Located in the middle of Uzbekistan, Samarkand region boasts its historical Samarkand city, gorgeous mountains in Nurata and Urgut. Samarkand is the most populated region in Uzbekistan and around 11% of the country's population live in the Samarkand region. Samarkand city is the administrative center of the region. Talking about Samarkand’s tourism potentials, it is important to note that Samarkand is over 2750 years old which makes it one of the oldest cities in the world. Let’s talk about some of the historical monuments in Samarkand city.

In the center of Samarkand city, one can see a very fascinating architectural complex called Registan square. Registan square is the cultural symbol of Samarkand. There are three madrasas in the square: Mirzo Ulugbek madrasa, Sher Dor madrasa and Tillakori madrasa. In fact, the word “madrasa” means “school, college” in Arabic. Students were taught different sciences in those madrasas. Tillakori madrasa was also used as a mosque, the mosque is famous for its gilded dome.

Another beautiful structure in Samarkand is Bibi Khanum mosque. It was built in the beginning of the 15th century after the successful campaign of Amir Timur to India. The mosque was named in the honor of Amir Timur’s wife Bibi Khanum. Historians say it was one of the biggest mosques in the medieval ages. There are four minarets in the four corners of the mosque. In front of the mosque, there is a mausoleum where Bibi Khanum was later buried. Next to the mosque, Siab bazaar is located. Siab bazaar is famous among visitors as a traditional Uzbek bazaar.

Similar to Registan square, Shakhi-Zinda complex is famous for its detailed architecture and blue tiles. It is located on ancient Afrasiab hills and there is a mausoleum of Kusam ibn Abbas and many other people related to the Timurid Royal family. Near to the complex, there is Hazrati Khizr mosque, it is the oldest mosque in Samarkand and it was built by the order of Qutaiba ibn Muslim. The first president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov was buried near the mosque.

Apart from those mentioned above, there are many more beautiful and historical places to explore. For instance, Gur Emir mausoleum where Great Uzbek Commander Amir Temur was buried or University Boulevard which reminds Valiasr street in Tehran. Visitors also like to visit Ulugbek Observatory which was the first observatory in Central Asia and Afrasiab settlements.

Urgut, a town located 30-minutes drive from Samarkand city is a great place for nature enthusiasts. The town is surrounded by gorgeous mountains and it has a very unique nature. Tourists can go hiking and as well as enjoy the hospitality of the people of Urgut. Chorchinor garden is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Urgut. The word “Chorchinor” means “4 plane trees” in persian, it is because the whole garden was made by the 4 old plane trees and their branches. The trees are 1000-1200 years old and considered a valuable part of the city. Among the trees, one of them has a big cave which was used as a school when education was banned in the region. About 20 people can fit the cave. The garden is also known for its spring water with healing properties. Gausul A’zam complex, Urgut park and Urgut bazaar are also top places that tourists often visit.

Overall, Samarkand has a lot to offer both history and nature enthusiasts. The Samarkand city is no less than Rome or Athens in terms of historical heritage. Places like Urgut near the city can offer tourists the experience of traditional Uzbek life and enjoy the unique Urgut nature.