khizr, a revered figure in Islamic tradition. Experience the tranquility of the mosque and enjoy the peaceful courtyard surrounded by beautifully designed walls and arches.

Siyob Bazaar:
  • Stroll through the Siyob Bazaar, a lively market where you can buy fresh produce, spices, and local crafts. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, interact with friendly locals, and taste traditional Uzbek dishes in the nearby food stalls.

Mausoleum of Imam Al-Bukhari:
  • Located in the nearby village of Khoja-i-Dor, this mausoleum honors Imam Al-Bukhari, the compiler of one of the most important collections of hadith (sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad). Explore the serene mausoleum and learn about the life and contributions of this revered Islamic scholar.

Remember to dress modestly and respect local customs when visiting religious sites. Samarkand offers a captivating blend of historical and cultural attractions that will transport you back in time. Enjoy exploring these famous places and immersing yourself in the fascinating heritage of Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
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