Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, is a relatively new city and an emerging tourist destination. The best thing about Bishkek is that it has something to offer to every person. You’ll find numerous things to do in Bishkek. One can indulge varied activities like clubbing, visiting museums, shopping, relaxing at spas, and trekking among others. Bishkek is easily accessible by tourists as Kyrgyzstan has the most liberal tourist visa regime in Central Asia. What’s more, Kyrgyzstan lies along the Silk Road. Nearly 40 countries lie along the Silk Road and so visiting Kyrgyzstan increases your chances of exploring other countries as well
9 Must-Do Things In Bishkek
Listed below are some of the best things to do in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan that you must take part in while you’re in the city. Do not miss out on experiencing these things while you’re holidaying with your friends or family.
1. Ala-Too Square – Explore
If you’re someone who likes to admire places of political and architectural importance, Ala-Too Square is a good place for you to spend time. It is the main city square and a place where political demonstrations and regular festivals take place. The city bustles with activities at night. Photograph and karaoke booths are set up and a sound and light show also takes place. However, multiple sources have cited that visiting the square after dark is not safe.
Hours of operation: Open daily for 24 hours
2. State Historical Museum – Explore
State Historical Museum is housed in the complex of Ala-Too Square itself. The museum is a three-storeyed building. The bottom storey displays seasonal exhibits, the second highlights Soviet-era achievements during the Communist Era and the top floor showcases the history and culture of the Kyrgyz people.
Hours of operation: Tuesday to Sunday, 9 AM – 6 PM
3. Zhirgal Banya – Sauna
Image Courtesy: srasstudents.org
Bishkek is home to many Russian-style public bathhouses and among them the most famous is Zhirgal Banya. It has a sauna, an ice-cold pool and a steam room. One can use birch branches to flog oneself. This kind of self-flagellation improves circulation. There is also the option of getting a massage by paying extra. In addition to being a state-of the-art bathhouse, Zhirgal Banya is also an architectural beauty.
Hours of operation: Mon, Tues, Thurs: 9 AM – 11 PM, Wed: 12 PM – 11 PM, Fri: 7 AM – 11 PM, Sat, Sun: 7 AM – 11 PM
Trekking Union of Kyrgyzstan has revolutionized the trekking scenario of Bishkek. It organizes day-long expeditions and even organizes trips on weekends in and around Bishkek. These include transport to/from the destination and guide. The club also organizes activities like rafting and skiing.
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM
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5. Osh Bazaar – Eat And Shop
Osh Bazaar is a foodie’s delight. If you want to try out any Kyrgyz snack, do not think twice and simply head to this place. This market is the place for you if you are fond of collecting souvenirs. A large variety of products are available in the market. If you want to get the best products, it is advised to visit the market during spring and summer, as the produce is fresh from farms in the outskirts of town during this month.
Hours of operation: Open daily, 8:30 AM – 7:30 PM
6. Victory Square – Take A Stroll
Victory Square is another public square in Bishkek. In the middle of the square, stands the Victory Monument which is dedicated to the victory of the Allies over Nazi Germany. The square also features a statue of a woman waiting for her husband to return home from the war. Visiting this monument is a great way to pay homage to all those who sacrificed their lives in World War II.
Hours of operation: Open daily, 24 hours
7. Tuman Nightclub – Dance
Dancing away at Tuman is one of the best things to do in Bishkek at night. ‘Tuman’ is the Kyrgyz word for ‘smoke’. The name of the club is apt as people get to dance on a smoke-filled dance floor here. So brace yourself for showing your moves at Tuman!
Hours of operation: Sun & Mon : 6 PM – 5 AM, Tues to Sat: 6 PM – 2 AM
8. Experience Nomadic Lifestyle
Ever heard of paying for experiencing nomadic lifestyle? Yes, such a thing happens in Bishkek! This is perhaps one of the most unusual things to do in Bishkek. Some groups organize nomadic lifestyle programmes which entail horse riding, eagle hunting demonstration, and admiring historical sites, and living like nomadic people in private yurts.
9. iLAca – Learn Kyrgyz And Russian
Are you someone who is fond of learning new languages? If yes, Bishkek is the right place for you as it is a home to The International Language Academy Central Asia(iLAca). If you’re a globetrotter, it will help you a great deal when you’re trained in numerous languages. This institute is open to people of all nationalities.
Now you have ready with you a complete list of the best things to do in Bishkek. Do plan a trip to Bishkek while you’re vacationing in Kyrgyzstan! Each day in this city will be productive as there’s so much to do everyday. Getting yourself indulged in all these activities will make your trip memorable as well as introduce you to the city’s culture.
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