Osh, Kyrgyzstan's second-largest city, is considered a holy city by Muslim pilgrims who visit it annually to pray at its Islamic shrines. The capital city of Bishkek is surrounded by some of the highest mountain ranges in the world. Bishkek is known for its large public parks and gardens, shady avenues, and botanical gardens. Equestrian sports are very popular in Kyrgyzstan.
Visas are required for entry to Kyrgyzstan and are obtainable upon arrival or through Kyrgyz embassies abroad and tour companies. The principal accommodations are hotels that formerly belonged to the Soviet Intourist system. However, foreign chains are currently developing a number of projects in Central Asia. In 1999 there were 68,863 visitor arrivals in the country and tourism receipts totaled $14 million.
According to 2002 US Department of State estimates, the daily cost of staying in Bishkek is approximately $183 per day.