Top 10 things to do in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

Sparsely populated, dominated by archetypal Central Asian steppe, with deep reserves of fossil fuels, and pockets of beautiful wilderness.

Kazakhstan is a country.

Kazakhstan (i/ˌkɑːzəkˈstɑːn/ or /ˌkæzəkˈstæn/; Kazakh: Қазақстан Qazaqstan, pronounced [qɑzɑqˈstɑn]; Russian: Казахстан [kəzɐxˈstan]), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a contiguous transcontinental country in Central Asia, with its smaller part west of the Ural River in Europe. Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country by land area and the ninth largest country in the world; its territory of 2,727,300 square kilometres (1,053,000 sq mi) is larger than Western Europe. It has borders with (clockwise from the north) Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and also adjoins a large part of the Caspian Sea. The terrain of Kazakhstan includes flatlands, steppe, taiga, rock canyons, hills, deltas, snow-capped mountains, and deserts. With an estimated 17 million people as of 2013 Kazakhstan is the 61st most populous country in the world, though its population density is among the lowest, at less than 6 people per square kilometre (15 people per sq. mi.). The capital is Astana, where it was moved from Almaty in 1997.

The territory of Kazakhstan has historically been inhabited by nomadic tribes. This changed in the 13th century, when Genghis Khan occupied the country. Following internal struggles among the conquerors, power eventually reverted to the nomads. By the 16th century, the Kazakhs emerged as a distinct group, divided into three jüz (ancestor branches occupying specific territories). The Russians began advancing into the Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, and by the mid-19th century all of Kazakhstan was part of the Russian Empire. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, and subsequent civil war, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganized several times before becoming the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936, an integral part of the Soviet Union.

Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991; the current President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has been leader of the country since then. Kazakhstan pursues a balanced foreign policy and works to develop its economy, especially its dominant hydrocarbon industry.

Kazakhstan is populated by 131 ethnicities, including Kazakh (who make up 63 percent of the population), Russian, Uzbek, Ukrainian, German, Tatar, and Uyghur. Islam is the religion of about 70% of the population, with Christianity practiced by 26%; Kazakhstan allows freedom of religion. The Kazakh language is the state language, while Russian has equal official status for all levels of administrative and institutional purposes.

Overall rating: 4.0
Country
Typical length of visit: 4 days

Top 10 things to do in Kazakhstan

Lake Balkhash

Lake Balkhash
Lake Balkhash is one of the largest lakes in Asia and 13th largest continental lake in the world. It is located in southeastern Kazakhstan, in Central Asia, and belongs to ...

Almaty

Almaty
Almaty , formerly known as Alma-Ata and Verniy , is the largest city in Kazakhstan. Despite losing its status as the capital to Astana, Almaty remains the major commercial and ...

Turkistan

Turkistan
Turkestan, also spelt as Turkistan, literally means "Land of the Turks". Etymology and termiologyOf Persian origin, the term "Turkestan" has never referred to a single national state, ...

Shymkent

Shymkent
Shymkent , formerly known as Chimkent until 1993, is the capital city of South Kazakhstan Province, the most densely populated region in Kazakhstan. It is the third most populous city ...

Aktau

Aktau
Aktau , known as Shevchenko in 1964–1991, is one of the biggest cities of western Kazakhstan, and the country's main seaport on the Caspian Sea. It is located on the ...

Karaganda

Karaganda
Karagandy , more commonly known by its Russian name Karaganda , is the capital of Karagandy Province in Kazakhstan. It is the fourth most populous city in Kazakhstan, behind Almaty ...

Astana

Astana
Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan. It is located on the Ishim River in the north portion of Kazakhstan, within Akmola Region, though administrated separately from the region. The 2014 ...

Sayram

Sayram
Sayram may refer to:PlacesSayram , city in South Kazakhstan Province, KazakhstanSayram District, district of South Kazakhstan Province, KazakhstanLake Sayram, in Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang, ChinaSayram, Xinjiang, ...

Atyrau

Atyrau
Atyrau , pronounced ; Russian: Атырау , known as Guryev until 1991, is a city in Kazakhstan, and the capital of Atyrau Province. It is located at the mouth of the ...

Oskemen

Oskemen
Oskemen or Ust-Kamenogorsk is the administrative center of the East Kazakhstan Province of Kazakhstan. It is served by Oskemen Airport. Population: 303,720 ; 310,950 .HistoryFounded in 1720 ...

Pavlodar

Pavlodar
Pavlodar is a city in northeastern Kazakhstan and the capital of Pavlodar Province. It is located 450 km northeast of the national capital Astana, and 405 km southeast of the Russian ...

Semey

Semey
Semey , formerly known as Semipalatinsk and Alash-kala , is a city in Kazakhstan, in the northeastern province of East Kazakhstan, and in the Kazakhstan part of Siberia, near the ...

Aktobe

Aktobe
Aktobe , formerly known as Aktyubinsk , is a city on the Ilek River in Kazakhstan. It is the administrative center of Aktobe Province. In 2013, it had a population ...

Kokshetau

Kokshetau
Kokshetau , formerly known as Kokchetav is the administrative center of Akmola Province, northern Kazakhstan. Population: 135,106 ;123,389 .GeographyAstana, the new capital of Kazakhstan, is distant 299 ...

Taraz

Taraz
Taraz is a city and the administrative center of Jambyl Region in Kazakhstan, located on the Talas River in the south of the country near the border with Kyrgyzstan. It ...

Lake Alakol

Lake Alakol
Alakol Lake is a lake located in the Almaty and Shyghyz provinces, east central Kazakhstan. Its elevation is 347 m above sea level.The lake is the northwest extension of the region ...

Oral

Oral
The word oral may refer to:As an adjective:the mouth, the first portion of the alimentary canal that receives food and salivaspeech communication as opposed to writingoral administration of medicinesoral schools, ...

Kapchagay

Kapchagay
Kapchagay is a city in Almaty Province of Kazakhstan. It is located on the Ili River, and has been built along with the construction of Kapchagay Dam on that river ...

Petropavl

Petropavl
Petropavl , also known as Petropavlovsk , is a city on the Ishim River in northern Kazakhstan close to the border with Russia, about 261 km west of Omsk along the ...

Kostanay

Kostanay
Kostanay , formerly known as Kustanay and Nikolayevsk , is a city located in the northern part of Kazakhstan at the Tobol River. Kostanay is the administrative center of Kostanay ...

Taldykorgan

Taldykorgan
Taldykorgan , formerly known as Taldy-Kurgan , is the administrative center of Almaty Province, Kazakhstan. Population: 123,038 ; 97,996 . Most of the people are Kazakhs.EducationTaldykorgan has ...

Bayanaul National Park

Bayanaul National Park
Bayanaul National Park is a national park of Kazakhstan, located in southeastern Pavlodar Province, 140 kilometers from the industrially developed city of Ekibastuz, on the outskirts of the Central Kazakh ...

Ridder, Kazakhstan

Ridder, Kazakhstan
Ridder , formerly known as Leninogorsk is a city in the East Kazakhstan Province in north-eastern Kazakhstan. Population: 50,500 . The city is situated in the southwestern Altai Mountains and ...

Baikonur

Baikonur
Baikonur , formerly known as Leninsk , is a city of republic significance in Kazakhstan on the right bank of the Syr Darya river, rented and administered by the Russian ...

Altyn-Emel National Park

Altyn-Emel National Park
Altyn-Emel National Park is a national park in Kazakhstan. It was created in 1996. The park covers about 4600 square kilometers between the Ili River and the Ak-Tau mountain range, ...

Kyzylorda

Kyzylorda
Kyzylorda , formerly known as Kzyl-Orda , Ak-Mechet , Perovsk , and Fort-Perovsky , is a city in Kazakhstan, capital of Kyzylorda Region. The city has a population of 157,400 ...

Rudny, Kazakhstan

Rudny, Kazakhstan
Rudniy a city on the river Tobol Kostanai region of Kazakhstan. It appeared in 1957 in connection with the development of iron ore deposits, the construction Sokolovsko-Sarbai mining, and processing ...

Shchuchinsk

Shchuchinsk
Shchuchinsk is a city in northern-central Kazakhstan, located 75 kilometres south-east of Kokshetau. It is the seat of Burabay District in Akmola Region. Population: 44,106 ;45,254 . ...

Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve

Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve
The Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve is the oldest nature reserve in Central Asia. It is located in the southern province of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It covers the north-western mountain chains ...

Chundzha

Chundzha
Chundzha is a selo and the administrative center of Uygur District of Almaty Province in south-eastern Kazakhstan. It is located on the A352 road. Population: 18,008 ; 20,095 . ...

Aral, Kazakhstan

Aral, Kazakhstan
Aral, also known as Aralsk or Aral'sk, is a small city in south-western Kazakhstan, located in the oblast of Kyzylorda. It serves as the administrative center of Aral District. Aral ...

Talgar

Talgar
Talgar is a town in Almaty Province, southeastern Kazakhstan. It is the administrative center of Talgar District. The town is located between Almaty and Esik, 25 km from Almaty and several ...

Ekibastuz

Ekibastuz
Ekibastuz is a town in Pavlodar Province, northeastern Kazakhstan. The population was 125,012 ; 127,197 . Ekibastuz is served by Ekibastuz Airport.HistoryThe history of Ekibastuz begins in ...

Karkaraly National Park

Karkaraly National Park
Karkaraly National Park is a protected reserve and national park in the Karaganda Oblast of Kazakhstan. The park headquarters are in the city of Karkaraly, 244 km east of Karaganda.

Balkhash

Balkhash
Balkhash may refer toBalkhash , a city at Lake Balkhash, KazakhstanBalkhash Lake, a lake in KazakhstanBalkhash perch, a species of perch found in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and ChinaBalkhash Airport, an airport ...

Aksu, Kazakhstan

Aksu, Kazakhstan
Aksu , formerly known as Yermak, literally meaning the White Sea , is a city in Kazakhstan, in Pavlodar Province, located 50 km to the south of Pavlodar on the left ...

Aksay, West Kazakhstan Province

Aksay, West Kazakhstan Province
Aksay is a town in north-western Kazakhstan. It is the administrative center of Borili District in West Kazakhstan Province. Population: 32,873 ; 28,953 .It is an important oil and gas ...

Esik

Esik
Esik is a town in the Almaty Province of Kazakhstan, the administrative center of Enbekshikazakh District. It is located on the Issyk River, at the foot of the Tian Shan, ...

Arys, Kazakhstan

Arys, Kazakhstan
Arys , is a town in South Kazakhstan Province of Kazakhstan. Population: 62,197 ; 59,280 .Arys is the junction of two important rail lines: Trans-Aral Railway and Turkestan-Siberia Railway . ...

Zharkent

Zharkent
Zharkent or Jarkent , formerly known as Panfilov and Dzharkent , is a town in Almaty Province, Kazakhstan, the administrative center of Panfilov District. It is located near the Usek ...

Kargaly

Kargaly
Kargaly is a copper mining-metallurgical district in the southern Urals of Russia. Prehistoric sites in Kargaly form a large and unique complex, especially when compared to neighboring metal production centers ...

Korday

Korday
Korday or Kordoy is a village in Zhambyl Province of Kazakhstan, and the administrative center of that province's Korday District. It has been formerly known under its old Russian name ...

Temirtau

Temirtau
Temirtau is a city in the Karagandy Province of Kazakhstan. Population: 169,590 ; 170,481 .The city is located on the Nura River , northwest of Karaganda.History1905, June, ...

Ile-Alatau National Park

Ile-Alatau National Park
Ile-Alatau National Park is a national park in Kazakhstan. It was created in 1996 and covers about 200,000 ha. It is situated in the mountains south of Almaty between Gorge ...

Kapchagay Reservoir

Kapchagay Reservoir
Kapchagay Reservoir, also spelled Qapshaghay Bogeni Reservoir and sometimes referred to as Lake Kapchagay, is a major reservoir in Almaty Province in southeastern Kazakhstan, approximately 60 kilometres north of Almaty. ...

Abay

Abay
Abay may refer to:PlacesAbay District, Karagandy Province, KazakhstanAbay the province's administrative center Abay, Almaty, KazakhstanAbay, Aktobe, a village in the Aktobe Province of western KazakhstanAbay Chomen, an ...

Lisakovsk

Lisakovsk
Lisakovsk is a city in the Kostanay Province of northwestern Kazakhstan. It's located about 105 km SW of the provincial capital city Kostanay on the right bank of the Tobol ...

Central State Museum of Kazakhstan

Central State Museum of Kazakhstan
The Central State Museum of Kazakhstan is the largest museum in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and one of the largest museums in Central Asia.When first established in 1931, the museum was located ...

Palace of Peace and Reconciliation

Palace of Peace and Reconciliation
The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation , also translated as the Pyramid of Peace and Accord, is a 77 m high building in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The structure ...

Ascension Cathedral, Almaty

Ascension Cathedral, Almaty
The Ascension Cathedral , also known as Zenkov Cathedral,is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located in Panfilov Park in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Completed in 1907, it is the second tallest wooden building ...

Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center

Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center
Khan Shatyr is a giant transparent tent in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. The architectural project was unveiled by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on December 9, 2006.The ...

Nur-Astana Mosque

Nur-Astana Mosque
The Nur-Astana Mosque , is a mosque located in the city of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. It is the second largest mosque in Kazakhstan and in Central Asia. The ...

Medeo

Medeo
The Medeu, or Medeo is an outdoor speed skating and bandy rink. It is located in a mountain valley on the south-eastern outskirts of Almaty, Kazakhstan. Medeu sits 1,691 metres ...

Almaty Tower

Almaty Tower
The Almaty Television Tower, or simply Almaty Tower, is a 371.5-metre-high steel television tower built between 1975 and 1983 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The tower is located on high slopes of ...

Alma Ata

Alma Ata
Almaty (Kazakh: Алматы / Almatı, pronounced [ɑl.mɑ.ˈtə]), formerly known as Alma-Ata (Russian: Алма-Ата) and Verniy (Pre-Reform Russian: Вѣрный), is the largest city in Kazakhstan. Despite losing its status as the capital ...

Мечта

Мечта
Luna 1, also known as Mechta , E-1 No.4 and First Cosmic Ship, was the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Earth's Moon, and the first spacecraft to ...

Ak Orda

Ak Orda
The Akorda Presidential Palace is the official workplace of the President of Kazakhstan, located in the capital city of Astana. Akorda Presidential Palace was built within three years, and officially ...

Central Stadium

Central Stadium
Central Stadium is a common name for stadiums in the former Soviet Union. It may refer to:East Germany:Central Stadium Georgia:Central Stadium Kazakhstan:Aktobe Central StadiumAlmaty Central StadiumKostanay Central StadiumPavlodar Central StadiumTaraz ...

Green Market

Green Market
The green market is the distribution of refurbished, used, repaired, recycled, discontinued or new products that are in working condition. They are sold through brokers and resellers, not through the ...

Zhibek Zholy

Zhibek Zholy
Zhibek Zholy is a station of Line 1 of the Almaty Metro. The station was opened on the December 1, 2011. ...

Duman

Duman
Duman is a Turkish surname. Notable people with the surname include:Hatice Duman , Turkish journalist and editorNikol Duman , Armenian fedayeeNurduran Duman , Turkish poet, writer, essayist, translatorOsman Kürşat Duman ...

Academy of Sciences

Academy of Sciences
An academy of sciences is a national academy or another learned society dedicated to sciences.In non-English speaking countries, the range of academic fields of the members of a national Academy ...

Art Museum

Art Museum
An art museum or art gallery is a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art. Museums can be public or private, but what distinguishes a museum ...

Cable Car

Cable Car
A cable car is any of a variety of transportation systems relying on cables to pull vehicles along or lower them at a steady rate. The terminology also refers to ...

Central Mosque

Central Mosque
Central Mosque may refer to:Markazi Masjid, DewsburyMarkazi Masjid, London Borough of Tower HamletsCentral Mosque WembleyCentral Mosque of Lisbon ...

Central Park

Central Park
Central Park is an urban park in middle-upper Manhattan, New York City. Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States as well as one of the ...

City Park

City Park
City Park can refer to:City Park, LauncestonCity Park, Saskatoon, a neighbourhoodCity Park City Park, NairobiCity Park , a park in central Luxembourg CityCity Park, Edinburgh, a defunct football ground in ...

Dostoevsky Museum

Dostoevsky Museum
The F. M. Dostoyevsky Literary Memorial Museum , located on Kuznechny Lane 5/2 in Saint Petersburg, was opened on November 12, 1971 in the former apartment of the famous writer. ...

Emerald Towers

Emerald Towers
Emerald Towers is a project consisting of three office towers of 54, 43 and 37 floors in Astana, Kazakhstan. Currently, the project is on hold. ...

Fine Arts Museum

Fine Arts Museum
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, is the largest ...

Friday Mosque

Friday Mosque
Jama Masjid refers to the main mosque of a town, city or village, and is usually the place of gathering for Eid prayers and Friday prayers. These are sometimes called ...

Geology Museum

Geology Museum
The Egyptian Geological Museum is a museum in Cairo, Egypt. The museum was established in 1904 as part of the Egyptian Geological Survey, which had been started in 1896 under ...

History & Local Studies Museum

History & Local Studies Museum
History is the study of the past, particularly how it relates to humans. It is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, ...

History Museum

History Museum
The History Museum of Armenia is a museum in Armenia with departments of Archaeology, Numismatics, Ethnography, Modern History and Restoration. It has a national collection of 400,000 objects and was ...

History Museum

History Museum
The History Museum of Armenia is a museum in Armenia with departments of Archaeology, Numismatics, Ethnography, Modern History and Restoration. It has a national collection of 400,000 objects and was ...

Hotel Kazakhstan

Hotel Kazakhstan
Hotel Kazakhstan is the second tallest building in the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. It is 102 m tall, with 26 floors. It is situated in the southern center of Almaty. It ...

Independence Monument

Independence Monument
Independence Monument may refer to:Independence Monument Independence Monument Independence Monument ...

Independence Monument

Independence Monument
Independence Monument may refer to:Independence Monument Independence Monument Independence Monument ...

KazMunayGaz

KazMunayGaz
KazMunayGas is the state-owned oil and gas company of Kazakhstan. It was founded in 2002 by merging Kazakhoil and Oil and Gas Transportation.SubsidiariesMain subsidiaries of KazMunayGas are:KazMunaiGas ...

Kok-Tobe

Kok-Tobe
Kok-Tobe is a mountain which is the highest point of Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city. There is a popular recreation area on top of the mountain. The mountain's height is 1100 ...

Mazhilis

Mazhilis
The Majilis is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of Kazakhstan, known as the Parlamenti, in the Government of Kazakhstan. The upper house of Parliament is the Senate of ...

National Archive

National Archive
A national archive is a central archives maintained by a nation. This article contains a list of national archives.ANational Archives of AfghanistanNational Archives of AlbaniaArchives Nationales Arquivo ...

National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan

National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan
The National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan , is located in Astana. The museum opened on July 2, 2014 in a 74,000 square meter building.HistoryThe museum ...

Northern Lights

Northern Lights
Northern lights is a common name for the Aurora Borealis in the Northern Hemisphere.Northern Lights or Northern Light may also refer to:BooksNorthern Lights, a 1975 novel by ...

Peace Museum

Peace Museum
The Peace Museum, Bradford is the only museum dedicated to the history and stories of peace, peacemakers and peace movements, in the UK.The Peace Museum aims to engage, inform and ...

Presidential Residence

Presidential Residence
A Presidential Palace is the official residence of the president in some countries. However, some countries do not call the official residence of their head of state a "palace", or ...

Regional Museum

Regional Museum
The Regional Museum of Natural History at Mysore, is a museum in India with exhibits on plants, animals and geology of the southern region of India.DescriptionThe ...

Regional Museum

Regional Museum
The Regional Museum of Natural History at Mysore, is a museum in India with exhibits on plants, animals and geology of the southern region of India.DescriptionThe ...

Regional Museum

Regional Museum
The Regional Museum of Natural History at Mysore, is a museum in India with exhibits on plants, animals and geology of the southern region of India.DescriptionThe ...

Senate

Senate
A Senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a bicameral legislature or parliament. The name comes from the ancient Roman Senate , so-called as an ...

St Nicholas Cathedral

St Nicholas Cathedral
The following cathedrals, churches and chapels are dedicated to Saint Nicholas:AustriaChurch of St. Nikolaus, LockenhausSt. Nicholas' Church, Inzersdorf, ViennaAlbaniaSt. Nicholas' Church, MoscopoleSt. Nicholas' Church, ...

Strelka

Strelka
Strelka may refer to:Strelka, a Soviet space dogStrelka, the easternmost tip of Vasilyevsky Island in St. Petersburg, RussiaStrelka, a small cape at the confluence of the Volga and Kotorosl Rivers in ...

Transport & Communications Ministry

Transport & Communications Ministry
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline and space. The field ...

War Memorial

War Memorial
A war memorial is a building, monument, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or to commemorate those who died or were injured in a war.