19 Best Things to Do In Bukhara – Most Comprehensive Travel Guide


Places to visit in Bukhara

Last Updated on: May 14, 2024 

About the Blog: Bukhara is one of the oldest cities in Uzbekistan and this blog is about all the top things to do in Bukhara. This is a complete Bukhara Travel Guide with recommendations on places to visit, where to stay and eat and things to do in Bukhara. Read on to know more.

Located between the opulent, chaotic scenes of Samarkand and the laidback labyrinths of Khiva, Bukhara is somewhere in the middle. It rises as an oasis among the orange sands of the Kyzylkum desert with more than 2000 years old history behind it.

There are mosques and minarets, intricate tile work and turquoise domes to be seen in this Silk Road City. There are numerous arches and cupolas in the old city, walking through which will perhaps take you back in time. The plazas and gallerias have an old world charm, yet have a feeling of the modern. In that way, Bukhara or Buxoro is unique.

Poi-i-Kalyan Ensemble in Bukhara, Uzbekistan

There are about 140 protected monuments and historic buildings in Bukhara. The city is like an architectural mirror of ancient times. Even though the architecture of these monuments is not so grandiose and flashy like that in Samarkand, Bukhara has a charm and history of its own. It was a prominent stop on the ancient Silk Road as well as a major center for theology, learning and culture.

We visited Bukhara after our trip to Khiva and spent 2 days there. The 2 days felt a bit rushed for us, but we managed to cover all the major attractions and best things to do in Bukhara.

In this Bukhara Travel Guide, you will find why you should visit Bukhara, the best things to do in Bukhara, the must visit places and several other important tips and information.

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A Brief History of Bukhara

View of the Kalyan mosque in Bukhara at sunset

Bukhara has a long and illustrious history that dates back to over 2000 years.

In the 6th century, Bukhara was one of the major towns on the Silk Road. Such was its glory that it attracted a number of invaders to its land including the Achaemenids and Alexander, the Great.

In the 9th century, Bukhara became the capital of the Samanid Empire and became the cultural and religious epicenter of Central Asia. The city was the home to a number of philosophers, scholars, poets and scientists. Renowned figures like Abu Ali Ibn Sina, Muhammad Rudaki, Omar Khayyam and others lived and worked here.

In 1220, the forces of Genghis Khan invaded Bukhara and completely destroyed the city.

Bukhara came under the rule of the Timurid Empire when Amir Timur took over the city in 1370.

The Shaybanid or Shibanids of Turko-Mongol origin took control of Bukhara in the 16th century. They created the Khanate of Bukhara and under them the city turned into a major hub of learning, culture and trade. They built over 100 madrasas, 300 mosques and several bazaars and caravanserai. A large number of monuments in Bukhara can be dated back to this era.

In the 18th century, the Manghits got control of the Khanate of Bukhara and established the Emirate of Bukhara.

The city fell under the rule of Russia in the 19th century. Uzbekistan became a part of the former USSR in 1924. And finally, Uzbekistan got its independence from the former USSR in 1991.

Things to Know Before traveling to Bukhara Uzbekistan

If you are coming to Bukhara by bus or by train, you will arrive at the newer part of the city, which is about 30 minutes drive from the older part of Bukhara. This part of the city is called Kagan. You will get taxis from the bus or train station for the older part of the town. It will cost you around 20,000 to 25,000 UZS. The taxi drivers will ask for more. So you have to hone your bargaining skills.

Alternatively, you can also install the Yandex taxi app on your mobile and book a cab from there. Yandex is the Uber alternative of Central Asia.

An alley at Bukhara old  town

Is Bukhara Safe for Tourists?

Uzbekistan, in general, is a safe country for tourists and Bukhara remains safe for them too. The city is small and the people are usually delighted to see tourists. They are eager to help with as much as language barrier allows.

Taking photographs with Uzbek locals in Bukhara

Sometimes, young Uzbek girls and boys might approach you wanting to practice their English. We had met such enthusiastic young boys and girls in Bukhara and Samarkand, who were quite happy to practice their English with us.

Mugging and pickpocketing is usually unheard of in Bukhara. If you find yourselves in any problem, approach the tourist police. They are quite helpful. 

How Many Days are required in Bukhara?

There are a lot of things to do in Bukhara. I would recommend spending at least 2 days in Bukhara to fully experience the beautiful city in Uzbekistan. The major attractions of Bukhara, however, can be covered in one day also.

We had spent 2 nights at Bukhara, allowing us to explore the old town and some other attractions as well. We arrived at Bukhara from Khiva in the afternoon and had the evening to explore the old part of the town.

On the next day, we explored all the major attractions of Bukhara and enjoyed a wonderful sunset. We had an early morning train from Bukhara to Samarkand the next day. In 2 days, we were able to explore most of the attractions of Bukhara in leisure.

View of Poi-i-Kalyan Ensemble and Bukhara old town at night

Best Things to Do in Bukhara

Bukhara is divided into two parts – the old city and the new city. While the majority of the inhabitants reside in the new part of the city, most of the attractions are concentrated in the old city. There are quite a number of things to do and see in Bukhara. As I mentioned before there are almost 140 protected monuments in the city. Here is a list of things to do in Bukhara including the most famous attractions in Bukhara.

1. Po-i-Kalyan Ensemble

Poi-i-Kalyan Ensemble - Things to do in Bukhara

 Poi Kalyan Ensemble is the most iconic and historically significant monument in Bukhara. Located right in the middle of the old part of Bukhara, Po-i-Kalyan Ensemble is a huge courtyard consisting of the jaw-dropping Kayan Minaret sandwiched between the Kalyan Mosque and Mir-i-Arab Madrasa. The entire courtyard is a sight to behold. At sunset, the blue cupola of the Madrasa gets a golden glow in the muted lights of the sun. Exploring this place is one of the top things to do in Bukhara.

Kalyan Minaret or the Great Minaret of Kalon

The Kalyan Minaret is perhaps the best monument that you will see in Bukhara. The minaret was built in 1127 AD and is about 46.5 meters (152 feet) tall, dominating the entire landscape of Bukhara. Infact, Kalyan Minaret used to serve as a beacon for weary travelers on their way on the Silk Road.

Also, the Kalyan Minaret was used for calling people to prayer. It also had another function, which is quite gruesome. The minaret was also used for punishing the criminals by pushing them off the top of the tower to their death! That is why this Minaret is also called “The Tower of Death”.

The Kalyan Minaret is so impressive and elegant that Genghis Khan decided to spare this monument after he conquered Bukhara.

Kalyan Mosque

Blue dome of the Kalyan Mosque in Poi-i-Kalyan Ensemble

To the right of the Kalyan Minaret stands the Kalyan Mosque, the largest mosque in Bukhara. The mosque was completed by the Shaybanids in 1514 and has been rebuilt several times over the course of history. The mosque is a great piece of architecture and has been the main mosque of Bukhara for over 500 years.

The inner courtyard of the mosque is vast with 288 domes and nearly 208 pillars (not so sure about the numbers!). Visiting this mosque is definitely one of the best things to do in Bukhara.

The best time to visit the Kalyan mosque is in the early morning. You can visit there during sunrise.

Entry Fee of Kalyan Mosque: 20,000 UZS

Mir-i-Arab Madrasa

Mir-i-Arab Madrasah at Poi-i-Kalyan Ensemble in Bukhara

The Mir-i-Arab Madrasa lies just opposite the Kalyan Mosque. This Madrasa was built in the 16 th century. The glazed mosaics, beautiful calligraphy and the blue tiles simply look amazing. Unfortunately, you cannot enter the Madrasa and can only look inside behind the wooden lattice work.

The Poi-i-Kalyan Ensemble is a great place to spend your time at Bukhara. You will simply not realize how time will pass once you are there.

Tip: The best place to enjoy a sunset view of the Poi Kalyan Ensemble is from the upper terrace of Café Chashmai Mirob located at the corner of the square.

However, when we visited, we found another construction going on just beside the building and it could provide a distraction to photographers wanting to take the sunset photograph of the courtyard. The quality of food at the café is also a bit lacking.

View of Kalyan Minaret from Cafe Chasmai Mirob

2. Ark Fortress or Ark of Bukhara

The Ark of Bukhara is the oldest monument in Bukhara built in the 5th century AD. The Ark Fortress is an impressive structure consisting of museums, mosques and stables.

Bukhara Ark Fortress - Best things to do in Bukhara

It also used to be the military fort and Bukhara’s symbol of power. As such, the Ark Fortress is also known as the Fortress of Bukhara.

The fortress was built and rebuilt several times and very little of the original structure is left. In the 13 th century the fort was destroyed by Genghis Khan and it was rebuilt again in the 16 th century by the Shaybanids. The fort was inhabited by the Emirs of Bukhara until the early 1920. Almost 3000 people resided inside the fort at that time and it was like a city within a city.

An artist working inside the Bukhara Ark Fortress

Exploring the fortress will take up some of your time. you might find a few talented artists displaying their work in front of the Mosque. The museums are interesting also. But what we liked most was walking around the fort and looking over Bukhara city during sunset from top of the Ark Fortress.

View of Bukhara old town from the terrace of Art Fortress

Ark Fortress Opening Time: 9 AM to 8 PM

Ark Fortress Entrance Fee: 40,000 UZS per head

3. Bukhara Observation Tower

Bukhara Observation Tower

Just opposite the Ark Fortress stands the impressive Bukhara Observation Tower. It is a metal tower with an observation desk that serves as a great place to observe the Ark Fortress from above. It also gives a great vantage point to get the views of the city, especially during the sunset.

During the night, the tower gets lit up in dazzling lights and it looks amazing.

Bukhara Observation tower at night

Bukhara Observation Tower Opening Time: 9 AM to 8 PM

Bukhara Observation Tower Entrance Fee: 40,000 UZS per head

4. Lyab-i-Hauz Ensemble

Lyabi Hauz is one of the most relaxing places we found in Bukhara. It is a central square in Bukhara with a pond in the middle. “Lyab-i-Hauz” literally means “by the pond” in Persian. This is a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike. There are several restaurants, a shopping plaza, a madrasa and a mosque surrounding the pond. Relaxing at this place is one of the things to do in Bukhara.

Lyabi Hauz Ensemble in Bukhara

Long back, when Bukhara was built, there were several ponds or stone pools in the city of Bukhara. They used to be a popular place for gathering of the locals. These days not many ponds are found in the city, but Lyabi Hauz remains one of the few remaining ponds.

Lyab-i-Hauz was a popular trading square in the Middle Ages. Today it is a perfect place to relax. There are benches all around where you can sit and watch people.

When you are at Lyabi Hauz, you will come across a beautiful Nadir Divan Begi Madrasah. Just like most of the buildings in Uzbekistan, this Madrasa also has a beautiful mixture of blue tiles with different patterns. What is interesting about this Madrasa is that it is one of the few Islamic Madrasas that has animal motifs as decoration.

Lyabi Hauz also has Bukhara’s famous restaurant Lavi Hovuz.

5. Chor Minor

Chor Minor at Bukhara

Chor Minor is located a little outside of the center of the old city in the midst of the residential area.

The name “Chor Minor” translates to four minarets and refers to the turquoise domes crowning each corner of the building. Each of the minars or towers has a different shape and design and is said to represent the four different religions.  It is believed that the building used to be the entrance to a nearby madrasa that was destroyed years ago.

These days, inside the Chor Minor there is a shop run by local ladies selling handicraft items. You can also climb on to the terrace of Chor Minor and get a look at the surroundings, but of course at a price.

The price for tickets for climbing on top of Chor Minor is 5,000 UZS.

 6. Ulugbek Madrasah

Located very near to the Poi Kalyan Ensemble is the Ulugbek Madrasah. The Madrasah was built by Sultan Ulugh Beg (grandson of Amir Temur) of Timurid Empire and is one of the few remaining Timurid monuments in Bukhara. The Madrasah was completed in 1417.

Ulugh Bek Madrasah at Bukhara

During that time, Bukhara was a conservative and strict city. Sultan Ulugh Beg was an enlightened and intellectual person who was also well versed in astronomy. He really wanted his empire to advance in science and astronomy. And thus Ulugbek Madrasah was born to attract scholars and scientists from all over the world.

Ulugbek Madrasah nurtured a large number of scholars, poets and great minds. The students here studied math, astronomy, Arabic and science with flair.

You can spot astral designs and geometrical patterns on the façade of Ulugbek Madrasah.

There is an inscription from the Quran carved on the gate of the Madrasah that really says a lot about Ulugh Beg’s intentions – “The pursuit of knowledge is the responsibility of every Muslim man and woman”.

Entrance is free.

7. Abdulaziz Khan Madrasah

Just opposite to the Ulugbek Madrasah stands the Abdulaziz Khan Madrasah. And this Madrasah is a perfect example of medieval Central Asian architecture. Completed in 1652, Abdulaziz Khan Madrasah was built almost a couple of centuries after Ulugbek Madrasah and you can easily spot how the architecture and design evolved with time.

The facade of Abdulaziz Khan Madrasah in Bukhara

While Ulugbek Madrasah is simple in design and artwork, Abdulaziz Khan madrasah is grand and elaborately designed with ornate tile sand patterns. It is also covered with verses from several poets. You can even spot an image of a Chinese dragon and a Simurgh (a mythological Iranian bird) in the designs of Abdulaziz Khan Madrasah.

Inside the Madrasah there are a few souvenir stores selling handicrafts, handlooms and tee-shirts.

8. Bolo Khauz Mosque

Bolo Khauz Mosque at Bukhara

Bolo Khauz Mosque is located just a few meters away from the Ark fortress and is quite a peaceful place to visit. We happened to arrive there on chance and were totally enamored by the place. The mosque was built in the 18 th century with funding from the rich merchants of Bukhara. It served as a neighborhood mosque for the busy area in the city that was on the Silk road between Bukhara and Khorezm.

The mosque has some of the most intricately designed pillars I had seen in Bukhara. The ceilings above the pillars have gorgeous frescos and designs. We had to look up in awe for a few minutes admiring all the patterns and artwork there.

There is a small pool in front of the mosque and people often sit there to relax for some time in the shade of the trees.

There is a restaurant called “Bolo Khauz Chaikhana” right across the mosque that serves great shashlik.

9. Ismail Samani Mausoleum

Ismail Sani Mausoleum is located inside Samanidov Park, one of the most gorgeous places we visited in Bukhara. It was autumn when we visited and the fall colors just looked brilliant.

Ismail Samani Mausoleum inside Samanidov Park

This small shrine was built in the 10 th century and is one of the oldest buildings in Bukhara. It belongs to the era of the Persian Samanid dynasty that ruled Bukhara until the 10th century. It is believed that this mausoleum was built to commemorate the achievements of the Samanids. This is also the resting place of many of the Samanid rulers including the founder Ismail Samani.

This monument remained undiscovered for a long time. In fact, it survived Genghis Khan’s invasion as the mausoleum got hidden under mud due to a recent flood. It was discovered only in 1934 by Soviet researchers.

Fall colors at Samanidov Parl in Bukhara

Ismail Samani complex and the Samanidov Park is a peaceful place to visit. You can simply sit at the benches and relax. It is quite different from the buzzing center of the old town.

Opening hours: 24/7

Entrance fees: We did not pay any Entrance fee.

How to get there: 30 mins by walk from the historic center of Bukhara

10. Chor Bakr Complex

The Chor Bakr Complex is located about 15 minutes drive from the center of Bukhara. Though architecturally it is not as grand as the Poi Kalyan Ensemble, this large memorial complex is worth a visit if you have sufficient time on hand.

The memorial complex dates back to the 16 th century and houses the remains of the Juybari dynasty. They were a leading political force in Bukhara for almost 500 years. Chor Bakr complex is also known as the Town of the Dead and covers a vast area of 3 hectares.

The complex is also the burial ground of Abu-Bakr-Said, one of the four descendants of the prophet Muhammad and many Ubekistanis consider this place as a pilgrimage site.

While walking around the complex, you will find a number of mausoleums, orchards, grapevines and a minaret. There is also a mosque and a madrasah at the center of the necropolis.

Opening Hours of Chor-Bakr Complex: 8 am – 5:30 pm Monday to Friday / 8 am – 6 pm Saturday & Sunday

Entrance fee of Chor-Bakr Complex: 15,000 UZS

11. Old Bazaars or Trading Domes

The trading domes in Bukhara

The Bazaars and markets are the most colorful and chaotic places in Uzbekistan and Bukhara is no exception. The old bazaars are the heart of this beautiful city.

Back in the 16th century when Bukhara was under the Shaybanids, it was a bustling center of trade on the Silk Road. Several markets and trading domes were found in the city where the traders from Asia and Europe would display their goods. Today, only four such domes remain – Toqi Telpak Furushon, Tim Abdulla Khan Trading Dome, Toqi Sarrofon Bazaar, and Toqi Zargaron Trading Dome.

Handicrafts sold in Bukhara

All these trading domes are located around the city center. You will likely cross along them while you are walking around the city. One of them is right in the center near the Poi Kalyan ensemble.

In these markets, you will find various souvenirs like handicrafts, jewelry, musical instruments, dolls, carved woodworks and ceramics. Suzanis (traditional embroidered textiles) are also found in these markets. At some of the places, carpets and rugs are also sold.

Only cash is accepted at these markets. And you have to bargain. You should aim for at least 30% less off the asked price.

12. Explore the Bustling Kolkhoznyy Rynok (Central Market) in Bukhara

Exploring the Central Market is definitely one of the interesting things to do in Bukhara. While the cities century old bazars are fascinating and beautiful, it is the Soviet time Kolkhoznyy Rynok or Central Bazar that gives you a true sense of Bukharan life.

Like most of the markets in Central Asia, this market is also bustling with colors, odors and flavors. The market, also locally known as Markaziy bozor, is located in front of Chashmai Ayub Mausoleum and Talipach Gate. The market is divided in various sections where farmers from neighboring places sell there produce.

You will get fruits and vegetables, dru fruits, meat and fishes, tea and several other things. One of the famous section is the bread section where you get the famous Uzbek nons. Also, do not miss the delicious and juicy Samarkand melons, if you see them available.

The entrance to the market is free, but buying is not!

13. Visit the Memorial Complex Of Imam Al-Bukhari

Memorial Complex Of Imam Al-Bukhari

We chanced upon this place while exploring Bukhara on foot. The building looks quite interesting from outside. However, the museum is just satisfactory.

There is an entrance fee of 5,000 UZS per person.

14. Carpet Weaving Museum

The Carpet weaving museum is located inside the Magoki Attari Mosque. This museum has 104 types of carpets made by Uzbeks, Tajiks, Turkmens, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. Entrance Fee is 10,000 Som per person.

15. Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace

This is another hidden gem in Bukhara that most tourists don’t know about. Located about 15 minutes drive from the historic center of Bukhara, Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace was the former countryside residence of the Emirs of Bukhara. It was built in the 19 th century and its architecture is influenced by both Central Asian and Western styles. Several mirrors had been used in the decoration of the Palace.

Beautiful architecture at Bukhara

After the fall of the Emirate in Bukhara in 1924, the palace was converted to a museum. Today it houses the Museum of Arts and Crafts. If you have time, we recommend you visit this place. It will be a lovely change from the mosques and madrasas that you have been seeing.

Opening hours: 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM daily

Entrance fees: 15,000 UZS

How to get there: You can take a taxi. It is about 15 mins from the center of Bukhara.

16. Hammam Bozori Kord

Hammams or Bathhouses in Bukhara date back to the 10th century. Mentions of Hammas have been found in the writings of Central Asian historian Narshakhi (ca. 899–959 AD). This leisure activity had been enjoyed by the rich and common alike in Bukhara.

An Old Hammam at Bukhara - things to do in bukhara

By the 19th century, Bukhara had 16 hammams that became a part of the cultural and social fabric of Bukhara. Today only 2 bath houses survive in Bukhara – Hammam Bozori Kord and Hammam Kundzhak.

Hammam Bozori Kord

Hammam Bozori Kord was built in the 14th century and serves as one of the local hotspots even today. It is located near the dome of Telpak Furushon. You have to really look for it to find it. Experiencing Hammam time in Bukhara can be one of the most authentic cultural experiences in Bukhara. However, Hammam Bozori Kord only has male attendants and masseurs.

Day Trips from Bukhara

If you have time in your hand, you can venture to some off the beaten tracks in Uzbekistan. Here are a few day trips from Bukhara that you can consider.

17. Clay and Ceramic Villages

If you are fond of craftsmanship, you can head towards Gijduvan and Uba, located almost 40 km from Bukhara.

Uba is a small village famous for its clay ovens.

Gijduvan is known for its ceramic works and delicious shashliks. The Gijduvan Ceramic Museum is quite well known for the ceramics and is run by the Narzullaev family.

18. Aydar Kul

Aydar Kul is a lake in the Kyzylkum desert. If you are planning to experience a yurt camp stay in Uzbekistan the one near AydarKul Lake is the best bet.

19. Nurata

This small town is located between the Nuratau mountains and Kyzylkum desert. You can visit the Chashma Complex and the Nur Fortress (founded by Alexander, the Great in 4th Century BC) from here.

Bukhara Travel Guide

How to Reach Bukhara?

Bukhara is located in the southwestern part of Uzbekistan in between Samarkand and Khiva. You can reach Bukhara by train, bus or shared taxi. Bukhara is connected by train from Tashkent, Samarkand and Khiva.

Bukhara Vokzal (Railway station)

How to get from Tashkent to Bukhara?

By Train

The easiest way to get from Tashkent to Bukhara is to take the high speed train. You can also take the standard train or the night train. You can buy train tickets from the official Uzbekistan Railways website or from the mobile app.

By Bus

There are long distance buses from Tashkent to Bukhara that leave from the bus station near Olmazor Metro Station. You can get bus tickets directly from the bus station or online.

How to get from Samarkand to Bukhara?

Getting to Bukhara from Samarkand is also fairly easy by the Afrosiyob trains (high speed trains). It takes only 1.5 hours and you can leave Samarkand early in the morning or in the evening.You can also take the slower Sharq train. Infact, the trains coming from Tashkent pass through Samarkand and then to Bukhara.

How to get from Khiva to Bukhara?

Here also, you can avail the train. Usually there are one or two trains available during the day. The high speed trains do not run in this sector yet.

You can also book a cab from Khiva to Bukhara. On the way you can visit a few ancient Khorezm fortresses.

A taxi from Khiva to Bukhara takes around 7 to 8 hours with a lunch stop. However, the journey is boring and monotonous if you are not taking a detour for the Khorezm fortress. Visiting these ancient fortresses will take some more of your time and money, but these fortresses are pretty interesting.

Moving Around Bukhara

If you are staying inside the historical center, then you can get around all the major attractions on foot.

e-rickshaws in Bukhara can help you move around the old town

For some of the places like Chor-Bakr Complex, Samanidov Park and Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, you will require a taxi. You can hail one from the city center or simply book a Yandex cab.

There are e-rickshaws available that can take you around the old city in case you are not too keen to walk.

Best Time to Visit Bukhara

The best time to visit Bukhara is spring (April to early June) and the fall season (September and October). The temperature during this time is mild with clear skies. Summers in Uzbekistan tend to be very hot with temperatures going as high as 40o C. similarly, winters can get very cold. However, spring and autumn are high seasons in Uzbekistan for tourists.

We had visited in late October and found the weather to be quite agreeable. Also, the rush of tourists was over and monuments were not overcrowded.

Where to Stay in Bukhara?

Bukhara has plenty of good hostels and guesthouses for stay. We would recommend staying in the old town near the main sites and attractions of Bukhara.

Chor Minor Boutique Hotel Bukhara

While searching for stays in Bukhara, I found there are so many boutique guest houses. Many of these are heritage properties. While exploring the city, we found some chic as well as quaint looking guest houses and stays. Some of the top recommendations are:

Art Guest House Utso: This guest house is located in a quiet part of the old town. It is a beautiful place to stay in Bukhara. Check out rates and availability for

Komil Bukhara Boutique Hotel : This is one of the most beautifully decorated stays in Bukhara. Check out rates and availability for

Old gate Guesthouse : It is a beautiful mid-range hotel located near the Ulugh Beg Madrasah.  It has lavishly decorated and spacious rooms and great continental breakfast. Check out rates and availability for

Kukaldosh Boutique Hotel: Another excellent hotel located within a walking distance from Lyabi-Hauz complex. The rooms are minimal and contemporary, yet adhering to the traditional architecture. Check out rates and availability for

Minzifa Boutique Hotel: Situated in the old part of Bukhara, this is a traditionally decorated hotel with great service. Check out rates and availability for

Chor Minor Boutique hotel: We stayed at Chor Minor Boutique Hotel. It was a beautiful property with cozy rooms and lovely hosts located near the Chor Minor. Check out rates and availability for

These are only a few recommendations for places to stay in Bukhara. You can check out more options here.

Just a reminder, In Uzbekistan the tourists have to register every night in a hotel, hostel or guest house. The stay will provide you with a registration slip that you have to keep with you. These slips might be checked when you are leaving the country.

Where to Eat At Bukhara?

  • Old Bukhara: This is one of the best restaurants in Bukhara. The menu offers a large selection of Uzbek dishes including the traditional Uzbek lamb. It has a lovely courtyard and a beautiful terrace. It also serves vegetarian fares.
  • Bolo Hauz Chaikhana: This is located just opposite the Bolo Hauz Mosque near the Ark Citadel and is a great place to sit down, relax and have your food. This restaurant has some selections of vegetarian dishes as well.
  • Silk Road Tea House: This is a cosy teahouse serving great Uzbek tea. The décor is beautiful and is a great location to cool off after exploring the old town.
  • Chasmai Mirob: This restaurant provides the best view of the Poi Kalyan Ensemble, especially during and after sunset. However, the quality of food is not that great. And the service is also lacking. This place is simply good for great views and we were quite happy to get them.
  • Lavi Hovuz: Located in Lyabi Hauz, Lavi Hovuz is one of the best places to hang out and eat in Bukhara. This is a perfect place for dinner.
  • Minzifa: This has a stunning roof top view and great food.

There are many other restaurants and small eateries all around Bukhara. Believe it or not, we had one of the best Somsas in Uzbekistan in a small roadside stall in Bukhara. They had meat filled Somsa and for vegetarian options, they had pumpkin filling. And let me tell you, the pumpkin-filled somsa tasted even better!

Is Tap Water safe for drinking in Bukhara?

I would avoid drinking tap water in Bukhara. We had been told that tap water in Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva are not quite safe for drinking and might cause stomach issues.

You might consider carrying a Lifestraw Water Filter Bottle.

ATMs in Bukhara

There are plenty of ATMs in Bukhara – both in the newer and older part of the city. You will get Uzbekistan Soms from your Visa or Mastercard. These days, many of the hotels and restaurants also accept credit cards.

How to dress in Bukhara?

While there is no specific dress code in Uzbekistan, it is still a conservative country. So dress appropriately. Think twice before wearing a very short top, short dresses or tops showing cleavage. While visiting the mosques, you have to wear dresses that cover your shoulders and knees. Women might have to cover their heads as well.

Dress modestly in Bukhara

A Tentative Bukhara Itinerary

I am suggesting a tentative Bukhara itinerary to help you plan your trip to Bukhara. This itinerary requires 2 full days in Bukhara.

Day 1: Chor Minor, Ulugbek Madrassah, Abdulaziz Khan Madrassah, Poi Kalon Ensemble. You may end your day with dinner and drinks at Chasmai Mirob.

Day 2: Chor Bakr Memorial Complex, Bukhara Bazaar, Lyabi Hauz, Bolo Hauz Mosque, Ark of Bukhara, Tower of Bukhara at sunset.

If you have time, you can squeeze in Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Samanidov Park and Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace somewhere in between.

Night market in Bukhara

Our Experience at Bukhara

Day 1: We arrived at Bukhara from Khiva by train. It was afternoon when we arrived and after checking into our quaint guest house, we went to explore the old part of the town. We visited Chor Minor, Ulugbek Madrassa and Abdulaziz Khan Madrassa. Then we had dinner at Chashmai Mirob during the sunset with great views of the Poi Kalyan Minaret.

Day 2: The next day, we started early in the morning and went on to explore Poi Kalyan Ensemble. We walked down to Bolo Hauz mosque and then to Samanidov Park. We kept walking and came back to Lyabi Hauz, took some photos of Nadir Divan Begi Madrasah, walked around to discover a few other monuments and finally came back to the town center. We explored the domed markets and found the Bozori Kord Hammam hiding behind several souvenir shops. Finally, in the late afternoon, we visited the Ark fortress of Bukhara.

Day 3: Our train to Samarkand was the next morning. We wished we had another day so that we could cover the places we had missed! Nevertheless, it was a fun-filled and very active day in Bukhara.

In Conclusion

Bukhara is a beautiful city and there is a lot to explore there. If you have time constraints, decide on the places that you want to visit. Explore, eat and shop to your heart’s content in Bukhara and capture some wonderful moments and create great memories of the place. After all, that is what we did.

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Agni Amrita Travel Blogger

Hey! we’re Agni & Amrita.

We have been travelling together since the last 15 years and writing independent and personal travel content since 2014. Travel is one of the best teachers and through this blog, we aim to share our experiences and travel tips. We encourage you to travel more and see the world through your eyes and not through filtered templates.

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