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Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Apr 22, 2023

Summary: People describe Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan as a vibrant city with a unique culture and a great mix of modern and traditional elements. Expats love the city's friendly people, the low cost of living, and the beautiful scenery. The weather in Bishkek is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-70s Fahrenheit. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,000 per month. A one bedroom apartment typically costs around $400 per month, while a two bedroom apartment costs around $600 per month. The approximate population of Bishkek is 1.1 million people.

What do I need to know about living in Bishkek?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Bishkek, they said:

"Expats considering retiring in Bishkek should be aware that Kyrgyzstan is a predominantly Muslim country and that the official language is Kyrgyz. It is important to research the cost of living in Bishkek, as prices can vary significantly depending on the area. Expats should also be aware that the healthcare system in Kyrgyzstan is not as advanced as in other countries, so it is important to have adequate health insurance. Additionally, expats should research the visa requirements for Kyrgyzstan, as they may need to apply for a residency permit. Finally, expats should be aware that the climate in Bishkek can be quite extreme, with hot summers and cold winters," remarked one expat who made the move to Bishkek.

"Because of lingering Soviet-style centralization and unease with western entrepreneurship, as well as a lot of official barriers to foreigners doing much, try to set up something before you go. People are friendly and relaxed, compared to Almaty for example, so you should be able to do some networking. Rent is rising fast but still cheap, and most other things (except imports) are very cheap by the standards of any western country," explained one expat living in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

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What do I need to know before moving to Bishkek?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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