Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in Almaty

Central State Museum

Almaty’s best museum, 300m up Furmanov from Respublika alany, takes you through Kazakhstan’s history from Bronze Age burials to telecommunications and the transfer of the capital to Astana, with many beautiful artef…
Top Choice Hill in Almaty

Kok-Tobe

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 e…
Museum in Almaty

Kazakhstan Museum of Arts

This is the best art collection in the country, with Kazakh, Russian and some Western European art and a room of top-class modern Kazakh handicrafts, with much explanatory material in English. Particularly interesti…
Top Choice Bar in Almaty

Chukotka

Good rock bands from around 9pm and DJs spinning house, soul, hip-hop and disco after midnight make sure the dance floor is never still at this hippest of Almaty nightspots, inside Panfilov Park. The crowd is open-m…
Museum in Almaty

Kazakh Museum of Folk Musical Instruments

In a striking 1908 wooden building (another work of cathedral architect Zenkov) at the east end of Panfilov Park, the city’s most original museum reopened in mid-2013 after a full revamp. As well as seeing and heari…
Top Choice Cafe in Almaty

Coffeedelia

This fashionable coffee house with a relaxed atmosphere, fabulous cakes and pastries and good coffees, teas, juices and breakfasts is an evergreen chart-topper on the big Almaty cafe scene. The Kabanbay Batyr branch…
Plaza in Almaty

Respublika Alany

This broad, Soviet-created ceremonial square provides a panoramic view of the snowcapped mountains on a clear morning. Its focus is the tall Independence Monument. The stone column is surmounted with a replica Golde…
Park in Almaty

Panfilov Park

This large and attractive rectangle of greenery is one of central Almaty's most popular strolling and hangout places for all ages. At its heart stands the candy-coloured Zenkov Cathedral, Kazakhstan's nearest (albei…
Market in Almaty

Green Market

This large, two-level market has a true flavour of Central Asia, and is worth putting on your itinerary even if you're not really food-shopping. Stalls are piled with nuts, fresh and dried fruit, smoked fish, spices…
Central Asian in Almaty

Kok Tobe Kafe

For terrific tender shashlyk, grilled to a turn, at good prices, it's hard to beat this semi-open-air summer cafe known by expats as 'The Pit' (for its toilet, but don't let that put you off). The 14 varieties on of…