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Getting there & away

From the airport (77 77 77), Air Astana flies daily to Almaty (20, 300T), Aktau (24, 300T) and Atyrau (29, 200T), and twice or more weekly to Aqtöbe (24, 200T), Kyzylorda (13, 000T), Pavlodar (6500T), Ust-Kamenogorsk (12, 000T), Petropavlovsk (5500T), Semey (9000T), Uralsk (22, 000T) and Taraz (13, 000T). SCAT flies daily to Shymkent (18, 000T) and has further flights to Aqtöbe and Atyrau. International flights go to Amsterdam (Air Astana), Frankfurt (Air Astana and Lufthansa), Hanover (Air Astana), Istanbul (Turkish Airlines), St Petersburg (Pulkovo Airline), Tashkent (Uzbekistan Airlines), Kiev (Um Air) and Moscow (Air Astana and Transaero). There are air ticket offices at window No 10 in the train station (9am-6pm) and at the Hotel Abay (Respubliki 33; 8am-8pm).

From the train station (93 21 00; Gvardeyskoy Divizii), trains go to Karaganda (1500T, four hours) at least 10 times daily, Almaty (5300T, 13 to 21 hours) at least six times, Kokshetau (600T to 1700T, five hours) at least three times and Pavlodar (1400T, 8½ hours) at least twice. There are also services to Semey, Shymkent, Aqtöbe, Atyrau, Aktau, Petropavlovsk, Omsk and Moscow. The speedy, comfortable, overnight Talgo train to Almaty (13 hours), train 2, leaves at 7.15pm, costing 9400/15, 800T in 3rd/2nd class. There are train ticket windows in the main post office (Auezov 71; 9am-1pm & 2-6pm Mon-Sat, 9am-3pm Sun) and atHotel Abay (Respubliki 33; 8am-8pm).

From the bus station (38 11 35; Gvardeyskoy Divizii), buses and marshrutkas run to many destinations in northern, eastern and southern Kazakhstan, including Karaganda (630T, 4½ hours, 12 or more daily), Kokshetau (1000T, five hours, 10 daily), Pavlodar (1350T, seven to eight hours, six daily), Semey (2200T, 15 hours, five daily) and Ust-Kamenogorsk (3100T, 19 hours, three daily). Shared taxis to Kokshetau and Karaganda wait outside the bus station.