Kazakhstan Attractions

Tourist Attractions in Kazakhstan

Top Attractions in Almaty

1. Kok Tobe Tower, Almaty

Kok Tobe (meaning 'Green Hill') is a local recreational point on a hill top where there’s a TV tower and you get a nice view of Almaty city. A cable car connects downtown Almaty with a popular recreation area at the top of Kök Töbe, a mountain just to the southeast. The city television tower, Almaty Tower, is located on the hill. It has a variety of tourist attractions, such as a zoo, amusement-park style rides and restaurants.

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Kok Tobe Tower, Kazakhstan

2. Medeo Gorge, Almaty

The Medeo is an outdoor speed skating and bandy rink. It is located in a mountain valley (Medeo Valley) on the south-eastern outskirts of Almaty, Kazakhstan. Medeo sits 1,691 metres above sea level, making it the highest skating rink in the world. It has 10.5 thousand square meters of ice and utilizes a sophisticated freezing and watering system to ensure the quality of the ice.

Read More: Medeu in Almaty

Medeo Gorge, Kazakhstan

3. Shymbulak Ski Resort, Almaty

Shymbulak is a ski resort near Almaty, located in the upper part of the Medeu Valley in the Zaiilisky Alatau mountain range, at the elevation of 2,200 metres (7,200 ft) above sea level. The resort area is about 25 kilometers south of Almaty city by the Medeo road. It is accessible by cable car which takes off from a place in Medeo Valley, about 25 minutes drive from Almaty. This one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kazakhstan.

Read More: Chimbulak Ski Resort in Almaty

Shymbulak Ski Resort, Kazakhstan

4. Big Almaty Lake

Big Almaty Lake, at a height of 2,511 mts. and 1.6 kms long, is situated in the Tien Shan mountains. The maximum level of its captivating blue waters is in August; the minimum being February. Take an arranged trip to the stunningly beautiful Big Lake of Almaty, about 20 Kms drive from Almaty city. Like majority of lakes in Trans-Ili Alatau, this lake occured as a result of an earthquake.

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Big Almaty Lake, Kazakhstan

5. Zelyony Bazaar (Green Bazaar), Almaty

Zelyony Bazaar is also known as Green Market. Like any traditional market in Central Asia region, in this market also you can buy everything under one roof. You can buy clothes, furniture, spices, meats and fruits. Zelyony Bazaar is a place in Almaty on the crossroad of Zenkov and Jybek Joly streets. This is a market where you can and you should spend some time shopping or simply visiting this vibrant place. Colorful atmosphere of the market is simply a delight for the tourists who visit this market. They can see variety of goods available. Zelyony Bazaar is an important part of Almaty history. Over hundred years ago at this place only the first prototype of trade center appeared. Since then it has remained in Almaty as an important trade point.

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Zilyoni Bazar, Almaty

6. Falcon Show, Almaty

Discover Kazakh nomadic hunting, an ancient survival method of Kazakhstan in the extremities of harsh climate and terrains over centuries. Witness jaw-dropping maneuvers of hunting falcons trained by Kazakh nomads. In Kazakhstan falconry has been of two kinds in general. One is hunting with birds of prey and another is hunting with eagles. Kazak people have hunted with eagles for centuries and now this old practice is being revived as competitive sport in the country.

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Falcon Show, Kazakhstan

7. Trip to Charyn Canyon

Often termed as the Grand Canyon's little brother, the Charyn Canyon is located in the Charyn National Park about 215km east of Almaty and approximately a 3 hour drive from Almaty. Formed 3 million years ago, it has a valley called 'Valley of Castles' about 2 kms across named so due to pillars and rock formations that look as if its man-made.

Read More: The Charyn Canyon in Kazakhstan

Charyn Canyon, Kazakhstan

8. Sunkar International Ski Jumping Complex, Almaty

Sunkar International complex is a ski jumping venue in the southern part of Almaty, Kazakhstan. This Ski Jumping complex in Almaty sits at an altitude of 900m above sea level. The complex was built in 2010 replacing an old Goreny Gigant ski jumping complex as Almaty and Astana hosted 2011 Asian Winter Games. The very uniqueness of Sunkar International Ski jumping complex is that it is located in a place where there is almost no wind. By 2013 five competition hills here got ready and all these five hills are equipped with plastic mattings and hosting Grand Prix events in summer. The spectator capacity here is around 9500 and both artificial turf and snow can be used here in all season.

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Sunkar International Ski Jumping Complex, Almaty

9. Central Mosque, Almaty

Kazakhstan is a country of Mosques as there are more than 2300 mosques. Out of those over 2300 mosques there is one probably the largest and most beautiful mosque, called Central Mosque of Almaty. This mosque is relatively new built in 1999. It is a magnificent building which has been made in Timurid style of architecture. The mosque was completed in 1999 only but with its Turkish calligraphy, domes and minarets it looks ancient. It has huge space as it can accommodate around 7000 worshipers at a time. The beautiful building of the mosque is built with marbles and colored tiles. It is crowned with a blue dome which has diameter of 20 m and has a height of 36 m. Construction of the building started in 1993 and it took 6 years to complete the building.

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Central Mosque, Almaty

10. Zenkov Cathedral, Almaty

Zenkov Cathedral of Holy Ascension which is also known as Svyato-Voznesensky cathedral is over a century old cathedral and is unique because it is made completely of woods. This cathedral is unique because it is probably only cathedral in the world which is made of wooden completely. Another uniqueness of the cathedral is that it is built without using any nails. Yet another uniqueness of the cathedral is that it has survived major earthquake in the region which is attributed to the architect quality of the cathedral. This cathedral has five domes and three aisles with a built in bell tower is among the top 8 highest buildings of the world which are completely wooden made. Interior of the church was also worked by famous and brilliant Russian artist and painter N.G. Khludov.

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Zenkov Cathedral, Almaty

11. Abay Opera House, Almaty

Abai's Theatre was built in Almaty in 1934. It was named after Kazakh poet, composer and philosopher Abay Qunanbayuli. Founder and first director - Yevgeny Brusilovsky, who created eight national operas and a ballet. Over forty western and Kazakh pieces are performed, including operas, ballets and classical music performances.

Abay Opera House, Almaty

12. Rakhat Chocolate Factory

It is the biggest chocolate manufacturer of Kazakhstan since 1942. You can purchase mouth-watering Rakhat chocolates by the kilos. Hundreds of mouth-watering flavours of chocolates are available including low-calorie chocolates at unbelievable prices!

Rahat Chocolate Factory, Kazakhstan

13. Asanov Shooting Club, Almaty

Asanov Shooting Club - Around 25km outside Almaty on the way to Kapchagai is the Asanov Shooting Club, named after champion Kazakhstani marksman Alexander Asanov. Here it’s possible to shoot clay pigeons (skeet), with prices starting at 5,000 KZT for 25 shots, gun hire and a (Russian-speaking) instructor. The club also organises luxury corporate entertainment and stages shooting displays and contests.

Asanov Shooting Club, Almaty

14. Visit to Shooting Club

Take a guided tour of shooting club which has produced some of Kazakhstan and former Soviet Union's greatest shooters. It has in-house shooting instructors.

Visit to Shooting Club, Kazakhstan

15. Dolphinarium Nemo, Almaty

Dolphinarium Nemo - Located in Almaty, Dolphinarium Nemo is a must-visit entertainment show for all ages. The dolphins do many impressive tricks, help spectators to real fun.

Dolphinarium Nemo, Almaty

Best Tourist Attractions in Astana

1. National Museum of Kazakhstan, Astana

The National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the youngest and largest museum in Central Asia, located in Astana. The museum opened on July 2, 2014 in a 74,000 square meter building. The largest unique museum complex consists of seven blocks with a variable number of storeys to the ninth floor. Exhibit space occupies 14 rooms with a total area of over 14,000 sq.m. The National Museum of Kazakhstan is composed of the following halls: Hall of Astana, Hall of Independent Kazakhstan, Hall of Gold, Hall of Ancient and Medieval History, the Hall of History, Ethnography Hall, Halls of Modern Art.

National Museum of Kazakhstan

2. Baiterek Tower, Astana

Baiterek Tower is a monument and observation tower in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. It is quite popular among foreign tourists in Astana. On your Kazakhstan Tour when you land in Astana then you can see Bayterek tower which is meant to embody a folktale. The folktale is about a mythical tree of life and a magic bird of happiness. This is 105 m tall consists of a narrow cylindrical shaft, surrounded by white branch-like girders that flare out near the top, supporting a gold-mirrored 22 m diameter sphere. The tower has two levels and you can see 360 degree view from level one.

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Baiterek Tower, Astana

3. President’s Cultural Center, Astana

Astana has lot of beautiful sights for a traveler to visit. One among them is President’s Cultural Center. This is a museum which displays the history of Kazakhstan. It displays ancient and modern history of Astana and achievements of its president. It is a blue domed building with vertical blue panels surrounding the dome. This building has a museum which houses around 143, 000 artifacts and a library with 700,000 items. The moment you enter the center you see floor with elaborate tiling, and columns around it adorned with blue panels. These blue panels have gold writing in Kazakh. History of Kazakhstan can be seen on the first floor. President’s Cultural center has museums, library, concert and exhibition halls. The designs and symbols here in the building are all beautiful and worth watching. The museum has items of archaeology, ethnography, history and current arts.

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President’s Cultural Center, Astana

4. Nur-Astana Mosque

Nur Astana Mosque is a famous site in Astana city in Kazakhstan. This is the second largest mosque in Kazakhstan and in Central Asia after Hazrat Sultan Mosque. The 40-meter height symbolizes the age of the Prophet Muhammad of when he received the revelations, and the height of the minarets are 63 meters, the age Muhammad was when he died.

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Nur-Astana Mosque

5. Aquarium of Duman Entertainment Complex, Astana

There are only few aquariums to make it to the list of largest aquarium in the world. These aquariums can hold even whale sharks. One such aquarium is in entertainment centre ‘Duman‘, Astana in Kazakhstan. Duman is an entertainment complex that house an aquarium, a 5D cinema and many other entertainment options. This aquarium at Duman is the only aquarium in the world which is over 3000 km away from ocean. More than 2,000 of sea inhabitants, the representatives of 100 species of sea fauna from different parts of the world, live there. This is definitely a place to be at. Duman adds to the ‘Must see’ places list of every tourist when he is in Astana.

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Aquarum of Duman Entertainment Complex, Astana

6. Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve, Astana

In the very heart of Kazakhstan, 130 KM drive from Astana you come close to a place where you may see Pink flamingos, pelicans and several other beautiful species of birds. This is Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve situated in the north central part of Kazakhstan. The entire zone of Korgalzhyn is a mix of fresh waters and saline lakes embedded in dry steppe zone of Eurasia. Kazakhstan has lot of National Parks/reserves and Korgalzhyn is the largest preserved zone in Kazakhstan.

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Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve, Astana

Other Tourist Attractions in Kazakhstan

1. Kazakh Steppe

Kazakh steppe is a part of Great steppe or Eurasian steppe. This is also called Great Dala. It is a vast open grassland in northern part of Kazakhstan and adjacent parts of Russia. The steppe extends to Pontic steppe and Emin Valley steppe thus forming part of the Eurasian steppe. The vastness of Kazakh steppe can be observed by the fact that it almost covers one third of Kazakhstan’s total territory and if measured it extends to more than 2200 KM and covers more than 804,500 Sq.KM. Kazakh steppe is the largest dry steppe in the world and is semi desert and in parts fully desert.

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Kazakh Steppe

2. The Intimate Ruins of Sauran

The Intimate Ruins of Sauran is located a little away from highway from Turkestan to Kyzyl Orda in South Kazakhstan. Sauran is a place for adventurers. Once one of the biggest city in Kazakhstan, Sauran is today known as romantic ruin remains. Ruins of Sauran will catch you with its old and beautiful charm. If you love to explore less explored and far off places this intimate ruins of Sauran in Kazakhstan should be must see place on your travel destination list.

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The Intimate Ruins of Sauran

3. Taraz City

Taraz city is one of the oldest cities in Kazakhstan. Taraz is ancient but Taraz is modern too. Today It is a beautiful mix of ancient and modern touch. It is one of the fastest growing cities in Kazakhstan after Astana. The age of Taraz is like this. The city celebrated its 2000th anniversary in 2001. Between the old and modern Tarza is a beautiful destination for travelers. In the medieval time Talas (Taraz) was a major trade center on the Silk Road. Located on the Talas or Taraz river in south of Kazakhstan bordering with Kyrgyzstan, Taraz has population of over 3, 00,000. The city has a lot to offer to the visitors.

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Taraz City, Kazakhstan

World Heritage Sites of Kazakhstan

1. Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

This is an unfinished Mausoleum in Turkestan in southern Kazakhstan. Structure was made in 1389 by Timur and construction was halted in 1405 because of death of Timur. Since then it has remained unfinished Mausoleum and survived till date. The Mausoleum is made of distinctive art of that time. Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi attracts lot of religious pilgrimage from across Central Asia and so has become Kazakh national identity.

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

2. Tamgaly

Tamgaly is a petroglyph site in the Zhetysu of Kazakhstan. Petroglyph is basically a rock art in which images are created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, or abrading. It is located 170 km northwest of Almaty. This beautiful landscape of Tamgaly features over 5000 marvellous petroglyphs coming from the bronze age. They are large in size with unique images and of high quality of iconography. Tamgaly became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

Tamgaly, Kazakhstan

3. Saryarka

Saryarka is a Natural World Heritage Site in Kazakhstan. Saryarka - Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan is a part of the Kazakh Uplands which has been designated a world heritage site by UNESCO. It was inscribed on July 7, 2008 and is only natural site in Kazakhstan listed as UNESCO world heritage site. The site comprises the Naurzum State Nature Reserve and Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve. Saryarka is home to many wildlife and people also come here for bird-watching.

Saryarka, Kazakhstan

4. Silk Road UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which covers the Chang'an-Tianshan portion of the ancient Silk Road and historical sites along the route. 5000 KM from Central China to Zhetsyu region of Central Asia, Silk Road has been identified by UNESCO in 2014 as new world heritage site. This 5000 KM corridor goes through China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Read More: About World Heritage Sites of Kazakhstan

Silk Road UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Things To Do in Kazakhstan & Almaty:

  • Dolphin Show
  • Falcon Show
  • Trip to Kapchegay Reservoir (Casinos available)
  • Casinos in Almaty City
  • Trip to Charyn Canyon
  • Shopping day tour to Zilyoni Bazar and Rahat Chocolate Factory
  • Visit to Atlanta shooting club
  • Nightclubs in Almaty
  • Traditional Spa centres
  • Cable Car Ride to Kok Tobe
  • Cable Car Ride to Shymbulak Medeo
  • Skiing with instructor at Shymbulak Ski Resort
  • Trip to Big Almaty Lake

Content Source: Dook Dossier 2017-18

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