The heart of Kazakhstan
Almaty is known as the “City of Apples”, a bright flower at the foot of the Zailijski Alatau, and one of the most beautiful cities in central Asia. In spring, when the southern outskirts of the city are covered in flowering fruit trees - apples, apricots, cherries - and the gardens are in blossom, the city becomes a beautiful spectacle. The wonderful verdant greenery and the magnificent view of the mountains distinguish Almaty from all other cities.
City landscape of Almaty. Photo:, Shutterstock
In the Almaty region, the traveller can in just one day encounter five different climate zones, ranging from desert to eternal snow. And it is precisely the natural diversity of this region that contributes to the prosperity of the different types of tourism that it can offer.
Big Lake in Almaty. Photo:, Shutterstock
Mountains in Almaty. Photo:, Shutterstock
Almaty is found in Kazakhstan, the ninth largest country in the world and one of the most climatically balanced places in central Asia. It offers an array of truly unique destinations, from the peaks of Mount Khan Tengri and the snow-covered slopes of Shymbulak to the Silk Road. Above the city stand various mountains peaks such as the Pik Talgar (5,017 metres), the Nursultan (4,376 metres) or the Big Almaty (3,684 metres). The city’s climate is decidedly continental, with changes in temperature not only during the year, but also throughout the day.
The city is surrounded by verdant countryside, and some 10,000 hectares are occupied by parks, gardens and trees. The streets in the centre and the avenues run from north to south as do the three mountain rivers: the Esentay and the Big and Small Almatinka, which supply fountains, fields and gardens. The fountains and gardens are cool areas that give a particular charm to the entire city.
Presidential Gardens in Almaty. Photo:, Shutterstock
Almaty is also an important cultural centre. In addition to the Abai Kazakh Academic Opera and the Ballet Theatre, the pride of national musical heritage, it also is home to a theatre dedicated to the Kazakh writer Mukhtar Auezov (1897-1961), a Russian theatre and various Korean theatres.
Modern mosque in Almaty. Photo:, Shutterstock
Places to visit include the Kasteev Museum of Fine Arts, the central mosque, the Kok Bazaar, the Panfilov Park, the Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension (or Zenkov Cathedral), the Museum of Musical Instruments, the television mast on the hill of Kok Tobe and the Arasan thermal baths.
The Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension in Almaty. Photo:, Shutterstock
Almaty regularly hosts international cultural events such as the international music festival “Voice of Asia”, the International Eurasia Film Festival, an International Jazz Festival and other important events. At night, the lights in the windows of the shops, coffee bars, restaurants and entertainment centres shine until dawn. The former capital of the country until 1997, Almaty is divided into seven administrative and territorial districts: Almalinsky, Auezovsky, Bostandyksky, Zhetysuisky, Medeusky, Turksibsky, Alatausky. The population is composed of two main ethnic groups: Kazakh (61%) and Russian (23%), but people of other nationalities also live here, such as Germans, Ukrainians, Koreans and Tatars. It is the most populated city in Kazakhstan as well as the country’s major financial and cultural centre.
Business Center Nurly Tau in Almaty. Photo:, Shutterstock
Text by Lisa Maria River
Avion Tourism Magazine
Photos:, Shutterstock
Copyright ©
Tourism Board
Where to sleep in Almaty
Almaty. Foto:, Shutterstock
Almaty is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.
WHERE TO GO in almaty
Monuments in Almaty
Photo:, Shutterstock
The name of this park has changed several times over the course of history according to events. The official name is “5 May 1942” in memory of the heroes of Panfilov, for which Almaty was awarded the title “Hero of the Soviet Union”. In addition to various monuments, a remembrance lane crosses the entire park, which is embellished with statues sculpted with the name of the heroes of the Soviet Union. In the centre stands the Cathedral of the Ascension.
Photo:, Shutterstock
Built between 1996 and 1999, the central mosque is a rectangular building on three levels. Each corner of the mosque has a minaret with semi-circular domes reaching a height of 27 metres. The main dome instead reaches 36 metres. The mosque on the outside appears as a large white building with domes and inscriptions in Arabic taken from the Koran. The interior was designed to harmoniously blend with the entire construction, with the right combination of rich decoration and the religious simplicity. The mosque can house up to two thousand worshippers.
Photo:, Shutterstock
The monument of independence is one of the most important Republican monuments of the city. It was erected between 1996 and 1998 in Republic Square, at the crossroads between Baiseitova Street and Satpaev Street. This truly unique construction was created by a team of sculptors, architects and builders under the leadership of Shota Valikhanova. The centre of the composition is a vertical sculpture 28 metres high which recalls the historical Kazakh statues of Mangishlak. It is crowned with a “golden man” 6 metres high. The complex synthesises architecture, sculpture and figures of the state.
Photo:, Shutterstock
This is one of the most beautiful and surprising places in Kazakhstan, the highest point in the city at 1,100 metres above sea level. Mount Kok-Tobe is the site of a television mast which stands 350 metres tall. A cableway, in operation since 4 November 1967, connects the city centre with the mountain in approximately 6 minutes. From the top, a spectacular view over the entire city can be enjoyed, especially at night when it is illuminated by multi-coloured lights.
Museums in Almaty
Photo:, Shutterstock
Samal - 1, 44
This is one of the largest and oldest museums of central Asia. The exhibitions are divided into seven different exhibition halls dedicated to Kazakhstan: archaeology, ethnography, history and culture, the history of Kazakhstan in years after independence in 1991, the gold of Kazakhstan, anthropology, and the last hall is devoted to a collection of art works by a distinguished Russian artist. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and conferences.
Photo:, Shutterstock
Koktem-3 micro district, 22/1
The museum, an important cultural centre in Asia, was founded in 1976 and houses a rich collection of artistic treasures composed of approximately 23,000 pieces, including works of visual and applied arts that characterise the heritage of Kazakhstan, Russia and Western Europe. The priority of the museum is to create a complete collection of the art of Kazakhstan as well as organise important exhibitions - also abroad - international conferences and seminars.
Excursions in Almaty
Photo:, Shutterstock
At 25 kilometres from Almaty city centre, in the picturesque valley of Zailiyskiy Alatau, is a ski resort located at some 2,260 metres above sea level. The average temperature in summer is 20°C while in winter it drops to -7°C. The resort offers various runs: gentles slopes for beginners, long pistes for professional skiers and trails for cross-country skiing.
Photo:, Shutterstock
465, Gornaya street
Medeu ice-skating rink is world renowned. Built in 1972, it has an area of ice of 10,500 square metres, making it suitable for hockey matches and ice-skating competitions. Its new freezing system ensures that the ice surface is always kept in perfect conditions from 1st October to 1st April. The stadium has a capacity of 2-3000 people. Ice-skating during the weekend is a pleasant pastime and sport not just for the locals but also for tourists.
The texts are protected by copyright and cannot be copied.
If you wish, you can share this page.
Be inspired
Subscribe to our newsletter and get useful tips for your next trip