Uzbekistan: Home To Exciting Culture and Calming Architecture


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to travel to the beautiful land of Uzbekistan? Well, we have and that’s why we enlisted the help of travel curator and founder of Dukes Avenue, @sarahbarthet. With Sarah’s expertise, she gained from her trip, we’re able to know what it’s like to visit one of the most historic places in the world.

What You Should Do While We’re There

The country of Uzbekistan is a work of art in itself. It offers a spectacular architectural style that spans multiple decades and is seen across all of its main cities: Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand. Sarah comments, “Think beautiful minarets, intricate mosaic work, and grand madrasas almost everywhere you look.” Uzbekistan is one of those countries where you have to stop and think about its history and what the people have gone through to get where they are today. It’s quite a beautiful thing when you do.

Sarah notes some of the most beautiful places being:

  • Registan and Shah-i-Zinda in Samarkand. Shah-i-Zinda is Sarah’s favorite spot.
  • The Great Minaret of the Kalon in Bukhara
  • Ayaz-Kala, a stunning fortress just outside of Khiva
  • Tashkent TV Tower – Sarah says this is THE spot to sit and watch the sunset over the city of Tashkent.

What’s The Best Way To Stay Fit?

In Uzbekistan, you might get lucky and have a hotel with a 24-hour gym like the Hyatt Regency. The majority of hotels are traditional and don’t have this amenity. Sarah did what most travelers do, she walked as much as she could and saw a lot of the sites this way. The only exception she said was the sites in Samarkand, these are a little more spread out than the other cities.

In Uzbekistan, there are areas where there aren’t a lot of street lights at night, especially the rural areas. Sarah advises being careful when you go on night walks or runs.

Where You Need To Eat

Dietary restrictions hold a lot of people back from traveling, but it didn’t stop Sarah. She has an autoimmune deficiency and had to take meat, dairy, and gluten out of her diet. She admits that it does make things harder when she travels but she has found ways around it. It takes some time to get the hang of it but Sarah says once she was in Uzbekistan for a few days she had easy sailing.

Sarah recommends asking your hotel to write down what your intolerances are in Russian or Uzbek. That way you can take the note to each restaurant you visit,  and they’ll know exactly what your restrictions are. It’ll make life a lot easier.

“I ate a ton of Uzbek salad which is simply cucumber and tomatoes covered in dill – so yummy! I also ate lots of plov (a traditional rice dish), buckwheat, stewed vegetables, and fruit.”

Some of the traditional dishes in Uzbekistan are:

  • Plov (the veggie version): Typically it’s simmered in a broth of meat and vegetables called zirvak until the liquid evaporates. Plov is traditionally cooked in a kazan, a large cast-iron pot, over an open fire.
  • Manti: are little steamed dumplings usually filled with lamb, beef, cabbage, potato or pumpkin, with fat often added to meat manti.
  • Uzbek salad: “The dish I ate twice a day every day and I’m now even making it in London” Sarah comments.
  • Samsa: pastries filled with various meats and onion

Sarah loved the Hyatt Regency for giving her the best 5-star hotel feel during her stay. She said the staff is “welcoming and hospitable.”

The Hyatt offers restaurants of its own. One being Khiva, that serves traditional Uzbek food. The other is Sette, which serves delicious Italian food for travelers to get a feel of more than one country from one location.

Equipment & Editing

Sarah uses an Olympus Pen F and swaps to a 7-14mm wide-angle lens “to capture the beautiful architecture all around Uzbekistan.”

All of her images are edited with her own presents on Abode Lightroom Classic.


Be sure to keep up with Sarah and her travels on her Instagram, @sarahbarthet and at

More Eastern adventures you can find here.

Kalyan minaret, Bukhara