Top things to do

Top Choice Sports in Cholpon-Ata

World Nomad Games

Held every two years in even-numbered years, this gathering of global sportsmen competing in traditional nomadic sports is a highlight of the entire region. Sports competitions are held at the Hippodrome just east o…
Top Choice Workshop in Barskoön

Ak Örgö Yurt Workshop

This workshop became famous after one of its products won the 'most beautiful yurt' competition at the 1997 'Manas 1000' festival and had its work exhibited six times in the US at several museums and cultural centre…
Top Choice Lake in Ak-Suu Region

Ala-Köl

The two-day trek to stunning Ala-Köl is for many visitors a highlight of the entire Kyrgyzstan experience. Though less than 1.5 km², the range of massive peaks that backs the long curve of the the lake makes the vie…
Top Choice Museum in Issyk-Köl Southern Shore

Shygaev Museum of Modern Art

Built into the hometown studio of Kyrgyzstan's national artist, Yuristanbek Shygaev, this delightful space is one of the most engaging museums in the whole of the country. Beyond works by the eponymous (and prolific…
Top Choice Central Asian in Karakol

Ashlyan-Fuu

When the people of Karakol go for ashlyanfu, this tin-roofed shack off Jusaev is where they go. It's the best in the city, therefore perhaps the best in the whole world. There's no menu, just bowls of ashlyanfu and …
Top Choice Cafe in Karakol

Fat Cat Cafe

Quality coffee and desserts, a menu of Western dishes, speciality beers and even cocktails here are the stuff of whispered longings for travellers in the rural regions of Kyrgyzstan. What they don't always mention i…
Viewpoint in Karakol

Jolgolot Viewpoint

Hike the hour or two up from the village of Jolgolot (a suburb of Karakol) to take in stunning views of the city and Issyk-Köl to the north and the Karakol Valley to the south. Return the same way, or loop through t…
Market in Karakol

Karakol Animal Market

Early on Sunday mornings one of Kyrgyzstan's biggest animal markets takes place around 2km north of central Karakol. Typical of such markets, you'll observe locals bargaining over thoroughbred horses or improbably b…
Natural Feature in Jeti-Ögüz

Seven Bulls

One of Kyrgyzstan's most photographed natural features, the Seven Bulls (Jeti-Ögüz) is an abrupt serrated ridge of ferric-red sandstone cliffs that have been vertically diced into a series of rounded bluffs. The for…
Museum in Karakol

Przhevalsky Memorial Museum

The main attraction of the shrine-like Przhevalsky memorial garden is a small, well-presented museum dedicated to Nikolai Przhevalsky, the Russian explorer who died here in 1888 and for whom Karakol was previously n…