Nestled in the heart of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan offers a fusion of Islamic culture, Soviet history and traditional nomadic lifestyles, all set against the backdrop of sweeping mountain ranges (about 65% of the national territory are mountain systems) peppered with more than 2,000 turquoise lakes. It should therefore come as no surprise that there is truly no shortage of culture-packed things to do in Kyrgyzstan.


Discover Soviet Architecture in Bishkek

While most people only spend a day or two in the capital, choosing instead to head straight to the dominating Kyrgyz mountains, it is well worth an extra day to discover its intriguing selection of Soviet architecture and Socialist monuments. By simply wandering the streets of the city you can easily come across several poignant examples of brutalist architecture adorned with Soviet-era mosaics. You can also check out a statue of Marx and Engels in Oak Park, as well as a statue of Lenin behind the National State Museum.


Take a Dip in an Alpine Lake

The three largest and most beautiful lakes in the mountain ranges of Kyrgyzstan are Issyk-Kul, Son Kul and Sary-Chelek. The turquoise waters are flanked by rolling green hills home to wild horses and a fair few yurts. Jumping into the water is a thrilling experience given the chill of the water (even during the warm summer months). Those less keen on braving an icy plunge can sit back and enjoy the views across the glistening lake aboard a traditional boat.


Sleep in a Yurt

One of the best ways to tap into traditional Kyrgyz culture is to sleep in a yurt. For over a thousand years, these dome-shaped tents have been constructed using transportable wooden frames draped with felt covers by those living a nomadic lifestyle in rural areas. We can arrange for you to stay in a camp to take part in the building of the yurts and to appreciate the communal aspect of shared living among the local people.


Visit Ancient Silk Road Cities

The temperate grassy slopes of Kyrgyzstan were a pleasant surprise for the Silk Road traders travelling from the brutal deserts of western China. Today, the ancient routes house the ruins of entire cities and important trading towns. The highlight of the Kyrgyz portion of the Silk Road is Osh, which, dating back some 3,000 years, is the nation’s oldest city and one of the trading route’s most famous market towns. Some other great spots to visit include Burana Tower (one of the oldest architectural constructions in Central Asia), the ancient fortress of Tash-Rabat and the ruins of the former commercial city of Suyab.


Explore Markets

While the bazaars of today are more stationary than their Silk Road ancestors, they are still packed with an array of treasures and trinkets from across Europe and Asia. Our particular favourite is the market of Dordoi, in Bishkek, which is known to be the largest bazaar in Central Asia, with a mind boggling 15,000 traders. This is a great place to purchase some locally-produced goods, such as Kyrgyz rugs and handmade pottery.

Contact one of our Kyrgyzstan specialists