Central State Museum of Kazakhstan

The Central State Museum of Kazakhstan is located in Almaty, its former capital. As one of the largest museums in Kazakhstan and even Central Asia, it has rich collections which showcase numerous historical relics of the region.

You cannot miss the exhibition of traditional costumes and weapons if you would like to know about the nomad culture in Central Asia. Don’t forget to visit the Highly Valuable Gold Artefacts exhibition in the museum. The dazzling treasure of the nation is going to worth the entrance fee that you pay for the visit.

Medeu Mountain Skating Rink

When you visit northern countries in winter, you have to go skiing and skating to feel the beauty of a snow country. The Medeu is the best skiing spot in Kazakhstan. From December to March every year, you can ride a cable car ride to take you to the ski field on the hilltop, and enjoy the pleasure of speed by skiing downhill. You can also skate without worries on the skate field of the highest altitude in the world.

2011 Winter Asian Games were held right exactly in the Medeu. Skating on this Olympic-level site which allows you to experience being a national athlete, regardless of speed skating or figure skating. The Medeu gives you the pleasure of speed in a snow country.

Zelyoniy Bazaar

There is a saying that you must visit a city’s market to really feel the down to earth life of the people there. If you want to know more about the life of the people in Almaty, go to Zelyoniy Bazaar. From the food and daily necessities that you can buy in the bazaar, as well as the flow of people in different periods, you can have a taste of the tempo of life of Almaty people. For most cities of Muslim countries, a bazaar is the most important trading centre and the most bustling place, so is Zelyoniy Bazaar.

In this centuries-old market, you can stroll from the dry goods stalls out in the open to the wet goods stalls in the old building, and have a glance of different goods available on the benches that extend to both ends of the bazaar. Each bench is dedicated to one kind of goods. The most common one is beef, followed by lamb and chicken. Although this is a Muslim country, pork is available for sale in the bazaar, where a pig’s head on the bench may be found. You can also find some Russian vodka in some stores, and these unique goods show us how Russian culture influences Kazakhstan. You can have a taste of the mare’s milk cheese, which looks like fish ball and is a traditional cuisine of the nomads.

Kok Tobe

If you want to have a panoramic view of Almaty, as well as a view of the spectacular Tian Shan, then you must climb to the top of the city – Kok Tobe. Kok Tobe means “blue hills” in Kazakh. By taking the cable car to the top of the hill at an altitude of 1,100m, you will be greeted by the view of the vast Almaty. There you can see the squareness of the city. Directions are clear and easily distinguishable on the crisscrossing roads. 

To everyone’s surprise, there is an amusement park on the hill with all the rides you need - roller coasters, Ferris wheel, where you can witness the moving world. Apart from the hilltop view, you can visit the observation decks of Almaty Television Tower and be fascinated by the nice night view. Built of only steel like the Nangsam Tower in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, the Almaty Television Tower is the tallest building of its kind, which will provide you with a viewing experience different from other cities.

First President Park

The First President's Park in Almaty is gorgeous. There you can find the Central Asian-style pavilions and flamboyant gardens combined resembles a marvelous landscape painting of Central Asia, while the fountain and Russian-style corridor add a European touch to the park. 

There is even a Japanese-style garden in the park, adding Japanese hint to this Central Asian city. You can also take a walk in the Tian Shan Spruce Forest, which is planted for the Beijing Olympics torch relay. The rockeries and lakes in the park allow you to enjoy the scenic landscape of lakes and hills in miniature, and experience a compressed version of the renowned scenery of Kazakhstan.

Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen

Every country or city has its own parks or monuments built in memorial of the martyrs. For example, the Cenotaph in Hong Kong and the Monument to the People's Heroes in Beijing. For Almaty, it is the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, which was built in honour of the 28 Almaty martyrs that kept Moscow safe with their brave sacrifices when resisting the Nazis. In the park, you can feel the intensity of the war in front of the relief of the monument. You can also, in front of the “eternal flame”, pray for world peace while feeling the immortal spirit of protecting our homes and defending the country. Other nearby sculptures such as the Afghanistan War Monument remind us of the cruelty of war, as well as the need to cherish world peace.

After a short stroll under the shade of trees, you may visit the Ascension Cathedral and say your prayers. Ascension Cathedral is the second tallest wooden cathedral in the world, which created a miracle by not requiring a single nail in the building process. During the Soviets’ rule, the cathedral had been used to house a museum and a radio tower respectively. It was after the independence of Kazakhstan that the building was returned to the church and received the UNESCO Heritage Awards.

The beauty of this cathedral and its subtle architecture are astonishing. In addition to the cathedral, you can, by visiting the nearby Kazakh Museum of Folk Musical Instruments, which was once the House of Officials, to learn about the history of traditional Kazakh instruments. You will notice that the cathedral is a Russian-style building with Kazakh patterns, showing you the integration of Eurasian cultures.