I stayed in Bishkek for a short week while visiting Kyrgyzstan in June 2017. Naturally, I was curious to discover its nightlife, which was recommended to me by several friends.

Since I was there during Ramadan, I was afraid the bars and nightclubs would be closed, but everything was normal, albeit slightly quieter than usual.

My first difficulty was the lack of information about partying in Bishkek. Almost everything you'll find online is outdated or in Russian (Retro and Golden Bull are closed for instance). Luckily, on my first night out I met an expat who lived in the city for 3 years and he took everywhere I needed to go.

This review is a summary of everything I learned about Bishkek nightlife. I hope you can leave comments about your own experiences as well to make it more interesting and to keep it updated.

Nightlife Areas + Recommended Hotels Nearby
Most of the best bars and nightclubs in Bishkek are located within 500 meters from Ala Too square, and particularly along Chuy Avenue and on Orozbekov Street.

Considering this is also where you'll find most of the best tourist attractions, I advise you to choose a hotel nearby.

Here is a selection of the best hotels with both a great location and high ratings on Agoda/Booking.com.

5-star hotels
Orion Hotel - Most luxurious hotel in Bishkek with prices starting at 250$ per night.
Hyatt Regency - The oldest 5-star in Bishkek. Girl-friendly. It has its own bar. 235$ per night.

4-star hotels
Ambassador Hotel - Excellent location walking distance from many happening bars - Rated 9.2/10 - From 115$ per night.

3-star hotels
Bugu Hotel - Right in the city center, brand-new, very affordable - Rated 9.3/10 - From 55$/night

Dostuk Hotel - Rated 7/10 - 60$ per night - This hotel would not be special except it has its own sauna with plus plus services and a quiet nightclub as well (called Heaven). Girl-friendly. In the same building, you have another property, much nicer but pricier, called Club Hotel (on TripAdvisor, someone says he was offered prostitutes there).

2-star hotels
Ocean Hotel - Rated 9.4/10 - 40$ per night. Great location in front of Metro Pub. It is more a converted apartment than a proper hotel though.
Royal Minihotel - 30$ per night. It has a 24/7 sauna.

Backpackers
Central Hostel (Not girl-friendly): Rated 9.3 - starting at 10$ per night in dorms.

There are also some bars and nightclubs in the South of Bishkek, on Baytik Baatyr street and near Cosmo Park (Zavod Pub). There aren't many hotels in that area but you can reach it easily from the center by taxi (15 minutes - 200 Soms).

General Tips About Bishkek Nightlife
Safety
I walked a lot during the day in Bishkek and I never felt the city was unsafe. At night, some streets can be scary as they are poorly lit and deserted. It's best to avoid them by simply taking a taxi between the clubs you visit. There are plenty of them and they are cheap (just negotiate the price in advance - usually 100 Soms for a short 5 minute ride).

I also read reports on Internet from people who were mugged just outside nightclubs, when they were drunk. For this reason, it is best to avoid carrying too much cash with you or important documents.

Dress code
As a tourist, it seems you can get away with wearing short pants and a t-shirt in most venues except maybe Bar 12, Zavod, Mansion and Garage.

That said, try to make an effort dressing up with at least a pair of jeans and shoes. This will help you socialize and meet girls.

Prices
Prices are relatively low, even in high-end venues. In general, you will pay 150-200 Soms ($2-3) for a beer and 250-350 Soms (3-5$) for a generous cocktail.

Stripclubs have an entry fee of 500 Soms and they'll often charge slightly more for drinks.

Meeting girls
Meeting girls in Bishkek is fairly easy, either online, in the street or in nightclubs. In the latter, you have to be careful as the number of prostitutes can be deceitfully high.

- Recommended online dating apps are Badoo, Tinder and Mamba.
- Recommended nightclubs and bars to meet girls are Metro, Zolden, Mansion, Garage and Zavod

Best Bars and Clubs in Bishkek

Zavod
My favorite club in Bishkek, Zavod (ЗАВОД) is located on the 3rd floor of the shopping center/cinema Metro Park. It is a semi-open restaurant, bar and nightclub open every day until 3AM (6AM on weekend with a 1,000 Som entrance). The dancing area can get really crowded with a fun mix of people. Many girls, both Kyrgyz and Russians who can easily be approached. DJs play a mix of Western and local pop/house, not the latest hits but very danceable. The only problem is that it is 15 minutes from the city center by taxi.

More information: Zavod Pub Bishkek

Metro Pub
A few years ago, before it was renovated, Metro was a dodgy bar full of prostitutes. Nowadays, owned by a British citizen, it is a classy venue with a colonial interior design and a rather upmarket expat crowd. They have a live band and a DJ several times per week. Also decent for eating and watching sports. The security guard told me that it is open 24h but I couldn't verify.

More information: Metro Bishkek

Garage 312
Garage 312 (Гараже 312) is a bit far away and difficult to find, but it has a great atmosphere thanks to its awesome staff of hot waitresses. It's not without any reasons that it is nicknamed the "crazy party bar". It is only open on weekends and attracts mostly trendy Kyrgyz with Russian ethnicity. Lots of pretty girls and drunk guys on the dance floor. Well-organized events ranging from hip-hop nights to live concerts.

More information: Garage 312

Promzona
A live music venue with a mini-concert every night except on Monday (most often pop-rock bands singing local and international songs). There is an entrance fee (450 Soms) but you can get in for free if you send them a message on Whatsapp (0706 900-900).

More information: Promzona

Mansion Club
Open from Thursday to Saturday until 5AM, it is the largest nightclub in Bishkek. It is built on two floors with a main stage in the middle featuring either live bands or DJs (Russian house). It was only half-full when I went there. They have some sexy girls dancing with costumes a couple times every hour.

More information: Mansion Club and Karaoke

Zolden Pub (and nearby bars on Orozbekov Street)
A laid-back pub with a friendly atmosphere in the nightlife street of Orozbekov. You can start bar-hopping from there and visit nearby beerhouses such as Travel Pub, Ugolek or Sherlock Pub. Affordable prices. Russian live music that gets people dancing hard.

More information: Zolden Beer

Bar 12
A stylish bar and lounge on the 12th floor of a building. Nice view and atmosphere. This is where the local elite and younger expats hangout. It was very quiet when I visited, maybe because of Ramadan, or maybe because Zadov has become even more trendy. Recommended for a date.

From what I've heard, they can arrange a sushi dinner with a naked model (also called Nyotaimori in Japanese). This is a photo I took on their Facebook page:
Naked Sushi in Bar 12
More information: Bar 12 Bishkek

Coyote Ugly
An American bar with sexy hostesses who may dance occasionally on the wooden bar. There weren't many customers when we arrived at midnight, but it started to fill up slowly (it stays open until 6 AM). It's pricier than average, but worth a visit for a few drinks.

Upstairs of Coyote, there is a nice sports bar called Pub Daddy. They have American food, numerous TV screens and a live band on Friday and Saturday.

More information: Coyote Ugly (part of the international brand of the same name) and Pub Daddy.

Save The Ales
This microbrewery serves various kind of draft beer in a minimalist setting (think blank walls, cheap tables and chairs... and nothing else). Founded by two Kyrgyz women, it was featured in Conde Nast magazine last year. Closes at midnight.

More information: Save The Ales

A Few More Venues:

Greenwich Pub
This sports bar was quite busy, even during weekdays, and I enjoyed its location just a hundred meters from Ala-Too square. It has a small garden, next to Panfilov Park from where you can smoke shisha.

More information: Greenwich Pub

Zusmanovich's Suitcase
In Russian, the bar is called Chemodan Zusmanovicha (Чемодан Зусмановича). It is a kind of bohemian place with an artsy crowd. They welcome independent artists, mostly Kyrgyz, to perform several nights a week (see the program on their Facebook page below). The rest of the time, there will be a DJ. Free entrance.

More information: Chemodan Zusmanovicha

Center Bar
Centrally-located bar, fine for downing a few beers before heading elsewhere. The terrace is perfect for watching people walk by.  Inside there is a dance floor with a DJ. There is also a karaoke than I didn't try.

More information: Center Bar and Karaoke

111 Bar
A dive bar, a bit messy, which is oddly located on a bridge just above the river. With its homely feel, it is popular with the expat community. Hard to find and at least 10 minutes from the city center. Pool table, darts and video games. Also serves food (burgers).

More information: 111 Bar (One One One)

Cheback Pub
A new pub with good food and live music, right in the city center next to a cinema. Modern design. Live music on weekends.

More information: Cheback Pub

Jazz Band Bar
The only Jazz bar in Bishkek to my knowledge. Live music every night. Open from lunch to dinner until 2AM. More expensive than average.

More information: Jazz Band Bar

More beer gardens and beer houses outside the city center:
I saw more pubs all around Bishkek which all seemed similar: Draft beer, sports on screens, generous food portions, etc. You can check the following for instance: Blonder Pub, Pinta Pub, Munchen Pub and Barclay's Pub.

Interestingly enough, there is a Obama Bar in Bishkek and there used to be a Putin Pub as well (closed already).

Finally, Martini Bar and Democrat were both being renovated during Ramadan but they should reopen after the summer.

Saunas in Bishkek
An interesting feature of Bishkek nightlife is the number of saunas spread around the city and often hidden from sight.

I didn't visit one but they are discussed a lot on the internet. The most famous ones seem to be Vip King Sauna (3 Logvinenko St), Viking (2 Gogol St) and Centr (78 Gorkova Ulitsa St). All the properties from the KGB group are highly-rated too.

As mentioned before, there is also one in the Dostuk Hotel and one in Royal Minihotel, both in Central Bishkek.

Ying Yang Sauna (6 Turusbekova St.) from the KGB group and Royal Sauna are both open 24 hours, 7 days per week.

You will find a complete list of saunas in Bishkek with location and prices on the following link (in Russian but you can translate it): Sauna List + Price in Bishkek. You can also have a look at this useful map: Location of Saunas in Bishkek.

As you might have guessed, those saunas are de facto bordellos with prostitutes. Some of them can even be taken outside to your room. The price is around 2,000 Soms for the entrance, and 3,000 Soms directly for the lady.

Stripclubs in Bishkek
Another local specialty is striptease. I had not expected to find any sexy dancers in a Muslim country, furthermore during Ramadan, so you can imagine my surprise when my expat guide took me to a lively strip club at 4 AM.

They are not particularly hidden, contrary to the saunas. One of the most famous ones, Penthouse (PH) is almost visible from the street, just a few meters from Ala-Too Square, on the 8th floor of the BerenGold tower. Advertised as a gentlemen's club, it costs 500 Soms to get in and they have about 10 girls (Russian) who dance one by one on a podium. They will take off their bras but never their panties. See more information about it on their Facebook page: Penthouse Bishkek or watch their promotional video:
The best strip club in Bishkek is probably Zhara (in Russian ЖАРA). They have skilled dancer, both Russian and Kyrgyz, who wear sophisticated themed costumes. They will perform as a team, with a choreography so it is much more entertaining to watch than in Penthouse. Be aware that when you get in front of the entrance door, it looks like it is closed but it isn't (at least not until early morning). Just knock and someone will open. Entrance is 500 Soms with a 500 Soms deposit.
Dancers from Zhara
Dancers from Zhara on the bar
Zhara (ЖАРA)
86 Baytik Baatyr, Bishkek
Phone number:  0553 122 419
Instagram: Zhara Strip Club
Facebook: Zhara

Finally, you may want to try Canto Strip Club and Karaoke as well. I didn't visit it but it seems to be quite hot judging by this video from one of the dancers:
Conclusion about Bishkek Nightlife
Bishkek is one of the most laid-back and liberal cities in Central Asia. It is safe, cheap and the local people are friendly. There aren't that many clubs and bars, but enough for you to have great fun over a weekend. I recommend!

3 comments to '' Bishkek Nightlife - Best Bars and Nightclubs - Kyrgyzstan (2017) "

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  1. For the naked sushi in Bar 12, it is available only if you order in advance. You can text Whatsapp +996558100100 for reservation. Thanks

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  2. the first picture of this article.. where do you take it..?? from what hotel/bar..??

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