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How to get to Kyrgyzstan?

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By bus

Travelling by bus is the most economical way but available only to residents of the CIS countries and China. A trip to the capital of Kyrgyzstan - Bishkek, from Russian cities costs from USD 130. There is direct bus service from Moscow, Omsk and Novosibirsk. The journey takes no more than two and a half days.

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By car

It is also possible to get to Bishkek by car. The cost of travelling between countries is individual, but everyone, without exception, must carry the driver's license, the vehicle registration certificate and travel insurance policy for the vehicle. The journey will cost about a ton of fuel. How long it will take depends on the country you’re driving from. Be ready for mandatory inspection of the documents and the vehicle on the border.

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By plane

Manas International airport is situated 23 kilometers north-west of Bishkek. You can get to the Kyrgyz capital from the airport by bus or by taxi. The minimum cost of a round trip flight from New York to Bishkek (with a connection in Istanbul) is USD 1,400. You can fly to the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan – Osh, only from Moscow for at least USD 400. Also, you can fly from Bishkek to Osh and to Tamchi on the Issyk-Kul Lake. The average cost of a round trip flight around the country is USD 50. The schedule of flights to Kyrgyzstan can be found on the airport's website.

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By train

Kyrgyzstan cannot be reached by train from America, Europe and Scandinavian countries. But there are trains running every four days from Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Novokuznetsk and some cities of Kazakhstan to the Kyrgyz capital. The average ticket price is USD 300-400, it varies depending on the level of comfort of the train car. A journey by train from Russian cities takes, on average, two and a half days, from Kazakhstan - six hours. More information can be found on the website of the Kyrgyz railway.

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What tourists need to know
about travelling in Kyrgyzstan

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You will definitely not have problems with currency exchange and cash withdrawals from ATMs in the province centers. But it is preferable to exchange the money or withdraw the necessary sum from ATMs in the capital of Kyrgyzstan - Bishkek. In Bishkek and in the province centers cashless payment systems and exchange offices are well developed, which is not the case on the periphery. Information about the location of ATMs in Kyrgyzstan can be found on the financial webportal.

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In case of loss of documents, it is advisable to email certified copies of IDs before the trip. You can use services of tourist agencies to obtain visa and border crossing permits for some places of interest in the country. Those who do not want to use their services may apply to the 24/7 visa office at Manas airport and to the State Registration Service of the Kyrgyz Republic for the border crossing permit.

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Don’t be surprised at friendliness and hospitality of the Kyrgyz people. In summer, villagers will be happy to welcome you in a yurt and will tell you a lot about the Kyrgyz culture, and local couchsurfers are ready to accommodate you in their houses and apartments and show you local attractions. Surely, if your budget allows it, you can stay in a hotel or a hostel, and hire a professional guide at an average of USD 150 per day.

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Be prepared that acquaintance with Kyrgyz cuisine will affect your weight, unless you’re going to drink only tea. There is no Kyrgyz meal without meat, dairy products and pastries. Their preparation and consumption is accompanied by interesting traditions, which they will share with you. You should know that in Kyrgyzstan tips are included in the bill, but you can express your gratitude for services by leaving a separate tip.

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