Route & dates
19 days in Central Asia Itinerary
Start: Zurich, Switzerland
Fly + Drive: 16h 45min
Khiva, Uzbekistan— 1 night
Samarkand, Uzbekistan— 3 nights
train: 2h 15min
Bukhara, Uzbekistan— 3 nights
Dushanbe, Tajikistan— 3 nights
Fly + bus: 3h
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan— 3 nights
Drive: 3h 15min
Almaty, Kazakhstan— 4 nights
Fly: 12h 30min
End: Zurich, Switzerland
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 14th (Mon): delve into the distant past at Itchan Kala. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Stone Palace (Tash Khauli), explore the historical opulence of Citadel Kunya-ark, admire the landmark architecture of Mohammed Amin Madrassah, take in the spiritual surroundings of Friday Mosque (Juma Mosque), then steep yourself in history at Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, and finally contemplate the long history of Ota Darvoza.
To see more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Khiva online tour itinerary planner .
Zurich, Switzerland to Khiva is an approximately 17-hour combination of flight and car. Traveling from Zurich to Khiva, you'll lose 4 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Zurich in October: highs in Khiva hover around 20°C, while lows dip to 4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) so you can travel to Samarkand.
Things to do in Khiva
Find places to stay Oct 13 — 15:
Rome of the East
Uzbekistan’s most glorious city, Samarkand, offers a fine combination of history and modern urban life.Get some cultural insight at Registan and Bibi-Khanym Mosque Bibi-Xonum. Shah-i-Zinda and Gur Emir Mausoleum will appeal to history buffs. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tillya Kori Madrasah, deepen your understanding at Ulugbek Madrasah, hunt for treasures at Central Bazaar, and engage your brain at Ulugh Beg Observatory.
To see ratings, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Samarkand trip planner .
Traveling by flight from Khiva to Samarkand takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Khiva in October: high temperatures in Samarkand hover around 24°C and lows are around 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to travel to Bukhara.
Things to do in Samarkand
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 18:
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.Great Minaret of the Kalon and Poi Kalyan Mosque will appeal to history buffs. Ismail Samanid Mausoleum and Mir-i Arab Madrasah are good opportunities to explore the local culture. And it doesn't end there: make a trip to Lyab-i-Hauz, explore the different monuments and memorials at Bakhautdin Naqsband Mausoleum, admire the landmark architecture of Samanids Mausoleum, and explore the ancient world of Chor-Bakr necropolis.
For other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Bukhara online journey planner .
Take a train from Samarkand to Bukhara in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In October in Bukhara, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 8°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) early enough to travel to Dushanbe.
Things to do in Bukhara
Find places to stay Oct 18 — 21:
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.Escape the urban bustle at Nurek Dam and Ski Tourism Complex Safed Dara. Change things up with a short trip to Hisor Fortress in Hisor (about 42 minutes away). There's much more to do: take a memorable drive along Karatag Gorge, get your game on at Kokhi Navruz, appreciate the views at Yagnob Valley, and walk around Rudaki Park.
Plan my trip to Dushanbe with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.
You can fly from Bukhara to Dushanbe in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Bukhara in October, expect nights in Dushanbe to be about the same, around 8°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 29°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel to Bishkek.
Things to do in Dushanbe
Ski Tourism Complex Safed Dara, Nurek Dam, Hisor Fortress
Find places to stay Oct 21 — 24:
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.Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Borborduk Mosque and Holy Resurrection Cathedral. Step out of the city life by going to Ala-Archa Gorge and Alamedin Gorge. There's still lots to do: hike along Bir-Bulak Gorge, take in breathtaking views at Konorchek Canyons, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Chon-Kurchak Gorge, and get outside with Issyk-Ata Gorge.
To find maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Bishkek day trip planner .
Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Dushanbe to Bishkek takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Dushanbe to Bishkek. Traveling from Dushanbe in October, you will find days in Bishkek are slightly colder (24°C), and nights are about the same (6°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) early enough to drive to Almaty.
Things to do in Bishkek
Find places to stay Oct 24 — 27:
Almaty, the former capital, still stands as the country's largest city.Get some cultural insight at Ascension Cathedral and Museum of Folk Music Instruments named after Yihlasa. Step out of the city life by going to Kok-Tobe Hill and Big Almaty Lake. There's still lots to do: indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour, fly down the slopes at Shymbulak Ski Resort, see the interesting displays at Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, and enjoy some diversion at Medeu Skating Rink and Ski resort.
To find other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Almaty travel app .
You can drive from Bishkek to Almaty in 3.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Bishkek in October: highs in Almaty hover around 19°C, while lows dip to 5°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Thu) so you can travel back home.
Things to do in Almaty
Find places to stay Oct 27 — 31:
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