Almaty City


Visit Guide to Almaty City

Beautiful buzzing city, charming and fabulous at any time of the year! It is virtually the only megalopolis in the world with a world-class ski resort, which can be reached in just 30 minutes from the city center! In winter, it is incredibly cozy here: a lot of fluffy white snow covers huge spruces in the streets of Almaty, making the city look more like a decoration for Christmas movies. In spring and summer, Almaty will wrap you up with warmth, the scent of pine needles and mouth-watering smells coming from summer cafes and coffee shops.

Almaty has an extensive network of transportation options made of buses, trolleybuses, fixed-route taxis, and a taxi. There are two operating railway stations in Almaty. Almaty-1 station is located in the northern part of the city, and its main objective is to serve transit trains. Almaty-2 station is close to the city center and is mainly intended for passengers arriving in Almaty.

Almaty International Airport, built in 1935, is the biggest airport in Kazakhstan. The airport is approximately 18km away from Almaty, the country’s largest city and commercial capital. The airport offers flight services to more than 20 locations. A number of reputed airlines such as British Midland Airways, Asiana Airlines, Etihad Airways, China Southern Airlines and Lufthansa offer services to Almaty.

Almaty is a sunny city, immersed in greenery, with wide streets, beautiful buildings, numerous parks and squares. The city is home to 26 museums, 18 theaters, 30 parks and squares, 21 shopping malls and 5 national parks. The 1000-year-old rich history of the city is reflected in numerous sights, historical and cultural monuments, in the contrasting architecture of the city – from ancient fortress-style buildings to ultra-modern high-rise complexes.

Almaty is a modern city for enjoying one of the many green parks, excellent museums, theatres, malls, and markets – offering Central Asia’s best selection of restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Located at the foot of the Zailiyskiy Alatau Almaty is also a great starting point for great hikes, drives, treks, and skiing.

There is plenty of entertainment options here and absolutely for every taste!

Almaty offers to it guests the below attractions

  1. Panfilovets’ Park occupying an area of about 18 hectares includes Walk of Fame, Memorial of Military Glory, Zenkov Cathedral and other attractions. The park is dedicated and named after the Panfilov Heros, 28 soldiers of an Almaty infantry unit who died fighting the Nazis outside Moscow.
  2. Even if you have zero interest in skiing, however, you cannot but visit the Shymbulak world-class resort, located at an altitude of 2260 m above sea level. Shymbulak ranked first on the list of best ski resorts in Central Asia and is the starting point for trails for all tastes.
  3. Kok-Tobe is a hilly area bordering the city in the south and reaches an altitude of 1070 m. In the northern part of the Kok Tobe Mountain there is an observation deck providing a wonderful bird’s eye view of Almaty.
  4. Medeu, the world’s largest high-altitude sports complex, is situated in a mountain valley with the same name, on the northern slope of the Trans-Ili Alatau Range, 14 km from Almaty, at an altitude of 1,691 m above sea level. What makes the complex really popular is a huge skating rink 10,500 km2 in area – the world’s largest rink operating 8 months a year, from October to May. The ice in the Medeu rink is 2.3 m thick and is kept in a perfect state with the help of a special freezing system not used elsewhere in the world.
  5. Abay State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater was built in 1941. This majestic building is still an eye-catcher, even with newly-constructed buildings around it. Its facade and interior are decorated with Kazakh national ornaments.

Before the city foundation, approximately in the VIII-X centuries, there were several small settlements on the territory of modern Almaty. One of them was presumably called Almaty. The tribes of Saks and Usuns lived here.

At the beginning of the 13th century, this region, located on the Great Silk Road, underwent a devastating Mongol raid. After them, only a small part of Almaty was preserved, inhabited by sedentary and semi-sedentary Kazakh auls. In 1854, a military fortification was built on the bank of Malaya Almatinka, which was named Zailiysky, and later Verny. A year later, Russian settlers began to arrive here, and Verny began to develop at a rapid pace. Soon there were already 5 thousand inhabitants in the fortification.

Gradually, Verny turned into a small town, and in 1921 it was named Alma-Ata, which is translated from Kazakh as “Father of apples”. And 6 years later, the capital of the Kazakh ASSR was moved from Kyzylorda to Alma-Ata. In the early 90s, the city’s name was changed from its Russian form, Alma-Ata, to its Kazakh form, Almaty.

Almaty is the first capital of the Republic. For almost 70 years, it has kept the high status of the main city of Kazakhstan with dignity. But even today, with the transfer of the capital to Akomola, Almaty remains the scientific, cultural, historical, industrial and financial center of the country. The pride of Kazakhstanis, Almaty, is now called the “Southern Capital” of the Republic.

Considered the country’s culture and art center, Almaty is home to the leading theaters, art galleries, museums and libraries of the country. Today there are 20 theaters in Almaty. Almost all major state theaters of the republic are located here. Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Abay, Auezov Theatre, Lermontov Theatre, Artishock Theatre are worth visiting when you are in Almaty.

The city is also unique in that Uighur, Korean, German theaters are successfully operating here. Anniversaries, personal exhibitions of talented fine art masters, creative events and concerts of prominent public figures and celebrities are held annually.

There are 26 museums and house-museums and 31 libraries operating in Almaty. Almaty has always been the main city for various festivals. The city is even called the country’s festival capital. International Shoken Zhuldyzdary Film Festival, International festival of Brass Bands, Almaty Zhuregimde City Competition, Boztorga International Children’s Creativity Festival taking place annually on a wide scale, have become a tradition for the townspeople.

There are many music festivals, specializing in different genres, such as jazz, rock, retro music, etc. There was even an ice- cream festival, which satisfied both adults and little ones with a sweet tooth. The Almaty circus is still considered one of the most highly professional. Today it continues to successfully develop its rich potential.

Almaty is located in the continental climate zone. The average temperature in winter is -7 ° C, in summer – 20 ° C. Most of the rain falls in April – May. The last month of summer is usually the hottest. Little snow falls in comparison with the northern regions of the country. The average date for the stable snow cover formation is considered to be November 30, although its appearance ranges from November 5 to December 21. The average snow melt date is March 15 (ranges from February 26 to March 29). Fogs are frequent here, covering the tops of the mountains all the time. In the city, there are at least 60 foggy days a year.

Population of the city: 1 916 822 people

Almaty is, first of all, a large developed transport hub and the largest metropolis in the country. For many decades, it remained the republic’s economic, cultural and educational center. The city has a well-developed production of food, furniture, rubber and plastic products with more than 70% of all enterprises in the city specialize in this.

With such a significant economic, industrial and entrepreneurial resource, Almaty is increasing its pace of development every year. The city is currently implementing a number of municipal programs aimed at solving priority tasks, in particular, transport infrastructure development, landscaping, education and health care.