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
Drive
9
Turkistan, Kazakhstan
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Baikonur, Kazakhstan
— 1 night
Train to Kyzylorda, Fly to Astana
11
Astana, 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 Kow Ata Underground Lake. Get some historical perspective at Parthian Fortresses of Nisa - UNESCO World Heritage Site and Seyit Jemaletdin 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 28-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.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Wildlife · Parks
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 drive to Nukus.
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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.
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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 Citadel Kunya-ark and Itchan Kala are in your itinerary. Get some cultural insight at Stone Palace (Tash Khauli) and Bakcha Darvaza. Take a break from Khiva with a short trip to Avesto Monument in Urgench, about 50 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kalta Minor Minaret, contemplate the long history of Tomb of Sayid Allauddin, make a trip to Amir Tura Madrasah, and admire the striking features of Mohammed Amin Madrassah.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Khiva trip planner.

Drive from Nukus to Khiva in 3 hours. In January, daytime highs in Khiva are 38°F, while nighttime lows are 24°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to catch the flight to Tashkent.
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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 Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral. Your inner history buff will appreciate Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, and Teleshayakh Mosque. Explore Tashkent's surroundings by going to Charvak Reservoir (in Yusufhona) and Chimgan Ski Resort (in Chimgan). There's much more to do: explore the activities along Charvak Reservoir, explore the world behind art at Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art, take an in-depth tour of Amir Timur Museum, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kukeldash Madrasah.

To see photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Tashkent trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from Khiva to Tashkent in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) to allow time to fly to Bukhara.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Shopping
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 History of Bukhara Puppet Theatre. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Abdulaziz-Khan Madrasah and Ulugbek Medressa. The adventure continues: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Poi Kalyan Mosque, don't miss a visit to Trading Domes, take an in-depth tour of Palace of Moon-like Stars (Sitorai-Mokhi-Khosa), and contemplate the long history of Chasma Ayub Mausoleum.

For ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Bukhara trip itinerary maker website.

Fly from Tashkent to Bukhara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In January, daytime highs in Bukhara are 47°F, while nighttime lows are 29°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to take a train to Samarkand.
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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 Shah-i-Zinda. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Tillya Kori Madrasah and Sher Dor Madrasah. Explore Samarkand's surroundings by going to Shahrisabz (The Palace Complex of Ak-Saray, Dorut Tilovat, &more). There's much more to do: make a trip to Registan, take in the spiritual surroundings of Gur Emir Mausoleum, walk around Alisher Navoi Central Recreation Park, and view the masterpieces at Art Gallery Happy Bird.

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.
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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 Tajikistan. 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 Antiquities, make a trip to Stele with the Emblem of Tajikistan, look for gifts 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.
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Oriental Bath, contemplate the long history of Mausoleum of Rabigi Sultan Begim, then admire the landmark architecture of Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, and finally get engrossed in the history at Historical Culture Ethnographic Center. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Sat): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ukash Ata Maosoleum, admire the landmark architecture of Railway Station Building, don't miss a visit to Hilvet Semi-Underground Mosque, explore the ancient world of The Intimate Ruins of Sauran, then admire the striking features of Esim Khan Mausoleum, and finally make a trip to Juma Mosque.

To see other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Turkistan road trip tool.

Drive from Dushanbe to Turkistan in 12 hours. The time zone difference when traveling from Dushanbe to Turkistan is 1 hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Baikonur.
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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 Astana.
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Museums
Find places to stay Jan 30 — 31:

Astana, 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 Temple of St. Seraphim of Sarov. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Alzhir, Memorial Museum of Victims of Political Repressions and Totalitarianism and Atameken Ethno-Memorial Complex. 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 Hazret Sultan Mosque.

To find photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Astana online vacation builder.

Do a combination of train and flight from Baikonur to Astana in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 12°F in January, and nighttime lows around -4°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Karaganda.
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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 Temple of the Icon of Our Lady Skoroposlushnitsa. Step off the beaten path and head to Independence Stele and Holy Cross Church. There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Regional Central Mosque, pause for some photo ops at Monument Mining Glory, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Bektau-Ata Mountain Area, and pause for some serene contemplation at Church of the Intercession.

To see maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Karaganda trip builder app.

You can drive from Astana to Karaganda in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can 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.
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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 and Karakol Gorge. Get in touch with nature at Canyon Fairy Tale and Issyk-Kul Lake. Step out of Karakol to go to Barskoon and see Barskoon Waterfall, which is approximately 1h 50 min away. And it doesn't end there: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathederal, take in breathtaking views at Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks), and explore the activities along Merzbacher Lake.

To find reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Karakol trip planning app.

Traveling by combination of flight, car, and bus from Karaganda to Karakol takes 12.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train, car, and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Kochkor.
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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 3.5 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.
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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 drive to Almaty.
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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 St. Nicholas Cathedral for their historical value. A. Kasteyev Museum of Fine Arts and Baiken Mosque 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 Museum of Folk Music Instruments named after Yihlasa, and pause for some photo ops at Glory Memorial.

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 fly back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Feb 13 — 16: