Top things to do

Top Choice Monument in Astana

Bayterek Monument

Nurzhol bulvar's centrepiece is the 97m-high Bayterek monument, a white latticed tower crowned by a large glass orb. This embodies a Kazakh legend in which the mythical bird Samruk lays a golden egg containing the s…
Top Choice Museum in Astana

Presidential Cultural Centre

The yurt-shaped Presidential Cultural Centre houses an excellent museum whose highlight is the 2nd floor, with outstanding collections of Kazakh jewellery and ‘gold and gold-makings’. These include gold jewellery an…
Top Choice Central Asian in Astana

Astana Nury

This top-class Azerbaijani restaurant has excellent service and two lovely decks overlooking the river as well as an inside dining room with beautiful Azeri decor. The many varieties of shashlyk and Azeri pilaw (plo…
Top Choice Notable Building in Astana

Khan Shatyr

Astana's most extraordinary building (so far), the Khan Shatyr is a 150m-high, translucent, tent-like structure made of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a heat-absorbing material that produces summer temperature…
Top Choice Architecture in Astana

Palace of Peace & Accord

This beautiful, glass-and-steel pyramid was opened in 2006 as the home for the triennial Congress of World and Traditional Religions, hosted by Kazakhstan (next in 2015). The half-hour tour (English-speaking guides …
Russian in Astana


A cheerful restaurant/cafe where helpful, red-silk-shirted or -skirted staff serve a good range of fare from breakfasts and bliny to soups, manty, laghman and meat and fish mains.
Aquarium in Astana


Adjacent to Atameken is Duman, a modern leisure centre most worth visiting for its oceanarium, which has over 2000 creatures from the world’s oceans and a 70m shark tunnel. Opposite Duman are the UFO-shaped Circus a…
Museum in Astana

Museum of the First President

Housed in the former presidential palace, this museum is an intriguing peep into the pomp and circumstance surrounding the country’s leader. A succession of lavish galleries and halls, including the old presidential…
Cafe in Astana


Club in Astana

Chocolate Room

Once past the face control (look your smart-casual very best) you’ll have a wild time dancing to hip-hop, dance and 80s DJs with Astana's beautiful 20-somethings at the coolest club in town. Admission is free but yo…