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Cheap Flights to Bishkek with Jazeera Airways

Explore Bishkek with Jazeera

The capital of the Kyrgyz Republic (also known as Kyrgyzstan) is a vibrant and exciting city with a buzzing atmosphere and a warm, friendly welcome for visitors. It sits in the Tien Shan Mountain range, so this is a perfect destination for anyone looking for a city break combined with some serious adventure trekking!

The alpine lakes of the Tien Shans beckon invitingly, but if you pause a while in the city itself you’ll find grand, sweeping boulevards, and a real feeling of space that’s often lacking in other locations. The city is laid out in a grid system, so it’s incredibly easy to find your way around, with everything focused around the huge Ala-Too Square. Use this as your landmark and you’ll never get lost in Bishkek.

With a charming and welcoming feel to it and a lively nightlife scene, holidays to Bishkek are popular with younger travellers, who will also love the plentiful activities on offer throughout the whole of the nearby Chui Valley. For a more relaxed time, explore the boutiques and shops, or check out some of the city’s best restaurants. It may not be the oldest city in the world, but it’s certainly one of the most interesting.

Essential Facts

Time
12:28
Date
11/30/2021
Time Zone
+06:00
Weather
8.11°C
Language
Kyrgyz
Currency
Kyrgyzstani som
Electricity
220V/50Hz plug types C and F
Best Time To Visit
May to September - Average temperature of 26-32°C, low rainfall

Things To Do

Ala-Too Square

Ala-Too Square

The beating heart of the city is a huge open space that is a hive of activity in the evenings, with street entertainers, karaoke booths, and a music and lights show that has the square’s fountains dancing and changing colour in a dramatic display.

Osh Bazaar

Osh Bazaar

From sheep’s heads and Korean Kimchi to clothes and a huge range of wonderful spices, Osh Bazaar is a fabulous way to experience everyday life in the city.

Panfilov Park

Panfilov Park

For the best view of the city, take a ride on the Ferris Wheel in the centre of the park, or pack a picnic and spend a lazy afternoon exploring the rides and sites throughout the park.

Bishkek Shopping

Shopping

While the bazaars may be the big draw when it comes to shopping, there are plenty of boutiques and stores to explore on your holiday to Bishkek. Look out for traditional patterned carpets known as shyrdaks, while stylish men can pick up a kalpak or felt hat that’s bound to help you blend in with the locals.

The city has several department stores selling everything from electronics to clothing, but for the best deals you’ll inevitably head back to the markets and bazaars. For some real bargains, head out of the city centre to the north-east to the Dor Doi Bazaar, which is noisy, lively, and full of haggling opportunities.

Bishkek Food And Drink

Food and Drink

Keep your belt loose if you go out for a meal, because Kyrgyz food is incredibly rich and filling. Lamb, mutton, and beef are favourite main courses, accompanied by rice or potatoes and plenty of vegetables. On-the-go snacks include samsas, which are very similar to Indian samosas, but are usually made with puff pastry rather than filo and filled with spicy muttons and onions.

Besh barmak (translates to ‘five fingers’ because you use your hands to eat rather than cutlery) is boiled mutton or beef (or traditionally, horsemeat) that’s served with noodles. It’s delicious and very filling, but expect the unexpected as it’s also often served with a sheep’s head as a side dish!

Restaurants serving both western and Russian food are plentiful and very reasonable, and you can eat out extremely well even on a budget.

Things To Know


Visa Requirements

  • The majority of travellers will be able to enter Kyrgyzstan without applying for a visa. If a visa is required, it can be arranged online, but bear in mind that they are valid at a limited number of entry points. Frontier entry points and any location within 50km of the Chinese border require military border permits. Applications can take up to a month, so plan ahead carefully.
  • If you do require a visa to enter the country, you may also need to register within three days of arriving. Your hotel or travel company will be able to confirm this for you.

Other Facilities

  • Health facilities are good within the city. NeoMed is the main hospital for visitors, and there are plenty of 24-hour pharmacies. However, bear in mind that once you travel beyond the city limits you may find that health facilities are more difficult to access.
  • ATMs and banks are plentiful, but most ATMs will only accept Visa cards. If you want to use a MasterCard look for branches of Demir Bank. You’ll get a lower exchange rate at banks rather than private exchange booths, but security is better in the banks and you have less chance of being scammed.

Getting around

  • The city’s grid system makes it easier to navigate, and with plenty of green spaces to wander through you can stay clear of the main streets and crowds by taking shortcuts through the parks.
  • The most common way of getting around is by minibus (marshrutkas). A free Android app allows you to work out routes throughout the city and the major stopping points are near the huge Tsum department store and Ala-Too Square.
  • Trolleybus services criss-cross the city, but they only run until 10pm. Enter in the back and leave at the front, and with the trolleybus system, you pay on exit.
  • Taxi firms are plentiful, and the average daytime flat rate for a journey is around KGS150, and you can also negotiate a rate for the whole day, with your own personal driver to show you around the city.