The ultimate travel guide to Samarkand’s Registan Square
How to get the most out your trip to Samarkand’s unmissable main square
If you’re looking for an awe-inspiring travel destination, look no further than Samarkand’s Registan Square. This impressive public square is the central attraction of this ancient city, and it’s a sight that no traveler should miss. To ensure you make the most of your visit, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to Samarkand’s Registan Square. We’ll be covering premium hotels nearby, visitor information, tips, facts and other important details to help you plan the perfect trip.
About Registan Square, Samarkand
Registan Square is one of the most iconic and renowned landmarks in the city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Located in the heart of the city, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to three magnificent madrasas, or Islamic schools, and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in Central Asia. The square is a sprawling complex of stunning buildings, built between the 15th and 17th centuries, surrounded by a deep bazaar with many traditional stalls and shops selling souvenirs and local handicrafts.
Registan Square has long been an important cultural center and gathering place for local people, as well as being a must-see destination for tourists. The grandiose buildings, colorful mosaics, and elaborate Islamic ornamentation provide a glimpse into the past, while the bustling bazaar provides an opportunity to sample authentic Uzbek cuisine and pick up unique souvenirs. Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll around the square or admiring its architecture from afar, a visit to Registan Square will be an unforgettable experience.
Registan Square has a long and interesting history that dates back to the 15th century. The first buildings were built in the mid-1400s and were used as educational centers for Islamic studies. These buildings featured impressive domes, intricate mosaics, and beautiful minarets.
The square underwent a major transformation in the 1700s when it was renovated and expanded by Emir Timur Shah Durrani. He added three new madrasahs (religious schools) that are still standing today: the Ulugh Beg Madrasah, the Tilya-Kori Madrasah, and the Sher-Dor Madrasah.
The madrasahs were lavishly decorated with intricate tile work and beautiful paintings, making them some of the most impressive sights in the city. During this time, Registan Square was considered to be the center of Samarkand and was often used for public executions and other events.
In the 1800s, the square underwent further renovations and additions, including the construction of a large clock tower and a fountain. Today, the square is still a popular tourist destination and a symbol of Samarkand's history and culture.
Registan Square is located in the ancient city of Samarkand, in the modern day country of Uzbekistan. It is situated in the middle of the old city, and it is surrounded by three madrasahs, or Islamic schools. The three madrasahs are Ulugh Beg Madrasah, Tilya-Kori Madrasah, and Sher-Dor Madrasah. The complex was originally built in the 14th century, and it served as the main gathering place for public ceremonies and debates. Today, the square is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Central Asia.
How to get there
Getting to Registan Square in Samarkand is relatively straightforward. The square is located in the city centre, making it easy to reach via public transportation. From the nearby Tashkent Airport, a bus ride takes about four hours to get to Samarkand and Registan Square. Alternatively, travelers can take a train from Tashkent to Samarkand, which takes around seven hours. Once in Samarkand, you can walk to Registan Square, as it's just a few minutes away from the city centre. You can also take a taxi, which should cost no more than $10-15. Be sure to negotiate the price beforehand!
What to See
Registan Square is the main square in Samarkand, Uzbekistan and the heart of the Timurid dynasty. It is known for its three spectacular buildings built during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, all of which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Ulugh Beg Madrassa
The centerpiece of the square is Ulugbke Madrasah, a magnificent Persian architectural monument. It was built by Ulugh Beg, the renowned astronomer, scientist and benevolent ruler of his time. The madrasah houses a mosque, lecture rooms and dormitory and is a seat of learning during Ulugh Beg’s rule.
The Other Madrassas
Registan Square is home to two other stunning madrasahs (Islamic religious schools). Sher Dor Madrasas and Tillya Kari Madrassa are each decorated with intricate mosaics and paintings. Ulugh Beg’s madrasa once housed some 200 students studying science, mathematics, astronomy, law, languages, and the Qur’an.
The best hotels near Registan Square
When it comes to accommodations near Registan Square, Samarkand offers an abundance of options. From luxurious resorts to budget-friendly motels, you can find a place to rest your head after a day of sightseeing. Here are some of the best hotels nearby:
The Samarkand Regency Amir Temur is one of the premier hotels located close to the square. Offering luxurious suites and amenities, this hotel gives you an unforgettable experience. The spectacular views from the rooftop terrace are sure to take your breath away.
The Medina Hotel Samarkand is another great option for travelers looking for an affordable and comfortable place to stay near the square. With its modern design and welcoming atmosphere, you’ll feel right at home in this hotel.
The Bibikhanum Hotel offers more of a traditional experience in the heart of Samarkand. Located close to the ancient sites, you can easily explore the city during your stay.
The Tilyakori Hotel is another great option for travelers visiting Registan Square. Featuring a pool and spa, you can relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant that serves up delicious Uzbek cuisine.
No matter which hotel you choose, you’re sure to have a comfortable and enjoyable stay while visiting Registan Square in Samarkand.
More things to do nearby
For those who want to explore even more, Samarkand has plenty of nearby attractions to offer. Start by visiting Shah-i-Zinda, a complex of memorials and mausoleums.
Explore the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, which was built in the 14th century as an expression of grandeur for its builder, Tamerlane. Visit the impressive Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum, which houses the tombs of four Timurid princes.
Check out the Afrosiab Museum, which is home to numerous artifacts from the area's ancient city, Afrosiab. You can also take a stroll along the Siab River, or explore Ulugh Beg Observatory, which is said to be one of the world's oldest observatories.
Spend a day shopping at Siyob Bazaar, where you'll find everything from handcrafted jewelry to spices and produce. Finally, you can also visit the 15th century Ulugbek Madrassa to admire its ornate architecture and Islamic designs.
Tips & Facts
• Registan Square is one of the most iconic locations in Central Asia and is a great place to explore and admire the beauty of Samarkand.
• A few tips to enjoy your time at Registan Square include: wear comfortable shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring plenty of water.
• Before visiting, make sure to check for any restrictions or closures as the square can be closed occasionally for maintenance or special events.
• Be aware of local customs and traditions while visiting Registan Square. Dress conservatively and observe respectful behavior while exploring this historic site.
• Registan Square is located close to many restaurants and cafes. Don’t forget to try some of the local cuisine when you visit!
• Take some time to talk with the locals - they are a great source of knowledge about the history and culture of Samarkand.
• Don’t forget to take plenty of photos – Registan Square is an incredibly photogenic spot!