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Things to Buy in Bishkek’s Fascinating Markets: Kyrgyzstan’s Pride

Things to buy in Bishkek

Things to buy in Bishkek are diverse in nature and unique in essence. Some of the best places to visit in Bishkek are its bazaars (markets). Home to some of Europe’s most pulsating and intensive bazaars, Bishkek’s shopping outlets will keep you on your toes all day. You will find plenty of distinct things to buy in Bishkek which can be taken back home as souvenirs. 

They say that a decent way to connect with a new place is to visit its markets. The essence of a travel destination lies on its streets, alleys and relics. Shopping at malls can be done anywhere in the world. But what makes a travel destination unique is its age old markets.

Things to Buy in Bishkek: What and Where ?

Recommended Item Place Where Available
Local Krygz clothing Dordoy Bazaar
Turkish clothing Dordoy Bazaar
Footwear Osh Bazaar
International brands for apparels Bishkek Park
Exotic clothing Dordoy Bazaar
Krygz souvenirs Osh Bazaar
Native spices Osh Bazaar
Native oils Osh Bazaar
Sweets Osh Bazaar
Freshly baked bread Osh Bazaar
Accessories Dordoy Bazaar

Before proceeding further and knowing what to buy and from where it is important to understand Bishkek as a travel destination. A few tidbits about the place will help especially if you’re a first timer.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN BISHKEK

An Overview of Bishkek for Travelers

Location Kyrgyz Republic (One of the previous 16 Soviet Republics)
Language Russian, Kyrgyz, English
Accessibility Throughout the year (Air, Road)
Currency Kyrgyztani Som – KGS (1 INR= 1.06 KGS); (1 US Dollar = 68.66 KGS)
Best Time to Visit March to September (Early Spring to Autumn)
Safety ( families, backpackers, solo female travelers) Very Safe
Budget travel tip for first timers Book your accommodation at least one month prior to travel.

Prefer walking yourself to hiring a Taxi

Nearby countries to visit Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Russia
things to buy in bishkek

Freshly baked bread for sale at Osh bazaar, Bishkek. Photography by Jean

Recommended Places to Visit in Bishkek for Shopping 

All the things to buy in Bishkek that have been on your list will be available from three main markets.

Osh Bazaar
Dordoy Bazaar
Bishkek Park

 Osh Bazaar

The Osh Bazaar is just a 15 minute drive from the city center, and costs around 150SOM for its taxi ride. You can also hire a shared cab.

This bazaar’s specialty is in spices, oil, seeds, nuts, sweet items like biscuits, chocolates, crisp bread, shoes, clothes and souvenirs. There are many alleys, and most shopkeepers are friendly and willing to bargain.

things to buy in bishkek

Shop for some exotic spices, seeds and lovely produce at Osh Bazaar. Photography by Annie

Dordoy Bazaar

The Dordoy Bazaar is the clothes bazaar where you can get expensive shoes, leather jackets, and dresses of almost quarter of its original price. This market is huge and it will take you a while to cover it.

There are many sections and alleys in the bazaar. There are lanes of Chinese imported items, European designs, Turkish brands, and also local Kyrgyz clothing. Here too, you can bargain and attain things at a good price.

 

things to buy in bishkek

Shop for creatively woven handicrafts at Dodroy Bazaar. Photography by David Otrowski

 

Both bazaars have items ranging from 50 SOM to 1000 SOM – clothes are also very cheap at these two places in Bishkek.

Both these bazaars are striking, but time consuming places to visit in Bishkek. Make sure you have a whole day planned just for shopping and souvenirs as you will be spoiled with choices.

Some souvenirs you can find here are wood carved keychains, wooden chess boards which have pieces carved with Kyrgyz characteristics, dolls, and very beautiful silk scarves.

Bishkek Park

Another place to shop at Bishkek is the Bishkek Park. This is a mall where you will find many Italian, Japanese and European brands. Some brands also display clothes starting from 3000 – 7000 SOM, so if you looking for something expensive, you should visit this place in Bishkek.

Important Shopping tip – When visiting bazaars, keep your purse close to you always, carry your identification documents because there may be police who wish to check you, and try and visit scan the whole area first and then buy –because sometimes you may get the same thing at a cheaper price from another vendor.

things to buy in bishkek

Bishkek Park. Photography by Abduhuhat Samatzoda

Lesser Known Places for Things to Buy in Bishkek

Besides the three main markets, there are other less known places for things to buy in Bishkek.

Recommended Item Place Where Available in Bishkek
Kyrgyzstan crafts Maison du Voyageurs
Natively prepared food products Ak Emir Bazaar
Toys for children Detskiy Mir
Kilims and rugs Asahi Ecological Art and Handicrafts
Kyrgyz souvenirs Iman

Maison du Voyageurs 

One of the best places for creative things to buy in Bishkek. Each piece of craft bears the name of the creator.

122-118 Moskovskaya Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
things to buy in bishkek

Bishkek markets are full of creative apparels and decorative items. Photography by Caudia de Thuin

Ak Amir
A vibrant market full of home made things to buy in Bishkek that is delicious. Find mouth watering rare delicacies here.
78 Moskovskaya Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
things to buy in bishkek

Mouth watering rare delicacies of Bishkek. Photography by Jeroene Beroeve

Detskiy Mir

This is the best place for children based things to buy in Bishkek. Find toys, games and fancy gifts here.

147 Chuy Avenue
Bishkek 720011, Kyrgyzstan
Things to buy in Bishkek

Buy toys for your little ones at Deskiy Mir . Photography by Olsen O’ Reary

Asahi Ecological Art and Handicrafts

If the things to buy in Bishkek include gorgeous rugs and carpets, this is your digging spot. Go for it.
Central Bishkek

A trip to Bishkek is incomplete without shopping locally spun rugs and carpets. photography by Alicia Beranger

 Iman

Buy souvenirs from here to take back home. Gift your loved ones unique items from Kyrgyzstan.

Chuy Avenue, Bishkek 720011
things to buy in bishkek

Buy fancy souvenirs from Iman. Photo credits: Coloured Books

Top Things to Buy in Bishkek from the Honey Market

The Honey Market in Bishkek is not a regular place. It is a seasonal market that comes up in the Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts. A separate room is fixed for the market. It is open to everyone – farmers, merchants, local people, travelers and students.

The wide variety of honey that is available is fascinating. Clear honey, opaque honey, brown honey, orange honey, honey from bees, honey from some kind of flora – you get every kind here.

Things to buy in Bishkek

Try different varieties of honey at Bishkek. Photo credits: Bishkek Honey

Frequently Asked Questions on Things to Buy in Bishkek

Some of the commonly asked questions on things to buy in Bishkek by travelers are as follows –

What are the best things to buy in Bishkek for women travelers ?

Locally hand woven clothes, Turkish clothing, footwear and handicrafts.

What are the best things to buy in Bishkek for male backpackers ?

Footwear, handicrafts and caps.

What are the best things to buy in Bishkek for individuals traveling as a family ?

Locally woven rugs,  clothing, handicraft and labelled honey.

What are the recommended things to buy in Bishkek for the purpose of gifting others ?

Kyrgyzstan souvenirs.

What are the recommended things to buy in Bishkek for first time travelers ?

Locally manufactured fresh produce and handicrafts.

things to buy in bishkek

Sweets of Bishkek. Photography by Johnny Blair

Useful Tips to Keep in Mind for Things to Buy in Bishkek

While at Bishkek, make sure you keep some handy tips in mind at all times.

Beware of pickpockets at all times. Make sure your belongings always hold your attention.
Save yourself some trouble and don’t fall victim to false cops. Check their identity.
Carry your passport with you at all times.
Stay polite with the local people at all times. They’re decent in their candour.
While shopping food products, consume them within 48 hours. 

Bishkek is a vivacious city with many exciting places to visit. At Bishkek, you can get the best of both worlds – ancient and contemporary. Known for its stone bricked buildings, its well-planned architecture, and cultural happenings, there are many places to visit in Bishkek which will make your trip worthwhile.

Happy wayfaring 🙂

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

things to buy in bishkek

Akriti Mattu

Akriti Mattu is a maverick by nature. She is a widely traveled individual who aims to explore new destinations each year. Hailing from the dreamy town of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, she has her roots in Kashmir and is currently settled in Bangalore. A two time Gold Medalist in English Literature, Winner of National Level Fellowships, Successful Ex Civil Services Qualifier, Lyricist at Paramount Pictures – Hollywood, Digital Marketing Professional,  Featured Author at multiple platforms and Contributor to more than 10 Online and Offline startups, she believes in living it real. 

She also happens to be the Founder of Budget Wayfarers.

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