Fast Facts

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 and cultural hub. Landmarks include the Central State Museum, displaying thousands of historic Kazakh artifacts. In the center is Panfilov Park, home to the bright-yellow towers of Zenkov Cathedral, a tsarist-era Russian Orthodox church.

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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

Kazakhstan has two official languages; Kazakh, which is spoken fluently by about 30 percent of the population, and Russian, imposed by the large ethnic Russian population. However, many locals are able to communicate in English.

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Business Day

The working week in Almaty, Kazakhstan 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 10:00 to 22:00.

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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 Tenge is the currency of Kazakhstan, or KZT.
The currency rate of 1 KZT is equivalent to 0.0029 USD.
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted for most shopping malls and restaurants. ATMs are also widely available throughout the city, dispensing notes in KZT.

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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

Bus, Tram & Trolleybus

Buses, trolleybuses and trams run from 6am or 7am to 10pm. 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 is pricier. A ride in the centre of Almaty should cost 300T to 500T depending on distance (sometimes a bit more at night). Uber (www.uber.com) 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 Panfilov Park in Almaty, Kazakhstan. 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.

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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

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Kok Tobe and TV-Tower

The Kok tobe mountain and Television tower, placed on this mountain by right can be considered the largest landmarks of Almaty. The name of mountain is translated from Kazakh language as “Blue Hill”. Its height is 1130 meters above sea level. And in order to reach the top of it you can use the serpentine highway, or aerial cableway.

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Ascension Cathedral

Ascension Cathedral (also called the Zenkov Cathedral) of the Russian Orthodox Church, Almaty, Kazakhstan.