Drinking and nightlife in Kazakhstan

  • Top ChoiceNightlife 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 ever-hip Almaty nightspot inside Panfilov Park. The crowd is open-minded, student-to-30s and gay friendly. The free admission helps, as do the relatively reasonable drink prices. The upstairs section, called Dacha, has DJs only and a slightly more sedate atmosphere, and opens every night except Monday (but can be dead midweek). You can eat in both sections.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Almaty

    Sova Espresso Bar

    The brainchild of award-winning baristas from Moscow, Sova not only serves some of the city's best lattes, espressos and frappuccinos, but it also goes the extra mile, with an inventive international menu, great cakes and an extensive selection of sangrias and inexpensive cocktails. Great all-rounder.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

    Espresso Bar

    Latte art has made it to Kazakhstan! This friendly cafe has won many fans with what is, arguably, Nur-Sultan's best coffee. Ample breakfasts and snacks are additional enticements.

  • Nightlife in Almaty

    Shtab

    A quaint little beer bar opposite Hotel Ambassador, with a dozen indoor and outdoor tables, not much in the way of ambience, but an excellent choice of local and foreign draught beers.

  • Nightlife in Almaty

    Shakespeare Pub

    Almaty's premier expat drinking hole is a large pub-like space always with a lively atmosphere (especially Friday and Saturday nights), a big drinks selection, Line Brew and a new Shakespeare Special microbrew on tap, and soccer on the (not too obtrusive) screens. Locals also like it, and there's fish and chips, shepherd's pie and roast beef for homesick Brits.

  • Nightlife in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

    Pivnitsa

    This dark Czech cellar-bar – stone walls, wooden booths and long wood tables – is a convivial place for mugs of the unfiltered house beer, Kelly (800T for 0.5L), which comes in two types: light and dark. There are also sausages, steaks and other meaty fare to soak it up. The bar is entered from the riverside just below the Radisson Hotel.

  • Nightlife in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

    Chocolate Room

    Once past the face control (look your very best) you’ll have a wild time dancing to hip hop, dance and '80s DJs with Nur-Sultan's beautiful 20-somethings at what is still one of the coolest clubs in town. Admission is free; pay for a table or perch at the bar. It's entered from the riverside below the Radisson Hotel.

  • Nightlife in Almaty

    Soho Almaty Club

    Expats and locals pack Soho for tankards of beer, international food and crowded dancing to the good resident rock/jazz/blues band from 10pm. It’s got a sort of urban-global theme, with assorted American and Beatles photos mixed in with flags for every nationality.

  • Nightlife in Almaty

    Bowler Coffee Roasters

    Thimble-sized coffee shop with three tiny tables, an extensive collection of teas and coffees kept in smart wooden drawers and a barista who really knows the difference between a ristretto, an espresso doppio and a café bombón.

  • Nightlife in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

    Barley

    This glass-and-brick club and restaurant complex is a place to see and be seen; the food is hit-and-miss, but the two own brews – a Belgian-style wheat beer and a classic barley pilsner – get rave reviews, and plenty of clients from the US embassy.

  • Nightlife in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

    Provino

    Cute little wine bar with 10 or so international wines by the glass and many more by the bottle, including a number of Kazakh vintages. There's a full menu of bar snacks and even substantial dishes, but the tipples are the main draw.

  • Nightlife in Almaty

    Pivnitsa

    No ‘pub’ decor, no expat prices, no loud music – this beer bar is a place where you can just sit and chat over a variety of local and foreign brews, and that’s just what the predominantly local clientele enjoy doing.

  • Nightlife in Almaty

    Mad Murphy's

    Catering to a happy melange of expats and locals, Murphy's has a plethora of beers and lagers on tap, football on the telly, fish and chips on the menu and live music to kick things up a notch.

  • Nightlife in Almaty

    Stalker

    Dark, wood-panelled, unassuming bar that serves a good selection of local and imported beers to a mixed expat and local crowd that likes to avoid the circus of the local Irish pubs.

  • Nightlife in Almaty

    Vzletnaya

    The latest club du jour caters to Almaty's young and beautiful crowd, as well as serious techno and trance enthusiasts. Quality local DJs get rave reviews for their sets.

  • Nightlife in Almaty

    Esperanza

    With two nightclubs and four restaurants, cafes and bars all in one building, Turkish-owned ‘Esperanza City’ attracts a wide-ranging crowd. One club plays R&B and house; the other, ’80s and ’90s retro (the admission price covers both). On Friday and Saturday they get jam-packed and can be a lot of fun. The on-site strip club lowers the tone.

  • Nightlife in Eastern Kazakhstan

    Kofeman

    Semey’s fashionable coffee lounge, with proper latte art, an ambitious menu that overreaches itself by trying to provide American and Mexican breakfasts, pasta, burgers, steaks, cheesecake and alcoholic drinks, and erratic service. Stick to the coffee and skip the rest.

  • Nightlife in Almaty

    Studio 69

    The nearest thing to a typical gay bar in the West, Studio 69 primarily welcomes gay men and has a fairly relaxed atmosphere and a not specially good drag show. It's been the subject of local controversy and doesn't publicise its events terribly well.