Kazakhstan

tenge (T)

Kazakh, Russian

Sights

Top ChoiceIslamic Tomb in Mangistau

Beket-Ata

Beket-Ata

Some 285km east of Aktau, Beket-Ata is an important and extremely popular place of pilgrimage for those wishing to visit the underground mosque and final resting place of Sufi mystic and teacher, Beket-Ata...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan

National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan

This huge blue-glass-and-white-marble museum covers the history and culture of Kazakhstan from ancient to modern times. Themed halls comprise interactive displays and artifact exhibits, ranging from a yurt in the...

Top ChoiceCanyon in Southeast Kazakhstan

Charyn Canyon

Over millions of years, the swift Charyn (Sharyn) River has carved a truly spectacular 150m- to 300m-deep canyon into the otherwise flat steppe some 200km east of Almaty, and time has weathered this into some...

Top ChoiceMausoleum in Turkestan

Yasaui Mausoleum

Yasaui Mausoleum

This astoundingly beautiful, tiled mausoleum with a turquoise dome is home to Kozha Akhmed Yasaui. The main chamber is capped with an 18m-wide dome, above a vast, 2000kg, metal kazan (cauldron) for holy water,...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Northern Kazakhstan

ALZhIR Museum-Memorial Complex

During the Stalin years, Akmol, 35km west of Nur-Sultan, housed ALZhIR, a notorious camp for wives and children of men who were interned elsewhere as ‘betrayers of the motherland’. The ALZhIR Museum-Memorial...

Top ChoiceResearch Centre in Kurchatov & the Polygon

Semipalatinsk Polygon

Between 1949 and 1989, 456 nuclear tests were conducted on the territory of the Polygon, the Soviet Union's primary nuclear test site, both above and below ground. Much of the 18,000 sq km area is now considered...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Karaganda

KarLag Museum

Housed in the old KarLag headquarters building, this poignant museum walks you through KarLag's role in the Soviet Gulag Archipelago. The repression of Kazakh 'kulaks', the post-1917-Revolution Red Terror, the...

Top ChoiceArchitecture in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

Khan Shatyr

Khan Shatyr

Nur-Sultan's most extraordinary building (so far), the Khan Shatyr is a 150m-high, translucent, tentlike structure made of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a heat-absorbing material that produces summer...

Top ChoiceLake in Kolsai Lakes

Kolsai Lakes National Park

Located around 12km by paved (from 2018) road from Saty village, these three spruce-and-mountain-hemmed lakes are Alpine-esque beauty at its best and a Kazakhstan highlight. As you hike between the lakes, graze...

Top ChoiceArchitecture in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

Palace of Peace & Reconciliation

Palace of Peace & Reconciliation

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. The 30-minute tour (English-speaking guides available)...

Top ChoiceMosque in Mangistau

Shakpak-Ata

Perhaps the most intriguing of all Mangistau’s underground mosques, 10th-century Shakpak-Ata is a cross-shaped affair with three entrances and four chambers, cut into a cliff close to the Caspian coast. The...

Top ChoiceNatural Feature in Aral

Aral Sea

A trip to the slowly replenishing Aral Sea is the main – the only! – reason to come to Aral. Near its northern shore rise the sculpted rock formations of a magnificent canyon, in shades of ochre and yellow,...

Top ChoiceLake in Kolsai Lakes

Kaiyndy Lake

Created by a major earthquake in 1912, this deep, cerulean lake is fed by a glacial river and is notable for its forest of drowned spruces, the branches below the water so beautifully preserved by the cold water...

Top ChoiceMountain in Altay Mountains

Mt Belukha

Right on the border between Kazakhstan and Russia, the myth-rich, snow-tipped peak of Mt Belukha (4506m) – Altay's highest – attracts true mountaineers. Even if you're not looking to bag the peak, it's possible...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Almaty

Central State Museum

Central State Museum

Almaty’s best museum takes you through Kazakhstan’s history from Bronze Age burials and nomadic culture to WWII sacrifices, telecommunications and the transfer of the capital to Nur-Sultan, with many beautiful...

Top ChoiceTomb in Taraz

Aysha-Bibi & Babazha-Katun Mausoleums

In Aysha-Bibi village, 16km west of Taraz, are the tombs of two 11th- or 12th-century women, legendary protagonists of a local Romeo and Juliet tale. The Aysha-Bibi Mausoleum, though heavily restored in...

Top ChoiceHill in Almaty

Kök-Töbe

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....

Top ChoicePark in Ust-Kamenogorsk

Levoberezhny Park

This large park on the south bank of the Irtysh contains several interesting exhibits and is well worth a couple of hours of your time. Moving west from the entrance through still-growing botanical gardens you...

Top ChoiceLake in Ozero Bolshoe Almatinskoe Area

Big Almaty Lake

This picturesque turquoise lake, 1.6km long, rests in a rocky bowl at 2500m altitude, reflecting the Tian Shan mountains and the giant fir trees in its still depths. Border guards are present around the lake and...

Top ChoiceNature Reserve in Korgalzhyn

Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve

With more than 200 steppe lakes in and around the reserve, the area is a vital stop on major bird migration routes from Africa, the Middle East and India to summer breeding grounds in Siberia and is particularly...