Fun Things to Do in Astana | Travel Guide (2024) | Best Places to Visit
Welcome to Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan! Located in the heart of Central Asia, Astana is a vibrant and rapidly developing metropolis that offers a unique blend of modernity and tradition. With its futuristic skyline, stunning architecture, and rich cultural heritage, this city is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. From exploring the iconic Bayterek Tower and the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation to immersing yourself in the local Kazakh culture at the Central Mosque and the National Museum, Astana has something to offer for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to this hidden gem of a city.
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Astana Travel Guide
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Things To Do In Astana
Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Here are some things to do in Astana:
1. Explore Nur-Astana Mosque: Begin your journey by visiting the stunning Nur-Astana Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Central Asia. Admire its intricate architecture and peaceful atmosphere.
2. Visit Bayterek Tower: Head to Bayterek Tower, the iconic symbol of Astana. Take an elevator to the top and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Don't forget to place your hand in the golden handprint of President Nursultan Nazarbayev for good luck!
3. Discover Astana Opera: Immerse yourself in the world of arts by attending a performance at the Astana Opera. This magnificent opera house showcases a variety of ballets, operas, and concerts throughout the year.
4. Stroll along Nurzhol Boulevard: Take a leisurely walk along Nurzhol Boulevard, also known as the Left Bank. Admire the modern architecture, including the futuristic Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center and the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.
5. Explore the Palace of Independence: Visit the Palace of Independence, a grand building that houses the Kazakhstani government. Take a guided tour to learn about the country's history and political system.
6. Experience the Astana EXPO: If you're visiting during the Astana EXPO, make sure to attend this international exhibition. It showcases innovative technologies, sustainable development, and cultural diversity from around the world.
7. Visit the National Museum of Kazakhstan: Dive into the rich history and culture of Kazakhstan at the National Museum. Explore its extensive collection of artifacts, including ancient artifacts, traditional costumes, and artworks.
8. Enjoy Astana's Parks: Astana is known for its beautiful parks and green spaces. Spend a relaxing afternoon at the Central Park or the Water-Green Boulevard, where you can enjoy picnics, bike rides, and boat trips.
9. Shop at Khan Shatyr: Indulge in some retail therapy at Khan Shatyr, a massive shopping and entertainment complex. Browse through a wide range of international and local brands, dine at various restaurants, or enjoy the indoor beach.
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Best Time To Visit Astana
The best time to visit Astana is during the summer months of June to August. During this time, the city experiences warm and pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. The days are long with plenty of sunshine, allowing visitors to explore the city and its attractions comfortably. Additionally, major events and festivals such as Astana Day and the International Jazz Festival are held during the summer, providing visitors with a unique cultural experience. However, it is important to note that summer is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices for accommodations. If you prefer a quieter and more budget-friendly visit, consider spring or autumn when the weather is still mild and the city is less crowded.
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Best Hotels To Stay In Astana
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Best Areas To Stay In Astana
Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, offers a variety of areas for accommodation that cater to different preferences and needs. Here are some of the best areas to consider:
1. Nur-Sultan City Center: This area is the heart of Astana and is known for its modern architecture and vibrant atmosphere. It is home to many government buildings, shopping malls, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Staying in the city center provides easy access to major attractions such as the Bayterek Tower and the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.
2. Left Bank: Located on the left bank of the Ishim River, this area is known for its upscale residential complexes, parks, and recreational facilities. It offers a more relaxed and peaceful environment compared to the bustling city center. The Left Bank is also home to the Expo 2017 site, which has been transformed into a vibrant park and cultural hub.
3. Old Town: Also known as the "Old City," this area showcases the historical and cultural heritage of Astana. It features traditional Kazakh architecture, museums, and art galleries. Staying in the Old Town allows visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history of the city and explore landmarks such as the Hazret Sultan Mosque and the Museum of the First President.
4. Koktal Microdistrict: Situated in the southern part of Astana, this area offers a more residential and family-friendly atmosphere. It is known for its green spaces, playgrounds, and proximity to schools and amenities. Koktal Microdistrict is a great choice for those seeking a quieter and more suburban living experience.
5. Saryarka: Located near the Expo 2017 site, Saryarka is a rapidly developing area that offers a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces. It is known for its modern architecture, shopping centers, and sports facilities. Staying in Saryarka provides easy access to the Astana Arena and the Saryarka Velodrome.
Overall, Astana offers a diverse range of areas for accommodation, each with its own unique charm and advantages. Whether you prefer the vibrant city center, the peaceful Left Bank, the historical Old Town, the suburban Koktal Microdistrict, or the modern Saryarka, there is something for everyone in this dynamic capital city.
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Transportation To Astana
There are several transportation options to get to Astana:
1. By Air: The most convenient way to reach Astana is by flying to Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport (TSE), which is located about 16 kilometers southeast of the city center. There are direct flights to Astana from major cities around the world.
2. By Train: Astana is well-connected by rail, and you can take a train from various cities in Kazakhstan, as well as from neighboring countries like Russia and Uzbekistan. The train journey offers scenic views of the Kazakh countryside.
3. By Bus: There are long-distance buses that operate between Astana and other cities in Kazakhstan, as well as neighboring countries. The bus journey may take longer compared to other modes of transportation, but it can be a more affordable option.
4. By Car: If you prefer driving, you can rent a car and travel to Astana. The city is connected to major highways, and the road network in Kazakhstan is generally well-maintained. However, keep in mind that driving long distances may require careful planning and preparation.
5. By Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Astana, and you can hire one from the airport or any other location. Make sure to negotiate the fare before starting the journey.
Once you arrive in Astana, you can use public transportation, such as buses and taxis, to get around the city.
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Nearby Destinantion From Astana
1. Nur-Sultan: The capital city of Kazakhstan, known for its modern architecture and vibrant cultural scene.
2. Karagandy: A bustling industrial city with a rich mining history and a vibrant arts and music scene.
3. Pavlodar: A charming city located on the banks of the Irtysh River, known for its beautiful parks and historical landmarks.
4. Kokshetau: A picturesque town surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, offering opportunities for hiking and outdoor activities.
5. Kostanay: A vibrant city known for its agricultural industry and historical sites, including the impressive Kostanay Regional Museum.
6. Aktobe: A bustling city with a rich history and diverse cultural heritage, offering a mix of modern attractions and traditional Kazakh experiences.
7. Atyrau: A major oil and gas hub located on the Caspian Sea, known for its modern infrastructure and international business opportunities.
8. Shymkent: The third-largest city in Kazakhstan, offering a blend of modern amenities and historical sites, including the ancient city of Otrar.
9. Taraz: A city with a rich history dating back to ancient times, known for its well-preserved historical sites and vibrant bazaars.
10. Semey: A city with a strong literary and cultural heritage, home to the famous writer Abay Kunanbayev and the Abay Opera House.