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Best things to do in Uzbekistan. Best places to eat in Uzbekistan, best things to do in Samarkand & Bukhara, best places to go in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan's top sights and points of interest from local travel experts. Discover this list of the 15 most popular travel activities, and unusual & fun things to do in Uzbekistan and Central Asia to add to your travel itinerary.
1. Dining at the restaurant of the TV Tower in Tashkent
As the most populated city in Central Asia, Tashkent can offer you quite a big choice of restaurants during your stay. But the TV Tower in Tashkent can offer you a unique dinner in the city with a beautiful view over the city. Apart from modern cuisine, the idea of dining there is very wonderful. This is possibly one of the top 3 Unusual Activities to do in Tashkent and one of the best things to do in Tashkent in the evening.
You should also consider a dinner on the rooftop of Cafe Terrassa restaurant in Khiva. Terrassa will give you a great combination of great food and a beautiful panoramic view over the city of Khiva.
2. Swimming in Lake Aydarkul
The Aydarkul lake is the biggest lake in Uzbekistan hidden in deserted areas. Its incredible dimensions and rich birdlife can beautify every travel in Uzbekistan. Aydarkul Lake is situated in the Kyzylkum desert and has been created during the last decades of the 20th century. You can complete this activity overnight in a nomadic yurt camp or a village stay in the Nuratau mountains.
3. Camel riding in the Kyzyl Kum Desert
Riding the Bactrian camels in the Kyzylkum desert is an interesting activity that helps you live the life of the Silk Road caravans. The Camel Riding tours can be organized as a part of your Cultural or Adventure trip. It can be a great option to take between Bukhara & Samarkand. You can head up to ancient Nurata and go to one of the Yurt Camps in the Kyzylkum desert.
Swimming in Aydarkul Camel Riding in the Kyzyl Kum desert, and Visiting Darwaza Gas Crater are some of the Top Fun Things to Do in the deserts of Central Asia.
4. Darwaza Gas Crater in Turkmenistan
The Darwaza gas crater in Turkmenistan is also called the “Gate to Hell” and is considered the country’s #1 Travel Attraction. This old gas crater is a very spectacular place and is situated in the heart of the Karakum desert. You can take this tour as a part of your Uzbekistan trip. You can drive about 60 kilometers from Khiva to the Uzbek-Turkmen border checkpoint, and another couple of hours of driving on the other side of the border will bring you to the famous Darwaza. The dinner near Darwaza and overnight in tents will be one of the greatest activities you will ever experience.
5. Having a spectacular view over the citadel of Khiva from the Akshix Bobo observation tower
Located in the Ark citadel in Khiva, the Akshix Bobo was built in the 14th century as an accommodation for a saint patron and was also used as an observation tower. This is possibly the best place for having all monuments of the city at the level of your feet. And this is one of 5 Top Sights in Khiva.
6. Having a drink in the restaurant Chashmai Ayub in Bukhara with a fantastic view over the complex Kalon
The Kalon ensemble is the heart of old Bukhara where you can see the biggest mosque and madrasah as well as the highest minaret of the city. You should definitely go to the panoramic restaurant Chashmai Mirob in front of this architectural complex in Bukhara. You will love having a cup of tea or coffee on a rooftop in front of the most iconic monuments of Bukhara. Just for its view, this is one of the best places to experience in Uzbekistan.
7. Walking on the city walls of Ichan Kala Citadel
Itchan Kala in Khiva is the only citadel of Central Asia that has survived after the military expeditions of the Tsarist army in the region (19th century). The Ichan Kala citadel has 10m high, 4-5m large, and over 2200m long walls which can be a good idea for observing the sunrise or sunset. Only a few other attractions can offer more entertainment and fun than the city walls of Khiva.
8. Visiting the old citadels of Ancient Khorezm
The Ancient Khorezm (north of Uzbekistan) is a good region for travelers who love history and who want to visit the 3000-year-old citadels of the Khorezmian Empire. Ayaz Kala, Toprak Kala, and others were the main cities of one of the oldest empires of Uzbekistan and even their ruins remain extremely impressive. This tour is a great option if you have an extra day in Khiva. You can also do it during your transfer from/to Khiva/Nukus or Khiva/Bukhara.
9. Visiting the treasure in the desert
The city of Nukus does not have a lot to offer to its visitors but its art museum - Savitsky is more than worth taking the time to pay a visit to the city. This immense museum is famous for having a huge quantity of artwork that was forbidden by Stalin. The Savitsky Museum possesses the second biggest collection of Soviet masterpieces in the world after the Museum of Hermitage.
10. Riding the Akhal Tekke horses in Turkmenistan
The Akhal Tekke horses are the pride and national wealth of Turkmenistan. These horses are known as one of the most elegant breeds in the world and you have the possibility of riding them in this little-known Central Asian country. The beautiful colors and muscular and elegant bodies of Akhal Tekke horses are just amazing.
11. Trekking in the celestial mountains of Tajikistan
Tajikistan is probably the most untouched region of Central Asia and trekking in the high mountains can reward you with outstanding landscapes and unforgettable immersion with the local population which seems to be living the life of the 20th century.
Sleeping in nomadic yurts near Nurata, celestial mountain trekking in Tajikistan, and riding Akhal Tekke horses in Turkmenistan are some of the best things to do for Adventure travelers in Central Asia.
12. Sleeping in nomadic tents near Nurata
Nurata is an oasis situated between high mountains and arid deserts. Sleeping in one of the yurt camps near Nurata can be a great distraction between visits to the blue mosques of Samarkand & Bukhara.
13. A trip to Son Kul Lake and Self Drive in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is an interesting destination for Adventure travelers and it is the easiest country in Central Asia for taking a Self Drive trip. The contrast of landscapes around the lake will not let any traveler get bored.
14. The best horse riding trip in Uzbekistan
While CentAsia Voyages has been organizing horse riding trips in different regions of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan can also be an ideal destination for horse riding. If horse riding is your passion, we have a great idea for you - you can ride a horse in the most unique desert forest. Sleeping in yurts/tents in front of a 3000-year-old citadel, riding horses in a beautiful area located along the Amu Darya river and filled with over 1500 desert gazelles... this can be a great trip.
15. Enjoying the Eagle Hunting in Kazakhstan (or Kyrgyzstan) and the unique Buzkashi game in Uzbekistan
Eagle hunting and Buzkashi games are unique activities to experience in Central Asia and they require real flexibility of timing because these activities are only organized during particular periods of the year. But the Buzkashi games can easily be attended in Uzbekistan’s mountainous regions from November 5 to early March.
More activities: there are so many interesting things to do during your trip to Uzbekistan and you might love adding some more activities to your bucket list: