12 day trips from Bishkek: best destinations

Bishkek is the perfect place to start your trip from Kyrgyzstan, or for short day trips. High mountain gorges, lakes with clear water, and picturesque panoramas are easily accessible to every traveler. It’s easy to get there on your own, with an excursion, for a day or for a longer period.

Ala Archa

The most convenient and easiest way to visit the mountains near Bishkek is the Ala-Archa National Park. It is located only 40 kilometers from the city, the most convenient way to get there is by car or with tours. You can also take a taxi, but the cost of the trip also includes 700 soms for entry into the park.

In Ala-Archa there are both relatively difficult climbing paths and the simplest routes. For unprepared tourists, the trail along the river along the valley is suitable. Tourists with physical fitness will be interested in climbing to the Broken Heart panorama. All attractions will be indicated on the map at the entrance.

Alamedin Gorge

Another very accessible destination is the Alamedin Gorge, also not far from the capital. You can get there by car, taxi or on a tour. The easiest route goes along the valley to the Alamedin waterfall; such a walk does not require any preparation. On the way to the waterfall there are stunning views of the mountains.


The famous Lake Issyk-Kul is also not too far from Bishkek. In the summer there is even a special panoramic train that runs to it, although it takes much longer than traveling by car or bus. The nearest coast is Balykchi is suitable for a one-day trip; with a tour or by car you can cover the sights of the northern or southern coast in a day. But to drive around the entire lake, you most likely will have to make overnight stop.

Barskoon valley

On the southern coast of Issyk-Kul there is one of the most picturesque gorges – Barskoon. There are hiking routes or a short trail to the waterfall along it. You can also ride horses here. The gorge was visited by Yuri Gagarin rested here, to whom there is a monument.

Skazka (Fairytale) canyon

Another attraction of the southern coast of Issyk-Kul is the stunning Skazka Canyon, which ressembles to Martian landscapes. There is an entrance fee, and the area is relatively large, you can climb up to see views of the lake. Here you can buy souvenirs, paintings by a local artist, and also offer archery.

On the way from Bishkek to Issyk-Kul there are another beautiful canyons – Kok-Moinok with clay walls. Not far from them there is the Konorchek canyon, very beautiful, but to see it you will have to overcome a difficult hiking route, which is not suitable for everyone.


The village of Balykchi is the most accesible from Bishkek place on the lake shore. You can go there by car, bus from the bus station or GoBus transfer. The village has a good beach, a beautiful coastline, and many cafes, so it’s ideal for a one-day beach trip.


The fourth largest city in Kyrgyzstan, located on the eastern shore of Issyk-Kul, Karakol is very interesting: monuments and architecture, parks, many cafes. It is also the starting point for trips to the mountains and ski resorts. If you’re driving around the lake, this is a great place to stop overnight.


Cholpon-Ata is the most tourist town of the lake with sanatoriums, hotels, numerous beaches and famous thermal springs. You can come here to relax or visit the thermal springs.

Book hotels, apartments and yurts in Kyrgyzstan on Tripadvisor.

Burana Tower

Burana Tower is one of the oldest landmarks in Kyrgyzstan, built back in the 10th-11th centuries. Once its height reached 48 meters, now only 21. The ruins of an ancient settlement, including a rock garden and examples of rock paintings, have been preserved around. A unique historical place, where it is convenient to stop by on the way to the mountains or to Issyk-Kul.

Sky Bridge

The bridge spans over a cliff and is located about an hour’s drive from the city. It offers views of mountains and waterfalls, and is suitable for adrenaline junkies and those who want unusual photographs. Admission is paid, look for detailed information on their profile (@sky_bridge.kg). The Sky Bridge has one drawback – the road to it is quite dangerous.

A view from a flagpole

The viewpoint near the flagpole offers a stunning panorama of the whole of Bishkek and the mountains. The flag itself also looks picturesque. You can only get here by car, be prepared for bad roads. Coordinates: 42.796867° 74.606265°

In May, along the way to the flag, beautiful poppy fields bloom; many people come here for photo sessions.


One of the closest high-mountain gorges to Bishkek, the journey to which will take about an hour, Chunkurchak is located at an altitude of 2400 meters above sea level. In winter there is a ski resort here, and in spring entire fields of tulips bloom. In Chunkurchak there is the famous ethno-complex Supara, where you will be introduced to the rich history and culture of Kyrgyzstan. There are simple and short routes along the gorge that are suitable for absolutely everyone.

Issyk-Ata Gorge

The Issyk-Ata Gorge is famous for its thermal springs, where you can take a dip in a special pool. The main attraction of Issyk-Ata is the Buddha statue of the 12th century, when Buddhism was widespread in the territory. Can be combined with a visit to Ala-Archy and Chunkurchak on your own or with a guide.

Semenovskoye Gorge

Locals often call Semenovskoye one of the most picturesque gorges. Its meadows and turquoise Lake Suttyubulak resemble the Alps. The visit can be combined with the Grigorievsky Gorge along the circular road; you can walk through nature and special trails all day.

Belogorka waterfall

One of the most picturesque waterfalls in Kyrgyzstan, 60 meters high, with a short road from the parking lot (but not the easiest). Please note that in the off-season it will be difficult to get there by car. There are breathtaking mountains and glaciers all around.

Tuyuk Gorge

Tuyuk Gorge and Kok-Moinok Lake can be visited along with the Burana Tower. The drive to the gorge is only 75 kilometers; its slopes are covered with bushes and spruce trees, which looks beautiful at any time of the year. The Kok-Moinok mountain lake reflects snow-capped peaks, and there is also a small waterfall. The path to natural attractions is relatively simple.

Read also: A full guide to Bishkek.