Uzbekistan is a dream destination for cultural travelers. It is the heart of the Silk Road and a crossroads of cultures, full of breathtaking architecture, colorful tilework, vibrant bustling markets and welcoming people. Uzbekistan was formerly part of the Soviet Union for many years and unfortunately, much of its beauty was unseen by the average tourist. Now the country is continuing to ease visa restrictions and improving public transportation and tourism is booming. If you have wondered why people are flocking to this obscure Central Asian nation, here are some photos of Uzbekistan that will inspire a trip!Looking for your next travel destination? These photos of Uzbekistan will have you booking a flight immediately! Click To Tweet
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The Kaylan Minaret in Bukhara is so magnificent that even Genghis Khan couldn’t destroy it (and he destroyed basically all of Central Asia). The carving and detail is magnificent and it is even more impressive at night while lit.
This is the shrine to one of Uzbekistan’s most famous rulers, Tamerlane. He made Samarkand his base and conquered all of Central Asia including what is now Iran and part of India.
Nope, this isn’t a museum or a palace. It’s the Metro in the capital Tashkent. Each station is decorated uniquely and elegantly. Visitors often ride the metro simply to gawk at the different stations.
This is one of three madrassahs (Arabic for “school”) that frame the marvelous Registan Square. This view is obtained by climbing the minaret of the madrassah across the courtyard.
There are many similar intricately tiled sparkling domes in the mosques and madrassahs of Uzbekistan. This one was in Khiva.
This was incredible at sunset with a cloudy sky.
These colors and details left me speechless.
Registan means “Sandy Place” in Persian. This used to be a public square. The one on the left is the Uleg Bek Madrassah. Uleg Bek was the grandson of Amir Timur and a famous astronomer.
The ancient walled city of Khiva is one of the most unique places in the world. It almost doesn’t seem real as if it’s a theme park with the colorfully tiled towers and buildings that look like sandcastles.
I was mesmerized by all the shades of blue and exquisite tile work.
This is the “middle” building in Registan Square. Tilla Kori translated to “decorated with gold”. Aptly named, I think! I heard that over 50 kg of gold was used but also hear that this was gold leaf and someone else said gold paint. I don’t know for sure but it’s definitely dazzling!! Also, this isn’t really a dome, but cleverly painted to look like one!
No words needed!
Every station is incredible. This one was like a crystal and marble palace.
These were some of the most beautiful unique earrings I’ve ever seen. In a market in the old city of Tashkent. They are woven with thread and I regret not buying at least 20 pairs.
Shah-i-Zinda means “Living King” in Persian. This ensemble is a group of mausoleums and legend says that Kusam ibn Abbas, a cousin of the prophet Muhammad, is buried here. If you like blue and teal as much as me, you are in for a treat. This Persian tile work “blue” me away. It was simply “blue-tiful”. I’ll stop now.
Every meal in Uzbekistan is an event. Eating delicious food in scenic restaurants is such a treat.
Read More: Places to Visit in Uzbekistan
This majestic view is from the Watchtower at the Kuhna Ark.
Each madrassa in Registan Square has unique decor, all of it colorful and mesmerizing.
The inside of the mausoleum of Emperor Timur is simply dazzling.
These madrassas are stunning outside and the courtyards inside are equally breathtaking.
The fine details of the mosaics inside the buildings of the Shah i Zinda necropolis in Samarkand are utterly mind-blowing. I can’t even fathom how someone’s mind imagines such a design, let alone the painstaking execution of it.
This amazing structure has stood the test of time and as I mentioned earlier, survived Genghis Khan and the Mongol invasion.
At night the lights change color inside the courtyard of this “middle” madrassa and the results are magic.
As mentioned above, this place was a necropolis where nobles were buried with magnificent mausoleums dedicated to them. Amir Timur’s niece and sister are both buried here. The tombs are more like mini palaces.
The ubiquitous handicrafts and trinkets sold to tourists are worthy of photos all their own.
I couldn’t get enough of this place as evidenced by coming here during three different times of the day to see it in all of its glory with all lighting conditions.
This is just an example of what you see everywhere on the old buildings in Uzbekistan. The design and fine detail left me awestruck.
This mosque was unique with its wood ceilings and pillars.
This is just the entrance archway and this alone entranced me for several minutes before I could proceed. The longer you stare, the more beautiful it becomes as you get lost in the details.
Walking around Khiva is surreal, like being in a city of sandcastles, with brilliant blue and green accents. This minaret can be climbed for magnificent views.
Because you can never see enough Registan Square, I leave you with this final image, one of my favorites.
I hope these photos of Uzbekistan have demonstrated how incredible and fascinating this country is. If you need more information check out my other posts on Uzbekistan!
Read More: Tips for Visiting Uzbekistan
Tell me, have I convinced you that Uzbekistan is fabulous?