Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

KazCham



The #1 #VisitKZ Travel Guide to Almaty 0

Posted on May 16, 2017 by KazCham

Almaty is the cultural soul of Kazakhstan, and of Central Asia, for that matter. In 1997, the government relocated the capital to the north of the country in Astana, but for decades Almaty was the main city of Kazakhstan. Almaty has been, and continues to be, a city of artists, intellectuals, scholars, musicians, dancers, writers. It is a fantastic city and a must stop on your #VisitKZ tour.

Almaty has something to offer for every taste: Western-style restaurants and bars, cafes with Central Asian flavor, fancy nightclubs and cozy lounges, modern ski resorts and much more.

We’ve attempted to create an ultimate guide to Almaty, where you can find useful information that will help you plan your trip. You will find here visa information, helpful apps for your journey, a list of 10 things to in Almaty, as well as description of the city’s main attractions and sites. The guide is extensive and organized into the table of content that you will find below.  We will be updating the guide regularly, so be sure to visit us again before your flight!

  1. Visa information
  2. Before you visit: facts about Kazakhstan
  3. Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Almaty
  4. 5 Awesome Apps for Traveling in Kazakhstan
  5. 10 things to do in Almaty
  6. Three must-visit parks in Almaty
  7. 5 Best National Parks & Nature Reserves near Almaty
  8. Places to go White Water Rafting Near Almaty
  9. Shymulak Ski Resort
  10. Medeu Rink
  11. Alakol Lake
  12. Eight Lakes Park Resort
  13. Kensu Lakes

A tour of Astana’s wonderful architecture 1

Posted on August 11, 2015 by KazCham

Lonelyplanet

Kazakhstan might be best known for its nomadic roots, but its new capital city, Astana, is making waves with a surrealist skyline. When the government moved the capital to this small city on the northern steppe in 1997, it was essentially a tiny outpost. But nowadays, the skies here glitter with obscurely-tilted glass and wavy gold towers.

The city has invited star architects like Norman Foster and Kisho Kurokawa to reinvent Astana’s look, transforming the city into an urban landscape that makes you feel a little bit like you’ve travelled forward in time.

Catching a glimpse of Astana’s zany and beautiful architecture is as easy as walking out of your hotel (or perhaps gazing up at it, depending on where you’re staying). Better yet, hire a car or driver to get a grand tour of the city’s buildings. Here are some of our favorites.

Khan Shatyr

This giant circus tent-looking structure is actually a huge shopping mall and entertainment center. Designed by British star-chitect Norman Foster, the Khan Shatyr’s quilted fabric roof keeps the interior temperature at a balmy 25-30°C year-round, which makes for pleasing conditions in which to enjoy the artificial beach, with sand imported from the Maldives.

Golden Towers

Two giant, golden glass towers flank the entrance to the Presidential Palace (Orynbor St.) in true surrealist glory. For reasons not entirely unobvious, the locals have dubbed this golden pair the ‘beer cans’, perhaps undermining some of the shining glory they were meant to achieve when they were constructed just after Astana was crowned the capital in 1998.

Bayterek tower

Local legend has it that Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, sketched  the idea for Bayterek tower on a cocktail napkin. Whether or not this is true, the tower certainly is shrouded in legend: it’s meant to symbolize a mythical egg in a mythical tree. The tower has become the symbol of Astana and is a sight to behold – and indeed, it can be seen from almost everywhere you go in Astana.

Palace of Peace and Accord

This 77-metre-high pyramid is another Norman Foster structure, designed to host the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions every three years. The interior chamber is a circular space based loosely on the design of the UN Security Council meeting room in New York. Looking slightly forlorn on a particularly open and flat patch of Astana’s skyline, the pyramid is a surprising jut into the sky.

Shabyt

This gigantic concave glass structure houses Astana’s catch all ‘Palace of the Arts’, which includes a school of fine arts, lecture and exhibition halls, performance spaces and a library. The Shabyt’s shape has led some to call it the ‘Dog Bowl’.

Metropolitan Circus

If the aliens already walk among us, then they most certainly left their spaceship in Astana. The Metropolitan Circus (Kabanbay Batyr 5) is housed in this enormous disc, giving the impression that a giant UFO simply dropped down in the middle of the city and stayed forever.

Hazret Sultan Mosque

The largest mosque in Kazakhstan, the Hazret Sultan Mosque (Tauelsizdik) regularly sees up to 10,000 worshippers. Its towering white turrets are visible from many parts of Astana, and the lavishly marbled interior halls and tiled domes are well worth a peek inside.

Ak Orda

Looking a bit like the headquarters of some New World Order, the Ak Orda presidential palace houses the offices of Kazakhstan’s president (though not his residence). The small ball at the top of the spire represents the sun, with a Kazakh steppe eagle flying beneath.

Northern Lights

To fully appreciate this trio of curvaceous residential towers, you need to catch a glimpse under the dark of night, when their futuristic rainbows glow in a ripple of colors from top to bottom and back again. Hence the name.

KazMunayGas Headquarters

A large portion of Kazakhstan’s economy is based on its extensive oil and gas reserves, so it stands to reason that the state energy company, KazMunayGas, would have as its headquarters (Kabanbay Batyr 19) a building as outlandish as this. Looking like either the newest casino on the Las Vegas Strip or a comic book villain’s lair (or some combination of the two), this building is actually quite pretty at night when its numerous fountains are lit up in myriad colours.

Saryarka Velodrome

Why build any old velodrome when you can build one in the shape of a cycling helmet? The Saryarka Velodrome (velotrek.kz) houses an indoor cycle-racing track, as well as other sports facilities, including a swimming pool, basketball courts and an ice rink.

Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall

Designed by Italian firm Studio Nicoletti Associati, Kazakhstan’s Central Concert Hall (ckzkazakhstan.kz) is shaped like the layered petals of a rose. Inside, three different concert auditoria host many of the country’s biggest classical music and dance performances throughout the year.

The complete article with HD photos can be found here.



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