Metro Pub in Bishkek

If you find yourself wondering what to do in Bishkek on a Friday night, then you should check out Metro Pub. It has a massive dance floor in the back that plays electronic dance music, while the front has a smaller dance floor with a live band. The dance floors are packed on the weekends, […]

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E. Gareyev Botanical Garden in Bishkek

If you love walking outside, and enjoy gardens, butterflies, birdwatching, or running, the E. Gareyev Botanical Garden is a must-see destination when traveling to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In my short time in Bishkek, I have spent many enjoyable early mornings and late afternoons strolling around this garden. Given its proximity to central Bishkek, a brief walk […]

Hiking Near Bishkek: 12 Kaminov

While there is plenty to do in Bishkek, the main reason many people choose to study there is to experience the breathtaking landscape of Kyrgyzstan’s countryside. The SRAS program organizes hiking excursions to Ala-Archa and around Issyk-Kul, but there are also free weekends when you can hike independently to lesser-known areas. My friend Allie and […]

How to Survive Your First Week in Bishkek

I arrived in Bishkek in a daze. I had just spent thirty hours travelling, and it hadn’t quite set in that I was actually in Kyrgyzstan. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I was really in Kyrgyzstan until I visited Issyk-Kul later that day. The excursion coordinator at the London School, Danar, picked me up from […]

Barclay’s Sports Bar in Bishkek

Barclay’s Pub 52 Baatik Baatyr Street 17:00-24:00 Entrees around $8-10 Barclays is a very nice sports bar located just a block away from the London School. This is definitely one of my favorite places to hang out with friends because the atmosphere is lively with a wide array of sports being shown. I’ve been able […]

Fitness House in Bishkek

Fitness House 7:00-23:00 67/1 Baatik Baatura Street $30 per month Although I have many hobbies, my favorite pastime for the last seven years has been lifting, especially powerlifting. When I came to Bishkek, I was honestly worried that it would be difficult to find a decent gym, or at least a decent gym near my […]

Jiu-Jitsu Training in Bishkek

Top Team Jiu-Jitsu Training Sessions are at different times I trained M/W/F 7:00-9:00 P.M. Located on Geological Street (It’s the first alley on Baatik Baatura after you pass Vefa walking from the School) When I first arrived in Bishkek I decided that I’d like to continue my martial arts training. I had done a few […]

Horse Trekking in Kyrgyzstan

Horse Trekking in Kyrgyzstan Glaciers and Vodka Baths A Review of Kyrgyz Summer Adventure, an SRAS educational program One of my absolute favorite things about travelling is the sensations one experiences when waking up and falling asleep in a foreign country. While not thoroughly confusing, it is disorienting enough to give one a pleasant reminder […]

Global Village Festival in Bishkek

AIESEC “Global Village” Cultural Festival Bishkek Park Shopping Center Free Globalvillage.aiesec.kg and on Facebook The Global Village festival is put on every year by the exchange program AIESEC based at the American University of Central Asia. Local students on this program are very welcoming and interested in sharing their stories and learning from international students. […]

Eco-Cup Environmental Movie Festival

ЭкоЧашка / Eco-Cup Дом Кино, ул. Логвиненко 13 FRMI.kg and on Facebook Finding out about events in general in Bishkek has been a bit of a challenge and then finding them physically has always been the second one for me. Make sure to check out the SRAS Bishkek guide for suggestions on sources of events […]

Ruh-Ordo Complex – a Day Trip from Bishkek

Ruh-Ordo Complex/ Культурный центр Рух-Ордо Address: Чолпон-Ата, Киргизия Hours 9-5 Monday-Sunday Admission: 300 som Ruhordo.kg If you visit Lake Issyk-Kul during the summer, check out the Ruh-Ordo Complex at Cholpon-Ata. This complex is an open air museum with beaches that boats an array of sculptures and cultural pieces, along with buildings devoted to Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism, […]

Kyrgyz Horse Games – a Day Trip from Bishkek

National Kyrgyz Horse Games / Националные конно-спортивные игры Address: Ипподром near Cholpon-Ata on Issyk-Kul Free This year elections for the Issyk-Kul region were coming. This does not affect life much as a temporary student in Kyrgyzstan except that it means that the Бир Бол political party set up the Horse Games with free entrance for anyone! […]

Supara Ethno-Complex, Bishkek

Supara Ethno-Complex/Супара Этно-Комплекс Supara.kg 1a Karagul Akmata Str., Kok-Jar village Meals from 340 som Супара Этно-Комплекс (Supara Ethno-Complex) on the scenic outskirts of Bishkek, was developed over the past several years by Tabyldy Egemberdiev, president of the enormously popular Шоро (Shoro) Company, which produces traditional Kyrgyz drinks, among other things. Egemberdiev’s wife, Janyl, was a […]

Bishkek Walking Tour

New SRAS students at the London School in Bishkek are introduced to the city and some of its major landmarks on a walking tour shortly after arrival. I took this tour on the afternoon of my first day here at the end of August. It was hot, the streets were busy, and little stands along […]

Jewish Bishkek: A Brief History and Guide

My experience with the Jewish community in Bishkek began on a weekday evening in September. I did not really expect to find a synagogue on Suyumbayev Street. I had been following the gradually narrowing road for blocks, eventually across the wide Jibek-Jolu Avenue. On the other side of this thoroughfare, Suyumbayev was sidewalk-less, and full […]

7 Second-Hand Stores in Bishkek

The following guide was created by Enot, an Russian-language online publication about local culture, business, food, shops, events, and people in Bishkek that has been popular with SRAS students studying there. It has been translated to English by SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar Sophia Rehm for the benefit of our students who do not yet […]

Happy New Year from Bishkek!

Жаңы жылыңыздар менен! С Новым годом! Happy New Year! Жаңы жылыңыздар менен! С Новым годом! In Bishkek, Новый год (New Year’s) is not just a holiday but a season, culminating in a celebration that begins on the morning of December 31st and lasts a whole сутки (24 hours). It’s the perfect holiday, as far as […]

Ata-Beyit Memorial Complex in Chong-Tash

Ata-Beyit/Ата-бейит Day Trip from Bishkek Ата-бейит (Ata-Beyit, Kyrgyz for “Grave of Our Fathers”) is a memorial complex located in Chong-Tash, a village and skiing destination in the Chui Province about 15 miles south of Bishkek. The site honors two dark episodes in Kyrgyzstan’s history: mass murders that occurred in 1938 at the hands of the […]

Buddha Bar in Bishkek

Buddha Bar Ahunbaeva Street 97A/ул. Ахунбаева 97А Entrées from 150 som ($3) In Bishkek, there are many bars and restaurants close to Ala-Too Square and along Chui Prospect. Their signs, menus and patios all beckon, promising a variety of different scenes and cuisines: national food, burger joints, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, even barbeque. If you venture […]

OIMO Festival in Bishkek

International ОIМО Festival/Международный фестивал ОЙМО Ala-Too Square, Bishkek/Ала-тоо пл., Бишкек July 25-27 The 9th Annual International OIMO Festival was held this past weekend in Bishkek. The festival is a celebration of regional cultures with national foods, music concerts, film screenings, fashion shows, and most notably a large handicraft fair. Artists, vendors, and presenters hail from […]

Ala Archa National Park in Kyrgyzstan

Ala Archa National Park/Ала Арча мамлекеттик жаратылыш паркы Entrance fee 80 som/person (about $1.75) As you walk around Bishkek, it’s hard not to notice the snow-capped Tien Shan mountains that dominate the southern skyline. They’re especially well framed by the buildings that line Ala-Too square, and the sight of snow in 100-degree heat can be […]

Blonder Pub in Bishkek

Blonder Pub Ул. Ибраимова 24/24 Ibraimova St. Appetizers from 100 som ($2), Entrees from 300 som ($6) www.blonderpub.kg I’ve learned the Russian word for sweet tooth (сладкоежка), and it seems appropriate here in Kyrgyzstan. Streets are lined with food stalls selling ice cream out in front, local honey varietals abound, and there are numerous supermarket […]

Sun City in Bishkek

Sun City 2 Chuy Ave/просп. Чуй 2 Day Pass 650 som ($13) www.sun-city.kg Don’t get me wrong: I love summer. But the mercury’s been hovering around 95 degrees in Bishkek the past two weeks, and everyone’s desperate for a way to beat the heat. Luckily, Bishkek has its fair share of pools. Some can best […]

Gulzada Performance at Ala-Too Amphitheater in Bishkek

Гулзада: «Арт-шоу Толгонуу»/Gulzada “Art Show Tolgonuu” Ала-Тоо Борбору/Ala-Too Center ул. Абсамата Масалиева/Absamat Masaliyev St tickets 500-1800 som ($10-36) http://www.gulzada.kg https://www.facebook.com/gulzada.song Walking around Bishkek in the summertime, you get the sense that it’s a youthful city. School children run down the streets laughing while young families push strollers through parks and promenades. Don’t get me wrong, […]

Swan Lake in Bishkek

Международный фестиваль Балета/The International Festival Ballet Академический Театр Оперы и Балета/Opera and Ballet Theater Абдрахманов (Совиетская) ул/Abdrahmanov (Sovietskaya) St. Tickets: 500-1000 som/$10-20 When a friend suggested spending an evening at the ballet, I leapt at the opportunity. While ballet may not necessarily spring to mind when thinking about Kyrgyz culture, I thought it would be […]

Central Asian Bazaars: A Comparative Study

When I stand in bazaars in these foreign lands, I feel myself to be standing inside their beating hearts as well. To me, the bazaar is the face of the country, and nothing like how a bazaar is run, what is sold, what kind of social customs and behavior to provide a better understanding of […]

Bar Hollywood in Bishkek

Bar Hollywood Советская пр. (Just south of the London school, next door) opening and closing ours are fluid like most places in Bishkek Beers are usually between 60-100 som Everyone has their “joint,” and I make it my business to find myself a local watering hole in whatever part of the world I end up […]

Kok-Tobe, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Kok-Tobe (Көк-Төбе) Almaty, Kazakhstan My time spent in Kazakhstan was brief, only two or three days, but in those brief moments I spent in Almaty, I lived true. In that time I had dinner and went shot for shot with politically eccentric dissidents, whose views were united only in their hatred for President Nazarbayev, saw […]

Magic Carpet Ride of Bureaucracy in Turkmenistan

I like carpets, ones from the near east above all else. A nice little footnote to go with the narrative of my journey studying and traveling in Central Asia, for me at least is the carpets in this part of the world. Central Asia is unrivaled when it comes to the production of carpets and […]

Kyrgyz National Museum of Visual Art

Kyrgyz National Museum of Visual Art/Кыргызский Национальний Музей Изобразительных Искусств 196 Советская ул. Hours: 10-17:00, Fridays 10-16, Closed on Mondays Tickets: Regular 130 som, Student 20 som The Kyrgyz Art Museum on Sovietskaya, just across from the opera house, is a two-story building full of traditional Kyrgyz arts, contemporary art styles, and traveling exhibits. Today […]

The Do’s and Please Dont’s of Turkmenistan

Let’s face it everyone, Turkmenistan has a reputation that precedes it. The country has often been associated with the trope of the eccentric “hermit kingdom.” Characteristics such as extreme cults of personality surrounding their leaders, isolationism, strict control of all information within the country by the government, downright bizarre laws and a high functioning propaganda […]

Mikhail Frunze Museum in Bishkek

Mikhail Frunze Museum/Музей М. В. Фрунзе 346 ул. Фрунзе Open Wednesday-Monday, 10-17:30 Tickets: Adults 25 som, Students 15 som, Foreign Visitors 50 som, Russian Excursion Service 30 som, English Excursion Service 50 som Bishkek hasn’t always been called Bishkek. The city situated in the Chui valley of northern Kyrgyzstan went by the name “Pishpek,” during the […]

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