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 Local Products in Karakol


Beautifully presented selection of locally sourced products including delicious barberry and apricot juices from Jeti-Öghüz, natural soaps from Tasma, threadless slippers, beeswax candles, silk-felt hybrid products,…
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.
Mountain in Osh

Suleiman Too

This five-peaked rocky crag seems to loom above the city wherever you go. It has been a Muslim place of pilgrimage for centuries, supposedly because the Prophet Mohammed once prayed here. Its slopes are indented wit…
Rock Art in Cholpon-Ata


Directly north of the former airport runway (now a wide road) is an extensive field of glacial boulders, many with pictures scratched or picked into their surfaces. Some of these petroglyphs date from the late Bronz…
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 scenes at once sad and comical, with locals improbably bun…