Top 5 activities to do around Bishkek
In this topic we’ve decided to put together some of the best activities you can do in a day-long trip having a pretty limited time in Kyrgyzstan. Most of them can be done within Bishkek, however some might require a whole day outside. Here we go:
One of the best things about Bishkek is that you’re able to enjoy some really awesome views without having to go too far away. There are a lot of hiking options around our capital city but we think Ala Archa National Park is the best one. Merely 25 minutes of drive and you’re amidst the breathtaking mountains, juniper forest and river. The best part of Ala Archa is that it will suit absolutely everyone, from a newbie to an avid hike-lover! Not able to go up the mountains? – Not a problem, just take a tarmac path along the river all the way to the lovely picnic clearing. Looking for something more serious? – You’re covered too, turn left at the start point and follow the trail that leads up to the Broken Heart rock (2km) and the waterfall (4 km). Among the park inhabitants are: ibexes (mountain goats), marmots, gophers, stoats, squirrels, different kinds of birds and many more. There’s also a pride of Kyrgyzstan living high up on the snow-capped peaks – a snow leopard. Ala Archa is the absolute winner for spending your day out in the freshest air. The entrance fee to the park is 500 soms per car. The approximate taxi price to the place would be 700 (one way).
2 Horse riding
If one is really into horseback riding then Bishkek and its surroundings is a great place to start from! There are two main options for this type of experience: the first is Chunkurchak ski resort (38km or 40 min), the second is much farther from Bishkek but also waaaay more stunning – Chon Kemin valley (160km or 2,5 hours). Both sites can boast of some really fantastic views, however Chon Kemin undoubtedly comes in first. It’s a much vaster, broader, greener valley. Additionally the horse riding path there goes higher up to the magnificent panorama. But if you don’t wanna spend or don’t have time for a whole day trip, then Chunkurchak ski resort would be a great choice as well.
3 Cultural leisure
After having done most of the activities in Kyrgyzstan, what could be a lovely summarizer for your trip? Of course the cultural walk around Bishkek that will immerse you into the vibrant lifestyle of the Kyrgyz. Below is the list of those necessary-to-visit spots of our capital city:
1 Victory Square – dedicated to the Second World War with the relevant monuments and eternal fire. During the War more than 360 000 Kyrgyz soldiers were sent to the front line, the third of whom never returned home.
2 Kyrgyz National Opera and Ballet theatre – the old and beautiful building that showcases the charming Soviet architecture. Was built in 1955 and is performed in the architectural style of classicism.
3 Ala Too Square – the main square of the city where the biggest flagpole with the sentinels are located. Have a walk around the place and see the historical museum, Manas hero monument and the White House.
4 Explore the charming “Erkindik” or “Freedom” boulevard and the old Railway Station which is a good example of the Soviet architecture of the early 20th century.
5 Kyrgyz State Philharmonic Hall – another beautiful place to capture a fascinating style of the Mayor’s office, International University and the Philharmony itself.
6 Osh bazaar – The legendary open air market where you will dive into the culture of traditional shopping of Kyrgyz people. A perfect place for acquiring souvenirs, dried fruits, national delicacies and much more.
The whole city walk will take you about 3 hours by foot.
Well, this one is for those adrenaline-seekers… A really exciting activity close to the city with some fascinating views. About 30 minutes away from Bishkek centre and you’re in the beautiful mountainous area called “Gornaya Maevka”. You can arrange a transfer by the provider to pick you up down at the foot of mountains and drive you uphill. There are two height options for this paragliding flight: 1 – 500m (2000 soms), 2 – 1000m (4000 soms). The scenery up there is amazing so you’ll be soaring in the air contemplating the lovely view of Bishkek.
5 River rafting
Have got a big company but don’t know what to engage in? Here’s another adrenaline activity for you – river rafting. The action takes place about 140km away from Bishkek on the Chu river. The category of this rafting is easy-medium so even the first-time rookie will be able to enjoy it without any stress. The distance is 25km and takes about 1,5 hours. The price per group varies from $150 to $200 and includes all the equipment (raft, oars, hydro suits, helmets, life jackets) and river guides-instructors.
So, grab any of these activities and enjoy your beautiful time in Bishkek!