Bishkek Travel Guide

  • Bishkek
    by JessieLang
  • Balbals
    Balbals
    by JessieLang
  • Circus
    Circus
    by lotharscheer

Bishkek Things to Do

  • KYRGYZ MONEY

    The currency of Kyrgystan is the Som (COM in Russian). You will often see this written as KGS - its not a weight! Som is the Kyrgyz word for 'Pure' and its amazingly easy top get your hands on it here in Bishkek, Many exchange kiosks operate 24/7 and there are plenty of banks as well. The Som is divided into 100 Tyiyn. Som notes come in 1, 5. 10,...

    more
  • 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 They have been replaced by coins but you can still encounter som rags that are still valid.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

Bishkek Hotels

See all 14 Hotels in Bishkek

Bishkek Restaurants

  • Good local food

    Quite good local food with traditional seating or regular chairs and tables. Unfortunately no English menue and no English speaking waiters. I had Plov (rice with mutton), which was quite good, because is was the easiest thing to order for me.

    more
  • Edgar cafe

    Edgar cafe is located next to a park inLovely peaceful surroundings. We stopped for tea and coffee for the afternoon.We went in again on our next visit and had food. Portions were small (100som for a salad) and the service atrocious to which Anya told the waitress.

    more
  • Djalal-abad

    This place looks nice from the outside with outdoor dining and a huge fire to cook shashlik.It's halal and no alcohol.Sadly there wasn't much available on the menu.It was easier them to tell us what was available than what was not.But was abit of a canteen style service-we ordered and it appeared, but it actually tasted very good.We went for...

    more
  • 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

Bishkek Nightlife

  • Center bar

    This bar is on the Main Street (or one of them). We stopped for a beer and coffee.It had a nice terrace to watch the world go by.But the bill added 15% service and 75p just for the milk to go in the coffeeSo not that impressedWe went back here on our second stop in BishkekHad pizza and the smoked cheese they have hereWas goodIt more pricey than...

    more
  • 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

Bishkek Transportation

  • Minibus from the Airport

    From the arrival hall to the right (most likely all the taxi drivers hanging around there will tell you there is non, but if you wait a while there will be one, #380, going to Molodaya Gvardiya av. corner Chui av. and back to the airport from there, 40 Som.A taxi from the airport is 400 to 500 Som (after some bargaining), going back 600 Som, the...

    more
  • 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

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

  • The Kidnapped Bride

    In Kyrgyzstan, brides are still kidnapped. The guy used to grab her on horseback; now he uses a car. If he doesn’t have one, he hires a taxi for the day. (This isn’t as awful as it sounds—she is usually in on it.) One of our guides told us about a taxi driver who was hired without knowing the plan. The man and his friend jumped out of the cab,...

    more
  • The Legend of Manas

    The story of the Khyrgyz hero, Manas, and his son and grandson is the longest epic poem in the world. A full recital takes several days. Specially trained people memorize sections of it and take turns reciting it at Manas festivals..

    more
  • Goat Polo

    We had the opportunity to watch a game of kokpar (goat polo.) Teams of 2-5 players on horseback try to get a headless goat into a mound that serves as their goalpost. The mound at each end of the field has an opening in the top, and the goat has to go inside to score. The game probably has rules we didn’t understand, but it often seemed to be just...

    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 Tourist Traps

  • lotharscheer's Profile Photo

    by lotharscheer Updated May 5, 2015

    There is a new terminal building, so far only very few departures (the day I left from 2 pm until midnight only one) and no services at all, no ATM (the arrival area was closed), no money changer, no taxi, no duty free or other shops, only 2 hours a counter selling some soft drinks and small snacks opened.

    Unique Suggestions: Find out maybe with the help of your hotel if you plane is leaving from there (it wasn't mentioned on my ticket), if so take something to drink with you.

    Fun Alternatives: In case you end up by mistake or by minibus in the old terminal, when you come out of the arrival hall turn left past the minibus waiting shed and a underpass, then to the left and short after to the right, you will see the terminal then, a new blueish glas and concrete building, about 300 meter distance to walk.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Photography
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Bishkek Off The Beaten Path

  • Burana Tower

    The 11th Century Burana Tower is one of the few remaining from the days of the Silk Road caravans. Travelers would leave their camels at the facilities here (long gone), and buy or rent horses to cross the mountains into China. The tower was originally much taller, but earthquakes have left only the bottom 80 ft. standing. The interior stairway is...

    more
  • 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

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

32 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Bishkek
BIG BAZARS
Things to Do
Not much to see or do in Bishkek
Things to Do
KEEP BISHKEK CLEAN
Local Customs
THE FLAG OF KYRGYSTAN
Local Customs
BIG BREAKFASTS AND/OR BEER
Restaurants
DO NOT TIP TWICE ! AND BE NICE
Warnings and Dangers
WORLD FAMOUS?
Restaurants
DAO EXCLUSIVE REPORT !
Restaurants
SOUVENIRS THAT HELP THE HANDICAPPED
Things to Do
CROOKED POLICE
Warnings and Dangers
Nice Selection
Restaurants
People watching
Things to Do
Great coffee and free wifi
Restaurants
Walk Around Town
Things to Do
Shwarma!
Restaurants
Some of the best Indian food I have ever had
Restaurants
Visit Lenin!
Things to Do
Watch the changing of the guards
Things to Do
Visit the WWII monument
Things to Do
Communist Shopping
Shopping
Take a trip out of town to the Burana Tower
Things to Do
Party 'til the break of dawn
Nightlife
Dordoi market.
Things to Do
Bowling
Things to Do
Things to see in Bishkek
Things to Do
Dining in Bishkek
Restaurants
Fast-food
Restaurants
Drinking and eating.
Nightlife
Going out
Nightlife
Dining in Bishkek
Restaurants
Going out
Nightlife
Dining in Bishkek
Restaurants
State Historical Museum
Things to Do
Be careful with some hotels
Warnings and Dangers
Excellent casual restaurant
Restaurants
Dirty Cops - An Unfortunate Reality in Bishkek
Warnings and Dangers
Daytrip to Allah Baatar Canyon
Things to Do
Turkic Hospitality
Local Customs
Toktogul
Things to Do
Erkindik
Things to Do
Map of Bishkek

View all Bishkek hotels