TOP-22 best sights of Kazakhstan


Kaza­khstan is not the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for tourists, and there­fore it is worth tak­ing a chance and see­ing the sights of this Asian state before prices rise and the num­ber of guests increas­es.


What to do in Kazakhstan

Local archi­tec­ture is a sym­bio­sis of ancient and ultra-mod­ern build­ings. Such eclec­ti­cism will impress every­one. Baiterek is a sym­bol of progress and renew­al of Kaza­khstan, Khan Shatyr is an oasis in the mid­dle of the desert steppe and an enter­tain­ment cen­ter for every taste. The Khazret Sul­tan and Nur-Astana mosques amaze with their mon­u­men­tal­i­ty. These reli­gious build­ings are worth see­ing for those who are inter­est­ed in Islam.

The nat­ur­al beau­ties of this coun­try are unusu­al, but will win the heart of every­one. Big Almaty Lake with turquoise water is the result of tec­ton­ic activ­i­ty. Sana­to­ri­ums and recre­ation cen­ters on its coast are suit­able for roman­tic and fam­i­ly hol­i­days.

The Aral Sea is a series of apoc­a­lyp­tic land­scapes. They will be appre­ci­at­ed by those who want to bring unusu­al pho­tos from their trip. Aksu-Dzhabagly Reserve is wait­ing for lovers of flo­ra and fau­na.

A vis­it to Baikonur is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to get clos­er to the stars. A walk around the ter­ri­to­ry of the cos­mod­rome and a vis­it to its muse­um will leave an indeli­ble impres­sion on the souls of chil­dren and adults.




The unusu­al tow­er was solemn­ly opened in 2003 in Astana (today Nur-Sul­tan). The height of the build­ing is 97 m. This num­ber is sym­bol­ic, since it was in 1997 that the cap­i­tal moved from Alma-Ata to a new loca­tion. The con­struc­tion is crowned with a glass ball with a diam­e­ter of 22 m and a weight of about 300 tons.

At a height of 86 m, there is an obser­va­tion deck with a panoram­ic view of the cap­i­tal. A huge wood­en globe sur­round­ed by 17 petals with auto­graphs of the heads of world con­fes­sions was installed in the cen­tral hall.

The com­po­si­tion sym­bol­izes the tol­er­ance of the Kaza­khs to dif­fer­ent reli­gions. Near­by stands an unusu­al sculp­ture “Care­ful Hands” with a palm print of ex-pres­i­dent Nazarbayev. Also inside the tow­er is a mod­el of the cen­tral part of the cap­i­tal, an art gallery, a cafe and a gift shop.

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

mavsolei hodgi

The mau­soleum is locat­ed in the city of Turkestan. The mas­sive build­ing was built in the 14th cen­tu­ry. for the Tur­kic poet Kho­ja Ahmed Yasawi. The con­struc­tion crowns the largest dome in Cen­tral Asia (height 44 m, diam­e­ter 22 m).

The com­plex con­sists of 7 rooms: large and small palace halls, a library, a din­ing room, a mosque, a bath­house and an under­ground room for reflec­tion. The thick­ness of the out­er walls varies from 2 to 3 m. Inside — a pleas­ant cool­ness even in the sum­mer heat.

Khan Shatyr

han shatir

The shop­ping and enter­tain­ment com­plex, whose name can be trans­lat­ed as “Tsar-Tent”, was launched in 2010. It resem­bles a Kaza­kh yurt with a slight­ly inclined spire. The base in the form of an ellipse occu­pies an area equal to 140 hectares, and the height of the struc­ture reach­es 150 m. The facade of the build­ing is cov­ered with a unique film, the prop­er­ties of which help main­tain a com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture inside from +23 to +25 °С.

In addi­tion to numer­ous shops, restau­rants and cin­e­mas, there is a water park with an arti­fi­cial beach. Snow-white sand for its arrange­ment was brought from the coast of the Indi­an Ocean.

Palace of Peace and Accord

dvorec mira i soglasia

The struc­ture is a pyra­mid of steel and glass. The build­ing is ori­ent­ed to the car­di­nal points, which sym­bol­izes the open­ness of Kaza­khstan to the whole world. The height of the palace is 62 m, the area is about 28 thou­sand square meters. m.

Inside there is an opera hall for 1302 spec­ta­tors, an exhi­bi­tion of folk cos­tumes, sev­er­al con­fer­ence rooms, a library, a cafe and a gift shop. The main dec­o­ra­tion of the inte­ri­or is a mul­ti-col­ored stained-glass win­dow of cyclo­pean size. It depicts 130 doves — accord­ing to the num­ber of nation­al­i­ties of Kaza­khstan.

Mausoleum of Arystan-Baba

mausolei aristan

An archi­tec­tur­al mon­u­ment of the XII-XIV cen­turies is locat­ed about 150 km from Shymkent. The mau­soleum was erect­ed over the grave of the preach­er and mys­tic Arys­tan-Baba. The height of the burnt brick build­ing is 12 m, the size of the base is 35x12 m. The bur­ial com­plex con­sists of a mosque and a two-cham­ber tomb.

Religious sites

Khazret Sultan Mosque

mechet hasret sultan

The largest mosque in Kaza­khstan and the sec­ond largest in Cen­tral Asia was built in 2012. Its name trans­lates as “Holy Sul­tan”. The area of ​​the entire com­plex, includ­ing the yard, exceeds 11 hectares, the inte­ri­or space occu­pies about 18 thou­sand square meters. m. Up to 10 thou­sand peo­ple can pray here at the same time. In addi­tion to the main prayer hall, the mosque has a room for read­ing the Koran, a wed­ding hall, a reli­gious school, a dress­ing room and a cafe.

The build­ing was built in the tra­di­tion­al Islam­ic style with many arched open­ings, the exte­ri­or is dec­o­rat­ed with mosaics. The diam­e­ter of the main dome is 28 m, the height is almost 51 m. There are 8 more small­er domes around. At the cor­ners of the build­ing there are four minarets of 77 meters each. The dome of the main prayer hall is gen­er­ous­ly dec­o­rat­ed with murals and a 3‑ton chan­de­lier.

Underground mosque Shakpak-ata

podsena mechet

The unusu­al mosque is locat­ed in the north­east of the Tyub-Kara­gan penin­su­la. It was cut into the rock by ancient peo­ple. Archae­ol­o­gists have exca­vat­ed and dis­cov­ered mate­r­i­al traces dat­ing back to the Bronze Age.

Lat­er, the cave was occu­pied by Zoroas­tri­ans who came to Kaza­khstan from Iran. When Islam sup­plant­ed the cult of fire, the cave was remade in accor­dance with the canons of the new belief. In addi­tion, a mihrab, cells for her­mits and nich­es for bur­ial were cut through.

The mosque acquired its final appear­ance in the 15th cen­tu­ry — it is in this form that it has sur­vived to this day.

Ascension Cathedral

vosnesenski sobor

The Ortho­dox church in Nur-Sul­tan began to be built at the end of the 19th cen­tu­ry, and was con­se­crat­ed only in 1907. A lit­tle lat­er, the Bol­she­viks closed the cathe­dral and con­vert­ed it into a muse­um of the Kaza­kh SSR, which was based in the church until 1976. A quar­ter of a cen­tu­ry ago, the cathe­dral was trans­ferred to the Russ­ian Ortho­dox Church, and restora­tion work began in it. Mas­ters have updat­ed the facade and restored the fres­coes.

The build­ing was built from a unique Tien Shan spruce, and its indi­vid­ual sec­tions are fas­tened with met­al bolts. The cathe­dral is equal­ly beau­ti­ful out­side and inside. The facade is paint­ed yel­low, mul­ti-col­ored domes are crowned with gold­en cross­es. The iconos­ta­sis and murals have been pre­served since the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry.

Mosque Nur-Astana

mechet nur astana

Before the advent of Khazret Sul­tan, this mosque, built in 2005, was the largest in the coun­try. The build­ing area is about 4,000 sq. m. The height of the gild­ed dome is 43 m, slen­der minarets on the sides of the com­plex rush up to 63 m. At the same time, 5,000 believ­ers can be in the mosque.

The blue col­or pre­vails in the inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion, and excerpts from the Koran are on the walls. The main shrine of the mosque is a frag­ment of Kisi­va.

natural attractions

Aksu-Dzhabagly Reserve

asudgagbolski sapovednik

This is the first nation­al park of the coun­try, estab­lished in 1926 with the aim of pre­serv­ing and replen­ish­ing the bio­di­ver­si­ty of Kaza­khstan. Over 1300 sq. km inhab­it­ed by more than 52 species of mam­mals, 247 species of birds, almost 3000 species of plants and 26 thou­sand rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the insect world. The pre­dom­i­nant moun­tain­ous land­scape is com­ple­ment­ed by 27 lakes.

Big Almaty Lake

bolshoe lakero

The pic­turesque lake of azure col­or arose as a result of an earth­quake in the Zailiysky Alatau. The length of the reser­voir is about 1.6 km, the width reach­es 1 km, and the depth varies from 30 to 40 m. The length of the coast­line is almost 3 km.

The nat­ur­al pearl is sur­round­ed on all sides by rocky moun­tains, the high­est peaks are Ozerny (4131 m), Tourist (3954 m) and Strana Sove­tov (4317 m). The flood of the lake occurs in the sum­mer, when the melt water of glac­i­ers flows from the gran­ite ridge. In win­ter, the reser­voir becomes shal­low, par­tial­ly expos­ing the bot­tom.

Peninsula Mangyshlak

half island manglishtak

The penin­su­la, famous for its cos­mic land­scapes, is locat­ed on the east­ern coast of the Caspi­an Sea. Bizarrely shaped moun­tains, blown by all winds, rocky desert plateaus, sandy shores crash­ing into sparkling water, leave a strong impres­sion. The untouched land is full of unsolved mys­ter­ies. On its ter­ri­to­ry there are aban­doned tem­ples, rock mosques and tombs.

Desert Betpak-Dala


The area of ​​the desert, stretch­ing to the west of Lake Balkhash, is approx­i­mate­ly 75 thou­sand square meters. km. The land­scape is het­ero­ge­neous — sands are inter­spersed with rocky areas that break down into large depres­sions. Clay deposits pre­dom­i­nate in the south­west­ern part.

The area has been lit­tle explored. At the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry, sci­en­tists dis­cov­ered 10 species of ani­mals unknown to sci­ence here. There is cur­rent­ly no research activ­i­ty.

Aral Sea


Once the fourth largest sea in the world, it occu­pied an area of ​​​​almost 70 thou­sand square meters. km. Its width was 284 km, length — about 450 km, and the depth reached 70 m. In the mid-1960s, the Aral Sea began to rapid­ly shal­low. On the rivers Amudarya and Syrdarya, which feed the reser­voir, canals were built to irri­gate the fields.

As a result, by the begin­ning of the 1990s, the sea broke up into 2 lakes — North­ern (Small) and South­ern (Big). The last one is almost dry. The reced­ing water left behind an incred­i­ble land­scape that could very well be the back­drop for a Hol­ly­wood movie about the apoc­a­lypse.




The resort vil­lage, locat­ed on a pic­turesque moun­tain isth­mus, is also called “Kaza­kh Switzer­land”. The land­scape is com­pa­ra­ble to the Alpine: conif­er­ous forests, harsh peaks and a scat­ter­ing of deep lakes of mete­orite ori­gin. The micro­cli­mate is the same as in the home­land of the most reli­able banks and deli­cious choco­late. Peo­ple come here for recov­ery — sana­to­ri­ums and spa cen­ters are avail­able in Burabay. Walk­ing in the area will also be good for the mind and body.



A pop­u­lar ski resort is the prop­er­ty of the Zailiyskiy Alatau. The road from Almaty to Chim­bu­lak will take only about an hour.

The infra­struc­ture, cre­at­ed in the mid­dle of the 20th cen­tu­ry, was seri­ous­ly mod­ern­ized for the 2011 Asian Win­ter Games. Now there are mod­ern lifts, sev­er­al slopes of vary­ing com­plex­i­ty and length, equip­ment rental, cafes, hotels, etc. Prices are low­er com­pared to pop­u­lar resorts.


Central State Museum

gor musei

The most impor­tant and largest muse­um in the coun­try occu­pies a build­ing with an area of ​​17 thou­sand square meters. m. The expo­si­tions are locat­ed on three floors. In addi­tion to the 4 main halls, there are many gal­leries. The funds con­tain over 200 thou­sand arti­facts.

Vis­i­tors can learn the his­to­ry of the coun­try, get acquaint­ed with the cul­ture and cus­toms of Kaza­khstan. The exhi­bi­tions show­case archae­o­log­i­cal finds, weapons, nation­al cos­tumes, pho­tographs, impor­tant doc­u­ments and mas­ter­pieces of art. In a sep­a­rate room, objects are pre­sent­ed — evi­dence of the mod­ern his­to­ry of Kaza­khstan, which declared inde­pen­dence in 1991.

Museum of Nature

musei nature

The muse­um, ded­i­cat­ed to the diver­si­ty of Kaza­khstani nature, set­tled in the build­ing of the Acad­e­my of Sci­ences in Alma-Ata. The expo­si­tion is divid­ed into 2 halls. The first is pale­on­to­log­i­cal. The skele­tons of dinosaurs and oth­er pre­his­toric crea­tures that lived in the region mil­lions of years ago are exhib­it­ed here. The sec­ond is zoo­log­i­cal. He talks about mod­ern flo­ra and fau­na. These are stuffed ani­mals and birds, herbar­i­ums, col­lec­tions of insects.

Museum of Arts named after A. Kasteev

musei iskustv

The largest art muse­um in the coun­try has over 25,000 exhibits. They are divid­ed into 6 col­lec­tions.

Vis­i­tors can enjoy the mas­ter­pieces of Russ­ian and West­ern paint­ing, the art of Asia and the East. Par­tic­u­lar atten­tion is paid to Kaza­kh artists. There is also a gallery of mod­ern art — sculp­tures, graph­ics, pho­tographs and design­er items are exhib­it­ed there.

Historical monuments and interesting places

Museum-reserve “Monuments of ancient Taraz”

musei sapovednik

In ancient times, the city of Taraz stood on the Silk Road, which began in Chi­na and end­ed on the Mediter­ranean coast. In the 13th cen­tu­ry, con­stant raids by nomads began on the set­tle­ment, and its pros­per­i­ty end­ed.

In 1979, archae­o­log­i­cal exca­va­tions began on the site of the set­tle­ment, which con­tin­ue to this day. Sci­en­tists man­aged to find and restore fortress walls, foun­da­tions of hous­es, a mosque, part of the water sup­ply sys­tem, mau­soleums and oth­er objects. In addi­tion to the ruins of Taraz, the reserve includes oth­er his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments from dif­fer­ent eras — more than 100 pieces in total.


tamgali tis

Rock pet­ro­glyphs are locat­ed about 120 km from Alma-Ata. These are images of ani­mals, myth­i­cal crea­tures and Bud­dha in dif­fer­ent guis­es. Accord­ing to one ver­sion, the draw­ings appeared in the 10th cen­tu­ry, and were left by Bud­dhist pil­grims. In addi­tion to well-pre­served pet­ro­glyphs, there is a stone with ancient Tur­kic inscrip­tions (VIII-IX cen­turies).



This is the first in the world and until now the largest space­port, from where ships, satel­lites and oth­er air­craft are launched to dis­tant plan­ets and galax­ies. It was here that Yuri Gagar­in’s flight into space began, and the famous Vos­tok and Soyuz sta­tions entered orbit.

After the col­lapse of the USSR, Baikonur ceased to be a sen­si­tive facil­i­ty. Part of the space­port is now open to tourists. They are invit­ed to vis­it the Muse­um of Cos­mo­nau­tics, see the hangars, tech­ni­cal facil­i­ties and the plat­form with the epoch-mak­ing remains of the Buran space­craft.


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