What to buy in Kyrgyzstan
What to Buy in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan does not have that many products suitable for souvenirs to choose from but the ones there are worth a glance. When it comes to souvenir, bringing a yurt or a large wool carpet is not the easiest choice with the airline baggage limitations and costs (yurts are also very expensive!).
Fortunately there are also smaller products like handmade felt and wool products and many consumables like honey, chocolate or beverages to bring home from Kyrgyzstan. It is best to buy the souvenirs in the Kyrgyz villages or remote towns or in Bishkek, but no recommended in the Manas airport as the prices there are very very high.
Kyrgyz Felt Souvenirs
Felt is the primary art form in Kyrgyzstan and has passed along the generations for ages having its roots back in the nomadic lifestyle. In the nomadic culture felt was a necessity as Kyrgyz people lived in the yurts covered by felt, worn warm clothes made from it and had several household items that were made from the felt as well.
Felt products are still very popular in Kyrgyzstan even now and active produced also for the locals meaning that you are not buying just something made four tourist but something that is part of the local culture. Particularly felt items like hats, toys, shoes and bags are popular and proper sized items to take back home as a souvenir. The most known Kyrgyz felt product is the white felt hat called kalpak.
Kyrgyz Mountain Honey
Kyrgyz honey is well-known for its organic production. in Kyrgyzstan honey is mostly produced in the alpine meadows, on the high mountain slopes and at the foot of the Tian-Shan Mountains.
Mountain honey contains the wealth of motley grass, fruit trees, mountain flowers and berries growing on the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic. You can find several different types of honey depending on the region and other aspects and each of them differs by taste, color and even structure. Make sure to try the different types when in Bazars, before the purchase.
Nashe Shakhterskoe, Zhivoe Svetloe and Arpa are popular Kyrgyz beers that you can find almost in every store and bar in the country. The bottle looks like a soviet time design. The slightly sweet Arpa beer has lately gained foreigners’ attention.
Arashan herbal liqueur
Arashan herbal liqueur is made from a mixture of Kyrgyz mountain herbs and spices. The liquer is slightly alcoholic and it is commonly blended with coffee, tea, or even vodka, and is claimed to be therapeutic for treating colds, coughs, and other ailments.
Kyrgyz Cognac (brandy) is highly valued by the foreigners due to its speacial taste. It comes in several varieties aged for three, five or seven years (called XO). The cost of it starts from 700 som for a 0,5 l bottle.
Kyrgyzstan chocolate brand offers various tastes of the chocolate. Kurut taste is be the most well known one. It is made of natural cocoa, which explains it’s the locally high price of 120 som.
The package has several traditional Kyrgyz symbols and a unique Kyrgyz kurut taste. You can find it in supermarkets of Bishkek and almost every shop in the smaller cities and countryside as well.
Batken Dried Apricots
Batken apricots are famous all around Kyrgyzstan and another must-taste food while visiting the country. Batken region is located south of the Fergana Valley, which is known as the most fertile part of Central Asia.
Batken is known as “the land of apricots” and their quality is famous not only among the Kyrgyz but also abroad, though contested by the Istravshan region in the Tajik Fergana valley, neighboring the region.
Kyrgyz Wool Rug (Shyrdak)
One of the most authentic souvenirs to bring home from Kyrgyzstan is an embroidered shyrdak (traditional felt rug). They are commonly very large made for the big rooms of the Kyrgyz houses but in the bazars you can also find smaller ones that you can fit inside your suitcase. Remember to haggle when buying these from the bazar!
If you want to order a custom made shyrdak before your trip, contact us!
Kyrgyz Style Jewelry
Unique Kyrgyz jewelry is another excellent choice for a souvenir. There is a broad choice of bracelets, earrings, and other jewellery made of gold, silver and precious stones in Kyrgyzstan.
The most common material to make the jewelry in Kyrgyzstan (and Kazakhstan) is silver. By tradition these valuable possessions are passed down by the elder women of the family to the younger ones as they grow up and start their own families.
Read more about the Kyrgyz hand made products from our handicrafts page.
Check Kyrgyz sights and destinations to find the Kyrgyz products
Page updated 21.11.2022