Making plans to travel abroad? Kazakhstan is surely a must-visit! Here is our hand-picked list of the top activities and attractions in Kazakhstan so you can make the most of your time there. Scroll down for the best things to do in Kazakhstan and the best places to visit in Kazakhstan. As a Web 3.0 travel startup, Wondrous Drifter has big plans to shake things up in the field.
Table of Contents
- Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve
- Almaty Lake
- Altyn Emel National Park
- Aral Sea
- Bayterek Tower
- Bayzhansay Ghost Town
- Central State Museum
- Charyn Canyon
- Issyk Lake
- Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center
- Kolsai Lake
- Lake Kaindy
- Mount Sherkala
- Tamgaly Gorge
- Turgen Gorge
- Zelionyj Bazaar
Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve
There are more exciting and gorgeous destinations in Kazakhstan that are waiting for you.
Travel and see the beautiful Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve. It is located in the Southern province of Kazakhstan.
It earned its name as the oldest nature reserve in entire Central Asia. The name “aksu” is gotten to the rivers that run in the area.
While “zhabagli” is the mountain range that surrounds the reserve.
Visitors may explore the park that features stunning crystalline river water, rock formations, and a field that is home to a wide variety of vibrant flowers.
Here you may witness the blue river waters while standing on the top of the cliff.
It is breathtakingly beautiful that you will find yourself wishing that you could stay there for longer.
You can bring your camera with you to take pictures for a piece of souvenir.
One day is not enough, so consider booking a two-day tour instead, on which you will be escorted by a tour guide.
Make the most out of it. Pack your bags right away!
Address: Zhabagly 161310, Kazakhstan
Perhaps you have seen this place in a travel postcard before but don’t have any idea where it is.
Hike along the Ili Alatau Mountains and be rewarded by a picture-perfect turquoise lake of Almaty.
This is the most popular attraction in Kazakhstan, the beautiful lake of Almaty changes color depending on the season.
The lake took on its brightest and most vibrant shade of turquoise during September.
The surreal view of the lake gives off a straight out of the painting atmosphere.
This lake is used as a water reservoir of the Almaty, and so swimming is not allowed.
Before the hike, make sure to dress warm and cozy because the temperature at the peak is much lower and colder.
Nonetheless, the scenery is more than enough to make your winter vacation fantasy come true!
Make sure to get a panoramic view of the place with your camera for a perfect piece of souvenir.
Address: Almaty, Kazakhstan
Altyn Emel National Park
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Kazakhstan is home to not only beautiful lakes but also remarkable rock mountain formations that are absolutely stunning.
Spare some time to visit The Altyn-Emel National Park, where you will witness a landscape of rock formations in the colors of white, orange, and red.
Altyn Emel National Park is best known for its Singing Dunes. When you explore this place, you will be amazed by the huge sand dunes that produce an impressive sound due to the winds.
Isn’t that simply incredible?
The National Park offers an endless panoramic view of the red mountains, which you can capture with your camera.
Before hiking and going to this place, make sure to dress appropriately and prepare a mask since it would be dusty.
Nonetheless, this is an amazing and enjoyable adventure!
When you are in Kazakhstan, you should definitely check out this National Park!
Address: Altyn Emel National Park, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Have you ever seen a cemetery of ships? If not yet, this is the best time to see one!
The Aral Sea is located on the boundary of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This was once known as the world’s 4th largest lake. It was used to be home to nearly 60,000 fish and sea creatures.
Not until 1995, when the Sea level has dropped from 17 meters, and the entire shoreline dried up.
Later on, it became a desert.
The ship that was still there until today was a witness to the unimaginable tragedy of the sea.
Today, the Aral Sea became an excellent place to go camping. Here you may experience living as a typical local in a traditional tent house.
You may also have an opportunity to discover the most mysterious destination in the neighboring country Uzbekistan.
If you are looking for some wildlife adventure, say no more!
Visit the nearby Sudochie Lake, and watch the migratory birds and other Asian – western creatures in their most natural state.
Your whole trip here is guided by a professional guide.
Come and see this place now!
Address: Aral Sea, Kazakhstan
It looks like a torch that lit up the night sky of the capital city, Nur Sultan.
Bayterek Tower is another must-see attraction in Kazakhstan.
Bayterek is translated to as the “High poplar Tree.” This is a National Monument that depicts illustrates the historical and contemporary development of the entire nation.
The sphere of the Tower is inspired by the local folktales about beginnings and happenings.
The Tower has a height of 105 meters tall. It showcased the rich and diverse culture and tradition of Nur Sultan.
The Tower’s observation deck provides visitors with a spectacular view of the metropolitan skyline.
Prepare your camera because this is a spectacular view that you won’t see anywhere else in the world.
This is another way to enjoy and spend your vacation in Kazakstan. Make the most out of it!
Come to Kazakhstan and check this place out!
Address: Байтерек, Nur-Sultan 010000, Kazakhstan
Bayzhansay Ghost Town
WARNING: for brave people only!
Bayzhansay Ghost Town is an abandoned town in Kazakhstan.
This was formerly a mining town that was full of the hustle and bustle life for Soviet people.
During the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1911, the mining stopped, and all the establishments and houses in the area were emptied out.
Today, only tourist with guts visits the place. If you find yourself wanting to go here, make sure to have a buddy along with you.
Tourists can visit the abandoned buildings along the area. Here you may find some of the old items lefts by the miners.
You may also explore the vibrant mosques in the town for more discovery.
Prepare your camera as well, for you will capture some of the classic and very nostalgic views you might bump with.
This is a one-of-a-kind adventure that you may go on while you are in Kazakhstan.
Make the most out of your trip. Visit this place right away!
Address: Bayzhansay, Kazakhstan
Central State Museum
Your Kazakhstan journey will not be complete without visiting one of its museums!
Central State Museum is the largest museum in the city of Almaty.
It was established in 1931 and situated near the Almaty Cathedral.
Central State Museum exhibits the rich history of Kazakhstan from the Bronze Age until World War II.
Here you will see the huge replica of the Golden Man, it is the national symbol of the country that dates back to the 3rd to 4th centuries.
Some archeological pieces such as balbals, totem stones that has carvings of soldiers’ faces, and more.
Visitors may also walk through the Hall of Gold, where ancient gold artifacts are displayed.
Exotic costumes, finely knitted yurt used in covering tents, and musical instruments that date back to the 18th century are also on display.
This is the best way to start learning about the culture and long history of Kazakhstan, don’t leave the country without visiting here!
Address: Samal-1, 44, Almaty 050059, Kazakhstan
Looking for a place of adventure in Kazakhstan? Great! You’ve come to the right place.
Travel to Charyn Canyon, a national park located in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Maybe you are familiar with Grand Canyon in Arizona. These natural wonders resemble Charyn Canyon.
The canyons are in different shapes, forming in the colors red to brown. This is due to the wind, water, and sand that have been combined for over 12 million years.
The Charyn Canyon is considered to be the most impressive natural destination in the entire country.
Aside from hiking, you may also go camping which allows you to do an exciting and magical star gazing activity.
Visitors might also visit the Valley of Castle, which features a natural monument of rocks that stands over 150 to 300 meters in height.
According to one legend, the Charyn Canyon was visited by witches who pushed travelers off the cliff at night.
Whether it is true or not, you need to follow the safety measure given by the National Park.
Let the adventure begin here!
Address: Almaty, Kazakhstan
If you find Almaty Lake beautiful and relaxing, you might also want to visit this lovely lake.
Issyk lake is situated in the mountains and is part of Ile- Alatau National Park.
The Issyk Lake was created by a natural landslide 8000 years ago.
And when the Soviet Union came to the country in 1939, the lake began to develop and restore.
Later on, the lake was able to garner popularity, attracting many locals and visitors.
Today, Issyk Lake remained lovely, earning a comparison to Almaty Lake.
Issyk Lake is surrounded by a lush green forest and a field of vibrant flower blossoms, creating a very picture-perfect spot.
The lake is a favorite destination among mountain hikers, and the surrounding area is also an excellent location for picnics.
Visitors can also explore the Ostrich farm near the area, where wide varieties of birds in the region are nestled.
So, what’s stopping you from visiting the lake? Hike now and marvel in its beauty!
Address: Issyk Lake, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center
The most incredible and largest tent in the world is right here in front of you!
Visit the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center located in the city of Astana.
The construction began in 2006. The tent has 150 meters tall, and it features stunning neo-futurist architecture.
The project was led by President Nursultan during his term.
The Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center embodies the traditional Kazakhstan nomadic building, which makes it more remarkable.
Today, you can explore the center that is home to various shops ranging from local to high-end brands.
This is an excellent place to do souvenir shopping.
And if you are visiting during the day, you might as well spend some time at the Sky Beach resort located on the 5th floor of the building.
Here you may enjoy water activities and an amusement park that will give you both a fun and total relaxation experience.
During the night, the tent’s exterior changes into a color of violet, making it standouts in the entire skyline of Astana.
So, what stopping you from visiting this place? Travel now and see the beauty right in front of your eyes!
Address: Khan Shatyr Entertainment CenterTuran Ave 37, Nur-Sultan 020000, Kazakhstan
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If you are a nature lover or simply want to reconnect with nature, this place is for you!
Stunning, gorgeous, and lovely, don’t you think? These descriptions do not do justice to the breathtaking beauty of this lake.
Kolsai Lake is located in the hills of the Northern Tien Shan Mountains.
Kolsai Lake is named the “Pearl of the Northern Tien Shan.” It features a crystal clear lake in turquoise hues and has a backdrop of the mountain’s glaciers and the tall greenery.
When the sun is out, the surrounding mountain and forests reflect on the crystal lake water.
The outstanding landscape welcomes the hikers through the connecting trail that will lead to the gorgeous lake.
Hikers may enjoy kayaking in the lake or simply sightseeing.
The incredible panoramic environment view is jaw-dropping, and you don’t want to leave the place.
This is worth your time!
Kazakhstan is truly a nature paradise, see and visit one of them!
Address: Кolasai Lake, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Undoubtedly, Kazakhstan is the home to breathtaking lakes in the world.
One of the most obvious examples of this is Lake Kaindy. It is situated in Saty, Kazakhstan.
It boasts a stunning landscape of limestone and crystal lake water.
The lake was formed after an earthquake in 1911. It is almost 30 meters deep, making it a perfect location for diving.
Hikers are drawn to this impressive lake, especially during summer. The lake offers a cooling and refreshing dip for everyone.
Several spruce trees had died and been submerged beneath the water’s surface in the middle of the lake.
Because of its color, which goes well with the crystal water of the lake, it gives the impression of being a gigantic crystal spear when viewed from a distance.
This is one of its charms. When you start exploring the lakes in Kazakstan, you will be surprised by how spectacular they are!
Address: Lake Kaindy, Saty, Kazakhstan
This proves that the place does not have to be tropical to be named paradise, as it is another level of true paradise!
Make your way out here at Medeo. An icy paradise located in the mountain of Almaty. It has an altitude of over 1700 meters above sea level.
The most well-known location in the country for activities such as ice skating and snowboarding, as well as for total enjoyment of the country’s winter weather.
Medeo offers a mountain skating rink, which is a size of an Olympic rink, so you have a great time playing on the icy floors.
The history of the Ice skating rink dates back to 1949 when Russia embarked on the country and did projects for industrialization.
Today, you can freely visit the Medeo, whether you are an ice skater or not.
This location is ideal for a family vacation, people of all ages will surely fall in love with this place!
Take a trip with family now!
Address: Gornaya St 465, Almaty 050020, Kazakhstan
Hand’s up to all the backpackers! This is the place you should not miss!
Mount Sherkala is located in Magystau Province.
It is a mountain that has an unusual shape that is situated in the sandy deserts. Mount Sherkala was once used as a watchtower during the Silk Road in 130 BC.
From a distance, it looks like a huge rock formation and a yurt, a traditional tent used by Kazakhs.
Backpackers can camp, climb to the top, and admire the beautiful ancient desert.
Also, explore the Shakpak Ata Cave Mosque, a forgotten cave mosque that offers spectacular carvings on the walls. It sits in the middle of the desert.
Moreover, Mount Sherkala is in its magical state during the sunset.
When the sun is setting, the mountain turns itself into a color of orange that seems camouflaged in the skyline.
This is another adventure that will take your breath away. Experience it and create memories that will last a lifetime!
Address: Mount Sherkala, Magystau Province, Kazakhstan
A journey in the dazzling and lively city of Shymkent
Shymkent is located in Southern Kazakhstan.
Stroll along the city center plaza, where you will come across various boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and shops that sells local handicrafts.
And if you find yourself in need of a little food trip, head to the bazaar, which is lined with stalls selling a variety of foods such as fruits, meats, vegetables, and other local delicacies.
The most famous food you should try while in Shymkent is the sweet potato salad called Olivier salad, made of turkey sausage, potatoes, pickles, mayo, and egg.
It is a mix of Kazakhstan and Russian cuisine. You can taste it for a very budget-friendly price.
Once you are done and still want to spend some time in the city, take a rest at the park, where you will enjoy watching skaters and locals picnic.
At night, explore the Bar Villa, a popular hotspot for fun nightlife in the city. The bar features a stunning tree-leveled terrace. You can order a good drink that will make your night more fun.
Now is the time to explore Shymkent!
Address: Shymkent, Kazakhstan
Is it possible to travel back in time? Well, the decision is up to you to make. There is a place where you will feel a great sense of history and will definitely give a look back on the past.
Travel to Sauran, an ancient city of Turkistan.
Sauran is a thriving medieval city constructed in the 10th century.
The place is rich in archeological sites and was under protection. Here, witness the ancient dwellings of Sauran that dates back thousand years ago.
The ruins, fortress, and underground pipelines are well preserved for locals and tourists who want to see Sauran in its ancient setting.
Tourists may climb the top of the ruins that date back to the 14th to 15th centuries.
But the most popular attraction here is the bridge that is connected to the castle.
When you are on the bridge, you will see how stunning the ancient landscape blends into the grass and vibrant red flowers.
This is definitely a site you should not miss!
Learn more about the rich historical past of Kazakhstan by visiting Sauran.
Come here now!
Address: Sauran, Kazakhstan
This is a destination in Kazakhstan that you might consider going to if you are interested in escapades of a more exciting nature adventure.
Tamgaly Gorge is a historical landmark located in Tamgaly. It was listed in UNESCO World Heritage in 2004.
It is home to Tamgaly Tas, a Buddhist sanctuary near the Ili River.
This is a unique destination in Kazakhstan, for the Buddhist religion is not widely known in the country.
Here, visitors can view and walk with the fascinating rock formations surrounding the area.
When you explore the Tamgaly Tas, don’t miss the opportunity to witness the rock carvings of Buddha.
This is a real sight to behold!
Locals are drawn to this place for its offers a serene and tranquil environment away from the bustling city.
Spend your time climbing the huge rocks and enjoy a moment of reflection while sitting on the top.
This place is both an adventure and a relaxation. This is the best time to explore!
Address: RG4Q+MJC, Tamgaly, Kazakhstan
Have you ever seen a natural rock formation that is formed like a ball? If not yet, this is the right time to see one!
Torysh is located in Shetpe. It is also known as the Valley of balls.
Here you will see the impressive ball rock formations in different sizes, not one but many balls.
This is due to the soil and mineral that has believed to precipitate over the course of a thousand years.
This is a jaw-dropping destination that makes you wonder whether it is possible or not.
For an excellent souvenir, capture all of the views with your camera.
Visitors may climb to the top to see the panoramic view of the surrounding valley.
Here you may also explore a white valley of rock formation, which gives off an icy atmosphere for it is comparable to ice glaciers.
Discover more about its hidden beauty, travel, and see it today!
Address: Torysh, Shetpe, Kazakhstan
Your Ile Alatau National Park adventure continues as you embark on another picturesque destination!
One of the natural wonders that can be found in Almaty is the Turgen Gorge.
Hikers often described this place as a real paradise. It is most well known for its jaw-dropping landscape and waterfalls.
Turgen Gorge is home to the popular Bear Falls. The falls have a height of 30 meters which creates a beautiful setting amidst the cliffs and fig trees surrounding it.
Apart from these, Turgen Gorge is rich in rivers, springs, and forests.
The Sinegorye lake that you will see here is an ideal place not only for engaging in fishing activities but also for taking a relaxing swim.
If you want to make the most out of your trip, you can book for camping activity wherein a local guide will accompany you throughout your amazing journey.
There are lots of adventure that awaits you here. Plan your travel now!
Address: Turgen Gorge, Almaty, Kazakhstan
A journey to the Islam religion in the city
Turkistan is mistakenly known as another country in the world. But no, Turkistan is a city that can be found in Kazakhstan.
This city is known as the “Land of the Turks.” The home of the most important pilgrimage in the country.
Explore the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built from 1389 to 1405.
The Mausoleum features astonishing Timurid architecture that is very prominent in the Islam religion.
It contains 35 rooms, a mosque, and a spherical dome that is considered the largest in Central Asia.
The Mausoleum remains unfinished. Nonetheless, this is not a reason for you not to visit it.
This place offers a great and authentic experience of the rich Islam religion.
Here you may also taste the local dish of Turkistan, the Kurt. A dried sour cream ball that is made up of fermented milk.
This is a traditional dish in Kazakh culture. You can get them in the nearby bazaar in the area.
Make your Kazakhstan journey more memorable! Come here now!
Address: Turkistan, Kazakhstan
If you are looking for an excellent place to do food trips, here is the place for you!
Zelionyj Bazaar is the most lively and vibrant market in Kazakhstan. It is situated in the city center of Almaty.
Tourists looking for a great piece of souvenirs may browse this market.
But the highlight of your trip is the taste of local Kazakhstan delicacies, an array of Kurt sellers are scattered in the area.
Kurt is a soft dried cream ball made up of fermented milk.
You may also want to try Kumis, a fermented mare’s milk topped with dried apricots and other fruit of your choice.
And if that’s not enough, you can go to the meat section where they sell shuzhuk and qazi, a spicy sausage made from horse meat that was seasoned deliciously.
Fresh bread, tea, noodles, and other common food in Central Asia can be found in the bazaar too.
Suppose you are full but want to explore more. You can go to shops that sell embroidered Kazakhstan hats, jackets, and woven slippers.
This is excellent souvenir shopping!
When in Kazakhstan, stop by this location!
Need more reasons to visit Kazakhstan? Check out reasons to visit Kazakhstan at least once in your lifetime here.
Address: Zelionyj Bazaar, Almaty, Kazakhstan