16 days in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Kazakhstan Itinerary

16 days in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Kazakhstan Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Fly:  16 h 45 min
1
Taraz, Kazakhstan
— 1 day
Drive:  5 h
2
Turkestan, Kazakhstan
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h 15 min
3
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Fly:  2 h 15 min
4
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 15 min
5
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi + Train + Taxi:  6 h
6
Mary, Turkmenistan
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h
7
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 30 min
8
Darvaza, Turkmenistan
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
9
Kunya-Urgench, Turkmenistan
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
10
Khiva, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  17 h
End: Plovdiv, Bulgaria

1
day
Taraz, Kazakhstan

Taraz ©
One of the oldest cities in the country, Taraz has changed hands many times since it became one of the wealthiest stops on the old Silk Road trade route.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Fri): make a trip to Aisha Bibi Mausoleum and then make a trip to Akyrtas Palace Complex.

To find ratings, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Taraz trip itinerary builder app.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria to Taraz is an approximately 17- hour flight. You'll lose 4 hours traveling from Plovdiv to Taraz due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Plovdiv in August, plan for slightly colder nights in Taraz, with lows around 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to drive to Turkestan.
Find places to stay Aug 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Akyrtas Palace Complex ©
Akyrtas Palace Complex
Aisha Bibi Mausoleum ©
Aisha Bibi Mausoleum

1
night
Turkestan, Kazakhstan

Turkestan ©
A small and historic city, Turkistan has become a major place of pilgrimage, with thousands of Muslims arriving each year to visit its main religious monument.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sat): explore the ancient world of The Intimate Ruins of Sauran, then take an in-depth tour of Historical Culture Ethnographic Center, and then admire the landmark architecture of The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi.

To see photos, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Turkestan day trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Taraz to Turkestan takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Tashkent.

Things to do in Turkestan

Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Historical Culture Ethnographic Center ©
Historical Culture Ethnographic Center
The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi ©
The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi
The Intimate Ruins of Sauran ©
The Intimate Ruins of Sauran

2
nights
Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Tashkent ©
One of the largest and oldest cities in Central Asia, Tashkent combines layers of history and a bustling modern edge.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kukeldash Madrasah and then fly down the slopes at Chimgon. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Mon): explore the world behind art at Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art, admire the striking features of Khamid Alimdjan, then head outdoors with Lake Charvak, and finally browse the fresh offerings at Mirabadskiy (Gospitalny) Market.

To see photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Tashkent travel itinerary planner.

Getting from Turkestan to Tashkent by car takes about 4.5 hours. The time zone difference moving from East Kazakhstan Time to Uzbekistan Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) early enough to travel to Samarkand.

Things to do in Tashkent

Outdoors Winter Sports Parks
Find places to stay Aug 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Chimgon ©
Chimgon
Kukeldash Madrasah ©
Kukeldash Madrasah
Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art ©
Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art

2
nights
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Samarkand ©
Uzbekistan’s most glorious city, Samarkand, offers a fine combination of history and modern urban life.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Tue): admire the striking features of Gur Emir Mausoleum, then appreciate the history behind Shah-i-Zinda, and then make a trip to Registan. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ulugbek Madrasah, see the sky in a new way at Ulugh Beg Observatory, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tillya Kori Madrasah, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Bibi-Khanym Mosque Bibi-Xonum, and finally explore the ancient world of Afrasiyab Museum.

To find other places to visit, maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Samarkand sightseeing planner.

You can fly from Tashkent to Samarkand in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. In August, daily temperatures in Samarkand can reach 39°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) early enough to travel to Bukhara.

Things to do in Samarkand

Historic Sites Museums Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Aug 31 — Sep 2:
Highlights from your plan
Gur Emir Mausoleum ©
Gur Emir Mausoleum
Shah-i-Zinda ©
Shah-i-Zinda
Registan ©
Registan

2
nights
Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Bukhara ©
Inhabited for millennia, the city of Bukhara boasts a World Heritage-listed center teeming with historic mosques, madrassas, pools, and ancient ruins.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): make a trip to Moschea Bolo-khauz, steep yourself in history at Samanid Mausoleum, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Mir-i-Arab Madrasa, then get great views at Great Minaret of the Kalon, and finally explore the ancient world of Chor-Bakr necropolis. Here are some ideas for day two: get engrossed in the history at Palace of Moon-like Stars (Sitorai-Mokhi-Khosa), admire the striking features of Chor-Minor, don't miss a visit to Lyab-i-Hauz, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Poi Kalyan Mosque, and finally contemplate the long history of Chasma Ayub Mausoleum.

To find maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Bukhara driving holiday planner.

Traveling by train from Samarkand to Bukhara takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in September, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can travel to Mary.

Things to do in Bukhara

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Sep 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Great Minaret of the Kalon ©
Great Minaret of the Kalon
Samanid Mausoleum
Samanid Mausoleum
Poi Kalyan Mosque ©
Poi Kalyan Mosque

1
night
Mary, Turkmenistan

Mary ©
Prosperous thanks to its successful cotton growing and processing industry, Mary retains much of the Soviet-era sensibility once prevalent in this part of the world.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sat): explore the ancient world of Gyaur Kala, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Pokrovskaya Church, then get engrossed in the history at National History and Ethnology Museum, and finally make a trip to Gurbanguly Hajji Mosque.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Mary tour app.

You can do a combination of taxi and train from Bukhara to Mary in 11 hours. Another option is to do a combination of train and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in September, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can go by car to Ashgabat.

Things to do in Mary

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Gyaur Kala ©
Gyaur Kala
National History and Ethnology Museum ©
National History and Ethnology Museum
Gurbanguly Hajji Mosque ©
Gurbanguly Hajji Mosque

1
night
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Ashgabat ©
A Soviet-like grid of opulent marble edifices in the center of the desert, Ashgabat paints an unusual picture.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Sun): delve into the mystery of Kow Ata Underground Lake, get engrossed in the history at Ashgabat National Museum of History, and then explore the ancient world of Parthian Settlement of Nisa.

For other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Ashgabat trip website.

Traveling by car from Mary to Ashgabat takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train. In September, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Darvaza.

Things to do in Ashgabat

Wildlife Parks Museums
Find places to stay Sep 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Kow Ata Underground Lake ©
Kow Ata Underground Lake
Parthian Settlement of Nisa ©
Parthian Settlement of Nisa
Ashgabat National Museum of History ©
Ashgabat National Museum of History

1
night
Darvaza, Turkmenistan

Darvaza ©
On the 7th (Mon), don't miss a visit to Darvaza Water Crater and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Darvaza Gas Crater.

To see ratings, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, use the Darvaza trip itinerary builder tool.

Drive from Ashgabat to Darvaza in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Kunya-Urgench.

Things to do in Darvaza

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Darvaza Gas Crater ©
Darvaza Gas Crater
Darvaza Water Crater ©
Darvaza Water Crater

1
night
Kunya-Urgench, Turkmenistan

Kunya-Urgench ©
Konye-Urgench, also known as Kunya-Urgench, Old Urgench or Urganj, is a municipality of about 30,000 inhabitants in north Turkmenistan, just south from its border with Uzbekistan. Kunya-Urgench has been added to your itinerary. On the 8th (Tue), delve into the distant past at Gate of the Caravanserai, explore the ancient world of Il Arslan Mausoleum, steep yourself in history at Kutlug Timur Minaret, steep yourself in history at Turabek Khanum Mausoleum, then contemplate the long history of Kunya-Urgench, and finally don't miss a visit to Seyit Ahmet.

To see maps, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Kunya-Urgench trip itinerary tool.

Getting from Darvaza to Kunya-Urgench by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 33°C in September, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can travel to Khiva.

Things to do in Kunya-Urgench

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Kunya-Urgench ©
Kunya-Urgench
Kutlug Timur Minaret ©
Kutlug Timur Minaret
Turabek Khanum Mausoleum ©
Turabek Khanum Mausoleum

2
nights
Khiva, Uzbekistan

Khiva ©
With an illustrious history as a main stop along the Great Silk Road, Khiva boasts remarkably well-preserved cultural attractions and a beautiful historic core.
On the 9th (Wed), delve into the distant past at Itchan Kala, contemplate the long history of Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Friday Mosque (Juma Mosque), then admire the striking features of Mohammed Amin Madrassah, and finally contemplate the long history of Tomb of Sayid Allauddin. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the historical opulence of Nurullaboy Saroyi, explore the historical opulence of Citadel Kunya-ark, don't miss a visit to Islam Khodja Complex, then don't miss a visit to Kalta Minor Minaret, then contemplate the long history of Ota Darvoza, and finally explore the historical opulence of Stone Palace (Tash Khauli).

To see photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Khiva visit planner.

Getting from Kunya-Urgench to Khiva by car takes about 3 hours. September in Khiva sees daily highs of 33°C and lows of 14°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Khiva

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Itchan Kala ©
Itchan Kala
Friday Mosque (Juma Mosque) ©
Friday Mosque (Juma Mosque)
Citadel Kunya-ark ©
Citadel Kunya-ark

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