Official language: Kazakh, Russian
Time zone: UTC +6
Currency: Tenge (KZT)
The biggest airport in Kazakhstan is located only 18 km from the city. You can go there by several bus lines: 79, 86, 92, and 106.
If you want to travel from Almaty to the capital of the country, Astana, take a train. The journey lasts 20 hours and since the trail leads mainly through homogeneous steppes, it’s better to choose a night trip, not to waste the day.
While traveling through Kazakhstan, remember not to plan a trip based on the distances given in kilometers. Quite often, roads are in poor condition and the journey may take longer than it might seem.
Almaty is the largest city and the former capital of Kazakhstan. It is located in the south-eastern part of the country, at the foot of the mountain range of Ile Alatau. Although it is no longer the capital, it remains a very important point on the map of Kazakhstan – as its cultural and scientific center.
Almaty is definitely the most elegant city in Kazakhstan. You may enjoy its beautiful broad boulevards, lots of greenery and a view of majestic mountain peaks seen in the distance. If you had visited Russia before, you will most probably find the city’s style familiar. Almaty owes its wealth to the dynamically operating oil industry, thanks to which it can confidently compete with major European cities.
During your stay in Almaty, be sure to take a trip to one of the nearby hills – it is easy to get there by suburban rail. Admire the astounding view of the city from the top and to the accompaniment of live music. You will find many summer houses here, many of them with saunas. Under these favorable conditions, you can enjoy a lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants.
Many restaurants and eateries worth recommendation are scattered throughout the city. Go to Alasha at 20 Ospanova St., Tubeteika at 32/1 Satpaev, or Daredzhani at 85 Kunaev St. for delicious dishes of East European and Asian cuisine. Step into My Cafe at 128/104 Furmanov St. for a coffee and cake or – if you prefer – choose a venue of a worldwide known chain – Hard Rock Cafe at 85 Karasai Batyr.
About 30 km away from the city, there is one of the most popular spots in this part of the country – the alpine Almaty Lake. Its temperature never rises above 8 Celsius degrees, even in the summer, and it is impossible to step into it. However, the incredible view of its turquoise waters between the summits makes it worth a visit. Both Kazakhs and visitors come here in droves, especially on weekends, so we recommend taking the trip during the week.