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Bishkek Travel Guide

Bishkek, the largest city and the capital of Kyrgyzstan, is located in the northern part of the country, close to the border with Kazakhstan. The city is designed in the form of a grid and there are narrow parks on both sides of many of the roads. Bishkek has been known by many different names throughout its history. The current name of the city is thought to come from the legend of the Kyrgyz "kırk kız" (forty girls). According to the legend of "Kırk Kız", the Kyrgyz are a nation separated from forty girls by forty different tribes.

Bişkek şehir gezi rehberi

General Information About Bishkek

Country: Kyrgyzstan
Region: North of Kyrgyzstan
Area: 127 km2
Language: Kirghiz
Average temperature: 21.3 °C
Climate: Continental
Vegetation: Mountain meadow & Northern forests
The difference between GMT: UTC+6
Telephone Code: +996
Currency: Kyrgyzstani Som (KGS)
Socket Type: Type C - F


How to Get to Bishkek?

Bishkek is a city that is growing in terms of tourism with its history, and the architectural and natural beauties. Pegasus Airlines offers direct flights takes 7 hours and 50 minutes from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport to Manas International Airport. Pegasus Airlines offers you comfort and quality service on this long flight. Get ready for a great holiday with your Bishkek flight ticket.

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Transportation from Manas International Airport to City Center

The distance between the airport and the city center is 25 km. Depending on your arrival time at Manas International Airport; you have several different transportation options to the city center.

The most preferred ones are mini buses and taxis. The most affordable option for transportation to the city center is the minibus. The minibuses Marshrutka 380 depart from just outside the airport and serve between 6:30 am and 8:30 pm. It takes 40 minutes to reach the city center by minibuses.

If your arrival time is not matching the working hours of the minibuses, or if you want a more comfortable journey, you can use the official taxis. Taxis can be booked from the taxi offices located in the passenger's lounge at the airport. Manas Taxi and Super Taxi are among the recommended official taxi offices. With Super Taxi you can get an invoice for the fee you will pay for the journey. The journey to the city center by taxi takes about half an hour.

If you want to travel around Bishkek as you like you can find a car to rent just for you with a great offer by using Pegasus car rental service.


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 Public Transport in Bishkek

Bişkek Manas Anıtı

The most common public transport in Bishkek is Marshrutka, buses and trolleybuses, and taxis.

Marshrutka is the most common and cheapest public transport in Bishkek. Although it is not preferred because they are overfilled with people during the rush hours and the drivers drive fast, the area they go to is larger than the other public vehicles. Marshrutkas can be found almost anywhere in the city.

Buses provide a comfortable and safe transportation throughout the city. Trolleybuses and buses of the same numbers have different routes, so you should pay attention to which vehicle to use. Bus, trolleybus and minibus numbers, departure plan and routes can be found from here. Also you can search for public transportation to your destination from your point of departure from here. Taxis are also very common in Bishkek.

 

Best Time to Visit Bishkek

Bişkek ne zaman gidilir

In the continental climate, Bishkek is dry in summers and receives the most rainfall in the spring. Due to its high altitude and surrounded by mountains, it is far from sea effect and with a temperature average of -4 ° C, the winter months are cold. The summer months, with an average temperature of 25 ° C, are the best times for those who want to visit Bishkek. It is a city worth seeing with its unique city plan, museums, buildings and monuments from Soviet times.

Festivals in Bishkek

  • Nowruz (Spring Celebrations) (March)
  • Bishkek Jazz Festival (April)
  • Tash Bashat Carpet Festival (June)
  • Sabantui (July)
  • Bokonbayevo (August)

Places to Visit in Bishkek

 This city, which has been an important point on the Silk Road in the past, is one of the frequented places of many tourists with its history, attractive city form, and nature.

Ala-Too Square

Bişkek Ala Too meydanı

Ala-Too Square is the main square and the center of Bishkek. The square where the statue of Lenin was located before now has the statue of liberty. In the square where state events and festivals are held, also a memorial ceremony for the famous Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov was held in 2008. Ala-Too square can be a nice place to start when exploring the Bishkek.

Osh Bazaar

Bişkek oş pazarı

Osh Bazaar is Bishkek’s most famous bazaar and is located on the west side of the city. It is famous for the freshness of meat and dairy products sold in the shops inside. There is also a separate section on the south side of the bazaar where clothes are sold. In this part of the bazaar, you can find different traditional Kyrgyz clothes which you can buy as a souvenir of Bishkek.

State History Museum

Between the Parliament building and the Ala-too square, the State History Museum is the best place to see the city's history. In the museum, there are various works belonging to the Soviet Union times, and valuable artifacts of Kyrgyz history and culture. This museum is one of the city's most important locations where you can learn about the city's history and culture.

The Russian Orthodox Church

Bişkek Rus Ortodoks Kilisesi

The Russian Orthodox church in Bishkek is the largest Orthodox church in Asia. With a capacity of 2500 people, it is a proof that Orthodox faith is still widespread in the region. The construction of the church was completed in 2015.

Mikhail Frunze Museum

It was built in the name of Mikhail Frunze, who was born in Bishkek and was one of the important military commanders of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. The museum contains the belongings of Mikhail Frunze and his soldiers and documents and photographs from those times. It is one of the points we recommend to visitors interested in the history of the Soviet Union. The museum entrance fee is 50 KGS and is open between 10:00 and 17:00 on all days of the week except Monday.

Ala Arca National Park

Ala Arca National Park, located about 40 km south of Bishkek, has one of the rare forests in the region. Located in the highlands of the God Mountains, the national park is home to many species of plants and animals. Alpinada Camping and Climbing Festivals are held on May 1st in the park, which is a popular place for campers, skiers and climbers. Those who wish to explore natural beauty of Bishkek are recommended to spend a day in this park.

 

Where to Stay in Bishkek?

Bişkek otelleri

Bishkek, which is one of the important stops in the countries of Central Asia, has many accommodation options suitable for your travel purpose.

There are two important places to stay in Bishkek. One of them is Ala-Too Square in the city center and the other is the train station and its surroundings. 

If you are visiting Bishkek for touristic purposes, we recommend that you stay at hotels in Ala-Too. Bishkek Centrum Hotel can be preferred because of its reasonable prices and its proximity to the touristic areas of Bishkek. Hyatt Regency Bishkek is also a good choice for those looking for a more comfortable holiday.

You can choose from these two regions for your business-related trips. If your trip requires a stay in Bishkek, you can choose the hotels we recommend above. If you need to travel from Bishkek to other cities, Bishkek Boutique Hotel or Solutel Hotel are located in the railway station area. It is pretty easy to find hotels in Bishkek at affordable prices.


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What to Eat in Bishkek?

Bişkek ne nerede yenir

Kyrgyz cuisine is mostly meat and pastry. Kyrgyz cuisine is similar to the cuisine of Kazakhstan, Russia, and China. Mare milk "Kımız" is considered as the national drink of Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek is the best place to explore Kyrgyz cuisine.

  • Kyrgyz traditional dishes: Arzu
  • Beşparmak: Ir Kese
  • Local meat dishes: Navat
  • Ravioli: Supura
  • Steak: Red Cow

Shopping in Bishkek: Best Souvenirs to Buy

Bişkek alışveriş

Caps, traditional Kyrgyz clothes, hand-woven rugs, and carpets are among the souvenirs you can buy from Bishkek. In Bishkek, there are also markets in different parts of the city where you can buy meat and dairy products. One of them, Osh Bazaar, is located to the west of the city. In Osh Bazaar you can find meat and dairy products and also many different souvenirs ranging from traditional Kyrgyz clothing to hand-made carpets.

The Dordoy Bazaar, 7 km away from the city center, offers a wide range of products, from electronics to second-hand items and souvenirs at very reasonable prices. Bishkek also has two large malls called Bishkek Park and Tsum Center. It is recommended to shop in Bishkek to search for traditional Kyrgyz clothes and carpets.

Nightlife in Bishkek

Bişkek gece hayatı

Bishkek has a colorful and vibrant nightlife due to its busy student population. The center of the city is the busiest nightlife. There are many bars, pubs, clubs and stage performances. Promzona Club and GQ Night Club are for those who want to spend a great night with loud music and dance from the first hours of the night until the first light of the morning. Those who want to spend a quiet night in the city center can go to restaurants or cafes. Cafe Faiza is a peaceful place where you can have a nice dinner with calm music.

Things to Know Before Visiting Bishkek

  • It is recommended that you to use public buses and official taxis to get around the city.
  • It is recommended for those who go to Bishkek during the winter months to bring along clothes suitable for cold weather conditions.
  • Visitors to the city need to carry cash to use public transport.
  • Credit and debit cards are commonly accepted at markets and bazaars.

Essential Numbers

Country Code: +996

City Code: 312

Manas International Airport: +996 312 693 109

Police: 102

Ambulance: 103

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