Cultural Tour of Bishkek, Bishkek (Self Guided)

Bishkek is the cultural center of Kyrgyzstan. The city has a wide variety of theaters, operas, cinemas and libraries. Russia had a profound impact on Kyrgyzstan's culture, which you will notice on this tour. Come explore the rich culture of Bishkek and the Kyrgyz people.
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Cultural Tour of Bishkek Map

Guide Name: Cultural Tour of Bishkek
Guide Location: Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek (See other walking tours in Bishkek)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.4 km
Author: vickyc
1
The Manas Sculptural Complex

1) The Manas Sculptural Complex (must see)

The Manas Sculptural Complex, completed in 1981, is located in Manas Square. The main statue depicts a legendary hero on a magical horse who slays an evil dragon. Under this statue are other statues of the hero's wife and a wise man. This beautiful square is paved in red granite. There are other busts of local leaders, as well as fountains on the square.
2
Kyrgyz State Philharmonic

2) Kyrgyz State Philharmonic

The Kyrgyz State Philharmonic has two separate halls and hosts a wide variety of concerts, from classical to traditional Kyrgyz to modern pop. Since 1980 the philharmonic has offered high-quality entertainment to the people of Bishkek, including symphonies and Kyrgyz orchestral musical performances.
3
Russian Orthodox Church

3) Russian Orthodox Church

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral on the corner of Jibek Jolu and Togolok Moldo Streets is a large and impressive church. You will recognize it by its eye-catching sky blue domes. The interior of the cathedral is richly decorated with beautiful religious paintings. You will feel as if you are in Russia rather than in the predominantly Muslim city of Bishkek.
4
Drama Theater

4) Drama Theater

Drama Theater is the National Academic Drama Theater of Kyrgyzstan that stages professional performances. Actors from Russia and other ex-Soviet republics perform on this theater's stage. Be sure not to miss the staging of a traditional Kyrgyz poetic drama.
5
National Library

5) National Library

The National Library of Kyrgyz, located in the city center, was established in 1934. Over the years it has amassed a rich collection of national literature and historical documents. Their collection contains more than 6 million documents, including rare books, newspapers, magazines, dissertations, manuscripts and more.
6
Opera House

6) Opera House

The Opera House, or more officially the Theater of Opera and Ballet, hosts great classical performances. It has already staged over 200 productions, including national masterpieces and world classics. Here you can see well-known productions, such as Manas and Swan Lake.
7
Ala Too Cinema

7) Ala Too Cinema

Located on the main square in the heart of the city is Ala Too Cinema. It is the largest cinema in Bishkek. In addition to watching a movie, you can enjoy the sculptures decorating the walls of the building that depict Soviet cosmonauts and other heroes.
8
Aaly Tokombaev House Museum

8) Aaly Tokombaev House Museum (must see)

The Aaly Tokombaev House Museum is located in the former house of this famous Kyrgyz writer. It is a rather small museum, but it offers a deep look into the culture of Kyrgyzstan. Tokombaev was a great poet, composer and novelist who had an incredible impact on the cultural development of Kyrgyzstan. He contributed greatly to the standardization of the Kyrgyz alphabet. The museum houses an exhibition of his work, his personal things, and a room dedicated to the Kyrgyz people who had to immigrate to China because of the revolt against Russia.

Walking Tours in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Create Your Own Walk in Bishkek

Create Your Own Walk in Bishkek

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bishkek is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Daily Life Tour of Bishkek

Daily Life Tour of Bishkek

To better understand the daily life of Bishkek residents, visit the locals' favorite spots. Explore the bars, shops, churches, and cinemas where locals spend most of their time when not at home. Take this self-guided tour to discover the more personal side of Bishkek.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 km
Museums & Galleries Tour of Bishkek, Part I

Museums & Galleries Tour of Bishkek, Part I

There are many interesting museums in Bishkek, the largest city in the former Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic. Visit the history museum, which teaches about the city and country's fascinating past. Also be sure to see the unusual open air museum that features sculptures by masters from all over the former Soviet Union. Take this self-guided tour to visit the most popular museums in Bishkek.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Shopping Tour of Bishkek

Shopping Tour of Bishkek

Bishkek offers an amazing shopping experience, as you can find a variety of interesting local products, such as uniquely-designed Kyrgyz rugs, handmade pottery and jewelry made with semiprecious stones from the mountains in the area. Take this self-guided tour to explore the stores, boutiques and markets of Bishkek.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Museums & Galleries Tour of Bishkek, Part II

Museums & Galleries Tour of Bishkek, Part II

There are several art galleries in Bishkek, most of which are gallery-shops so you can buy the art that you like. These galleries display traditional and contemporary Kyrgyz art: paintings, pottery, ceramics and more. Take this self-guided tour to gain a better understanding of Kyrgyz art.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Set against the backdrop of Central Asia's Tian Shan mountains at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level, Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, abounds in spacious squares, wide boulevards, marble-faced public buildings and multiple monuments reflecting the country's history including, primarily, the Soviet period. These and other prominent sights make up this tour and allow visitors to...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Kid's Entertainment Tour of Bishkek

Kid's Entertainment Tour of Bishkek

There are a variety of fun attractions in Bishkek that will entertain and engage your children. You can take them to the circus, visit the planetarium or go for a walk in a beautiful park with a merry-go-round. Take this self-guided tour to visit the best places in Bishkek for kids.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Bishkek for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Bishkek has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Bishkek, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.