16 days in Central Asia Itinerary

16 days in Central Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central Asia travel planner

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Route & dates

16 days in Central Asia Itinerary

Start: Moscow, Russia
Fly:  5 h 15 min
1
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 15 min
2
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
+4
Train + Foot + Tram + Foot + Fly:  10 h 30 min
3
Khiva, Uzbekistan
— 1 night
Fly:  3 h 15 min
4
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
— 1 night
Drive:  12 h
5
Naryn, Kyrgyzstan
— 1 day
Drive:  5 h 15 min
6
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
— 2 nights
Drive:  6 h 15 min
7
Almaty, Kazakhstan
— 1 night
Fly:  4 h 15 min
8
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
— 2 nights
Bus + Fly:  7 h 15 min
End: Moscow, Russia

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 3rd (Sat): look and learn at Ulugh Beg Observatory. On the 4th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: pause for some photo ops at Shah-i-Zinda, then make a trip to Registan, and then explore the different monuments and memorials at Gur Emir Mausoleum.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Samarkand online holiday planner .

Moscow, Russia to Samarkand is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. The time zone difference moving from Moscow Standard Time (MSK) to Uzbekistan Time (UZT) is 2 hours. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Moscow in August: high temperatures in Samarkand hover around 39°C and lows are around 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can travel to Bukhara.

Things to do in Samarkand

Historic Sites Museums Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Registan ©
Registan
Shah-i-Zinda ©
Shah-i-Zinda
Ulugbek Madrasah ©
Ulugbek Madrasah

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.
On the 6th (Tue), make a trip to Trading Domes, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Poi Kalyan Mosque, take some stellar pictures from Great Minaret of the Kalon, then explore the ancient world of Mir-i Arab Madrasah, and finally make a trip to Lyab-i-Hauz. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll the grounds of Bakhautdin Naqsband Mausoleum, make a trip to Chor-Minor, admire the striking features of Nodir Devon Begi Madrasasi, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah, then make a trip to Moschea Bolo-khauz, and finally make a trip to Ismail Samanid Mausoleum.

For more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Bukhara tour itinerary planning app .

Take a train from Samarkand to Bukhara in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In August, daily temperatures in Bukhara can reach 41°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Khiva.

Things to do in Bukhara

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Mir-i-Arab Madrasa ©
Mir-i-Arab Madrasa
Poi Kalyan Mosque ©
Poi Kalyan Mosque
Trading Domes ©
Trading Domes

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Thu): explore the historical opulence of Stone Palace (Tash Khauli), step into the grandiose world of Citadel Kunya-ark, admire the striking features of Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Friday Mosque, then make a trip to Islam Khodja Complex, and finally contemplate the long history of Kalta Minor Minaret. On your second day here, steep yourself in history at Tomb of Sayid Allauddin, don't miss a visit to Pahlovon Mahmud Mausoleum, then admire the landmark architecture of Mohammed Amin Madrassah, and finally delve into the distant past at Itchan Kala.

For traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Khiva trip itinerary maker app .

Do a combination of taxi and train from Bukhara to Khiva in 10.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train. In August in Khiva, expect temperatures between 39°C during the day and 20°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to travel to Tashkent.

Things to do in Khiva

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Citadel Kunya-ark ©
Citadel Kunya-ark
Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum ©
Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum
Stone Palace (Tash Khauli) ©
Stone Palace (Tash Khauli)

1
night
Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Tashkent ©
One of the largest and oldest cities in Central Asia, Tashkent combines layers of history and a bustling modern edge.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Sat): admire the landmark architecture of Khamid Alimdjan and then contemplate the waterfront views at Charvak Reservoir.

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

You can fly from Khiva to Tashkent in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to travel to Naryn.

Things to do in Tashkent

Parks Nature

Side Trip

Charvak Reservoir
Highlights from your plan
Charvak Reservoir ©
Charvak Reservoir
Khamid Alimdjan ©
Khamid Alimdjan

1
day
Naryn, Kyrgyzstan

Naryn ©
Perched high in the Tian Shan range, Naryn offers scenic views of the mountains and a picturesque gorge cut by the Naryn River.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): examine the collection at Naryn Historical Museum of Ethnography and then explore the activities along Song Kol Lake.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Naryn attractions planner .

You can drive from Tashkent to Naryn in 13 hours. Another option is to fly. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Tashkent to Naryn. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Karakol.

Things to do in Naryn

Parks Nature Museums
Highlights from your plan
Song Kol Lake ©
Song Kol Lake

2
nights
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

Karakol ©
Set in the foothills of the Tian Shan mountains, Karakol reigns as Kyrgyzstan's trekking and climbing hot spot, surrounded by snowy peaks and scenic natural attractions, including canyons, waterfalls, lakes, and hot spring resorts.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Altyn Arashan and Karakol Gorge. The adventure continues: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathederal, explore the stunning scenery at Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks), see the interesting displays at Nikolai Przhevalsky Museum, and don't miss a visit to Dungan Mosque.

Plan my Karakol trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Traveling by car from Naryn to Karakol takes 5.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Almaty.

Things to do in Karakol

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks)
Highlights from your plan
Altyn Arashan ©
Altyn Arashan
Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks) ©
Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks)

1
night
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Almaty ©
Almaty, the former capital, still stands as the country's largest city.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Thu): contemplate the waterfront views at Big Almaty Lake, take some stellar pictures from Kok-Tobe Hill, and then stroll around First President's Park. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Ascension Cathedral, admire the masterpieces at Museum of Folk Music Instruments named after Yihlasa, then appreciate the history behind Glory Memorial, then walk around Park Named After Panfilov’s 28 Guardsmen, and finally enjoy some diversion at Medeu Skating Rink and Ski resort.

To find photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Almaty online travel route planner .

Drive from Karakol to Almaty in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. August in Almaty sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 19°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Astana.

Things to do in Almaty

Parks Nature Fun & Games
Highlights from your plan
Kok-Tobe Hill ©
Kok-Tobe Hill
Big Almaty Lake ©
Big Almaty Lake

2
nights
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

Nur-Sultan ©
First Akmola, then Tselinograd, and now Astana: the city's latest name means "capital," something Astana became in 1998.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Sat): explore and take pictures at Astana Arena, take in the spiritual surroundings of Nur-Astana Mosque, walk around City Park, then don't miss a visit to The Baiterek Tower, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Assumption Cathedral. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hazret Sultan Mosque, make a trip to Monument Kazakh Eli, then browse the different shops at Khan Shatyr, then admire the local landmark of Fountain Circus, and finally make a trip to Quay Astana.

To see ratings, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Astana online journey maker .

Getting from Almaty to Astana by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In August, Astana is little chillier than Almaty - with highs of 30°C and lows of 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Nur-Sultan

Historic Sites Shopping Parks
Highlights from your plan
Bayterek Tower ©
Bayterek Tower
City Park ©
City Park
Nur-Astana Mosque ©
Nur-Astana Mosque