Bishkek Travel Guide

  • Soviet style (Tsum department store).
    Soviet style (Tsum department store).
    by mp4411
  • Bishkek architecture
    Bishkek architecture
    by mp4411
  • Tsum department store, Bishkek
    Tsum department store, Bishkek
    by mp4411

Bishkek Highlights

  • Pro
    Upstate1NY profile photo

    Upstate1NY says…

     becareful what you assume, that whiich you see may not be what you think, and then again,... 

  • Con
    lotharlerch profile photo

    lotharlerch says…

     no real "City -Feeling" 

  • In a nutshell
    Greatwalk0 profile photo

    Greatwalk0 says…

     Should be visited by Soviet buffs and others interested in trekking off the beaten path. 

Bishkek Things to Do

  • Always bring small notes with you.

    If you visit bazaars, remember that many dealers will have problems giving you change. I recommend that you have a bundle with 20,50 and 100 som notes. It also makes it easier to bargain.Forget about the 1,5 and 10 notes. They have been replaced by coins but you can still encounter som rags that are still valid. The coins 1,3,5 and 10 soms are...

    more
  • Osh Bazaar

    It is Always an experience to stroll around at markets and bazaars. Here there are food stalls, clothes, cutlery and you name it!If you like horse meat they have lots of stalls inside a big Concrete bunker in the middle of the area.

    more
  • STATE OPERA AND BALLET THEATRE

    Nice classical buildingMany interesting activities offered from local and foreign artists.Performances start at 17h, at the cost of $2

    more
  • KYRGYZ STATE HISTORICAL MUSEUM

    A large part of the museum is still a Lenin exhibition, most of the time translated in english.an aspect of recent history.

    more
  • Dordoi bazar (tolchok)

    the largest market in bishkek, maybe in central asia.almost 100% chinese products, in transit, to other central asian countries.about 15000 shops, unique shopping center.

    more
  • BIG BAZARS

    Bishkek has three interesting bazars.Famous Osh bazar on the west side of central bishkek along the river, full of fruits and vegetables

    more

Bishkek Hotels

See all 10 Hotels in Bishkek

Bishkek Restaurants

  • Quick food!

    I got hungry after an hour at the Tsum store and grabbed a bite. The logotype was in some way familiar. But not the taste. A cheeseburger and a coffe. Not delicious but OK. You get what you pay for and I paid less than 100 som.

    more
  • If you miss the US!

    I Think the Place is overrated. It is just like any other joint in the west except for all Pictures of Barack Obama.

    more
  • THE ORIGINAL

    It’s true! Many people suspected Obama was born outside of the United States. Yes, this excellent restaurant was born around 2009. It started as just a bar and I can assure you the bar is still alive and well just as you walk in. It has now grown to become a Bar & Grill and have even opened Obama 2. The restaurant has a nice décor, comfortable...

    more
  • BIG BREAKFASTS AND/OR BEER

    Fancy a ‘Full Monty’ breakfast? Also known as a ‘Fry Up’ you are looking at a full English Breakfast – Kyrgyz style. Fatboys is a now traditional ex-pat hangout for breakfast, lunch and early evening meals and beer. Fatboys was created in 2000 by Mike Atsoparthis. He has an interesting story himself. He has a Greek father, Welsh-Irish mother and...

    more
  • WORLD FAMOUS?

    KFCYes its the world famous Kyrgyzstan Flavored Chicken! This little hut sells standard fast food meals - chicken and beef burgers. You can get a quick meal with french fries and a drink for 125 Som (about $3). They advertise that the have "The best burger in Kyrgyzstan". I didn't eat here, but I am sure it tastes great after a night of drinking....

    more
  • DAO EXCLUSIVE REPORT !

    This place is so new – it’s not even on their own website yet! Yes. It’s a DAO exclusive. I stumbled – literally due to the snow – into the new 2nd location of Obama. This place gets my vote and you will not have to fork over most of your savings like you have to do with the real Obama. In fact for the quality and service, the real one could learn...

    more

Bishkek Nightlife

  • A PUB WITH PROPELLERS

    I actually walked past this establishment several times. Unlike many of its newer competitors, the Metro is an old and favourite 'haunt' of ex-pats. In fact its a gothic pre-Soviet heirloom of a place that was recently renovated, so I read. Your open a heavy wooden door in to a dimly lit cavernous interior. There are massive interior columns across...

    more
  • Three of the best, plus a handy Bishkek...

    We spent a week in Bishkek in Autumn 2009, going out drinking almost every night. There is an English language magazine that we found very useful and guided us to inumm,erable bars, restaurants and clubs (they have a website at http://www.thespektator.co.uk). Our favourite CLubs were:The Golden Bull - always busy, beer for about 2 dollars, friendly...

    more
  • Party 'til the break of dawn

    Well, there are more than a few clubs where you can party till the wee hours, but this one of my favs. It's smaller than some of the others, so you walk around and mingle better. Drinks are pretty cheap by American standards. But do as the locals do, drink vodka...straight up. The more American you look, the better off you are. But they don't have...

    more
  • Drinking and eating.

    The American Pub is a nice place, with friendly, english-speaking staff. The Pizza here is the best in town, if not Central Asia. Maybe best suited for larger groups, since the place has mostly large tables, but you could allways sit by the bar. Informal/casual.

    more
  • Going out

    Zeppelin is a good kilometre or two away from the TSUM-area, on Chuy prosp. It is a rock-bar, serving cheap beer and booze. I was here only once, my last night in Bishkek, and regretted thad I hadnt checked it out earlier. They showed some 70`s rock-videos on a big-screen, and i seem to recall a pool-table there! I think they have live-music there...

    more
  • Going out

    2x2 is a classy hangout for expats and local upper-class, with a cosmopolitan feel to it. It is a bar with a relaxed atmosphere, serving drinks and imported beer. Also a variety of coffee-drinks I believe. Expensive! T-shirts and jeans were allowed, but it wouldnt harm to dress a little more smart I guess.

    more

Bishkek Transportation

  • MARCHRUTKA TO AIRPORT

    DURING DAY TIME ITI IS VERY EASY AND CHEAP TO GET TO THE AIRPORT.NEAR OSH BAZAR, MINI BUS (MARCHRUTKA) NR.380 WILL BRING YOU TO THE AIRPORT ABOUT 50 SOM.

    more
  • Learn a few language basics...and buy a...

    The mini-buses (mar-shoot-ka's) are the best option most of the time. They have fixed routes and usually the price is 5 som (unless it's to a special destination like the market at Dordoi). When you get on one of these mini-buses be advised that it could be empty or completely packed solid. If it is the latter, then even if you know where you want...

    more
  • Every car a taxi

    A convenient sorts of "public" transport are virtually all cars circulating around. If you see a car with only the driver in it just stretch out your arm and in 90 % of the cases he will stop and bring you for 50 Som (about 1 USD) to every place in Bishkek. If you want to go further (for example to Almaty, if you have the Kazakh visa) you should...

    more

Bishkek Shopping

  • SOUVENIRS, OMO AND FOOD

    Beta Stores is a massive Turkish-owned supermarket and department store. They also sell souvenirs, have a good restaurant and sell OMO. OK, you now want to know what OMO is. It’s the best washing powder for clothes in the world. If you need to wash clothes, this stuff must have special chemicals to get clothes as white as they do. On the ground...

    more
  • THE GROCERY STORE THAT IS EVERYWHERE!

    Narodnyj translates as ‘Folk’ or ‘People’ and they really mean it. They have at least 40 locations in Bishkek! All the ones I saw were open 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. The largest one is in the first 3 photos. Most of the details below and the contact details are for this location. Outside of the entrance they have 5 fast food places: Mama...

    more
  • Buy maps for your hikes

    Hidden on the 1st floor of the building, it is here that you can buy detailed contour maps of Kyrgyzstan. They have 1:200 000 maps of the whole country, in Cyrillic. (Good opportunity to brush up on your Russian letters.) I have read that they have a good English map of Ala-Archa as well as some other more detailed hiking maps, but we did not try...

    more

Bishkek Local Customs

  • KEEP BISHKEK CLEAN

    Bishkek is a clean city. During Soviet times people of the Soviet Union had little of their own. What they did have was immense pride in their public spaces and cities. They appreciated communal areas and parks. This is still true today in Bishkek. Not very street and building is gleaming and state of the art, but you really will not see any...

    more
  • THE FLAG OF KYRGYSTAN

    The flag of Kyrgyzstan is a lot more complicated than you think. The symbol within and forming part of the circle represents the “Tunduk” – a vey important part of Kyrgyz life and culture. At a basic level the Tunduk is the central apex of traditional nomadic ‘Yurts’ or very fortified tents. In order to support what is a really a house that can be...

    more
  • Turkic Hospitality

    The typical Central Asian hospitality, that can in no way be compared with the way guests are greeted in the western world: Never you will come across a yurt without being invited for a cup of the national drink Kymyz (horse milk) and a when you first get acquainted, and at the second meeting you're very often already considered as a family...

    more

Bishkek Warnings and Dangers

  • Beware of the toilets

    Remember that all toilets does not keep normal western standard.It is no bad idea to bring some packs of kleenex or a roll of toilet paper.

    more
  • Police

    They tend to look for tourists for 'routine search'. You can see many policemen around the Tsum department store.

    more
  • Friendly advice from a Kyrgyzstanian

    Guys u are great! Whoever have left their comments here, its so nice of you not to leave all sorts of nasty comments here, as i would have done , if i traveled abroad and some nasty douchebag cops would have stopped me and demanded a bribe, or i would have been robbed and tied up by dumb ass criminals :( It's sad, but some people from Kyrgyzstan...

    more

Bishkek Off The Beaten Path

  • Take a bus ride to Issuk Kul

    Lake Issuk Kul is one of the biggest lakes in Central Asia. It is 200 km long and the bus drives along the lake for almost 3 hours if you go to Karakol.A bus ticket to Karakol was 200 som for 6 hours ride.You see lot of interesting things along the road.

    more
  • Hike in Tyoplye Klyuchi (Alamedin...

    South of Bishkek and about 30km away is the Alamedin Canyon, which offers some lovely hiking, and is apparently quieter than Ala Archa, although I must admit that neither were very busy when we were there. The hiking is beautiful, and the fields of flowers were the perfect place for a picnic. The canyon also offers some hot springs, in a pool...

    more
  • On the road- Aurora on Lake Issyk Kul to...

    As we traveled back to Bishkek we passed several "road side stands" selling, produce and what I thought looked like dried fish plus other items I could not see well enough to identify, they may have been handicrafts either wooden toys or children's clothes etc. My driver stopped at one that had baskets of apples for sale. He bought several in a...

    more

Bishkek Favorites

  • SOVIET STYLE MONUMENTS

    - PEOPLE FRIENDSHIP'S monument has been constructed for the 100th aniversary of Kyrgystan entry to Russia in 1974 , inaugurated by Kosygin; situated near the white house. - MARTYRS OF THE REVOLUTION monument, the main part represents Ms Saliyeva a socialist heroe murdered in 1934 ,at the back two figures representing the 'awakening proletariat'- on...

    more
  • BISHKEK'S MONUMENTS

    Most of the monuments are situated in nice parks, mainly in the city center.The main place is now called ALA-TOO SQUARE, (ala-too is the name of mountain range, south of the city), the old maps name it Lenin square. Thats where most of the activities take place. In front of the historical state museum stands Aykol Manas statue since the 20th...

    more
  • Ugly monuments - wonderful mountains

    Bishkek itself is nothing really special, wide streets, a lot of green and ugly oversized Soviet - and very few post-Soviet - monuments. But everywhere you have a view of the fantastic mountains bordering Bishkek at the south and forming almost all the rest of the country. My best memory is indeed the wonderful surroundings of Bishkek making it a...

    more

Instant Answers: Bishkek

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

70 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Bishkek
Map of Bishkek

View all Bishkek hotels