Almaty is Kazakhstan's commercial, social and cultural centre. It boasts of skyscrapers, extravagant shopping centres, trendy cafés, fine-dining restaurants, luxurious hotels, lively nightclubs and ski-resorts.
Not only is Almaty Kazakhstan’s main transport and business hub, but it is also a major tourist destination. The city has awe-inspiring museums, verdant parks, wildlife sanctuaries, exotic bathhouses, ornate monuments, and magnificent cultural and religious buildings. Moreover, Almaty is situated at the foot of the Tien-Shan Mountains. This scenic city located in the southeast of Kazakhstan, with its lush green parks and snow-capped mountain ranges, making it one of the most beautiful cities in Central Asia.
While the city of Almaty has great public transport, an interesting way to get around is by hitchhiking. This is a phenomenon unique to Almaty and Kazakhstan. Hitchhiking is customary in Almaty for short distances as well as for cross-country travel. It happens so often that after a while, you will not even notice how frequently people are hitchhiking.
If you would like to hitchhike, offer money for the ride upfront or you could check if the driver will take you for free if he is going in the same direction. Moreover, Central Asians are often perceived to be cold and not friendly. However, the local population of Almaty is very warm and hospitable.
Relax at Almaty’s Arasan Baths, which were built in the 1980s, in avant-garde Soviet architecture. This bathhouse is known as one of the best traditional bathhouses in Central Asia. Learn about the history of Almaty at the Central State Museum, which is one of the finest museums in Kazakhstan.
If you would like a break from being indoors, make your way to Respublika Alany, the central square of Almaty. This open and spacious, traditional, Soviet-built plaza offers scenic views of the mountain ranges and is enclosed by numerous striking buildings and magnificent monuments.
Then head to the Panfilov Park, a leafy sanctuary, which is one of central Almaty's most popular spots. At the park’s centre is the multi-hued Zenkov Cathedral, a majestic, candy-coloured cathedral. In Almaty, you should not miss the Abay State Opera and Ballet Theatre. Not only is it a stunning building, but its shows are also spectacular. Thereafter, visit the Central Mosque, Almaty’s gold-domed, multi-towered, white-marble central mosque.
Immerse yourself in the local Almaty culture by visiting the Green Market. This enormous, two-level market offers an authentic Kazakh experience. Take a break from the city and visit Kök-Töbe Hill, which is located in the city’s southeast edge. Kök-Töbe Hill comprises a 372 metre-high TV tower, which boasts of uninterrupted views of Almaty and the Tien-Shan Mountains.
This modern and economical property is efficient, spotless and located on a peaceful lane off Zhibek Zholy. All the guest rooms are well furnished and feature a balcony with uninterrupted views of the city.