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Almaty: A cosmopolitan city

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  • Adults (12+ years)
    Child (2-11 years)
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    Each infant should be accompanied by one adult. When an infant fare is booked, the infant will be seated on the parent’s lap.

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Book a flight to Almaty with Qatar Airways

The sophisticated city of Almaty is the financial and cultural capital of Kazakhstan. Sitting beneath the snow-capped Tien Shan mountains, the city may no longer officially be the capital of Kazakhstan, but it is trendy, vibrant and may just be the country’s most happening city. 

As a university town, there is a youthful energy in Almaty, complete with bustling boulevards and fancy malls galore. Perhaps best of all, it is all within touching distance of spectacular ski slopes and mountain trails, so it is a perfect destination for winter sports lovers too. 

Fly to Almaty with Qatar Airways and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime in this busy Kazakh city.

Almaty highlights

From historical architecture and leafy parks, to café culture and exciting nightlife, there is something for everyone here, including some breath-taking natural wonders. 

  • Tourist attractions

    Dive deep into the history and culture of Kazakhstan at the Central State Museum. This cultural attraction tells the country’s story from prehistoric times to the Mongol period, as well as the Soviet occupation. You will find the museum in the central square, opposite the political administration buildings. 

    Don not leave without exploring the colourful Zenkov (Ascension) Cathedral. The impressive building is made completely from wood – and no nails were used to keep the structure together. If that is not impressive enough, this was one of only a few buildings in the city to remain intact following an earthquake in the city in 1911. The cathedral is a particularly spectacular sight in winter when it is covered in a dusting of snow. 

    Elsewhere, the Kazakhstan Museum of the Arts (also called the A. Kasteyev State Museum) is home to one of the finest collections of Russian and Western European art anywhere in the country. 

  • Leisure activities

    For the ultimate relaxation, head for the Arasan baths complex, just west of Panfilov Park. The baths have been in operation here since 1981, and hidden away beneath the tiled domes are a Finnish sauna, a Moroccan hammam, a Russian banya and a Turkish steam bath. It is best to set aside two hours or so to make the most of the baths, plus a little bit longer if you fancy a massage. 

    For a trip out of town, head for Big Almaty Lake in the Tien Shan mountains – a popular hangout for locals. Swimming is not allowed here, but why not bring a picnic and find a spot on the rocks by the lake? 

    Another out-of-town attraction close to the lake is the magnificent Ile-Alatau National Park. This dramatic wilderness covers 2,000 square kilometres and the landscape is made up of dense spruce forest, meadows and the Zailiysky Alatau mountains.

  • Food

    Right in the heart of town, Afisha is a busy restaurant with views over the Stalinist State Opera House. Try the mushroom risotto and you will be in for a treat. Housed within one of the tallest buildings in the city, Vista at the Ritz Carlton also boasts beautiful panoramas over the city and the mountains beyond. Go for lunch to enjoy local kebab specialities, before sampling the stunning patisseries. 

    For the ultimate gourmet affair, make your way to Seven. Here you can while away an evening with experimental amuse-bouches, Kazakh dishes with a luxury twist, complete with piano and violin playing in the background. There is decent Kazak wine, called Ak Bastau, on the menu too which comes from the Assa Valley just outside the city. 

    At the other end of the scale, Kaganat is a beloved local spot where you can get a plate of food for just over US $1. This canteen-style eatery serves up traditional Kazakh cooking day and night, including lagman (noodles) to manti (dumplings). It is such great value you can give them all a try.

  • Shopping

    Shopping in Almaty is mainly centred around the busy outdoor markets. The city has an array of bazaars on offer, where you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables, handmade rugs and local handicrafts. The Green Bazaar is one of the most popular, located on the Silk Road trading route that was used for hundreds of years as a corridor of trade between Europe and Asia. It is always busy with both locals and tourists andis well worth a visit for the atmosphere alone. 

    Elsewhere, Almaty also has more elegant shopping destinations on offer. Dostyk Plaza is a sparkling shopping mall with plenty of brand-name shops and entertainment venues. The food hall on the ground floor is a particularly glamorous affair. 

Essential facts about Almaty

Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip


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