Bukhara, a small town in the center of Uzbekistan, was once the capital of the Bukhara Khanate. During its golden age there were built many magnificent sights in Bukhara, which made it perhaps the most interesting place to visit in the whole Central Asia.
Bukhara was the capital of the state uniting the lands of Central Asia after Samarkand, which had had its golden age several centuries before, during the rule of Timur. As a result, many of sights of Samarkand degraded or even were destroyed, while the sights of Bukhara, which were built in the following centuries, survived until nowadays, and now are of exceptional interest for tourists.
You will need at least two days to thoroughly look around all of the sights of Bukhara. There are many sights in the center of the town, and, besides, in the suburbs there are 3 more places, which it would be interesting to visit – they are the summer palace of the Bukhara emir Sitorai Mohi Hosa, the necropolises of Baha-ud-Din Naqshband and Chor Bakr.
In the center of the city there are located the architectural complex of Poi Kalyan, Lyab-i Hauz and the Ark Citadel. You`d better go around these three places on foot, as having a walk over the Old Town of Bukhara one can feel the spirit of the ancient orient.
Poi Kalyan architectural complex is a square with mosques and madrasahs on three sides and the famous Kalyan Minaret, also known as the Great Bukhara Minaret. Poi Kalyan is surrounded by covered markets built during 16-17 centuries, as well as the big open market Shakhriston, where you can buy any souvenirs.
The Ark Citadel is the most ancient building in Bukhara, which served a residence for the rulers of Bukhara for several centuries. For that time the fortress was destroyed many times, but now the walls and several buildings within it were restored, so you should enter it and climb the walls.
Pond area of Lyab-i Hauz is an interesting place of Bukhara and especially so in the evening when there come a lot of people to sit around and discuss news or just look up at the stars.
Some other sights, which are also worth visiting, are at significant distance from the center of Bukhara, so you will need to take a taxi. At the Samanids Park it would be interesting to see Samanids Mausoleum and the fortified walls of Bukhara. Within the makhali (residential quarters) around the Lyab-i Hauz you can see one of the landmarks of Bukhara – Chor-Minor Madrasah.
A day would be enough to visit the three important sights, which are outside the town, but it would be worthwhile to use the services of local guides who will drive you around on his motor-car for a whole day. Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Necropolis is at the suburb in the east of Bukhara, Sitorai Mohi Hosa Palace – in the north, and the necropolis of Chor-Bakr – in the east.