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Almaty

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Soviet monument

Almaty is the former capital of Kazakhstan.

almaty Travel Guide :

Almaty

Understand

Almaty is about 800 meters above sea level.

Almaty means "father of apples" in Kazakh; the name refers the biodiversity of apples that grow in the area.

Almaty

Get in

For people from most countries, the easiest way to get to Kazakhstan is by air. Several airlines have regular flights into Almaty. For people in bordering countries, taking a train or bus is also an option. Remember that you must obtain a visa to enter the country, and if you plan to stay longer than 3 months, you must bring proof of a recent negative test for HIV.

By train from Urumqi, China. The N955 train leaves every Saturday and Monday night (11.58 Beijing time) direct to Almaty. To buy the ticket in Urumqi the office is in a hotel to the right of the main station. Tickets need to purchased a few days in advance and cost just over 500 Yuan.

Almaty

Get around

  • Public buses and trolleys can take you around much of the city for affordable prices.
  • Marshrutki (Russian: ?????????) are small privately owned vans which serve much the same purpose as buses, but at a higher price. But you can stop it as a taxi in any place.
  • Taxis come in two types, those with "Taxi" painted on the side, and every other privately owned vehicle. If you want to go somewhere, stand on the curb and stick your arm out. Pretty soon someone will stop. Tell him where you want to go and negotiate a price (somewhere between 150 and 300 tenge (1-2 US Dollars) is a normal price for a foreigner taking a short trip).
Almaty

See

  • Alpine park. Outside town, on the road to Chimbulak.
  • Presidential Palace. You will not be allowed to go inside.
  • Kazakh Museum. Opposite to Presidential Palace. Blue-roofed. Features displays on Kazakh history, from prehistoric times through the Mongol periods to the present. 45-minute guided tours available (in Russian only).
  • The 28 Panfilov Heroes Memorial Park. Honors the men from Kazakhstan who died on the battlefields of the 2nd World War against fascism. In the park is an Orthodox church built in 1870 without a single nail, painted in dollhouse colors with a metallic steeple.
  • Old orchards. The orchards give Almaty its name. There is not too much left.
  • Unnamed new square. Former administrative center. Since the capital was moved to AstanaAstana, this square has been renovated. TV stations occupy some buildings. There are flower gardens. There is also a Kazakh memorial, consisting of a tall statue of the golden boy, an early Kazakh figure, and circled by metal bas relief panels recounting the history of Kazakhstan, from the time of the fierce Amazon-like queen, to independence 10 years ago.
  • Arbat. Almaty?s artist row on a tree-lined pedestrian street. "Arbat" - is a nickname of the street. The real is Zhybek-Zholy (Silk road). On the same street you can visit the big mall - TsUM (in Rusasian - ??? - ??????????? ?????????)
  • Chocolate factory. Tours possible.
  • Medeu. The highest olympic sized ice stadium. More than 180 world records were made on this ice.
  • Chimbulak. Ski-resort. Opened from November till April-May.
  • Charyn Canyon. The second largest canyon in the world. Located 200km to the east of Almaty. Recommended for tours more than one day.
Almaty

Do

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Medeu Ice-skating
  • Medeu Ice-skating stadium. Outside town, on the road to Chimbulak. Skate hire is available.
  • Ski or snowboard at Chimbulak ski resort.
Almaty

Buy

  • In Arbot there is an indoor market of small independent merchants. The first floor has mostly cell phones and small appliances; the second floor has house wares and souvenirs.
  • The green market has fresh vegetables, dairy products, and meat, as well as a number of non-food household items.
  • Handmade carpets. 1 (http://www.bukhara-carpets.com)
Almaty

Eat

  • Modern restaurants. A modern restaurant designed to carry the feeling of a Kazak yurt. Features "five fingers", a traditional Kazakh food.
  • Georgian restaurant. Features katchipuri, cheese filled bread, eggplant stuffed with nuts, spinach and nuts.
  • beer:

Tien Shan, local brew brewed in a modern factory by German brewmasters - pretty good.
Russian Baltica, numbered from 0 to 9. There's no alcohol in Baltica 0, a lot of it in Baltica 9. Numbers 3 and 5 are quite good and close to what most people are used to.

  • wine:

Try the local variety, a good one can be had for less than $ 2,00 a bottle. Foreign wines, even Georgian ones, are very costly. Do not drink wine in restaurants, its usually sickly sweet and very expensive.

  • vodka:

Very good vodka at 2-3 $ per bottle - an alcoholics paradise. In restaurants that do not usually cater to foreigners you get 200(!) cl if you order a vodka, smaller servings not available.

  • tea:

Tea is widely available, mostly very good and often quite srong. If you are on a budget this is the thing to order with your food.

  • coffee:

Don't! Unless you like Nescafe. Exception: Modern coffee houses and western style caf├ęs are appearing in Almaty. They serve good coffee at western prices.

  • water:

The municipal water is supposed to be drinkable, it tastes strongly of disinfectant, however. Not recommended.

Almaty

Sleep

Almaty

Budget

Almaty

Mid-range

Almaty

Splurge

  • Hotel Dostyk, 162 Furmanov Street. Tel +7 (3272)582270. Big old and well maintained hotel in the center of the city - a classy if not cheap location. Rooms cost Tenge 27300 for a double including an excellent breakfast.
Almaty

Get out

Nearby Chimbulak is a skiing village. There are a number of ski resorts in the area.

There are mountain lakes around Almaty.

There is a nearby desert park with a giant canyon, approaching the Grand Canyon in size. It also has petroglyphs and waterfalls.

Almaty

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