Halfway between Tashkent and Bukhara, there’s Samarkand; both geographically and with regards to its accommodation options. It is cheaper than Tashkent but it lacks the glut of historic properties that makes Bukhara such a delight. As in Bukhara, as an independent traveler, we recommend you go for one of the smaller hotels and bnb’s. You will avoid the big bus tour groups.Booking.com
The touristification process that is currently destroying the social fabric in the historic centres of Tashkent, Bukhara and Khiva was already completed in Samarkand in the early 2000’s. The consequence is that the area around the Registan feels artificial. Compared to the rest of town, dinner options are limited as well.
A few hotels and bnb’s in the area are excellent, but don’t consider it a must to stay near the famous historic monuments.
Samarkand has a different side: dynamic, noisey and young (well, don’t get too excited). We have dubbed this area the Russian town, because of the architectural leftovers from Russian colonialism and Soviet times. It’s located west of the centre, roughly between Khusayn Baykaro street (north) and the University Boulevard (south), and Bustonsaroy (east) and Kashgari (west). This is where you find most of the bars, restaurants and even a bit of nightlife.
Personally, we prefer this part of town, but Samarkand is not huge like Tashkent, so you don’t have to choose, really. Walking home after dark is safe, although streets are not lit everywhere and crossing the street is occasionally tricky. Alternatively, a quick taxi ride should not cost more than 1$.
The area around the crossroads of Dakhbed Yuli and Rudaki street also has a number of hotels and places to eat, but it’s second-rate.
Best budget accommodation in Samarkand
A lot of the hostel scene got wiped out by Covid. Amir is a survivor that has managed to receive consistently good reviews. We’re sure some of the new options are nice as well, but we haven’t been round to check.
For backpacking couples and singles who want a little more privacy, Uyut is the top pick in the Registan area. Uyut means cozy, and that’s what it is – a very cozy place.
Stay away from Furkat. It has the best view in town, but it desperately needs some TLC – don’t buy into the positive reviews.
Best mid-range accommodation in Samarkand
Bed and breakfasts
Tilyakori on the other hand does have the lovely courtyard, but rather basic rooms.
All of the above are praised for their lovely staff.
Some well-appointed new midrange hotels have popped up post-covid. Located outside of the historic center, both Like Inn (on Dakhbed Yul-Rudaki) and Turon Lux (Russian town) are both really nice, very affordable additions to Samarkand.
Best high-end accommodation in Samarkand
Samarkand is developing a new luxury tourist neighbourhood from scratch east of town. It’s called (you’ll never guess) Silk Road Samarkand. If you like Dubai, you will love this. If you don’t, you know what to do.
In any case, if you are looking for the best 5-star hotels in Samarkand, this is where you will find them. The Regency is amazing, Bactria is also flawless. Nothing bad you can say about Lia! either. They are all top.
If you prefer to stay closer to the city center, L’Argamak is the best option: great rooms, great service, great view. Less glass and metal; instead a softer, more conservative approach.
Platan is not in the historic centre, but prices are very reasonable and rooms and service can definitely be called high-end, if not 5-star.