Bukhara, home to some of Uzbekistan’s most ancient tourist landmarks like the Ark of Bukhara and an array of mosques, madrasas, and mausoleums, presents a wealth of cultural and religious tourism opportunities.
Whilst you might not expect this historical city to offer much at night, you might actually be surprised by the lively nightlife in Bukhara, with its hidden bars in less-promoted locations.
Since nobody likes an evening tipple quite as much as I do, I went on a mission to find the very best bars in Bukhara and came across a number of places to enjoy a drink.
Best Bars in Bukhara
JOY Chaikhana Lounge
Also known as Joy Lounge Bukhara, this restaurant and bar was renovated from the site of a ruined caravanserai, a Silk Road inn or guesthouse where merchants and travelers would rest.
These days it’s a lively restaurant which sells alcohol and plays live music. The kind of place to go with a group for the evening rather than a relaxed quick drink, this is one of the highest rated places to drink in Bukhara. Prepare for some dancing if you’re with a group of Uzbeks or folks from other ex-Soviet nations!
Their menu is a mix of Uzbek and European and they open until midnight.
Andara Restaurant Rooftop Bar
The best rooftop bar in Bukhara is on the roof of Andara Restaurant, just a 10 minute walk from the Nodir Devonbegi Madrasah. Although it’s barely advertised, it’s one of the city’s chicest places to relax with a drink.
With wine, beer, cocktails and spirits, the bar has everything you could hope for plus the same menu as the popular restaurant on the first floor. I only came across this place by mistake as the restaurant was full but I’d happily go back there on my next trip!
Aladdin Lounge Cafe
A quiet enclave for a tea or coffee in the day time, this lounge cafe becomes livelier in the evening with live music from a local band. Popular with locals as well as tourists, it’s a great spot for a spiced tea or a beer whilst experiencing Bukharan music.
Set in Sayfiddin Caravansaray, a historic trading area, you can sit in the central area and join the fun, or relax in safety and enjoy a beer from the upper deck. Guess which one I did..
More of a restaurant than a bar, this beautiful courtyard setting is probably the most picturesque of all of the places to get food and drink in Bukhara. Set across two floors, this place’s characteristics include stone arches, white drapes, and centerpiece courtyard tree growing through the floor of the restaurant.
The food was good but not outstanding – it’s better to visit to enjoy a couple of drinks in this ambient setting. They also have a live singer who sings a mix of opera and more traditional music.
Related Post: Top Places to Eat in Bukhara
Restaurant Old Barn
More of an underground beer tavern than an actual restaurant this place is the best place to go for a quiet beer and some snacks. In Uzbekistan, beer snacks include options like dried fish and salted nuts and seeds, which you can sample here.
A quiet but friendly place when I visited, this bar had many solo travelers pop in and out for a swift, cheap beer. Located on a backstreet just a five minute walk from central Lyab-i Hauz, Restaurant Old Barn is a bargain place to enjoy a drink. Two beers and a plate of salted pistachios cost only 50,000 Som (about $4).
Beer is the main drink here but they also have a small choice of wines and spirits.
Planning a trip to Bukhara? Read our guide on the best areas to stay in Bukhara.
Wyndham Hotel Bar
Not that I started this website to promote multinational corporations…but the bar in the Wyndham hotel lounge is the best place to go for an extensive choice of cocktails, spirits, and wines that you can’t find elsewhere.
The lounge is certainly modern and comfortable but offers no authentic Bukhara experience. Still, if you need some pampering after a long day walking around the Old City, it’s the place to go for a cocktail in a stylish setting.
It’s 5 minute taxi or a 15 minute walk from the Old Town.
Although scattered around the city and not always advertised, Bukhara’s nightlife might surprise you. From lively chayxonas and tavern style beer joints to stylish rooftop bars and upmarket cocktail bars, there’s something for everybody.
Read more about travel in Bukhara with our guide of things to do and places to visit.