18 days in Central Asia Itinerary

18 days in Central Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central Asia sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

18 days in Central Asia Itinerary

Start: Moscow, Russia
Fly:  5 h 30 min
1
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
2
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
+4
Train + Foot + Tram + Foot + Fly:  10 h 30 min
3
Khiva, Uzbekistan
— 1 night
Fly:  3 h 30 min
4
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
— 1 night
Drive:  12 h
5
Naryn, Kyrgyzstan
— 1 day
Drive:  5 h 30 min
6
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
— 2 nights
Drive:  6 h 30 min
7
Almaty, Kazakhstan
— 2 nights
Fly:  4 h 30 min
8
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
— 3 nights
Bus + Fly:  7 h 30 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. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: pause for some photo ops at Shah-i-Zinda, then make a trip to Registan, and then admire the landmark architecture of Gur Emir Mausoleum.

For more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Samarkand planning website .

Moscow, Russia to Samarkand is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. The time zone difference when traveling from Moscow to Samarkand is 2 hours. Traveling from Moscow in August, things will get somewhat warmer in Samarkand: highs are around 39°C and lows about 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can travel to Bukhara.

Things to do in Samarkand

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Registan ©
Registan
Shah-i-Zinda ©
Shah-i-Zinda
Tillya Kori Madrasah ©
Tillya Kori 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), explore the different monuments and memorials at Bakhautdin Naqsband Mausoleum, make a trip to Chor-Minor, pause for some serene contemplation at Poi Kalyan Mosque, then don't miss a visit to Moschea Bolo-khauz, then admire the striking features of Ismail Samanid Mausoleum, and finally take an in-depth tour of Palace of Moon-like Stars (Sitorai-Mokhi-Khosa). Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Lyab-i-Hauz, make a trip to Trading Domes, then explore the ancient world of Mir-i Arab Madrasah, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Great Minaret of the Kalon, and finally admire the striking features of Nodir Devon Begi Madrasasi.

To see where to stay, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Bukhara route site .

Getting from Samarkand to Bukhara by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: 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 Museums
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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Thu): don't miss a visit to Pahlovon Mahmud Mausoleum, don't miss a visit to Islam Khodja Complex, take in the spiritual surroundings of Friday Mosque, then step into the grandiose world of Citadel Kunya-ark, and finally delve into the distant past at Itchan Kala. On the next day, explore the historical opulence of Nurullaboy Saroyi, step into the grandiose world of Stone Palace (Tash Khauli), admire the landmark architecture of Alla Kuki Khan Madrasah, contemplate the long history of Tomb of Sayid Allauddin, then make a trip to Kalta Minor Minaret, and finally admire the striking features of Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read Khiva vacation planning app .

Getting from Bukhara to Khiva by combination of taxi and train takes about 10.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and train. In August, plan for daily highs up to 39°C, and evening lows to 20°C. 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 explore the activities along Charvak Reservoir.

For ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Tashkent trip planner .

You can fly from Khiva to Tashkent in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time 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.
On the 11th (Sun), see the interesting displays at Naryn Historical Museum of Ethnography and then explore the activities along Song Kol Lake.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Naryn visit planner .

Getting from Tashkent to Naryn by car takes about 13 hours. Other options: fly. The time zone difference when traveling from Tashkent to Naryn is 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive 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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Altyn Arashan and Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks). The adventure continues: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathederal, examine the collection at Nikolai Przhevalsky Museum, take in the awesome beauty at Karakol Gorge, and make a trip to Monument N.M. Przhevalsky.

To see maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Karakol route planning website .

Getting from Naryn to Karakol by car takes about 5.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can drive 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
Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathederal ©
Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks) ©

2
nights
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Almaty ©
Almaty, the former capital, still stands as the country's largest city.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Lake Issyk and Baiken Mosque. And it doesn't end there: stroll through Kok-Tobe Hill, stroll around First President's Park, don't miss a visit to Monument to Raiymbek Batyr, and explore the world behind art at Museum of Folk Music Instruments named after Yihlasa.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Almaty trip simple and quick.

Drive from Karakol to Almaty in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. In August, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can travel to Astana.

Things to do in Almaty

Parks Nature Fun & Games

Side Trip

Lake Issyk
Highlights from your plan
Kok-Tobe Hill ©
Kok-Tobe Hill
Big Almaty Lake ©
Big Almaty Lake

3
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.
Explore hidden gems such as City Park and Quay Astana. There's lots more to do: make a trip to The Baiterek Tower, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Nur-Astana Mosque, browse the different shops at Khan Shatyr, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Hazret Sultan Mosque.

To find reviews, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Astana itinerary builder .

Traveling by flight from Almaty to Astana takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Traveling from Almaty in August, things will get a bit cooler in Astana: highs are around 30°C and lows about 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Nur-Sultan

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