26 days in Central Asia & Kabul Itinerary

26 days in Central Asia & Kabul Itinerary

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Route & dates

26 days in Central Asia & Kabul Itinerary

Start: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Fly:  15​h
1
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
— 2 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
2
Almaty, Kazakhstan
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
3
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
— 4 nights
4
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
— 3 nights
5
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h
6
Kabul, Afghanistan
— 2 nights
Fly:  1​h 30​min
7
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
— 3 nights
8
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
— 1 night
9
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h
10
Khiva, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  19​h 30​min
End: Cluj-Napoca, Romania

2
nights
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Ashgabat ©
A Soviet-like grid of opulent marble edifices in the center of the desert, Ashgabat paints an unusual picture.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): take an in-depth tour of Ashgabat National Museum of History, appreciate the history behind Independence Monument, take in panoramic vistas at Monument Arch of Neutrality, then explore the ancient world of Parthian Settlement of Nisa, then make a trip to Gypjak Mosque, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Ertugrul Gazi Mosque. On the 3rd (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: don't miss a visit to Geokdepe, see the interesting displays at Turkmen Carpet Museum, then make a trip to Ashgabat Train Station, then hunt for treasures at Tolkuchka-Basar, and finally examine the collection at Turkmen Museum of Fine Arts.

For maps, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Ashgabat visit planner.

Cluj-Napoca, Romania to Ashgabat is an approximately 15-hour flight. You'll lose 3 hours traveling from Cluj-Napoca to Ashgabat due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Cluj-Napoca in September; daily highs in Ashgabat reach 38°C and lows reach 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Almaty.

Things to do in Ashgabat

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Turkmen Carpet Museum ©
Turkmen Carpet Museum
Parthian Settlement of Nisa ©
Parthian Settlement of Nisa
Independence Monument ©
Independence Monument

2
nights
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Almaty ©
Almaty, the former capital, still stands as the country's largest city.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes The Botanical Garden, A. Kasteyev Museum of Fine Arts and Almaty Central Park. There's much more to do: get great views at Kok-Tobe Hill, contemplate the waterfront views at Big Almaty Lake, pause for some serene contemplation at Ascension Cathedral, and stroll around Park Named After Panfilov’s 28 Guardsmen.

To see traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Almaty online attractions planner .

Traveling by flight from Ashgabat to Almaty takes 6.5 hours. Traveling from Ashgabat to Almaty, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Ashgabat in September, expect Almaty to be a bit cooler, temps between 29°C and 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to drive to Karakol.

Things to do in Almaty

Parks Museums Nature
Find places to stay Sep 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Kok-Tobe Hill ©
Kok-Tobe Hill
Big Almaty Lake ©
Big Almaty Lake
Ascension Cathedral ©
Ascension Cathedral

4
nights
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

Karakol ©
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Boris Yeltsin Peak, Canyon Fairy Tale and Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks). The adventure continues: explore the activities along Issyk-Kul Lake, pause for some serene contemplation at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathederal, don't miss a visit to Dungan Mosque, and examine the collection at Nikolai Przhevalsky Museum.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Karakol trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Drive from Almaty to Karakol in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Bishkek.

Things to do in Karakol

Nature Parks Museums

Side Trips

Canyon Fairy Tale, Jeti-Oguz Canyon (Seven Bulls Rocks)
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Altyn Arashan ©
Altyn Arashan
Issyk-Kul Lake ©
Issyk-Kul Lake
Dungan Mosque ©
Dungan Mosque

3
nights
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek ©
Wandering the grid-like, tree-lined streets of Bishkek, you'll discover the friendly atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and Soviet-era architecture of the country's political center.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Dordoy Bazaar, Mikhail Frunze Museum and Museum of Fine Arts. Take a break from Bishkek with a short trip to Burana Tower in Tokmok, about 1h 25 min away. There's much more to do: explore the striking landscape of Ala-Archa Gorge, steep yourself in history at Ala-Too Square, browse the eclectic array of goods at Osh Bazaar, and walk around Panfilov Park.

For photos, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Bishkek route planning site .

You can drive from Karakol to Bishkek in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to travel to Tashkent.

Things to do in Bishkek

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

Burana Tower
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Ala-Archa Gorge ©
Ala-Archa Gorge
Burana Tower ©
Burana Tower
Ala-Too Square ©
Ala-Too Square

2
nights
Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Tashkent ©
One of the largest and oldest cities in Central Asia, Tashkent combines layers of history and a bustling modern edge.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Teleshayakh Mosque, Amir Timur Museum, Charvak Reservoir, and other attractions. On the 14th (Sat), explore the world behind art at Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art, explore the activities along Charvak Reservoir, and then make a trip to Independence Square (Mustakillik Square). Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take an in-depth tour of Amir Timur Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Teleshayakh Mosque, and then browse the eclectic array of goods at Chorsu Bazaar.

To find maps, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Tashkent online journey planner .

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Bishkek to Tashkent in 5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. The time zone changes from Kirgizstan Time (KGT) to Uzbekistan Time (UZT), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Kabul.

Things to do in Tashkent

Museums Shopping Nature

Side Trip

Charvak Reservoir
Find places to stay Sep 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Uzbekistan State Museum of Applied Art ©
Chorsu Bazaar ©
Chorsu Bazaar
Charvak Reservoir ©
Charvak Reservoir

2
nights
Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul ©
A trip to Kabul reveals an intense portrait of Afghanistan's past, present, and future.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Id Gah Mosque as well as Abdul Rahman Khan Mosque. Start off your visit on the 16th (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Abdul Rahman Khan Mosque, don't miss a visit to Id Gah Mosque, explore the activities along Qargha Reservoir, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shah-e Doh Shamshira Mosque, and finally explore the different monuments and memorials at Christian Cemetery. On the next day, walk around Bagh-e Babur, don't miss a visit to Babur Tomb, then see the interesting displays at National Museum of Afghanistan, and finally admire the striking features of Darul Aman Palace.

For where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Kabul trip itinerary maker .

Fly from Tashkent to Kabul in 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Dushanbe.

Things to do in Kabul

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Bagh-e Babur
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
National Museum of Afghanistan ©
National Museum of Afghanistan
Bagh-e Babur ©
Bagh-e Babur
Darul Aman Palace ©
Darul Aman Palace

3
nights
Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Dushanbe ©
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Palace of the Nation, Victory Park, Gurminj Museum of Music Instruments, and other attractions you added. Step out of Dushanbe to go to Hisor and see Hisor Fortress, which is approximately 42 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: stroll around Rudaki Park, don't miss a visit to Flagpole with the Flag of Tajikistan, get to know the resident critters at Botanical Garden and Zoo, and get engrossed in the history at National Museum of Tajikistan.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Dushanbe trip itinerary maker website .

Traveling by flight from Kabul to Dushanbe takes 1.5 hours. In September, daily temperatures in Dushanbe can reach 38°C, while at night they dip to 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Bukhara.

Things to do in Dushanbe

Parks Museums Trails

Side Trip

Hisor Fortress
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Rudaki Park ©
Rudaki Park
National Museum of Tajikistan ©
National Museum of Tajikistan
Hisor Fortress ©
Hisor Fortress

1
night
Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Bukhara ©
Inhabited for millennia, the city of Bukhara boasts a World Heritage-listed center teeming with historic mosques, madrassas, pools, and ancient ruins.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sat): make a trip to Lyab-i-Hauz, make a trip to Moschea Bolo-khauz, admire the striking features of Ismail Samanid Mausoleum, take some stellar pictures from Great Minaret of the Kalon, then admire the striking features of Chor-Minor, and finally delve into the distant past at Mir-i Arab Madrasah.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Bukhara trip builder tool .

Traveling by flight from Dushanbe to Bukhara takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and train. In September in Bukhara, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Samarkand.

Things to do in Bukhara

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Great Minaret of the Kalon ©
Great Minaret of the Kalon
Lyab-i-Hauz ©
Lyab-i-Hauz
Ismail Samanid Mausoleum ©
Ismail Samanid Mausoleum

2
nights
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Samarkand ©
Uzbekistan’s most glorious city, Samarkand, offers a fine combination of history and modern urban life.
On the 22nd (Sun), don't miss a visit to Registan, appreciate the history behind Shah-i-Zinda, and then stroll the grounds of Gur Emir Mausoleum. Here are some ideas for day two: hunt for treasures at Central Bazaar, then see the sky in a new way at Ulugh Beg Observatory, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Bibi-Khanym Mosque Bibi-Xonum, and finally explore the ancient world of Afrasiab.

For reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Samarkand online tour itinerary planner .

You can take a train from Bukhara to Samarkand in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. September in Samarkand sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to travel to Khiva.

Things to do in Samarkand

Historic Sites Museums Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Sep 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Registan ©
Registan
Shah-i-Zinda ©
Shah-i-Zinda
Gur Emir Mausoleum ©
Gur Emir Mausoleum

2
nights
Khiva, Uzbekistan

Khiva ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Tue): explore the ancient world of Itchan Kala, then step into the grandiose world of Citadel Kunya-ark, then admire the striking features of Mohammed Amin Madrassah, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Friday Mosque.

To see maps, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read Khiva trip planning site .

Getting from Samarkand to Khiva by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: take a train. Traveling from Samarkand in September, Khiva is slightly colder at night with lows of 14°C. You will leave for home on the 25th (Wed).

Things to do in Khiva

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Itchan Kala ©
Itchan Kala
Friday Mosque ©
Friday Mosque
Citadel Kunya-ark ©
Citadel Kunya-ark