Kazakhstan

tenge (T)

Kazakh, Russian

Top things to do

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 ChoiceIndian in Almaty

Tandoor

This authentic Indian restaurant is well worth seeking out. Sultry decor and crimson ceilings combined with such classic northern Indian dishes as bhuna gosht (meat curry) and aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes)...

Top ChoiceItalian in Shymkent

Olivia

Visually a sultry cross between a stone-walled cellar and a library, with plenty of books on art and design on surrounding shelves, this gorgeous restaurant serves beautifully executed pasta dishes, risottos and...

Top ChoiceInternational in Almaty

My Cafe

Yes, this place is self-consciously trendy, with pulsing ambient music, hip young staff and decor comprising giant steel feathers, but the food is imaginative and excellent. The okroshka (cold summer soup) is the...

Top ChoiceInternational in Almaty

Line Brew

Line Brew

This branch of the popular nationwide microbrewery attracts the carnivorously inclined with stone-cooked meats, an assortment of steaks, some of the juiciest shashlyk in the region and a supporting cast of salads...

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 ChoiceItalian in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

Pane & Vino

Decorated with framed recipes from different regions of Italy, this refined, contemporary restaurant really delivers when it comes to pasta, risotto and grilled meat dishes. Homemade gnocchi and prosecco and...

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...