Eco-friendly travel guide to Osh advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Osh, Kyrgyzstan.
- Air quality: 2.0 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3.0 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 3.5 / 5
- Parks: 4.0 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2.5 / 5
- Safety: 2.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$20 - $100
- Budget per day: US$30 - $150
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Asia is the largest continent in the world. Every person in the world is aware of that fact, but not everyone knows about the various beautiful and ethnic countries and places in Asia. One such country is Osh. Osh is the second-largest country in Kyrgyzstan. This city is located in the Fergana valley in the southern part of the country. It is also the oldest city in the entire country. The town is located about 5km away from Uzbekistan.
There are several rules and restrictions that the Osh government has kept maintaining the proper environmental balance. Along with these rules, there are also several extra steps and precautions that one can take to make the environment condition top grade. These steps include:
- Riding manually run vehicles like bicycles and much more
- Using public transport that is available in town.
- Dumping waste in designated places
Obeying these rules and some other steps makes the environment more environmentally friendly and maintains its top quality. People, both residents, and tourists try to follow these steps as much as possible.
Air Quality and Pollution
Air quality is one of the most crucial factors in the world right now. The rise in air pollution is prominent. The quality of air is also a huge concern in cities like Osh. The air quality is a concern for people living in Osh and people going there as a tourist. High quality of air means people will live peacefully without having health issues and breathing issues.
According to many studies by climate experts, Osh's air quality index lies between 50 to 60 points. This point range states that the air in Osh is satisfactory and hospitable. The air pollution level of the city is low and possesses minimal risk. If we have to state this number accurately, the air quality index shows about 52 points in Osh. The humidity, on the other hand, has been stated to be about 88 percent. These numbers that are above-stated means that there is no severe hospitality issue in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. The current living conditions and air quality, if maintained properly, then the place is and will be in its prime condition for an extensive period of time.
But this does not mean that the situation will not be the same in the future. People need to keep the practices that have been going on till now to maintain this level of satisfactory air quality; otherwise, serious issues might appear.
These numbers shown in this article are accurate and needed for sustainable living in metropolitan cities. Tourists who visit Osh have been following the state's laws and regulations for controlling air quality, as are the citizens. The government's rules and regulations have played an essential role in keeping the city’s air quality in good shape.
Respect the Culture
Osh is the second-largest city in Kyrgyzstan after the capital city of Bishkek. The city population has amounted to 258,111, of which 25,925 reside in the 11 villages administered by the City of Osh. Of the city's total population, 57.9% are Uzbeks, 34.2% Kyrgyz, 2.5% Russians, 2.2% Turks, 1.1% Tatars, and 2.1% other nationalities. The city's population with its suburbs in the surrounding Kara-Suu District is estimated at 500,000 inhabitants.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Osh is the second-largest city in Kyrgyzstan and is also the most well-known city there. A large number of tourists all come to Kyrgyzstan to visit the city of Osh. There are a lot of beautiful and tourist-heavy locations present in Osh. Here is the list of the top 10 sites that people visit in Osh.
- Suleiman Too Mountain: Suleiman Too Mountain is one of the most important tourist spots in all of Osh. A mountain is a sacred place for the residents of Osh. The mountain has the Shrine of Suleyman that attracts thousands of Muslim pilgrims from all over the world. Climbing to the top of the mountain is a famous activity that tourists and locals enjoy there.
- Lenin Statue: There is a Lenin statue located in the Central Square of Osh. This statue is quite impressive looking, and people worldwide come to see this statue in their own eyes. The statue faces the City hall and the Kyrgyz flag.
- Russian Orthodox Church: The Russian Orthodox Church is an archangel Micheal cathedral. This church is one f the most important church to the Russian minority that resides in Osh. Earlier, when Russia was Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, this place was a cultural center, and it was reopened in the year 1992 as a church for these Russians living in Osh.
- The 3 Storey Yurt: The 3 Storey Yurt is located at the bottom of the Suleiman Too Mountain. The 3 Storey Yurt is located in the Alymbek Datka below the mountain. When coming to visit the mountain, people always make sure that they visit this location for its cultural importance. This place holds the Osh regional Museum. This museum is less of a museum but more like a souvenir shop.
- Soviet Murals: During their time, the Soviets had a huge influence over the city of Osh. However, the city’s flat-apartments do not depict that the city is filled with decorative soviet mosaics. Osh is the home of several hidden gems like Aeroflot themed mosaic, the Olympic Misha bear, and other soviet ideologies.
- Uzgen: Uzgen is an old town that people living in Osh go to enjoy. The town is most famous for its 11th-century mausoleum complex. The Kakhanid buildings resemble the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan. There is also a historical bathhouse and traditional rice mills that people going there enjoy the most.
- Kyrgyz Ata: Kyrgyz Ata is a location that is famous for its scenic view. This location offers the nearest alpine mountain. This place is explored by people who want a day trip away from the city and populated city of Osh. People going there enjoy hiking and even sitting there, enjoying the beauty of the mountains.
- The Alay Mountains: The Alay Mountains is another famous tourist spot that people are going to Osh enjoy. This mountain range is about 4 hours away from Osh. The Tulpar lake is the most accessible in that region, and some yurt camps are also present in summer where tourists enjoy staying the night. You can also hike to other lakes from this location, like Kohkol Lake and Beshkol Lake.
- Arslan Bob: Arslan Bob is another great mountain getaway town near Osh. This town is famous for its walnut forests and scenic beauty. People go to this town to get to know the rural life of Kyrgyzstan. People enjoy the easy hiking to waterfalls and walking around the walnut forests from Arslan Bob.
- Jayma Bazaar: Jayma Bazaar is one of the most historically important places in all of Osh. It is one of the oldest bazaars in all of Central Asia. This market resides next to the Ak Buura River and has been present for more than 2000 years. This was a part of the ancient Silk Road and still reams and an integral part of the trading in the Kyrgyz Fergana valley. People from countries wide apart enjoy the culture and local products that are sold in this market.
Osh city of Kyrgyzstan is one of the top tourist locations in the entire country. People from all over the world come to this city to enjoy the beautiful weather, high mountains and historically important sites.
Osh is a city that is covered with mountains. The city does have several points of scenic beauty but not in the form of parks. However, there are some city parks in Osh. Here is a list of some of them.
- Park Alishera Navoi: This is one of the most famous city parks in all of Osh, Kyrgyzstan. This city park is well-known due to its location. The park is in close proximity to Osh University. The park is filled with beautiful sites to see, like small forests, walkways, gardens, and much more. There are also several activities like the Ferris wheel and much more that kids and adults both enjoy.
- Park Im: I Razzakov: It is one of the simpler city parks in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. This park is mostly seen by residents and tourists who want to spend their evening with nature, sitting and relaxing alone or with friends and family. The park is in close proximity to the Osh Oblast Children’s Hospital.
- Kanykey or Osh Kreon: The Kanykey is one of the most soothing city parks in Kyrgyzstan. This park is located near Nariman School. Kids enjoy their playtime in this park after their school closes. Parents and others enjoy their time with friends, family, or alone in this park. This park might not be big but is enjoyed by many people, both residents, and tourists.
Osh is one of the major residential and commercial towns in all of Kyrgyzstan. Mountains and small rural villages surround this town. Therefore, as of this moment, there is no national park present in the city of Osh. To enjoy national parks, tourists and residents need to travel to another part of the Osh region, i.e., to Kara-Shoro National Park located in the south-western part of the Fergana mountain range.
Osh is a city in Kyrgyzstan that is located in an area surrounded by mountains. There are no large water bodies located in that area. So, the presence of a beach in Osh is absent. There is a river passing through the middle of the city, but a beach has not yet been constructed on that river's banks. People still hope that they will enjoy a beach when made on the banks of these rivers in the future.
Osh is the second biggest city in all of Kyrgyzstan. This site has seen a large number of tourists coming in to visit the beautiful and historically important tourist sites and landmarks of the city. Here below are some of the famous landmarks that people who visit or live in Osh enjoy from time to time.
- Osh New Mosque
- Lenin Monument
- Irkeshtam Pass
- Manas Statue
- Alymbek Datkanyn Aykeli
- Mausoleum of Asaf ibn Burkhiy
- Kurmanzhan Batka Statue
- Monument of Toktogul Satylganov
- Dom Babura Mosque
- Mosque of Ravat Abdullakhan
Museums are a rare thing to be seen in Osh. Though the city is a historically important location in Central Asia, museums are still scarce there. Many of the museums that were present earlier are either broken down to turned into a souvenir store. But still, now there are two museums located in Osh.
- National Historical And Archeological Museum Complex Sulayman
- Muzey Sulayman Too
These two museums are the only two left standing and hold some treasured artifacts and collectible in Osh. Several students, tourists, and even locals come to these museums to study about Osh, its history, its importance as a part of the country, and its importance in Central Asia.
Vegetarian people mostly inhabit the city of Osh. So, the food present there is mostly veg. Some places serve meat. In either case, the food served in the city is some of the most mouth-watering ones in the entire country.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Osh is a city that is home to a lot of restaurants that provide cuisines from all over the world. But as with traditional local restaurants, there are only two restaurants present in the Osh city of Kyrgyzstan.
- Borsok Restaurant: The Borsok restaurant is an old traditional local restaurant in Osh located on Kurmanjan-Datka Street. The restaurant is known for its delicious cuisines and the soothing ambiance that it provides. People can choose to dine in, take away, or even avail of the restaurant's delivery option.
- BorsoK Fast Food Restaurant: The BorsoK Fast Food restaurant is a traditional local fast food restaurant in Osh located on 78 A Masalieva Street. The beautiful interior and the soothing environment catch the eye of every person who comes to eat there. People have the option of dining in, taking away, or even availing the delivery option in this restaurant.
Vegetarian and Vegan
Osh is a country whose majority of the population dislike or do not eat any meat or any product that comes from animals. They prefer organic and naturally available vegetables, fruits, and more. This made the presence of vegan and vegetarian restaurants more necessary than anything else. Here is the list of some of the vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Osh, Kyrgyzstan.
- Dolce Vita
- Italyanskiy Restoran
- SOHO (Bar, Pub, Cafe, Coffe)
- Black Star Burger
- MONACO - Королевство Вкуса
- Malen'kaya Yaponiya
- Tsarskii Dvor
- Royal resto-bar
- Tooman resto Bar
- Mantykana Aibek
- California Café
- Coffee House Brio
- Ethno cafe Osh"'
- Burger Plus
- Ice Café
- Nirvana Café
- CHICK KINGS
- MACK burger
- Кафе Атабек
People who visit Osh often feel down due to the lack of restaurants in Osh that serve meat and animal products, but after they eat and dine in any of these restaurants, they see the beauty and delicacy that Osh’s vegetarian food holds.
Osh might be a dominating vegetarian city in Kyrgyzstan, but that does not mean that the food is bad in any sense. The chefs and cooks in Osh are known for the finest cooked vegetarian food out there.
- Dimlama: Dimlama is a famous Osh dish that is a vegetable stew that uses lots of potatoes, carrots, bell pepper. Those places that use meat in Osh add little amounts of meat in this dish.
- Maida Manti: Maida Manti is small hand-made dumplings filled with mashed potatoes and served with spiced onions and sour cream. Almost every tourist that comes to Osh tastes this dish as it is the most recommended one there.
- Gok Chuchvara: Gok Chuchvara is similar to maida manti, but the filling is made of local greens. Another healthy dish that is great for vegetarians.
- Osh Plov: Osh Plov is a central Asian delicacy. In Osh, this plov is made using red rice and yellow carrots. This dish is the most famous in the Osh valley. The dish has filled the stomachs and heart of many tourists and residents of Osh city.
Osh is a city where alcohol is scarce. Drinking different beverages is not a problem as there are ample cafes and drinkable water. Drinking is never a big issue in the city.
In several different parts of the world, drinking tap water is advised to be avoided. This is due to the high rate of water pollution and the chemical found in the. But this is not the case in Osh. Resident and travelers who have visited Osh have often said that Osh's tap water is drinkable. Though there is no confirmed statement from WHO, people still believe this statement to be true. This statement becomes acceptable as the water pollution level of Osh is low. The city's water is mostly clean, and people have been using tap water for drinking for several years.
Therefore, the answer to whether the tap water of Osh is drinkable or not is simple. The tap water is drinkable, but one must use other options when possible.
Osh is a major Kyrgyz city, and several people have taken it upon themselves to provide people with organic alternatives for several different things. There are several different organic stores in Osh; some of them are listed below.
- Coffee House Brio
- Ice Café
- Кафе "Атабек"'
- Tsarskii Dvor
- Kafe "Zhyz-Byz"'
- "BorsoK" Fast Food Restaurant
- Ethno cafe "Osh"'
- California Café
- Mantykana Aibek
- Borsok RESTAURANT
- Nirvana Café
- Blonder Café
- Tooman resto Bar
- Dolce Vita
- Malen'kaya Yaponiya
- Royal resto-bar
- MONACO - Королевство Вкуса
Osh is a dominating Muslim city in Kyrgyzstan. There are only a few to no breweries present in the city of Osh. The only place now that sells alcohol, beers, and other hard drinks legally in Osh is the Blonder Café. Both residents and tourists can enjoy their alcohols and beers here with friends and other people without any worries in Osh.
The city is covered in the mountains from all sides. The people of Osh, both residents, and tourists enjoy the cold chilly weather. The city has several activities that are associated with mountains, like hiking and much more.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is still a new concept in Kyrgyzstan. It is not that people don’t know about yoga in Kyrgyzstan, but as of now, there are no yoga retreats present in the country. People in Osh and other parts of the country do know about yoga, and some might even practice it at home. Yoga retreats are yet to be formed in the country and are not the attractive aspect that Osh has.
Tourists come in large numbers to the city of Osh. Therefore, accommodating these tourists is essential. There are several hotels, hostels, guest houses available in Osh that tourists opt for from time to time.
Osh is one of the most prosperous cities in Kyrgyzstan. Many people come throughout the year to visit the city for its rich culture, historically important sites, and the beautiful looking environment. The government and other parties have installed several green hotels for such tourists to stay in. These hotels are environmentally friendly and have been why the pollution level is so low in Osh. Below are some of the top-rated green hotels in Osh.
- Sunrise Osh: The Sunrise Osh hotel is located at the center of the city, next to the Oriental Bazaar and Suleiman Mountain. The Ak-Buura River is near the hotel as well as the city park. The hotel has compound parking, swimming pools, comfortable rooms, and several other amenities. This hotel has seen a large number of tourists from nearby countries as well from far away come to live there.
- Rayan Hotel: The Rayan Hotel is a modern, comfortable hotel in the center of Osh. Osh city hall, T. Satylganov Park, Izyum restaurant, Nur cinema, and many other important objects and attractions are located within a two-minute walk from the hotel. Due to its ideal location and high standards of comfort and service, the Rayan Hotel has seen a large number of check-ins from both tourists and business guests over the years.
Hostels and Guest Houses
Sunny Hostel Osh is one of the cheapest and most affordable hostels available in Osh. This hostel is a top-rated hostel that is located near the BorsoK restaurant. The hostel is well-known for its eccentric garden attached to it and its hospitality towards its guests.
Other than this, several hostels are present in Osh like Joloochu, Hostel Nur, Alpina’s Hostel, Konok hostel, Esal Hostel, and much more.
Guesthouses in osh are specifically accommodated so that they offer a cheap and affordable stay for travelers. Examples of some guest houses in Osh are listed below.
- Osh Guesthouse
- Bly Ordo Guest House
- Guest House Voyage Osh
Nowadays, several people are moving to Osh either for work purposes or any other reason that makes them stay in Osh for a longer time. In such a scenario, people to rent an apartment to stay in to save the excess cost they have to pay if they stay in hotels and guest houses.
If you plan to live in Osh for a reasonably long period and would like to save on hotel accommodation, you could choose private apartments. You will have many such options available to you. However, not all apartment owners may feel comfortable renting out their properties to foreigners, but things are changing. But there are some issues or precautions present that one must take before renting an apartment. These precautions include:
- Examining the whole apartment before confirming any case of previous damage.
- Taking on a contract to prevent any legal disputes.
- Selecting the apartment of the right size depending upon one's budget and requirements.
- Making some ground rules when living with other tenants.
Couchsurfing is a new and innovative way of staying at a place you don’t know anything about. This way of accommodation has seen a rise in Osh. There are many sites online that offer people the option of Couchsurfing in Osh. Not only have that, but the residents of Osh also signed in on these sites to provide their homes for Couchsurfing purposes.
There are several online communities out there in Osh that allow people to live in their houses if you are a part of that community.
The city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan, is one of the finest places where one can enjoy nature to its fullest potential. The city is surrounded by mountains. People set up camps in different locations near these mountains to enjoy the chilling weather with friends and family. As of now, there are only two campsites present in the Osh city of Kyrgyzstan.
How to Get There
Osh is one of the major cities in Kyrgyzstan. This city is several airport connections, highways, and much more. Reaching Osh from any other part of the country or other countries is an issue that no person faces.
There are several flights a day from Bishkek and back that can take you to the city of Osh. Siberia Airlines operate almost daily flights to Moscow from Osh. Turkish Airlines also fly directly from Istanbul to Bishkek as well as Osh. The Osh airport is not exactly a modern one; luggage is piled into trucks, and you have to wait and grab your luggage when you see it. There is a lot of shoving and pushing, as everyone seems to be in a hurry. For EU and USA travelers, no visa is needed!
There are two sleeper buses that travel from China that can take you to Osh. These buses depart from the Kashgar International Bus Station. These buses take you through some of the most beautiful scenery en route to Osh. Regularly scheduled marshtkas to the north and west leave from New Bus Station located in the city's northern skirt. City bus runs between terminal and center.
Osh is one of the cities in Kyrgyzstan that does not have a train station or terminal. This makes reaching and traveling to the city via train impossible. Though there are other means by which one can travel to the city but by train, one cannot.
Hitchhiking is a risky travel mode, both for the person asking for a ride and the person offering a ride. People are often wary of such people and do not want to offer a ride to such people. Some people do offer rides to such hitchhikers, but even they avoid taking on hitchhikers at night.
In the case of Osh, the road connecting Bishkek to Osh has often seen people asking for a ride and paying for it. Hitchhiking is a common practice in Osh, even if it might not be safe.
One can easily travel to Osh through various means of transportation. People often take cargo and passenger trucks to reach Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Several roads connect Osh to other parts of the country as well as to other neighboring countries. Travelers have often used these roads by cars and bikes to reach the city.
Osh is a big city and needs different means of transportation. Several means can take you to all the faraway places in Osh.
Osh is a city that is spread across a large area. Going to nearby parks and restaurants is suitable for walking, but for visiting some of the crucial tourist spots, one needs to manage a vehicle for them. Walking is an option available, but the distance presented to them is too much to handle.
Osh is a city that keeps the environment as its highest priority. That is why they offer people the option of selecting an environmentally friendly travel mode, i.e., renting a bicycle. Several companies are out there that are there to provide bicycles for rent to people.
Osh is a city situated in a hilly region. The town is still scarce in population, and the transportation of Osh has not advanced enough to have electronic vehicles. Electronic vehicles are still hoped for the future for the people in Osh, Kyrgyzstan.
Public buses are the most common form of transport that people prefer in Osh. There are a large number of buses that one takes for moving from point A to point B in Osh.
Tram, Train and Subway
As said earlier, Osh is a city in Kyrgyzstan that is not the home of a train station. Trains do not operate in the city. Similar to electronic vehicles, subways and trams are also an eye towards the future as of now.
Being a commercial town, Osh is the home of a lot of markets. These markets are specialized in all supplies like food, clothing, and much more. The city has several fashion stores throughout the city.
Osh is a metropolitan city where people live a fundamental lifestyle. People, rather than buying food online, prefer buying from several food markets that are available in Osh. Here are some of the following list of food markets available in Osh.
- Beren Market
- Super Market "Bakytbek"
- Kopeyka Mini Market
- Ak-Tilek Market
- South Market
- Aydana Market
- Ayday Siti Market
- ZAINAB MARKET
- Market "Bereket"
- Magazin "Kadamzhay"
- Ayday Market 24Chasa
- Супер Маркет "Maxima Ош"
- Tsentral'nyy Rynok
- Supermarket Akniyet 1
- fruite and vegetable market
- Magazin Star Market
- Super Market Guzar
Another type of market that can be seen in abundance is the Osh flea markets. The flea markets bring rare, cheap ad eccentric items in Osh that people, residents, and tourists, find attractive and invest in. It is often seen that flea markets of Osh brings forth super-expensive things but are sold at low prices.
As of now, there is only a single flea market in all of Osh. This flea market is the Osh Market. This market is responsible for bringing some of the most aesthetic and priceless artifacts to Osh.
Second Hand Stores
Second-hand stores are common in Osh. Here are some of them listed below.
- Second Hand
- Вещи б.у. хорошего качества
- Central Automobile Bazaar
- Mebel'nyy Salon "Kabinet"
- Oslo "Dos-Lombard"
- Б/у Запчасти На Япоские Автомобили
- Ломбард 100+
Eco-fashion stores are the places where people buy nature-friendly clothes and make themselves look fashionable. There are only two eco-fashion stores in all of Osh, Kyrgyzstan. These two stores are all under the Lacoste brand and are located in the center of the city.
Environment control is a top priority in Osh. People of Osh play their part in environmental control to make the pollution in check. Instead of dumping waste everywhere, people and the municipal corporation makes use of the recycling process. Recycling is a key part of environmental pollution control, and this use of recycling in Osh has allowed the level of pollution to below there.
Kyrgyzstan has the best waste recycling rate all around the world. In cities like Osh, this is more prominent as almost all recyclable products are managed properly. These products, instead of just dumping unmaintained, are used for other purposes. Osh takes waste management as its top priority for maintaining the proper ecological balance.
Work and Study Abroad
In Kyrgyzstan, educating students is considered to be one of the greatest priorities. Universities and schools are present in abundance for parents to choose for their child. The education of these students is not only flexible but is also more practical in life. Osh also has one of the highest rates of job offerings in all of Kyrgyzstan. People from all across the globe receive offers of working in Osh and those who take the job have been delighted with the working conditions.
Educations are a top priority that several officials in Osh take high value in. There are several universities in Osh that accept several exchange students. Some of the universities are as follows.
- Osh International Medical University
- Osh State University - International Medical Faculty
- Osh State University
All these schools and universities have accepted over a thousand students over the years. Each of these students has been extremely satisfied with the type of study they received, and they have even referred other students to study there as well.
Au pair jobs have seen a rise in Kyrgyzstan in recent times. The concept of Au pair has also reached in Osh, and several jobs have been offered in Osh, keeping this concept in mind.
The people who live in Osh are some of the most decent, well mannered, and friendly in the world. These people always look for the tourists of the city and their own people as well. People offer several volunteering works. But as of now, there is only two NGOs in Osh, and they are:
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Osh Office