places to visit in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, the ninth largest country in the world, is a land of breathtaking landscapes and diverse cultural experiences. From its snow-capped mountains and pristine lakes to its modern cities and historical sites, there is something for everyone to explore in this Central Asian gem.

With a rich history dating back thousands of years, Kazakhstan has been at the crossroads of many civilizations, including the Turks, Mongols, and Russians. Today, it embraces its cultural diversity and showcases it through its numerous tourist attractions. Among the must-visit places is Almaty, the largest city, which boasts a mix of modern skyscrapers and traditional Soviet-style buildings. It also serves as a gateway to the nearby stunning Tian Shan Mountains, offering opportunities for hiking, skiing, and breathtaking views.

Another remarkable destination is Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. This futuristic city has risen from the barren steppe to become a symbol of the country’s ambition and modernity. Its impressive architecture, including the iconic Bayterek Tower and the futuristic Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center, is a testament to the nation’s development and progress.

For those seeking a link to the past, the ancient city of Turkistan is a must-visit site. With its famous mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it provides a glimpse into the Islamic heritage and architectural marvels of Central Asia.

Exploring the natural wonders of Kazakhstan is an absolute delight. The Charyn Canyon, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon’s little brother,” offers stunning views of dramatic rock formations and vibrant colors. Meanwhile, Lake Kaindy captivates visitors with its submerged forest and crystal-clear waters, making it a paradise for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts.

Kazakhstan also holds the distinction of being the birthplace of the apple. The picturesque city of Almaty is home to the wild apple forests, where the ancestors of our beloved fruit still grow to this day. Visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of these ancient orchards and indulge in delicious apple-based treats.

As the host of Expo 2017, focusing on the theme of future energy, Kazakhstan has become a pioneering force in renewable energy innovation. This endeavor not only highlights the country’s commitment to sustainability but also showcases its significance as a global player.

With its remarkable landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, Kazakhstan has become a destination worth exploring for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and those fascinated by the intersection of tradition and progress. Whether it’s trekking through mountain ranges, exploring ancient ruins, or discovering the hidden gems of its modern cities, Kazakhstan promises an unforgettable journey.

places to visit in Kazakhstan
places to visit in Kazakhstan

What are the Best Places to Visit in Kazakhstan?

In this article, we will explore the top destinations worth visiting in Kazakhstan. From stunning natural landscapes to historical sites and vibrant cities, Kazakhstan offers a rich and diverse array of attractions. Whether you are an adventure seeker or a history buff, this guide will help you discover the must-see places that Kazakhstan has to offer. So, let’s dive in and explore the wonders of this beautiful country!


Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, offers a plethora of attractions for tourists. Start your journey by visiting the Panfilov Park, which is home to the beautiful Zenkov Cathedral. This stunning wooden structure is one of the few buildings that survived the Soviet era. From there, take a cable car ride to the top of Kok Tobe, a nearby mountain with breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

Another must-see attraction in Almaty is the Central State Museum, where you can learn about Kazakhstan’s rich history and culture. For nature enthusiasts, the Big Almaty Lake is a popular destination. Surrounded by majestic mountains, the lake’s turquoise waters create a picturesque setting for hiking or simply enjoying a peaceful day in nature.


Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, is a modern metropolis known for its unique architecture. Begin your exploration of Astana by visiting the Baiterek Tower, an iconic symbol of the city. This stunning observation tower offers breathtaking views of the surrounding skyline.

Another must-visit attraction in Astana is the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. This pyramid-shaped building houses a concert hall, conference rooms, and a museum. Its unique design and significance as a symbol for peace make it a highlight for many visitors.

For a taste of Kazakh culture, head to the Kazakh Eli Monument. This massive statue stands tall in the city center and represents the unity and independence of the Kazakh people. Don’t forget to visit the Nur-Astana Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Central Asia, and explore the vibrant Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center for shopping and entertainment.


Located in the southern part of Kazakhstan, Shymkent offers a mix of historical sites and natural beauty. The city’s main attraction is the Shymkent City Museum, where you can learn about the region’s history through a vast collection of artifacts.

For a glimpse into the past, visit the Aisha Bibi Mausoleum, an ancient structure that dates back to the 11th century. This mausoleum is known for its intricate carvings and stunning architecture. The nearby Turkestan city is also worth a visit for its famous mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

If you’re a nature lover, make sure to explore the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve, one of the oldest and most diverse nature reserves in Kazakhstan. It is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, making it a paradise for hikers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Statistical Insight

Kazakhstan attracts a significant number of tourists each year, with an estimated 7 million visitors in 2019. These tourists are drawn to the diverse landscapes, rich history, and unique cultural experiences offered by this Central Asian country. Whether exploring the modern architecture of Astana, delving into history in Shymkent, or enjoying the vibrant city life in Almaty, Kazakhstan offers a wide range of attractions for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience.

FAQs for Places to Visit in Kazakhstan

1. What are some popular tourist destinations in Kazakhstan?

Some popular tourist destinations in Kazakhstan include Almaty, Astana, Shymbulak Ski Resort, Charyn Canyon, and Big Almaty Lake.

2. Are there any UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kazakhstan?

Yes, there are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kazakhstan: the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly, and the Saryarka – Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan.

3. Is it safe to travel to Kazakhstan?

Yes, Kazakhstan is generally a safe country to travel to. However, it is always advisable to be cautious and take necessary precautions like using reliable transportation and avoiding isolated areas at night.

4. What is the best time to go for places to visit in Kazakhstan?

The best time to visit Kazakhstan is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summers can be hot, while winters are extremely cold.

5. How can I apply for a tourist visa to Kazakhstan?

You can apply for a tourist visa to Kazakhstan by contacting the nearest Kazakhstani embassy or consulate in your country. Make sure to check the specific requirements and necessary documents for the visa application.

6. Are there opportunities for outdoor activities in Kazakhstan?

Yes, Kazakhstan offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, and exploring national parks. The country’s diverse landscapes provide excellent opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

7. What is the currency of Kazakhstan?

The currency of Kazakhstan is the Kazakhstani tenge (KZT).

8. Do I need to learn the Kazakh or Russian language to visit Kazakhstan?

While knowing some basic phrases in Kazakh or Russian can be helpful, it is not necessary to learn the languages to visit Kazakhstan. Many locals, especially in popular tourist areas, are familiar with English to some extent.

9. Can I travel independently in Kazakhstan?

Yes, it is possible to travel independently in Kazakhstan. However, hiring a local guide or joining a tour can enhance your experience, particularly when visiting remote or less accessible areas.

10. What are the transportation options within Kazakhstan?

In Kazakhstan, you can travel by plane, train, bus, or shared taxis. Domestic flights are a convenient option for long distances, while trains and buses are suitable for shorter journeys within the country.

Conclusion for which places to visit in Kazakhstan

In conclusion, Kazakhstan offers an array of captivating destinations that showcase the country’s rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture. From the architectural marvels of Nur-Sultan and Almaty to the breathtaking landscapes of Altyn-Emel National Park and Charyn Canyon, there is something for every traveler.

The article highlighted the historical significance of places like Turkestan and Shymkent, where ancient landmarks and mausoleums provide a glimpse into the country’s past. The cultural diversity of the region was emphasized through visits to Kolsai Lakes and Tamgaly Tas, where traditions of indigenous people and ancient petroglyphs can be explored. The natural wonders of Kazakhstan were also showcased, including the stunning landscapes of Kaindy Lake and the unique rock formations of the Aktau Mountains.

Moreover, the article revealed the hospitality and warmth of the Kazakh people, making it a welcoming destination for tourists. The diverse range of activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and camping make Kazakhstan an ideal choice for adventurous travelers. With its blend of history, nature, and cultural heritage, Kazakhstan has emerged as a must-visit destination for those seeking an extraordinary travel experience.

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