Bishkek is a refreshing city for anyone weary from their mountain adventure tours and yearning to see some historical sites that aren’t in the form of ancient ruins. Apart from a satisfactory selection of cafes and guesthouses, Bishkek is worth more than a passing glance for anyone who appreciates tree-lined parks, Soviet-era history and the fine arts. From the seven-story Parliament House to the landmark Ala Too Square, from Victory Square’s World War II Memorial to a statue of Kurmanjan Datka, one of the most revered women in Kyrgyz history, Bishkek offers the curious traveler an eclectic mix of modern-day amenities and 20th century relics.
In the morning your driver and guide will meet you at the hotel to begin your sightseeing tour of Bishkek, which will take you to the following:
- Ala Too Square, Bishkek’s large central square that maintains a distinctly Soviet feel. Watch the hourly changing of the guards, take a selfie under the large Kyrgyzstan flag and pay your respects to a Kyrgyz legend at Manas Monument.
- Old Square with the Parliament House, a regal piece of 20th century architecture supported by 16 grand columns, and Lenin Statue, relegated to its current place after being supplanted by Manas in Ala Too Square
- Philharmonic Hall, a stately Bishkek landmark whose courtyard is a popular meeting place for local students and youth
- Oak Park, where the beautiful tree lined Erkindik Boulevard will take you to a statue of Kurmanjan Datka, a prominent 19th century Kyrgyz leader known as the “Queen of the Mountains”
- Opera and Ballet House, a stylish hall serving as a key center for the arts in the capital
- Victory Square, which honors those who lost their lives in WWII with an Eternal Flame burning continuously under a sizable granite half-yurt
- TSUM, the classic multi-level shopping center found at the heart of every major Soviet city, where souvenirs of all sizes, varieties and prices can now be purchased on the fourth floor
After shopping, drive back to the hotel. End of Bishkek City Tour.
Duration of tour: 3-4 hours