©Eric Lafforgue/Lonely Planet

Bayterek Monument

Top choice in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

Nurzhol bulvar's centrepiece is this 97m-high 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 secrets of human desires and happiness in a tall poplar tree, beyond human reach. Lifts glide visitors up inside the egg, where you can ponder the symbolism, enjoy expansive views and place your hand in a print of President Nazarbayev’s palm while gazing towards his palace.