Layover plans in Kazakhstan

In recent years, Almaty has become a hub between Russia and Asia and is often the starting point for one’s Central Europe trip. With extravagant futuristic metal and glass skyscrapers, government buildings, and hotels peppering the city. Walking along the main thoroughfare in these cities, I felt like I was in a sci-fi movie!

This is an ultimate One Day in Almaty and Astana Itinerary for First-Timers and ideally for those who are looking to plan activities and sightseeing for their layover in Kazakhstan, or like its famously known – ” Dubai with a Central Asian twist.”

If there is one city I know like the back of my hand, it is Almaty, Kazakhstan. Why? Well to start with there are so many amazing sights in the city. It’s a university town with lots of young people. Locals are very nicely dressed and, well, are really nice too! Above all these, 1 INR is equaled to 5.52 Kazakhstani Tenge. So, it’s pocket friendly too!

Quick Tip: Citizens of the Republic of India, flying with Air Astana and transiting via international airports in Astana and Almaty to a third country or returning from a third country, can enjoy a 72-hour transit visa-free regime. The 72-hour transit visa-free regime is generally applicable to both individual passengers and tour groups. 

I was in Almaty for 30 hours before I could get on my way to Saint Petersburg, Russia. And was in Nur-Sultan (Astana) for 24 hours while coming back home. I must say that the day trips in these two beautiful cities of Kazakhstan outrank day trips pretty much everywhere else I’ve been… but you can most definitely find enough to do in order to spend a day in Almaty and in Astana. Read along to know 🙂

When in Almaty, visit :

Dostyk Plaza
You can do this easily by taxi or by taking the metro to the station ‘Abay’ and walking up the hill from there.

Republic Square
Visit Dostyk Avenue first and then walk from there to Republic Square. Central State Museum of Kazakhstan comes on the way too, so make sure you watch your right side. 🙂

 Children’s Republican Palace
Walk down Satpaev Street and cross over Dostyk Avenue. From there, take a right and it will be on your left-hand side. This is a must-visit piece of Soviet architecture.

 Palace of the Republic
It’s a concert hall that is very well-known in Almaty and was previously called the Lenin Palace of Culture.

Zenkov Cathedral (Ascension Cathedral)
Almaty’s most iconic sight sits in the heart of Panfilov Park, a large green space in the heart of the Kazakh city.

Big Almaty Lake
It’s 30.4 kilometers, or around 18 miles, away from Almaty. It will take you around 1 hour to reach by car or taxi.

One of my favorite things to do in a city is to visit the local market! Buy fresh fruit, nuts, clothing, and household items.

Hazrat Sultan Mosque
The largest Mosque in Asia

When in Astana, visit :

Baiterek Monument
The symbol of Astana is a monument and observation tower located in the city center and it stands 105m (344 ft) tall. The statue is supposed to represent a post-Soviet Kazakhstan

Lake Borovoe

Lastly, Admire the Street Art – A great time to visit this area is around sunset when most people are out and about. There are people selling goods on the streets, musicians and best of all, no cars! 

There are just a few things that would help you ensure smooth 72-hour visa-free transit in Kazakhstan:

  • Let the Air Astana staff at the airport check-in desk in your departure city know that you plan to enjoy the visa-free transit.
  • If you plan to stay in Astana or Almaty, book a hotel in advance and be ready to provide the name of the hotel where you are staying and its address information if required.
  • To obtain a migration card make sure you have the below 3 documents :
  • A valid air ticket or boarding pass to a third country where you are planning to go within 72 hours.
  • A boarding pass receipt of the previous flight.
  • A valid passport with at least one blank page in it and a visa for the final destination country (if the country requires a visa).

We hope our recommendation makes you visit these showpiece 21st-century cities!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Yogesh

    Love the lakes and the culture. And did not know of such a great tourist destination near India.
    Plus we can feel rich there.😍
    Definitely going!

    1. Shefalika Upadhyay

      Thank you so much! 🥰

  2. amit

    all places mentioned in a short and easy way….a quick guide….people who wish to visit abroad must watch this….but a short appeal to you,please write about inida’s places . I hope that even a single person visits inidan city after reading your post then it would be a great contribution to indian tourism industry,,,there are lot of opportunities in north and north-east india which are very unexplored to many people till now…Keep writing 🙂

    1. Shefalika Upadhyay

      Yes. We are introducing our new feather on 15th August which will talk about India with a marvelous outlook!
      We are also excited to publish a few articles on India travel edition soon!
      I am sure you will like it. 🙂

Leave a Reply