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With a remarkable five-headed crag leaping out of the very town centre, Kyrgyzstan's second city certainly has a highly distinctive visual focus. While there's little of architectural note to show for 3000 years of history, Osh's (Ош) sprawling bazaar and hospitable citizens provide an atmosphere that is far more archetypically Central Asian than you will find in Bishkek.

Aside from the city itself and the interesting outdoor opportunities nearby, Osh is also a launch or arrival point for travelers to/from China, for transiting from Uzbekistan's Fergana Valley, or for accessing Tajikistan's memorable Pamir Highway. Inexpensive international flights can also make it a savvy gateway to Central Asia.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Osh.