Fun Things to Do in Shymkent | Travel Guide (2024) | Best Places to Visit
Welcome to Shymkent, a vibrant city located in southern Kazakhstan. Known for its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning landscapes, Shymkent offers a unique travel experience for adventurers and history enthusiasts alike. As the third-largest city in Kazakhstan, Shymkent boasts a bustling city center filled with modern amenities, while also preserving its traditional charm. Explore the ancient ruins of Otrar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and delve into the city's past as a major stop along the Silk Road. Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the bustling bazaars, where you can sample traditional Kazakh cuisine and shop for handmade crafts. With its warm hospitality and fascinating attractions, Shymkent is a must-visit destination for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Central Asia.
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Shymkent Travel Guide
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Things To Do In Shymkent
Shymkent offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Here are some things to do in Shymkent:
1. Explore the Shymkent City Center: Take a stroll through the city center to admire the architecture and historical buildings. Visit the Central Park and Monument of Independence to learn about the city's history.
2. Visit the Regional Museum: Learn about the culture and history of Shymkent and the surrounding region through the exhibits and artifacts on display at the Regional Museum.
3. Discover the Ancient City of Otrar: Take a day trip to the nearby ancient city of Otrar, which was an important trading center along the Silk Road. Explore the ruins of the city and learn about its rich history.
4. Experience the Kazakh National Cuisine: Taste traditional Kazakh dishes at local restaurants and food markets. Don't miss trying beshbarmak (boiled meat with pasta) and kumys (fermented mare's milk).
5. Shop at the Zelenaya Bazaar: Browse through the bustling market to purchase local produce, souvenirs, and handicrafts. Haggle with the vendors to get the best deals.
6. Visit the Shymkent Zoo: Enjoy a day at the zoo and observe a variety of animal species. The zoo is home to lions, tigers, bears, and many other exotic animals.
7. Explore the Turkestan Region: Take a short trip to the nearby Turkestan Region and visit the historical city of Turkestan. Explore the Khoja Ahmed Yasawi Mausoleum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admire its beautiful architecture.
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Best Time To Visit Shymkent
The best time to visit Shymkent is during the spring and autumn seasons, which are from April to June and September to October. During these months, the weather is mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). The spring season brings blooming flowers and green landscapes, while the autumn season offers beautiful foliage colors. Additionally, these seasons are less crowded with tourists compared to the summer months. It is important to note that Shymkent experiences extreme temperatures during the winter months, with sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall, making it less ideal for outdoor activities.
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Best Hotels To Stay In Shymkent
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Best Areas To Stay In Shymkent
Shymkent offers several great areas for accommodation. Here are a few of the best areas to consider:
1. City Center: The city center of Shymkent is a bustling hub with a wide range of accommodation options. It is conveniently located near major attractions, shopping centers, and restaurants. Staying in the city center allows easy access to the vibrant nightlife and cultural events that Shymkent has to offer.
2. Microdistrict Auezov: This residential area is known for its peaceful atmosphere and green spaces. It is a popular choice for families and those seeking a quieter environment. Microdistrict Auezov offers a variety of accommodation options, including apartments and guesthouses, and is well-connected to the city center by public transportation.
3. Tauke Khan Avenue: Located in the eastern part of Shymkent, Tauke Khan Avenue is a rapidly developing area with modern infrastructure. It is home to many upscale hotels and serviced apartments, making it an ideal choice for business travelers or those looking for a more luxurious stay. The avenue is also dotted with cafes, shops, and entertainment venues.
4. Al-Farabi District: Situated in the western part of Shymkent, Al-Farabi District is a residential area that offers a mix of affordable and mid-range accommodation options. It is well-connected to the city center and has a range of amenities, including supermarkets, parks, and schools. This area is suitable for both short-term and long-term stays.
5. Turkestan District: For those interested in exploring the historical and cultural heritage of Shymkent, the Turkestan District is an excellent choice. It is home to the famous Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Accommodation options in this area include guesthouses and small hotels, providing a unique and immersive experience.
Overall, Shymkent offers a diverse range of accommodation options in various areas, catering to different preferences and budgets. Whether you prefer the vibrant city center, peaceful residential areas, or areas with historical significance, there is something for everyone in Shymkent.
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Transportation To Shymkent
There are several transportation options to get to Shymkent:
1. By Air: The Shymkent International Airport (CIT) is the main airport serving the city. There are domestic and international flights connecting Shymkent to various destinations.
2. By Train: Shymkent is well-connected by rail to other major cities in Kazakhstan and neighboring countries. The city has a train station with regular train services.
3. By Bus: There are bus services available from various cities in Kazakhstan to Shymkent. The bus journey may take longer compared to other modes of transportation.
4. By Car: Shymkent is accessible by road, and there are highways connecting it to other cities in Kazakhstan. Renting a car or hiring a taxi is an option for traveling to Shymkent.
5. By Shared Taxi: Shared taxis, known as "marshrutkas," are a popular mode of transportation in Kazakhstan. They operate on fixed routes and can be a convenient and affordable option to reach Shymkent.
It is recommended to check the availability and schedules of transportation options before planning your trip to Shymkent.
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Nearby Destinantion From Shymkent
1. Turkestan: Known for its historical significance and the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi.
2. Taraz: A city with a rich history, featuring ancient ruins and a vibrant bazaar.
3. Arys: A small town surrounded by beautiful nature, offering opportunities for hiking and outdoor activities.
4. Kentau: An industrial city known for its mining and metallurgical industries.
5. Zhetisay: A picturesque village located near the Zhetysu Alatau mountains, perfect for nature lovers and hikers.
6. Saryagash: A border town with a unique blend of Kazakh and Uzbek cultures, famous for its traditional crafts.
7. Lenger: A historical town with ancient fortresses and archaeological sites, showcasing the region's rich heritage.
8. Maktaaral: A peaceful town with a serene atmosphere, surrounded by vast steppe landscapes.
9. Zhanatas: A small village known for its beautiful lakes and birdwatching opportunities.
10. Aksu-Ayuly: A rural settlement offering a glimpse into the traditional Kazakh way of life, with horseback riding and nomadic experiences.