Top choice in Almaty

This 1100m hill on the city’s southeast edge is crowned by a 372m-high TV tower visible from far and wide, and affords great views over the city and the mountains, plus an assortment of attractions at the top. The easy way up is by the smooth cable car.

At the top you'll find several cafes and restaurants, craft shops, a roller coaster, a minizoo, an 'I Heart Almaty' sign, a children’s playground and life-sized bronze statues of the four Beatles, placed here on the initiative of local fans in 2007. The work of Almaty sculptor Eduard Kazaryan, this is claimed to be the world’s only monument showing all the Fab Four together. You can sit beside a guitar-strumming John on the bench.

The cable car and other facilities may close early, or not open at all, in poor weather. The cheaper way up Kok-Tobe is by bus 95 (opposite Ramstor on Furmanov) or 99 (south up Abylay Khan, east on Abay, south on Dostyk) to their terminus on Omarova, where a shuttle minibus (one way/return 350/600T, every few minutes from 10am to 1am) runs the final 1.25km up the hill.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Almaty attractions

1. Kök-Töbe Cable Car

1.05 MILES

This smooth, gleaming cable car runs from beside the Palace of the Republic up to Kök-Töbe hill on the southeast edge of Almaty, taking six minutes to…

3. Central State Museum

1.29 MILES

Almaty’s best museum takes you through Kazakhstan’s history from Bronze Age burials and nomadic culture to WWII sacrifices, telecommunications and the…

5. Maslikhat

1.54 MILES

Neoclassical-style City Council building.

6. Respublika Alany

1.58 MILES

This broad, Soviet-created ceremonial square provides a panoramic view of the snowcapped mountains on a clear morning and is surrounded by several…

7. Independence Monument

1.58 MILES

This stone column is surmounted with a replica Golden Man standing on a winged snow leopard. Around its base are statues of a Kazakh family; behind is a…

8. Dawn of Freedom Monument

1.76 MILES

This striking monument honours those killed and injured on Respublika alany on 17 December 1986 during the Zheltoksan (December) protests, the first…