Best Time to Visit Kyrgyzstan

Picturesque view Tian Shan mountain range in Kyrgyzstan

Seasons and Weather

The best time to visit Kyrgyzstan will largely depend on your travel itinerary and the regions you would like to explore. Due to Kyrgyzstan’s location in the heart of Central Asia, the country experiences a continental climate characterised by freezing winters and hot, dry summers. Here’s a closer look at the seasons to help you plan your visit.

What's winter like in Kyrgyzstan?

From November to March, winter descends on Kyrgyzstan, bringing freezing temperatures and plenty of snow. While this is perfect for those wanting to hit the ski slopes at the resorts in the Tian Shan mountains, travel can be difficult to impossible. Roads are often blocked by snow in high mountain passes and many domestic flights are grounded.

What's spring like in Kyrgyzstan?

Spring is a short affair in Kyrgyzstan, arriving to the lowlands in March and the more mountainous areas in April - and lasting only until May. This season sees roads to mountain passes begin to open and spring flowers come into bloom. However, there can be heavy rainfall and sharp changes of weather are to be expected.

What's summer like in Kyrgyzstan?

The summer months of June to September bring hot temperatures and low rainfall. Ger camps around Song Kol Lake are open, so this is the perfect time to experience spending the night in a yurt. It’s also the ideal season to go trekking in the mountains and the country’s bazaars are at their most lively.

What's autumn like in Kyrgyzstan?

Beginning in September and lasting into November, Autumn sees the days begin to grow colder in Kyrgyzstan. Ger camps close as nomadic herdsmen leave the high summer pastures and the weather becomes more unpredictable, with greater chances of rain. Travel is still possible in October, before the cold of winter truly hits, however you are unlikely to see many other visitors at this time.

Climate | Bishkek



JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp Min °C-8-60611161816115-1-5
Temp Max °C351119243032312619115
Rainfall (mm)6.98.313.11715.87.62.40.81.18.77.57.3

Upcoming events

Here’s an overview of the festivals and events taking place in Kyrgyzstan.

2019:

August 31st – Independence Day

2020:

March 21st – Nowruz
April 23rd-May 23rd – Ramadan
April TBC – Bishkek Jazz Festival

Festivals and Events

Here's an insight into several festivals that you may wish to experience during your time in Kyrgyzstan.

When is Kyrgyzstan's Independence Day?

Celebrated on August 31st, Independence Day marks Kyrgyzstan’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. While there are festivities across the country, the capital Bishkek hosts a number of events in Ala-Too Square. Expect parades, exhibitions, concerts and much more.

When is Nowruz?

Typically celebrated on March 21st, Nowruz is one of the biggest celebrations in Central Asia. This spring festival dates back thousands of years and marks the start of the Persian New Year. Highlights include music, dance, markets and traditional games, although some of these may be unsettling for western travellers. Be sure to try Sumulak, a type of sweet pudding which is cooked specifically for these celebrations. There’s also lots of partying as the day draws to a close.

What happens during Ramadan?

One of the most important events in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan involves devout fasting during daylight hours with people hitting the streets in Kyrgyzstan to eat after sundown. The month ends with Eid al-Fitr, a day of family parties and much feasting. As Ramadan follows the lunar calendar, the dates of Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr change each year.

When is Bishkek Jazz Festival?

Held in April in the capital, this festival sees three evenings of jazz at venues across Bishkek. Around a dozen international acts attend, from the rest of the region and also Europe, making this a great time for music lovers to visit the city.

See Also

For more information on visiting Kyrgyzstan, take a look at our other travel resources:

Best places to visit – the top destinations in Kyrgyzstan
Top travel tips – information on currency, food and much more
Tourist Visas - what you need to know to enter Kyrgyzstan