The Kyrgyz som is the national currency of Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz som is represented by banknotes of 8 different denominations: 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000. Coins of the following denominations are also used: 1, 3, 5 and 10 soms.
The currency of other states in Kyrgyzstan is not accepted for payment in the absolute majority of cases, even if it is ruble, tenge or dollar.
Exchange of currency in Kyrgyzstan is not difficult. Money can be exchanged in a branch of any bank or in exchange bureaus, which often work 24/7. However, it is always worth remembering that exchanging money in these offices can bear certain risks, despite a more favorable rate.
There are branches of banks and exchange offices in all major cities, as well as in large villages.
Most banks are open from 10 am to 18 pm, from Monday to Friday. Exchange offices often work 24/7.
What you need to know if you want to exchange currency:
– Older notes are exchanged at a lower rate
– The exchange is more expensive at night
Credit cards and ATMs
Credit cards in Kyrgyzstan are not accepted everywhere, especially outside Bishkek. In Bishkek, credit cards for payment are accepted by supermarkets, hotels and some cafes and shops. Therefore, for traveling in Kyrgyzstan it is recommended to have enough money in cash.
ATMs for withdrawing money can only be found in cities such as Bishkek, Osh, Jalalabad, Karakol, Cholpon Ata and etc.
Kyrgyzstan is a relatively inexpensive country, especially in comparison with popular tourist destinations.
Gasoline (1 liter) – 45 soms ($ 0.60)
Bus within Bishkek – 10 som before 21.00 and 12 soms after 12. ($ 0.15 and 0.18)
Taxi within Bishkek – 50 soms for ordering and 12 soms per kilometer
Guest Houes – 5-10$
Hotel – 20-100 $
The average check in a cafe per person is 200-400 soms (3-6 $)
Coca-Cola (1 liter) – 40 soms ($ 0.60)
Mineral water (1 liter) – 20 som ($ 0.25 or)
Milk (1 liter) – 40 soms ($ 0.60)
Cigarettes – 70 soms ($ 1)
Bread – 15 soms ($ 0.20)
Beer (0,5 liters) – 65 soms (1 $)