Travyde Travel and Discovery Guide to Kazakhstan

Explore Travyde's curated travel and discovery guides to 23 destinations in Kazakhstan!

Kazakhstan
Almaty
Atyrau
Aksu Zhabagly
Uralsk
Ust Kamenogorsk
Astana
Karkaraly National Park
Aktobe
Kokshetau
Temirtau
Taldykorgan
Baikonur
Balkhash
Shymkent
Chimbulak
Pavlodar
Aktau
Aral
Kazakh Desert
Semey
Karaganda
Central Highlands (Kazakhstan)
Turkestan
Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country. It has borders with Russia, China, and the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Native Kazakhs are a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century. Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1936 and was independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Kazakhstan is now the richest country in the region due to its large oil and natural gas reserves. Unexplored by many, Kazakhstan is an intriguing and little-known land of vast plains, mountainous horizons and beautiful culture. South Kazakhstan is a focus of Central Asian history, featuring many famous monuments. It is a scenically diverse region where the snow-capped peaks, lakes and glaciers of the Tian Shan range give way to steppe and desert. The desert is home to the Singing Barkhan - a sand dune 3.2km (2 miles) long, which, as it crumbles, produces a peculiar singing sound. Almaty was until very recently the former capital of Kazakhstan and it enjoys a beautiful setting between mountains and plains; it is a city of modern architecture, cool fountains, parks and spectacular mountain views.1

Quick Facts

Population

17,948,816 (July 2014 est.)

Major Cities

Almaty 1.383 million; ASTANA (capital) 650,000 (2009)

Climate

continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid

Languages

Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 95% (2001 est.)

Ethnic Groups

Kazakh (Qazaq) 63.1%, Russian 23.7%, Uzbek 2.8%, Ukrainian 2.1%, Uighur 1.4%, Tatar 1.3%, German 1.1%, other 4.5% (2009 census)

Religions

Muslim 70.2%, Christian 26.2% (Russian Orthodox 23.9%, other Christian 2.3%), Buddhist 0.1%, other 0.2%, atheist 2.8%, unspecified 0.5% (2009 Census)

Terrain

vast flat steppe extending from the Volga in the west to the Altai Mountains in the east and from the plains of western Siberia in the north to oases and deserts of Central Asia in the south

GDP per Capita

$14,100 (2013 est.)

National Symbol

golden eagle

Shared Borders

China 1,533 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,224 km, Russia 6,846 km, Turkmenistan 379 km, Uzbekistan 2,203 km

Country Scorecards

Quality of Life

is a ranking of the generalized standard of living in a country.

Purchasing Power

is a ranking of how many goods can be purchased with the an unit of the country's currency.

Consumer Price Index

is a ranking of the prices of a generalized basket of common goods.

Safety

is a ranking of how safe the country is for both travellers and locals.

Pollution

is a ranking of the amount of pollution and its effect on humans and nature.

Healthcare

is a ranking of quality and availability of healthcare services.

Budgeting for Kazakhstan

Average Monthly Disposable Income After Tax631.66USD

Food and Drink

Inexpensive Meal10.99USD
Midrange Meal for Two38.48USD
McDonalds Combo6.6USD
Domestic Beer, 0.5L1.37USD
Imported Beer, 0.33L2USD
Coke/Pepsi0.62USD
Midrange Wine8.24USD
0.33L Bottled Water0.46USD
Water, 1.5L0.66USD
Milk, 1L1.18USD
Bread, 500g0.38USD
Apples, 1kg1.84USD
Oranges, 1kg2.26USD
Rice, 1kg1.24USD
Cappucino2.77USD
Cigarettes, Pack1.26USD

Transportation

Public Transportation, 1 Ticket0.44USD
Public Transportation, Monthly30USD
Gas, 1L0.72USD
Taxi, Start1.65USD
Taxi, 1km1.05USD
Taxi, 1hr wait8.24USD

Misc Expenses

Prepaid Mobile, 1min0.08USD
Internet, 6mbps, per month24.38USD
Levis Jeans71.13USD
Summer Dress, Zara/HM66USD
Nike Shoes95.86USD
Leather Shoes, Men117.12USD

Highlights of Kazakhstan

Suggested itineraries for Kazakhstan

Highlights of Kazakhstan

1 favourite(s),Rating: 5/5

Recommended timeframe: 0 to 2 days

Kazakhstan is a vast landlocked country, little known and little visited despite being the most prosperous and established of the ‘stans'. This itinerary sticks to the 2 cities of Almaty and Astana. Discover both, and get a quick feel of the many contradictions within the vast nation of Kazakhstan. Explore Almaty’s spectacular urban attractions and its surrounding natural beauty in the form of lakes and national parks, with an invitation to ski in winter and hike in summer. Experience Astana of the symbol of the new, oil-rich Kazakhstan, with brand-new skyscrapers in an age-old landscape of merciless steppe.
Destination Introduction Days
Almaty

Almaty is the former capital of Kazakhstan, located in Almaty Province.

Almaty is the former capital of Kazakhstan, and is still its largest city. Being a financial and cultural center of Central Asia, Almaty boasts moderately-sized tourist and expatriate communities.

On a clear day you can see the beautifully rugged, snow capped mountains, right at the city's doorstep to the south. The city, in general, slopes from south to north which makes navigating the streets easy. If you are traveling uphill, you're going south. There is also a small mountain range bordering the city to the east.

Almaty is in the top 50 most expensive cities worldwide for expats to live in according to Mercer Human Research. Although Almaty dropped from 30th place in 2007 to 44th in 2008, it's still more expensive than Toronto, Los Angeles or Hamburg. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful gateway to this undiscovered and distinctive country. Kazakh people are very kind and welcoming, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the hospitality.

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Astana

Astana (formerly Aqmola and Tselinograd), in the north of Kazakhstan, is the second largest city in the country. It took over the role of capital city from Almaty (the largest city) in December 1998. Now, it is undergoing a transformation costing billions of dollars, where top international architects assist in trying to make Astana a worthy capital - not only of Kazakhstan but of all Central Asia. Thus, Astana presents an interesting and intriguing blend of old Soviet architecture with the modern designs of Norman Foster and the likes. Astana is growing, but still does not offer the comforts and thrills of its Western counterparts, or Almaty, but has its own charms and pleasures.

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The 3 Most Popular Cities in Kazakhstan

Almaty

Almaty is the former capital of Kazakhstan, located in Almaty Province.

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Almaty by DXT 1 1 By: DXT 1
Astana

Astana (formerly Aqmola and Tselinograd), in the north of Kazakhstan, is the second largest city in the country. It took over the role of capital city from Almaty (the largest city) in December 1998. Now, it is undergoing a transformation costing billions of dollars, where top international architects assist in trying to make Astana a worthy capital - not only of Kazakhstan but of all Central Asia. Thus, Astana presents an interesting and intriguing blend of old Soviet architecture with the modern designs of Norman Foster and the likes. Astana is growing, but still does not offer the comforts and thrills of its Western counterparts, or Almaty, but has its own charms and pleasures.

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Astana by worrypower 2 By: worrypower
Karkaraly National Park

Karkaraly National Park (Kazakh: Қарқаралы мемлекеттік ұлттық табиғи паркі) (Russian: Каркаралинский государственный национальный природный парк) is a protected reserve and national park in the Karaganda Oblast in the Central Highlands of Kazakhstan. The park headquarters are in the city of Karkaraly, 244 km east of Karaganda.

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Karkaraly National Park by Nurken K. 3 By: Nurken K.