30 Stunning Photos of Uzbekistan to Inspire a Visit

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!

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 #1 The Kaylan Minaret

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.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#2  Gur-E-Amir

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.

#3  The Tashkent Metro

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.

#4  Sher-Dor Madrassah, Samarkand

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.

#5 Stunning Domes

There are many similar intricately tiled sparkling domes in the mosques and madrassahs of Uzbekistan. This one was in Khiva.

Photos Of Uzbekistan

#6  Ancient Cemetery in Khiva

This was incredible at sunset with a cloudy sky.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#7 Abdullaziz-Khan Madrassah, Bukhara

These colors and details left me speechless.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#8  Registan Square,  Samarkand

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.

Exotic Architecture with blue tile work in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

#9 Khiva Old City

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.

Silk Road Tour Uzbekistan

#10 Kaylan Mosque, Bukhara

I was mesmerized by all the shades of blue and exquisite tile work.

Magnificent Blue Tiled Mosque. Tips for Visiting Uzbekistan

#11 Tillya Kori Madrassah, Samarkand

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!

Bright Gold tiled dome ceiling in a mosque in Uzbekistan

#12  Gur-E-Amir at Night

No words needed!

Photos of Uzbekistan

#13  Tashkent Metro

Every station is incredible. This one was like a crystal and marble palace. Photos of Uzbekistan

#14 Local Handicrafts

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.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#15 Shah-i-Zinda, Samarkand

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.

Intricate Blue Tiled Mosque in Samarkand Uzbekistan

#15 Charming Restaurants

Every meal in Uzbekistan is an event. Eating delicious food in scenic restaurants is such a treat. Photos of Uzbekistan


Read More:  Places to Visit in Uzbekistan

#16 Khiva at Sunset

This majestic view is from the Watchtower at the Kuhna Ark.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#17 Uleg Bek Madrassa, Samarkand

Each madrassa in Registan Square has unique decor, all of it colorful and mesmerizing.

Photos of Uzekistan

#18 The Gold Dome of the Gur-E-Amir

The inside of the mausoleum of Emperor Timur is simply dazzling.Photos of Uzbekistan

#19 Courtyard of the Uleg Bek Madrassah, Registan Square

These madrassas are stunning outside and the courtyards inside are equally breathtaking.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#20 Inside the Kusam ibn Abbas Mausoleum

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.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#21 The Kaylan Minaret

This amazing structure has stood the test of time and as I mentioned earlier, survived Genghis Khan and the Mongol invasion.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#22 Inside the Tillya-Kori Madrassa, Registan Square

At night the lights change color inside the courtyard of this “middle” madrassa and the results are magic.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#23 One of the Mausoleums in the Shah-i-Zinda Ensemble

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.

Photos of Uzbekisan

#24 Souvenirs

The ubiquitous handicrafts and trinkets sold to tourists are worthy of photos all their own.

Photos of UZbekistan

#25  Registan Square at Sunset

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.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#26 Intricate Tilework and Caligraphy

This is just an example of what you see everywhere on the old buildings in Uzbekistan. The design and fine detail left me awestruck.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#27  Bolo Haouz Mosque, Bukhara

This mosque was unique with its wood ceilings and pillars.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#28 Tillya-Kori Madrassa, Registan

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.

Photos of Uzbekistan

#29 Khiva’s Islam Khoja Minaret

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.

Tips for Planning a Trip To Uzbekistan

# 30 Registan Square at Night

Because you can never see enough Registan Square, I leave you with this final image, one of my favorites.

Ancient Tiled Mosque Lit at Night in Samarkand. Photos of Uzbekistan

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?

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Pinterest image photos of Uzbekistan

About The Author

Cherene Saradar

Cherene is a travel expert with 30 years of experience in over 100 countries and 7 continents. She has traveled solo to over 50 countries. She is also a nurse anesthesiologist with over 20 years of healthcare experience. Her passions include wildlife travel and visiting wine regions of the world.


  1. Tash M | 31st Aug 19

    I honestly think Uzbekistan looks out of this world. It seems beautiful and these photos are lovely – cheers for sharing them!

    • csaradar | 21st Sep 19

      Thank you! It is a fantastic place to visit.

  2. Alma | 25th Aug 19

    Wow! Those photos are beautiful & definitely inspirational to visit Uzbekistan.

    • csaradar | 21st Sep 19

      Thank you!

  3. PonytailPretty | 24th Aug 19

    Love posts like this! I’m much more of a outdoor adventure, hiking sort of traveller but all these photos give me such a good insight as to what is like. I feel like I”m there and want to be! The bright blues and mosaics are fantastic and just not what I expected to be honest. I am certainly inspired!!

    • csaradar | 21st Sep 19

      Thank you! If you go next door to Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan you’ll find good hiking and outdoorsy things.

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