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Khiva

Khiva’s name, redolent of caravans of enslaved people, barbaric cruelty, terrible desert journeys and steppes infested with raiding Turkmen tribesmen, struck fear into all but the boldest 19th-century hearts. Nowadays it’s a friendly and welcoming Silk Road old town that's well set up for tourism.

The historic heart of Khiva (Xiva) has been so well preserved that it’s sometimes criticised as lifeless – a ‘museum city’. But walk through the city gates and wander the fabled Ichon-Qala (inner walled city) in all its monotone, mud-walled glory and it's hard not to feel like you are stepping into another era.

Try to spend at least one night in Khiva. The old town is at its best at dawn, sunset and by night, when the moonlit silhouettes of the tilting minarets and medressas, viewed from twisting alleyways, work their real magic.

Explore Khiva

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Khiva.