We currently don't offer any organised trips to Kyrgyzstan. However, Peregrine can create bespoke tours to many destinations, including Kyrgyzstan. That’s the same locally-led, small group experience, but crafted to suit you. Just fill out your details below and a travel specialist will be in touch.
Grand mountain landscapes may draw you in, but it’s the warm local hosts that make you want to stay.
It’s a land made wild by mountains and valleys, but the Kyrgyz call this place their home. Their customs have set them up for survival as they herd their flock on verdant hillsides and camp by idyllic mountain lakes. Just moments away from such splendors as Son-Kun Lake and Barskoön Gorge, the villagers rest in their yurts, humbled by the vastness of their surrounds.
(GMT+06:00) Almaty, Novosibirsk
Type C (European 2-pin)
Kyrgyzstan travel highlights
Kyrgyzstan holiday information
The people of Kyrgyzstan are mostly Kyrgyz, with a significant minority of Russians and Uzbeks that live in the north and south respectively. Only about 30% of the population live in cities, making it a predominately rural nation. Many still live the semi-nomadic lifestyle that is traditional in the region, but only seasonally in the summer. Their way of life is based on herding sheep, horses and goat in the mountain pastures. Kyrgyz are very hospitable and curious people, and many are happy to welcome foreigners to their homes.
Kyrgyzstan is furthest from the sea than any other country. Landlocked in Central Asia, it’s wedged in between Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Thanks to its mountainous terrain, Kyrgyzstan is known as ‘the Switzerland of Central Asia’ – with over 80% of the country covered in mountains. The climate is vastly different across the country. While in the Fergana Valley, the weather is tropical and reaches extreme heat, the rest of the country has continental and polar climates.
While there are malls and departments stores in the city of Bishkek, your best shopping opportunities are at the local bazaars. Here you’ll find traditional clothing, carpets such as the distinctive patterned shyrdaks, and attractive woollen and silk rugs. Other impressive souvenirs include silver jewellery, leather clothing and carved wooden ornaments. Some of the major markets include Tolchok clothes Bazaar, Osh Bazaar and the Mossoviet flea-market – noteworthy for its round-the-clock opening hours.
Navroz is the Islamic Kyrgyz version of spring equinox and marks the new year. Kyrgyz across the country celebrate with festivities like dancing and eating, and there are plenty of special events to enjoy.
National Horse Festival
This incredible festival features a heap of daring sports involving horses. Watch locals compete in polo, traditional chases between men and women on horseback, and horseback wrestling – to name just a few.
Birds of Prey Festival
Kyrgyz historically trained eagles and falcons to hunt small animals for them. Today the tradition lives on as proud bird-owners bring their pets to join special competitions.
Kyrgyzstan tours offer opportunities to stay with local hosts and experience authentic Kyrgyz cooking. Because of the nomadic heritage, many of the dishes are based on cured meats and preservable foods like jams. The national dish of Beshbarmaq consists of boiled sheep’s head, noodles and onion sauce, served with mutton soup. There’s also shashlyk, which is similar to a shish kebab, and paloo, a fried mixture of meat, vegetables and rice. Kyrgyz also have their own brand of dumplings known as manty and samsa.
- Roaming Kyrgyzstan: Beyond the Tourist Track by Jessica Jacobson
- The Tulip Revolution: Kyrgyzstan One Year After by Erica Marat
- The Lost Heart of Asia by Colin Thubron
- This Is Not Civilization by Robert Rosenberg
- The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia by Peter Hopkirk
Kyrgyzstan travel FAQs
Nationals of the following countries do not require a visa for a stay of up to 90-days in Kyrgyzstan.
- Australia: Not required
- Belgium: Not required
- Canada: Not required
- Germany: Not required
- Ireland: Not required
- Netherlands: Not required
- New Zealand: Not required
- Switzerland: Not required
- United Kingdom: Not required
- United States: Not required
Tips of about 10% are expected at restaurants and for other services
You’ll be able to access internet cafes in Bishkek and some major towns.
Mobile phone services are available in major centres but may still be unreliable at times. Remember to activate global roaming with your provider if you wish to use your mobile while traveling.
You’ll have western-style toilets in places like hotels, but most places have basic drop toilets. Soap and toilet paper aren’t always provided so you may like to carry some with you.
- Bottle of soft drink = 25 KGS
- Beer in a bar or restaurant = 40 KGS
- Cup of coffee = 45 KGS
- Three-course meal = 1000 KGS
- Short taxi ride = 80 KGS
Drinking tap water is not considered safe in Kyrgyzstan. For environmental reasons, avoid buying bottled water and bring a bottle or canteen with you. Ask your leader where you can access filters to refill your supply, or carry your own purification tablets with you.
You’ll be able to use your credit card at places like hotels and large shops in Bishkek but be prepared to pay cash when dealing with local businesses.
Bishkek has ATMs but they are hard to find outside this area.
Yes. All peregrine passengers are required to purchase travel insurance prior to their trip. Your insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day.
For a current list of public holidays go to: