48 days in Central Asia Itinerary

48 days in Central Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central Asia trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Dasoguz Province, Turkmenistan
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Nukus, Uzbekistan
— 1 night
Drive
4
Khiva, Uzbekistan
— 3 nights
Fly
5
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
— 4 nights
Fly
6
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
— 5 nights
Train
7
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
— 4 nights
Fly to Shymkent Airport, Drive to Turkistan
9
Turkistan, Kazakhstan
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Baikonur, Kazakhstan
— 1 night
Train to Kyzylorda, Fly to Astana
11
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
— 3 nights
Drive
12
Karaganda, Kazakhstan
— 4 nights
+2
Fly to Almaty, Drive to Cholpon-Ata, Bus to Karakol
13
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
— 3 nights
Drive
14
Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan
— 1 night
Drive
15
Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan
— 2 nights
Drive
16
Almaty, Kazakhstan
— 3 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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Ertugrul Gazi Mosque and Parthian Fortresses of Nisa - UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get some historical perspective at Seyit Jemaletdin Mosque and Hezreti Osman Mosque. There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Turkmen Carpet Museum, take an in-depth tour of Ashgabat National Museum of History, don't miss a visit to Gypjak Mosque, and pause for some serene contemplation at Russian Orthodox Church.

For where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Ashgabat trip builder app.

San Francisco, USA to Ashgabat is an approximately 27-hour flight. You'll lose 13 hours traveling from San Francisco to Ashgabat due to the time zone difference. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from San Francisco in January: high temperatures in Ashgabat hover around 47°F and lows are around 27°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Dasoguz Province.

Things to do in Ashgabat

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:

Dasoguz Province, Turkmenistan

— 2 nights
On the 6th (Wed), contemplate the long history of Turabek Khanum Mausoleum and then contemplate the long history of Kunya-Urgench - UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your second day here, steep yourself in history at Kyrk Molla, delve into the distant past at Gate of the Caravanserai, contemplate the long history of Kutlug Timur Minaret, then steep yourself in history at Seyit Ahmet, then don't miss a visit to Il Arslan Mausoleum, and finally steep yourself in history at Sweet Well.

To find photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Dasoguz Province day trip planning app.

Traveling by car from Ashgabat to Dasoguz Province takes 5.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can travel to Nukus.

Things to do in Dasoguz Province

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:

Nukus, Uzbekistan

— 1 night
Serving as a popular base to explore the ruins and nature around the Aral Sea, Nukus also boasts its fair share of attractions.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Fri): stroll the grounds of Mizdakhan Necropolis and then explore the world behind art at Nukus Museum of Art.

To see reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Nukus day trip site.

Drive from Dasoguz Province to Nukus in 3 hours. In January, daytime highs in Nukus are 34°F, while nighttime lows are 21°F. On the 8th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Khiva.

Things to do in Nukus

Museums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:
Highlights from your trip

Khiva, Uzbekistan

— 3 nights
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.
Popular historic sites such as Stone Palace (Tash Khauli) and Shirgazi Khan Madrasah are in your itinerary. Get some cultural insight at Citadel Kunya-ark and Bakcha Darvaza. Take a break from Khiva with a short trip to Avesto Monument in Urgench, about 50 minutes away. There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kalta Minor Minaret, make a trip to Amir Tura Madrasah, explore the historical opulence of Nurullaboy Saroyi, and admire the striking features of Dost Alyam Madrasah.

Plan a trip to Khiva easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

Traveling by car from Nukus to Khiva takes 3 hours. In January in Khiva, expect temperatures between 38°F during the day and 24°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) so you can travel to Tashkent.

Things to do in Khiva

Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:

Tashkent, Uzbekistan

— 4 nights

City of Bread

One of the largest and oldest cities in Central Asia, Tashkent combines layers of history and a bustling modern edge.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Minor Mosque and Teleshayakh Mosque. Your inner history buff will appreciate Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, and Kukeldash Madrasah. Explore Tashkent's surroundings by going to Charvak Reservoir (in Yusufhona) and Chimgan Ski Resort (in Chimgan). There's still lots to do: fly down the slopes at Chimgon, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Imom Khasan Mosque, enjoy breathtaking views from TV Tower, and admire the striking features of Khamid Alimdjan.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read Tashkent attractions site.

Fly from Khiva to Tashkent in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Bukhara.

Things to do in Tashkent

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 11 — 15:

Bukhara, Uzbekistan

— 5 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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Nodir Devon Begi Madrasasi and Bakhautdin Naqsband Mausoleum. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah and Poi Kalyan Mosque. There's lots more to do: look for gifts at History of Bukhara Puppet Theatre, stroll around Samonids Recreation Park, don't miss a visit to Lyab-i-Hauz, and take an in-depth tour of Palace of Moon-like Stars (Sitorai-Mokhi-Khosa).

Plan a Bukhara trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can fly from Tashkent to Bukhara in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In January in Bukhara, expect temperatures between 47°F during the day and 29°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to travel to Samarkand.

Things to do in Bukhara

Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 20:

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

— 4 nights

Rome of the East

Uzbekistan’s most glorious city, Samarkand, offers a fine combination of history and modern urban life.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Imam Bokhari Mausoleum and Registan. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Shah-i-Zinda and Hazrat Khizr Mosque. Explore Samarkand's surroundings by going to Shahrisabz (The Palace Complex of Ak-Saray, Dorut Tilovat, &more). There's much more to do: deepen your understanding at Tillya Kori Madrasah, don't miss a visit to Madrasa Ulugh Beg, Madrasa Tilla Kari, Madrasa Sher Dor, explore the ancient world of Afrasiyab Museum, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Sher Dor Madrasah.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Samarkand online vacation planner.

Traveling by train from Bukhara to Samarkand takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In January, daytime highs in Samarkand are 48°F, while nighttime lows are 31°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can go by car to Dushanbe.

Things to do in Samarkand

Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 20 — 24:

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Varzob gorge and Nurek Dam. Do some cultural sightseeing at Hisor Fortress and National Museum of Antiquities. Take a break from Dushanbe with a short trip to Hisor HIstorical and Cultural Preserve in Hisor, about 34 minutes away. There's still lots to do: take an in-depth tour of National Museum of Tajikistan, make a trip to Stele with the Emblem of Tajikistan, view the masterpieces at Noor Art Gallery, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Haji Yaqub Mosque.

To see reviews, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Dushanbe day trip planning app.

You can drive from Samarkand to Dushanbe in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. In January, daily temperatures in Dushanbe can reach 52°F, while at night they dip to 30°F. On the 28th (Thu), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Turkistan.

Things to do in Dushanbe

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 24 — 28:

Turkistan, Kazakhstan

— 2 nights
A small and historic city, Turkistan has become a major place of pilgrimage, with thousands of Muslims arriving each year to visit its main religious monument.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Fri): steep yourself in history at Oriental Bath, explore the ancient world of Kultobe Hillfort, steep yourself in history at Mausoleum of Rabigi Sultan Begim, then admire the striking features of The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, and finally take an in-depth tour of Historical Culture Ethnographic Center. On the 30th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ukash Ata Maosoleum, admire the striking features of Railway Station Building, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hilvet Semi-Underground Mosque, then explore the ancient world of The Intimate Ruins of Sauran, then make a trip to Esim Khan Mausoleum, and finally steep yourself in history at Juma Mosque.

To find ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Turkistan online itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Dushanbe to Turkistan. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Dushanbe to Turkistan due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Baikonur.

Things to do in Turkistan

Historic Sites · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 30:

Baikonur, Kazakhstan

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Sun): see the interesting displays at Museum of Baikonur Cosmodrome History.

To find reviews, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read Baikonur trip builder site.

You can drive from Turkistan to Baikonur in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. You will have some time to spend on the 31st (Sun) before leaving for Nur-Sultan.

Things to do in Baikonur

Museums
Find places to stay Jan 30 — 31:

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

— 3 nights
First Akmola, then Tselinograd, and now Astana: the city's latest name means "capital," something Astana became in 1998.
Get some historical perspective at Nur-Astana Mosque and Hazret Sultan Mosque. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Alzhir, Memorial Museum of Victims of Political Repressions and Totalitarianism and National Museum of Kazakhstan. Next up on the itinerary: take in panoramic vistas at Bayterek Tower, look for gifts at Astana Allee, browse the different shops at Khan Shatyr, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Temple of St. Seraphim of Sarov.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Nur-Sultan route builder app.

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Baikonur to Nur-Sultan takes 9 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In January, daytime highs in Nur-Sultan are 12°F, while nighttime lows are -4°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) so you can drive to Karaganda.

Things to do in Nur-Sultan

Shopping · Historic Sites · Museums · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 3:

Karaganda, Kazakhstan

— 4 nights
Lying in the heart of Kazakhstan, Karaganda stands as the capital of its region in a vast landscape of unpopulated steppe.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima and Church of the Intercession. Step off the beaten path and head to Temple of the Icon of Our Lady Skoroposlushnitsa and Regional Central Mosque. There's lots more to do: pause for some photo ops at Independence Stele, make a trip to Altyn Gasyr, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Vvedenskiy Cathedral, and take in the awesome beauty at Bektau-Ata Mountain Area.

To find maps, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Karaganda day trip app.

You can drive from Nur-Sultan to Karaganda in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. In February, daytime highs in Karaganda are 16°F, while nighttime lows are -4°F. On the 7th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Karakol.

Things to do in Karaganda

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 3 — 7:

Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

— 3 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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Jyrgalan Valley Trekking/Freeride Skiing and Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks). Get in touch with nature at Karakol Gorge and Issyk-Kul Lake. Explore Karakol's surroundings by going to Canyon Fairy Tale (in Tosor) and Barskoon Waterfall (in Barskoon). There's more to do: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathederal.

To find reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Karakol trip itinerary planner.

Do a combination of flight, car, and bus from Karaganda to Karakol in 13 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train, car, and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to drive to Kochkor.

Things to do in Karakol

Nature · Parks · Winter Sports · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 7 — 10:

Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan

— 1 night
Kochkor is a village in northern Naryn Region of Kyrgyzstan. On the 11th (Thu), get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then cruise along Kyzart Pass, and then explore the activities along Song Kol Lake.

To find other places to visit, photos, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Kochkor trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Karakol to Kochkor takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Tokmok.

Things to do in Kochkor

Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Nature · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 10 — 11:

Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan

— 2 nights
Tokmok is a city in the Chuy Valley, northern Kyrgyzstan, east of the country's capital of Bishkek. Start off your visit on the 12th (Fri): identify plant and animal life at Kegety Gorge and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Tokmok Mosque. Keep things going the next day: enjoy breathtaking views from Burana Tower and then explore the activities along Kol-Tor Lake.

To find reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Tokmok tour planner.

You can drive from Kochkor to Tokmok in 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can travel to Almaty.

Things to do in Tokmok

Nature · Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 11 — 13:

Almaty, Kazakhstan

— 3 nights
Almaty, the former capital, still stands as the country's largest city.
Visit Ascension Cathedral and Baiken Mosque for their historical value. Museum of Folk Music Instruments named after Yihlasa and Kazan Cathedral are good opportunities to explore the local culture. The adventure continues: head outdoors with Almatinskiy Terrenkur, hike along Left Talgar Gorge, examine the collection at Archeology Museum, and get all the equipment you need at Shymbulak Ski Resort.

For maps, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Almaty trip builder website.

Drive from Tokmok to Almaty in 4.5 hours. February in Almaty sees daily highs of 36°F and lows of 19°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Almaty

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 13 — 16: