Bukhara Travel Guide

  • Uzbek cradle
    Uzbek cradle
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Emir Alim Khan, the last Emir of Bukhara
    Emir Alim Khan, the last Emir of Bukhara
    by josephescu
  • Bukhara
    by coceng

Bukhara Highlights

  • Pro
    Trekki profile photo

    Trekki says…

     Beautiful Uzbek city with old Silk Road atmosphere all over 

  • Con
    lotharlerch profile photo

    lotharlerch says…

     dont know 

  • In a nutshell
    lotharlerch profile photo

    lotharlerch says…

     more impressive than Samarkand 

Bukhara Things to Do

  • Lyab-i-Hauz

    This pool is really the heart of Bukhara. You can sit here and enjoy some green tea and shashlik whilst watching the world (and the ducks) go by. Just watch out for the giant wasps who have a taste for shashlik. (I'm slightly wasp-phobic as my father was allergic to wasp stings, but since my visit to Bukhara, puny British wasps no longer bother...

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  • Chor Minor

    Hidden away down some back streets to the east of the Lyab-i-Khauz, the quaint little building known as the Chor Minor (Four minarets) is neither a minaret nor a mosque. Nor is it particularly old, at least in the terms of what constitutes old here in Bukhara's Old city - it was only built in 1807 - and nor was it ever finished. It is, in fact, the...

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  • Zindon – Bukhara’s special prison

    Some hundred metres east of the Arkis Bukhara’s old prison – the Zindon.This is where prisoners have been held until the Emir dispensed “justice” – mostly execution rather than reprieve. It is a museum now and witness of the cruelty, the prisoners had to endure here. Their fellow lodgers had been scorpions, snakes, lice and all other of these...

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  • Karawanseray

    Lyab-i Hauz Complex is located at the border of the Old Town or should I say "at the entrance"? The heart of the old Town with the famous Mosque Kalan is not far. Some covered bazaars form the entrances to the inner part of old Town. Many merchants and pilgrims used to visit Bukhara as is was a city on the famous Silkroad. The religious pilgrims...

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  • Lyab-i Hauz Complex

    The Lyab-i Hauz- Complex is a nice ensemble of two Medreses and a Mosque around a big pond.According to a legend Imam Kulikhan couldn’t begin the construction he had planned because the house of a lonely widow, who refused to leave, occupied the area. The ruler decided to build a canal under her house. However, when water began to wash the walls of...

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  • Court dress

    One last small pavilion remains to be vsited before you leave the Emir's summer palace. Tucked away in a corner of the garden - well away from the Harem which was solely the Emir's domain - the pretty little octagonal guesthouse is now the Museum of National Costume. No trace remains of the 4.5 kilos of gold used to decorate its walls, ithe only...

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Bukhara Hotels

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Bukhara Restaurants

  • Tea for two - or four - or six

    Tea and spice having been the family trade for 600 years, it's no wonder spice master, Mirfayz Ubaydov, knew just how to go about setting up a teahouse when he opened the doors of what soon became Bukhara's favourite chaikhana back in 2005.The cool and softly lit teahouse is a great place to chill out before, after and during a day's sightseeing...

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  • Now for something completely different

    Even the most dedicated salad-soup-and-plov-lover lover feels the need for something different occasionally, and after 10 days in Uzbekistan, we had reached that point so, on our first night on Bukhara we made our way to the Bella Italia. To my eye the restaurant looked more like something you'd find in down-town (no, make that edge-of-town)...

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  • A site to see

    In most cities, a place as historic and interesting as Bukhara's 16th C Sarrafon Hammam would be either a functioning hammam (bath-house) or a tourist attraction. Given that most of Bukhara's historic buildings are now all part of the great Bukhara Bazaar, you could also expect the place to be full of small shops selling the usual mix of textiles...

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Bukhara Nightlife

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Bukhara nightlife - illuminated Lyab-i-Hauz 1 more image

    by Trekki Updated Jan 1, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is for sure a lot of nightlife going on in Bukhara, for all kinds of taste. But the best of all is surely to sit and relax around Lyab-i-Hauz. This square is full of life in the evening, families sitting here, eating ice cream, kids playing around, the ducks doing their rounds in the pond. The pond has a bit of trick fountains, which makes it even more enjoyable.
    The choice of restaurants is countless. The "ice cream tables" are on the southern part of the pond, and the real restaurants more on the northern and eastern sides.
    You will get chai – tea – served everywhere.
    The restaurants have special colourful illumination, which is giving a nice and relaxing touch to your tea sipping evening.

    Dress Code: Dress codes ? Haha, no specific one required

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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Bukhara Transportation

  • Uzbek Airways

    I took a plane from Tashkent to Bukhara. It was quite decent. Domestic flights are very reasonable. You can check http://www.uzairways.com/. One interesting issue, they bring your luggages to the apron and you pick up your luggage and walk away. Do not wait for luggage claim indoors.At Bukhara airport, you can take taxi to the city center. This is...

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  • Rent a car with driver

    Car rents and gas are cheap in Uzbekistan. Better not to look around for other types of transportation and get one with driver. Here you are not allowed to drive yourself so you should rent a car with driver. There are not so many choices and Daewoo is the most popular. 4x4 are available. You can also bargain with a taxi driver with better prices

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  • Trains

    Bukhara has an airport, which I did not see. There is a train station about 10km outside of Bukhara. Trains from Tashkent and other cities in Uzbekistan arrive there. For the train from Tashkent to Bukhara please see my Tashkent page.

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Bukhara Shopping

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  • Heirloom treasures

    The streets of Bukhara may be lined with beautiful new suzani and silk scarves but find your way in to the handful of shops selling antique textiles and other heirloom pieces and you have found the real treasure. These are truly museum pieces - and their price reflects it. I totally fell in love with the red and white embroidered Turkman cap in the...

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  • Traditional woven textiles

    Uzbek textiles are not confined to suzanis -beautiful as they are. A bit harder to find - and certainly not available in the same quantity - are the wonderful woven textiles that are such an important part of the country's incredible heritage of fine decorative arts. Many of these are the work of nomadic women, working with simple looms that can...

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  • Suzanis

    Suzanis - the traditional large embroidered wall-hangings from Bukhara -are regarded as some of the finest handwork of this kind in the world and the choice is truly bewildering. Typically they are worked in silk on either handwoven cotton (karbos) or linen (biaz) in chainstitch (yerma) and a couching stitch (basma.) The patterns cover most of...

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Bukhara Local Customs

  • Bukhara's Jewish heritage

    Whilst there's some debate as to when Jews first arrived in Bukhara (some say as far back as the reign of Cyrus in the 5th C BCE , others the 14th C CE following forced expulsions from elsewhere in Central Asia), they were, for hundreds of years, an integral part of trade and industry that created the city's wealth. Rich as many of them may have...

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  • What fun!

    Puppetry had a long and much-loved history in Central Asia that had all but disappeared by the 1950s. Here again is another craft tradition that was supressed by the Soviets (puppets all over the world have a long history of being very subversive!) Today, Bukhara's puppet-master, Iskandar Khakimov, is just one of a group of dedicated puppet makers...

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  • Serious men's business

    Plov - Uzbekistan's version of rice pilaff - is the country's favourite dish. No celebration is complete without plov being served but, unlike Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas goose, it is also a dish that is eaten as often as can be - dinner being considered the proper time to do so. Every region has its own version of plov but four ingredients...

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Bukhara Warnings and Dangers

  • Lyab-i Hauz

    It is very nice to sit in one of the restaurants at the pond of Lyab-i Hauz Complex. It might seem to be even nicer to sit right at the bank of the pond. But beware: When the fountains are open and the water flows into the pond, it is very likely that water drops onto your table and into your beer! So: Do not sit in the first row. It is much...

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  • Gas mains

    Everywhere in the old Town you can see, that the gas mains are outside of the buildings, fixed to walls a bit higher than your head. I would consider this dangerous. But on the other hand Bukhara is often hit by earthquakes, so the gas mains cannot be under the earth.

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  • Do not follow their Example!

    I saw this very dangerous action in the morning after arriving at Bukhara Trainstation. At least in Europe we would consider this very dangerous. But the people did not even look at it! The old woman together with the child crawled under the train with all her stuff, maybe she did not want to wait until the train leaves the station.Do not follow...

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Bukhara Tourist Traps

  • Don't pay locals for an extra...

    When you are visiting some historical places, mostly the officials working for that place, come close and ask you if you want to see, special tower, hidden room, etc. Don't pay these guys. It either does not worth it or already included in the ticket you paid.

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  • Souvenir Shops

    Many o fthe mosques and medreses in Bukhara are now turned into msueum-like complexes. The old galleries and rooms are now occupied by souvenir shops, sometimes in the disguise of a carpet museum. Also the old covered bazaars - trading domes - are souvenir bazaars today. Some people think it is a pity as it does not look like the original anymore....

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  • Just the same tourist traps as...

    The people in Uzbekistan as a Central Asia country are used to bargain their prices. You should also do this, anywhere in markets, transports, accommodation and restaurants, where there are no clear signs or menus to see the price of goods or service.Before you book yourself in a hotel/hostel, make sure, you have an idea of the actual prices....

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Bukhara What to Pack

  • What to wear?

    A day's sightseeing in Bukhara can be strenuous and the sun can be deceptive - even in autumn. Packing a hat is a wise move and comfortable shoes are a must.Modest dress is always a courtesy that should be observed when visiting a conservative country and, by mid-October, early mornings in Central Asia can be chilly so find room in your bag for a...

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  • Travel light and bring activated carbon...

    All what I added to the packing list on my Uzbekistan writings applies for Bukhara as well:travel light, bring a daypack, something to cover your arms when visiting holy Uzbek places, sunscreen, solid shoes, Russian phrasebook and calculator.In addition, bring activated carbon with you, just in case, the ever-present Montezuma will catch you :-)...

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  • Packing List

    If you are experienced traveller take your usual set of thing plus extra bags if you come for shopping. Take very light clothing and good light shoes. You will walk a lot. Caps, hats to protect head from sun. Good pills to cure stomach. Poor water here. Take extra batteries with you if you use special ones.Special ones are very expensive here.

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Bukhara Off The Beaten Path

  • Bukhara's Holy of Holies

    Of all Bukhara's holy sites, none ranks more highly than the Bakhauddin Nakhshbandi Ensemble, burial place and shrine of one Islam's most important saints, Khazreti Mohammed Bakhauddin Nakhshabandi, a founding Sufi, who was born near here in 1318 and was buried here when he died in 1389.The focus of the shrine is the saint's tomb, enclosed by a...

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  • An ancient gallery

    More than 4000 petroglyphs, most of which date from the Stone and Bronze Ages are to be found etched into the black rock faces of the Sarmysh Gorge. A day's visit here will only give you time to see a mere handful of them but it will take you right away from the architecture and bazaars that form the greater part of any visit to Uzbekistan. The...

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  • The Royal Road and beyond

    The road from Bukhara to Samarkand has been known since ancient times as the Shokh Rokh - the Royal Road. A trip out to see the petroglyphs of the Samysh Gorge starts off along this road and although it's 150km to the gorge, much of it on very minor country roads, there are a couple of sights that are worth first a detour off the road, and then a...

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Bukhara Favorites

  • Learning together

    The old dilemma of should we or shouldn't we give children small things such as pens and pencils was resolved by everyone in our group contributing to a parcel of school materials to be given to a local school when we reached Bukhara, the city where our Uzbek travel agent had their office. We were delighted when she told us the school had invited...

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  • Bygone days

    Looking at these marvellous photos, you could be excused for thinking they are modern day set-ups, people dressed and posed in vintage dress and settings. They're not - they are in fact entirely authentic, even to the colour. They were taken by Tsar Nicholas II's photographer, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskill in the years just before the start...

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  • Conolly & Stoddart

    When colonel Charled Stoddart rode into Bukhara one week before Christmas 1838 on a mission to reassure the emir over the British movements on his southern border, little did he knew that he was to be kept in the foulest pit in Asia for over3 years, tortured and tormented by a sadistic, paranoid madman, finally to be publicly beheaded in the...

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Explore Deeper into Bukhara
Spices - what else would you buy here?
Shopping
Holy graves
Off The Beaten Path
Pavilions, pleasure and peacocks
Things to Do
House of the Moon and the Stars ....
Things to Do
Bukhara's cool, green heart
Things to Do
Bokhara's favourite
Restaurants
The Grieving Mother
Off The Beaten Path
Childrens' Day
Local Customs
Nadir Alim Khan Caravanserai
Things to Do
Zindon
Things to Do
Ismael Samani Mausoleum (I)
Things to Do
People - Nasrullah, the Shadow of God Upon Earth
Favorites
People - Nasreddin the wise fool
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Soviet Bukhara
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The Russians & the crumble of Bukhara
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Playing the Game
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Shaybanid Bukhara, second "Golden Age"
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some history (II) - The Mongol Invasion
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Samanid Bukhara, centre of Persian Renaissance
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some history (I) - Arab invasion
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Siyavush - the founder of Bukhara
Favorites
The oldest mosque
Things to Do
The Capmakers' Bazaar
Things to Do
The royal canal
Things to Do
The Money-changers' Bazaar
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Local Food in the middle of History
Restaurants
Citadel (Ark)
Off The Beaten Path
Bargain
Shopping
Bukharan bazaars
Things to Do
Lyab-i-Hauz ensemble & Jewish quarters
Things to Do
Magok-i-Attari Mosque
Things to Do
Abdul Aziz Madrassah
Things to Do
Ulug Beg madrassah
Things to Do
Mir-i-Arab madrassah
Things to Do
Kalon (Great) Jumma Mosque of Bukhara
Things to Do
Kalon Minaret (II)
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Kalon Minaret (I)
Things to Do
Poi Kalon ensemble, aka Pedestal of the Great
Things to Do
Kosh madrassahs
Things to Do
Ismael Samani Mausoleum (II)
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Map of Bukhara

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