Top things to do

Kyrgyz in Bishkek


This amusing, professional, though somewhat contrived 'ethno' complex is a caricature of all things traditionally Kyrgyz attracting mainly well-heeled urban locals. Costumed waiters serve a full range of Kyrgyz meal…
Pub in Bishkek


Bishkek's most loveable pub is hidden in a basement beneath the Russian Drama Theatre (west side, behind Espresso). The surfaces are festooned with old tape-recorders, typewriters, bottles and 20th-century 'antiques…
Top Choice European in Bishkek


Great for cocktails or coffee, American breakfasts or spicy pitas, vegetarian lasagne or salmon risotto this brilliantly reworked classic building has a semi-circle of columns linking high ceilings with chequerboard…
Gallery in Bishkek

State Museum of Fine Arts

This gallery's biliously miserable concrete exterior contrasts with the neo-classical grandeur of the Opera opposite but the collections of Kyrgyz embroidery and felt rugs, and the splendid variety of paintings all …
Top Choice Club in Bishkek

Bar Suk

Nightclub venues come and go rapidly but Bar Suk is currently THE club for gilded local 20-somethings. It's hip yet unusually welcoming and relaxed despite a bass-amp that's powerful enough to blow-dry your hair. No…
Top Choice Coffee in Bishkek

Sierra Coffee

This buzzing, international-style coffeehouse roasts its own beans, has outside seating in summer and a small library of English books.
Museum in Bishkek

State Historical Museum

Thrillingly for Sovietophiles, this 1984 marble-faced cube still retains many splendidly stirring faux-bronze/copper reliefs and bold ceiling murals reflecting the building's former purpose as a state-of-the-art Len…
Russian in Bishkek

Russian Drama Theatre Buffet

For sheer novelty, seek out this inexpensive cafeteria hidden in the basement of an outwardly drab concrete theatre. The windowless dining room's unique feature is the luridly colourful wallpaper portraying giant 16…
Square in Bishkek

Ala-Too Square

Surveyed by a triumphant statue of Manas, Bishkek's nominal centre is architecturally neo-brutalist in style, but it has a perversely photogenic quality especially when slowly goose-stepping soldiers change the guar…
Beer Hall in Bishkek


The setting sun pouring through an upper window illuminates a Kyrgyz yurt-crown draped in hops in this spacious two-level beerhall. The bar is built around a gleaming copper brew-vessel whose excellent micro-brewed …