The Ancient Mosque City Bukhara, Uzbekistan The Ancient Mosque City Bukhara, Uzbekistan

The Ancient Mosque City Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Down the Zarafshon River, following the old Uzbekistan Silk Road, is the ancient Bukhara city. The plentiful mosques, historical architectural turquoise domes, and detailed tilework transformed Bukhara’s city center into a museum where only pedestrians are allowed and cars cannot come. For that reason, plan to spend about two days of your Uzbekistan itinerary exploring beautiful Bukhara on foot.

Things to do in Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Bukhara is located west of Samarkand and attracts many visitors, but due to the labyrinth of narrow streets and green parks, the streets seem quiet and calm.

Chor Minor

Tucked away in the middle of a neighborhood of Bukhara is the Chor Minor mosque. A beautiful, small, and unique looking mosque with four minarets that are fairly new compared to the other mosques of Bukhara.

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The Ancient Mosque City Bukhara, Uzbekistan

During the morning, you can experience calm streets and the sun rising from behind the minarets. Inside is a small souvenir shop, and for a small fee, you are allowed to climb to the top.

things to do bukhara uzbekistan Chor Minor

Abdulaziz Khan Madrassah

Abdullazizkhan might be the best-decorated arch of Bukhara. The colorful tilework inside the arch dates back from the 17th century and is best to admire in the morning because shops open their doors after 9 AM. 

Abdulaziz Khan Madrassah bukhara uzbekistan

Lyabi Khauz

Lyabi Khauz is a popular plaza for locals to hang out; the pond and park you’ll find here are surrounded by great cafes and shops selling rugs and other handicrafts.

Did you know? Long ago, there were hundreds of these ponds, but they were removed because it was prone to spreading diseases. 

things to do bukhara uzbeksitan Lyabi Khauz

Nadir Divanbegi Madrassa

The beautiful Nadir Divanbegi Madrassa on the other side of the park showcases how detailed and creative the tilework was it the 17th century.

bukhara uzbekistan guide Nadir Divanbegi Madrassa

Po-i Kalyan Complex

The city’s most iconic place is the Po-i Kalyan Complex. Three jaw-dropping buildings where you will end up spending a lot more time here compared to the other things to do in Bukhara.

bukhara things to do poi kalyan complex

Kalyan Mosque

The still-active Kalyan Mosque is incredibly picturesque from every angle. Surprisingly enough, the open bright-white walkways and the huge courtyard are a great place to escape city life as not many visitors walk around the site. 

Kalyan mosque bukhara uzbekistan

Mir-i-Arab Madrasa 

Opposite the mosque is the complex’s madrasa. Because it is an active school, the building with the two bright blue domes can only be admired from the outside.

things to do cafe view bukhara

Kalyan Minaret

Finally, the 45-meter-high brick tower towering over the entire city of Bukhara. The shocking story behind the “Tower of Death” is that a long time ago, criminals were executed by throwing them off the tower.

Toqi Telpak Furushon

Escape the heat of the day by shopping in the Bukhara bazaar. The lively and colorful dome-styled bazaar hosted many shops selling quality carpets, rugs, and great handicrafts. Bargaining is part of their culture, so if you’re interested in buying something like a rug, aim to get at least 30% off the starting price.

things to do bukhara uzbekistan bazaar

The Ark

If there is one place you should visit during the soft morning light, it is the Ark of Bukhara. The city’s oldest structure is an enormous military fortress with 20-meter high walls that, on the inside, includes an entire city hence the name ‘Ark’. Inside is not as impressive as the outside as it has simply not much to offer.

things to do bukhara Ark

Bolo Hauz Mosque

Right across the main entrance of the Ark is the interesting-looking Bolo Hauz mosque. The 20-meter tall wooden columns, decoration, and reflection in the pool in front are well worth a quick visit.

things to do bukhara uzbekistan Bolo Hauz Mosque

How to get to Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Train to Bukhara

The high-speed train takes less than 2 hours to Samarkand and just 4 hours to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Traveling by train is a fast way to get around. The train from Samarkand to Bukhara departs at 09:50 AM and 21:08 PM.

Bukhara fast train tickets

Buy the fast train tickets in advance as they sell out fast. Booking through the Uzbek railways’ website is extremely difficult (2019), so we recommend using Advantour. The tickets are slightly higher priced, but they do the work for you by arranging all the paperwork and waiting in line. A ticket from Samarkand to Bukhara costs 35-50 USD, depending on the class.

bukhara train uzbekistan

Train station

Bukhara train station is located in another city named Kogon. A taxi from the train station to Bukhara takes 20 minutes and costs about 10,000 – 15,000 SOM. 

Flying to Bukhara

The international airport of Bukhara offers direct flights to Tashkent and St. Petersberg but we would highly recommend taking the high-speed trains instead if you travel within Uzbekistan.

Find flights to Bukhara ✈️

Getting around in Bukhara

The main part of Bukhara can only be explored by foot since cars are not allowed in that center. Just like Samarkand, Bukhara is easy and safe to explore by walking from place to place so there is no reason to use taxis in Bukhara. Sightseeing is best in the mornings or late afternoon when the sun is not at its strongest.

Best hotels in Bukhara, Uzbekistan

It’s best to find a hotel in Bukhara near the area where cars are not allowed, and most restaurants are located.

Restaurants in Bukhara

There is a good variety of restaurants in Bukhara. Western and Uzbek cuisines are all there for an affordable price. From all the restaurants you will pass during your Uzbekistan itinerary the best restaurants will be in Bukhara. 

  • Bella Italia (great Italian food)
  • Minzifa (local food and vegan options)
  • Old Bukhara (fantastic rooftop & food)
  • Chayxana Chinar (great local cuisine)
  • Café Wishbone (coffee and German cakes)
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