Khiva awakes from its ruins like a phoenix awakened from ashes. Genghis Khan destroyed this city in 1220, but he could not destroy the culture and spirit of the people of this city. There are so many things to do in Khiva, with more than 50 sites you could visit. This ancient city was the center of the northern branch of the Great Silk Road, and now it is part of UNESCO.
Is Khiva worth a visit?
If you love history and ancient monuments, you will love Khiva. A place once considered one of the foremost educational and cultural centers of Uzbekistan and the Silk Road. After visiting Uzbekistan cities like Bukhara, Samarkand, and Tashkent, it’s good to spend some time in Khiva because this city is in the UNESCO heritage. We have introduced the best things to do in Khiva down blow, so please stay with us until the end of this article.
Wander around the ancient town. In the 19th century, Khiva had two parts: Itchan Kala (inner city) and Dishan Kala (outer city). Still, there are so many undamaged monuments left from back then. In the past, khans (Rulers), officials, and rich people stayed in this part of the city. Ordinary people lived in Dishan kala. High walls that were restored during different eras surround Itchan Kala. Maybe these walls remind you of the walls of Shiganshina city in the Attack on Titan anime.
Nowadays, Itchan kala is an open-air museum that is open 24/7. It is up to you to visit the museum either early in the morning or late at night. Keep in mind that historical places, Museums, etc., are only open between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
We recommend you go out late at night to see stars in the beautiful clear sky. In addition, the best time to visit attractions in Khiva is morning and noon when there is mild weather with sunlight that shines gently.
Friday Mosque (Juma Mosque)
In the center of the Itchan Kala is one of the best mosques in the Khiva, built of wood rather than brick. Juma mosque has an extensive roof supported by the famous timber black elm columns. Some of the wooden pillars are 1000 years old. It has a unique design because it does not have a window.
As you can see, the famous minaret is far away, and Juma mosque is located on Palvan Qari Street in the old town. The entrance is next to the minaret. You just need 15 minutes to walk through these columns and the entire mosque. Juma is the biggest mosque in Khiva.
Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum
Locals know him by the name Pouryā-ye Vali, the Persian wrestler and poet with a story full of heroism. It is a very crowded place to see in Khiva, but it’s worth visiting due to its tales.
When walking through Islam Khoja Street, you will see a bright and shiny blue dome of this mausoleum where the great khans and the Pakhlavan of this border are resting in peace.
Asfandiyar Khan (1871-1918), Abulgazi-khan (1603-1664), Seybanid Anush-khan (1645-1681), Mohammad Rahim Khan (1775-1825), and Alla Kuli Khan (1793-1842) are buried here. It’s worth paying the entry fee. Remember that you have to pay extra for taking pictures and using the toilet.
One of the must things to do in Khiva is to explore Citadel Kunya-ark. Perhaps this is the most important thing to do in Khiva, a journey into the life of Khan in the 12th century. The self-guided tour includes the summer mosque, reception, throne room, winter mosque, and meeting hall. Currently, the winter mosque is a museum of archaeology.
This old ark ruins by Persians in the 19th century, so everything you see here is from after the 19th century. You will love walking through the rooms and the summer palace. Every tile of this building has something to say, and art is hidden behind them. Tilework is magnificent work of art.
Stone Palace (Tash Khali)
Here is a palace where the ruler of Khiva and his wives lived. It was a harem. Many master builders lost their heads during the construction of this building. Tash Khali took about eight years to build, but it was worth the wait because this building is now one of the most attractive sights of Khiva.
Like all other buildings in this beautiful city, this building is a combination of tiling and wooden materials. Visiting this place may be attractive for women because they learn more about the lives of the women of the Khans of Khiva at that time.
The Best Place for History Lovers
The sights of Khiva are rooted in the history of Uzbekistan. A quieter city than Samarkand and Tashkent, but with a rich culture and attractive Islamic architecture. Some say it reminds you of Disneyland, but everything is derived from Muslim culture, where everything is tiled, and the blue color plays a prominent role in it.
Are you planning to travel to Uzbekistan? Check out our Uzbekistan tour.