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15+ Interesting Things To Do In Kazakhstan

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Kazakhstan, a country in Central Asia has numerous attractions from mountainous skating rinks to exploring astonishing architecture. Visit Kazakhstan, the former Soviet Republic that extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altai Mountains in the eastern border. We explore the 15+ top things to do in Kazakhstan to make your holiday extraordinary. The huge country in the north of the Central Asian Republic is famous for its ‘black gold’ and vast mineral resources. Here are the many awesome things to do and see with Kazakhstan tourism.

Top Things To Do In Kazakhstan

1. Feel The Magic at the Medeo High Mountain Skating Rink

Kazakhstan Tour Activities- Medeo high Mountain

Take your holiday to a new level with ice skating in the wondrous outdoors with Kazakhstan travel. A popular thing to do in Kazakhstan is experiencing the Medeo High Mountain Skating Rink. Located at 1700 metres above sea level, this is the highest skating rink in the world. This was used as a training centre for Soviet Olympic skaters and is an exciting winter sports venue. The picturesque ice-skating rink was built in 1972 in honour of the nomad Medeo. The rink boasts of about 120 world records by renowned sportspeople.

Timings: 12.00 pm to 5.00 pm (Morning session) | 5.00 pm to 10.00 pm (Evening session)

Average Price:

$4.28 (adult aged between 24 and 65 years)

$1.90 (youth aged between 13 and 23 years)

$0.95 (children aged between 7 to 12 years)

Pro Tip: The ice rink is near Kazakhstan’s former capital Almaty and boasts of mild valley climate and pure glacial water.

2. Witness the Architecture of Zenkov Cathedral

Main Activities In Kazakhstan - Architecture of Zenkov Cathedral

Stay fascinated by the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, a century-old architectural wonder. A must-visit for a Kazakhstan tourist, stare amazed at the brightly coloured wooden building that was made without using a single nail. The cathedral is a top Almaty tourist attraction. Witness intriguing art and furnishings in the interior of the building and have a perfect day out. Witness the eye-catching kaleidoscopic colour scheme of the Kazakhstan tourist attraction and the golden domes. The cathedral is also known as The Ascension Cathedral and has survived many earthquakes.

Timings: 7.00 am to 6.00 pm

Average Price: Tour cost

Pro Tip: Do cover your head with a scarf that is available at the entrance.

3. Visit Grand Canyon’s ‘Little Brother’, Charyn

What To Do In Kazakhstan - Visit to Charyn Canyon

An amazing thing to do in Kazakhstan, this natural wonder is the second largest canyon in the world. Charyn Canyon with its orange rock formations and amazing views is a top reason to visit Kazakhstan as a tourist. Take a guided tour and join in the hiking trails if you are an outdoor adventure sports lover. Get up close to the many rocky formations for amazing views, but always keep a safe distance. You can also try white water rafting and canoeing on the Charyn River.

Timings: Day tour

Average Price: $15 onwards 

Pro Tip: Please note that the guided tours follow a strict schedule.

4. Take a Ride to the Stunning Shymbulak Ski Resort

Things To Do In Kazakhstan - Shymbulak Ski Resort

Skiing is a beautiful thing to do in Kazakhstan on the slopes of the Zailiyskiy Alatau Mountain Range. Chimbulak is located in the upper part of the spectacular Medeu Valley. It is the largest ski resort in Central Asia after exploring Almaty tourism. Enjoy a ride up the elevation in the mountain range that is at 2200 metres above sea level. The resort area is about 25 km south of Almaty down Medeo Road.

Timings: 8.30 am to 6.00 pm | 7.00 pm to 12.00 am (included timings on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday)

Average Price: $19.04 (weekends) | $13.09 (weekdays)

Pro Tip: A good time to visit is between November until May with a large number of sunny days and snow.

Explore Kazakhstan Special Tour Packages here. 

5. Listen to the Whistling Barkhan

Must Do Things In Kazakhstan - Listen to the Whistling Barkhan

This astounding Kazakhstan tourist attraction is in the Altyn Emel National Park and is one of the most unique places to visit in Kazakhstan. The Singing Dune is a mountain of sands that stretches across 4600 square kilometres of the desert. At an impressive height of 150m high, the dune makes a whistling sound when the wind skims the sands. Take a drive on a 4*4 into the park, a wonderful Almaty tourist spot. Beware of the whistling sounds as it can get as loud as 105 decibels.

Timings: All Day (best during sunset or sunrise)

Average Price: $3.62 (entry price)

Pro Tip: Try and climb the dunes on foot, an exciting thing to do in Kazakhstan.

6. Visit the World’s Biggest Tent, The Khan Shatyr

Kazakhstan Top Activities to Do- The Khan Shatyr

Visit Kazakhstan’s most famous building, the Khan Shatyr, a keen part of Astana tourism. It is the world’s biggest tent designed by Norman Foster. The iconic landmark has an indoor beach resort, shopping mall, concert hall, and a boating river. It has been visited by international leaders during the opening, such as the Presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Belarus. Also called the Royal Marquee, it is a giant transparent tent built in a neo-futurist style.

Timings: 10.00 am to 10.00 pm

Average Price: Based on the purchase

Pro Tip: The beautiful interiors are temperature controlled so you are free to layer down.

7. Take a Scenic Walk by Spectacular Lake Kaindy

Things To Do In Kazakhstan - Kaindy Lake

Visit the Tien Shan Mountains and witness the turquoise blue crystal waters of the lake. Lake Kaindy is a spectacular Kazakhstan tourist attraction made by a landslide in 1911. The watercolour shifts from turquoise to emerald depending on the sunlight rays. Take a day trip to the lake and stay amazed at the beauty of nature. Watch out for the Siberian roe deer that graze on the lakeshore. Smell the sweet scent of vanilla in the air and witness the beauty of wildflowers and strawberries sprinkled in the fields near the lake.

Timings: All Day

Average Price: $1.31

Pro Tip: You could enjoy trout fishing as you witness abundant birdlife along the lake.

8. Go on a Road Trip to the Eurasian Steppe

Kazakhstan Tourist Activities- Eurasian Steppe

Enjoy peculiar beauty in this endless expanse of grassland in the steppe. Witness plants, people and animal life as you drive straight for hours with nothing changing along the horizon. Feel a sense of solitude as perhaps you may be the only person for miles. Stay in a tent and wake up to the morning skies out in the Eurasian Steppe, a unique thing to do in Kazakhstan. It is also called the Great Steppe due to its vastness of shrublands, savannahs, and grasslands. Look out for the grey wolf, saiga antelope, Mongolian gazelle, and the brown bear that roam the steppe.

Timings: based on the tour operator

Average Price: based on the tour operator

Pro Tip: Get astounded by the emptiness of the vast ecoregion of Eurasia. Steppe is a Russian word for grasslands.

9. Discover the Kazakh Wild at the Altyn Emel National Park

Kazakhstan Tourist Activities- Altyn Emel National Park

Experience a unique landscape in Kazakhstan’s safari destination. The Altyn Emel National Park is home to a number of rare hoofed mammals and relic forests. This famous Kazakhstan tourist attraction is 260 km north of Almaty. Witness the spectacular Aktau and Katutau Mountain Range, a geologists dream. Take out at least 8 hours to traverse the park in a jeep style car to manoeuvre the tracks and explore the wilderness. Spot a lone arkhar, giant rhino, a herd of kulan (wild donkeys) among other wildlife.

Timings: 24 hours

Average Price: Tour cost

Pro Tip: This is not like an African safari experience and you need to get lucky to spot the wild animals.

10. Visit the Great Baikonur Cosmodrome

Things To Do In Kazakhstan - Baikonur Cosmodrome

The Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kazakhstan Desert steppe is used by the Soviets to launch space flights. It is still used as an International Space Station. Visit the on-site museum with information and collections of space crafts and launch data. It is an interesting Kazakhstan tourist attraction for a science and technology lover. If you are on a tight budget or bureaucratic permits hassle you, then park your vehicle some distance away and still see the spectacle of the drome unfold.

Timings: Day tour

Average Price: $700 (one day guided tour of Baikonur)

Pro Tip: The Sputnik 1 was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Explore Kazakhstan Special Holiday Packages here. 

11. Visit the Iconic Baiterek Monument

Main Activities in Kazakhstan - Baiterek Monument

The famous emblematic monument of the capital city of Nur-Sultan has an observation tower. The Kazakhstan tourist attraction became popular when Nur-Sultan became the capital in 1997. It is at a height of 97 metres above street level. The trophy-like structure was built between 1996 and 2002. Appreciate the fabulous interiors and spectacular views from the tower. A must visit Kazakhstan attraction, this is a good outing with kids in tow. The top-level features a gilded handprint of the first president of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Timings: 9.00 am to 9.00 pm

Average Price: $2 

Pro Tip: Take the lift to the observation deck at 97 m above ground level. Notice there are two levels, the second level you can take by stairs.

12. Witness the Beauty of the Big Almaty Lake

Best Tour Activities of Kazakhstan - Almaty Lake

This spectacular Kazakhstan tourist attraction is an alpine lake with its surreal beauty. The  Big Almaty Lake is a natural reservoir up in the Ili Alatau Mountains, an essential part of Almaty tourism. It is more than 8000 feet above sea level. The colour of the lake water changes depending on the time of the year. The lake water is the brightest turquoise from September to early October, a good time to visit Kazakhstan. During spring, the lake turns a spectacular milky blue due to the melting snow. This is one of the brilliant blue lakes of Kazakhstan like Kaindy Lake and Issyk Lake.

Timings: All Day

Average Price: Tour cost

Pro Tip: We recommend you book your Big Almaty Lake tour in advance. A 24-hour prior cancellation facility is usually available.

13. Ride on Horseback to Visit The Last Wild Apple Forests

Places to Visit in Kazakhstan - Ile-Alatau National Park

This apple grove outside Almaty is in the Ile-Alatau National Park. The domestic apple grows wild here in the Tian Shan Mountains. It was first traced in the early 20th century by the biologist Nikolai Vavilov. He was astounded to find apple trees grow wild that were densely entangled and unequally spaced. Ride horseback through the wild apple groves, a fun thing to do in Kazakhstan. The Tian Shan apple seeds were transported by birds long before humans began cultivating them.

Timings: Day tour

Average Price: based on the tour operator

Pro Tip: Visit the Big Almaty Lake that is just 4.29 mi from the grove.

14. Say Cheers with Kumis

Kazakhstan Tour Activities - Say Cheers with Kumis

This fermented mare’s milk is your modern-day Champagne mixed with sour cream. Notice how people transported the milk in leather bags often hanging on horsebacks. Roaming warriors like Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun drank the fermented beverage. Nomads used to drink the staple beverage that perfectly fit their lifestyle. Mare milkers nowadays culture the liquid to make it drinkable. Mare’s milk is known for its laxative effect and is a nourishing daily staple.

Timings: Available all-day

Average Price: $2.00 for 1 litre (approx.)

Pro Tip: You can easily find the commercial version of kumis especially during festivals such as Naadam.

 15. Go on a Stunning Hike to the Turgen Gorge

What To Do In Kazakhstan - Turgen Gorge

Join a hiking trip to the gorge or visit the stunning Kazakhstan attraction on a mountain bike. This is a real paradise for hikers with alpine meadows, lakes and seven waterfalls. You also experience en route hot springs and dense forests. The Turgen Gorge is part of the famous Ile Alatau National Park, a must-visit Kazakhstan spot. You could also ride on horseback to explore the beauty of the gorge. Look out for thermal wellness resources and enjoy the descent to Turgen basecamp along the river.

Timings: Day tour

Average Price: $1.00 (entrance fee to the gorge) 

Pro Tip: The Turgen Gorge is situated 80 km east of Almaty. Camping is also possible near the gorge.

16. Admire the Gorgeous Aisha Bibi Mausoleum

Things To Do In Kazakhstan - Aisha Bibi Mausoleum

This beautiful 11th or 12th-century mausoleum is in the village of Aisha Bibi. Witness the artistically carved terracotta tilework and the decorative art of the monument. This is the only monument in Central Asia. Aisha Bibi is a young woman who was killed by a snake during her attempt to meet the ancient ruler. He fell in love with Aisha against her parent’s wishes. The ruler constructed the mausoleum in her honour and now is a place of faith and eternal love.

Timings: 8.30 am to 8.00 pm

Average Price: Tour cost

Pro Tip: Take a photograph with your loved one when you visit the mausoleum.

Recommended Read: 30 Interesting Things To Do in Almaty

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