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Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country, situated in Central Asia, bordered by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, with a significant portion of its territory also lying in Europe. It boasts a diverse landscape that includes steppes, mountains, and deserts, with sites of historical and natural significance such as the ancient city of Turkestan and the pristine Altai Mountains.

Kazakhstan has a rich cultural heritage, blending nomadic traditions with modern influences, and has been experiencing steady economic growth, largely due to its vast reserves of oil and other minerals.

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring the City

morning:Start the day with a visit to the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, showcasing the country's rich history. Follow it up with a leisurely stroll through Panfilov Park. For a delightful breakfast, try traditional Kazakh dishes at Restaurant LEO 🍳.

afternoon:Spend the afternoon at the Ascension Cathedral, an architectural gem in the heart of Almaty. Then, head to the Green Bazaar for an authentic shopping experience. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the bustling Zelyony Bazaar 🍲.

evening:In the evening, experience the vibrant nightlife at the Arbat, an energetic pedestrian street filled with trendy bars and live music venues.

day 2

Nature and Adventure

morning:Embark on a scenic drive to the Charyn Canyon, marveling at its unique rock formations and breathtaking views. Have a hearty breakfast at the nearby Canyon Cafe 🥞.

afternoon:Explore the Kolsai Lakes, a serene paradise surrounded by lush forests and stunning mountains. Enjoy a picnic lunch by the tranquil waters of the First Kolsai Lake.

evening:As the day winds down, unwind at the Saty village, experiencing the warm hospitality of the locals and savoring a traditional Kazakh dinner at a homestay 🍛.

day 3

Cultural Immersion

morning:Discover the ancient petroglyphs at Tamgaly Tas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Indulge in a delightful breakfast spread at the Tamgaly Tas Cafe 🥐.

afternoon:Delve into the history and culture of Turkestan at the Khodja Akhmed Yasawi Mausoleum, a masterpiece of medieval architecture. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at a family-run eatery, savoring local delicacies 🍲.

evening:In the evening, explore the lively atmosphere of Shymkent's Old City, with its charming cafes and bustling night markets offering a variety of treats and souvenirs.

day 4

Urban Oasis

morning:Start the day with a visit to the Nur-Astana Mosque, an architectural marvel in the heart of Nur-Sultan. For a tasty breakfast, head to the popular Astana Green Deli 🥯.

afternoon:Explore the modern art and cultural exhibitions at the Nur-Sultan EXPO 2017 Complex. Treat yourself to a delicious lunch at the Expo Food Court 🍔.

evening:In the evening, take a stroll along the Ishim River, enjoying the illuminated skyline of Nur-Sultan. For a memorable night-out, visit the vibrant Riverboat Casino and Entertainment Complex 🎰.

Kazakhstan Famous Food

Must-Try local dishes

Beshbarmak

A traditional dish featuring boiled meat (commonly lamb or beef) served on a bed of flat noodles. It's often seasoned with onions and is a staple in Kazakh cuisine. Best enjoyed at local eateries in Almaty or Nur-Sultan.

Must-Try!

Plov

A fragrant rice dish cooked with carrots, onions, and meats such as lamb or beef, seasoned with cumin and other spices. The dish is widely available throughout Kazakhstan, including restaurants and food markets.

Shashlik

Marinated and skewered meat, commonly lamb, chicken, or beef, grilled to perfection. This popular street food can be found at many outdoor markets and local eateries across the country.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Green Bazaar

One of the most famous food markets in Almaty, offering a vibrant array of spices, fresh produce, and local delicacies including fresh bread, dried fruits, and a variety of nuts.

Zelenyy Bazaar

Situated in the heart of Nur-Sultan, this bustling market is a food lover's paradise, featuring stalls selling traditional Kazakh snacks, street food, and an assortment of dried fruits and nuts.

Baurzhan Momyshuly Park

This park in Almaty comes alive with food vendors offering traditional Kazakh street food such as samsa (baked pastries filled with meat and onions) and baursak (fried dough balls).

Dietary Restrictions

Navigating dietary restrictions locally

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

While traditional Kazakh cuisine is meat-centric, modern restaurants and cafes in cities like Almaty and Nur-Sultan offer an increasing number of vegetarian and vegan dishes, often incorporating local produce and flavors.

Vegetarian, Vegan

Gluten-Free Options

Visitors with gluten sensitivities can find accommodating options in upscale restaurants and cafes, with gluten-free variations of traditional dishes and globally-inspired cuisine becoming more accessible.

Gluten-Free

Restaurants & Cafés

Best places to eat and drink in Kazakhstan

Navat

Located in Almaty, Navat offers a refined dining experience with a rich selection of traditional Kazakh dishes prepared with a contemporary twist, which can cater to various dietary preferences.

Gakku

A cozy cafe in Nur-Sultan known for its inviting atmosphere and a menu featuring a fusion of Kazakh and international cuisine, offering options suitable for both meat lovers and vegetarians.

Things to do in Kazakhstan

Unique local experiences...

Popular cities in Kazakhstan

Explore local food, attractions and more!

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