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The Cost of Living in Shimkent: A Comprehensive Guide

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The Cost of Living in Shimkent: A Comprehensive Guide

Shimkent is a beautiful city located in Southern Kazakhstan. It is the third-largest city in the country and has a rich history dating back to the 12th century. Apart from its historical significance, Shimkent is also a bustling economic hub, attracting expats and students from all over the world. If you are planning to move to Shimkent, one of the most important things to consider is the cost of living. In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about the cost of living in Shimkent.

Accommodation Costs in Shimkent

When it comes to accommodation, Shimkent provides a wide range of options, including apartments, villas, and guest houses. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center ranges from 50,000 KZT to 70,000 KZT ($118 to $166 USD) per month, while a three-bedroom apartment can cost between 100,000 KZT and 150,000 KZT ($237 to $355 USD) per month. The rent tends to be higher in the city center and goes down as you move away from the city’s core.If you are looking for a guest house, you can expect to pay around 3,000 KZT to 5,000 KZT ($7 to $12 USD) per night, depending on the facilities and location.

Food and Drink Costs in Shimkent

Shimkent offers an excellent range of food and drink options. Supermarkets like Magnum and Ramstore are popular choices for grocery shopping. You can expect to spend around 35,000 KZT to 45,000 KZT ($83 to $107 USD) per month on groceries for a single person. However, if you prefer dining out, the cost of meals at mid-range restaurants can range from 2,000 KZT to 4,000 KZT ($5 to $10 USD) per meal.

Transportation Costs in Shimkent

Shimkent has a well-established public transportation network, including buses and taxis. The bus fare in the city is 150 KZT ($0.35 USD) per ride, while the taxi fare starts at 400 KZT ($0.95 USD) for the first kilometer and 200 KZT ($0.47 USD) for every additional kilometer. If you prefer to drive, the cost of gasoline is around 173 KZT ($0.41 USD) per liter.

Utility Costs in Shimkent

The monthly utility bills in Shimkent can vary depending on your usage and the size of your apartment. On average, you can expect to pay around 17,000 KZT to 25,000 KZT ($40 to $59 USD) per month for electricity, water, and heating. However, during the winter months, the heating costs can increase, especially if you live in a larger apartment.

Healthcare Costs in Shimkent

Shimkent has excellent healthcare facilities, with numerous public and private hospitals and clinics. The cost of healthcare in Shimkent is relatively affordable compared to other countries. You can expect to pay around 4,000 KZT to 6,000 KZT ($9 to $14 USD) per visit to a general physician, and around 12,000 KZT to 15,000 KZT ($28 to $35 USD) for a specialist consultation.

Education Costs in Shimkent

Shimkent has many excellent educational institutions, including universities and schools. If you plan to enroll your child in a private international school, you can expect to pay between 400,000 KZT to 1,500,000 KZT ($948 to $3556 USD) per year, depending on the school’s quality and curriculum. However, public schools are available free of charge for Kazakhstani citizens.


In conclusion, the cost of living in Shimkent is relatively affordable compared to other large cities worldwide. The city offers a vibrant lifestyle, excellent healthcare facilities, and a wide range of educational opportunities for expats and locals alike. The cost of living can vary depending on your lifestyle, but we hope this guide has given you a good idea of what to expect in Shimkent.

The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Shimkent

Shimkent, located in Southern Kazakhstan, is a city with a rich and fascinating history that is often overlooked by tourists. This comprehensive guide will take you on a journey through the hidden gems of Shimkent, from its local attractions, dining spots, cultural experiences, and history, to off-the-beaten-path suggestions that will make your visit unforgettable.

Local Attractions

While Shimkent may not have the grandeur of other cities, there are plenty of places to explore that only locals know about. For instance, the Aina-Baba Mausoleum is a revered site for the Sufi community and offers stunning views of the city. The abandoned Silk Road caravanserai, Tamdyn-Karasai, is another intriguing place to visit, as is Aksu-Zhabagly National Park, where you can hike, camp, and witness breathtaking views of mountain ranges.

Dining Spots

Food culture is an essential part of Shimkent’s identity. The city is famous for its special type of bread – “Shoti” – that is baked in traditional ovens. You must try “Besbarmak,” a traditional Kazakh dish that comprises boiled meat served on a bed of flat noodles with onion sauce. The “Kuurdak” is another delicacy that includes fried meat with diced potatoes and onions. Local cafes like “Salimchan” and “Kakamur” offer reasonably priced traditional dishes made from local ingredients.

Cultural Experiences

Shimkent is a city steeped in cultural heritage. The multi-ethnic city celebrates a myriad of national festivals throughout the year, including Nauryz, Eid al-Fitr, and New Year’s Eve. The “Ornek” museum is worth a visit and tells the story of the region’s cultural and historical landscape. The theater season runs all year round, and you can witness stunning performances at the regional Kazakh Music and Drama Theater named after A. Kasteyev.

Local History

Shimkent has a fascinating past filled with captivating stories, both ancient and modern. One must-visit is the 11th-century mausoleum of Al-Shashi, a renowned Muslim jurist who lived in the city. The battle of Talas, fought between the Arab and Chinese forces in 751, is also a crucial event in the city’s history. There are also poignant stories about famous residents like the poet Abai, whose legacy still resonates in the city’s streets.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

If you’re looking to experience Shimkent beyond the conventional touristic spots, we recommend visiting the local bazaars like “Zhayik Bazaar,” where you can try some of the city’s street food, purchase traditional handicrafts, and get a taste of local life. Another spot often overlooked is the “Golden SPA” center, located in the city’s outskirts. Here, you can rejuvenate with an authentic Kazakh sauna and get a massage or treatment using locally sourced herbs.

In conclusion, Shimkent is a unique and charming city that deserves more recognition. We hope this insider’s guide has piqued your interest in visiting the city soon and experiencing some of its hidden gems firsthand.

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The Cost of Living in Shimkent: A Comprehensive Guide

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!