Kazakhstan appears to the traveler as a harmonious interweaving of age-old eastern traditions and western modernity. The modern business centers of Astana and Almaty coexist here with the ancient cities of the Great Silk Road, and the famous Baikonur Cosmodrome stands in the middle of a thousand-year-old steppe, through which ferocious Mongol hordes rushed centuries ago.
In Kazakhstan, the traveler is invited to visit a variety of excursion routes, get acquainted with the culture and history of the country. In the southern part, a large number of valuable architectural monuments have been preserved - mausoleums, mosques, ancient burial places, fortresses. Picturesque eco-routes are laid in the northern and central regions of Kazakhstan. Here, tourists are waiting for the comfortable resorts of Bayan-Aul, Kokshetau and Muyaldy, where you can have a great rest, improve your health and gain strength.
Numerous national parks, lakes of unusual and rare beauty, the slopes of the Altai Mountains, unique Sufi monuments and the modern pulse of the most developed country in the region - all this awaits a traveler who decides to go to Kazakhstan.
What to see in Kazakhstan?
The most interesting and beautiful places, photos and a brief description.
A bizarre metal structure that graced Astana in 1997. The monument was erected in honor of the transfer of the capital from the city of Almaty. Astana-Baiterek was conceived by President N.A. Nazarbaev, it symbolizes the ideas of nomads about the structure of the Cosmos. The tower reaches a height of 97 meters, at the 86th meter there is a panoramic hall, from where a view of the entire capital opens.
Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi
Architectural complex of the 14th century from the time of Emir Timur. This is a multifunctional building, which includes a meeting room, the tomb of Ahmet Yasawi, meeting rooms, a mosque, an archive, kitchen rooms, and guest rooms. The great emir himself gave recommendations on the external and internal decoration during construction.
The first cosmodrome on the planet, from where the exploration of the distant and incomprehensible Universe began. The first artificial Earth satellite was launched from here, and Yu. Gagarin also flew. Baikonur is one of the three cosmodromes of the Earth, from where ships with astronauts are launched.
A striking example of modern Kazakh architecture. This futuristic building in the form of a tent tilted to the side will serve as a shopping and entertainment center. Khan-Shatyr was opened in 2010. In the middle of the building there is a spire connected to steel cables, on which a special transparent fabric is stretched. The design is included in 10 eco-buildings in the world.
Museum of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Located in Astana, it is considered one of the main attractions of the capital. Books and documents written by Nazarbayev, his certificates and awards, gifts from heads of foreign states with wishes are stored here. There are also separate rooms dedicated to the president's school years and a room with collectible weapons. In total, the exposition contains approximately 40,000 exhibits.
Palace of Peace and Accord
The modern building, erected in 2006, has the shape of a tetrahedral pyramid. It was built in accordance with the proportions of the golden section by the architect N. Foster. Some people call the palace the Eighth Wonder of the World. Inside there are conference rooms, exhibition galleries, an opera hall, greenhouses.
Palace of Independence in Astana
Another modern landmark of Kazakhstan. The building was built in the shape of a trapezoid and decorated with a white curly lattice, which, according to the architects, should symbolize the independence of the country. The palace is used as a venue for conferences, international meetings and forums.
Map of Kazakhstan "Atameken"
Ethno-park in Astana, where the sights of the country are presented in miniature. There are both historical buildings and new buildings. The map repeats the mountain and steppe landscapes of Kazakhstan, contains copies of industrial facilities, bridges, roads. There are more than 200 attractions in total.
Sports complex Medeo
Alpine complex in the Medeo tract near Almaty. There is the highest skating rink in the world (at an altitude of about 1700 m above sea level). Hundreds of world records in speed skating were set at this rink, for which the place began to be called the "record factory".
The oldest zoological park in Kazakhstan, was founded in the 30s. 20th century About 500 species of animals, birds and representatives of the water world are located on a vast territory. 77 species are listed in the Red Book of the CIS countries. There are also many exotic animals imported from Africa in the zoo. The zoo is a popular holiday destination for locals with children.
The second largest mosque in Central Asia, built in 2005. It occupies an area of about 4 thousand m². The gilded dome of the mosque reaches 40 meters in height, four side minaret towers stretched 63 meters (according to the number of earth years of the Prophet Muhammad). Nur-Astana is a symbolic place for the residents of the capital, as well as one of the most visited attractions.
Khazret Sultan Mosque
The magnificent cathedral mosque of Astana, opened in 2012. The name of the temple is translated as "the most holy Sultan." The mosque was named after the revered Sufi sheikh of the 13th century. Khoja Ahmed Yasawi - Muslim saint, poet and philosopher. The mosque occupies an area of about 11 hectares and simultaneously accommodates 10,000 parishioners.
Underground mosque Beket-ata
Place of pilgrimage for Muslims. The mosque was built in the XVIII-XIX centuries. Beket-atay, who was remembered as the builder of mosques and madrasahs. Next to the temple is the tomb of a follower of Khoja Ahmed Yassavi Shopan-ata, who is also very revered among Kazakh Muslims.
Mausoleum of Arystan-Baba
Historical monument of the XII-XIV centuries. near the ruins of the ancient city of Otyrar. The mausoleum was built over the grave of Arystan Baba, a legendary and respected religious mystic, a powerful batyr. According to legend, Arystan Baba was the spiritual mentor of Khoja Ahmed Yassawi. Also, according to legend, he taught the Prophet Muhammad himself to plant gardens.
Ascension Cathedral in Almaty
Historical monument of Christian architecture of the early XX century. The building was built of wood according to ancient technology with virtually no nails. The cathedral is one of the 8 tallest wooden buildings in the world. Since 1995, by decision of the authorities, services have resumed in the temple after an almost 70-year break.
Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve
The first reserve of Kazakhstan, established in 1926. It was created to preserve the natural ecosystem of the Zhabagly and Aksu rivers. About 300 species of birds, 50 species of mammals and more than 3,000 representatives of flora can be found on the territory of the reserve. In addition to picturesque mountain rivers, there are 27 small lakes in the natural park.
Altyn-Emel National Park
The territory located in the valley of the Ili River, where amazing desert, mountain and gravelly landscapes meet. Tourists can enjoy the magnificent view of the "lunar" landscapes of the Aktau mountains, which are painted in all shades of yellow and orange. Altyn-Emel claims to be included in the UNESCO Natural Heritage List.
Natural phenomenon of the Altyn-Emel reserve. It is a huge sandy hill that "sings". The sounds created by blowing the sand with the wind were attributed by the locals to the desert shaitans, creating many legends about the dune. The singing of the dune is a rather rare natural phenomenon.
Petroglyphs of Tamgaly-Tas
A monument of ancient fine arts, which reveals the original culture of the tribes that once inhabited the Kazakh steppes. Petroglyphs are located in the Tamgaly tract, they have more than 4000 drawings of the Bronze Age, the Turkic era, the period of the early nomads. The drawings depict people, animals, scenes from everyday life and hunting.
Resort Borovoe (Burabay)
The resort area, called "Kazakh Switzerland". A unique green area in the middle of the desert with pristine lakes and centuries-old groves on the slopes of picturesque mountains. The best place for leisurely rest, contemplation, walks. Here, visitors are offered to take courses in improving the body with the help of koumiss.
Big Almaty Lake
A beautiful turquoise lake near Almaty, where water flows from the Tien Shan glaciers. The depth of the lake is more than 40 meters, the length is about 1.5 km. Unlike other lakes of this type (for example, Lake Ritsa in Abkhazia), the reservoir during the year has a rather unusual shade from turquoise to light green.
A body of water located at an altitude of more than 1700 m in the Issyk Gorge. In 1963, due to mudflows, the lake was devastated in a few hours. In the process, 100 people died. Now the lake has been restored, but in a more modest size. Huge boulders on the shores are a reminder of the tragedy 50 years ago.
A large drainless reservoir with a variety of fauna and flora. The lake is a popular place for a beach holiday for local residents and guests from Russia, despite the rather poorly developed infrastructure. The territory of the reservoir is bordered by the picturesque chain of Bektau-ata mountains, which is considered one of the most beautiful in the Northern Balkhash region.
A large salt lake that has been shrinking for 50 years. Back in the 60s. 20th century it was one of the 5 largest lakes in the world. But due to the active withdrawal of water for the needs of agriculture, irreversible processes began and the shores began to turn into a lifeless desert. Now the Aral Sea has lost tens of kilometers of its former coastline.
The natural monument, which is over 12 million years old, is very similar to the well-known and advertised Grand Canyon in the USA. It stretches for almost 100 km. The most accessible and visited part of the canyon is the "Valley of Castles", where there is a car path and a trail for tourists. The Charyn Canyon is a breathtaking sight of "alien" amazing forms into which the rocks have formed.