July 28, 2014

What to Expect When You Visit Kyrgyzstan’s Capital City

E7874-Bishkek-Philharmonic

Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan and the country’s largest city, housing nearly a million people.  It’s located in northern Kyrgyzstan, just an hour’s drive from the Kazakh border.  Kyrgyzstan’s capital is laid out in a grid-like pattern on level ground, but is bordered by snowcapped mountains to the south.   The city itself is quite green and has a laid-back atmosphere.

Russian is the main language spoken in Bishkek, but you will hear some Kyrgyz as well.  As far as set up and architecture the city has a very Soviet feel; buildings are blocky, concrete, and utilitarian. Although the architecture may leave something to be desired, Bishkek is actually a very friendly city with some interesting places to check out.

Here are some places to see and things to know while traveling in Bishkek.DOS_6878009

THINGS TO SEE IN BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN

  • Dordoi Bazaar: Dordoi is the mother of all bazaars in Kyrgyzstan!  It is so huge that maps are printed of it to help people navigate their way through the thousands and thousands of double stacked shipping containers that make up the bazaar.  This is the place to buy items cheap as everything is sold wholesale, but be prepared to spend a day or two if you want to do some serious shopping.
  • Ala Too Square:  Ala Too is the main square located within Kyrgyzstan’s capital.   National celebrations are often held here and the square is bordered by various well-groomed parks, quaint little shops, and even an outdoor gallery where you can buy artwork depicting scenery and life in Kyrgyzstan.kartinki24_sity_0017
  • The Historical Museum: This is one of the most famous museums in Kyrgyzstan, located next to Ala Too Square.  It contains thousands of items ranging from artifacts from the Bronze Age to Soviet Era statues.  A unique aspect of this museum is that the ceilings are completely covered in murals.
  • Restaurants: Wherever you go in Bishkek, you’ll never lack for a good place to eat.  Most restaurants serve a combination of Kyrgyz and Russian cuisine, but there are some ethnic restaurants scattered throughout the city as well mainly including Turkish, Lebanese, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.  There’s even a place that serves authentic Italian pizza!  (While Kyrgyzstan is a majority Muslim country, it was also heavily influenced by the Soviets, so bars are commonplace throughout the city.)

 

IMG_2833

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan provides you with a couple different options: taxis, “marshrutkas,” trolleybuses, and regular buses.  Taxis are the most expensive, albeit convenient, form of transportation in Bishkek.  However, even as the most expensive form of transport, it only costs a few dollars go get around the city. You can often hail a taxi driver from the street or call a taxi service if you prefer.  Marshrutkas are routed minibuses that zip around the city.  You just figure out which one you need, hail it whenever it see driving by, and jump on.  Trolleybuses and regular buses only stop at bus stops throughout Bishkek, are slower than a taxi or marshrutka, and are the cheapest of all public transport.

CRIME

IMG_6465

Bishkek has an extremely low crime rate.  Very few people own guns and seldom do you hear of violent crime.  Nevertheless, there are a few precautions you should take while traveling around Bishkek.  Never carry your money, documents, or phone on your person in such a way that they could be easily picked.  Be especially diligent of this in crowded bazaars and on public transportation.  Since the city also has poor lighting at night, it’s recommended that ladies especially not walk around alone after dark.

So as you’re traveling through Kyrgyzstan, take some time to check out the capital city.  There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses for travelers with different budgetary needs and the people are friendly and hospitable.  It’s a great place to start your journey through this Central Asian paradise.

Photo from source: www.mountpix.livejournal.com

1 day

Sightseeing trip to Bishkek

Bishkek is Kyrgyzstan’s capital city, located in the Chuy Valley to the north of the country. It’s also by far the largest city in Kyrgyzstan silk road with a population of over 1 million. S ...

From 
$40
Price from 40 USD to 80 USD per person (the price depends on a group size). The price 40 USD per person is available for groups of 6 people.
More info
1 day

Ala Archa Gorge: one-day trip

Ala Archa is a gorgeous national park that contains 20 glaciers, over 50 mountain peaks, 2 rivers, waterfalls, and springs. It stretches over 2,200 hectares and contains elevations ranging f ...

From 
$40
Price from 50 USD to 100 USD per person (the price depends on a group size). The price 50 USD per person is available for groups of 6 people.
More info
8 days
Fixed dates
i
Fixed dates for 2020:
06/07/2020 - 06/14/2020
06/21/2020 - 06/28/2020
07/26/2020 - 08/02/2020
08/16/2020 - 08/23/2020
08/30/2020 - 09/06/2020

Nomadic Culture & History Tour 2020

This week-long trip ensures travelers a wide variety of experiences during their stay in Kyrgyzstan. Start out by visiting the country’s most popular national park and continue on to see anc ...

From 
$995
The tour price is 995 USD.
More info
7 days

Motorcycle Touring in Kyrgyzstan

Join us for an adrenaline-packed Enduro adventure through Kyrgyztan’s rugged mountain terrain. Riding through Kyrgyzstan's thinly populated landscape will make you realize that the middle of ...

From 
1750
The price depends on a group size. The price 1750 EUR per person is available for groups of 6 people.
More info
10 days
Guaranteed!
i
Fixed dates for 2020:
07/13/2020 - 07/22/2020
08/10/2020 - 08/19/2020

Classic Kyrgyzstan 2020

The Pearls of Kyrgyzstan are hidden high in the Pamir and Tien-Shan Mountains and guarded from curious eyes by powerful snow-covered walls.   We invite you to have a look at high-altitude ...

From 
$1135
The tour price is 1135 USD. The price doesn't depend on the amount of people in a group. The tour will be fulfilled even if only one person buy it.
More info
5 days
Fixed dates
i
Fixed dates for 2020:
07/22/2020 - 07/26/2020
08/14/2020 - 08/18/2020

Festivals of Kyrgyz Culture 2020

Kyrgyzstan is a small mountainous country in Central Asia where mountains cover 93% of the landscape. People have been inhabiting the mountains of Kyrgyzstan silk road for thousands of years ...

From 
$880
The price depends on a group size. The price 880 USD per person is available for groups of 2 people.
More info
6 days
Fixed dates
i
Fixed dates for 2020:
07/10/2020 - 07/15/2020
07/28/2020 - 08/02/2020
08/13/2020 - 08/18/2020
08/19/2020 - 08/24/2020

Horseback Riding to Lake Song Kul 2020

Over many years the horses help shepherds to move their houses (Yurts) over the passes to the alpine pastures. A horse is considered to be an integral part of the life of the nomadic people. ...

From 
$1028
Price from 1028 USD per person (the price depends on a group size). The price 1028 USD per person is available for groups of 4 people.
More info
18 days
Guaranteed!
i
Fixed dates for 2020:
07/03/2020 - 07/20/2020

Mountain Bike Tour in Kyrgyzstan 2020

This tour of almost 850 km is meant for very experienced riders in good physical condition. Tianshan mountains passes, bad tracks, off-road, and stiff climbs going over 3,000m characterize t ...

From 
1490
The price depends on a group size. The price 1495 EUR per person is available for groups of 4 people.
More info
10 days

Unique Tours in Kyrgyzstan silk road: A Yoga Mountain Vacation

Escape the daily stresses and pressures of life for a relaxing yoga vacation in the mountains of nomadic Kyrgyzstan. Not only will you practice yoga every day, but you will also be able to v ...

From 
$1480
The price depends on a group size. The price 1480 USD per person is available for groups of 3-10 people.
More info
14 days
Guaranteed!
i
Fixed dates for 2020:
07/16/2020 - 07/29/2020

Pamir Expedition in Kyrgyzstan

The trekking program is created for those, who want to see the amazing nature of Kyrgyzstan. It goes in the Pamir mountain system through various landscapes. We trek along the gorges of Turk ...

From 
$2120
The tour price is 2120 USD. The price doesn't depend on the amount of people in a group. The tour will be fulfilled even if only one person buy it.
More info
2 days

Mountain Climbing – “Advance Climb” Program

Great two-days tour programs for those, who want to try alpinism in Kyrgyzstan and increase rock climbing qualifications. We offer you three different programs near Ala-Archa gorge with the ...

From 
$330
The tour price is 330 USD. The price doesn't depend on the amount of people in a group. The tour will be fulfilled even if only one person buy it.
More info
8 days

Cultural Tourism in Kyrgyzstan - Culinary Tour

The Kyrgyz Republic is a multinational and multicultural country. Over 80 nations and ethnic groups live here, they differ in number, language, religion, and culture: Uzbeks, Tajiks, Russian ...

From 
$1550
The tour price is 1550 USD.
More info