Bukhara is rightly included in the list of the most visited cities of Uzbekistan and Central Asia. There are almost one and a half hundred architectural buildings with the status of the Middle Ages cultural monuments in Bukhara. You can also see here and modern buildings. Bukhara itself is considered a museum city.
According to the history, Bukhara was founded by the disgraced Persian king Siyavush. Modern researchers believe that this event took place in the 5th century BC., based on the most ancient artifacts found by archaeologists here.
How to get there
How to get to Bukhara? You can take direct flight From Moscow and St. Petersburg. If you come from Tashkent, you can use the local airline.
You can get to Bukhara by train from Tashkent. The time of the trip is 6.5 hours by common train, 3.5 hours by fast Afrosiab train or a night by the overnight train. By the way, the trip by train is the most fascinating. It passes through Samarkand.
The warm, mild climate makes Bukhara suitable for visits almost all year round. However, the best time for the trip is from April to October. You should consider some really hot weather in summer too.
What to see
As it was already mentioned above, the choice of sights in Bukhara is huge. However, below are the places that are worth visiting first.
You should start the excursion from visiting the Old Town. It is better to walk to see all the sights located there. They are found here practically at every step.
The first thing in the Old City, that is worth seeing and take pictures of, is Kalyan Minaret (aka the Tower of Death) erected in the 12th century. It was ordered to be built by Arslan Khan. According to legend, the sheikh decided to build the minaret because he had a dream with an imam who was killed by him once. The deceased asked to bury his head in a place where no living soul could step. The height of the minaret above the burial vault of the Imam is 47 m. It is also distinguishing by the new for that time finishing. Ceramic tiles of blue color, which had not been used before in the construction, were used in it.
The second name the minaret got because the death penalty had been practiced in Bukhara before the beginning of the last century. Lawbreakers were simply dropped from the minaret.
Further along the route - Ark citadel which is a part of the Registan of Bukhara. The rulers of the city lived here once, which made Ark their residence. The citadel also functioned as a fortress.
There is a mosque, food, weapons and other warehouses, stables, several palaces, a prison, a well and various workshops in the building – all that is needed for a life in a prolonged siege. Today the fortress is turned into a museum.
It is also recommended to visit Lyabi-Khauz architectural complex. Its name translates as "Ensemble by the pool". There is a complex of three buildings (Nadir-Divan-begi mosque, Kukeldash and Nadir-Divan-begi Madrassahs), between which there is a pond. The construction period of the building dates back to the 16th century.
There are a lot of historical sights on the outskirts of Bukhara as well.
Visit Kermin village and you will see the ruins of a caravanserai built in the 16th century with your own eyes. The locals call it Rabat-i-Malik.
Further on the route in the suburbs - Namazgokh ancient settlement mosque. Travelers and wandering monks stayed here for rest and prayers once.
Coming to the suburbs, do not miss the opportunity to visit Sitorai-Mokhi-Khosa or the "Garden of Stars and the Moon" with the suburban residence of the Bukharian rulers located on its territory. There is also the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts here.
The mausoleum of Bakhautdin Nakshaband is near the garden. It is famous for the fact that the tomb of the founder of the most powerful Sufi order that ever existed on the territory of Central Asia is in it.
History lovers will like Chor Bakr necropolis. There is a burial place of sheikhs from the Djuibar seyid clan located in its territory. In the world it is better known as the "City of the Dead". This architectural complex impresses with its impressive size. Many streets, gates and courtyards have been preserved in the city. The only thing that is not here is residential buildings. Carefully looking at the shape of the necropolis, you suddenly realize that they are replaced by tombstones and monuments.
If you have enough time, you should visit Kagan. Here you can see the most impressive residence of Bukharian rulers, built in the Russian imperial style.
Tours that include Bukhara
Things to do
And now, when the tour is completely or partially over, you can relax in the famous bathhouse complexes of Bukhara. By the way, two of the existing baths were built in the Middle Ages.
Important! Due to the peculiarities of the mentality, men and women cannot visit the baths together. There are two separate bathhouses for men and women in Bukhara.
After the bath, women can order a massage (usually included in the price), and men - try herbal tea.
What to buy
Bukhara is considered one of the most developed trading cities of Uzbekistan. It developed as a trading point because of the Great Silk Road running through it.
There are four urban markets in the city today. They are easy to see because of the impressive domes (taki).
What is it worth to buy in Bukhara as a memento? The choice of souvenirs in the city bazaars is impressive. The most popular among tourists are:
- woolen and silk carpets (the latter option is very expensive due to the high cost of raw materials and hand work);
- dishes with a national painting typical for Bukhara artisans;
- souvenir Uzbek knives (pichaks). When buying them, do not forget to take a certificate from the store stating that this knife is not a cold steel. Otherwise, there may be problems at the border;
- spices and national sweets are a budgetary, but very worthy present;
- decorative souvenirs - various magnets and so on;
- garments - scarves, chapans, skullcaps;
- musical instruments;
- Ikat fabrics made with the use of phased staining techniques. They are a good present even for a connoisseur of the East.
The gift parade ends with the green tea. It is made in Bukhara with 9 different additives for every taste.
Where to stay
There are various types of accommodation for tourists in Bukhara - from guest houses and mini-hotels to large hotels. There are options for every taste and budget.
Where and what to eat
Do you want to try a real kebab or a whole sheep baked on fire according to the Bukhara recipe? Then you should know that you can try it in Sumitan village, which is also located in the suburbs of Bukhara. "Chor-Bakr" café can be found here. By the way, it is located very close to the necropolis with the same name.
We also recommend trying Lagman and carp in Bukhara style.
24/7 Help Desk for Tourists: 8 371 200-00-88 or +998 71 200-00-88
Bukhara airport: +998 65 225-61-21
Bukhara railway station: +998 65 524-73-32