Copyright Stephen Lioy - Photography and Travel Media

State Museum of Fine Arts

Top choice in Bishkek

Collections of Kyrgyz embroidery and felt rugs, a splendid variety of paintings, and rotating exhibitions of local and international touring works all make a visit here worthwhile. Last entrance 5.30pm.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bishkek attractions

1. Dubovy Park

0.22 MILES

Where wide, green Erkindik (Freedom) Ave enters this pleasant central park, artists sell a range of locally themed paintings. There's a small open-air…

2. Nissa Art Salon

0.23 MILES

Originally built as the St Nicholas Cathedral, the steeple was removed and this space converted to an art museum during the Soviet period. The building…

3. Statue of Kurmanjan Datka

0.24 MILES

Dedicated to the 'Queen of the Alay', this 19th-century stateswoman and tribal leader was famous in Kyrgyzstan long before being featured in a 2014 film…

4. Circus

0.24 MILES

The peculiar architecture of the Kyrgyz Circus, in what looks like a 1950s UFO, stands out on the far edge of Victory Square.

5. Victory Square

0.26 MILES

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the end of WWII, this monument is designed to evoke three symbolic yurt struts curving above an eternal flame. It…

6. Frunze House-Museum

0.33 MILES

This modest museum forms a concrete shell around the thatched cottage that was allegedly the birthplace of Mikhail Vasilievich Frunze (1885–1925), for…

7. Lenin Statue

0.37 MILES

Having once dominated Ala-Too Square, Vladimir Ilyich turned his back on the mountains in 2003 and now lurks behind the National Historical Museum.

8. Ala-Too Square

0.44 MILES

Surveyed by a triumphant statue of Айкол Манас (Mighty Manas), Bishkek's nominal centre is architecturally neobrutalist in style but has a photogenic…