Top things to do

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 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 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 …
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 Karaganda

Karaganda Ecological Museum

The Karaganda Ecological Museum, run by a dedicated, campaigning environmental NGO, has to be the most imaginative museum in the country. Everything can be touched, and this includes large rocket parts that have fal…
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…
Palace in Astana

Palace of Independence

The Palace of Independence is well worth a visit especially for its huge scale model of how Astana is planned to look in 2030. It also holds an interesting ethnographic hall with exhibits similar to those at the Pre…
Museum in Astana

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 full-sized yur…
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…
International in Astana

Line Brew

You can’t miss Line Brew’s large, red-brick castle building, and the interior is, well, like a tavern inside a castle. The excellent food runs from Greek salad to Angus and horse steaks and grilled sea bass. A shash…