flag Kazakhstan Kazakhstan: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organising Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources


Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Information on visas from the Kazak Embassy in UK
The list of Kazakhstan embassies
For Further Information
Check IATA Travel Website for visa requirements and health advices.

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Organising Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

In the new capital Astana, the public transport network consists of buses and trolley buses. 14 taxi companies also operate. For further details, refer to the website Mayor of Astana which consists of a transport section. Taxis are plenty in Astana even if few are official (often there are individuals who rent their vehicle). Hiring of vehicles is possible (with or without chauffeur).

In Almaty, 49 companies transport passengers by bus and 63 private taxi companies are active. For further details, refer to website Mayor of Almaty which consists of a transport section. A metro line is currently under construction. Whether private or not, taxis are also numerous in Almaty. Hiring of a vehicle is also possible.

Maps of Urban Networks
UT Library on line
Map of future metro in Almaty
Road network map of Astana

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Almaty (ALA) 16 km / 10 miles USD 5-20 / 30 min KZT 20 / 30-40 min - Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

About ten companies serve the airport of the capital Astana. The list of these companies is available on the website Mayor of Astana. The schedules of trains which connect Astana with other cities of Kazakhstan and neighboring countries is available on the website Mayor of Astana.

A list of aviation, railways and river transport companies is available on the website Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Rail Companies
Website of the company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (consultable in English)

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Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Air Astana Major yes Yes
Euro Asia Air Low cost yes
Transaero (Russian company) Major no Yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Travelling By Yourself

Roads are maintained moderately, general authorised speed is 120 km/h on highways, 70 km/h on rural roads. Follow the speed limit signboards which correspond to actual danger (dangerous deformations of the road, potholes). Move preferably in a convoy (at least 2 vehicles in good condition) well equipped with reserves of fuel, oil, water, etc. Insure the vehicle from a local insurer. On the highway, as in the city, sometimes unscrupulous police require motorists to pay excessive fines for their benefit which (in theory) must not be paid.
Road Maps
Find an Itinerary

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Different Forms of Tourism

In Almaty : Zenkov Cathedral surrounded by the Panfilov park, Saint Nicolas Cathedral, Arasan Baths, the Petroglyphs of Tamgaly, 170 km North-west of Almaty.

Astana is largely a new city, thus has even lesser number of "historical" monuments. The Seifullin museum, house of the Kazakh poet and writer born in 1894, and the monument for the Russian victims of the Gulag in Kazakhstan are to be seen.

In Almaty : Museum of Musical Instruments, Central National Museum where animal art masterpieces of the steppes are found : Golden Man; Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Repression.
There is the picturesque valley of Medeo, just fifteen kilometers north of Almaty. Always in the neighborhood of Almaty: Mount Talgar and its natural reserve. 200 km from Almaty: Charyne Canyons, Keguen region (string of three lakes at Kolsay), Kaptchagai region: Altyn Emel regional park.

Kazakhstan boasts of other natural sites: Tamgaly (red rock), marble wall, Aqsu-Djabaghly natural reserve in the south of the country and its lakes: Lake Boshoe Almatinskoe in Shymbulaq region ; Lake Issyk-Kul ; Lake Balkhach (400 km north of Almaty)

150 km south west of Astana: the Kourgaldjno reserve. 200 km farther to the south: "Little Switzerland of Lake Bourabai" (or Borovoye) where swimming, fishing and hiking are popular.

In Almaty: Saint Nicolas Cathedral, Zenkov Cathedral, Grand mosque (constructed in 1999). In Astana: Mosque of Baiterek locality. In Turkestan: Mausoleum of Ahmed Yasawi and Mosques including a 12th century underground mosque.
Aktau Station on the Caspian Sea : fully developed port.

Lakes of the "Little Switzerland of Bourabai" (or Borovoye).

Winter Sports
Tchimboulak Ski Resort in the Zailiiskii Alataou Mountains, in the neighborhood of Alamaty. Rink of Medeo.
Outdoor Activities
In Almaty: Zelionyi Bazar, Meloman chain of shopping centres, Silk Way ; Akademkniga library.

In Astana : handicrafts in Talisman store ; Meloman shopping centre.

Top Highlights in the Main Cities
The website of the Mayor of Astana is rich in tourist information
Top Highlights of the Country
Tourism Organisations
Commitee of Tourism
Mayor of Astana

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
A certificate for vaccination against yellow fever is required for the travelers originating from the infected zones. Other recommended vaccinations: diphtheria, tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and B, typhoid and meningitis.

It is to be noted that Kazakhstan is one of the countries affected by the bird flue epidemic. Cases of Anthrax are regularly reported, tuberculosis is spreading and precautions are needed against ticks in the forest lands (Lyme disease).

It is strongly advisable not to drink water which is not potable from a tap.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Visit the website of WHO

Emergency Numbers

Department of Emergencies 051
Traffic Accident 292 12 68
Gas Accidents 04
Ambulance 03
Fire station 01
Judiciary Police 112 (from mobile), 02 (from fixed line)

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Astana (GMT+6)
Summer Time Period
The average temperatures vary from 16oc to 17oc between May and September with a peak of 23oc in July in Almaty which is situated at a height. Summer temperatures exceed 30oc.

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
The climate is very continental, with cold winters and hot, dry and semi-dry summers.
For Further Information

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Food Specialties
Besparman (meat, paste and grilled onions)
Plov (meat, rice, carrots and garlic)
Pelmeni (ravioli)
Oriental candies
Koumys (fermented mare's milk)
Dietary Restrictions
There is no ban on pork or alcoholic beverages even though a large majority of the population is Muslim.

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Domestic Currency
Kazakhstan Tenge
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
The national currency is Tengue or KZT.
Possible Means of Payment
In Astana, there are several exchange bureaus. ATMs accept foreign cards are located in the bank offices and large shopping malls. Most of the banks of the city exchange traveler's checks (for a commission).

In Almaty, numerous ATMs are available and most accept foreign card. The exchange bureaus are also many in number. Those in popular tourist areas offer less attractive rates.

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Official Language
Kazakh is the State language and Russian is the language for intercommunity communication.
Other Languages Spoken
English is still rather less spoken.
Business Language
Getting Some Knowledge
To have some idea about Russian: http://masterrussian.com/
Free Translation Tools
Ectaco :
Ectaco : Free English-Russian-English dictionary

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Useful Resources

To Find an Apartment

Real estate lease (in English)
To Find a Job
Nes Fircroft
Check Point Central Asia

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Latest Update: March 2023