Continent: Central Asia

Currency: Kazakhstani Tenge

Capital City: Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana)

Year I Visited: 2017

Maybe the most obscure destination I’ve ever visited, this vast, sprawling landscape is both beautiful and quirky in equal measure. In the south, lush Almaty has a European feel, surrounded by nature. In the north, the capital Nur-Sultan is littered with weird and wonderful architecture. This is a country that wants to become a global tourist destination and perhaps never will. But for those who do venture there, that just makes it all the more exciting. Just definitely don’t mention Borat.

My Kazakhstan Highlights

Here’s where I got to in Kazakhstan. Click the destination name for related blog posts.

Almaty

Despite being much closer to China than Europe, this city certainly feels European. It’s surrounded by lush mountains and countryside, features many beautiful parks and has a fondness for The Beatles. Almaty eases you in nicely to Kazakhstan.

Shymkent

Close to the border with Uzbekistan, this little visited area in the south of Kazakhstan hosts some fantastic architecture and gives a hint of what to expect on the other side of the Uzbek border.

Nur-Sultan

Just a short 24+ hour train journey from the south, the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan (known as Astana until 2019) is sprawling and quirky, giving a true insight into the uniqueness of Kazakhstan.

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