Almaty is the largest city of Kazakhstan, also known as “southern capital”. It is my favorite city in the country where nature and urbanism are harmonically blended and create a special atmosphere. Even if I am a constant visitor of Almaty, I never get bored with it and would like to introduce a list of 10 places worth of visiting if you are planning to stop by this amazing city.
- Drive to Big Almaty Lake, which is located on the Zailisky Alatau mountain range and takes only 40-45 minutes of driving from the city center. You will be surprisingly astonished by the beautiful scenery throughout the whole journey until reaching the destination, when your astonishment level will double.
- Visit Kok-Tobe. Take a cable car or a bus up to the hill, 1100 meters above the sea-level, and enjoy the spectacular view of Almaty. I would recommend watching the sunset from Kok-Tobe, because sunsets are stunning in this city, especially with mountains at the background. Moreover, you can visit a mini zoo, enjoy some rides, reenergize at one of the restaurants, take a photo with the bronze statue of Beatles, buy some souvenirs and, if you are lucky, see a concert!
- Break a sweat or just relax at Medeu Ice Rink and Shymbulak Ski Resort. The former is known as the world’s highest skating rink, where it is an absolute pleasure to keep doing laps around the rink surrounded by the snow-capped mountains. The latter is a great option as a city getaway throughout the whole year for the lovers of skiing and snowboarding, hiking or for the ones who just find pleasure in drinking coffee and enjoying the beautiful scenery at the same time.
- Take a walk in Panfilov park. Located in the city center, it is very easy to get there and walk around to enjoy some laid-back vibes among happy kids playing and feeding the pigeons. Do not forget to take a look at Zenkov Cathedral. It is a functioning Russian Orthodox church made entirely from wood. But that is not what has surprised me when I first saw it. The bright color palette is what makes this church outstanding from the others. Do not get lazy to see the inside: frescoes are worth it.
- Spend a couple of hours in Alma-Arasan ravine. I have visited this place in the summer and it was beautiful! Surrounded by high spruces, locals love organizing picnics by the river and getting a fresh mountain air. Also, you would not regret visiting Arasan bathhouse with marble bathing area, steam rooms, different saunas and variety of massage options. I can guarantee its great facilities and service because my uncle visits this place, literally, every day… And I am not lying.
It was hard to define only five “worth a visit” places in Almaty because it is a vast city with so many things to do. Anyways, I hope this list will be helpful for any potential visitor of our beautiful country. And if you have any questions or would like to get some more pieces of advice or information, please feel free to contact me by pressing here.