Things to do in Kyrgyzstan that will make your visit worth it!

By Adventures Overland


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Picture pristine alpine lakes shimmering in the sunlight, surrounded by rugged mountain peaks that seem to touch the sky. Imagine nomadic yurts dotting the expansive grasslands, where herds of horses roam freely and eagle hunters practice their ancient craft. This is Kyrgyzstan—a land where history, culture, and nature come together to create a truly timeless experience.

Kyrgyzstan, nestled in the heart of Central Asia, offers an array of experiences and it can be a bit overwhelming to narrow down all the bucket list adventures which is why we are here to tell you all about things to do in Kyrgyzstan.

Visit Burana Tower

The historic Burana Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and undoubtedly one of the best places to see in Kyrgyzstan. Dating back to the 9th century, this ancient minaret offers a glimpse into Kyrgyzstan’s rich history and cultural heritage. Climbing its narrow staircase, you’ll discover stunning views of the surrounding countryside and remnants of bygone civilizations.

Fun Fact: Burana Tower was once part of a larger complex, including a mosque and mausoleums, serving as a vibrant hub of trade and culture along the Silk Road.

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Lake Issyk-Kul Cruise

Lake Issyk-Kul, often called the “Pearl of Kyrgyzstan,” is a natural wonder that captivates visitors with its serene beauty. Formed over millions of years in a tectonic basin, this alpine lake is one of the largest and deepest in the world.

Kyrgyzstan sightseeing itinerary would be complete without a cruise on the pristine waters of Lake Issyk-Kul, one of the must-visit destinations in Kyrgyzstan. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and lush forests, Lake Issyk-Kul is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Whether soaking in the sun on deck or taking a refreshing dip in its crystal clear waters, a cruise on Lake Issyk-Kul should be on top of your things to do in Kyrgyzstan list.

Fun Fact: Despite its high altitude and mountainous surroundings, Lake Issyk-Kul never freezes completely due to its saline composition and constant thermal activity.

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Visit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church

Our next stop brings us to the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Karakol, another of the best places to see in Kyrgyzstan. The Church stands as a testament to Kyrgyzstan’s diverse religious heritage. Built in the 19th century by Russian settlers, this architectural gem showcases a blend of Byzantine and Russian Orthodox styles.

Stepping inside, visitors are enveloped in a sense of peace and tranquility, as they admire the intricate icons and ornate decorations that adorn the church’s interior.

Fun Fact: The church’s construction was overseen by Colonel N. M. Przhevalsky, a renowned Russian explorer who led several expeditions into Central Asia in the 19th century.

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Karakol Ski Base: All the chills and thrills

For those seeking adventure and adrenaline, a ride on the ski lift towards Panorama Point at Karakol Ski Base is a must-have experience in Kyrgyzstan.

Located in the Tien Shan Mountains, this popular ski resort offers a range of slopes for all skill levels, from gentle beginner runs to challenging black diamond trails.

As the chairlift ascends higher and higher above the tree line, visitors are treated to sweeping views of the mountains and the surrounding countryside.

Whether skiing down the slopes or simply savoring the breathtaking vistas, a visit to Karakol Ski Base promises thrills and excitement for all. Trust us adding it to your bucket list of things to do in Kyrgyzstan will make your visit ten times more exciting.

Fun Fact: Karakol Ski Base was established in the 1970s and has since become one of the premier ski destinations in Central Asia, hosting international competitions and events.

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Witnessing a Game of Kok-Boru

One of Kyrgyzstan’s most beloved traditions is kok-boru, a spirited game that combines elements of polo and rugby with a unique Central Asian twist.

Dating back to the time of nomadic tribes, kok-boru features skilled horsemen competing for possession of a goat carcass, aiming to score points by delivering it to the opponent’s goal

No visit to Kyrgyzstan would be complete without witnessing a game of kok-boru, a traditional sport that showcases the country’s nomadic heritage.

With the cheers of the crowd echoing in the air and the sportsmanship on full display, the game is both a glimpse into Kyrgyzstan’s rich cultural traditions and an experience that you simply can’t afford to miss.

Fun Fact: Kok-boru is considered the national sport of Kyrgyzstan and holds a special place in the hearts of its people, with tournaments and matches held throughout the country.

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Meeting Eagle Hunters

For a truly unforgettable experience, visitors shall not miss the opportunity to meet with Kyrgyzstan’s renowned eagle hunters, who continue to practice their ancestral craft of hunting with golden eagles.

These skilled hunters form a deep bond with their majestic birds, training them to hunt foxes and other prey in the rugged mountains and steppes.

As majestic golden eagles take flight at the command of their handlers, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for the bond between man and nature that defines life in the Kyrgyz countryside. Meeting eagle hunters is a must-have experience in Kyrgyzstan, offering insight into a unique way of life that has endured for centuries.

Fun Fact: The tradition of eagle hunting, known as berkutchi, has been passed down through generations in Central Asia, with skills and techniques handed down from father to son and honored as part of Kyrgyz cultural heritage.

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Attend a traditional Felt Show

Our journey culminates in a visit to a traditional felt show, where artisans showcase the ancient art of felt-making that has been practiced by Kyrgyz nomads for millennia. Using raw wool and natural dyes, these skilled craftsmen create intricate designs and patterns, shaping the felt into carpets, wall hangings, and decorative items that reflect the region’s cultural heritage and creativity.

By ticking off a traditional felt show from your list of things to do in Kyrgyzstan, you have the opportunity to learn about the traditional techniques and symbolism behind each piece, gaining a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship of Kyrgyz culture.

Fun Fact: Felt-making plays a central role in Kyrgyz’s daily life, with felt rugs used as floor coverings, wall hangings, and even insulation for yurts, demonstrating the versatility and practicality of this ancient craft.

In conclusion, Kyrgyzstan invites travelers to embark on a journey of discovery and wonder, where every experience offers a deeper connection to the region’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether exploring ancient monuments, cruising on alpine lakes, or immersing oneself in traditional customs, there are some truly exceptional experiences and things to do in Kyrgyzstan. Each encounter promises unforgettable memories and a newfound appreciation for this captivating land.

If we have convinced you enough to visit this beautiful country, then let Adventures Overland do the honors of showing you Kyrgyzstan’s many wonders.

Published On: 27th March 2024


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