Kazakhstan

Capital Astana

Population 17,753,200

Area 2,724,900 km2

Key facts

Kazakhstan is a country located in Central Asia, bordered by Russian Federation to the north, China to the east, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest. It is the ninth-largest country in the world by land area.

The geography of Kazakhstan is diverse, with a mix of mountains, forests, grasslands, deserts, and lakes. The country is home to a number of mountain ranges, including the Tian Shan and the Altai Mountains, as well as the Caspian Sea, which is the world’s largest inland body of water.

As of 2023, the population of Kazakhstan is approximately 17.8 million people. The majority of the population is Kazakh, but there are also significant minorities of Russians, Ukrainians, and Germans.

The official language of Kazakhstan is Kazakh, but Russian is also widely spoken throughout the country. Kazakh is a Turkic language and is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages in Central Asia. Russian is also an official language in Kazakhstan and is widely used in business, education, and government.

In the EF English Competency Index (EF EPI), which assesses the language proficiency of non-native speaking countries, Kazakhstan was ranked 96th out of 100 countries in 2021.

The national currency in Kazakhstan is Kazakhstani tenge (KZT). The tenge (₸) is subdivided into 100 tïın.

With today’s currency rate, 1 EUR is worth 490.88 KZT and 1 USD is worth 457.24 KZT.

Kazakhstani
Banknotes

20050010002000500010000

Kazakhstani
Coins

125102050100

Check with your bank before your trip to find out if there are any fees for using your card abroad. Some banks do not charge fees when you use a foreign ATM or pay in foreign currency, but others may charge a fixed cost for each transaction or allow a limited number of free withdrawals. The travel card provided by Wise.com, Revolut or Monose might be an excellent option to cut down on transaction fees.

Ookla® Speedtest The average fixed internet speed in Kazakhstan is 74.84 Mbps and mobile is 37.23 Mbs.The global average is 150.61 Mbps and 97.08 Mbps respectively.

ATM Density Kazakhstan has more ATMs than most other countries.95.78 ATMs per 100,000 people.The global average is 41.24.

SIM Registration In order to purchase a SIM card in Kazakhstan, a passport or ID is required as identification.

Socket types

There are 2 socket types used in Kazakhstan. Type C is a popular socket type throughout Europe (except the United Kingdom), Russia, and certain Asian countries.

Type C 220 V, 50 Hz  Type F 220 V, 50 Hz  

The sockets’ shapes and voltage differ from country to country and a travel plug adapter may be required. Portable devices, such as phones, notebooks or tablets, usually handle the entire range of voltages used across the world (110-240V).

Tourism

Kazakhstan is a country located in Central Asia that is known for its rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and historic landmarks. Tourists visit Kazakhstan for a variety of reasons, including to experience the country’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi and the Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly. These sites are popular with tourists interested in history and cultural heritage and offer a unique insight into the country’s rich past.

The country’s diverse landscape, including mountains, forests, grasslands, and deserts, also offers many opportunities for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The Tian Shan and Altai Mountains offer excellent hiking and climbing, while the Caspian Sea is a popular destination for water sports. In addition, Kazakhstan is home to a number of national parks and nature reserves, which offer visitors the chance to see a wide variety of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species.

Tourists also visit Kazakhstan to see the country’s historic landmarks, such as the Astana Baiterek and the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. These landmarks are popular with tourists interested in the history and culture of Kazakhstan and offer a glimpse into the country’s past and present.

In addition to its cultural and natural attractions, Kazakhstan is also home to some of the most beautiful cities in Central Asia, including Almaty, the former capital of the country, Astana, the current capital, and Shymkent, a major city in the south of the country. These cities are known for their stunning architecture, cultural attractions, and natural beauty and offer a wide range of activities and experiences for tourists.

The Baikonur Cosmodrome is a popular tourist destination in Kazakhstan, and many people visit the country specifically to see it. The Baikonur Cosmodrome is located in the desert region of Kazakhstan, and it is the world’s oldest and most well-known space launch facility. It has been used for a wide range of space missions, including both manned and unmanned launches.

Visitors to the Baikonur Cosmodrome can take guided tours of the facility, which offer a unique opportunity to see some of the most advanced and sophisticated space technology in the world. The tours typically include visits to some of the key areas of the facility, such as the launch pads, control centers, and spacecraft assembly buildings. Visitors can also see some of the historic spacecraft that have been launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, including the Soyuz and Proton rockets.

In addition to its historical and scientific significance, the Baikonur Cosmodrome is also an important cultural and social hub in Kazakhstan. It is home to a diverse community of scientists, engineers, and other professionals who work at the facility, and there are a number of amenities and facilities in the surrounding area, including hotels, restaurants, and other tourist attractions.

What hotel chains are present in Kazakhstan?

There are Mariott hotels in Nur-Sultan.

The Hilton hotel chain operates in Kazakhstan.

The IHG hotel chain operates in Kazakhstan.

The Best Western hotel chain operates in Kazakhstan.

There are Radisson hotels in Nur-Sultan.

The Accor hotel chain operates in Kazakhstan.

Local delicacies and must-try foods and drinks in Kazakhstan

There are many traditional food and drink items that tourists in Kazakhstan can try. Some of the most famous dishes that Kazakhstan is known for include:

  1. Beshbarmak:
    This is a traditional Kazakh dish made with boiled noodles and meat, usually horse or mutton. It is typically served with a variety of vegetables and is considered the national dish of Kazakhstan.
  2. Kuyrdak:
    This is a hearty stew made with boiled or roasted meat and vegetables. It is a popular dish in Kazakhstan and is often served with potatoes or bread.
  3. Shashlyk:
    This is a skewered and grilled meat dish that is popular in Kazakhstan and other parts of Central Asia. It is often made with lamb or mutton and is served with a variety of accompaniments, such as onions, tomatoes, and peppers.
  4. Plov:
    This is a Central Asian dish made with rice and a variety of meats and vegetables. It is a popular dish in Kazakhstan and is often served with a side of yogurt.
  5. Kazy:
    This is a type of sausage made from horse or cow meat that is popular in Kazakhstan. It is often served as a main dish or as a topping for sandwiches.

In terms of drinks, tourists in Kazakhstan can try traditional Kazakh tea, which is served hot and sweetened with sugar or honey. Vodka is also a popular drink in Kazakhstan, and the country is known for producing high-quality vodka.

What fast food chains are present in Kazakhstan?

The McDonald’s chain operates in Kazakhstan.

The KFC chain operates in Kazakhstan.

The Burger King chain does not operate in Kazakhstan.

The Subway chain does not operate in Kazakhstan.

The Domino’s Pizza chain does not operate in Kazakhstan.

The Starbucks chain operates in Kazakhstan.

Weather

What is the climate like in Kazakhstan?

Kazakhstan is a large and geographically diverse country, and as a result, the weather and climate can vary significantly across different parts of the country. In general, Kazakhstan has a continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. However, there are some variations in temperature and weather conditions depending on the specific region.

In the north of Kazakhstan, the climate is colder, with temperatures dropping to below freezing during the winter months. The region is also prone to strong winds and heavy snowfall, which can make travel difficult at times. In the summer, temperatures in the north of Kazakhstan can reach into the high 20s or low 30s Celsius, although it is generally cooler than in other parts of the country.

In the south of Kazakhstan, the climate is generally warmer, with temperatures reaching into the high 30s or low 40s Celsius during the summer months. The region is also more prone to drought and dry conditions, with little rainfall during the summer. In the winter, temperatures in the south of Kazakhstan can drop to below freezing, although it is generally warmer than in the north of the country.

Overall, the weather in Kazakhstan can be quite extreme, with temperature fluctuations and variations in precipitation levels depending on the region and time of year. It is worth keeping this in mind when planning a trip to Kazakhstan, and dressing appropriately for the weather conditions.

When is the best time to visit Kazakhstan?

In terms of tourism seasons, Kazakhstan generally has two main seasons: the high season, which runs from June to August, and the low season, which runs from September to May.

  • During the high season, which is the busiest tourist season in Kazakhstan, the weather is generally warm and dry, and there are a number of outdoor attractions and activities to enjoy. However, it is worth noting that prices for accommodation and transportation are generally higher during this time, and there are more tourists in the country.
  • During the low season, the weather is generally cooler and there are fewer tourists in the country. This can be a good time to visit if you are looking for lower prices and a more relaxed atmosphere. The spring and fall months of April to May and September to October can be particularly pleasant, as the weather is generally pleasant and there are fewer tourists. The winter months of November to March can also be a good time to visit, as the weather is cooler and there are a number of indoor attractions and cultural events to enjoy.

What is the weather like in Astana?

Today the sun in Astana, rises at 8:37 AM and sets at 6:19 PM. The climate of Astana may be categorized as a Humid continental (Dfb), according to Koppen’s classification system.

TodayFeb 9OvercastLow: -24.5°C (-12.1°F)High: -19.5°C (-3.1°F)
FridayFeb 10SnowLow: -24.3°C (-11.74°F)High: -16.2°C (2.84°F)
SaturdayFeb 11SnowLow: -18.5°C (-1.3°F)High: -15.2°C (4.64°F)
SundayFeb 12OvercastLow: -21°C (-5.8°F)High: -16.5°C (2.3°F)
MondayFeb 13OvercastLow: -15.7°C (3.74°F)High: -9.5°C (14.9°F)
TuesdayFeb 14OvercastLow: -16.4°C (2.48°F)High: -10.8°C (12.56°F)

Weather data for Astana (capital city) by Open-Meteo.com

Transport

How easy is it to get around Kazakhstan by train?

Kazakhstan is a large country with a well-developed rail network that spans the entire country and serves as a major transportation mode for both passengers and goods. The rail network is managed by the national railway company, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ). The network is dense, with a significant number of rail lines crisscrossing the country and connecting major cities and towns. The total length of the rail network in Kazakhstan is approximately 18,000 kilometers.

Some of the most popular rail connections in Kazakhstan include routes that connect the capital city of Astana with other major cities such as Almaty, Karaganda, Kostanay, and Petropavl. These routes pass through a number of smaller towns and cities along the way. Other popular rail connections include routes that connect the southern cities of Almaty and Shymkent, as well as routes that connect the eastern and western parts of the country.

In terms of reliability and quality of train service, it varies. Some people may complain about the reliability and quality of service, while others may have had positive experiences. The stock of trains in Kazakhstan includes both older and modern trains. Some trains may have more modern and comfortable amenities, while others may be more basic. Overall, the rail network in Kazakhstan is an important transportation mode for both passengers and goods, and it plays a significant role in the country’s economy.

How easy is it to get around Kazakhstan by car?

The road network in Kazakhstan is dense, with a significant number of roads connecting major cities and towns across the country. The total length of the road network in Kazakhstan is approximately 200,000 kilometers, including a number of highways. The length of highways in Kazakhstan is approximately 5,500 kilometers.

Some of the longest highways in Kazakhstan include the M-32, which connects Almaty with Astana, and the M-39, which connects Almaty with the border with Kyrgyzstan. These highways are important transportation corridors in the country and play a significant role in connecting major cities and towns.

There have been a number of projects aimed at improving and expanding the highway network in Kazakhstan in recent years. For example, the “Western Europe – Western China” international transportation corridor, which is being developed by the Kazakh government, aims to improve connectivity between western China and Europe by building new highways and upgrading existing ones. There are also plans to improve and expand the highway network within the country, with the aim of improving transportation links between major cities and towns.

In terms of the quality of highways in Kazakhstan, they are generally of good quality. Most highways in Kazakhstan are toll roads, and drivers must pay a fee to use them.

Railways There are passenger trains operating between some cities.

Subway Systems The subway system is available in Almaty.

Taxi Apps Unfortunately neither Uber nor Bolt are available in Kazakhstan.

Car Rental Avis , Hertz are available, but Sixt is not present in Kazakhstan.

Road Connectivity Index (2016)  With a score of 5.1, Kazakhstan is placed 59th out of 129 nations.

Driving Side In Kazakhstan traffic is right-handed.

Safety

Theft Occurrence Rate  1,188.00 thefts per 100,000 people in 2015.The global average is 544.

Road Traffic Casualties 12.70 deaths per 100,000 people in 2019.The global average is 16.71.

Travel Advisory Level (U.S. DoS)  Level 2: Exercise increased caution. 

Emergency phones in Kazakhstan

112 Police
112 Ambulance
112 Fire police

Sources

Smoking & Alcohol

Smoking ban Smoking is forbidden in all public indoor locations, with limited exceptions.

Cananbis legality Both recreational and medicinal use of cannabis is prohibited.

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