No matter how good the guidebook, having a local person show you around Khiva can add a new dimension to your experience and provides a great way of supporting the local economy. Uzbek, Russian or English speaking guides are the most common but there are also one or two who know French and German.

The Guides vary in how well they speak English or which ever language they are giving tours in, and also in the quality of the tour. If you arrange a guide through a Bed and Breakfast or through the tourist center, feel free to decline a tour if you are not happy with the standard of English. There are also some excellent guides. Guides can give you insights that Guidebooks cannot and take you off the beaten track to explore other parts of Khiva and Khorezm.

Many of the guides take commissions from shop-keepers and craft workshops. So, if your guide insists on taking you to the ‘best woodcarvers in Khorezm’ they may simply be the ones who pay the largest commission to guides. Shop around yourself for the best buys.

If you find a good guide, books, magazines or newspapers make wonderful parting gifts and are a great way of helping guides practice their English.

Guides are also able to help you arrange transport to other cities or take you on day trips to places like Kunya Urgench, Nukus, the desert kalas or Moynak (see Day Trips section).

Tour Links
'Hotel Arkanchi'
'Ota Darvasa'
'Okh Mosque'
'Zindan Jail'
'Juma Mosque'
Guidebook Links
'Day Trips'