Top things to do in Bukhara

Top Choice Fortress in Bukhara

Ark

The spectacular-looking Ark, a royal town-within-a-town, is Bukhara’s oldest structure, occupied from the 5th century right up until 1920, when it was bombed by the Red Army. For centuries it was the residence of th…
Top Choice Islamic Site in Bukhara

Kalon Minaret

When it was built by the Karakhanid ruler Arslan Khan in 1127, the Kalon Minaret was probably the tallest building in Central Asia – kalon means ‘great’ in Tajik. It’s an incredible piece of work, 47m tall with 10m-…
Top Choice International in Bukhara

Minzifa

Bukhara's most charming and professional restaurant is this perennially popular place with a fantastic roof terrace overlooking the sunset-framed domes of the Sarrafon hammam. The menu stretches to dishes like chick…
Top Choice Historic Building in Bukhara

Char Minar

Photogenic little Char Minar, in a maze of alleys between Pushkin and Hoja Nurabad, bears more relation to Indian styles than to anything Bukharan. This was the gatehouse of a long-gone medressa built in 1807. The n…
Top Choice International in Bukhara

Saroy

A welcome addition to the eating scene, this restaurant fronting the Lyabi-Hauz is housed in a beautifully appointed two-storey building with both traditional and European touches. The large menu has some vegetarian…
Top Choice Teahouse in Bukhara

Silk Road Spices

This boutique teahouse offers a delightful diversion from all that sightseeing. It has three spicy varieties of tea, as well as cinnamon or cardamom coffee, served with four types of local sweets such as halva and n…
Top Choice Mosque in Bukhara

Kalon Mosque

At the foot of the minaret, on the site of an earlier mosque destroyed by Chinggis Khan, is the 16th-century congregational Kalon Mosque, big enough for 10,000 people. Its courtyard has some spectacular tile work. U…
Top Choice Museum in Bukhara

Maghok-i-Attar

Between the two covered bazaars, in what was the old herb-and-spice bazaar, is Central Asia’s oldest surviving mosque, the Maghoki-Attar, a lovely mishmash of 9th-century facade and 16th-century reconstruction. This…
Plaza in Bukhara

Lyabi-Hauz

Lyabi-Hauz, a plaza built around a pool in 1620 (the name is Tajik for ‘around the pool’), is the most peaceful and interesting spot in town – shaded by mulberry trees as old as the pool. The old tea-sipping, chessb…
Mausoleum in Bukhara

Ismail Samani Mausoleum

This mausoleum in Samani Park, completed in 905, is the town's oldest Muslim monument and one of its most architecturally interesting. Built for Ismail Samani (the founder of the Samanid dynasty), his father and gra…