Amazing nature in the vast unexplored territory
Kazakhstan nature is very diverse and still unexplored by many travellers. Here, you can find vast steppes, tall mountains, pristine lakes, forests and deserts…
Among the truly unique places is Kaindy Lake with its beautiful submerged forest created as a result of an earthquake, and Bozjyra—the dried-out bed of the ancient ocean, which feels like visiting another planet.
Kazakhstan nature has a lot to offer in terms of travel experience: from untouched nature and wildlife, blooming flowers in spring and bird watching, to such adventurous experiences as horseback riding, mountain biking, climbing, hiking, rafting, paragliding, skiing, freeriding and many more.
A mix of cultures based on the nomadic past
Kazakhstan is home to nomadic culture and the heritage of the Great Silk Road. Its culture has been influenced by more than 130 nationalities, most of which have lived there since the Soviet Union period.
Nomadic culture, Silk Road heritage, national cuisine, eagle hunting and many more attract those who wish to experience authentic Kazakh culture. For example, travellers in Kazakhstan can stay overnight in a real nomadic yurt, try to create a piece of handicraft or cook a national dish. Participating in an eagle hunting show is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Also, there are beautiful mausoleums, such as Khoja Ahmed Yassawi Mausoleum in Turkestan, included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Entertainment: city break tours, nightlife and shopping
The main cities of Kazakhstan—Nur-Sultan, formerly known as Astana, and the biggest city, Almaty, are city break destinations worth considering. Nur-Sultan is a modern city, the new centre of which was built within only 20 years. Almaty is situated in the roots of the mountain, offering many outdoor activities in mountains near the city, with a unique opportunity to get to ski resorts from the megapolis centre in only 30 minutes.
Shopping centres in these cities are very convenient and often include restaurants, entertainment centres, cinemas, a supermarket and sometimes even an indoor beach! Khan Shatyr shopping centre in Nur-Sultan, the one with an indoor beach, is the highest tent-shaped building in the world and was listed as one of the most bizarre buildings by Bradt Guides.
And since it’s the national carrier of Kazakhstan, Air Astana offers very convenient stopover holidays so it’s a great idea to stop by in Kazakhstan to discover a new country while travelling from East to West or vice versa.
Various events all-year round
During the year, various interesting events for travellers are held in Kazakhstan.
One of the most interesting annual events is Nauryz Festival (Kazakh New Year), which is celebrated 21–23 March, on the day of the spring equinox, in all cities and villages of Kazakhstan. People go out to central squares, visit traditional yurts, play national games, enjoy concerts and try Kazakh cuisine.
Another must-see event in Kazakhstan is the launch of a spacecraft in Baikonur. Baikonur Cosmodrome is a place full of history: it’s where the first-ever human went to space!
There are also annual festivals such as Koshpendiler Alemi (World of Nomads) in Nur-Sultan at the end of June or Apple Fest in Almaty in September.
This article was in partnership with Kazakhstan Travel