Both the Russian and Kyrgyz languages are spoken in Osh, however you may find some difficulties finding people who speak English as they are few and far between. Osh does stand out in one regard, during the Stalin era the Batum Turks were expelled to Osh and they went to great efforts to try to return. In the center of the city stands the Sulayman Mountain, and it is said that when the Prophets Solomon and Muhammad would visit Osh they would always stop to pray here. Osh lies between the Sulayman and Pamir Mountains and with its stunning distant views proves to us once again that mother earth is the greatest of all artists. The city has a continental climate and therefore the spring and summer months are the optimal time to pay a visit to Osh. A major market place along the Silk Road, Osh is known for its high quality silk rugs and spices.
The flight distance between Istanbul and Osh is precisely 3,702 kilometers and flights take approximately 4-5 hours. Don’t forget before you purchase your Istanbul-Osh flight ticket that there is a three hour time difference. In other words, when your Osh flight arrives it will be eight hours after its original departure time.
If you do not have a private car, transportation in Osh can be a bit difficult. There are minibus lines that run in the city, however they are not very advanced and the ride not necessarily comfortable. There are a few numbers of taxis in the city, so if you come across one you can count your lucky stars.
The Osh Airport is 12 kilometers’ distance from the city center. The only public transportation option to get to the city is with minibuses. Osh is located in a mountainous region and has rugged roads; therefore, small vehicles sometimes face difficulties driving.
The food and drinks in Osh are not limited to Kyrgyz cuisine, the city also has restaurants specializing in Italian and Japanese food. Regional Osh dishes mainly consist of meat and pastries, which can be heavy for those who like to eat on the lighter side. The Osh cuisine has incorporated elements from both the Turkish and Uzbek culinary traditions, however with their origins embedded in the nomadic culture; the Kyrgyz do not prepare overly fancy dishes unless it happens to be a special occasion. Instead, they prefer simplicity.
Aztek is a restaurant with an expansive menu. Amongst the selections are Kyrgyz cuisine specialties as well as some of the more favorites from international cuisine, such as pizza and steak.
Address: Kurmanjan Datka, 94
At Izyum you can feel right at home. If the musicians playing at the venue realize you are a Turk then they will even play Turkish tunes as well as offer tea after your meal. Although the menu has an emphasis on meat dishes, there are also a number of options for vegetarians.
Address: Lenin, 214
Adi’s Coffee Shop
The most popular drinks at this centrally located coffee shop is not even coffee, they are in fact famed for their fresh fruit juices. They also serve pizzas.
Address: Aravanskaya Street
Well-known for their drink selection, Blonder Pub is one of the city’s most popular spots. The staff do not speak English, but the Kyrgyz and Russian snacks on the menu are unbelievably delicious, therefore do not worry if they mess up your order.
Address: Kulatova, 15A
This venue serves up the city’s best coffee drinks and is a great place to hold a wonderful conversation accompanied to live music.
Address: Masalieva Avenue, 60A
More famed for its natural beauty, the culture of shopping in Osh is not very widespread. There is one big bazaar in the city. If you are looking for souvenirs from Osh don’t fret as there are a wonderful selection of local hand crafts and spices on sale at the bazaar. A set of wonderfully aromatic spices could be an especially thoughtful gift for any friend who likes to cook.
Places to See
Most of the places to see in Osh are in walking distance; therefore, transportation is a non-issue. If your hands are full on your way back, then you can easily jump on a minibus.
This market sells items for your everyday needs; in addition to offering spices, fresh foods and drinks, you can also find products to accommodate for the local demand such as horseshoes. If a minibus has a sign for “Bazaar” written on it, then you can be assured it is headed for Jayma.
Osh Animal Market
Most of the local residents get their livelihood from husbandry. At this market, horses, sheep and donkeys are for sale and the prices are quite reasonable.
Address: M41 Road, 4. km
Accommodation in Osh
Osh is more reminiscent of an Anatolian town and therefore there are not a lot of accommodation options. There are just a few hotels offering accommodation in Osh. Other than these hotels, guesthouses and even summer homes are more widespread accommodation options. If you do decide to stay in one of the hotels in Osh, then you may need to make a reservation in the holiday season. Those that are close to the Osh city center can especially fill up fast.
Due to its central location, access to all the sites is easy and if there is no traffic, you can get to and from the airport in 30 minutes. There is a gym in the hotel and free Wi-Fi. In addition, guests can request free room service for one meal a day.
Address: Alieva Street, 143
Osh-Nuru Hotel Complex
An example of Russian architecture, the Osh-Nuru Hotel is located walking distance from the city center. Breakfast is free and there is also a gym, and restaurant-bar in the hotel. .
Address: Bayalinova Street, 1
Hotel Orto Asia
The sole hotel to have garnered more than three stars, Orto Asia offers its guests a spa center, free Wi-Fi, room service and parking.
Address: Razzakova Street, 23
Hotel Peking is one of the most reasonably priced hotels in the city. The rooms have air conditioning however; they don’t take credit cards, so make sure you have cash on hand if you are planning to stay here.
Address: Alisher Navoi Kotschosu, 11A
Biy Ordo Guest House
Even though it is centrally located, there are minibuses that pass by the Biy Ordo guesthouse. You can stay in single rooms and for an even more budget option, there is shared accommodation.
Address: Salieva Street, 39
Outfitted with buildings remaining from the Soviet era, the majority of sights to see in Osh involve its natural environment. The majority of greenery has conglomerated here in Central Asia’s more dry and arid environment. Touristic places in Osh are predominantly government buildings and statues of important leaders that don the city square. For example a statue of the female Kyrgyz heroine Kurmancan Datka, who leaded the insurgents that obstructed the Russian invasion, greets all of the city’s residents as it is located right in the center.
Considered a sacred place in ancient times, Sulayman Mountain has a number of cave paintings, a museum and shrines on display. You can reach the mountain by stairs, but do not misinterpret this to mean it is an easy stroll, make sure to save this journey for one of your more eminent energy bursts. Sulayman Mountain also still houses a home commissioned by Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty.
Lenin Peak, which is also the site where the national horse races are held, stands out for its natural beauty and impressive views.
Abshir Ata Waterfall
This waterfall, located far from the city center, is a majestic sight for visitors with natural untouched beauty. Make sure to take your camera with you, as this is definitely one of the best places to capture that postcard-perfect picture.
Address: Osh’a 70 km.
Shahid Tepa Mosque
The largest mosque in the country, Shahid- Tepa was built to accommodate a capacity of 5,000 to worship. Situated right in the city center and next to the bazaar, many addresses are explained using the mosque as a reference point for the center of the city.
Osh Drama Theater
The Osh Drama Theater offers the opportunity to see a more modern side of Osh, which is known more for its foundation in tradition, and both the country’s traditional and modern performances are staged here.
Adres: Lenin Street, 326
Stacked against the colorful nightlife in the capital of Bishkek, the nightlife in Osh pales slightly in comparison. There are not many venues to go out to and the local population tends to spend evenings at home. Travelers as a result, tend to spend most of their evenings in their hotel’s bar.
Country Code: +996
Rescue Service: 110
Airport: +996 322 290 016
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