Kyrgyzstan Attractions

Top Tourist Attractions in Kyrgyzstan and Bishkek

1. Bishkek City Tour

Bishkek, often referred to as the 'Green City' has over 20 parks and a botanical garden. A city tour takes you through some beautiful places like Ala Too Square, which is in the heart of the city and a recreational point of the locals especially during festivals; Monuments of Bishkek, Osh Bazar, Theatres and Concert Halls in Bishkek, Bishkek Park Mall, etc.

Bishkek City Tour

2. Issyk Kul Lake

Issyk Kul is a beautiful lake in the Tien Shan mountains and it happens to be the tenth largest lake and the second largest saline water lake in the world. Looking across its waters to the other side, it seems like an ocean. However, what will boggle your mind is that while you feel like you are looking out over an ocean, you can see snowcapped mountains in the background. There are numerous beach activities and water sports options at Issyk Kul. Relax on the lake side or take a refreshing walk around enjoying the serenity of the mountains or the blue tranquility of Issyk Kul waters. Issyk Kul offers a host of water activities like jet skiing, glider flight, para-sailing, water-slides, motorboat rides etc.

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Issyk Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan

3. Burana Tower

The Burana Tower is a large minaret in the Chuy Valley in northern Kyrgyzstan. It is located about 80 km east of the country's capital Bishkek, near the town of Tokmok. The tower, along with grave markers has the remnants of a castle and three mausoleums. The tower was originally 45 m and a series of earthquake damaged it and now its about 25m tall.

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Burana Tower, Kyrgyzstan

4. Karakol/Jeti-Oguz Gorge

Jeti-Oguz Gorge in the Issyk Kul Region, is located 28 kilometers to the south-west of the town of Karakol. Its name in the Kyrgyz language means “Seven bulls”. The name is symbolic, because there is a 35 km long wall of seven huge red-brown cliffs resembling furious bulls standing together. In front of the cliffs there are flat mountain slopes, thickly overgrown with grass and pine trees. Jeti-Oguz is also famous for its hot springs with water enriched with radon and hydrogen sulfide. The water in springs is useful for the treatment of rheumatism, gastric and nervous diseases. Rising higher, you can reach Kok-Dzhayyk with wonderful views of the gorge, or the Valley of Flowers strewn with poppies. At the upper part of Jets-Oguz there are also mountain lakes and roaring waterfalls. One can stay in Karakol for a night or two and have an awesome picnic at Jeti Oguz gorge!

Read More: Karakol Ski Base

Karakol & Jeti-Oguz Gorge, Kyrgyzstan

5. Ala Archa National Park, Bishkek

Ala Archa National Park is an alpine national park in the Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan and located 40 km south of Bishkek. The park, which includes the gorge of the Ala-Archa River and the mountains surrounding it, is a popular destination point for weekend picnickers, hikers, horse trekkers, skiers as well as mountain climbers looking for challenging ice, rock and mixed routes. The park is open all year round, although the most popular season is late summer and early fall. Every May 1, the Alpinada festival sees hundreds of people camp out in the valley and climb Mount Komsomolets. Visit to Ala Archa is an awesome day activity full of pristine nature and peace. The park is snow covered in winter and truly stunning.

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Ala Archa National Park, Kyrgyzstan

6. Kashka-Suu Ski Resort

Kashka-Suu is a beautiful sight seeing spot in the Osho mountains. It is located about 35 kms from Bishkek and at an altitude of 2,100 meters. Its one of the best ski resorts in Kyrgyzstan in winters and offers a stunning view of Great Kyrgyz Range and the Chuy valley. The resort facilities include a restaurant, bar, sauna, open air cafe, two conference halls, a winter skating rink, bandstand, playground, parking for 100 cars, as well as the 1.5 kilometer chairlift that will take you to the observation deck at the height of 2200 m, as well as six ski runs of various levels of difficulty.

Kashka-Suu Ski Resort, Kyrgyzstan

7. Supara/Ethno Park

Falcon hunting and Horse riding show: The Kyrgyz have preserved rich and diverse cultural heritage for centuries. Hunting has been an ancient method of surviving the extremities of harsh climate and terrains over centuries. Witness the awesome maneuvers of hunting falcons trained by Kyrgyz nomads and watch the thrilling horse riding stunts of nomadic Kyrgyz men on their magnificent and graceful horses.

Supara Ethno Park, Kyrgyzstan

8. Kegety Gorge in Chuy Region

Kegety Gorge stretches for 30 km along the northern slope of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too Mountain range, 75 km from the city of Bishkek. A rough stream with many tributaries flows at the bottom of the gorge. The gorge is rich in flora and fauna. Green meadows give way to thickets of small shrubs of barberry, ash and hips, followed by spruce forest standing right on the slopes. Travelers often come here not only to enjoy the fresh mountain air, but also to collect medicinal herbs and berries.

Kegety Gorge in Chuy Region, Kyrgyzstan

9. Skazka (Fairy Tale) Canyon in Issyk Kul Region

On the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, about 4 km from the village of Tosor there is an unusual place - Skazka (Fairy Tale) Canyon. The canyon was named due to its bizarre rocky landscape, which for many years has been transformed by wind into fabulous sculptures and formations. Some formations in "Skazka" have been named for their similarity to well-known objects. For example, one set of ridges in the canyon is named "The Chinese Wall" due to its similarity to the Great Wall of China. You  can also find what appear to be statues of a hippopotamus, snake, dragon, sleeping giant and even whole castles. Because the different rocks have amazing colors, the rocky statues not only have unusual shapes, but also magical colors. Its an irresistible place to visit around the Issyk Kul.

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Skazka (Fairy Tale) Canyon in Issyk Kul Region

10. Naryn Canyon in Jalal-Abad Region

Naryn Canyon is located south to the Toktogul reservoir over Kok-Bel Pass at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level. It bears the name of the eponymous river, which flows in this place and is the longest river in Kyrgyzstan. Travelers can enjoy the scenery of the canyon driving on the highway Bishkek-Osh. Huge river framed by rocky mountainous terrain will surprise you and will not leave indifferent.

Naryn Canyon in Jalal-Abad Region, Kyrgyzstan

11. Ala Too Square, Bishkek

Ala too square is the central place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. It is a place where you can spend time, take pictures and in the evening you can enjoy musical fountain show as well. Ala too square was built in 1984 to celebrate 60th anniversary of Kyrgyz SSR. At that point of time a huge statue of Lenin was placed in the center of the square. This statue was moved in 2003 and a new statue was placed here which was again replaced in 2011 by statue of Manas to celebrate 20th anniversary of Kyrgyzstan’s independence. Ala too square offers you a great time when you are here.

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Ala Too Square, Bishkek

12. State History Museum, Bishkek

State history museum is located at the Ala too square. This museum was earlier called the Lenin Museum. The museum has quite a few attractions to offer to visitors. You get the opportunity to see some exhibits of rock paintings, the Bronze Age household items, nomad jewelry as old as dating from the 1st century to the 5th century AD, Turkic stone collection, Talas stones which has runic inscriptions, old time ceramics, several glass and metal items and there are also number of ancient coins which you can see. The museum has 3 stories. Ground floor houses temporary exhibits while first floor houses permanent exhibits depicting natural and political history of the country and Soviet heritage.

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State History Museum, Bishkek

13. Sary Chelek Biosphere Reserve

The Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve has the best environmental elements of Kyrgyzstan in one place, with a series of forests, meadows and lakes. Central to this large biosphere reserve which is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and 160 species of bird, is the beautiful cobalt-blue lake of Sary-Chelek. The lake is surrounded by forest that turns yellow in autumn giving the lake its Kyrgyz name that translates as ‘yellow bucket’. This Biosphere reserve was established in 1959 and in 1978 it was designated as world Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The reserve stretches up to 60 KM and is divided into two sections known as Arkyt and Sary Chelek.

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Sary Chelek Biosphere Reserve

14. Konorchek Canyon

Konorchek canyon is one of the beautiful landscapes in Kyrgyzstan. Located 125 KM away from the capital city Bishkek, Konorchek reside in the boom gorge. Konorchek is full of red stones that you can see for miles, so you may find your walk never ending if you walk to the end of these stones. But one thing you need to be aware of and you may enjoy as well is the weather here. Summers are hot, winters are cold but without snowfalls. So choose your time to go to the canyon as per your liking and physical ability.

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Konorchek Canyon

15. Museum of Fine Arts, Bishkek

Museum of Fine Arts is dedicated to Kyrgyz Fold and applied arts and Russian art of Soviet times. Initially the museum was located in St. Nicholas Church in Oak Park and in the beginning it was state picture gallery. Today Museum of Fine Arts houses the gallery of Soviet Artist’s union. The modern museum’s building was built in 1974 as a part of overall capital city development project. Museum is named after famous Kyrgyz painter Gaper Aitiev and you can see several of his paintings in the museum. Museum features yurts, unchanging shyrdaks along with other things.

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Museum of Fine Arts, Bishkek

16. Manas Complex, Bishkek

Manas Complex is said to be the final resting place of Kyrgyz epic hero Manas. Manas is a quite loved hero in the history of Kyrgyzstan along with his wife and together they are said to have strong influence on Kyrgyzstan over 1000 years ago. Manas is also called Manas the Generous. Manas complex attracts visitors in quite a good number because it represents the best side of Kyrgyz architecture, lifestyle, folk style and beliefs. They also get to see famous monuments of deer horns which is the national symbol of national patroness.

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Manas Complex, Bishkek

17. Nikolai Przhevalsky Museum, Karakol

Nikolai Mikhaylovoch Przhevalsky was a Russian geographer and explorer. He explored Central and East Asia and made this part known to the western world. From 1870 to 1883 he made four journeys to Central Asia. In his name was made this Nikolai Przhevalsky museum which is 12 KM away from north of Karakol on the Mikhaylovka inlet along with his grave. The museum is right there in the site where Nikolai had built the house for himself close to the lake. The museum was completed in 1957 along with a formal park dedicated to him. The museum is a neo classical single story building. The museum shows the details of the life of the great explorer Nikolai who died on the shores of Issyk Kul lake. The museum features sketches of local people, engravings, and books with details that show expeditions of Nikolai on a base relief map of Central Asia.

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Nikolai Przhevalsky Museum, Karakol

18. Song Kol Lake, Bishkek

Song Kol Lake is the second largest lake after Issyk Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan. With fresh water Song Kol Lake sits at the height of 3016m. Another high altitude alpine lake in Kyrgyzstan, Song Kol is surrounded by 3500m peaks and yurts which belong to herders from the nearby villages. The alpine lake in the Tien Shan mountains is a perfect destination to reach to. Horse riding is one of the cool things to do in Song Kol. So it is one of the favorite destination while one is in Bishkek. But there is snow all year around Song Kol lake. So the best time to visit the lake is from July to September in the summers.

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Song Kol Lake, Bishkek

19. Osh Bazaar, Bishkek

If you want to feel the culture of a place then visiting Bazaar over there is the easiest and appropriate way. There are many old Bazaars in the world. One of them is Osh Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek is the oldest city of Kyrgyzstan and so Osh Bazaar is oldest Bazaar of Kyrgyzstan and entire Central Asia region. It is one of the largest Bazaars in Bishkek as well. You can buy anything like food products, any household items, clothes, souvenirs, musical instruments or any other item here at Osh Bazaar.

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Osh Bazaar, Bishkek

20. Dordoy Bazaar, Bishkek

The Dordoy Bazaar near Bishkek happens to be the largest public market place and shopping centre in Central Asia. Dordoy Bazaar opened up in 1992 as wholesale market across the country and since then the bazaar’s popularity kept rising transforming it in the monument of raw commerce today. It stretches for more than a kilometre on the north-eastern outskirts of the Kyrgyz capital. It is one of the main entrepots for reaching Chinese consumers goods to retailers in Kyrgzystan, Russia, and Uzbekistan. Dordoy Bazaar is big employer. Around 20,000 people make their living at the market.

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Dordoy Bazaar, Bishkek

21. Mountain Sulaiman Too, Osh

Mountain Sulaiman Too was the first object in Kyrgyzstan which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in the city of Osh in Kyrgyzstan and it rises to 175m above it. Since old times this place has been sacred especially for Muslims and now it is considered a place of pilgrimage thus attracts a lot of pilgrims. Sulaiman is a prophet as mentioned in Qur’an and this mountain has a shrine that supposedly marks his grave. There is a popular belief about this shrine that a woman who ascend to the shrine on top and crawl through an opening across the holy rock will give birth to a healthy child as per legend. Another reason why it is considered a major place of pilgrimage is that there is a popular belief that the Prophet Mohammed himself prayed at the top of the peak of the mountain.

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Mountain Sulaiman Too

22. Tash Rabat

Tash Rabat is a well preserved stone caravanserai sitting at the height of 3200 meters. Tash Rabat is said to be constructed in 15th century, on the old trade route from Central Asia to China. Tash Rabat is largest stone structure of its time and is still noted for its size, building material and its layout which is example of great symmetry. This is why Tash Rabat is considered Kyrgyzstan’s most remarkable monument. Today Tash Rabat is a Silk Road monument of great excellence. It is one of the most interesting sites in Central Asia. Its location is also very interesting. This centrally domed structure has 31 rooms which includes cavities in the central hall. All the rooms are dome shaped. Tash Rabat is about 520 KM from Bishkek.

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Tash Rabat

23. Peak Lenin

Lenin Peak also known as Ibn Sina Peak, rises to 7,134 metres in Gorno-Badakhshan on the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and is the second-highest point of both countries. This peak is probably one of the highest yet easiest peak to climb in the world, that's why it attracts hundreds of visitors every year. It was discovered in 1871. It was then named Mount Kaufmann after Konstantin Kaufman, the first Governor-General of Turkestan. And in 1928 it was named Lenin peak after the great leader of Soviet Union Vladimir Lenin.

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Peak Lenin

24. Kayaking in Kyrgyzstan

Kayaking – Kyrgyzstan surrounded by rivers and lakes, hence kayaking is much popular. In July and August glaciers melt, so the water level rises making it the best season for kayaking.

Kayaking in Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek & Kyrgyzstan Things To Do:

  • Limousine city rides
  • Ethno Park (including horse riding stunts)
  • Acrobatic archery show by lady acrobat
  • Ala Archa National Park
  • Salmon Farm
  • Traditional Spa centres
  • Nightclubs in Bishkek
  • Kashka-Suu ski resort day tour
  • Stay at a traditional house called Yurt
  • Gala night in a Yurt hall
  • Overnight at Issyk Kul Lake
  • Party on cruise boat in Issyk Kul lake
  • Shopping day outing to Bishkek Park Mall and Dordoy Bazar
  • Trip to Karakol

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Content Source: Dook Dossier 2017-18



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