What to Do in Osh
Experience the diverse culture and cuisine of the Silk Road.
Long serving as a gateway to Central Asia thanks to its unique position on the edge of the Pamir-Alay Mountains, Osh offers an array of engaging things to see, do, eat, and enjoy. You may find yourself visiting Osh for its convenience — for millennia Osh has connected travelers to some of the best trekking in Central Asia — but once you arrive, you'll find it hard to leave behind the city's fascinating Silk Road history, flavorful multicultural cuisine, bustling markets and welcoming local people.
Osh is a rare place where you can witness the contrast between pre-Soviet, Soviet, and modern architecture. While old mahallas (local districts) and mosques attest to the city’s medieval age, Soviet monuments, memorials, and mosaics serve as a reminder of the sweeping changes, spirit, and quirk of Osh’s 20th century Soviet-era past.
And as you explore everything the Fergana Valley offers, remember to take it slow, stop in a few markets, share a smile with a local vendor, stroll the city's parks — in Osh, travelers are more than tourists, they're friends.
City and Food Tours
Explore Osh through the eyes of a local with a range of tours designed for curious independent travelers. Orient yourself to the best sights in Osh on a free walking tour of the city, or discover Osh through its food on the Osh Foodie Tour, where you'll sample flavorful Osh specialities whose flavors have been tuned for generations. Perhaps you want a guided hike to Sulaiman-Too, or for a truly memorable experience, join a local family on the Plov Journey and learn the secret behind this beloved local dish, or learn from a master baker just why lepyoshka tastes so good.
Historical Sites, Parks, and Museums
The streets of Osh provide travelers with a fascinating blend of ancient Silk Road history and the city's more recent Soviet past. The result: a modern city filled with enjoyable parks, interesting monuments, and the sacred Sulaiman-Too Mountain. Discover pieces of Osh's unique history on your wanders through the city, or join locals in the city's best parks. No matter how you fill your days, you'll discover that every corner of Osh offers travelers a glimpse of history along with a young, friendly and open feel today.
Markets and Souvenir Shopping
Kyrgyzstan's markets and bazaars are about more than shopping. Historically, markets are places of friendship, community, and cultural exchange as well. Osh is home to several wonderful markets, including one of Central Asia's oldest, the Jayma Bazaar, where vendors offer a vast array of wares, from nuts and dried fruit to hand-crafted knifes and pottery. And for a truly memorable day, visit one of three animal markets in the region during the early morning hours, when vendors engage in lively negotiations over a broad range of livestock. No matter the experience you seek, or the handmade souvenirs you'd like to bring home, Osh has something perfect to offer you.
Day Trips & Nearby Activities
The rich ancient history and striking beauty of the Fergana Valley and Alay Mountains are on full display when you venture outside of Osh. This region is home to a number of incredible ancient towns filled with fascinating history, national parks filled with unparalleled beauty, and intriguing museums spotlighting Osh's cultural heritage. We even have a nearby ski community for those visiting during the chilly winter months. Each day-trip is easily visited from Osh independently or booked with a local guide for an insider's perspective.
Visit Uzgen Ancient Town
Uzgen is a perfect day trip from Osh. You might need the entire day to enjoy everything on offer in this ancient town on the banks of the Kara Daria River in the beautiful and lush Fergana Valley. Although some believe the town dates back to 4th century BC, the remains and ruins that you'll enjoy today are from the 11th-12th centuries when Uzgen was a major town along the Silk Road and the eastern capital of the Karakhanid Dynasty. After taking in the historical sites, be sure to stop by the lively and friendly Uzgen Bazaar and visit one of the traditional rice mills to find out how tasty Uzgen rice makes its way into the local rendition of plov.
Trekking Around Osh
If the Pamir-Alay Mountains lured you to Osh then you're in luck — a trail-marking project in the region now offers travelers more trekking options than ever before. Some one-day treks are ideal for soft-adventurers, while the multi-day foot and horse treks offer unique opportunities to explore the gorges, rivers, and high mountain passes that were once a part of the Silk Road. Trek solo using downloadable digital GPS tracks, or hire a knowledgeable local guide — either way, it will be an unforgettable experience.