Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in Almaty

Central State Museum

Almaty’s best museum, 300m up Furmanov from Respublika alany, takes you through Kazakhstan’s history from Bronze Age burials to telecommunications and the transfer of the capital to Astana, with many beautiful artef…
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 Hill in Almaty

Kok-Tobe

This 1100m hill on the city’s southeast edge is crowned by a 372m-high TV tower visible from far and wide, and affords great views over the city and the mountains, plus an assortment of attractions at the top. The e…
Top Choice Park in Ust-Kamenogorsk

Levoberezhny Park

This large new park on the south bank of the Irtysh contains several interesting exhibits and is well worth a couple of hours of your time. Moving west from the entrance through still-growing botanical gardens you r…
Top Choice Mausoleum in Turkistan

Yasaui Mausoleum

The main chamber is capped with an 18m-wide dome, above a vast, 2000kg, metal kazan (cauldron) for holy water, given by Timur. Around this central hall are 34 smaller rooms on two floors. Yasaui’s tomb lies behind a…
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 Pizzeria in Ust-Kamenogorsk

Pitstsa Blyuz

Highly popular local chain in several locations including Gorky, Tauelsizdik and Kazakhstan serving pretty good pizzas and salads, and great ice cream and bliny, in clean, bright surroundings. Also at the Gorky loc…