Khiva, one of the most important cities in Central Asia, is located on the left bank of the Amu Darya River in the southern part of Khorezm Region. Famed for the UNESCO-listed Ichan Qala, its open air museum, Khiva also boasts a number of fascinating monuments outside its city walls, many of which were built during the time of the Khanate of Khiva, when Khiva was an independent state.

The city of Khiva is very ancient, with a history dating back at least 1,500 years. Legend has it that Shem, son of the Old Testament prophet Noah, founded the city after the great flood, though there is no archaeological evidence to support this.

Khiva is divided into two main parts: the Ichan Qala (the inner city), and the Dishan Qala (the outer city). As a tourist, you are likely to spend most of your time in the Ichan Qala, as this is the UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

There are more than 50 historic monuments within the city walls, plus hundreds of old houses which are still inhabited by local families. One of the most memorable things to do in Khiva is to wander the labyrinth of streets early in the morning, or late in the evening, when it is quiet. It is incredibly atmospheric, and you will have the chance to meet and chat to local people going about their everyday lives.

  • Kalta Minaret
  • City Gates & Walls
  • Khiva Silk Workshop
  • Mausoleum of Makhmud Pahlavan
  • Kunya Ark
  • Islam Khoja Minaret
  • Juma Mosque
  • Nurallabay Palace

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