Tourist Attractions in Kyrgyzstan [And How to Get There]

Kyrgyzstan is one of the most accessible nomadic countries in the world. People move around the region to see the country’s breathtaking mountains, valleys, and landscapes. It’s also a place with hassle-free and cheap transportation that makes every traveler at ease. 

Featured Photo: Kyrgyzstan’s The Ferghana Mountains | Pixabay

When is the best time to visit Kyrgyzstan?

The perfect time to visit Kyrgyzstan depends on the region you will be visiting. However, the place is undoubtedly beautiful all-year-round. The northern region of the country is best visited from June to September, while the southern region is perfect from March to October. 

The mountains are also incredibly attractive on summertime between April to June, when landscapes are blooming with flowers. It is also the perfect time to hike safely. In case you want to visit for the ski season, you can come to Kyrgyzstan during winter time from November to April.

How to get to the city center from Manas Airport

There are two modes of transportation to get to the city center from the airport. You can ride a taxi or ride a private pick-up. 

Taxis are available outside the airport. You can just walk up to the drivers and negotiate a price at around 500 to 700 SOM (8 to 12 USD). There is also an official taxi service called ManasTaxi Service that the airport provides. 

Secondly, you can hire a private pick-up from your travel agency. It is usually included in the package but is more expensive at around 1,700 to 3,500 SOM (25 to 50 USD). They usually hire drivers that are English speakers, so you can ask them about the best places to visit in the country and other travel tips. 

How to get around Kyrgyzstan?

Getting around Kyrgyzstan is an adventure you shouldn’t skip. You can have several options like taxis, marshrutkas or minivans, and distance buses. 

Taxis are the most comfortable and able to carry four to six people. A three-hour journey will typically run from 300 to 350 SOM (4 to 5 USD) while renting it would cost you 1,700 to 3,500 SOM (25 to 50 USD). On the other hand, marshrutkas or minivans are most times crowded but the cheapest at around 10 cents! Although the inside is a bit stifling, you can take advantage of taking a picture of the vintage vans. 

The long-distance bus has many stops to complete so it might be the slowest. But, it’s no difference as you can also see the beautiful landscapes along the way.

10 Top Tourist Attractions in Kyrgyzstan 

Kyrgyzstan is one of the most beautiful countries in Central Asia. It takes pride in its wild mountain pastures, breathtaking landscapes, and several reserves. It is also not a typical travel location, so expect a rewarding experience as you visit these 10 top tourist attractions in Kyrgyzstan:

Lake Issyk Kul 

Issy Kul, which means “hot lake”, is the second-largest mountain lake in the world. It is salty and mineral-rich that does not freeze even in cold winter. With its blue waters and the incredible snow-dappled mountains, many tourists come by to swim, sunbathe, relax, and take pictures. 

Lake Issyk Kul one of the top tourist attractions in Kyrgyzstan
Lake Issyk Kul | Photo by Mzximvs VdB under creative commons

Sary Chelek Biosphere Reserve

The Sary Chelek Biosphere Reserve is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Although the trek is hard, seeing the paradise-looking reserve is worth the sweat. It has lush vegetation and an incredible lake that make it the favorite spot of tourists to wind out. 

Sary Chelek Biosphere Reserve
Sary Chelek Biosphere Reserve | Photo by Kondephy under creative commons

Burana Tower

When it comes to tourist attractions in Kyrgyzstan, the Burana Tower is always on the list. It stands 25m high on the ancient city of Balasagun, a once flourishing town where most of the caravans were held, and is surrounded by bal-bals gravestones by Nomadic Tribes. The place itself carries a fascinating and mysterious history which is loved by many.

Burana Tower
Burana Tower | Photo by Thomas Depenbusch under creative commons

Ala Archa National Park

The Ala Archa National Park is the place to go if you want a quick break from the city. You can set a campfire on designated areas or grill fish, barbecue, and hotdogs. You can also arrange guided horse riding along the crystal-clear river. 

Ala Archa National Park
Ala Archa National Park | Photo by Vitaliknyc under creative commons

Skazka Canyon

One of the tourist attractions in Kyrgyzstan is the Skazka Canyon also known as Fairytale Canyon.  It is located in the South shore of Issyk Kul offering a variety of golden yellow and reddish terrain that seems to be intricately designed. 

Skazka Canyon
Skazka Canyon | Photo by Ninara under creative commons

Tash Rabat

The Tash Rabat, also known as caravanserai, is one of the most beautifully preserved Silk Road in the world. It was mentioned in legends that the cupola is built by a father and a son. When the son fell in love with a beautiful woman, he left his father in the town and the work unfinished. Nowadays, the slopes are fully covered with tussock grass with herds of horses, flocks of goats, and camels grazing.

Tash Rabat
Tash Rabat | Photo by Allan Grey under creative commons

Toktogul Lake

Toktogul Lake is a few hours travel from Bishkek. This is the least visited place by tourists since it’s located in a remote location. It has deep blue waters surrounded by unbelievable beautiful mountains. The mountain ridges are also incredibly shaped that make it a picturesque world-class destination.

Toktogul Lake a must-visit tourist attraction in Kyrgyzstan
Toktogul Lake | Photo by Ninara under creative commons

Ala-Too Square 

Ala-Too, which means “great mountains” symbolizes the country’s nature and rich mountain terrains. It is where most celebrations, festivals, and other events such as Independence Day (August 31) and New Year’s Day are being celebrated. The place is beautifully designed with colorful lights and other traditional Kyzgy designs. 

Ala-Too Square
Ala-Too Square | Photo by Vmenkov under creative commons

Lenin Peak

“Beautiful aesthetic” are the two words that describe Lenin Peak. Tourists can ascent for approximately 7000 meters to witness the fully snow-capped mountain of Trans-Alay Range.  Although Lenin is famous for its tagline “easy 7000m ascent”, you should still prepare yourself physically before the trek. 

Lenin Peak
Lenin Peak | Photo by Gusjer under creative commons

Mt. Sulaiman-Too

The Mt. Sulaiman Too is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a sacred mountain in Krygyzstan for once being a Muslim pilgrimage. In fact, it was named after the Quran prophet Solomon or Sulayman. The place is known for the “Stone Tower” that authors referred to as the landmark of antiquity. With its beautiful rock formations, it is always a splendid day in Mt. Sulaiman Too that you should not skip visiting.

Mt. Sulaiman-Too
Mt. Sulaiman-Too | Photo by Vikingstad under creative commons

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