30 days in Central Asia Itinerary

30 days in Central Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Asia travel planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
— 3 nights
Fly to Turkmenabad, Taxi to Bukhara
2
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
— 3 nights
Train
3
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Khujand, Tajikistan
— 1 night
Drive
5
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
— 3 nights
Fly
7
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
— 4 nights
Drive
9
Almaty, Kazakhstan
— 4 nights
Fly
10
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
— 4 nights
Fly

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Ashgabat, Turkmenistan — 3 nights

A Soviet-like grid of opulent marble edifices in the center of the desert, Ashgabat paints an unusual picture.
Ashgabat is known for sightseeing, historic sites, and museums. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: delve into the distant past at Parthian Fortresses of Nisa - UNESCO World Heritage Site, identify plant and animal life at Kow Ata Underground Lake, don't miss a visit to Gypjak Mosque, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ertugrul Gazi Mosque.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Ashgabat day trip planning tool.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to Ashgabat is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Gulf Standard Time (GST) to Turkmenistan Standard Time (TMT) is 1 hour. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Abu Dhabi in August; daily highs in Ashgabat reach 43°C and lows reach 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Bukhara.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 1 — 4:

Bukhara, Uzbekistan — 3 nights

City of Museums

Inhabited for millennia, the city of Bukhara boasts a World Heritage-listed center teeming with historic mosques, madrassas, pools, and ancient ruins.
Bukhara is known for historic sites, sightseeing, and museums. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: get great views at Great Minaret of the Kalon, admire the striking features of Chor-Minor, make a trip to Ulugbek Medressa, and steep yourself in history at Ark of Bukhara.

To find traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Bukhara visit planner.

Getting from Ashgabat to Bukhara by combination of flight and taxi takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and taxi. Expect little chillier evenings in Bukhara when traveling from Ashgabat in August, with lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Samarkand.
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Historic Sites · Museums
Find places to stay Aug 4 — 7:

Samarkand, Uzbekistan — 2 nights

Rome of the East

Uzbekistan’s most glorious city, Samarkand, offers a fine combination of history and modern urban life.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Mon): explore the ancient world of Afrasiyab Museum, engage your brain at Ulugh Beg Observatory, pause for some photo ops at Shah-i-Zinda, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Bibi-Khanym Mosque Bibi-Xonum, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Gur Emir Mausoleum. Keep things going the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Tillya Kori Madrasah, then make a trip to Registan, and then get a taste of the local shopping with Art Gallery Happy Bird.

To find maps, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read Samarkand trip website.

You can take a train from Bukhara to Samarkand in 2.5 hours. Another option is to drive. In August, daily temperatures in Samarkand can reach 39°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Khujand.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 9:

Khujand, Tajikistan — 1 night

For many, a trip to Khujand happens en route from Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan to the scenic Fann Mountains or Zeravshan Valley.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Wed): steep yourself in history at Arbob Cultural Palace, then pause for some photo ops at Monument to Ismoil Somoni, then don't miss a visit to Khujand Fortress, and finally look for gifts at Panjshanbe Bozor.

To see where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Khujand trip planner.

Drive from Samarkand to Khujand in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 39°C, and evening lows to 23°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Tashkent.
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Shopping · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 10:

Tashkent, Uzbekistan — 2 nights

City of Bread

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 11th (Thu): browse the eclectic array of goods at Chorsu Bazaar, don't miss a visit to Independence Square (Mustakillik Square), shop like a local with Autograph Art Gallery, then admire the masterpieces at Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art, and finally look for gifts at Black Quail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Fri): take an in-depth tour of Amir Timur Museum, then admire the striking features of Khamid Alimdjan, and then make a trip to Amir Temur Square.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Tashkent road trip planning site.

You can drive from Khujand to Tashkent in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight to Nur-Sultan.
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Shopping · Museums
Find places to stay Aug 10 — 12:

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan — 3 nights

First Akmola, then Tselinograd, and now Astana: the city's latest name means "capital," something Astana became in 1998.
Nur-Sultan is known for sightseeing, shopping, and historic sites. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: pause for some photo ops at Bayterek Tower, admire the masterpieces at National Museum of Kazakhstan, admire the landmark architecture of Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Assumption Cathedral.

To find ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Nur-Sultan trip planner.

Getting from Tashkent to Nur-Sultan by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and train; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Tashkent to Nur-Sultan. In August, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) to allow enough time to fly to Bishkek.
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Historic Sites · Nightlife · Shopping · Museums
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 15:

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan — 3 nights

Wandering the grid-like, tree-lined streets of Bishkek, you'll discover the friendly atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and Soviet-era architecture of the country's political center.
When in Bishkek, make a side trip to see Burana Tower in Tokmok, approximately Tokmok away. Spend the 18th (Thu) exploring nature at Ala-Archa Gorge. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Ala-Too Square, browse the eclectic array of goods at Osh Bazaar, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and look for gifts at One Village One Product.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Bishkek trip website.

Traveling by flight from Nur-Sultan to Bishkek takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In August, Bishkek is a bit warmer than Nur-Sultan - with highs of 37°C and lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Karakol.
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Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Shopping
Side Trip
Find places to stay Aug 15 — 18:

Karakol, Kyrgyzstan — 4 nights

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.
Change things up with a short trip to Oluya Cholpon Ata Mausoleum in Cholpon Ata (about 1h 55 min away). On the 20th (Sat), spend a day exploring the natural beauty of Altyn Arashan. There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Issyk-Kul Lake, pause for some serene contemplation at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathederal, make a trip to Dungan Mosque, and explore the stunning scenery at Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks).

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

Drive from Bishkek to Karakol in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) so you can drive to Almaty.
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Nature · Parks · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Aug 18 — 22:

Almaty, Kazakhstan — 4 nights

Almaty, the former capital, still stands as the country's largest city.
Almaty is known for sightseeing, parks, and historic sites. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Big Almaty Lake, pause for some serene contemplation at Ascension Cathedral, examine the collection at Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, and let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Almaty trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Traveling by car from Karakol to Almaty takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in August, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) so you can catch the flight to Dushanbe.
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Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 22 — 26:

Dushanbe, Tajikistan — 4 nights

Little more than a small town at the turn of the 20th century, Dushanbe grew rapidly during the Soviet era and now serves as the national capital and home to nearly 800,000 people.
Get out of town with these interesting Dushanbe side-trips: Nurek Dam (in Nurek) and Ski Tourism Complex Safed Dara (in Tagob). There's still lots to do: walk around Rudaki Park, don't miss a visit to National Library, take an in-depth tour of National Museum of Antiquities, and get interesting insight from Noor Art Gallery.

To see ratings, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, use the Dushanbe day trip app.

Traveling by flight from Almaty to Dushanbe takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Almaty to Dushanbe, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Almaty, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Dushanbe, ranging from highs of 42°C to lows of 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) early enough to catch the flight back home.
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Parks · Nature · Museums · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Aug 26 — 30:

Turkmenistan travel guide

3.7
Ruins · Landmarks · Geologic Formations
With a population of just 5 million and the majority of its area part of one of the driest deserts on the planet, Turkmenistan remains one of the world's least explored destinations. Known largely for the eccentric dictatorship of Saparmyrat Niyazov, who died in 2006, this desert land boasts great natural beauty and centuries-old traditions. A tour of Turkmenistan reveals a series of thriving cities, once important stops on the ancient Silk Road. Probably the most convenient of the country's urban centers, Ashgabat serves as the national capital and most developed city, known for its white-marble buildings housing theaters, museums, and shopping malls.
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Uzbekistan travel guide

4.3
Landmarks · Sacred & Religious Sites · Historic Sites
Although it only gained full independence in 1991, Uzbekistan boasts a rich history filled with legendary conquests by the likes of Tamerlane and Alexander the Great. Major tourist attractions in Uzbekistan include centuries-old cities (once oases along the Silk Road), seemingly endless deserts, soaring mountains that serve as popular ecotourism playgrounds, and ancient fortresses untouched by the passage of time. Visitors flock to this landlocked Central Asian country to hike, ski, bird-watch, and stay in traditional yurt camps. Consider beginning your tour of Uzbekistan in Tashkent, where modern glass-fronted office buildings stand in stark contrast to decaying Soviet-era apartment blocks.
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Tajikistan travel guide

3.9
Landmarks · Parks · History Museums
Caravans loaded with goods passed through Tajikistan when the ancient Silk Road ran through this country; today, it is one of the world's poorest and least explored nations. Devastated by the civil war of the 1990s, Tajikistan tourism has recently bounced back, as the country's unspoiled mountain landscapes attract a growing number of daring climbers and adventurous travelers. Picturesque highland villages welcome foreign explorers searching for an authentic Central Asian experience in a place seemingly frozen in time. Roads are practically nonexistent in many places and public transport unreliable, but the hospitable Tajiks treat visitors with such warmth and kindness you're not likely to mind the lack of amenities and modern distractions.
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Kazakhstan travel guide

4.1
Lookouts · Parks · Bodies of Water
The world's biggest landlocked country, Kazakhstan boasts a thriving economy resting almost entirely on huge reserves of natural gas and oil. While some travelers find its seemingly endless and largely featureless steppe unappealing, others take a trip to Kazakhstan precisely because of these unspoiled stretches. If you wanted, you could certainly spend your entire vacation in Kazakhstan completely alone, exploring the sprawling, empty horizons. If you want a little company, mingle with the highly urbanized locals in Almaty or Astana, two big cities featuring broad tree-lined avenues, hip cafes, giant malls, and many innovative buildings that seem plucked right out of a science fiction novel.
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Kyrgyzstan travel guide

4.1
Bodies of Water · National Parks · Spas & Wellness
A landlocked country of soaring mountains and sprawling steppes, Kyrgyzstan only became independent in 1991, after several decades as one of the Soviet Union's republics. Today, the country represents a growingly popular tourist destination, enticing visitors to come with its rolling pastures and unspoiled mountain landscapes. A trip to Kyrgyzstan reveals a mostly rural land, where it's still possible to witness the lifestyle of the semi-nomadic shepherds living in portable yurts--simple dwellings made of wood and animal skins. You'd be hard-pressed to find many urban attractions here, but the hospitality of the natives and the stunning natural scenery will more than make up for any lack of modern amenities.
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