Of all Central Asian Republics Kyrgyzstan is the easiest country to entry. Nevertheless, even if you can enter under one of the visa-free regimes explained here below, make sure that you get an entry stamp into your passport when crossing the border.
Visa-free regime according to bilateral agreements.
- Russian Federation
Visa free regime for 60 days
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- Federal Republic of Germany
- Kingdom of
- Kingdom of Norway
- Kingdom of Sweden
- Kingdom of
- New Zealand
- Republic of Finland
- Republic of Austria
- Republic of Malta
- Republic of Korea
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- The Republic of Croatia
- The Swiss Confederation
- The Italian Republic
- The French Republic
- The Republic of Poland
- The Republic of Estonia
- The Republic of Latvia
- The Republic of Lithuania
- The Republic of Singapore
- The Hellenic Republic
- The Slovak Republic
- The Republic of Slovenia
- The Sultanate of Oman
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom of Great Britain
Citizens from following countries are entitled to obtain a 1-month tourist visa upon entry at in Manas International Airport without any Letter of Invitation:
- South Africa
- South Africa
Resident Visa holders (with a valid Resident Permit) of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman can obtain a one-month tourist visa for Kyrgyzstan on arrival at Bishkek airport. Please note that your Resident Permit must be valid for at least 180 days from the date of your arrival to Kyrgyzstan.
- Sri Lanka
With the list of the countries with which the visa/visa-free regulations are set, it is possible to check on the official site of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kyrgyz Republic: http://www.mfa.gov.kg/
For convenience of our passengers at the territory of international airport “Manas”, Department of Consular service serves24 hours.
Consular Department at the Manas airport provides free consultation on the following phone numbers:
Consul mobile phone number (24 hours): +996 550 770 433;
Money/ATMThe national currency in Kyrgyzstan is the Kyrgyz Som (KGS) which is divided into 100 Tiyin. You will find that higher-priced items are priced in US dollars and a few businesses in the hospitality industry also fix their prices in Euros. Although shops and businesses in Bishkek introduce increasingly card payment, you will need cash in national currency for every day purchases. Banks and licensed moneychanger booths (marked “obmenvalyut”) exchange USD and Euro. There is no black market for currency transactions. It is preferably to change big notes (50 USD or EUR or more) in neat (almost new) condition. For small bank notes (under 50 USD or EUR) and blemished notes it happens that moneychangers significantly lower the exchange rate. There are ATMs in Bishkek, Jalal-Abad, Cholpon Ata, Karakol and Osh that dispense both US dollars and Som, but mostly Visa Cards are accepted. Few banks as the KazkommertBank, DemirBank and RSK Bank branches in Bishkek accept MasterCard / Maestro / Cirrus. If you need to wire money, MoneyGram has services at main post offices and Western Union works through most banks.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding US$10,000 or equivalent must be declared to the customs.
The current official exchange rate can be checked on the website of the Kyrgyz National Bank: www.nbkr.kg
Duty freeFollowing goods may be imported into Kyrgyzstan by travelers of 16 years or more without incurring customs duty:
1000 cigarettes or 1000g of tobacco products
1,5 liters of alcoholic beverages and 2 liters of wine
A reasonable quantity of perfume for personal use
Next to weapons and narcotics banned imports are also fruit and vegetables and live animals (subject to special permit).
Banned export are precious metals and articles, works of art and antiques (unless permission has been granted by the Ministry of Culture) and furs.
Communication / InternetIf you need to call during your travel in Kyrgyzstan you can buy a local GSM Sim card for about 2 dollars with passport registration. You can charge units to your sim according to your needs; either in a public automat (in shops and public places in Bishkek) or in a kiosk in any town or village. There are 3 major telecom providers with nationwide coverage (except remote mountain areas far from roads or villages). The country code is +996 (city/area/mobile network code) (phone number)
Internet cafes are available in small towns throughout the country although the speed is best in Bishkek. An hour cost between 30 and 40 som. Some of these cafes also provide landlines for calls abroad which are cheaper than call from cell phones.
Wi Fi is accessible in almost all hotels, guesthouses and restaurants of Bishkek and Osh. In rural areas, Wi Fi access can be limited.
Electric devicesElectricity in Kyrgyzstan is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 Hertz. Outlets in Kyrgyzstan generally accept plugs of two round pins – European/Soviet standards.
HealthMedical services offered to foreigners, except emergency care, require immediate cash payment and are somewhat limited. First aid and small interventions can be provided in regional hospitals but for severe health problems it is preferable to get help in Bishkek. Embassies and local CBT offices will assist to find English-speaking physicians. Medical insurance is strongly recommended.
Tab water in towns is generally bacteria free but can have a high metal content. Therefore, bottled or boiled water is preferable. Milk is pasteurized and dairy products are safe for consumption. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
Hepatitis B and E occur. Rabies is present. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay. Tuberculosis, brucellosis and meningitis are common to Kyrgyzstan. Altitude sickness can occur above 2,500m (8,202 ft). For short term travels check adequate immunization against polio, tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis A (booster shots every 10 years). For longer stays following additional exposure vaccinations are recommended: Hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies. If you plan excursions in the forested mountains in the early summer months, there is the risk of a tick-borne encephalitis disease that you can get vaccination against before your departure.
Public Holidays1 January – New Year
7 January – Russian Orthodox Christmas
23 February – Soviet Army Day
8 March – Women’s Day
21 March – Nooruz, Central Asia New Year
1 May – Labor Day
5 May – Constitution Day
9 May – Victory Day (Victoryin the World WarII)
31 August – Independence Day
OrozoAit – the end of Ramadan according to the Moon calendar
KurmanAit – the Feast of Sacrifice according to the Moon calendar
During official holidays,public institutions are closed, but most shops and bazaars are working.
SecurityYour biggest risk in Kyrgyzstan are car wrecks and accidents while crossing the street or falling into an unprotected draining hole in the sidewalk. You should also exercise caution around stray animals and avoid approaching dogs.
During nighttime there can be an increased risk of robbery or aggressive behavior due to alcohol intoxication in the streets of Bishkek,Karakol and other larger towns. To avoid incidents travelers are advised not to walk but to use taxis which are cheap and can be ordered by phone.
On places typically frequented by foreigners like bazaars pay special attention to pickpockets and trick thieves.
In the past there have been occasional reports of foreigners being approached by persons impersonating police and asking for documents in order to find an excuse to extort monies (Osh market in Bishkek). When approached by a policeman without uniform, try to simply walk on or to get help from a local person.
As corruption is a serious issue in Kyrgyzstan, even real policemen can stop you and ask for a bribe for whatever reason. Therefore, you should know that police in Kyrgyzstan is only allowed to stop foreigners in order to control their passport and visa. A foreigner without passport can be taken to the police office. To avoid any problem, make sure you carry your passport with you and have all contacts of your travel agency.
112 – Emergency
102 – Police
103 – Ambulance
Kyrgyzstan has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. In the lowlands, the temperature ranges from around -6°C (21°F) in January to 24°C (75°F) in July. In the low-lying Fergana Valley of the south temperatures may peak as high as the low 40s in summer.
Weather & climate
In the highlands, the temperatures range from between -20° (-4°F in January to 12°C (54°F) in July, although some high mountain valleys can drop as low as -30°C (-22°F) in winter. Rainfall is fairly low throughout the country but there can be heavy snowfalls during winter. The wettest area is the mountains above the Fergana Valley; the driest, the southwest shore of Lake Issyk-Kul. March to May and October to November are usually the wettest months.
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit Kyrgyzstan is between May and October as getting around outside this period can be difficult. Trekking is best between June and September, although July and August are the busiest times for foreign visitors. The south of the country, and even Bishkek, can be uncomfortably warm at this time of year, so if these are the prime destinations to be visited, spring or autumn may be a better choice.
Border Zone Permit:Kyrgyzstan has border zones, where foreigners and even locals need “Border Zone Permit” to allow to travel. Most popular areas close to the border are Victory Peak and Peak Khan-Tengri or Lenin peak. To apply for border permit, you need to visit OVIR (immigration department) if you planning travel or cross that areas. Please do it in advance, since it can take time. If you travel from Kyrgyzstan to China or another neighboring country and you have visas for those countries, you do not need “Border Zone Permit”.
SUGGESTED CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST FOR TREKKINGWe recommend you to travel with a soft material bag and a small day-pack. Please bear in mind the porters will be carrying your luggage so please ensure they are of good quality, have strong straps and secure zips. In terms of clothes, it is all about layers as you could experience temperatures (in celsius) that range from zero to thirty degrees. Though the weather will usually be less extreme than this, you will find yourself adding and removing layers a fair amount during a day, especially if you are walking. As such lots of layers are essential and we would recommend packing a range of clothes from t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, jumpers, shorts and trousers.
Good quality fleece pullovers and trouses-100% polyester
A good rain/windproof jacket with hood and trousers
Good quality socks with cushions and climate control (several pairs).
Lightweight trousers (the combat style is the most practical, especially the ones
One pair ankle length boots/or walking shoes with a good grip profile. We
Fleece hat with ear flaps and sun hat.
You may like to bring a pair of rubber slippers/flip flops to pad around in.
Swimming suit/shorts (you may like to cool off in the streams on the walks)
Sun glasses with UV protection
that unzip to make shorts) for walking recommend ‘goretex’ as it is light and breathable, though leather is better in wet and snowy weather. Please ensure you have ‘broken’ the boots in, new ones could cause aggravation.
• torch (plus spare batteries)
• Penknife – either Swiss Army or Leatherman, though the guide will have one.
• Sun cream with high SPF
• Insect Repellent
• Blister plasters
We recommend you to carry in your day pack
• Bearing in mind that you will not be able to access your main bag whilst you are out walking, we recommend the following items be carried in your day pack:
• 1 x 25/30litre day pack with air-comfort system/back support.
• Water proof jacket
• Extra fleece/warm layer
• Sun hat
• Sun glasses
• Suncream with high SPF
• Lightweight scarf which can double up as a headscarf.