bukhara cityMost Bukhara Hotels and B&Bs offer help with ticket booking, while the BICC keeps bus, train and air timetables. One or two flights a day leave for Tashkent, plus weekly departures to Andijan and Moscow. Tickets are sold at the Uzbekistan Airways office, 15 Navoi St, tel. 2235060, or at Bukhara’s renovated airport (international department, tel. 2256121), a ten minute taxi ride from the centre, bus route No. 10, or marshrutka minibus No. 100.

The state-run central bus station (“Centralnee Avtovokzal”), three kilometres north of the city centre on Gijduvani St (tel. 2245021), serves Tashkent, Samarkand and Urgench. Faster, more expensive share-taxis and minibuses (“buhanka”, breadvans) also compete for custom here. Marshrutka Nos. 70 and 77 serve this bus station—hail one from Lyab-i-Hauz by walking east from the ‘pojarka’ stop (beside Three Jars Cafe behind Divanbegi madrassah), and turning up Nyzami St to No. 4 school. The Karvon Bozor further up the road to Sitorai Mokhi Khosa has private, cheaper departures to Urgench. Karshi, Shakhrisabz, other towns to the east, and even Moscow, are served by the private shark (east) station (“avtostantsia Sharq”) (tel. 2253416), plus quicker morning departures to Tashkent.

All trains depart and arrive at Kagan railway station (tel. 5246593), 10 kilometres east of Bukhara. For Tashkent, choose the daily 661, departing at 6.40pm, arriving at 8am. You can buy train tickets at an office on Nyzami, 50 metres south of Bakhauddin Nkshbandi Ensemble. Catch an Urgench connection, avoiding Turkmenistan, from Navoi, not Bukhara. By far the easiest way to get around, outside the old town, is by taxi.


A world of choice now lies in the wake of the Bukharan ’boutique’ makeover. Reasonably priced, well-serviced and charming private homes turned hotels are spread throughout the winding alleys of old Bukhara. Many can prove hard to find on first acquaintance, so phone ahead. Most offer city tours, transport and other travel services.


Hidden deep in the village of Chilangu, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the nearest tourist, lies the unassuming grave of Sheikh al-Islam Emir Hussein Mullo Mir (died 1587) and the enormous khanagha built a century later in the shadow of his name. The dervish house has a complicated layout and its imposing four storey portal makes it seem larger than it actually is. Five staircases lead to a series of hujra cells arranged around the central