After three nights in Khiva, we headed to Bukhara, a city in the Bukhara Region. The journey from Khiva to Bukhara was made by rail over a distance of approximately 430 km.
Train from Khiva to Bukhara
Bukhara is the capital of Bukhara Oblast and has a population of approximately 230,000. An ancient city that flourished as an oasis in the desert, its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The distance from Khiva to Bukhara is approximately 430 km; we decided to take the train. Last time we travelled from Tashkent to Nukus in a first-class sleeper, but this time we are travelling in second-class sleeping compartment. The train departs from Khiva at 9:12 am and arrives in Bukhara at 4:17 pm.
As of July 2023, when we travelled, some trains to Bukhara depart at 5pm, which seems to be more popular. Presumably, trains are less popular during the day. It’s probably because there is no air conditioning and the temperature is 40C plus during July.
Second-class sleeping cars also do not have air conditioning. The maximum temperature these days is something like 48 degrees Celsius. We knew it would be hot in the train during the daytime, but anyway we booked sleeper beds online.
You can download the Uzbekistan Railways app and buy tickets from there. A second-class sleeper from Khiva to Bukhara cost 133,920 som per bed.
Getting to Khiva railway station
We were staying in the old town of Khiva, which is about a 15-minute walk to Khiva railway station. We left the hotel at 8:15am, to be there in plenty of time.
At this time of year, it is hot during the day, but the mornings and evenings are pleasant, so we decided to walk to the station. We walked straight out of the east gate of the old town. A new road has just been built and it is an easy walk.
Walking straight out of the east gate of the old town, we saw the railway station building. It was a brand new station building. Until a few years ago, the train only came to Urgench, so you had to travel from Urgench to Khiva by another means of transport. Now the train stops in Khiva, so it is easier to access.
Getting on the train at Khiva railway station
We arrived at Khiva railway station at around 8:30am. Enter through the entrance on the left hand side towards the station. Present your ticket to the staff and scan your luggage. Once inside the premises, go to the station waiting room and wait for the ticket gate to open.
When an announcement was made and other passengers started moving, the ticket gate opened. We moved to the platform and boarded according to the carriage number on our ticket.
There was a conductor in front of each carriage, so we showed our ticket and confirmed the carriage number before boarding.
Our second-class sleeping compartments had four beds each. The compartments were lined up in a narrow aisle and the bed numbers were displayed. As it seemed to be a less popular train, most of the people on our carriage other than us were foreigners, with a few local Uzbeks. There were also some empty beds.
There were tea bags and sugar cubes on the table. Drinking water, sheets, pillowcases and hand towels were given out after the train started moving.
The carriages also have toilets, but they are locked and cannot be used while the train is stopped at a station.
Train journey from Khiva to Bukhara
The train left Khiva station on time at 9:12 am. After driving through the city, and then between rice paddies and fields, the train first arrived at the town of Urgench. The train stopped here for 20 minutes. Passengers boarded the train.
After a short time out of Urgench, the train entered the desert. It is quite hot without air-conditioning under the hot sun. The upper quarter of the windows can be opened, but the aisle window was closed because of the dust and sand coming in.
After a few hours in the desert, we saw the ground getting covered with green and a few shrubs here and there. This was the sign of getting closer to the town.
Arrival in Bukhara
We arrived in Bukhara at 4:10pm, ahead of schedule!
Bukhara railway station is about 12 km from the city centre. There are many taxi drivers touting around the railway station exit, but they normally overcharge.
We hailed a taxi on the app Yandex to take us to our booked hotel, which cost 19,000 som.