Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan offer the majority of tourists visa-free 30 day entry. Therefore, you can hop between the two countries very easily if you need to extend your 30-day entry for whatever reason.
Travelling between the two major cities, Bishkek and Almaty is easy and cheap by marshutka. The whole journey should take about 4-5 hours. It takes around 30 minutes to get to the border from Bishkek. The border crossing could take 10 minutes up to an hour (weekends are a lot quieter than weekdays). From the border to Almaty it’s around 3 – 3 1/2 hours depending on traffic into the city.
Bishkek to Almaty
Marshutkas leave from the Western Bus Station everyday of the week from 8am.
Buy a ticket from the ticket desk (Kacca) and go to holding bay No.5. You will see a sign for Almaty and a Marshutka filling up with people. It takes around 30 minutes – 1 hour for the Marshutka to fill up depending on the time of day.
Cost: 400SOM (£4)
Marshutka going to Almaty
Almaty to Bishkek
Marshutkas leave from the Sayran Bus Station everyday of the week from 8am. Head inside the bus station terminal building and follow the signs for Bishkek (Turn right and then left).
You will see a ticket desk where you will need to show your passport. Once you have a ticket, go to holding bay 1 and take your seat on the Marshutka until it fills up.
Cost: 1500KZT (£4)
Looking for accomodation in Almaty and Bishkek? Read our blog ‘Stay in an AirBnB in Central Asia‘.