Fast Facts

The Republic of Kazakhstan is located in the heart of the Eurasian continent. Its territory occupies 2, 724, 900 square kilometers. It is the world’s ninth largest country. The country borders China, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The capital of Kazakhstan is Astana. Having only become the country’s capital in 1997, Astana is a young but fast-growing modern city full of bright prospects, rich opportunities and exciting ideas. In 1999, in the Bolivian capital of La Paz, Astana received an honourable mention in UNESCO’s “Cities for Peace” awards.

The current population of Kazakhstan is 18,476,659. The indigenous population of Kazakhstan are Kazakhs, which draw up 63,1% of the general population of the country. Kazakhstan is home to different nationalities and faiths, all united by a common history. Currently around 130 nationalities populate Kazakhstan.Kazakhstan is also the most urbanized country in Central Asia. Urban population makes more than 60% of the total population. The most populous city of Kazakhstan is its “southern capital” – Almaty, where currently live about 1.840.000 million inhabitants.

The state language of Kazakhstan is Kazakh. However, the younger generations are becoming increasingly trilingual. Both Kazakh and Russian are used by the authorities and governing institutions of Kazakhstan.

The currency of Kazakhstan is tenge. US Dollars and Euros can be exchanged into tenges in any bank or exchange offices.

The territory of Kazakhstan stretches for more than 3000 km from west to east and almost 2000 km from north to south. Climatic peculiarities are due to the amplitude of the country.  One can experience all four seasons on the territory of Kazakhstan with frosty winter, blossoming spring, heating summer and scarlet autumn. The climate of Kazakhstan (excluding south) is sharply continental with average temperature between -4 °C and -19 °C in January and between +19…+26°C in July. In winter temperature may decrease down to -45°C, and in summer rise up to +30.

Despite being the ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan remains, for many people, an unknown and enigmatic place. Even the most well-travelled visitor will find many fascinations in Kazakhstan: mountain peaks covered with snow, vast highlands, deep rivers, parched deserts, endless fields covered with flowers and virgin forest reserves.

About Almaty, Kazakhstan

Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis, is set in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains. It served as the country’s capital until 1997 and remains Kazakhstan’s trading, cultural, scientific and tourist center of Kazakhstan. Landmarks include the highest mountainous sport complex in the world Medeo, The Shymbulak ski resort in a scenic gorge of the Zailiiski Alatau at 2,200 m above sea level, the Turgen Gorge, famous for 7 waterfalls.

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Location

30 minutes drive from Almaty International Airport to and from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

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Time

Almaty, Kazakhstan local time is GMT + 6hours.

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Dress Code

Appearance should always be clean and neat. For business meetings, men should wear suits and ties; women should wear suits or dresses. Overly casual or sloppy attire is not appreciated.

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Climate

Fall (September through November)

Fall daily highs range from 82.3°F (27.9°C) and 39.6°F (4.2°C), which will feel chilly given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a trivial amount. Tourism is the busiest during these months due to the great weather.

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Language

The state language of Kazakhstan is Kazakh. However, the younger generations are becoming increasingly trilingual. Both Kazakh and Russian are used by the authorities and governing institutions of Kazakhstan.

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Business Day

The working week in Almaty can differ from business to business. It is generally Monday to Friday. However, retail and some other businesses open six days a week, closing on Sundays. Usual business hours are from 9:00 to 18:00.

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Custom Clearance

Passengers are only permitted to bring certain items, such as liquids, gels, pastes, lotions, creams and drinks past the security checkpoint if they are in containers with a capacity of 100ml or less. All the containers must be carried in a transparent, re-sealable plastic bag. Exemptions are made for medications, baby food and special dietary requirements. Other items considered dangerous, such as aerosols, potential weapons and flammable materials, are also not permitted past this point. You should check the customs regulations of your destination country before departure too

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Electricity

In Kazakhstan the power sockets are of type C and F. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

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Currency & Credit Cards

The currency of Kazakhstan is tenge (KZT). The currency rate of 1 USD is equivalent to 374 tenge. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted for most shopping malls and restaurants. ATMs are also widely available throughout the city.

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Tax and Tipping

Tipping is not customary in Kazakhstan, as hotel and restaurant bills often include a service charge. However, a tip is always appreciated.

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Religion

Kazakhstan is the multinational country, where representatives of many religions live in peace and harmony with each other over many years.  In Almaty there are more than 70 religious buildings and much more houses of prayer of different confessions.

As it is traditional for the Central Asia, the dominant religion in Kazakhstan is Islam, 9 million people profess it, and totally there are more than 2300 mosques all over the country.

The second largest religion in the city is the Christianity, and represented by very different trends, the main of which are: Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestantism, Baptism, and Presbyterianism.

However, the oldest religion on the territory of Kazakhstan, which exists even today, is the Buddhism.

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Getting around

Buses and trolleybuses run from 6am or 7am to 11 pm. They can get crowded, so if you have much baggage or are short of time, it’s easier to take a taxi. A ride costs T80 if you use a refillable Onay Transport Card (purchased at kiosks) or 150T in cash. A hugely useful app that shows all transport routes in Almaty is: www.2gis.ru

Taxi

There are some official taxis marked with chequer board logos. Official taxi prices vary wildly; Econom Taxi is an economical and reliable option, while Almaty Taxi and Yandex Taxi  is pricier. A ride in the centre of Almaty should cost 500T to 700T depending on distance (sometimes a bit more at night). Uber is also an option.

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Health

If you have a medical condition that requires ongoing treatment, you are kindly advised to bring sufficient medication for the total length of your stay. Also, do ensure that you bring along a medical certificate that sanctions the use of relevant prescribed medicines since certain substances are prohibited. Lastly, do ensure that you have adequate travel insurance that covers you for healthcare, in case of an emergency. Hospitals in Almaty, Kazakhstan can handle most medical emergencies.

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Leisure Activities

Kok-Tobe

Kok Tobe is a mountain in Almaty. At 1,100m above sea-level, this is the place to go for great views of the city down below. Once at the top, there are lots of things to see and do. Chill out at one of the restaurants, buy some souvenirs, enjoy some rides, go up the climbing wall and have a look at the bronze statue of the Beatles!

Zenkov Cathedral

The Ascension Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located in The Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen. Completed in 1907, the cathedral is made out of wood but without nails and it’s claimed to be the second tallest wooden building in the world.

National Academical Theater of Opera and Ballet

One of the largest theaters of the Eurasian space in which creative structure, along with the glorified masters of a scene perfect the art and young talents. The building of the theatre containing 793 seats is one of the most known sights of the city of Almaty.

The Charyn Canyon

The Charyn Canyon is one of the most spectacular natural spots near Almaty. Hike to the bottom of the canyon, see how the locals traditionally lived in yurts, and learn all about the culture and history of Kazakhstan.

Central State Museum

Central State Museum in Almaty is a reflection of the centuries-long history of Kazakhstan in tangible assets. The richness of the museum includes exhibits since the times of the beginning of life on Earth and ending with the newest history.

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Visa Requirements

For more information on visa requirements and application, please click HERE.

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Security and Emergency Numbers

Police: 102
Ambulance: 103
Rescue Service: 112