Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, is a bustling metropolis located at the foothills of the stunningly beautiful Trans-Ili Alatau mountain range. With a rich history and a vibrant modern culture, this city has become a popular tourist destination. If you’re planning to visit Almaty, you may be wondering what attractions and activities you should include in your itinerary. In this post, we’ll share some of the best things to see and do in Almaty to help you make the most of your trip. From historical landmarks to natural wonders, you’ll be able to explore the many facets of this fascinating city. So, let’s get started!
The 3 Best City Walking Tours in Almaty
- Kolsay and Kaiyndy Lakes Charyn Canyon With Overnight at the Locals
- Pearl Lakes Kolsai Kaindy Flooded Forest Private Tour
- Land of Canyons
The 3 Best City Walking Tours in Almaty
1. Kolsay and Kaiyndy Lakes Charyn Canyon With Overnight at the Locals
Discover the natural beauty of Kazakhstan on this two-day private tour. On Day 1, you’ll visit the stunning Charyn Canyon, followed by a visit to Kolsai Lake where you can take a boat ride (optional, not included in the tour cost) and marvel at the tranquil surroundings. After a full day of sightseeing, spend the night in Saty village and enjoy a hearty dinner.
On Day 2, you’ll head to Kaindy Lake, known for its picturesque submerged trees. Take in the breathtaking views and snap some photos before returning to Almaty. This tour includes pickup from your hotel or hostel, all meals (dinner on Day 1, breakfast and lunch on Day 2), and confirmation upon booking. Infant seats are available, and most travelers can participate. Please note that this tour is not wheelchair accessible. You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
2. Pearl Lakes Kolsai Kaindy Flooded Forest Private Tour
Explore the breathtaking natural beauty of southern Kazakhstan on this private tour of the Pearl Lakes Kolsai Kaindy Flooded Forest. Begin your day with pickup from your hotel in central Almaty before heading off to the stunning Charyn National Park, known for its unique rock formations and stunning vistas. From there, visit the crystal-clear Kolsai Lake, where you can take a peaceful boat ride or hike through the surrounding forests. Finally, marvel at the surreal beauty of the flooded forest at Kaindy Lake. Throughout the tour, enjoy the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle and the company of an experienced local guide. Coffee and tea are also provided, along with all necessary fees and taxes. Travelers should note that this tour is not wheelchair accessible and may not be suitable for those with serious medical conditions. Infant seats are available upon request, and those who wish to cancel can do so up to 24 hours before the tour for a full refund.
3. Land of Canyons
Explore the stunning landscape of the Land of Canyons on this private tour. After being picked up from your hotel in Almaty, travel in an air-conditioned vehicle to Altyn-Emel National Park, passing by its breathtaking scenery.
Next, visit the Singing Dune, a natural wonder that emits a strange humming sound when the wind blows over its sands. You’ll also see the Aktau Mountains, an impressive collection of colorful rock formations, and the Katutau Mountains, known for their unusual volcanic formations.
Throughout the tour, enjoy the convenience of snacks and beverages, including coffee and tea. This tour also offers a vegetarian option, available upon request.
Please note that this tour is not wheelchair accessible and confirmation will be received at the time of booking. Infant seats are available, and most travelers can participate. You may cancel your booking for a full refund up to 24 hours in advance of the experience’s start time.
Planning a Trip to Almaty? Here Are Your Most Frequently Asked Questions Answered
If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful city of Almaty in Kazakhstan, then you’re in for a treat. The city is known for its picturesque mountains, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine. However, as with any trip to a new place, you may have a few questions that you’re unsure about. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions about Almaty. So, let’s dive right in!
1. What is the best time of year to visit Almaty?
Almaty has a relatively cool climate with mild temperatures all year round. However, the best time to visit the city would be between April and October when the weather is warm and dry. July and August are peak tourist season, and the city gets crowded, so we recommend booking in advance during these months.
2. What languages are spoken in Almaty?
The official language of Almaty is Kazakh, but you’ll also find that Russian is widely spoken. English is not as common, so it’s best to learn a few basic phrases in Russian or Kazakh before your trip.
3. What is the currency in Almaty?
The official currency in Almaty is the Kazakhstani tenge (KZT). It’s recommended that you exchange your currency for KZT upon arrival, as it’s not widely accepted in other countries.
4. How can I get around Almaty?
The most popular way to get around Almaty is by taxi. Taxis are affordable and readily available throughout the city. You can also use public transportation, such as buses and trams, but they can be crowded and confusing for tourists. It’s best to use a taxi app like Yandex, Uber, or Bolt.
5. Is Almaty a safe city for tourists?
Yes, Almaty is considered a safe city for tourists. However, as with any city, it’s best to take precautions such as not carrying large sums of cash, avoiding dark alleys at night, and being aware of your surroundings.
6. What are the must-visit attractions in Almaty?
Almaty has plenty of beautiful attractions worth visiting. Some of our favorites include:
- Medeu Skating Rink and Ski Resort
- Kok Tobe Hill
- Central State Museum of Kazakhstan
- Panfilov Park
- Ascension Cathedral
7. What is the local cuisine in Almaty?
Kazakhstani cuisine is known for its hearty and delicious meat-based dishes. Some of the most popular dishes in Almaty include:
- Beshbarmak – boiled meat served with noodles
- Plov – rice with meat and carrots
- Laghman – a noodle soup with meat or vegetables
- Manty – steamed dumplings with meat filling
8. What is the dress code in Almaty?
The dress code in Almaty is relatively casual. However, if you plan to visit any religious sites, it’s best to dress conservatively and cover your shoulders and knees.
9. What souvenirs should I buy in Almaty?
Almaty has plenty of unique and beautiful souvenirs worth buying. Some of the most popular include:
- Kazakhstani traditional clothing such as Shapan robes and Kalpak hats
- Handmade carpets and rugs
- Hand-made pottery and ceramics
- Kazakhstani jewelry and accessories
10. How can I be respectful of local culture while in Almaty?
It’s essential to be respectful of the local culture while in Almaty. Some tips include:
- Dress conservatively when visiting religious sites
- Remove your shoes before entering a traditional Kazakhstani home
- Ask for permission before taking photographs of locals
- Learn a few basic phrases in Russian or Kazakh as a sign of respect
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Almaty: A Complete GuideIf you’re planning a trip to Almaty, Kazakhstan, there are plenty of things to see and do. From exploring the city’s rich history and culture to taking in its beautiful natural scenery, there’s something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll give you a detailed rundown of the best ways to spend your time as a tourist in Almaty, including where to go, what to see, and how to get around.
1. Visit the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan
The Central State Museum of Kazakhstan is a must-visit for anyone interested in the country’s history and culture. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits that span over four floors, covering everything from prehistoric times to the present day. One of the most popular exhibits is the Golden Man, a ceremonial suit that dates back to the 5th century BC. Be prepared to spend at least half a day here.
2. Take a Walk in the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen
Located in the heart of the city, the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen is an excellent place to take a walk and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The park is dedicated to a group of soldiers who lost their lives during World War II, and it contains a memorial and a museum. Additionally, there’s a musical fountain, a playground, and a small amusement park for kids to enjoy.
3. Explore Medeu Skating Rink and Ski Resort
If you’re visiting Almaty in the winter months, there’s no better place to be than at the Medeu Skating Rink and Ski Resort. Located just outside the city, this resort is perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. If you’re not interested in winter sports, you can still enjoy the breathtaking mountain views from one of the many cafés and restaurants in the resort.
4. Take a Cable Car Ride to Kok-Tobe Hill
For panoramic views of the city, take a cable car ride to Kok-Tobe Hill. Located at an altitude of 1,100 meters, the hill offers stunning views of the cityscape and the surrounding mountains. Once you arrive at the top, you can explore the souvenir shops, restaurants, and amusement rides. There’s also a beautiful park with more stunning views.
5. Visit the Almaty Zoo
The Almaty Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals from all over the world, making it one of the largest zoos in Central Asia. Visitors can see lions, tigers, monkeys, and much more. There’s also an aquarium and a reptile house. The zoo is open year-round and is a great place to visit if you’re travelling with kids.
6. Explore the Zenkov Cathedral
The Zenkov Cathedral is a beautiful wooden structure that dates back to the early 20th century. The cathedral is unique because it was constructed entirely without nails. Visitors can explore the interior, which is filled with beautiful icons and frescoes. If you’re interested in architecture, this is definitely a must-see.
7. Take a Day Trip to Big Almaty Lake
Located just an hour outside the city, Big Almaty Lake is a stunning mountain lake that’s surrounded by natural beauty. Visitors can take a hike around the lake, enjoy a picnic, or simply take in the scenery. If you’re interested in wildlife, keep an eye out for the rare snow leopards that live in the area.
Getting Around Almaty
Getting around Almaty is relatively easy thanks to the city’s extensive public transportation system. You can take a bus, a trolleybus, or the metro to get around. Taxis are also available, but be sure to negotiate the fare before getting in. If you’re planning on visiting some of the sites outside the city, you may want to rent a car or book a tour.
Book Your Tour Now
As you can see, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Almaty. From exploring the city’s rich history and culture to taking in its beautiful natural scenery, there’s something for everyone. We hope this guide has given you some great ideas for your trip to Almaty. Don’t forget to take your time and enjoy everything this amazing city has to offer.
Table of Contents