Top things to do

Museum in Semey

Dostoevsky Museum

The well laid-out Dostoevsky Museum incorporates the wooden house where the exiled writer lived from 1857 to 1859 with his wife and baby. The displays range over Dostoevsky’s life and works, including his five years…
Museum in Semey

Abay Museum

The large Abay Museum is dedicated to the 19th-century humanist poet Abay Kunanbaev. Along with displays about Abay’s life and work, the museum has many 19th-century artefacts, and sections on the Kazakh nomadic tra…
Museum in Semey

Anatomical Museum

In an unmarked building that's part of Semey Medical University, this one-room museum exhibits the usual pickled organs you might expect medical students to look at – but also a gruesome collection of babies and emb…
Italian in Semey


If there's such a thing as a pizza lounge, this is it, with sink-into chairs and elegant but relaxed ambience. The pizzas have thin crusts and successful topping combos. There are risottos and pasta too, plus good s…
Russian in Semey


The outdoor terrace cafe here has a fun atmosphere in summer and serves reasonable shashlyk, other meat dishes, salads and desserts. The indoor cafeteria is inexpensive and run-of-the-mill, with offerings such as pl…
Museum in Semey

Fine Arts Museum

The collection here, one of the country's best, covers Kazakh, Russian and Western European art from the 16th century onwards, including a not-to-be-missed Rembrandt etching and work by top 19th-century Russians suc…
Museum in Semey

History & Local Studies Museum

This museum has plenty of material on regional history including some rare archaeological pieces, and a collection of traditional Kazakh artefacts. Founded in 1883, it claims to be the oldest museum in Kazakhstan. T…
International in Semey


Semey’s fashionable coffee lounge, also doing American and Mexican breakfasts, pasta, burgers, steaks, cheesecake and alcoholic drinks. The latte is such a work of art it’s a shame to drink it!
Island in Semey

Polkovnichy Island

Rural Polkovnichy Island is across a long bridge over the Irtysh. On the left, 600m past the end of the bridge, is the sombre and impressive Stronger than Death memorial, erected in 2001 for victims of the nuclear t…
Memorial in Semey

Stronger than Death Memorial

On the left, 600m past the end of the bridge, is the sombre and impressive Stronger than Death memorial erected in 2002 for victims of the nuclear tests. Above the marble centrepiece of a mother covering her child b…