Bukhara Shopping Tour, Bukhara

Bukhara Shopping Tour (Self Guided), Bukhara

Bukhara, “a jewel of the Silk Road”, has been a commercial city since ancient times. Shopping here can still be a memorable experience for those keen to immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of Central Asian trade.

Bazaars are the heartbeats of Bukhara. Historically, these domed venues were located at crossroads, to facilitate passing commerce, and dealt in a variety of goods. There, you could find jewelry and precious stones, as well as gold, silver, and copper coins minted right on the spot. The Toki Zargaron market, whose name translates from Persian as the “Dome of Jewelers”, was one such place. And if you needed to change currency, Toki Sarrofon (Money Changers' Dome) was the place to go. Presently, both these markets specialize in jewelry, as well as antiques, souvenirs, books, carpets, and more.

Bukhara has a long-standing tradition of craftsmanship: embroidered suzanis (decorative textiles), carpets, hand-painted ceramics, and woodwork. The Bukhara Artisan Development Center is a place that promotes and preserves national crafts and provides support to local artisans.

Uzbekistan has a rich history of silk production, and Bukhara is renowned for its high-quality silk items. The historic Tim Abdulla Khan, once a prominent center for silk and textile merchants, today serves as a bustling shopping area where you can find a wide choice of textiles, including silk scarves, and traditional Uzbek clothing.

Just as anywhere else in the East, in Bukhara the “currency of connection” and haggling unlocks the true value of each purchase. Bargaining is a common practice here, so feel free to negotiate the price, but always remember to do it in a respectful and friendly manner.

Bazaars of Bukhara are not just places to buy goods but are windows into the soul of the local culture, where traditions and stories are woven into every thread and trinket. The true art of shopping, they say, is about discovering such hidden stories. If you wish to explore the labyrinths of Bukhara's markets and, perhaps, make some purchases fit to become a memory etched in time, embark on this self-guided walk.
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Bukhara Shopping Tour Map

Guide Name: Bukhara Shopping Tour
Guide Location: Uzbekistan » Bukhara (See other walking tours in Bukhara)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 Km or 0.4 Miles
Author: rose
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Bukhara Artisan Development Center
  • Toki-Sarrafon
  • Toki-Telpak Furushon
  • Tim Abdulla Khan
  • Toki Zargaron
Bukhara Artisan Development Center

1) Bukhara Artisan Development Center

Located in the historical city of Bukhara, the Bukhara Artisan Development Center is a thriving hub that celebrates and preserves the rich cultural and artistic traditions of this Central Asian region. This center serves as a critical focal point for the exploration and revitalization of Bukhara's world-renowned crafts, such as carpet weaving, gold embroidery, ceramics, and wood carving.

The center offers immersive experiences for tourists and visitors who are keen to understand and appreciate the local art scene. Visitors can explore the vast array of handicrafts, observe artisans at work, or even participate in hands-on workshops to experience the making of these crafts first-hand.

Overall, the Bukhara Artisan Development Center serves not only as a hub for local artisans to showcase and sell their work, but it also plays a critical role in preserving and promoting the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Bukhara.

2) Toki-Sarrafon

Toki-Sarrafon, located in the heart of the historic city of Bukhara, Uzbekistan, is an age-old marketplace renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and rich history. This significant architectural and cultural site reflects the city's bustling trading past, back when Bukhara was a key city along the Silk Road.

The name Toki-Sarrafon translates to "Dome of the Money Changers," harking back to the market's historical role as a hub for currency exchange. This bustling marketplace was filled with merchants and traders exchanging various currencies and precious metals, providing a critical financial service in the city frequented by caravans from all corners of Asia.

Today, Toki-Sarrafon is one of several dome-covered bazaars in Bukhara that continue to preserve the traditional commercial spirit of the city. It houses a variety of stalls selling a range of local goods, from traditional textiles and ceramics to unique handicrafts and spices.

The structure itself, featuring brickwork domes and intricate arches, offers a compelling example of the region's historic architectural style. Its domed ceiling is not just a striking visual feature but also serves a practical purpose by providing shade and cooler temperatures for merchants and shoppers, a crucial adaptation to Bukhara's arid climate.
Toki-Telpak Furushon

3) Toki-Telpak Furushon

Toki-Telpak Furushon is an integral piece of the city's vibrant tapestry of traditional crafts and markets. This dome-covered bazaar is steeped in history and has been a hive of commercial activity since the days when Bukhara was a bustling hub on the Silk Road.

The name "Toki-Telpak Furushon" translates to "Dome of the Cap Makers," signifying the market's historical specialization. In the past, this bazaar was primarily dedicated to the trading of headwear, including the traditional "telpak," a type of sheepskin hat. These caps were not just articles of clothing, but they also represented the wearer's social status and origin.

Today, Toki-Telpak Furushon continues to be a vital part of Bukhara's market culture. While the trading of caps still occurs, the market has diversified over time, and vendors now sell an array of locally made goods, including other types of textiles, ceramics, jewelry, and various handicrafts.

Architecturally, Toki-Telpak Furushon is a beautiful representation of Bukharan design. Its distinctive domed structure, made from ornate bricks and detailed archways, offers a cool respite from the hot sun, while providing a charming and historically rich environment for commerce.
Tim Abdulla Khan

4) Tim Abdulla Khan

Tim Abdulla Khan is an exquisite representation of the region's vibrant trade history and distinctive architectural tradition. This covered bazaar, constructed in the 16th century during the reign of Abdulla-Khan II, was once a bustling hub for the trade of luxurious goods, especially silk and wool, and other crafts from the city and beyond.

The name 'Tim' was commonly used across Central Asia to refer to a particular type of trading dome or market. 'Tim Abdulla Khan' thus stands as a testament to the commercial grandeur of Abdulla Khan's reign and the important role Bukhara played as a key trading center along the Silk Road.

The structure of Tim Abdulla Khan is a magnificent example of Bukhara's traditional architectural style. It boasts a spacious central hall topped with a stunning dome, surrounded by a multitude of smaller trade stalls. Each section of the building is adorned with beautifully crafted arches, intricate tile work, and elaborate wooden carvings.

Today, while no longer functioning as a principal commercial center, Tim Abdulla Khan still houses a variety of shops and stalls where tourists can purchase traditional Uzbek handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs. It also often hosts exhibitions and cultural events, turning it into a vibrant cultural hub for locals and tourists alike.
Toki Zargaron

5) Toki Zargaron

Toki Zargaron is one of the city's most famous trading domes, showcasing the area's rich history and legacy of skilled craftsmanship. Its name, which translates to "Dome of the Jewelers," reflects its past function as a bustling marketplace for goldsmiths and jewelers in the heyday of the Silk Road.

Established in the 16th century, Toki Zargaron was the first of several similar marketplaces constructed under the rule of the Shaybanids, a dynasty instrumental in reviving Bukhara's status as a major commercial center. The market catered to both local customers and traders from distant lands, who were drawn to the exceptional craftsmanship and the array of precious gems and metals on offer.

The structure itself is a magnificent example of Bukhara's distinct architectural style, with its impressive dome and intricate brickwork, making it not only a place of commerce but also an important cultural landmark. The design, while visually appealing, also serves practical purposes, offering protection from the elements and a cool refuge from the summer heat.

Today, Toki Zargaron remains an active hub for trade, particularly for traditional jewelry, gold embroidery, miniature paintings, and other local crafts. While some of the original shops have been preserved, many have been repurposed to cater to the demands of the modern market, ensuring the ongoing vitality of this historic marketplace.

Walking Tours in Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Create Your Own Walk in Bukhara

Create Your Own Walk in Bukhara

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bukhara is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bukhara Introduction Walking Tour

Bukhara Introduction Walking Tour

Alexander the Great reportedly stated that "a carpet from Bukhara is worth a kingdom!" One and a half millennia after him, Ibn Battuta, a 14th-century Moroccan traveler, described this splendid city as "a meeting place of the nations and a market of the world."

Centuries on, the pearl of modern-day Uzbekistan, Bukhara, is still very much the place capable of leaving a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles