Kyrgyzstan -officially the Kyrgyz Republic, also known as Kirghizia, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. It is bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China. Its capital and largest city is Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan's history spans a variety of cultures and empires.
Trip Planning: The planning stage of your trip can be instrumental in its success and an enjoyable part of the experience itself. You have a world of options...and plenty to consider.
Entry and Exit formalities: Visitors must hold a passport valid for at least six months & beyond at the time of entering the country. Some nationalities can obtain visa on arrival and for nationalities who requires visa please refer to the Kazakhstan consulate website: www.kyrgyzconsuae.org
Transportation: Figuring out how to get around is one of your biggest pre-trip decisions. Get our holiday expert best advice on deciding between your options.
Based on your trip itinerary, our experts will help you choose wisely. You'll also find a wealth of practical travel tips.
Money: Use your money wisely. Know the best time to use cash or card — and how to avoid unnecessary fees either way — as well as tipping etiquette.
Phones and Technology: Phones and other smart devices can be huge time-savers...or expensive distractions. Get our tips for making the best use of technology during your trip, and for calling home with or without your own phone.
Packing Light: On your trip you'll meet two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had.
Sleeping and Eating: Your hotel and restaurant choices can be a matter-of-face chore…or they can provide rich opportunities to connect with locals and their culture.
Health & Hygiene: Take comfort: Doctors, hospitals, launderettes, and bathrooms aren’t that different. Dealing with them can even be part of the fun of travel.
Sightseeing & Activities: Once you're on the ground, the real fun begins…but it pays to have a thoughtful plan. Our experts will help you get oriented to your surroundings, use your sightseeing hours wisely, and find your way off the beaten path.
Things to see & do:
Bishkek- the capital of Kyrgyzstan, borders Central Asia's Tian Shan range. It’s a gateway to the Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountains and Ala Archa National Park, with glaciers and wildlife trails. The city’s arts scene encompasses the monumental State Museum of Fine Arts and the colonnaded Opera and Ballet Theater. The vast, central Ala-Too Square features the Manas monument, honoring the hero of the Kyrgyz Epic of Manas.
Karakol- formerly Przhevalsk, is the fourth largest city in Kyrgyzstan, near the eastern tip of Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan, about 150 kilometres from the Kyrgyzstan–China border and 380 kilometres from the capital Bishkek. It is the administrative capital of Issyk-Kul Region.
Tokmok - is a city in the Chuy Valley, northern Kyrgyzstan, east of the country's capital of Bishkek. Its geographical location is 42°50′N 75°17′E; its altitude is 816 m above sea level. From 2004 to 2006, it was the administrative seat of Chuy Region.
Balykchy - is a town at the western end of Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan, at an elevation of about 1,900 metres. Its area is 38 square kilometres.
Kara-Balta is a city and municipality on the Kara-Balta River, in Chuy Region, Kyrgyzstan, the capital of Jayyl District. It was founded in 1825 under the Kokand.
Jalal-Abad - is the administrative and economic centre of Jalal-Abad Region in southwestern Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 88 square kilometres, and its resident population was 97,172 in 2009 and is officially estimated at 109,200 in January 2019.
Cholpon-Ata - is a resort town on the northern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan with a population of 10,525. It is the administrative center of the Issyk Kul District of Issyk-Kul Region; this district occupies most of the lake's north shore. To the west along highway A363 is Tamchy and to the east, Bosteri.
Naryn - Traditional Mongolian is the regional administrative center of Naryn Region in central Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 84 square kilometres (32 sq mi), and its estimated population was 40,000 as of January 2019. The town was established as a fortress on the caravan route in 1868.It is situated on both banks of the Naryn River (one of the main head waters of the Syr Darya), which cuts a picturesque gorge through the town. The city has two regional museums and some hotels, but is otherwise residential.
Talas - is a town in northwestern Kyrgyzstan, located in the Talas River valley between two mountain ranges. Its area is 13 square kilometres. It is the administrative headquarters of Talas Region. The town was founded by East Slavic settlers in 1877.
Kant - is a town in the Chuy Valley of northern Kyrgyzstan, some 20 kilometres east of Bishkek. It is the administrative center of the Ysyk-Ata District. Kant was established in 1928. The Kyrgyz word for sugar is "kant", and the city received its name when a sugar plant was built there in the 1930s.
Batken - is a small town in southwestern Kyrgyzstan, on the southern fringe of the Fergana Valley. It is the capital of Batken Region. Its area is 205 square kilometres, and its resident population was 19,718 in 2009.
Toktogul - is a city in Jalal-Abad Region of Kyrgyzstan. It is named after its most famous son - the musician Toktogul Satilganov. It is located on the northern shore of the Toktogul reservoir.
Uzgen- is a town in Osh Region, Kyrgyzstan. It is the capital of Uzgen District.
Kyzyl-Kiya is a city in Batken Region, in southwestern Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 78 square kilometres, and its resident population was 44,144 in 2009. It is situated on the southern edge of the Fergana Valley, 32 km southeast of Fergana, and 65 km southwest of Osh.
Tash-Komur - is one of the five largest towns of Jalal-Abad Region in Southern Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 47 square kilometres, and its resident population was 34,756 in 2009. It is located along the West bank of the Naryn River, opposite the main Osh - Bishkek road.
Isfana - is a small town in the extreme western end of Batken Region in southern Kyrgyzstan. Isfana is on the southern fringe of the Fergana Valley in a region surrounded on three sides by Tajikistan.
Kerben - is a town in Jalal-Abad Region of Kyrgyzstan. It is the administrative centre of Aksy District.
Kemin - is a city in northeastern Kyrgyzstan, the administrative headquarters of Kemin District in Chuy Region. It is located about 95 km eastward of Bishkek on the left bank of the Chu River in the Chuy Valley. Kemin was established in 1912. Kemin received city right in 2012.
Nookat - also Eski-Nookat, Iski-Naukat or Naukat, is a city in Osh Region of Kyrgyzstan. It is the seat of Nookat District.
Sulukta or Sülüktü - is a small town located at the extreme western end of Batken Region in southern Kyrgyzstan. Sulukta is situated at the southern fringe of the Fergana Valley in a region surrounded on three sides by Tajikistan.
Kara-Suu - is a town in Osh Region, Kyrgyzstan, in the Fergana Valley. The town is 23 km northeast of Osh and is the capital of Kara-Suu District. It is a major industrial and trade center, on the border with Uzbekistan. On the other side of the border is the town Qorasuv.
Khaidarkan - is a city in Batken Region of Kyrgyzstan. The population of Khaidarkan amounted to 10,331.
Kochkor-Ata - is a Kyrgyz town located northwest of the major city Jalal-Abad in Kyrgyzstan. The town is located along the major Bishkek-Osh route, approximately 3 miles from the Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border.
Karaköl - is a city in Jalal-Abad Region of Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 1,050 square kilometres, and its resident population was 22,502 in 2009. Located on the Naryn River, downstream of the Toktogul Dam, the city was built in the 1960s to house the construction workers for the dam, and granted city status in 1977.
Ak-Suu - is a raion of Issyk-Kul Region in eastern Kyrgyzstan. The administrative center lies at the village Ak-Suu. Its area is 9,917 square kilometres, and its resident population was 63,686 in 2009.
Tüp - is a raion of Issyk-Kul Region in north-eastern Kyrgyzstan. The capital lies at Tyup. Its area is 2,121 square kilometres. It borders Issyk Kul District to the west, Ak-Suu District to the east and south-east, Kazakhstan to the north, and Issyk Kul to the south.
Kaindy - is a city in the Chuy Region of Kyrgyzstan. It became a city in 2012. Its population was 7,526 in 2009. It is the capital of Panfilov District, Kyrgyzstan.
At-Bashy - is a raion of Naryn Region in Kyrgyzstan. The administrative center is at At-Bashy. Its area is 15,354 square kilometres.
Kök-Janggak - is a town in the Suzak District of Jalal-Abad Region in western Kyrgyzstan, located at a distance of about 29 km from the regional centre city Jalal-Abad.
Uzgen or Özgön - is a raion of Osh Region in south-western Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 3,308 square kilometres. The capital lies at Uzgen.
Jeti-Ögüz or Jeti-Oguz - is a raion of Issyk-Kul Region in north-eastern Kyrgyzstan. The capital lies at Kyzyl-Suu, Its area is 14,499 square kilometres, and its resident population was 82,085 in 2009. and the province comprises much of the eastern end of the Teskey Ala-Too Range.
Mailuusuu - is a mining town in Jalal-Abad Region of southern Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 120 square kilometres. It has been economically depressed since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Naryn District' is a raion of Naryn Region in central-southern Kyrgyzstan. The capital lies at Naryn. Naryn District was established in its borders in 1930.
Manas is a raion of Talas Region in north-western Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 1,198 square kilometres. The capital lies at Pokrovka. The district is named after the mythical Kyrgyz national hero, Manas, who is said to have been born in the Alatau mountains in the raion.
Kara-Suu is a raion of Osh Region in south-western Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 3,616 square kilometres. The capital lies at Kara-Suu.
Shopokov is a town in the Chuy Region of Kyrgyzstan. Although geographically located within Sokuluk District of that region and being the de facto economic and cultural center of the district, Shopokov is administered separately from the district.
Bazar-Korgon is a town in Jalal-Abad Region of Kyrgyzstan. Its population was 33,359 in 2009. The majority of its inhabitants are ethnic Kyrgyzs and the remaining 20% are predominantly ethnic Uzbek. The town has a large open air market. Shared taxis to the regional capital Jalal-Abad depart every 15 to 20 minutes.
Kochkor is a large village in northern Naryn Region of Kyrgyzstan. It is the administrative centre of Kochkor District. Former names were Stolypin and Kochkorka. Altitude 1,800 m. It is on the main A365 highway from Torugart Pass north to Bishkek.
Kyzyl-Suu -is a village in the Issyk-Kul Region of Kyrgyzstan. About 10km inland from Lake Issyk Kul on the A363 highway between Jeti-Ögüz resort and Barskoon, it is the capital of Jeti-Ögüz District.
Kochkor - is a raion of Naryn Region in northern-central Kyrgyzstan. The capital lies at Kochkor. Its area is 5,868 square km., and its resident population was 58,267 in 2009.
Tong is a raion of Issyk-Kul Region in north-eastern Kyrgyzstan. The capital lies at Bokonbayevo. Its area is 7,230 square km.
Jayyl - is a raion of Chuy Region in northern Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 3,453 square km., and its resident population was 92,645 in 2009. The capital lies at Kara-Balta. It also administers an exclave in the southwestern heel of Chuy Region, separated from the rest of the Jayyl District by the Panfilov District.
Batken - is a raion of Batken Region in south-western Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 5,948 square kilometres, and its resident population was 69,591 in 2009. The capital lies at Batken.
Kadamjay - is a city located in Kadamjay District of Batken Region of Kyrgyzstan. Kadamjay is located between the towns of Khaidarkan and Kyzyl-Kiya. In the Soviet period, the town was officially known as "Frunze", and the village adjacent to it from the north, as "Frunzenskoe".
Bazar-Korgon - is a raion of Jalal-Abad Region in western Kyrgyzstan. The capital lies at Bazar-Korgon. Its area is 1,965 square kilometres, and its resident population was 142,951 in 2009.
Orlovka - is a city in Kemin District of Chuy Region. Its population was 6,260 in 2009. It is the center of Orlovka municipal council that also includes Podgornoye village. Orlovka was established in 1910. It became a city in 2012.
Chong-Alay District - is a raion of Osh Region in far south-western Kyrgyzstan. The capital lies at Daroot-Korgon. Its area is 4,857 square kilometres, and its resident population was 25,039 in 2009. The Chong-Alay District include 3 rural communities: Chong-Alay, Kashka-Suu, and Jekendi.
Issyk-Kul District - is a raion of Issyk-Kul Region in north-eastern Kyrgyzstan. The capital lies at Cholpon-Ata. Its area is 3,603 square kilometres.
Panfilov - is a raion of Chuy Region in northern Kyrgyzstan. Its area is 2,606 square kilometres. The capital lies at Kayyngdy.
Ak-Talaa - is a raion of Naryn Region in Kyrgyzstan. The capital lies at Baetov. Its area is 7,266 square kilometres.
Ala Archa National Park - is one of the few national parks that is easily accessible and fun to visit no matter what time of the year it is. It’s an Alpine National Park in the Tian Shan mountains, about 40km south of Bishkek.
Burana Tower - This 25m high tower is all that remains of the ancient city of Balasagun, a once flourishing city that welcomed thousands of Silk Road caravans.
Issyk-Kul Lake - is the seventh deepest lake in the world, the tenth largest lake by volume, and the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea. The southern shore of the lake is wilder than the northern side and there are so many cool ethnocultural activities to see and do there.
Song Kol Lake - is the second largest lake of Kyrgyzstan and lies at an altitude of 3000m (9895 feet). The lake is surrounded by mountains and lush meadows.
Ala Kul - when it comes to describing the beauty of this turquoise lake. It’s so beautiful that the locals often refer to it as the ‘pristine diamond of the Karakol Canyon’. The water of this glacier lake changes hourly from azure to violet, depending on the weather conditions and the time of the year.
Altyn Arashan - which means ”Golden Spa” in Kyrgyz, is a lush green valley near Karakol and Lake Ala Kul. The place is famous for its pristine untouched landscapes and natural hot springs.
Jeti Oguz - is the name of a valley but also of a stunning sandstone rock formation about 25 km southwest of Karakol. This sandstone crag used to resemble 7 bulls and that’s where its name comes from.
Jyrgalan Valley - This gorgeous valley is located to the east of Lake Issyk Kul. If you’re a lover of simplicity, quietness, and untouched natural surroundings, then Jyrgalan valley is the place for you.
Kel Suu - most beautiful and spectacular mountain lakes in the Kyrgyz Republic and it’s also one of the highest lakes in the world. It’s located in a valley called Kok-Kiya at about 3,520 meters of altitude and not too far from the Chinese border. The lake is really high but the air there is so pure and crisp. You can occasionally see wild eagles flying over the mountains and herds of wild yaks grazing in the distance.
Tash Rabat - was a very important place during the period when the Silk Road was used actively by Asian traders and merchants. It’s a place known as a Caravanserai, a roadside inn where the merchants could stop and rest for a few days. Caravanserais were scattered all along the silk road and were providing shelter in isolated regions from the hostile environment and from bandits.
Osh - is a melting pot of so many things. It’s a place where you can taste traditional food, listen to music and admire clothes from many different traditions. It’s a mix of Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Tajik cultures. While Bishkek is the official capital of Kyrgyzstan, Osh is very often considered the cultural capital of the country. This city has such a vibrant underground art culture that it’s often called “The Berlin of Central Asia”.
Peak Lenin - peak Lenin is a bit like the Kyrgyz version of the Everest. This mountain is one of the highest climbable peaks in Kyrgyzstan. It’s sometimes called ”the easiest 7,000m mountain in the world”.
Arslanbob (during the harvest of the walnuts) - is a village tucked in a lush valley in the Chatkal mountain range in the south of Kyrgyzstan. It’s a destination that is popular for its hikes, horseback riding, and skiing but more than anything else, it’s a village popular for its production of walnuts.
Kol-Tor lake - is located at an altitude of 2700m above the village of Kegeti, around 92 km outside of Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan has some of the most beautiful alpine lakes in the whole world and Kol-Tor lake is pretty high on that list.
Ala Bel Mountain pass - This very high pass (3,175 m) is on the mountainous road connecting Bishkek to Osh. Ala Bel is located above two gorgeous valleys. From one side of the pass you can admire Chichkan Valley and from the other side, you can see the Susamir Valley.