Kyrgyzstan on budget
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Kyrgyzstan is one of the cheapest countries we have been to. You will spend most of your time in the nature, where you don't have that many opportunities to spend your money. Food is incredibly cheap, there are no sights with expensive tickets and when you find the right place to stay, you don't need much money to enjoy this amazing piece of our planet. We can guarantee you that you will want to come back one day.

The local currency in Kyrgyzstan is Kyrgyzstani som (KGS). The exchange rate in 2017 is 1 USD = 70 KGS. Like everywhere else it is best to bring US dollars and exchange them or withdraw money from ATM. Be aware that you will probably stay in the mountains and small villages with no ATMs.

Average cost per person: 17 USD per day
including accommodation, food, transport, entrance fees, souvenirs
excluding visa and flight tickets


Check also top things to see in Kyrgyzstan in our photo journey.


Transport

The main thing you can save money on are the flight tickets. Read our tips how to find cheap flights.
The cheapest way of traveling is by a local minibus called marshrutka. There is also a cheap marshrutka going from the airport, so there is no need to pay overpriced touristy rates for a taxi. There are also shared minivans that go for example from Bishkek to Karakol. Any other car that will stop you and asks for money can be regarded as a taxi.
Prices example per person (2016)

  • marshrutka from the airport in Bishkek - 50 KGS (0.7 USD taxi drivers asked for 10 USD per person)
  • taxi to the airport in Bishkek - 250 KGS (3.5 USD)
  • marshrutka ride in the city - 10-30 KGS (less than 0.5 USD)
  • shared minivan Bishkek - Karakol - 300 KGS (4 USD)
  • taxi Karakol - Jeti Oguz - 180 KGS (2.5 USD)
  • taxi Bishkek - Ala Archa- 225 KGS (3 USD)

Accommodation

Not that easy to find a room, but when you are lucky, it is cheap. We travel as a couple, so we stay usually in cheap double rooms. In Bishkek we stayed at an old lady's apartment or we paid for a room near a bus station finding out later it is a brothel :) Don't miss staying in a traditional kyrgyz yurt.
We usually stayed in a double room for 300 - 500 KGS (4-7 USD) per person.

Food

Expect lots of meat, simple meals in the mountains and russian style canteen. The average meal will cost you between 150 - 300 KGS (2 - 4 USD). Try shashlyk, lagman, samsa, manty, kyrgyz flat bread and kymyz (a popular drink made of fermenting mare's milk).

Attractions

Kyrgyzstan is all about nature, so you won't need to pay much for any entrance fees. There are basically no sights here, only beautiful nature.

Prices example per person (2016)

  • Ala Archa canyon entrance fee - 225 KGS (3 USD)
  • Renting a horse for 2 hours - Jeti Oguz - 600 KGS (8.5 USD)

Map Attractions on the map


More tips for traveling cheap here.


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