20 days in Central Asia Itinerary

20 days in Central Asia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central Asia travel planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Almaty, Kazakhstan
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
— 3 nights
Fly
4
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
— 2 nights
Train
7
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
— 3 nights
Fly

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Almaty, Kazakhstan

— 4 nights
Almaty, the former capital, still stands as the country's largest city.
Attractions like Kok-Tobe Hill and Ascension Cathedral make great kid-friendly stops. And it doesn't end there: fly down the slopes at Shymbulak Ski Resort, stroll around First President's Park, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Baiken Mosque, and soak in style at Turkish baths.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Almaty route tool.

Chennai, India to Almaty is an approximately 12-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Chennai to Almaty is 0.5 hours. Expect much colder temperatures when traveling from Chennai in January; daily highs in Almaty reach 0°C and lows reach -10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) early enough to drive to Karakol.

Things to do in Almaty

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 4:

Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Fri): stroll around River Park, relax and rejuvenate at Ak-Suu Hot Spring, explore the striking landscape at Karakol Gorge, then look for gifts at Issyk Kul Brand Shop, then pause for some serene contemplation at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathederal, and finally appreciate the history behind The Monument of Aryk Myrza. Here are some ideas for day two: fly down the slopes at Jyrgalan Valley Trekking/Freeride Skiing.

For other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Karakol online trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Almaty to Karakol takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Bishkek.

Things to do in Karakol

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Winter Sports

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 4 — 6:

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

— 3 nights
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.
Bring the kids along to Spas & Wellness and Osh Bazaar. Spend the 8th (Mon) exploring nature at Ala-Archa Gorge. There's still lots to do: get outside with Kashka-Suu Ski Resort, make a trip to Revolution Militants Square, stroll around Victory Park, and appreciate the history behind Kurmanzhan Datka Statue.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, use the Bishkek trip itinerary planning app.

You can drive from Karakol to Bishkek in 6 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. In February, plan for daily highs up to 0°C, and evening lows to -11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Nur-Sultan.

Things to do in Bishkek

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Shopping
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 9:

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

— 2 nights
First Akmola, then Tselinograd, and now Astana: the city's latest name means "capital," something Astana became in 1998.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Wed): pause for some photo ops at Monument to Khan Kenesary, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Duman Entertainment Centre, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Nur-Astana Mosque, then pause for some photo ops at Bayterek Tower, and finally get engrossed in the history at National Museum of Kazakhstan. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Thu): take in the spiritual surroundings of Hazret Sultan Mosque, buy something for everyone on your list at Khan Shatyr, stroll around City Park, then pause for some photo ops at Monument to the Soldiers of World War II, and finally get great views at Quay Astana.

To find maps, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Nur-Sultan day trip site.

Fly from Bishkek to Nur-Sultan in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In February, Nur-Sultan is little chillier than Bishkek - with highs of -10°C and lows of -21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) so you can travel to Dushanbe.

Things to do in Nur-Sultan

Historic Sites · Shopping · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Feb 9 — 11:

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

— 3 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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Rudaki Park and National Museum of Tajikistan. Explore Dushanbe's surroundings by going to Nurek Dam (in Nurek), Monument The Motherland (in Vahdat) and Ski Tourism Complex Safed Dara (in Tagob). There's lots more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Haji Yaqub Mosque, make a trip to Stele with the Emblem of Tajikistan, and take an in-depth tour of National Museum of Antiquities.

To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Dushanbe trip planning site.

Traveling by flight from Nur-Sultan to Dushanbe takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Nur-Sultan to Dushanbe, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Nur-Sultan in February: high temperatures in Dushanbe hover around 14°C and lows are around 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can go by car to Samarkand.

Things to do in Dushanbe

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 11 — 14:

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

— 2 nights

Rome of the East

Uzbekistan’s most glorious city, Samarkand, offers a fine combination of history and modern urban life.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Mon): don't miss a visit to Registan, then relax and rejuvenate at Marokand Sauna&Spa, and then get curious at Ulugh Beg Observatory. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Tue): stroll the grounds of Gur Emir Mausoleum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Bibi-Khanym Mosque Bibi-Xonum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hazrat Khizr Mosque, pause for some photo ops at Shah-i-Zinda, then delve into the distant past at Afrasiyab Museum, and finally explore the ancient world of Afrasiyab Settlement.

For where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, go to the Samarkand trip maker website.

Getting from Dushanbe to Samarkand by car takes about 6 hours. Other options: take a train. When traveling from Dushanbe in February, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Samarkand: temperatures range from 10°C by day to -1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to travel to Tashkent.

Things to do in Samarkand

Historic Sites · Spas · Baths · Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Feb 14 — 16:

Tashkent, Uzbekistan

— 3 nights

City of Bread

One of the largest and oldest cities in Central Asia, Tashkent combines layers of history and a bustling modern edge.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Wed): take in panoramic vistas at TV Tower, relax and rejuvenate at Silver Rain Spa Salon, then admire the landmark architecture of Khamid Alimdjan, and finally appreciate the history behind World War II Memorial. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: hit the slopes at Chimgon, then get outside with Lake Charvak, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Pulatkhan Plateau.

For maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Tashkent visit planner.

Traveling by train from Samarkand to Tashkent takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Tashkent

Outdoors · Parks · Spas · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 16 — 19: