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10 Best Things to Do in Kyrgyzstan (2023)

Are you planning to explore Kyrgyzstan as tourist? Here, we’ve created a list of 10 best things to do in Kyrgyzstan that are worth exploring if you really want to make your trip memorable.


Famous as Switzerland of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is a country which is well known for its natural landscapes, historical monuments, arts and cultures, cuisines, and outdoor activities. From trekking through the Tien Shan Mountains to immersing oneself in the local culture, Kyrgyzstan has something for everyone.

The country's mountains and valleys are a trekker's paradise, with countless trails winding through pristine alpine forests and across high-altitude passes. But that's not all, as Kyrgyzstan is also home to some of the most beautiful lakes in the world, including Issyk-Kul, the second-largest alpine lake in the world. 

If you're looking for the best travel experience in Kyrgyzstan, we’ve mentioned the 10 best things to do in Kyrgyzstan in this blog that you should definitely explore to make the most of the trip.

5 Interesting Facts About Kyrgyzstan

  • It's one of the least populated nations on earth with a population of just over 5.5 million, and an area of over 200,000 square kilometers. 
  • 80 percent of Kyrgyzstan is made up of the hilly Tian Shan region, which is why the nation is known as the "Switzerland of Central Asia." 
  • The largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, Lake Issyk-Kul, is the second-largest high altitude lake in the world, just after Lake Titicaca in South America. 
  • The second-largest city in the nation and the oldest in the area is Osh. 
  • The railway network of Kyrgyzstan is among the shortest in the world, measuring only 417 kilometers.
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Why Should You Visit Kyrgystan

Here are 5 reasons that will explain why you should add Kyrgyzstan to your travel list -

Awe-Inspiring Scenery

Kyrgyzstan's landscape is nothing short of breathtaking. The towering Tien Shan Mountains dominate the skyline, while crystal clear lakes like Issyk-Kul and Son-Kul provide a serene backdrop. The countryside is dotted with yurts, horses, and herds of sheep, making it a unique and unforgettable destination for nature lovers.

Unique Culture

Kyrgyzstan's rich culture is a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity. The country has a rich nomadic heritage that's evident in its customs, crafts, and cuisine. You can witness the making of traditional felt, try horseback riding, and attend a local eagle hunting festival. The warm hospitality of Kyrgyz people will make you feel right at home.

Outdoor Adventure

If you're an adventure seeker, Kyrgyzstan is a playground of endless possibilities. From trekking and horse riding to skiing and rafting, there's no shortage of outdoor activities to choose from. The rugged terrain of the Tien Shan Mountains offers challenging treks, while the glistening waters of Issyk-Kul lake provide an ideal spot for water sports.

Affordable Destination

Kyrgyzstan is an affordable destination that won't break the bank. The cost of accommodation, transportation, and food is relatively low, making it an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers. You can stretch your budget even further by trying local street food and staying in a yurt instead of a hotel.

Unforgettable Memories

Kyrgyzstan is a destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether it's the stunning scenery, unique culture, or outdoor adventures, every experience in Kyrgyzstan is one-of-a-kind. The warmth of the people and the beauty of the country will make you want to come back again and again.

Best Things to Do in Kyrgyzstan

Below are the most popular highlights of Kyrgyzstan. To explore these sites is undoubtedly the best things to do in Kyrgyzstan.

1. Skazka Canyon

2. Ala Archa National Park

3. Issyk Kul Lake

4. Song Kol Lake

5. Karakol

6. Cholpon Ata

7. Burana Tower

8. Chon Kemin Valley

9. Kel-Suu Lake

10. Jyrgalan Valley

Let's talk about them one by one -

1. Skazka Canyon

Meghalaya Wildlife

The Skazka canyon, one of the most stunning sights on the southern coast of Lake Issyk kul, is a universe unto itself. Although it is smaller than Kazakhstan's Charyn Canyon, with its vividly coloured red rocks and deep blue lake in the background, it is nonetheless spectacular. 

The Skazka Canyon is also referred to by travelers as the "fairytale Canyon" for good reason. It's an absolute paradise for backpackers in Kyrgyzstan. Dragons, snakes, castles, and any other creatures that your imagination may bring to life are all inhabited there.

  • Location: 5943+JP4, Tosor, Kyrgyzstan
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout Year
  • Famous For: Red Clay Rocks

2. Ala Archa National Park

10 Best Things to Do in Kyrgyzstan (2023)

About an hour's drive south of Bishkek is this large, rough, yet extremely accessible gorge. It is now a national park and offers a variety of walking and trekking opportunities, including walks to glaciers and climbs to some of the highest peaks in the area for experienced mountaineers. 

The park's name translates as the multicolored juniper tree from the Hawaiian word ala, which is easy to understand when you arrive. The Ala-Archa National Park is a very favorite destination for Bishkek residents who want to take summertime picnics and unwind by waterfalls. 

  • Location: Chüy Region, ‎Kyrgyzstan
  • Best Time to Visit: July, August and September
  • Famous For: Striking Gorge

3. Issyk Kul Lake

10 Best things to do in Kyrgyzstan

Issyk kul Lake, a large endorheic lake tucked away in the Northern Tian Shan Mountains, is renowned for its serenity and picturesque splendor. It is the second-largest saline lake in the world after the Caspian Sea and features the breathtaking Tian Shan mountain ranges as its backdrop. 

Issyk kul Lake is an ancient lake which is thought to be 25 million years old. Some of the tourist favorites activities include swimming, rafting, kayaking, and horseback riding along the bank.

  • Location: Cholpon-Ata town, Kyrgyzstan
  • Best Time to Visit: July and August
  • Famous For: Serenity and Picturesque Background

4. Song Kol Lake

Meghalaya Weather

Song Kol Lake, which is located at an altitude of approx 3000 meters, is renowned for its heavenly beauty and tranquility. The second-largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, Song Kal Lake, is surrounded by mountains and lush meadows. 

This lake, which can also be reached via horseback rides, is so breathtakingly beautiful that it will make you gasp in awe. The lake is naturally beautiful, and the color of its surface changes numerous times throughout the day, turning from rich blue to purple-blue or from lush green.

  • Location: Naryn Region, Kyrgyzstan
  • Best Time to Visit: June and July
  • Famous For: Beauty and Freshwater

5. Karakol

Meghalaya Weather

Karakol, one of Kyrgyzstan's most well-known and prominent tourist destinations, is renowned for capturing the essence of the nation's culture and traditions. The area has everything you need to make your vacation worthwhile and exciting, including hiking and trekking, a sunset cruise, food tours, and city walks. 

There are relaxing cafes and bars as well as huge local markets for satisfying shopping therapy. The town's cultural heritage and culinary history are influenced by a variety of distinctive civilizations.

  • Location: Issyk-Kul Region, Kyrgyzstan
  • Best Time to Visit: July and August
  • Famous For: Culture and Traditions

6. Cholpon Ata

Meghalaya Tour

Cholpon Ata is a bustling tourist destination that can be found on the Issyk-Kul lake's northern shore. It is a  tourist destination all year long because of its world-famous lake, museums, monuments, and statues. 

The must-see locations are the Museum of Petroglyphs, the History Museum, the Equestrian Hippodrome, the Lenin Statue, and the Veteran Monument. The Issyk-Kul coast's safest town is Cholpon-Ata. Families and solo travelers alike will find this city to be welcoming.

  • Location: Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan
  • Best Time to Visit: June to September
  • Famous For: Museums and Statues

7. Burana Tower

Meghalaya Trip

The Burana Tower had initially intended to stand 44 meters high, but it is now only 25 meters high due to weather and battle damage in the past. Due to its proximity, it is fairly accessible as a day trip from Bishkek.

The Tian Shan mountains and beautiful plains surround this amazing minaret, which is in a truly breathtaking site.

It is one of the most beautiful places for both domestic and international tourists to visit because of its fascinating natural beauty, history, and architecture.

  • Location: Chüy Valley, Kyrgyzstan
  • Best Time to Visit: Autumn 
  • Famous For: Architectural Construction 

8. Chon Kemin Valley

Meghalaya Trip

The Chon Kemin Valley, which is renowned for its exceptional natural beauty, is home to a wide variety of plants, animals, and landscapes. Those who sincerely value natural beauty frequent the Chon-Kemin valley because, according to many, it is still in its pristine state.

Hiking through the national park of Chon-Kemin offers the chance to see snow leopards, maral, and golden eagles among semi-deserts and glaciers. The numerous historic burial mounds, some of which date as far back as the 4th century BC, will astound history buffs. 

  • Location: Chong-Kemin, Kyrgyzstan
  • Best Time to Visit: May to September
  • Famous For: Natural Beauty

9. Kel-Suu Lake

Meghalaya Trip

One of Kyrgyzstan's most well-known tourist destinations is Kel Suu Lake, which is located in the mountains bordering China. Beautiful Lake Kel-Suu was created thousands of years ago as a result of the mountain massif's disintegration. 

Lake Kel Suu, with its emerald-blue lake, surrounding mountains, and tranquilly, ranks among the best spots in Kyrgyzstan to visit. The lake is famous for bathing, diving, and kayaking and is immaculate.

  • Location: Naryn Region, Kyrgyzstan
  • Best Time to Visit: June to September
  • Famous For: Bathing, Diving and Kayaking

10. Jyrgalan Valley

Meghalaya Trip

This valley, which is east of Lake Issyk Kul, is a haven for people looking for a quiet escape. The Jargalan hamlet is situated in the middle of the valley, which is nothing short of picture-postcard beauty. Many chances exist in the scenic mountain village for outdoor recreation.

In the summer, you can stroll the infinite paths, which range from short, easy climbs to longer journeys and all provide breathtaking vistas. You can try riding a horse through the hills or mountain biking for an adrenaline thrill.

  • Location: 60 km east to Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer
  • Famous For: Trekking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, and Freeride Skiing

Conclusion - Best Things to do in Kyrgyzstan

In conclusion, Kyrgyzstan is a true hidden gem that should be on every traveler's bucket list. It's a country where the beauty of nature meets the warmth of hospitality, creating an experience that's hard to forget.

From trekking through the rugged mountains to learning traditional crafts, Kyrgyzstan has something to offer for every kind of adventurer. As a tourist, you feel will lucky to have the chance to explore this amazing country. So, what are you waiting for?

Add these best things to do in Kyrgyzstan to your bucket list, pack your bags, get ready for an unforgettable journey, and discover the best of Kyrgyzstan.

FAQ - Best Things to do in Kyrgyzstan

1.What are the most famous tourist attractions in Kyrgyzstan?

Issyk Kul Lake, Bishkek, Ala Archa National Park, Burana, Song Kul Lake, Tash Rabat, and Osh are the most famous tourist attractions in Kyrgyzstan.

2.What are the popular dishes to try in Kyrgyzstan?

Beshbarmak, Dimlama, Kuurdak, Shashlik, Shorpo, Laghman, and Paloo are the popular dishes to try in Kyrgyzstan.

3.Is Kyrgyzstan expensive for tourists?

It is the cheapest country in Central Asia and a traveler's paradise for those on a tight budget. For around $10 per day, you can easily find a house or yurt to stay in that also includes breakfast and dinner.

4.Is Kyrgyzstan visa-free for Indians?

No, in order to enter Kyrgyzstan, all Indian passport holders must apply for a visa. The kind of visa you need will depend on your nationality, the reason for your intended visit, and the length of your stay.

5.What is Kyrgyzstan famous for?

Kyrgyzstan is famous for its incredible natural beauty, lakes, traditional felt-made items, delicious food, and its rich culture and traditions. 

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