Samarkand with kids: 5 fun activities in a row!
What to do in Samarkand with kids? That’s what we wondered when we went to visit this city in Uzbekistan with our daughter. Samarkand is a beautiful city in Uzbekistan and in addition to the beautiful temples and buildings, you can enjoy such things as the city’s water parks. We list all the fun activities you can do with your family in Samarkand.
Table of contents
#1 The Registan Square
The big highlight of Samarkand is Registan Square. Consequently, this is where you will find most of the tourists. Without an entrance ticket, you can also take beautiful photos of the square and the three major structures.
To get a closer look at the structures and also be able to enter them (definitely recommended), buy a ticket for 50,000 Sum (about 4 euros converted). Kids are free. The square opens at 8 a.m. in the morning. We were there at 8 a.m. so we were almost the only visitors (we were there in low season, July).
The day before, we passed by the square in the afternoon and it was a lot busier then. So if you want to visit the square in peace, come early. The buildings here are beautiful and you can take lots of great pictures with kids. This gives you the opportunity to photograph your kids in traditional clothing. This was something our daughter really enjoyed doing!
#2 Shaki Zinda
This is a beautiful complex that you can walk through. There are many what little structures with beautiful blue/green mosaics. These are darker in color than most of the other structures and so are slightly different. In addition to mosques, you will also find tombs you can enter.
It is definitely worth visiting this place. Nevertheless, because it is just a bit different from the big mosques you find in the other places. You pay a small price for admission (a few euros).
#3 Bibi Khanym mosque
This mosque is located next to the Siab bazaar, making it easy to combine with a visit to the market. We also highly recommended this market because they sell all kinds of things and it is also very impressive for kids to walk around in a market that they do not know from home. There is all kinds of things to see here.
You walk into the Bibi Khanym mosque through a giant arch. We have not seen such a high arch before. It’s really impressive. Inside is a little square with some green flower beds and beautiful wooden doors. You pay a small entrance fee here (a few euros). From this mosque, you can also take a tuktuk that will take you to Registan Square.
#4 Siab Bazaar
We mentioned earlier in this blog that visiting the Siab bazaar is a must. The markets in Uzbekistan’s major cities are well worth a visit. Especially with kids, too. The Siab bazaar is a large market where you can buy all kinds of things. Fish, meat, vegetables, toys, clothing, nuts, spices, etc.
It is fun to walk through this market once. The market is located near the Bibi Khanym mosque. So a visit to this market is easy to combine.
#5 Water Park Samarkand
You can also go to a water park in Samarkand with kids. We went to Aquapark Sogdiana and it was fine. You have a number of slides, where it’s not entirely clear which slides kids are allowed on. The age that kids can swim in Uzbekistan is a lot higher than in the Netherlands, so many water parks also have a higher age limit on the slides.
For younger kids, you also have a whole water area with some smaller slides. For a few hours of cooling off, it is definitely fun to take the family to this water park. You can buy tickets at the box office and then have to leave something of value, getting a band with a number. If you order something of food they put the receipt in your locker and you pay afterwards.
By the way, don’t expect many people to speak English at the pool, but eventually you’ll get along with people. It is generally not unwillingness.
Family-friendly hotel Samarkand
We slept at the Zarafshon Parkside hotel. This really comes highly recommended. It is a beautiful, newly renovated hotel with spacious rooms. The building is on the Unesco World Heritage List and looks beautiful, both outside and inside.
We had a junior suite and it was very spacious. A spacious double bed and a sofa bed for our daughter. In addition, we had a bathroom with a bathtub. Also included with the room was a huge balcony with a dining table. Here we sat regularly to do homework with our daughter and to have a drink.
Breakfast is very extensive and good quality. There is also a pool with a deep and less deep section making it very suitable for kids as well. The staff is very friendly and helpful and wants to help you with everything. We really enjoyed the four nights we slept here. For more information about the Zarafshon Hotel, check out the Zarafshon Hotel website.