Unique and striking places in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan sights: top 25

Kazakhstan is a large country at the junction of Europe and Asia, which always welcomes its guests with hospitality, attracts a rich nature and monuments of antiquity. In this beautiful and colorful country hundreds of cultures and nationalities have harmoniously coexisted for centuries giving it a unique versatility. The sights of Kazakhstan include natural and man-made, historical and modern monuments, which are concentrated in this land in abundance. One of the main treasures of the country is the boundless steppes, preserving countless artifacts of antiquity. Everyone finds something to see in Kazakhstan, discovering something new and special here.

What to see in Kazakhstan first

In order to have a well-coordinated and organized trip, it is recommended to plan the route in advance. To make the right choice, what to see in Kazakhstan in 1 day, a week or any other period, you should read the recommendations in this article.

1. Astana-Baiterek Monument

Astana-Baiterek, one of the main symbols of the country representing its prosperity and well-being, opens the ranking. According to the idea of architects, this landmark of Kazakhstan has embodied in itself the idea of a three-tiered Peace Tree symbolizing the antagonism of good and evil and uniting the world of the dead, the world of the living and the heavens. In the lower level of the structure is a cafe, an art gallery and a large aquarium with fish. The middle level of the monument is a high tower with modern high-speed elevators. The upper level is decorated as a huge glass ball, from which there is a beautiful panoramic view of the surroundings of Astana.

2. Khan Shatyr

For short years of its existence Khan Shatyr has become a popular attraction, which attracts numerous excursions in Kazakhstan. The huge 150-meter “tent” of the shopping center is already visible from afar, smoothly blending into the architecture of the surrounding buildings. Once inside, you can spend almost the whole day – there are so many interesting things concentrated on the Khan Shatyr squares. There are numerous stores, restaurants, internet cafes, greenhouse, a huge parking lot and even a large water park with three pools and a real sandy “beach”.

3 – The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

Among other attractions, guides in Kazakhstan recommend visiting this most important shrine on the vast steppes of Southern Kazakhstan. The mausoleum was built in honor of the famous poet Ahmed Yasawi in 1405 in the place where his modest tomb used to be. Over time this architectural ensemble combined various premises – a tomb, a mosque, a library, a pantheon of Kazakh khans with 43 tombstones, a bathhouse and various auxiliary premises.

4. Baikonur Cosmodrome

For many decades, the Baikonur Cosmodrome has been and remains the world’s most important launch site for spacecraft. It was from here that the first man flew into space, the first artificial satellite, famous manned spacecraft and orbital stations, as well as other spacecraft that to this day furrow the expanse of the solar system, were launched. There is no doubt that a visit to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is worth a visit – this trip will leave the most extraordinary memories.

5. Museum of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

This museum stands out favorably among other museums of the capital Astana, and above all for the fact that its halls once housed the residence of the first president of the country. Today in the museum you can see the originals of the most important archival documents, valuable books, awards and other exhibits, which are somehow related to the history of the country. There are also regularly held photo exhibitions and exhibitions devoted to political and scientific activities.

6. Palace of Independence in Astana

Guests of Astana are sometimes surprised by a large number of buildings with an unusual architectural execution. Reviews indicate that the Palace of Independence belongs to such buildings. In fact, this building does not correspond to the classical idea of the castle. Trapezoidal construction of glass and metal bars, according to architects, symbolizes Kazakhstan and rapidly developing Astana. The palace has three floors, on the first of which halls for important business events are located, on the second – galleries with expositions of modern art, on the third – the historical museum of Astana.

7. The Palace of Peace and Accord

Going back to the question of what to see in Kazakhstan, being in its capital, we can recommend the Palace of Peace and Harmony, another one of the landmarks of Kazakhstan in the category of unusual architectural constructions. The building is in a futuristic style in the form of a regular pyramid 62 meters high, the facets of which symbolize the openness of the Kazakh people to all nations and religions. Inside the building there is an Opera Hall and several presentation halls, various official meetings, presentations and marriage ceremonies are held.

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8. Map of Kazakhstan Atameken

It is hard to imagine, but it is possible to go around all of Kazakhstan, to see its interesting places and main sights in just one hour – it is enough just to be in a unique historical and ethnographic complex “Map of Kazakhstan Atameken”. The park, spread over an area of 1.7 hectares, is a model of the whole country: on an area the size of two soccer fields there are endless fields and steppes of Kazakhstan, ancient temples and other major attractions, marked all the regions of the republic and the location of the two major cities in the country – Almaty and Astana.

9. Almaty Zoo.

There is something to see in Kazakhstan for lovers of wildlife – spacious Almaty Zoo became a shelter for 5600 specimens of various animals, which number here about 3.5 hundred species, including 28 species listed in the Red Book. These include the animals of the African continent, the tropics, and Kazakh steppes, which are distributed on the territory of the zoo into six different sections. Four sections are devoted to animals, and two more – to feathered inhabitants, exotic and local. There is also an aquarium with sea creatures, an exotarium with amphibians and insects.

10. Medeo Sports Complex

In the mountain gorge Medeo there is a sports complex of the same name – the world’s highest sports complex, designed for winter sports. This is a true paradise for active tourists – for example, a huge ice rink with area of 10.5 thousand square meters was the place of numerous world records, and was given the status of a “record factory” for this. A modern rope way, 4.5 km long, allows getting up from the Chimbulak base to the ski piste in 15 minutes, and Medeo stadium accommodates up to 8,500 people at a time.

11. Nur-Astana Mosque

Where to go in Kazakhstan from religious shrines? One such attraction is the Nur-Astana Mosque in Astana, a modern building from 2005 that is striking both for its exterior and interior splendor. The snow-white building is topped with a huge gilded dome and its four minarets reach 62 meters into the air. The internal premises with the area of several thousand square meters can accommodate up to 5 thousand worshipers at a time. Around the mosque there is a spacious courtyard with a big bowl of a fountain.

12. Beket-ata underground mosque

One of the most revered Kazakh people was the famous hermit Beket-Ata, who passed many roads during his life and built four mosques. One of these mosques, carved out in the Oglandy tract right in the rock, has become one of Kazakhstan’s significant landmarks and a famous place of pilgrimage. Locals say that after visiting the saint’s grave believers are cured of any ailments. The premises of the mosque include four rooms, which are arranged in such a way that creates perfect audibility during the recitation of prayers.

13. Khazret Sultan Mosque

The largest sanctuary in Kazakhstan is located in its capital and is called Hazret Sultan. This is a modern landmark of Kazakhstan, the countdown of the history of which began not so long ago – in 2012. Both exterior and interior decoration of the mosque attracts its airiness, solemnity, gorgeous paintings and volumetric decor. The internal prayer halls of the mosque can accommodate 10 thousand worshippers, and the total area of the shrine is as much as 11 hectares. The structure is especially beautiful at night, when each of its tiers is advantageously emphasized by the night illumination.

14. Voznesensky Cathedral in Almaty

Another religious landmark of Kazakhstan is Ascension Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church. Its unique feature is that it was built of wood at the beginning of the 20th century, and even a major earthquake did not shake the strength of the structure. Today this wooden structure knows no equals not only in Kazakhstan, but all over the world. The cathedral still shines with its splendor and beauty, and in its halls hold daily services, symbolizing the indomitable power of faith.

15. Arystan Baba Mausoleum

There is something to visit in Kazakhstan among funerary buildings – in 150 kilometers from Shymkent city there is mausoleum, erected on the tomb of famous spiritual preacher Arystan Baba. The building consists of a mausoleum and a funeral hall, united between a wide corridor. In the shrine, in addition to the tombstone of the spiritual master, there are tombstones of his three followers. And the mosque houses the prayer hall and various auxiliary rooms.

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16. Aksu-Zhabagli Reserve

In addition to the cultural and historical attractions, there is something to see in Kazakhstan among the numerous monuments of nature. The Aksu-Jabagly Reserve is an unbelievably beautiful place, where all the splendor of mountain nature can be seen: snow caps of the highest mountain peaks, breathtaking gorges, rushing waterfalls, and alpine meadows. The lands of these territories are rich in fossil remains of plants and animals of the Jurassic period. The flora of the reserve today is diverse and includes more than 1700 plant species, and among the animals the most populous is the fauna of birds – there are about three hundred species of them.

17. Altyn-Emel National Park.

The largest protected area in Kazakhstan, Altyn-Emel National Park, is located in the desert and mountainous regions of the country. This is where the famous Singing Barkhan, the unusual Katutau and Aktau mountains, as well as the famous Sak barrows are located. This land beckons with amazing landscapes, clear mountain air and numerous monuments of antiquity. Another attraction of the park is radon springs with warm healing waters.

18. Singing Barchan of Altyn Emel Nature Reserve

Altyn-Emel National Park is so big that some of its sites are perceived as unique landmarks of Kazakhstan. This also applies to the singing barkhan – a sand dune about a hundred meters high and more than 3 kilometers long. The barkhan was formed by the constant wind Shilik, which walks in this area. It is called a singing dune because its quicksand emits a unique vibrating hum that somehow resembles the sound of an organ. The hum is the result of the sand grains rubbing against each other.

19. Tamgaly-Tas petroglyphs.

Fans of mysticism and all kinds of mysteries of nature will find something to see in Kazakhstan – the territory of the republic is rich in anomalous zones. Tamgaly Tas tract is one of such places. This unusual place consists of sheer cliffs, many of which are completely covered with mysterious inscriptions and drawings, which attract not only tourists but also scientists. Experts to this day are still fighting over the mystery of who were these craftsmen, who left the descendants of rock writings.

20. Borovoye resort (Burabay).

The Akmola region is distinguished by the extraordinary beauty of the landscape and a comfortable climate. That is why the Borovoe resort, which is often called the “pearl of Kazakhstan,” is located there. It’s a beautiful oasis of blue lakes framed by high mountains and century-old pines. Sanatoriums of the resort offer a whole complex of health-improving services: mud treatment, balneological procedures, treatment in salt mines, radon therapy, etc. Besides sanatoriums, Borovoe has the best hotels in Kazakhstan that offer a high level of services at affordable prices.

Attractions of Kazakhstan: what else to see in Kazakhstan

The Republic of Kazakhstan is rich in sights, and even a seasoned traveler familiar with this land will always find something to see in Kazakhstan. Below is a review that includes descriptions of other places of interest in the country.

21. Big Almaty Lake

Not far from Almaty there is a real miracle of nature – a mountain lake framed by snow-covered mountain peaks, one of the most beautiful places in Kazakhstan at an altitude of 2,500 meters. Everyone, who has been to this unreal by its beauty place, come back here again and again. The main mystery of the lake is a variable color of water, from light greenish to deep turquoise. Another peculiarity of the reservoir is sharp seasonal drops of water, which can reach 20 meters.

22. Lake Balkhash

Lake Balkhash is the largest lake in Kazakhstan, which is 600 km long. Numerous beaches of the lake are covered with sand and are ideal for recreation from May to September. The main unique peculiarity of this lake is that its waters are of different compositions: the lake water area is divided into parts by a narrow strait, fresh waters fill the western part and salty waters the eastern one. The salt waters and mud of Balkhash have properties beneficial to the human body.

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23. Aral Sea

Another landmark of Kazakhstan, the Aral Sea, is unique in that it is essentially a salt lake, and the sea is called because of its impressive size. Alas, this lake is now known not only for its size – it is notorious for human activities, namely the systematic withdrawal of water from the rivers that feed the lake. This has led to the fact that in the 1960s the lake began to dry up rapidly. Today the area and volume of water of the Aral Sea have many times decreased, the area of lifeless desert in its place is rapidly growing, and since 1989 the Aral broke up into two bodies of water – the Northern and Southern Aral Sea.

24. Charyn Canyon

Nature in Kazakhstan is diverse, and this diversity is complemented by a picturesque 154-kilometer gorge – Charyn Canyon, which stretches along the valley of the Charyn River. It was this river that for several million years has been chiseling the canyon in the rock, creating a unique landscape in this area. Today the canyon has a relief that surprises with its diversity – bizarre rock shapes, steep slopes, steeps, hills, arches and columns attract attention and resemble some kind of sculptures-monuments.

25. Lake Issyk

In the mountain gorge east of Alma-Ata lies Issyk Lake, a landmark of Kazakhstan, which along with the Aral Sea, has its own sad fame. The population of Kazakhstan still remembers the tragedy of 1963, when a mudflow from the mountains knocked down the lake’s natural dam, emptying it literally in a matter of hours. After a while Issyk managed to be restored and an artificial dam was installed, but the lake never reached its former size – today it is half its original size.

Modern trends in tourism suggest that travel to the former Soviet Union is gaining popularity, and Kazakhstan is no exception. Excursions to Kazakhstan with a Russian-speaking guide will allow you to get acquainted with the sunny and hospitable country, appreciate the beauty and grandeur of the Kazakh land. Read also about the best sights of Tajikistan and be inspired for your further journey through Asia!

25 amazing places in Kazakhstan, which everyone should visit

Today no one can be surprised by stories about a romantic trip to Paris, adventures in the mountains of Nepal, a Mediterranean tan and shopping in Milan.

But who among us can talk in detail about the beautiful places of Kazakhstan, boasting about a vacation in his native resort? Chasing trends sometimes leads to the fact that some can hardly list the sights of the country, which, by the way, we have enough of.

We will tell you about the amazing places in Kazakhstan, which everyone should visit.


Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan until 1997, is located in a very beautiful place – at the foot of the Zailiysky Alatau, in the valley of the Bolshaya and Malaya Almatinka Rivers. Almaty has a lot of greenery, parks, interesting architecture, fountains, museums, framed by a panorama of mountain peaks.

1. Among the interesting and beautiful places of the southern capital is Panfilov Park, spread around Zenkovsky Cathedral, one of the few remaining intact monuments of the tsarist period. His uniqueness is that the Cathedral was built of wood without the use of nails.

2. Zailiisky Alatau.

The majestic peaks of the Kengay Alatau are one of the most beautiful places in Kazakhstan. The two ridges stretch from west to east from Almaty to Issyk-Kul. Visitors to Kazakhstan and fans of mountain extreme are attracted by the impregnable mountain glaciers, beautiful mountain rivers, charming valleys, where nomadic shepherds graze their sheep.

3. Khan-Tengry Peak

The most beautiful and mountainous peak not only in Kazakhstan but in the whole world. The fame of this place was brought by the unusual shape of its peak – almost perfect pointed pyramid, which during sunrise and sunset is painted together with the whole mountain in scarlet color. Since ancient times, people have inhabited this interesting and beautiful place with spirits and surrounded it with legends.

4. Kolsay Lakes

Lakes Kul-Sei or Kolsay is one of the most beautiful places in Kazakhstan, these are three green lakes filled with pure icy water of the river of the same name in the foothills of Zailiisky Alatau at an altitude of 2000 m. The lakes are home to rainbow trout, which live only in spring or running water, and in the surrounding mountains you can find red deer, mountain goats and even bears.

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5. Aktau

Aktau is one of the largest cities in the world, located in a place where human life seems completely impossible. It was founded in 1963 on the shores of the Caspian Sea, when uranium deposits were found in the vicinity.

The vicinity of Aktau is famous for its beautiful and unique desert landscapes of the Mangyshlak Plateau. Desert climate and erosion have distinguished on the hard rocks of this place – created thousands of miniature mountain chains, tiny canyons and deep depressions filled with very salty water.

6. Lake Balkhash.

This lake is a unique natural object on the territory of Kazakhstan. Its area is enormous at a very small depth, the eastern half of the lake contains salty water and the western half is relatively fresh, so the underwater world and the inhabitants of different parts of this beautiful and original place are dramatically different.

7. Lake Kaindy

Lake Kaindy is one of the most beautiful places in Kazakhstan. It is located in the Kengay Alatau gorge and was formed in 1910 as a result of an earthquake. Landslides blocked the mountain gorge, which was filled with spring water that drowned the living coniferous forest. The tall trees were not completely covered by water – their tops were sticking out over the lake, getting the name Sentinels from the locals.

8. Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmet Yassawi

Located in the south of the country, in the city of Turkestan, the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmet Yassawi was erected back in the 14th century in honor of the ancient Turkic poet and Sufi Ahmet Yassawi, who lived in the East in the 12th century. It is a complex of palaces and temples and besides the mausoleum there is a medieval bath, a hilvet where the great saint lived and an underground meditation house Kumshik-ata which has miraculously survived until today.

9. Charyn Canyon

Charyn canyon is one of the most ancient and beautiful places in Kazakhstan. The rocks, of which the canyon is composed, are more than 12 million years old! And the bizarre forms, which take bright red sandstone under the influence of wind and water, are striking in their fairy-tale beauty and splendor. One of the rarest tree species, relict Sogdian ash, also grows there. 25 million years ago this tree was widespread on the planet. Now ash groves can be found only in the Charyn Canyon and in North America.

10. Katon-Kargai

Katon-Karagai is a unique place in VKO, where there is a national nature park and a reserve. The nature here is very beautiful – forests neighbor subalpine meadows, lakes and rivers neighbor mountains. The reserve boasts a diverse fauna: there are moose, bears, red deer, ermine, sable, and many other rare species of fauna.

11. baikonur

There is a famous space launching site with the same name, and almost all sights are connected with cosmonautics. The most popular tourist attractions are the Museum of the History of the Cosmodrome, the International Space School, the Gagarin Pavilion, the Cosmonauts Alley, and the “Cosmonaut” hotel, where cosmonauts stay before going into space. Only in this city you can see the launch of the most real rocket. Almost every street in Baikonur has a monument – in honor of scientists, cosmonauts, writers, and poets.

Beket-ata Mosque

Beket-ata is a sacred place for Kazakhstani Muslims, it is practically on a par with the burial place of Khoja Ahmet Yassaui. All year round the believers and pilgrims come here in endless stream – up to a thousand people a day.

13. Borovoye .

Borovoye is considered the most famous resort in Kazakhstan, which is famous for its nature, dozens of health resorts and clean air. In summer it is a wonderful recreation by the lake, and in winter – sports entertainment.

The main attraction of the area is called the rock Zhumbaktas – a mystery rock, which resembles an Egyptian sphinx on one side, an old woman on the other, and a girl-beauty on the third.

14. Sanctuary of Merke

It is located at an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level, near the village of Merke in Zhambyl region. There are about seventy monuments (mounds and stone statues) that have survived to this day. They reflect different periods in the history of Semirechye.

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15. Map of Kazakhstan “Atameken”

It is possible to see the country as if in the palm of your hand at once. “Atameken” is a unique open-air museum, where the city sights and historical monuments of the country are presented. How, in what houses and in what conditions the ancestors of numerous nationalities of Kazakhstan lived, you can see not only in history books, but also with your own eyes – in the ethno-village in Ust-Kamenogorsk. On the left bank, near the eco park a special area was equipped with a single street, where there are homesteads of 11 nationalities, in addition to Russian and Kazakh. In our multinational country you can learn not only traditions and customs of different peoples, but now you can visit every nation. Everything in the village is repeated with precision: the materials used to build houses, household items, clothing. Some of the exhibits are over 100 years old.

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16. Baiterek

The Baiterek Monument is a young architectural monument, it is only 12 years old. It was built in 2002 on the initiative of the President as a symbol of moving the capital from Almaty to Astana. At a height of 97 meters there is an imprint of the hand of Nursultan Nazarbayev, and around the monument there are large park areas.

17. Zharkent

The mosque in the city of Zharkent, on the border with China, built in the 19th century, is famous for its resemblance to a pagoda in appearance – the roof is sloping, and its edges “look” up. It is also surprising that it was built without a single nail or iron staple, and as the material for the construction were used wood Tien Shan fir. The walls and arches are painted and covered with carvings.

18. Dead Lake.

One of the most mysterious places. Near the village of Gerasimovka in Almaty region there is a small lake called “Dead Lake”.

It is surprising and sad that almost every year people drown in the Dead Lake. Locals try to avoid it and advise visiting tourists to do the same. But in fact, they are tourists, to walk unbeaten paths!

For some unknown reason, even in the height of the hot summer, the lake does not dry out, and the water in it remains ice-cold. There is no algae growth, no fish, and absolutely no aquatic insects of any kind. And by the way, there are no mosquitoes and flies on the shore.

19. Ungurtas “The Center of the Earth”.

Unusual energy place, where people from different parts of the world come to get a charge of energy of the Earth and the Cosmos! In the small village of Ungurtas, 100 km away from Almaty, an exit of an energy stream about 8 meters in diameter was found. Rushing into the sky, it has a positive effect on the human energy field, cleanses and strengthens it. A small village of Ungurtas is situated 85 km away from the South Capital, in the direction of Bishkek, at the foot of the mountain of the same name. According to legends, it is here that the system of heaven is connected to the system of earth.

20. The underground church at Medeu

From historical sources, we know that the monks dug underground church in the tract Medeu. According to one of the nuns, who left written memoirs, down led about 20 steps, all inside was lined with wood. There were three separate rooms in the underground and icons hung everywhere. Many people came to the underground church, those who did not fit inside prayed on the surface.

21. Ustyurt Plateau

A desolate area between the northern Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea, replete with anomalous zones and traces of ancient civilizations. UFOs and other objects appear on the plateau quite often, more often than the average in Asia.

22. Singing Mountain

The singing mountain or barkhan is a huge sand hill, which is more than three kilometers long and about two hundred meters in height. This barkhan has grown on the river bank of the Ili River.

23. Turanga grove.

“Altyn-Emel” is a state national nature park in the valley of the Ili River in Almaty region

24. Markakol.

A lake in eastern Kazakhstan. The water in it is very transparent, and its picturesque shores are riddled with bays.

25. Bektau-Ata .

Bektau-Ata is one of the most beautiful sights in the northern Pribalkhash. The peak of the same name rises to a height of one and a half kilometers. The mountain range itself is not very large, only about four thousand hectares, but the number of interesting places here is very large.

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