Kyrgyzstan is a country in Asia according to commit4fitness. Kyrgyzstan can only be described as breathtakingly beautiful: Green meadows lie right next to snow-capped mountains, and wherever you are, the diverse landscape forms the perfect background for unique experiences. Although tourism is increasing, the number of visitors is still so low that you can definitely find peace and relaxation here. The mountain views alone are worth a trip to Kyrgyzstan, but those who venture further in will find glaciers and hidden, crystal-clear mountain lakes. It is definitely worth hiking to at least one of these blue bodies of water. There is plenty to choose from and hiking trails criss-cross the country. The larger cities of Kyrgyzstan reflect two different sides of the country. Osh is near the border with Uzbekistan. Influences from the neighboring country and Islam determine life here. Bishkek, on the other hand, has changed a lot and has become modern, which is not only reflected in the western clothing of the young population.
Arriving by plane
Turkish Airlines (TK) and Pegasus Airlines (PC) fly from Frankfurt/M., Vienna, Geneva and Zurich via Istanbul, Aeroflot (SU) flies via Moscow to Bishkek. Lufthansa (LH) connects Frankfurt/M several times a week. non-stop with Almaty (Kazakhstan); Onward flight to Bishkek is possible with Air Astana (KC) (flight time: 55 min.).
Frankfurt/M. – Bishkek: 9 hrs 30 mins; Frankfurt/M. – Almaty: 6 hrs 30 mins (non-stop); Vienna – Bishkek: 9 hours 45 minutes; Zurich – Bishkek: 10 hrs 40 mins; Geneva – Bishkek: 10 hrs 10 mins
Arrival by car
By land, Kyrgyzstan can be reached from Kazakhstan on the Almaty-Bishkek road (travel time: 3-5 hours). From China, to get to Osh, one crosses the Irkeshtam Pass and continues to Naryn via the Torugart Pass. From Uzbekistan there is a road through Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan (travel time: about 10 hours), and there is a connection between Tashkent and Osh through the Fergana Valley; Mountain passes are often closed on this route in winter, and in spring flooding makes sections impassable. A very difficult road to drive on connects Tajikistan with Osh via Khujant and Batken. Long-distance buses: There are regular buses between Bishkek and Tashkent in Uzbekistan (journey time: 10-12 hours) and Almaty in Kazakhstan (approx. 5 hours). Toll: Dushanbe-Khujand route is subject to toll. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required. In the case of police checks in particular, a notarized translation into Kyrgyz or Russian must also be presented.
Arrival by train
Trains run several times a week on the Bishkek-Moscow route, on which the railway crosses Kazakhstan (journey time: approx. 3 days). There are also daily train connections between Bishkek and Astana (Kazakhstan) (journey time: approx. 28 hours) and Bishkek and Tashkent (Uzbekistan) (journey time: approx. 19 hours).
Traveling by plane
Air Manas (ZM) and Avia Traffic Company (YK) connect Bishkek with Osh, Jalalabat and Batken several times a day. The central Tienshan region can be reached by helicopter, which transports mountaineers to the Inylchek Valley. Safety standards in national air traffic do not always correspond to Western European standards.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network in Kyrgyzstan has a total length of around 34,000 km. Connecting roads lead from Bishkek to Osh, a highway from Osh to the border with China at Irkeshtam and from Sarytash to the border with Tajikistan.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
The road condition is generally rather bad. Potholes are to be expected in some areas on the well-developed route from Bishkek to Osh. However, the road network is maintained whenever funds are available. Pass roads are often closed in winter and even in spring, when the snow melts, some roads are impassable. In addition, roads are sometimes blocked by landslides and avalanches.
Rental cars are available at Bishkek and Osh airports and in some larger cities. Due to the road conditions, off-road vehicles are recommended. Rental cars with a chauffeur can also be booked. The minimum age for drivers is 21 years; However, up to the age of 23 the rentable vehicle categories are limited. Under 23s and over 65s often have to pay additional fees on site.
Taxis are readily available in major cities; also with private providers. The fare should be agreed in advance. There are also shared taxis in small towns; these start there in the village center or at the bus station.
In Bishkek, mountain bikes can be rented from the bike rental company Freebike. However, due to the general driving style in the country, caution is advised at all times.
Minibuses (marshrutkas) are available throughout the country, both in urban and rural areas. Minibuses, which are used as shared taxis, only leave when all the seats are occupied; In order to speed up the departure, several places can also be booked.
Traffic regulations: – alcohol limit: 0.0 ‰; – the light must also be switched on during the day; – Seatbelt obligation. Speed limits: – urban: 60 km/h; in residential areas/town centers 20 km/h; – on rural roads: 60-90 km/h (depending on the signs); – on motorways: 90-110 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.
In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required. In the case of police checks in particular, a notarized translation into Kyrgyz or Russian must also be presented.
Traveling in the city
Bishkek has a network of buses and trolleybuses. In addition, minibuses, so-called marshrutkas, serve the entire city area; they can be stopped at any time with a hand signal. Taxis are readily available and can also be hired for the whole day.
Locally on the way by train
The Kyrgyz railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) operates the country’s rail transport. The Bishkek-Balikchi route is usually served several times a week and daily in the summer months. Trains also go to Kant and Tokmok.