Travel International

Note : It is not advised at present to travel to the south and west of Osh or the Ferghana Valley. For further information, visitors should seek official advice.

AIR : The national airline is Kyrgyzstan Airlines (R8), which operates direct flights to Bishkek from Germany, India, Russian Federation and Turkey (Istanbul). BA operates a direct flight from London to Bishkek. British Mediterranean (a franchise partner of British Airways) operates services three times a week from London to Bishkek. Turkish Airlines also flies to Bishkek from London, with a stopover in Istanbul. In addition, there is a number of direct flights from Europe to Almaty, in neighbouring Kazakhstan. The connection from there to Kyrgyzstan is via frequent bus services to Bishkek (travel time - 4 hours). Other European airlines flying direct to Almaty include Lufthansa (five weekly flights from Frankfurt/M) and KLM (from Amsterdam). There are also direct flights to Bishkek from Moscow and St Petersburg (Russian Federation) and from Tashkent (Uzbekistan).

Approximate flight times : From London to Bishkek is 9 hours. From London to Almaty (Kazakhstan) is 6 hours 30 minutes; from Istanbul to Almaty is 5 hours 30 minutes and from Frankfurt/M to Almaty is 7 hours.

International airports : Bishkek Manas Airport (FRU) is 30km (19 miles) north of Bishkek. There is a minibus shuttle service to the city centre when the airport is open (travel time - 60 minutes). Taxis are available. Airport facilities include left luggage, creche, bars, 24-hour restaurant, chemist, bank (Mon-Fri 0800-1630) and bureau de change (24 hours).

Departure Tax : US$10.

RAIL : There are rail connections with the Russian Federation (travel time to Moscow is 3 days) and with other Central Asian republics. However, tourists are advised that robberies on trains have been reported.

ROAD : The main international road links are with Kazakhstan and there is presently one crossing point into China; visitors should note that the Chinese authorities normally require proof of an invitation by a Chinese tour operator as a condition of entry. There are regular bus links from Bishkek to Tashkent (Uzbekistan) (travel time - 10-12 hours) and Almaty (Kazakhstan) (travel time - 6 hours); services leave the long-distance (zapadni) bus station in Bishkek. There is also a direct service to Osh from Tashkent (Uzbekistan) via the Fergana Valley, but road conditions are very poor on this route (see also Uzbekistan section). Generally, roads can be affected by landslides (especially during spring in the mountain areas), while winter may cause hazardous conditions on a number of roads (especially on mountain passes, some of which may be closed during certain periods); visitors should also note that garage services are very limited.

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Information provided by Kyrgystan Tourism Board.


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