Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan and the second largest city in Central Asia after Tashkent. Home to about 1.8 million people and known in the Soviet era as Alma-Ata,, it is used to be the capital of Kazakhstan but no longer is (Astana in the northern part of the country is), however it remains the business capital, the main commercial, cultural center and the most happening place in Kazakhstan. Almaty means “Place of Apples.” The tree species from which apples originated is found nearby.

Beautifully situated at the foot of the Tien Shan mountains at an elevation of 775 meters, Almaty is a pleasant Soviet city with few tourist sights. Instead it has a mellow, friendly atmosphere. There are lots of trees, large parks, wide avenues, monumental squares, fountains. Snow-capped mountains rise in the distance. A Presidential Palace lies right next to the modern Ramstor Shopping Mall. There are a few mosques, bazaars, old neighborhoods, courtyard houses and madrasahs scattered here and there. The Soviet-era apartment buildings are not too ugly.

Almaty has a large Russian population and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. These days is buzzing with foreign businessmen, many with links to the oil and gas industry, diplomats, Turks, Uzbeks, Koreans, Chinese traders, and NGO workers. Like other up and coming Central Asian cities, it has it share of modern hotels and new shopping malls. The number of moribund factories, pot-holed streets, and neighborhood were people have to scrape by to make ends meet is less than elsewhere in the former Soviet Union.

Almaty sprawls over 350 square kilometers and is divided into seven administrative and territorial districts: Almalinsky, Auezovsky, Bostandyksky, Zhetysuisky, Medeusky, Turksibsky, Alatausky. The population is about two thirds, one fourth Russian and the remainder about a hundred nationalities, including Germans, Ukrainians, Uighurs, Koreans and Tatars.

Almaty doesn’t have a very long history. It began as fortified Cossack village in 1854 (the nearby Alamatu oasis was a stop on the Silk Road that was sacked by the Mongols) and was leveled by earthquakes in 1887 and 1911. It became the capital of Soviet Kazakhstan in 1927 and was connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway via the Turksib railway in 1930. Afterwards the city grew quickly. In 1998, Astana replaced Almaty as Kazakhstan’s capital.

The climate is sharply continental. Summers are long and hot, and winters are relatively short and cold. The average temperature of the hottest month (July) is 24.4 degrees C (75.9 degrees F) with a maximum of 43 degrees C (109.4 degrees F). The average temperature of the coldest month (January) is −5.0 degrees C (23.0 degrees F) with a minimum of −38 degrees C (−36.4 degrees F). The typical annual precipitation varies from 300 to 500 millimeters (12 to 20 in) in different climatic zones of the valley. Precipitation progressively increases with increasing altitude near Kyrgyz Ala-Too range. Spring and autumn are the rainiest seasons.

Orientation of Almaty

Almaty is fairly well organized and tourist friendly. Located at the foot of the Zailiysky Alatau, a branch of the Tien Shan, which defines the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, it slopes upward from north (650 meters) to south (950 meters) and is laid in a grid with the streets more or less aligning themselves with north, south, east and west. The streets have relatively light traffic, the sidewalks and spacious and most places of interest are found in the city center, The only problem is the streets and the buildings look the same and there are few landmarks which one can use to orient oneself.

Almaty is spread out over a pretty wide area. The central area is fairly large. It extends about five kilometers (three miles) from Almaty-II railway station in the north to the Respublika alangy ceremonial square in the south and two kilometers (1½ miles) from Kaldayakov in the east and Seyfullin in the west. Many names of streets and landmarks have reverted to their pre-Soviet names. The main north-south streets are Dostyk (Lenina), Konaev (Karl Marx), and Abylay Khan (Kommunistichesky). The primary east-west streets are Zhibek Zholy (Gorkogo), Gogol and Satpaev.

Tole Bi divides Almaty into north and south. Many government buildings and museum are scattered around the center of the city. The Presidential Palace, the fancy hotels, sports facilities and the modern Ramstor shopping Mall lies in the south. The partly-pedestrianized Zhilbek Zholy lies at the center of the main shopping and entertainment zone. The city embraces 10 000 hectares of parks, trees, and gardens. The central streets and avenues sloping down from south to north follow three mountain streams — Esentay, Large and Small Almatinka — feeding aryk and fountains, fields and gardens. In spring, the southern outskirts are a riot of color when apple, apricot, and cherry trees blossom.

Almaty is one of the main gateways for Central Asia. It serves as major transportation hub for the region and arrival point for international flights to Central Asia. It is a convenient access point to Kyrgyzstan, which is only 24 kilometers (15 miles) away, and is linked by train and bus to Urumqi in China and Tashkent in Uzbekistan and by train to Moscow and the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Because of Almaty’s off center location in southeast Kazakhstan and the poor state of Kazakhstan’s road, in many ways it is easier to get from Almaty to Russia, China and other destinations in Central Asia than it is to get other places in Kazakhstan.

Entertainment and Sports in Almaty

Cultural and nightlife opportunities include the opera, ballet, classical music, folk music, folk dance shows, discos, casinos, bars, coffee houses, theaters, galleries, cinemas, shopping malls, night clubs, karaoke, bowling and billiards. Movie theaters are scattered around town. Some are Soviet-era venues that have seen better days. There are cinemas at some of the shopping malls. Check .

The partly-pedestrianized Zhilbek Zholy lies at the center of a shopping and entertainment area In the area are many cafes and restaurants, and bars. Street musicians and poets sometime gather here. Other places are scattered around the city. Many hotel restaurants become bars with music in the night. The number of nightclubs has increased dramatically since the Soviet era. There are techno clubs, jazz bars, blues bars, casinos and strip clubs.

Kazakstan's academic and cultural life has traditionally been centered in Almaty but as time has goes on some of it has shifted to Astana. There are 15 institutions of higher learning, including Kazakh State University. Cultural performances are offered by the Abay Opera and Ballet Theatre, Avez Drama Theatre, Lermontov Russian Drama Theatre, and the Uighur and Korean Theatre of Music and Drama. Reflecting the ethnic diversity of Almaty, performances are given in several languages.

Horse races and buz kashi maybe can be seen at the Hippodrome. The local Kayrat soccer club plays at the central stadium. The tickets for sports events are cheap and stadiums and arenas are rarely full. Other sports facilities include a large swimming facility next to the central stadium. The mountainous area in which Almaty is located offers many recreation opportunities. Chalets in the mountains may be rented. Mountaineering, skiing, and winter sports are available. In the mountains, 20 kilometers from Almaty, is the Medeo Winter Sports Complex, where many skating records have been set.

Dance, Theater and Opera in Almaty

The quality of the dance, theater, opera and classical music at generally very good and very cheap. There are two main concert halls: the Central Concert Hall on Kaldayakov 35 and Kazkontsert Hall south of Ayteke Bi. Smaller classical converts are held at the conservatory next to the main post office. The Opera and Ballet Theater has recently been renovated. There are shows almost every night at one of these venues. Performances usually start at 7:00pm. The

The main theaters are the Auezov Kazakh State Academic Drama Theater and the Lermontov State Academic Drama Theater. The primarily stage Russia- and Kazakh-language productions. Sometimes folk music shows are sponsored at theaters, hotels and open air museums.

Tickets for concerts and performances are cheap, often less than a dollar. They can be purchases through booking offices, informal booths or tables set up the streets, the box offices at the theaters and concert halls. Hotel service desks and concierges at hotels can help you with tickets. They often charge hefty fees for their ticket services. Tickets bought from informal booths or box offices are considerably cheaper.

Kazakh State Academic Opera and Ballet named after Abay opened in 1934. The aim of the organization is to “conduct scenically spectacular events aimed at the practical implementation of state cultural policy in the field of opera and ballet” and “harmoniously developed personality young people from the masterpieces of world opera and ballet classics, bringing up in her high artistic taste.”[Source:]

Lermontov Russian State Academic Drama Theater was built in 1933.The first director of the new theatre was Yuri Ludvigovich Rudkovskii. In 1964 — 150-year anniversary of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov — the theater was named after the poet.

Kazakh State Academic Drama Theater meters. Auezov was organized in late 1925 in Kyzylorda. The theater in 1926 and moved to Almaty in 1928.. Since 1937 the theater was awarded the academic title, and since 1961 — the name Auezov. Performances are in the Kazakh language, with simultaneous translation.

State Puppet Theater of Almaty was established in 1935, making it one of the oldest puppet theaters in the former Soviet Union. Puppets of all kinds — from simple to complex ones — have appeared. The theater reared and educated several generations of talented actors, artists, puppeteers, filmmakers, artists, many of whom have decades of loyal theater — puppet art. Pushkin's fairy tale classics — “On the Dead Princess”, “On the Tsar Saltan” and “Magic Lamp Aladdin” are often performed.

Kuzhamyarov Republican Uighur State Theater of Musical Comedy was established in 1934 and has become a center of theatrical and musical culture for the Uighur people, featuring figures like Sadyr Pahlavan, Mahmoud Kuzhamyarova, Bilal Nasim, Abdullah Rozybakiev and characters like, Anarhan, Sanam, Ayhan, Amannisy, an ardent champion of truth, the laborer Sait Hapiz and the Aisa, the poet, courtier and soldier. In 2002, the theater opened the new season in a reconstructed building. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev was on hand for the opening.

Republican National German Drama Theater was created in 1980 in Temirtau. It mainly stages German and Russian classics and lost many people after Germans returned to Germany fater the collapse of the Soviet Union. Republican State Korean Theater of Musical Comedy was launched in 1932 based on the drama club, the Far boundary Korean theater. As a result of deportation in 1937 the bulk of people in the theater came to Kazakhstan in the city of Kyzylorda. It was decided to organize a “collective-state farm tour Korean theater”. In November 2000, changed the status of the theater, it was renamed the SCCE Republican National Korean Theater of Musical Comedy. Korean theater has in its repertoire of pieces by world and national classics, plays by Russian and Kazakh authors, works of modern Korean authors, contemporary concert programs, and creative artists of the theater program.

Restaurants and Shopping in Almaty

The partly-pedestrianized Zhilbek Zholy, Almaty's main shopping street, is lined with cafes, food vendors, pizza and hamburger joints, restaurants, and bars. Also try the Zelyony Bazaar a number of vendors sells kebabs, noodles, dumplings and snack food. These days many people eat at the food courts and restaurants in the shopping malls

There are also hotels with restaurants. They used to be known for serving up pretty awful food but things have improved.. After the break up of the Soviet Union, many new restaurants opened up. These days you can find Chinese, Turkish, German, Uighar, Korean, Pakistani, Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern, American and Russian food. Many hotel restaurants become bars with music in the night. has a listing of Almaty restaurants, Almaty cafes, Pizza restaurants, Almaty bars and coffee houses

The partly-pedestrianized Zhilbek Zholy, Almaty's main shopping street, is lined with shops and stalls and people selling stuff laid out on sheets. One of Almaty’s main department stores is located here. The Ramstore, a Turkish-built shopping mall on the souther side of the city center, opened in 1999.

There is a large daily flea market, particularly big on Sunday, in the west suburbs. Known as the Barakholkam it attracts traders from China, Xinjiang, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and other places, selling things like pots, pans, fur hats, and pets. A small flea market with vendors selling stamps, coins, postcards and pins is held in the Central park on Sunday.

Zelyony Bazaar (close to the Paniflov Park) is set up mainly for local people. Also know as the Green Market, it has entire sections with people selling big hunks of meat, melons, saffron, spices, pomegranates, dried apricots, oranges, apples, honey, tools, household items, clothes, cheap Chinese goods and other stuff. It is very large and often is bustling with people.

Shopping Malls in Almaty

SEC Globus is a large shopping and entertainment center that opened in 2010. Its oeping was a grandiose event. SEC ADK, or simply The ADK, is a shopping and entertainment complex in the center of Almaty. Shopping center Ramstore opened in 1999 and includes a shopping center and a supermarket and a total area of 26,000 square meters.

Mega Alma-Ata is the largest shopping and entertainment center in Kazakhstan. It opened in 2006 and is a favorite hang out for residents and visitors. SEC Prime Plaza is multifunctional shopping center. Trading House is a shopping center that has retained its historical appearance. The new building and interior are made in a modern style with classic elements. Aport mall is large regional mall. Its opening celebration in 2009 was attended by over 62,000 people.

Broadcasting Company Maxima is a whole city “living according to its own laws: the laws of maximum comfort, high quality, diverse assortment, vivid positive impressions, impeccable service and advanced technologies in everything.” Shopping center Promenade is a modern shopping center that specializes in fashion. Shopping center Sputnik is a unique project created under the concept and magic formula Shopping + Leisure + Comfort.

City Plus is shopping and entertainment center with a wide range of shops spread out over located at 13,000 square meters of space. The Ritz Palace, located in the upper part of the city, is able to compete with the largest shopping and entertainment centers of the city. Gallery Shopping Mall opened its doors in 2004 and for a while was a favorite shopping place in Almaty. SEC Atrium, or simply the Atrium, is the first discount shopping center in Almaty.

Accommodation in Almaty

The accommodation situation in Almaty isn’t so bad. There is a choice fancy hotels, Soviet-era hotels, and two and three star hotels. There are not many bed-and-breakfasts and rooms in private homes. There are some though. Check the Lonely Planet guide and/or travel agencies recommended in the Lonely Planet guide. Some of travel agencies arrange home stays for around US$30 a night. Generally, booking agencies and travel agencies can book rooms at the overpriced expensive hotels. Generally you need the address of a place and good direction on how to get there.

In recent years several new hotels have been built, mainly to cater to the influx of foreign businessmen. These include two five-star hotels — the Turkish-built Regent Ankara Hotel and the Hyatt Regency — and several four-star hotels. The Hyatt has US$1,500-a-night executive suite, where many big deals have been made, and a an atrium shaped like a yurt.

There is a wide selection of hotels in the city of Almaty, including elite five-star hotels, middle-class hotels or inexpensive hotels. Having opened the page of each hotel, you can look at photos of rooms and compare prices, learn more about the services offered. Filters (see on the left) will help you choose a hotel in Almaty that suits you at prices of the required category and / or appropriate to your conditions. hotel pages:
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Transportation in Almaty

Most places can be reached on foot. Mass transportation consists of trolleybuses (buses connected to electric lines over the buses), trams, buses and a relatively new subway. There are a fair number of taxis. The first line of the Almaty Metro system opened in December 2011, after more than 23 years of construction. A 2.9-kilometer (1.8 mi), two-station extension of the Metro to Moskva station opened in April 2015. As of April 2015, the Almaty Metro was 11.3 kilometers (7.0 mi) in length and served nine stations. 12.4 million passengers used the metro in 2016, an increase on the 10.6 million who used it in 2015.

Phase 2 of the Metro is the 3.1 km extension to Sary-Arka and Dostyk, which is slated to be completed in 2021. The 5.52 km extension to Kalkaman and Western Bus Station is planned for 2025. Phase 3, which will consist of a northern extension of 8.76 km, is predicted to be completed before 2035.

Many people get around in minivans. Buses are crowded and should be avoided. Trolleybuses and trams are only little better. There are two tram lines.There are also plenty of cheap taxis. Private cars often serve as taxis. You can flag one down by standing on the sidewalk and holding at your hand to let passing driver know you want a ride.

Public transportation runs from 6:00am to midnight or 1:00am and is ridiculously cheap, with tickets just a few cents a piece. The tickets for bus, trams and trolleybuses are the same. They can be purchased from drivers, at some kiosks and shops. It is convenient to buy ticket in strips of five or ten. They need to be validated in a machine when entering.

According to Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT): 1) Traffic is congested and often gridlocked. Streets are too narrow to handle the increasing numbers of vehicles. 2) Public transport services are inadequate. 3) Minivans service is frequent. Bus service is available a few times a day. 4) Taxis provide inter-city transport; fares are higher than bus fares. [Source: Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), 2008: PDF]

Bus and Train Stations in Almaty

Almaty has two main train stations. The main long distance trains stop at Almaty I, at the north end of Seyfullin prospektisi several kilometers north of the city center. Some of these same trains terminate at Almaty-II, which is closer to the city center at the north end of Abylay Khan danggghyly. Tashkent trains and a few other train use the Almaty-I station

Bus Stations: The long distance buses use the Sayran bus station on Tole Bi and Mate Zalki, about two miles from the downtown area. Buses to destinations reasonably close to Almaty use Sayakhat bus station at the north end of Pushkin Sayakhat. A few buses leave from Almaty 2nd train station. From Sayran Bus Station, buses and minivans provide transport to Bishkek.


Almaty is a nice city and well-designed by urban planners. There are many parks and trees line many wide streets. enjoy. The nearby mountains provide a stunning backdrop. However, there is not really that much to see. The main Russian Orthodox church, Zenkov’s Cathedral (see below) is the only historical building of any significance. note.

Almaty Central Mosque opened in 1999 and is one of the largest mosques of Kazakhstan. A capacity can hold up to 7,000 visitors. Designed by the architects are Bajmagambetov and Sharapiev. The majestic building contains marble and the color tiles decorated with Kazakh national motifs. The mosque is crowned by a blue dome that is 20 meters in diameter and 36 meters in height. The height of the tallest minaret is 47 meters. In 2000 the big dome was decorated with Koranic calligraphy by Turkish masters.

The boyhood home of the crackpot Russian nationalist Vladamir V. Zhironovsky is located in a drab, walk-up apartment on 79 Masanchi Street in Almaty. The Old Parliament Building is the former home of Kazakhstan's parliament. Also worth a looks is St. Nicholas Cathedral, a turquoise building with golden domes. Gorky Park (one kilometer from the Hotel Otrar) is a the recreation park with boating lakes, small-scale amusement parks, a zoom beer gardens, cafes and food stalls.

Panfilov Park

Panfilov Park (in the middle of the city center) is large oasis of green. Here you can find the Zenkov Cathedral Near the cathedral is a war memorial depicting 28 soldiers battling Nazi tanks. Nearby this is an eternal flame commemorating those who have died in the Russian Civil War and World War II.

Panfilov Park is officially known Park of Heroes 28-Panfilov Guardsmen, It houses the Memorial of Glory and Memory Lane, memorials to the great courage and honor displayed by those defended the Motherland during World War II. Along the Memory Lane, there are obelisks with the names of 28 fighters of the 1075 Regiment of the 316 Rifle Division, who accepted the unequal battle with German tanks in the winter of 1941, during the battle for Moscow.

The park was established in 1975 on the eve of 30th anniversary of the victory of Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War (World War II). The main memorial consists of three arrangements that complement each other. The first part — high relief “Oath” (left side) — is dedicated to the young fighters for Soviet power in Kazakhstan. The central part of the triptych — “Act of Bravery” — captured images of the heroes Panfilov Guardsmen, Russians, Kazakhs, Ukrainians, symbolizing the international nature of the heroic feat of Soviet people in November 1941 near Moscow. The right track “Trumping the Glory”, gives the entire memorial optimistic sound, its images represent hymn of triumphant life.

Arasan Baths (west side of Panfilov Park) is an elaborate bath complex built in the Soviet era by a leader of the Kazakh SSR. It contains Russian-style banyas (similar to Finnish-style saunas) on one floor and Turkish baths on another floor. The former has regular saunas and a giant steam room. The latter contains baths and stone slabs, heated to three different temperatures that are used to give massages. The entrance fee is between $2 and $4. Massages cost about $15 an hour.

Zelyony Bazaar (close to the Paniflov Park) is set up mainly for local people. Also know as the Green Market, it has entire sections with people selling big hunks of meat, melons, saffron, spices, pomegranates, dried apricots, oranges, apples, honey, tools, household items, clothes, cheap Chinese goods and other stuff. It is very large and often is bustling with people.

Zenkov’s Cathedral in Almaty

Zenkov Cathedral (in Panfilov Park) is a garishly-colored building built in 1904. It is one of the few tsarist-era buildings remaining in Almaty (most of the others were destroyed by earthquakes). Built entirely of wood, without nails, it was used as a museum and concert hall in the Soviet-era. It is now a working Orthodox church. It is the second highest wood building in the world.

This orthodox cathedral is deservingly considered as one of the most interesting architectural monuments in Almaty. The wooden building, towering at a height of 56 meters, was constructed in the beginning of the 20th century. Built under the guidance of engineer Andre Zenkov, without the use of a single nail, it was one of the few pre-Soviet buildings to survive the earthquakes of 1910 with nothing more than a bent spire.

The cathedral has six spires made of iron, and its internal fresco was created by the artist, Nikolay Khlydov. The cathedral is in the centre of Panfilov Park, named after the 28th Panfilov Battalion, including the guardsmen of the 316th shooting division, all of whom served with distinction during the defense of Moscow in 1941 and 1942.

Respblika Alangy (Repblic Square)

Respblika Alangy (south side of the city center) is a large square located upper slope of Almaty On a clear day there are great views of the mountains from here. Important buildings and monuments include the Monument of Independence, with column toped by a replica of the Golden Man and sided by bas-reliefs depicting episodes from Kazakhstan history, and the City Government Building.

Nearby are the Presidential Palace (a modern building also called White House), the Ramstor Shopping Mall and Republican Palace of the Schoolchildren. The Academy of Sciences, a few blocks away, is one of the finest examples of Soviet-era monumental architecture in Kazakhstan. It surrounded by open spaces and fountains. Make sure to take a look at the found with Chinese zodiac figures.

The Golden Man on the Independence Monument along with Bayterek is one of main symbols of modern Kazakhstan. Created by team led by Shota Valikhanov, the majestic Golden Man, soaring into the dazzling sky of Almaty tames the winged snow leopard.

Museum and Galleries in Almaty

Almaty is home to about a dozen museums. Some of the better ones include the Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments, with an interesting collection of stuff and taped music produced by each instrument; the Archeology Museum, with four main displays and a copy of the famous Golden Man (the real one is in a vault in Kazakhstan’s National Museum), the Geological Museum, with an impressive display of gemstones and minerals);

The Kasteyev Kazakh State Art Museum contains 20,000 exhibits and volumes. The Central State Museum of Kazakstan has 90,000 exhibits. The State Public Library, founded in 1931, has almost 3.5 million volumes in its collection.

The Central State Museum has a hodgepodge collection including a yurt, Kazakh carpets and tapestries, another copy of the Golden Man and displays on nuclear testing, the Baikonur Cosmodrome and the Aral Sea. The museum is divided into four exposition halls — 1) the paleontology and archeology hall; 2) anthropology and ethnography of Kazakhstan; 3) Ethnography of the people of Kazakhstan; and 4) the Great Patriotic War and Sovereign Kazakhstan — reflecting the history of the country from the most ancient times up to today. The museum also hosts thematic exhibitions, festivals, meetings and classes.

State Art Museum named after A. Kasteev

The Kasteyev Fine Arts Museum (Satpaev street, 30a, Tel.: 247-82-49) has a fine collection of art, with art banned during the Soviet period, Kazakh art, Kazakh carpets and walling hangings, saddle covers and jewelry. Founded in 1935 and named after A. Kasteev, a famous Kazakh painter, it has been a main centre of an art life of Kazakhstan since its establishment. Over the years, the museum has collected works by artists from Western Europe, Russia, the Soviet Union and Kazakhstan. It houses 22,000 objects presented in 14 halls.

Folk arts and crafts include weaving, embroidery, felt products, woodcarving, horse equipment, and jewelry. In the halls of fine arts of Kazakhstan, you see works by Kazakhstan artists such as A. Kasteev, I. Ismailov, A. Cherkassky, L.Leont'ev, Telzhanov K., A. Galimbaeva, S. Mambeev, H. Naurzbaev, A. Aytbaev., A. Sadyhanov, E. Mergenov, T. Togusbaev and etc. A rich collection of the Soviet painters' works includes works by P. Filonov, P. Kuznetsov, K Redko, O. Rozanova, S. Sarian, U. Tansyebaev, S. Konenkov, meters. Aslamazian, and G. Aitiev and etc.

In the halls of Russian art, you can see 18th, 19th and 20th century works by F. Rokotov, D. Levitsky, C. Brullov, I. Repin and I. Kramskoy. The Western-European collection includes original master works of art of 16th to 19th century pieces by Italian, Dutch, Flemish and French artists such as Kambiazo, Savereya, Dyuge, Ostade, Koro, Dobin, Gudona and Kuazevo. In the Asian art section you can see art from India, China, Japan and Korea and works by Dungan, Uighur and Tibetan artists that contains bronze items, wood and stone carvings, lacquer products, embroidery, porcelain and ceramics,

Central Botanical Garden of the Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan

Central Botanical Garden of the Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan (Address: Timiryazev st. 48) was founded in 1932 in Almaty and occupies an area of 108 hectares at an altitude of about 900 meters above sea level. The garden collection includes hundreds of varieties of roses, dozens of varieties of peonies, asters, tulips, lilacs, as well as various trees and other plants, including medicinal and fruit crops. The plants are grouped according to the phyto-geographical principle type: the flora in Kazakhstan, Russia, the Crimea and the Caucasus and North America.

The garden sponsors walks (1 hour in winter, 2 hours in summer) that cover about two kilometers. During the walk you can admire the rose gardens, groves, conifer grove. The centerpiece of the program is the greenhouse, which includes several departments, which represented more than 1000 species of plants — palms, bananas, bamboos, cacti, tropical water and others. The Central Botanical Garden excursion department organizes interesting trips

Kok-Tobe: Highest Point in Almaty and Home of The Beatles Bench Monument

Kok-Tobe, a foothill of the Zalaisky Alatau, is the highest point in Almaty. The cable car ride there offers splendid views of Almaty and the mountains. There is viewing platform and a beer garden near the cable car station. A 350-meter tower rises from Kok-Tobe mountain. When measured from sea level, this tower is one of the highest towers in the world.

The Beatles”Bench Monument was unveiled in 2007 at Kok-Tobe Mountain. It I the first and the only monument to the legendary Liverpool quartet in full: John Lennon with a guitar sits on the bench. Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr stand behind him.

Alma Fountain of Wishes on Kok-Tobe is a popular landmark. On hot summer days it attracts people with its coolness. Others toss coins and make wishes. Many life to take photographs in front of the huge granite apple, a symbol of Almaty.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Kazakhstan Tourism website (, Kazakhstan government websites, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Japan News, Yomiuri Shimbun, Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Updated in August 2020

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