Updated: Nov 18
Do you plan to visit mysterious Central Asia somewhere in near future? Considering where to start, what to see, how to finish? I will not pretend to be expert of all Central Asian area but what I do know is that Almaty should be on a first place in your must-visit list! Why? I have at least 5 reasons to start with!
Visa-free regime extended to 2018!
You don’t want to lose your precious time collecting boring documents, right? So don’t! Since 2017 Kazakhstan introduced visa-free regime for 48 countries! US, UK, most of Europe, Japan, New Zealand – just to name few! Check your country status at the Embassy of Kazakhstan in your place.
2. Easy to fly.
Almaty International airport is one of the biggest in country and almost all big air companies (such as Lufthansa, Air Astana, Turkish Airlines, Emirates and others) frequently do flights from Frankfurt, Istanbul, Dubai and other big cities. This makes Almaty perfect Silk Road gateway!
3. Laid-back vibe.
Are you suffering from jetlag? No surprise, long flights are draining the power and stealing first day of long awaited trip. Luckily you are in a right place! Why not to spend first day on a laziest mode possible strolling from one wonderful café to another even more wonderful one. Café culture in Almaty is all about enjoying life on the summer patios with leisurely talks over good tea/coffee or nice shisha. Or if you are hungry enough for more serious meals – welcome to the numerous restaurants with national cuisine! However ‘laid-back vibe’ is not only about food, right? How about some SPA-procedures? Try, for example, legendary Soviet sauna house Arasan or open-air resort located high in Tian-Shan mountains not far from Big Almaty Lake! All kinds of sauna, massages, peelings, nourishing masks – devote this day only for yourself!
4. Hiking paradise.
So, you are refreshed and ready to conquer all highest peaks in the world? Great! Let’s do it! Just 15 mins from the city on bus or taxi and you are at the foothills of Tian Shan, one of the greatest mountain system of the world! What you need to do is to choose whether you want to do short one-day trips or try multiple-days hiking with camping, fire and good company! Or if you are still lazy just take cable car from Medeo skating rink to Shymbulak ski resort – in 40 mins you will easily reach height of 3000 metres above sea level! And yes, there is plenty of good cafes too.
5. Great choice of day-trips
Are you in Almaty for few days? Then don’t miss the opportunity to see what is outside of the big city! Want to feel yourself as a hero of western – head to fantastic Charyn Canyon (there is Bartogay lake not far from the canyon, highly advise to visit it too). If you like to spend time close to water then Big Almaty Lake, Issyk Lake, Turgen waterfalls are your places to go! History fan? You must see mysterious petroglyphs at Tamgaly Tas – UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004, here you will have quite unique opportunity to see drawings from the Bronze Age at arm’s length! In case if you have luxury to spend more time in Almaty then we highly advise you to do big 5-day trip! In such a short time you will see semi-desserts, steppes, canyons, green hills, spruce tree forests, mountains, high-mountain pristine lakes – can you even believe its possible?
So, I hope I achieved the goal to prove the truth that Almaty is the best place to visit! Welcome! Write us, lets drink a cup of coffee when you are here!