Samarkand audio tour: The Golden City of Samarkand

The Golden City of Samarkand

Walking Tour

35 mins

About the Tour

Let me take you on a voyage of discovery, exploring Samarkand’s rich heritage and unearthing the stories of the people and places of this fascinating land. Starting at the dazzling majolica and terracotta tile-covered 9th Century Shah-I-Zinda, the Tomb of the Living King, our route proceeds to modern day Samarkand's major market, the vibrant Siob Bazaar. We'll visit the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, learning about local folklore, history and present day politics en route to the turquoise domes and tapering minarets of the Registan, the Holy Grail of most visitors to Uzbekistan.

This tour does require paid entrance to 3 sites.
The Shah-I-Zinda - $1.50
The Bibi Khanym Mosque - $.150
The Registan - $3.50

Tour Producer


Stephen M. Bland

A freelance journalist, award-winning author and travel writer specialising in Central Asia, the Caucasus and South-East Asia, my articles have appeared in numerous publications including Vice, The Diplomat, Motherboard and EurasiaNet. You can view a selection at my website:

In my latest book, "Does it Yurt? Travels in Central Asia or How I Came to Love the Stans" - a mix of travel, history, and reportage – I take the reader on a voyage of discovery, exploring the region’s rich heritage, and unearthing the stories of the people and places of these fascinating lands.

Major Landmarks

  • Shah-I-Zinda

  • Bibi-Khanym Mosque

  • Registan

Directions to Starting Point

The tour starts directly outside of the Shah-I-Zinda, which is located at the northern periphery of the main tourist area in the city centre. This is easily located and can be walked to from most hotels. Alternately, any taxi can drop you here for a nominal fee. Everyone will know where this landmark is.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Take a short detour into the Jewish Quarter or stop for tea at the BibiKhanum Chaykhana, located two buildings up from the Bibi Khanym Mosque as you follow the route down Tashkent Avenue.

Best time of day

The three ticketed sights in this tour are priced respectively at $1.50, $1.50 and $3.50. The opening times are 8am - 7pm from April - October, and 9am - 5pm through the winter months. All three sights are open seven days a week.


Beware bogus ticket sellers at the Registan. Only buy from the official ticket office.


The route was good (although it missed the Gur-e-amir mausoleum). What I didn't like is that it was pretty short on the information side of things on the monuments. The information it gave you on Uzbekistan and the region was great, but you'd get in front of the most important buildings in Central Asia and it gives you less than a paragraph of information on each. We learned more from the lonely planet.

I'd still buy the tour again, but would have loved more information.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 2 years ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.