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The Itinerary For 2 days in Samarkand, The Richest City Of The Silk Road

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Are you planning a trip to Uzbekistan? I’m sure you will love this country! In this post, I’ll share with you the optimal itinerary for 2 days in Samarkand, the richest city of the Silk Road. Interested? Keep reading!

We had an opportunity to visit Uzbekistan last December, and we really enjoyed it. We spent 2 days in Tashkent and 2 days in Samarkand and managed to see a lot of both worlds. Because undoubtedly, Tashkent and Samarkand are very different. While Tashkent is a modern city with vast distances between buildings, wide roads and a lot of services available to you in one click, Samarkand is a bit more behind in terms of technology and food scene, but nonetheless, Samarkand is the main reason why people generally travel to Uzbekistan (well, Bukhara and Khiva, too, but mostly Samarkand). 

Where is Samarkand in Uzbekistan, and how to get there? 

Samarkand is located in the South of Uzbekistan on the border with Tajikistan. That’s why the population of Samarkand is mostly Tajik, and so is the language of the majority of the people. Samarkand is situated circa 270 km away from Tashkent and you can get there either by plane from abroad (there is an airport in Samarkand), train (the best way – you can buy the tickets for the speed train from Tashkent on – that’s where we bought our tickets, but make sure to buy them in advance, they tend to sell out), bus or taxi. However, a taxi will be pretty expensive (more than $100), and buses aren’t as comfortable as the trains.

Why is Samarkand so important? Samarkand’s location on the Silk Route

Samarkand is an ancient city – there was a settlement on the place of modern Samarkand even in 800 BC. Due to its very advantageous position on a plain between two high mountain chains, Samarkand was the obvious resting spot for the caravans transporting goods from China to Istanbul (Silk route). Because of its location, Samarkand became a very rich city – one of the richest in the world at that time! During different times, it was conquered and ruled by Greeks, Arabs, Persians, Turks, Mongols and others. In the 1500s, it was conquered by Uzbeks. Later, it was part of the Russian Empire, and then, it was part of Uzbekistan again, where it is located now. Samarkand owns its status and grandness (as well as most of its historical landmarks) to general Tamerlane or Amir Timur (he’s called the latter in Uzbekistan), who decided to rebuild Samarkand after Mongol conquest and destruction of half of the town. Amir Timur also made Samarkand the capital of his empire.

Samarkand was always a very multicultural city – it was heavily influenced by China, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran and, later in history – Russia. 

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