How to get to and from Osh and navigate town.
Osh is a well connected city. Transportation to other destinations isn't nearly as complicated as actually choosing where you'll visit once you leave. As the southern hub of Kyrgyzstan, Osh has greeted travelers headed to and from riding the Pamir Highway to Tajikistan, trekking the Pamir-Alay Mountains, crossing the Dostyk overland border to Uzbekistan, or crossing the Irkeshtam Pass to China.
Osh has long served as a gateway to the region and the city has been designed over centuries to easily host international travelers. No matter why you're in town, or where you're headed afterwards, use this transportation information to learn how you can thoroughly explore the ancient towns in the Fergana Valley, navigate the city to the best restaurants and guesthouses, tour the city's fascinating culinary history, and book onward travel to other notable destinations in Kyrgyzstan.
If you need additional transportation information, or if you need private transport during your time in Osh, get in touch with Destination Osh. We work with a group of trusted drivers, most of whom speak some English and can provide you with a comfortable ride that is timely and safe.
Osh can often feel like a small town but it is, in reality, a big city — use caution during peak times on busy public transportation and maintain awareness of pickpocketing in overcrowded areas. During the summer months, temperatures mid-day can also be particularly hot, so bring water before a long travel day.
Osh is a big city, but walking it is one of the best ways to truly understand it and feel its vibe of the city, as you'll likely come across friendly and curious locals along the way. Many of Osh's main tourists sites are concentrated in the city-center between Jayma Bazaar in the north and the Lenin Monument in the south, with Sulaiman-Too Mountain in-between to the west (check out these maps for more details). Many guesthouses and hotels are similarly centrally located, or for those staying outside of town, once your taxi or marshrutka drops you in the center of the city you can easily navigate on foot to most things you'll want to see and do, and many places to eat and shop. The streets are wide (most with sidewalks) and shady, there are many parks to rest and recharge, as well as a lovely waterfront, too. Tip: Visit the Destination Osh office (15 Gapar Aytiev Street) near the base of Sulaiman-Too Mountain for a custom walking map and recommended route through Jayma Bazaar.
Fun to pronounce and fun to ride, too, marshrutkas are a common budget public transportation option used widely throughout Kyrgyzstan. These minivans and small buses travel a set route or circuit through town and stop as needed, picking up and dropping off passengers. A marshrutka usually starts and finishes at fixed locations — such as bus stations or popular corners —which are covered below. That said, you can also flag down a passing marshrutka much like you would hail a taxi. If there's room in the van the driver should stop and allow you to board. When finding the right one, look for the printed card on the window of the marshrutka or listen for a shout-out of the name of the place where you'd like to go. This is an easy, effective, and affordable transportation option along popular routes within Osh, as well as onward to nearby towns and destinations. Tip: write down the name of your destination in Cyrillic and locals at the bus stations will gladly point you in the right direction.
Using marshrutkas in Osh: Osh offers affordable public transport from early morning until late evening through a system of numbered marshrutkas operating throughout the town, as well as to nearby villages, markets, and museums. Marshrutkas cost a fixed fee of 10 som/person for local stops during the day. Venturing to some outer regions of the city, or for late evening rides, it may cost 12-15 som. Osh feels like a small town, but it is in reality a big city; use caution during peak times and maintain awareness of pickpocketing in overcrowded areas and on busy public transportation. Many of the marshrutka lines go by the Jayma Bazaar.
Shared taxis are an effective and affordable way for travelers to arrive at a destination faster and via a more direct route than by marshrutka. Shared taxis often used unmarked cars and, like marshrutkas, certain drivers ply a regular route to a specific location (e.g., market, town, village). You can find shared taxis at all bus stations and main markets and there are no set schedules — shared taxi drivers leave once the car is full (usually four passengers). At a peak time of day, the wait is usually short to popular destinations and the fee is only moderately more than a marshrutka. Although the waiting time for the car to fill is a downside, if you tire of waiting for other passengers, you can usually offer to pay for the missing passengers so that the driver leaves immediately.
Private taxis across Kyrgyzstan are more affordable than you might assume, and when you know how to find trusted taxis, this is an effective way to navigate the city (particularly for those traveling in a small group). The key here, however, is to locate and use trusted taxi services. There are two types of private taxis in Osh, corporate taxis and freelance drivers. Destination Osh highly recommends that travelers stick to the trusted taxi companies when navigating Osh as they use secure meters so the fee is transparent and fair. Freelance drivers are less reliable and require negotiation of price, and are known to even charge Osh locals more than the going rate.
The three most popular taxi services in Osh are:
- Namba: 144; 0770-700-144, 0707-700-144, 0557-710-144, or 0707-700-144 on WhatsApp
- Taxi Osh: 141; 0558-99 78-00; 0775-99-7800; 0705-99-7800
- Taxi 180: 180; 0558-999-444
Osh is a gateway city to Southern Kyrgyzstan and has several entry points, via both land and air: Osh International Airport, two main bus stations, and a border crossing point from Uzbekistan (as well as China and Tajikistan further afield). Use the information below, and the table of transportation options, to plan how you will get to Osh.
Osh International Airport
Osh International (OSS) is a small airport located just 10km from the Osh City Center. The airport offers number of direct daily flights within Kyrgyzstan, as well as select cities in Turkey, Russia and soon Uzbekistan. There are several daily domestic flights to/from Bishkek's Manas International (FRU) which take around 45 minutes. One-way tickets are usually reasonably priced. In the summer months (June 30 - August 30) there are also flights to/from Issyk-Kul International aiport near Tamchy (IKU). These flights are often quite affordable and provide a handy way for travelers to quickly move onward to other regions of Kyrgyzstan. You can find the Osh Airport flight schedule here.
How to Get to Osh City Center from the Airport: For budget-friendly public transportation, take marshrutka #107 or #142 from the bus stop next to Car Park 1. Between 7:00 and 19:00 marshrutka service runs every 10 minutes and the journey lasts roughly 25 minutes. If you go this route, be sure to ask your guesthouse where you should get off and how to navigate there once you arrive in the city center. Alternately, a private taxi services departs from Terminal 2 and costs about 300 som. Or, you can contact your guesthouse ahead of time and arrange for a private transfer directly to your accommodation.
Osh is near three key international border crossings: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China. All of these countries have rather strict tourist visa regimes so be sure that your visa and paperwork are in order before attempting to cross borders with any of these countries. Destination Osh works with specific service providers to help travelers navigate these longer routes or along the Pamir Highway — contact the team if you need help planning your travels from or to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan or China.
Uzbekistan: Just 10km away from Osh is the Dostuk crossing into Uzbekistan. This is a short taxi ride from Osh city center. There are several marshrutkas leaving from the old bus station or Hotel Alay that go to the border. After crossing into Uzbekistan you will find shared taxis and other transport options to take you to your onward destination or city. If you are coming the other direction from Uzbekistan, there are always taxi and marshrutkas leaving from the border to Osh.
Tajikistan: Many people cross the Kyzylart – Bor Dobo Kyrgyz-Tajik border as part of a road trip along the Pamir Highway (Osh to Khorog, Tajikistan), a journey which takes you through the stunning mountain and high desert landscapes of the Pamir Mountains. Public transportation is very limited along this route so it's best if you arrange transport in advance to take you the entire journey. Check with the tour operators in Osh about arranging a jeep or bus transportation. Also, double check your paperwork in case you need a GBAO or other permit.
China: It's best to have pre-arranged bus transport for your entire journey to/from Osh to avoid any problems at the border. Check ahead on updated border crossing times as the border is often closed on weekends and there is usually a long afternoon break between 13:00 and 16:00. If you are coming from Xinjiang, China through the Irkeshtam border, there are often shared taxis at the crossing who can take you to the next village, Sary Tash (where you can find onward public transport to Osh) or to Osh directly by shared taxi (4-5 hours). Going from Osh to China, there are direct buses to Kashgar or you can take a series of marshrutkas and shared taxis to go either directly to the border, or first to Sary Tash and then to the border.
Getting to Osh from other Destinations in Kyrgyzstan
As its located in the southern part of Kyrgyzstan, Osh is a little harder to get to overland by public transport than many other Kyrgyz cities. However, if you decide to go by land vs. flying to Osh you will be rewarded by some stunning mountain scenery, especially along the M41 highway which takes you past the Toktugol Reservoir and over several mountain passes. Note: no marshrutkas or big buses run between Bishkek and Osh due to the narrow, mountain roads so your only option is to take a shared taxi.
|Bishkek: Western Bus Station (Shymkent 1) or bus stand south of Osh Bazaar, Bishkek||Shared Taxi||Ongoing, but recommended to travel by day to see the views||10-11 hours||1,000-1,200 KGS/person|
If you're traveling from Osh to other destinations in Kyrgyzstan, or onward to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, or China, you have some options. There are two main bus stations in town, the New Bus Station and the Old Bus Station — both serve travel within the Fergana Valley, as well as to other parts of Alay Valley and further afield. Traveling to Tajikistan or China requires a bit more effective planning (see above). Contact Destination Osh and we can connect you to tour operators and services who arrange these trips. Use the chart below to figure out which transport hub and style of transportation will get you to your next destination.
|To (Location)||Bus Station||Type||When||Duration||Price|
|Bishkek||New Bus Station or Kelechek Bazar||Shared taxi||Ongoing during the day||10-11 hours||1,000-1,200 KGS/person|
|Uzgen||New Bus Station||Marshrutkas||Every 40 minutes between 7:40 and 18:40||1 hour||50 KGS|
|Sary Mogul||New Bus Station||Marshrutka||14:00 - 17:40||3.5-4 hours||240 KGS|
|Jalal-Abad||New Bus Station||Marshrutkas||Ongoing, every 35 minutes between 8:20-16:00||120 KGS|
|Toktogul||New Bus Station||Marshrutka / bus||7:15||Arrive: 16:00||440 KGS|
|Aravan||New Bus Station||Marshrutkas||Every 30 minutes between 8:30 and 17:30||45 minutes||30 KGS|
|Kyzyl-Kia||New Bus Station||Marshrutkas||Ongoing, every 40 minutes between 9:00 and 17:40||120 KGS|
|Sary Chelek||New Bus Station||Marshrutka / bus||7:40||Arrive: 14:00||400 KGS|
|Tash Komur||New Bus Station||Marshrutka / bus||12:30||250 KGS|
|Isfana||New Bus Station||Marshrutka / bus||7:00 & 8:00||Arrive: 14:00 & 15:20||500 KGS|
|Nookat||New Bus Station||Marshrutka / bus||Ongoing between 8:30 - 18:00||55 KGS|
|Sary Tash||Old Bus Station||Marshrutka (shared taxis also available)||14:00||Arrive: 17:00||negotiable|
|Irkeshtam||Old Bus Station||Marshrutka||14:00||Arrive: 18:00||negotiable|