Bukhara (also spelled Buxoro) is the shopping mecca in Uzbekistan. You can’t enter a madrasah or walk down any of the pedestrian-friendly roads in the Old Town District without seeing the amazing hand-woven textiles that Uzbekistan is famous for. If you want to pick up a few Uzbek souvenirs during your trip, Bukhara is the place to do it!
Aside from shopping, Bukhara is also filled with gorgeous mosques and madrasahs that have been expertly restored. There are 140 protected buildings to be exact. The architecture here isn’t as flashy as it is in Samarkand, but the city of Bukhara has more history. It was a prominent stop on the Silk Road trade route and a major center for Islamic theology and culture.
You’ll love getting lost in the alleyways and trading domes of the busy, bustling city of Bukhara!
Know Before You Go
- The currency of Uzbekistan is the Uzbekistani Soʻm (UZS). At the time of writing, the conversion was 8,450 UZS to $1 USD. In this post we’ll be referring to prices in Uzbekistan currency.
- Learn a few words to get around! Most people use the standard Islamic greeting of
“assalomu alaykum” (sounds like “salom allycoomb”) to say hello. It translates to “peace be with you”. And you can say either “rahmat” (Uzbek) or “spasiba” (Russian) to say “thank you”.
- The sites in Bukhara begin to run together as they all look quite similar. Pick the top things you must see but don’t burn yourself out trying to see it all.Getting to BukharaThere are regular trains departing to Bukhara daily from Samarkand and Tashkent. From Samarkand it will about 2.5 hours on the regular train and the price is ~80,000 UZS per person. It’s easiest to book your tickets directly at the station and you’re better off reserving a seat a few days in advance. There is also a fast train if you want to pay a bit more.A taxi from the train station to the central tourist area of Bukhara should cost you 30,000 UZS but you’ll have to do a bit of negotiating as prices generally start at 50,000 UZS. If you booked a hotel in the Old Town District you’ll be dropped off in a parking lot and will have to walk to your hotel through the pedestrian area.
Getting Around BukharaBukhara is a very small town and the things that you’ll want to see are all concentrated in one area. So as long as your hotel is centrally located, you can walk pretty much everywhere you want to go! There are also plenty of taxis waiting right outside of the Old Town District as the alleyways surrounding the lake are pedestrian-only.
Where to Stay in BukharaKomil Bukhara Boutique HotelThe Komil Bukhara Boutique Hotel books out pretty far in advance so you have to plan early to get a room here. The rooms are decorated with darling, colorful, ornate fabrics, wall hangings, and furniture. The building itself is old and traditional and you’ll love how close you are to the Old Town District.