From the Altai Mountains in the East to the Caspian Sea in the west and Russia in the north to China in the south, Kazakhstan in Central Asia is also termed as the world’s largest landlocked country. An array of majestic canyons, seamless deserts, arid plains, colossal glaciers, and ancient structures account for popular Kazakhstan tourist places making it a year-round destination. For the kind of subdued vacation paradise that it is, Kazakhstan must be on your bucket list soon.
Being the ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan is wide to an extent that it encompasses 5 climate zones and has 2 time zones. Having said that, it is the geographical diversity of the country that accounts for ultimate travel experiences. As you plan on making an extensive itinerary, you must jot down all the popular places to visit in Kazakhstan that are significant historically and offer a multitude of activities. Some of the major division in Kazakhstan are Almaty, Astana, Central Kazakhstan, Eastern Kazakhstan, Northern Kazakhstan, Southern Kazakhstan, and Western Kazakhstan. Head to these popular Kazakhstan points of interest and experience Central Asia like never before!
12 Best Kazakhstan Tourist Places
Here is a list of some of the top Kazakhstan tourist places that you might not want to miss out. There is some or the other famous places in Kazakhstan for everyone and anyone. Take a look and note them down:
- Astana – The Changing Face Of Central Asia
- Almaty – Kazakhstan’s Biggest Cultural Hub
- Aktau – Pretty Town By The Caspian
- Taraz – Welcome To The Ancient City In South Kazakhstan
- Lake Balkhash– The 15th Largest Lake In The World
- Baikonur – City Of Spaceport, Rockets, And Spaceships
- Semey – An Ancient & Historical City
- Turgen Gorge – Amazing Place For Trekkers
- Lake Kaindy – A Natural Dam
- Tamgaly-Tas – A Sacred Sanctuary
- Nomad’s Land – Abandoned Film Set
- Shymkent – Getaway To The Heartland Of Kazakhstan
1. Astana – The Changing Face Of Central Asia
The wonderful capital city of Kazakhstan stands as the living example of the modernized nation and presents popular Kazakhstan tourist attractions. With plenty of corporate business centers and multi-storey buildings around, the architecture of this city will mesmerize you for sure, making it a brilliant location for Kazakhstan sightseeing. Catch the magnificent panoramic view of the Astana city from the top of the 105-meter tall Bayterek Tower or visit Duman Recreational Complex which is the ultimate pit-stop for all the art lovers, there’s a lot to do in Astana.
Museum of Miniatures and Seaquarium is the ideal place of attraction for all nature enthusiasts where over 2000 species of sea animals from different parts of the world can be spotted. Don’t forget to cover Ak Orda Presidential Palace and Astana-Arena Stadium on your day trip.
Popular tourist attractions in Astana: Bayterek Tower, Khan Shatyr, Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, National Museum of Kazakhstan, Nur-Astana Mosque, City Park, Independence Square and Kazak Eli Monument, Assumption Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Hazrat Sultan Mosque
2. Almaty – Kazakhstan’s Biggest Cultural Hub
Set in the foothills of Trans-Ili Alatau mountains, Almaty is known for its gorgeous setting and picture-postcard outdoor. One of the best places to visit in Kazakhstan, the snow-capped mountains guard the city and make for the best backdrop ever! Moving on to the city attractions, the Central State Museum here holds special importance because of the rich cultural heritage it houses. Until 1997, the city was capital of Kazakhstan but still remains a hot favorite with top Kazakhstan tourist places.
You can spend a day sipping on nature’s grandeur or go around shopping at Zelyony Bazaar or Dostyk Plaza if at all you are keen on exploring the local specialties of Almaty. The Green Market is the popular place to procure fresh fruit, meats, clothing, and household goods. Moving on, there is a lot of art galleries around for those who are really into history and art.
Popular tourist attractions in Almaty: Beatles Statue of Almaty, Charyn Canyon, The Last Wild Apple Forests, Big Almaty Lake, Kok-Tobe Hill, Kolsai Lakes, Almaty Central Park, Lake Issyk, Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, Panfilov Park, and The Arasan Baths
3. Aktau – Pretty Town By The Caspian
The almost 40-year-old city overlooking the great Caspian Sea is a fascinating beauty and among the most serene visiting places in Kazakhstan. It is here in Aktau that one can spot some of the rare Kazakhstan tourist attractions and more of ancient architectural ensembles. Cultural centers, concert hall, cinemas, and libraries from ancient times are spread all over the city and must be explored for a local feel of the place.
You can also stroll Aktau city streets for hours admiring the architectural ensembles, green alleys lined with poplars and acacias, emerald-green lawns, and parks. Got more time to spare? Fill it with some fun-filled moments at the Skating Rink and Puppet Theatre.
Popular tourist attractions in Aktau: World War II Memorial, Botanical Garden, Regional Museum, Costa Cafe, seafront, Taras Shevchenko Statue, multi-colored mountains in Altyn-Emel National Park
4. Taraz – Welcome To The Ancient City In South Kazakhstan
If you are into ancient sites, mysterious places, and admire ruins, head to Taraz, which happens to among the famous Kazakhstan tourist spots. The place holds plenty of secrets from the past century and is indeed one of the popular Kazakhstan tourist attractions worth your time.
Visit Babaji-Khatun Mausoleum for its distinct sixteen-ribbed conical dome or plan an excursion to Talas River in the south near the border with Kyrgyzstan. Taraz is a historical city and one of the popular places to visit in Kazakhstan for every tourist.
Popular tourist attractions in Taraz: Akyrtas, Stonehenge, Mausoleum is Sha-Mansur, Aisha Bibi Mausoleum, Aisha Bibi village, Taraz Regional Museum, Shakhristan Market
5. Lake Balkhash – The 15th Largest Lake In The World
Located 600 miles to the east of Aral Sea, the lake is a major source of hydroelectric projects in the country and a notable Kazakhstan places to visit. The lake is high and rocky towards the northern banks and one can spot plenty of ancient rock-cut traces there. Lake Balkhash once was a prominent place of breeding for marine life that included as many as 20 species of fish.
Over the period, some of the species died owing to the depreciating quality of lake water over the period. Sazan, sturgeon, eastern bream, pike, and Aral barbel are of the fish species reintroduced into the lake.
Qaratal, Aqsū, Ayagoz, and Lepsi rivers feed the eastern part of the lake. The water of the western part of the lake has been comparatively better than that of the eastern part which is salty. Visit this place to find the ancient rock miniatures in the low lying areas.
Popular things to do near Lake Balkhash: Camping and winter fishing
6. Baikonur – City Of Spaceport, Rockets, And Spaceships
Administered by Russian Federation, Baikonur is the world’s oldest and largest space launch facility. Baikonur Cosmodrome was one a secret missile testing site that happened to be a strategically important place for Russians.
The desolate desert steppe of Kazakhstan was once the launchpad for Vostok 1 spacecraft in which Yuri Gagarin first set for the moon. If you a history and space technology buff this place has plenty of attractions that would excite you.
Popular tourist attractions in Baikonur: Cosmonaut Grove, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Yuri Gagarin statue, Tribute to Yangel, and Nedelin catastrophe
7. Semey – An Ancient & Historical City
Semipalatinsk, now known as Semey, is another one of the renowned historical places in Kazakhstan eastern region that presents popular tourist attractions. The city is also epitomized by the fascinating architecture and the monuments that it has preserved from ages ago. In fact, there’s a lot of places with architectural and historical monuments around and must be visited during a trip to Semey.
The best of Russian art can be seen at the Museum of History and Local Study and Nevzorov’s Art Museum. Places like these make for popular Kazakhstan point of interest for history enthusiasts.
Popular tourist attractions in Semipalatinsk: Dostoevsky Museum, Nevzorov’s Art Museum, Tarnybai Kaukenov mosque, Orthodox Resurrection church, and ‘Stronger than Death Monument’ – in memory of victims of Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground.
8. Turgen Gorge – Amazing Place For Trekkers
A part of the famous Ile Alatau National Park, Turgen Gorge is a real beauty for trekkers. It has dense forests, lakes, alpine meadows and seven waterfalls. You can explore the beauty of this place by opting for a hike or ride on a mountain bike or horseback. This paradise is not far from Almaty and can be accessed through buses or taxis.
Popular tourist attractions in Turgen: Turgen Waterfalls, Church of Archangel Mikhail and Kairakskiy Waterfall.
9. Lake Kaindy – A Natural Dam
Situated at an altitude of 2000 m, Lake Kaindy is a 400 m long lake. Due to an earthquake in 1911, an enormous landslide led to the formation of this lake. The natural calamity caused the occurrence of a natural dam in the gorge amidst spruce trees. The forest submerged as water started to flood in the basin. The temperature of the lake goes up to 6 degrees celsius maximum in summer. This lake is one of the best tourist places in Kazakhstan and should be included in every explorer’s bucket list.
Popular tourist attractions in Turgen: Charyn National Park, Altyn Arashan, Dungan Mosque and Holy Trinity Cathedral.
10. Tamgaly-Tas – A Sacred Sanctuary
Religious rituals in Kazakhstan were held in an open-air sanctuary, Tamgaly-Tas. It literally means ‘written rocks’ as the rocks here are inscribed with beautiful images of Tibetan scriptures and Buddha. You will be amazed to find around 5,000 petroglyphs from the Bronze Age. If you are a history buff and looking for ancient tourist places of Kazakhstan, then you must include Tamgaly-Tas in your check-list.
11. Nomad’s Land – Abandoned Film Set
Nomad’ Land is situated in the middle of the Kazakh steppe and beside the Ili River. It is a famous film set which was left abandoned after the shooting of the French/Kazakh movie, ‘Nomad’. You can visit this place to click some historical pictures and selfies at the place.
12. Shymkent – Getaway To The Heartland Of Kazakhstan
If you are looking for a secluded place in Kazakhstan which is not crowded with tourists, then you must spend some time in Shymkent. You will find some of the cheapest places to stay which are away from the hustle and bustle on the streets.
Popular tourist attractions around Shymkent: Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve, Aisha Bibi Mausoleum, Arystan Bab Mausoleum, The Lost City of Sauran, and Turkestan.
How To Get There
Air Astana has resumed daily operations, and with the launch of 2 additional flights starting 2nd September 2019, they will now be operating 11 times a week offering even more onward connections. You can now make the most of this special offer by Air Astana and plan your trip to the biggest metropolitan city of Kazakhstan. Transit passengers can also visit Nur – Sultan and Almaty hassle – free in their journey with Kazakhstan’s 72-hour transit visa-free regime. You can now also apply for an e-visa before traveling to Kazakhstan. The process is very simple!
From the angling and crisscrossing skyscrapers to age-old monuments, and from gothic buildings exuding colors to the dreamy setting of town by the Caspian, every popular tourist attraction in Kazakhstan is so photogenic. Don’t miss to treasure the beauty of Kazakhstan tourist places nestled in the heart of Asia! Plan a trip to Kazakhstan for a soothing vacation to this amazing land.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Kazakhstan Tourist Places
What are some interesting places to visit in Almaty?
Big Almaty Lake, Kok-Tobe Hill, Kolsai Lakes, Almaty Central Park, Lake Issyk, and Central State Museum of Kazakhstan are some of the interesting places to visit in Almaty.
What is the best time to visit Kazakhstan?
April-October is the best time to visit Kazakhstan.
What is famous in Kazakhstan?
Kazakhstan is one of the top 10 largest countries in the entire world. It is known for its architectural marvels, the Caspian Sea, and the wild horses.
Is Kazakhstan worth visiting?
With plenty of experiences to offer and impeccable attractions to witness, Kazakhstan is surely worth visiting, especially for those who are seeking for roads less traveled.
Is Kazakhstan a safe country?
Yes. Kazakhstan has been placed in Level 1 by the US Department of State which indicated that it is one of the safest countries in the world.
Is Kazakhstan expensive?
The tickets and products are set at reasonable rates. It is neither expensive nor a cheap place to visit.
What can I buy in Kazakhstan?
Some unique things that you can buy from Kazakhstan are chocolates, honey, products Empire, caviar, and many more things.
Do I need a visa for Kazakhstan?
Apart from the US Citizens, every traveler requires a visa to travel to this destination.
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