Things to Do in Kazakhstan

Activities to Do in Kazakhstan

Visit The Singing Dunes in Altyn Emel National Park, Go to Ski resort of Shymbulak, Explore Almaty, Relax at Lake Candy, Check out the Charyn Canyon, Hiking Trip to Kolsai Lake, Skiing at the Mountain Ski Resorts and many more.

The enthralling things to do in Kazakhstan lets tourists make some wonderful memories in this beautiful destination. Kazakhstan promises you to offer amazing historical tours to some of its heritage places where you will get to witness the majestic architectural designs. You can also indulge in a culinary tour of the country where you can relish a wide range of dishes that will delight your taste buds.

Kazakhstan is a paradise for adventure seekers in the peak winter season. You can indulge in various ice skating and skiing activities at the beautiful mountain ski resorts. Stop wandering about what to do in kazakhstan and plan a trip loaded with adventure with your loved ones. Take part in some of the best things to do and make memories that will last for a lifetime.

You can enjoy your time at the dunes capturing the best of nature, head to skiing resorts to enjoy snowboarding and skiing. While you can take an exploration tour of Almaty to enjoy the serenity, spending time at the Lake Candy will give you a chance to rejuvenate your body and mind.
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Ile  Alatau National Park
One of the tranquil and serene places to visit in Kazakhstan is the Ile-Alatau national park. Almost seventy percent of the land is covered with spruce type of vegetation while the rest of the topography consists of the glaciers and Alpine meadows, mainly in the northern slopes of the famous Zailiysky Alatau mountain ranges. The park has become famous for the colossal number of wildlife species including the famous snow leopard, the mountain goat, lynx, and even the Tian Shan brown bear. Apart from this, you can also see over three hundred avian species scattered throughout the park. 

Location: Almaty, Kazakhstan 
Altyn Emel National Park

If you are looking for the best places to visit in Kazakhstan having pristine natural elegance and beauty, no other place will be as perfect as Altyn Emel National Park. Even though the location is quite remote, one can find diverse landforms, starting from rocky floors to humongous sand dunes, and several bordering mountains.

This park is the habitat for over 230 avian species and hence, birdwatching is a popular activity. No matter what time of the day it is, lone horses roam around the park's land, including the przewalski horses. The presence of stone steels and petroglyphs proves the existence of Saka and Scythian tribes.

Location: Almaty, Kazakhstan

Kolsai Lakes National Park

Located along the northern edge of the famous Tuan Shan Ridge, the Kolsai Lakes National Park is one of the most placid and auspicious attractions in Kazakhstan. From here, one will have a crystal view of both the Kaindy and the Kolsai Lakes. If you are planning to go on an adventurous trip, you can either camp or stay in the guest houses.

Here, the main vegetation covers are that of the Alpine and spruce types, along with crystalline frozen lakes in the middle portion. Twelve different rate flora species are present in the national park, mainly in the protected region. Apart from this, several other animals are also found like the Turkestan Lynx, Tian Shen bear, Rainbow trout fish, and others.

Location: Grigorievka, Kazakhstan

Entry fee: 750 tenge per person and a surplus of 1000 tenge for personal cars

Lake Balkhash

Being the 15th largest lakes in the world, Lake Balkhash is one of the great spots for adventure and relaxation. The lake receives water from seven prime rivers of Russia and Kazakhstan, including the river Ili. Fresh water is available on the western part while the eastern part is saline.

Due to this unique feature, Lake Balkhash is one of the famous Kazakhstan tourist places. It’s popular for photography and birdwatching, all thanks to the never ending vastness of the lake.

Location: Almaty, Kazakhstan

Turgen Gorge

Turgen Gorge is definitely one of the most exquisite places to visit in Kazakhstan. The Turgen vegetation is most spruce type, with the waterfall washing away the soil from in between. Right after the entrance gates, you can visit the trout farm followed by the nomadic Asy highlands. Deeper into the woods of the Turgan Gorge are several fauna species including marmots, deer, ibex, and golden eagles.

Location: From Turgen village to the foot of Asy Pass

Entry fee: 200 tenge per person

Lake Kaindy

Also known to be the sunken forest, Lake Kaindy is one of the major attractions in the Almaty district of Kazakhstan. The lake is quite deep, the depth almost reaching thirty meters. Filled with fresh mountain river water, the lake is the home to submerged Schrenk's spruce trees. During the summer and autumn seasons, the water is so transparent that you can view the submerged roots of the plants.

However, during the winter season, the lake freezes in certain areas which is why it’s a great spot for ice diving. Trout fishing is also a popular activity in this region.

Location: north of Kolsai Lakes National Park, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Tamgaly Tas

Most of the Kazakhstan tourist places are full of wonders and mysteries. But, somehow, Tamgaly Tas has outsmarted every one of them, making itself known as the most enigmatic spots in the country. It’s an open air temple, whose popularity is the result of rock carvings and paintings. Five immaculate images of deities as per the Buddhism doctrines have been carved out of the rocks, making it quite charming.

Other than these, you will also find several carvings belonging to the different Kazakh clans. All these petroglyphs depict the richness of the Kazakh history and establish the relationship between this country and the Central Asian culture.

Location: Ili river banks, 120 kilometres north of the Almaty district, Kazakhstan

Nomads Land

If you are visiting the Tamgaly Gorge, stopping at the Nomad's Land will be worth your time. Also known as the City of Nomads, this is one of the best places to visit in Kazakhstan. The Nomad's Land is nothing but an old, abandoned, and almost deserted movie set for those plots revolving around the nomadic lifestyle.

The buildings and other structures replicate the real-time palaces and forts in the most inexplicable way. Apart from this, the small streets, houses, and courtyards are designed in a wonderful way. You can roam around the set, taking pictures, and observing this old movie set which is hardly being used nowadays.

Location: Tamgaly Gorge, Kazakhstan

Aksu Zhabagly Nature Reserve

Covering most of the north eastern region of the Tian Shan mountain ranges, the Aksu-Zhabagly is the oldest natural reserve in the entire Central Asia. In close vicinity to this area is the famous Aksu river flowing while the Zhabagly range is located towards the northern side.

A lot of regional avian species can be found here, which is why birdwatching and photography are the two most crucial activities here. Apart from this, one can also find several insects in the reserve. The ecosystem of this Aksu natural reserve is very diverse, which is why it is one of the most visited tourist spots in Kazakhstan.

Tulkus, Kazakhstan

Burabay National Park

Being one of the most popular Kazakhstan tourist places, Burabay National Park is a place to remember. The total area of this park is around 835 square meters which consist of small lakes, steppe vegetation, lofty mountain ranges, and dense forest covers.

Horse riding along the steppe land is one of the most famous activities that you will certainly enjoy. Over 757 species of plants are found here, which accounts for the diversity in the fauna. You can even take photographs around the area and enjoy the tranquil weather while taking a stroll around the Park.

Akmola region, Kazakhstan

Lake Alakol

Lake Alakol is a saline water body, whose main water supply is from the inland river drainage system. The Alataw Pass is the extension of this lake, which is why you will have clear views of the Alatau ranges. It’s a protected land since several wetland bird species can be found here during the breeding season.

Relict Gill is the most famous avian species you can find here, making Lake Alakol one of the best places to visit in Kazakhstan  for photography and sightseeing. Flamingo is another bird species which can be seen too often around the lake.

Location: In the Almaty and the Saghyz province of Eastern Kazakhstan

Mount Sherkala & The Valley Of Balls

Located close to the town of Shetpe, the two major tourist attractions and natural wonders of Kazakhstan - Mount Sherkala and the Valley of Balls. Lying in the middle of a flat desert, this mountain sits as a giant blockage. However, visiting this place is considered one of the best things to do in Kazakhstan due to its enormous size and the variety of flora and fauna it holds. The Valley Of Balls on the other side gets its name by the large collection of stones shaped like balls in it.

Location: Shetpe, Kazakhstan

Kok Tobe

Preached at a height of 1100 metres above the sea level, Kok Tobe is one of the many famous mountains and hills in the Almaty Region. While people may consider this place as just a mountain, Kok Tobe has become a hotspot among fun lovers and adventure seekers. Reaching here is a joyous activity in itself, as one needs to take a cable car to the top.

On the way, one can enjoy some of the most serene views of the town of Almaty. The hill also has a playground, a rollercoaster, and various eateries where you can relish upon numerous local delicacies prepared by some excellent chefs.

Location: Almaty, Kazakhstan

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon, located in southeastern Kazakhstan, is a geological marvel often referred to as the "Grand Canyon's little brother." Spanning over 150 kilometers along the Charyn River, this natural wonder is renowned for its breathtaking red-rock formations, towering cliffs, and intricate maze of gorges. Carved over millions of years by the elements, the canyon's unique landscapes showcase the artistry of erosion, revealing vibrant layers of sedimentary rock.

Karkaraly National Park

The Karkaraly National Park is said to be one of the most intriguing places to visit in Kazakhstan. Here, you can enjoy the flora and fauna exhibit shows in the nature museum built within the park boundaries. Near the boundary of the park is the Lake Basin which is accessible through a pine tree covered alpine trail.

A hike to the Zhiren Sakal peak within the national park is yet another exciting activity that you can get engaged into during your visit. Several animals and birds have their habitats in this region including bats, Siberian roe deer, elks, Palla cats, Argali, and others.

Location: Karkalay, Karaganda district, Kazakhstan

Lake Issyk

Lake Issyk, nestled in the breathtaking mountains of Kazakhstan, is a mesmerizing natural wonder that captivates visitors with its serene beauty. Fed by glacial streams and surrounded by lush greenery, this alpine lake boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters that reflect the surrounding peaks like a mirror. Its tranquil ambiance and pristine environment make it a haven for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

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Kazakhstan Things To Do FAQs

What are the best things to do in Kazakhstan?

1. Visit The Singing Dunes in Altyn Emel National Park: The Singing Dunes are around 150 meters long and are located near the Ili River. These are called singing dunes because of the rumbling sound made by the sand and are a real mystery of the 21st century. The unique fact about these dunes is that it is made in the area with stone mountains and irrespective of the wind, it never changes its place like other sand dunes. It is believed that it fulfils the dreams of those who can climb the mysterious singing dunes. Wandering about what to do in Kazakhstan, you can visit this national park and capture some brilliant views of nature.

- Location: 208/2, Kazakhstan

2. Go to Ski resort of Shymbulak: Shymbulak or Chimbulak ski resort located in the Almaty region of Kazakhstan is the largest ski resort in Central Asia. It is most famous for its mild climate. It has an ample number of sunny days during summer and a large quantity of snow during the winter season. The resort provides ski and snowboard school and a hotel for those who wish to stay here. Wandering about what to do in Kazakhstan, you can rent the ski, snowboard, and sleigh and enjoy snowboarding in the Snow-Park located there.

- Location: Kerey and Zhanibek Khans St 558/1, Almaty 050020, Kazakhstan
- Timings: 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM
- Price: Weekends: 8000 tenge, Week days: 5500 tenge

3. Explore Almaty: Almaty is the largest metropolis of Kazakhstan and one of the largest cities of Central Asia. It was the capital city until 1997 and it still is the cultural and trading hub of the country. You can enjoy skating at the Medeu Skating Rink, admire the serenity of Kolsai Lakes, and explore the Panfilov park dedicated to soldiers who fought World War II. Also include Kok-Tobe hill, Kazakh Museum of Folk Musical Instruments, the First President’s park, musical concerts at Chukotka, and Kunaev House Museum to your list of places to explore on the trip.

- Location:Trans-Ili Alatau mountains, Kazakhstan

4. Relax at Lake Candy: Kaindy lake is a mountain lake located in the Tian Shan Mountains, near Almaty. This lake was formed in the year 1911 as a result of a landslide caused due to an earthquake. The lake has turquoise water and there are spruce trees (dead and bleached) sticking out of the water of the lake, giving the lake an eerie or ghostly look. This area is also known as the ‘sunken forest’ because of the sinking trees in the lake. Thinking about what to do in kazakhstan, you can head out for ice diving and trout fishing during the winter season.

5. Check out the Charyn Canyon: Charyn or Sharyn canyon is a famous and beautiful canyon in the east of Almaty, located on the Sharyn river. The canyon is 90 kilometres long and is formed of sedimentary red sandstone. As a result of erosion due to water and air, it has unique and colourful sculpture-like formations. There is a part of the canyon known as the Valley of Castles or Dolina Zamkow because of its unique castle-like formations in the rock. Some other famous parts of the canyon are the Ghosts Gorge and the Witch’s Gorge. You can enjoy white water rafting, canoeing, and fishing here.

- Location: Sharyn River in Kazakhstan

6. Get a 360degree view of city from Baiterek Tower: Baiterek refers to ‘tall poplar or tree’ and the Baiterek tower is located in Astana, Kazakhstan. Its modern architecture of the tower is unique and it symbolises the golden egg nesting on the tree of life. The architecture combines the modern world with history and legend. The egg represents happiness and new beginnings and you can travel inside the golden dome or the egg. The dome has an observation deck that offers a majestic 360-degree view of the city from the top of the tree.

- Location: Nur-Sultan 010000, Kazakhstan
- Timings: 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM
- Price: Adults: 700 tenge, Children: 300 tenge

7. Cable car ride at Kok Tobe: Kok Tobe is the highest point in Almaty city located at the top of an 1100 metre tall hill. It offers a majestic view of the city from all directions. To reach here you have to take the cable car and enjoy the view of beautiful fruit gardens and some old parts of Almaty city. There’s a famous 372 meters high TV tower on Kok Tobe that provides a panoramic view of the mountains and the city. You will also find some restaurants and cafes on the top where you can enjoy local dishes and beers.

- Location: Almaty, Kazakhstan

8. Visit Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center: The literal meaning of Khan Shatyr is ‘the Tent of the Khan’ and it is a transparent tent built in neo-futurist style. It is located in the Nur Sultan, capital of Kazakhstan. It is designed to offer several civic, social, and cultural facilities to the people within a comfortable microclimate throughout the year. Here you can find a park, jogging, track, cinemas, restaurants, and other entertainment spaces such as exhibitions and events. The park also has a water park with slides and wave pools.

- Location: Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
- Timings: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM

9. Go to Aral Sea: The Aral Sea is a saltwater lake located between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It was once the fourth largest saltwater lake of Central Asia but now it has shrunk down. The eastern part of the lake has completely dried now and is known as the Aralkum Desert. The shrinking of the lake has raised serious concerns all around the world. The pollution in this area has raised health issues in the public and it also harms the environment.

10. Marvel at Turkistan: The Marvel of Turkistan or the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is an enormous tomb built in the 14th century, during the Timurid period. It has a giant cauldron, an untitled portal, and a fluted dome above Yasaui's tomb. The most impressive things about this tomb is the green stone placed on top of it and the beautiful tile work on the side and rear walls. Exploring the artworks and tracing the lines of the art is considered to be one of the things to do in Kazakhstan. It also has a well inside from which you can draw water to drink for yourself. There is also an exhibition in the mausoleum that you can visit during your exploration tour.

- Location: Turkistan Region of Kazakhstan

What are the adventurous things to do in Kazakhstan?

1. Hiking Trip to Kolsai Lake: Heading out on a hiking trip to the Kolsai Lake National Park located on the tranquil Tian Shan Mountains is one of the best things to do in Kazakhstan. You will get to enjoy a nature filled experience at this place far away from city life. You take on various nature trails hiking with your friends during your excursion.

2. Indulge in fishing activity at Charyn Canyon: Charyn canyon is one of the most sought after places for adventure sports as well as fishing. Heading over to this place is one of the best things to do in Kazakhstan as you will get to capture the scenic views of different colors of rocks that have been formed because of earthquakes.

3. Skiing at the Mountain Ski Resorts: Kazakhstan is home to some of the popular mountain ski resorts where you can indulge in adrenaline rushing activities with your friends. Some of the most popular places to visit for skiing would be Shymbulak and Medeu. The high altitude ice skating rink has been a witness to some of the glorious world records.

How is the nightlife in Kazakhstan?

1. Territory Of The United Bars: Territory of the United bars happens to be one of the most loved and popular bars in the city of Almaty where you can have a great time with your crazy friends. You will not only get a chance to relish mouthwatering exotic drinks but you will also be able to have great snacks indulging in one of the best night things to do in Kazakhstan.

2. The Sky Bar Street: The sky bar street happens to be a well known place to visit in Kazakhstan if you wish to indulge in a wonderful nightlife. You will get to enjoy themed bars like Mammoth and Sangria offering a wide range of spirits and bar food. You can enjoy hip hop live music as well as colorful lights with your friends.

3. Chukotka: Chukotka happens to be a foregin friendly environment that is usually visited by foreing tourists. Heading over to this place can be considered as one of the best things to do in Kazakhstan as you will be able to get excellent customer services at an affordable rate. The best offering of this place is its coffee. You can choose to dance at the dance floor as well as relax at a cafe on the second floor.

4. Gan Bei: Gan Bei is known for its intimate aura where you can spend some time with your friends as well as loved ones. It is a bit expensive as it is preferred by the elite class of Almaty. You can have some great food as well as listen to thumping hip hop music.

What is Kazakhstan famous for?

Kazakhstan is famous for being home to some of the popular UNESCO World Heritage sites like Saryarka Plain which is a world famous bird watching site, Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi and Tamgaly which has got 5000 ancient rock carvings. Apart from all these Kazakhstan is also very much famous for its architectural marvels.

What is the best time to visit Kazakhstan?

The best time to visit Kazakhstan is from the month of May to the month of September and again from the month of December to the month of February. Heading over to Kazakhstan winters, you will be able to indulge in ice skating and skiing and in the spring season, you will be able to capture brilliant views of the green steppes and spot wild tulips.

How to reach Kazakhstan?

- By Flight:The best way to reach Kazakhstan would be by taking a direct flight from any of the major airports around the world. The international airport of Kazakhstan has got a very good connectivity. Some of the major airline operators flying to Kazakhstan are Lufthansa, Air India, Qatar Airways, Aeroflot, Jet Airways, Etihad Airways, and Thai Airways.

What can I buy in Kazakhstan?

-Accessories made from felt

Do we need a visa to visit Kazakhstan?

Yes, it is necessary to carry a valid travel visa for Kazakhstan unless you belong to a country for whom the visa is exempt. If you are heading to Kazakhstan from the US, Brazil, Canada, and Argentina, then you can spend 30 days without any visa. You need to apply for a valid visa at the immigration facilities at least three to four weeks prior to your trip so that you get all the travel documents before the deadlines.

Which are the best historical places to visit in Kazakhstan?

1. Kok-Tobe: Kok Tobe happens to be one of the enthralling places that you can visit in Kazakhstan as it not only offers a dose of history but it also offers you picturesque views of the city. Heading over to this heritage site, you will get to know more about the age old buildings and witness the marvelous architecture.

2. Central State Museum: Central State Museum in Almaty is one of the most sought after historical places to visit as it has relics that date back from the modern day to almost bronze age. You will be able to capture the glimpses of the beautiful artifacts that are not only impressive because of its sheer craftsmanship but they present a story of the bygone era.

3. Panfilov Park: Panfilov Park happens to be one of the most popular areas where people love to stroll and hangout with their family members. Heading over to this place, you will be able to capture the scenic views of the lush greenery as well as get to know more of its heritage. The park is named after Panfilov heroes who made sure you spend peaceful times with your loved ones.

4. WWII War Memorial: WWII War Memorial happens to be situated in the Panfilov Park that is dedicated to the soldiers who lost their life because of the deadly nazi tanks. The memorial is a huge baclk monument that will take you back to the struggles of the past.

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