Getting in and out of Bukhara
Bukhara is well-connected with the rest of Uzbekistan by comfortable train. Only Khiva and Nukus are not yet linked to Bukhara by rail (a line is under construction) – it pays to think about a plan to avoid a long road transfer.
A good option to do it all by train and maximize sightseeing time is to take the slow night train from Tashkent to Bukhara, backtrack to Samarkand (or Navoiy) by fast train, then take a night train west again to Urgench (Khiva) or Nukus.
More details on the Uzbek train page.
The train station goes by the name Kagan, and is situated at a 10-minute drive east from the old town. Take marshrutka #268 from Lyabi Hauz or #262 from the modern city center (there are others). A taxi would cost around 12 000 sum.
Watch out if you understand Russian: Vokzal now also refers to a bus stand where the train station used to be, in the center of town.
Buying train tickets
Bus & shared taxi
3 different bus stations/taxi stands exist. The northern, central bus station on Gijduvon street, north of town (OSM / Gmaps) serves Tashkent (8h, 60 000 sum) and Samarkand (4h, 30 000 sum). Bus #70 and #77 serve the bus station from the northern end of the intersection of Naqshbandi and Karimov (Nisomi) str. in front of school #4.
Karvon Bazor (OSM / Gmaps), on the roundabout further up from Gijduvon street, serves Urgench (6h, 70 000 sum). The Sharq stand near the airport on the corner of Naqshband and G’uzor streets (OSM / Gmaps) serves Shahrisabz (5h) and Qarshi (2h).
Time estimates are pretty accurate. Prices are estimated on the low side – you might pay more.
Uzbek Airways has regular flights to Tashkent (1h10, ~60$, daily), Ferghana (2h, ~60$, weekly) , Moscow (4h, 3/week) and St-Petersburg (5h, weekly).
Buying plane tickets can be done in town, at the train tickets kassa, as well as at numerous other travel agents.
Bus #1 and #100 ferry passengers between the city center and the airport. A taxi costs 12 000 sum and takes 10 minutes.
The airport is small and has no amenities outside of a paltry food selection.
A new railroad connecting Bukhara and Urgench, near Khiva, is under construction. Until that time, the only direct way to get there is by road. Shared taxis take 6h, a seat costs ~70 000 sum.
The fast train (~45000 sum) brings you in 2 comfortable hours to Samarkand. If you miss it, you can get on the 4-hour slow train (~35000 sum) or take a shared taxi (4h – 30 000 sum) or bus.
The fast train takes 4 hours to get to Tashkent (~90 000 sum), while a slower one takes 6 hours (~70 000 sum). An even slower, overnight train takes 8 hours (~50 000 sum). Less attractive options are a bus (10h, 40 000 sum), shared taxi (8h, 60 000 sum) or airplane (1h10, ~60$).
A taxi is the only way to get to the border with Turkmenistan, where you will need to take another taxi once you have crossed. See our notes on the Farap – Alat border crossing for details.
Getting to Dushanbe via Denau takes time. There is little direct transport to Denau (6h). Find out ahead of time if a shared taxi from the Sharq stand is an option.
Alternatively, taxi-hop via Boysun and Qarshi. The checkpoint at the ancient Iron Gates, just beyond Derbent, is a good place to get an onward taxi. Note that your registration will be checked here.
Walking is the best way to get around the small old city core of Bukhara. From the old city to the surrounding new city is a 10-minute walk as well. You only need a taxi or bus if you have some specific business to attend to in the city, or to get out of Bukhara.
The train station, airport and bus and taxi stands are all located outside of Bukhara and you will need some form of transport to get there.
You might also want to take a bus or taxi to get to the attractions surrounding Bukhara: Sitorai Makhi Khosa, Vabkent minaret, mausoleum of Bakhauddin Naqshbandi, Gijduvon and the Chor Bakr Necropolis.
Taxis for small distances around town cost anywhere between 2000 sum (nearby) and 8000 sum (far away). To get to any of the attractions mentioned above, see the articles, or ask your hotel what it should cost. It makes sense to combine some or all of them in a day tour: 40$ for a full day sounds reasonable. Haggle hard, especially with the spoiled drivers around the Lyabi Hauz.
Buses run from from 7 to 18. The price is 700 sum and 1500 sum for long distances.