Welcome to Karakol, Kyrgyzstan!

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan!

Things to do in Karakol

Things to Do In Karakol

Dungan Mosque

About The Mosque
Issyk-kul Central Mosque of Karakol city named after Ibrahim Aji was built by initiative of Ibrahim Aji. He invited the famous Beijing architect Chou Seu and 20 carvers with the skills of traditional Chinese architecture and composition techniques for building the mosque. Construction of the mosque began in 1904 and completed in 1907.
An ingenious system allowed builders to build the mosque with no metal reinforcement tools. The mosque holds 42 based pillars. Encircling of the building is multi-tiered wooden cornice, decorated with images of plants like grapes, pomegranates, pears and peaches. Besides it the mosque is registered as a historical monument and protected by the law. Today mosque operates successfully and opens for everyone who visits our city.
Why Should You Go There?
The Mosque is very beautiful and interesting because it’s the only Chines architecture in Kyrgyzstan.
Address: Abdrakhmanova/Bektenova
Working Hours: 6am-9pm
Cost: 20 SOM
Time Spent: 30 to 40 mints
Contact: 03927 / 03922
The Przhewalski Museum 
About The Przhewalski Museum
Nikolay Mikhailovich Przhewalsky was one of the first Russian Geographer who started studying in detail the geography, flora and fauna of the Central Asia. Beginning from 1870, he arranged 4 large expeditions to Mongolia, China and Tibet.
During his expeditions he revealed the exact directions of the mountain ranges and borders of the Tibetan Mountains. Przhewalsky collected an enormous zoological collection, which comprised several thousand of species of plant, animals, birds, fishes and insects.
In the year of 1888, he died from typhoid fever on the eve of his fifth expedition to Central Asia; he was buried on the Issyk-Kul lakeside not far from the city of Karakol.
The local historical Museum has over 8 works of Przhewalsky published in the period from 1883 to 1947, as well as 30 photocopies and photos. Today there are personal things, documents photos and articles of Przhewalsky kept there. Not far from the Museum there is the traveler’s tomb and monument.  In addition, in 1998 Hussein Karasaw a famous Kyrgze linguists was buried there too
Why Should You Go There?
Przhewalsky is one of the first persons to discover Karakol and the mountains.  You can learn about his adventures and discoveries at this museum. 
Address: Pristan Prjevalski Village
Working Hours: 9am-5pm
Ticket Cost: 120 SOM
Transportation: 20 SOM by Bus
Time Spent: 1-2 hours
Karakol Orthodox Church
About The Church
The story of the church goes back to July 1869, when Karakol was a garrison town on the edges of the Tsarist Russian Empire. The Karakol church, however, was destroyed in an earthquake in 1889, which caused havoc in the town and took several lives.  It took six years to complete, and was finally consecrated in 1895.  It has seen considerable service, not just as a church. 
Over the years, particularly following the Revolution in 1917, it has been used as an educational centre housing a school, ladies’ gymnasium and an institution of Higher Education; a Sports Hall; a Theater; a Dance Hall and even as a Coal Store. 
Then, in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Independence of Kyrgyzstan, the local authority once again gave the building back to the church.
Why Should You Go There?
The paining’s and sybles inside the church are different than churches in Europe and interesting.  It’s a great place to take pictures and have a rest from the noise of the city.

Address: Gagarina/Lenina
 Working Hours: 8am-5pm Sat &Sun closed
Time Spent: 20 – 30 mints
Karakol Museum
About the Museum
The museum is housed in a pretty chocolate-box cottage in central Karakol, and it was the pre-revolutionary summer home of the Iliana merchant family. From 1918-1920 the building earned its socialist stripes as headquarters of the Regional Revolutionary Committee, and was subsequently transformed into a museum by order of the Soviet Council of Ministers in 1948.
The museum has several interesting displays (labeled in English, Russian and Kyrgyz). Scythian artifacts include bronze pots retrieved from Lake Issyk-Kul, displayed alongside exhibits of petroglyphs. Besides a comprehensive display of traditional Kyrgyz punched leatherwork, felt wall hangings and woven yurt decorations, the museum has a colorful collection of national costumes, and examples of finely worked silver jewelry. One hall covers the region's flora and fauna - much of which is endangered. The museum is also worth visiting to gain a Soviet perspective of history in the region. A couple of walls relating to Kyrgyz union with Russia and the subsequent revolution are now historical artifacts in themselves.
Why Should You Go There?
It’s a great place to see pictures and artifacts Karakol’s history.  There is many stuffed animals inside and great pictures Ella Millart a famous Swiss traveler.
Address: Gagarin/Jamansariev
Working Hours:  Mon-Sun 9am-5pm
Ticket Cost: 70 SOM
Time Spent: 30 mints to 1 hour
Website: www.ianbek.kg/?p=3889
Contact: 0552 669623 / 53268
Jeti Oguz
About Jeti-Oguz 
Jeti-Oguz is famous for its large, red sedimentary rocks, about 2,200m. The rocks have been carved out by a river from the Terskey Alatoo mountains. Years of weathering have split the rocks into seven parts. The forms of the rocks are similar to the head of the seven bulls, “Jeti”-means seven and “Oguz”-means  bull in Kyrgyz.
Another beautiful place to see is Broken Heart. This is a reddish rock shaped like a broken heart. For this rock, there are several legends: long ago a king who was very rich and had many wives went hunting. One day he saw a beautiful girl with black long hair. He fall in love with her at first sight, and wanted to marry her. However she was from a poor family and was already engaged. Her family ran away from the king when they learned that he wanted their daughter. But the king caught them, killed her fiancé and her family. Her heart was torn by sadness and the Broken Heart appeared in that place.
Address: Jeti-Oguz Valley 
 Working Hours: 8am-5pm 
Time Spent: 3-4 hours

Transportation: From Karakol to Jeti-Oguz Sanatorium/Broken Heart 35 KM 35 mints
Private taxi for 600 SOM

Shared taxi for 150 SOM per person from Karakol’s big bazaar.

*Beware that after 5pm it will be hard to find a shared taxi.

 Fairy Tale Canyon / Skazka Canyon
About the Fairy Tale Canyon / Skazka Canyon
The canyon was named because of its bizarre rocky landscape, which for many years has been transformed by erosion into amazing sculptures and formations. Some formations look like The Great Wall of China and you can also find other formations that look like snakes, dragons, sleeping giants and even whole castles. From the canyon you can see a majestic panorama of Lake Issyk-Kul and snow caped mountains. It’s an excellent destination for children and adults because it’s an easy hike close to Lake Issyk-Kul.
Why Should You Go There?
On the way back to Bishkek it’s really worth a stop because of the view of Issyk Kul Lake and the view of the mountains.  Its only a short and easy trek with really great view!  I recommend it to everyone that goes on the southshore of Issyk Kul Lake.
Address: 4 km from the village of Tosor
Working Hours: 9am-5pm
Cost: 50 SOM
Time Spent: 2-3 hours
Transportation: From Karakol to Fairy Tale Canyon (112km) 2 hours by transport
Private taxi cost 2100 SOM one-way per car.
Marshrutka to Balykchy or Bokonbaevo from the South Shore Bus Station and ask the driver to stop at Fairy Tale Canyon (cost 100 – 150 SOM)
*Beware that after 5pm it will be hard to find a marshrutka / taxi.
The Karakol Zoo
About The Karakol Zoo
Karakol Zoological Park was founded in 1987. This is the only zoo in Kyrgyzstan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the economics of the country quickly fell into disrepair in 2001, there was a question about closing the zoo. However, sponsors were found to preserve the wildlife area and keep it in a relatively prosperous state.
There are many local bears, wolf, deer, camels, Prjevalski's horses, peacock and many others animals.  It’s a great place to spend one hour and relax with the wild life.
Why Should You Go There?
In the mountains it’s very hard to see native wild animals but at the Zoo you can see many Kyrygz wild animals.  The Zoo is a fun and interesting place it’s defiantly worth a stop! 
Address: Koenkozov/Parkovaya
Working Hours:  Mon-Sun 9am-5pm
Ticket Cost: 50 SOM
Time Spent: 30 mints to 1 hour
Website: www.buguenye.info
Phone Number: 0559 934239
About The Animal Market
Early on Sunday mornings one of Kyrgyzstan’s biggest animal markets takes place around 2km north of central Karakol. Typical of such markets, you’ll observe scenes at once sad and comical, with locals improbably bundling voluptuous fat-tailed sheep into the back seats of Lada cars. The setting amid semi-derelict flourmills might seem unprepossessing, but on clear days the backdrop of white-topped mountains is more striking from here than from the town center. A series of earthen unloading plat­forms lead north. Jostle through the chaos to reach a bigger main compound one block north, where you’ll find horse sales and ven­dors of beautiful embossed leather saddles. On foot the bazaar is about 25 minutes’ walk from City Center. (Resource: Lonely Planet)
Address: Udilov Str. / Lenin Str. 
Working hours:  01am -10am, only on Sunday
Time Spent: 1Hour
About the Barskoon Waterfall
Barskoon waterfall is a geological protected area located in Jeti-Oguz District of Issyk Kul Province of Kyrgyzstan in 90 km to the south-west of Karakol on one of the tributaries of Barskaun River. It was established in 1975. Within the Barskoon valley there are two waterfalls on top of the mountain and the mountainside. At the foot of the mountain you can enjoy the beautiful river of Barskoon. During the summer time there yurts built. At the yurt you try Kyrgyz traditional drink Kymys while enjoying the beauty of the landscape.
Why you should go there?
There is three amazing waterfalls that can be seen within a few hours of hiking.  It’s a great one-day activity for anyone.  Make sure to bring a lunch and hiking boots. 

Address: Barskoon Valley
Working hours: 9am-5pm
Time Spent: 2-3 Hours

Transportation: From Karakol to Barskoon waterfall (100km)
Private Taxi cost 2500 SOM per car one way.
Marshrutka from South Shore Bus Station to Barskoon village for 100 SOM and walk 15 km to the waterfall. 
*Beware that after 5pm it will be hard to find a Marshrutka / Taxi.