Transportation in Osh city
Transportation in Osh can be a bit confusing and tricky, despite the fact that the city is not as big as Bishkek. To make it as simple and clear as possible, I have outlined the general information about the transportation in, arond and from Osh city.
Arriving in Osh
Let’s make it simple. We assume that you are coming to Osh (I really hope you are). There are several options of how to get to the city center of Osh. I will map your route from those places to the city center (widely called as Aravanskaya). It is the best option as the majority of hotels, guesthouses and hostels are located close to the center. Here are the options how you end up here:
- You just landed at the Osh airport
- You crossed the border from Uzbekistan
- You drove from Bishkek or any other location and arrived to the new or old Bus Station
- You had the private taxi and it brought you right to your hotel (ignore)
1. Osh airport
The Osh airport receives the flights dominantly from Bishkek and the Russia. The airport is not far from the city-center and there are several ways you can get from there to the city:
- Private/shared taxi: Cabs typically cost 250-300 KGZ ($3.5-4) to get to/from airport to the city. But if you get to share it with other passengers it can be as cheap as 100 KGZ ($1.5)/person.
- Public Transportation: Marshrutkas are the mini-buses that serve as one of the basic public transportation units. Right outside the airport there is a bus-stop. There you can wait for marshrutka 107 or 142.
2. Dostuk/Dustlik Border-pass
As soon as you cross border from Uzbekistan, you will see several lines of marshrutkas and shared taxis
3. Arriving to Osh by private/shared taxi
It is better if you try to negotiate with your private/shared taxi driver to be dropped at the place where you will stay in Osh. If you don’t know where that will be, then the car will most likely drop you either at the New Bus Station, Old Bus Station or near Kelechek Bazar.
The New Bus Station is unfortunately located on the edge of Osh city. You should cross to the opposite side of Kurmanjan-Datka street from where transportation goes to the south direction.
The best option is to take the marshrutkas labeled with 138, 142, 119. These will take you into town by a straight route.
aIf you don’t mind making a longer loop through the city, you can also take 155, 116 or Bus 13 from directly in front of the bus station.
The Old Bus Station is located at the head of Osh Bazar and not far from Aravanskaya.
Kelechek Bazar is located very closely to the Old-Bus station, and is close to the city center. Therefore, you can easily manage getting to the center or any other place by walking or public transport.
Moving inside the city
If you are among the vast majority of tourists who stay at one of the hotels or hostels in the center of town, then I would definitely recommend walking. The center of the city is extremely walkable and unites major tourist sites, the best cafes and restaurants and almost anything else you would want to do.
Marshrutka is a specific term referring to the public transportation consisting of mini-buses. Each mini-bus has a number and follows a specific route (displayed on a small board at the front window in Cyrillic). These vehiclesplay a major role in Osh’s public transportation. Some tourists complain about using marshrutkas because of overcrowding and limited space. Imagine being among 15-20 people crammed into one of these in the 40 degree heat in summer. Couple that with being tall (you’ll have to duck) or carrying a backpack and you can see why even locals try to avoid them. However, they are cheap, convenient, and generally safe.
Osh has two types of taxi drivers: private and corporate. I would strongly recommend you to use corporate cabs. These taxis are generally bigger and cleaner. And unlike private drivers, with whom you have to negotiate the fee and who occasionally overprice people, corporate cabs use meters. I would suggest corporate taxi services like Osh Taxi and Econom Taxi. Not because they pay me for advertisement (why the hell would they?), but because they have more cars on service. You can either call them directly from a local sim-card (141 for Osh Taxi and 180 for Econom Taxi) or you can find one right on the street. Don’t forget to pay attention at company’s sign on the roof and ask “Po shyotchiku?” (with taximeter?)
Getting to the airport:
- From this location take marshrutka 142
- Or from this location take marshrutka 107
Getting to the Dostuk border pass:
- From this location take 138, 116,
Getting to the New Bus station:
- From this location take 138, 142, 119, trolleybus 2,
Old Bus Station: Marshrutkas and shared taxis from this location leave to Sary-Tash, Sary-Mogol, Irkeshtam and other destination of Alay region
Kelechek Bazar: Shared taxis leave to Bishkek and Jalal-Abad
FAQ: Where and when do buses to Kashgar, China leave?
Currently, Kyrgyz citizens are not eligible to travel to China. Therefore, the public transportation to Kashgar is not available. The best way for you to get to China is first taking a mini-bus to Irkeshtam border-pass. Buses depart from Old Bus Station at …… and cost …… After arriving and crossing the customs and border check, you will be able to find shared taxis to Kashgar.