Unveil the best photography spots in Almaty: A comprehensive guide for 2024

 In photography, Places To Visit, Travel

Almaty in Kazakhstan is a young city with beautiful mountains and unique architecture. It was established in 1854 and grew rapidly due to industry and railway connections. Almaty was the capital of Kazakhstan for 70 years. It is the largest city in Kazakhstan and is known for its natural beauty and modern architecture. The city is a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts and nature lovers. If this article peps you up enough, do plan a lovely vacation with Almaty tour packages.

Almaty offers picturesque locations for photography, including urban landscapes, natural parks, and traditional Kazakh culture. Whether you’re capturing the city’s dynamic urban landscapes, its serene natural parks, or the unique blend of traditional and contemporary Kazakh culture, Almaty has something for every photographer. Here are 24 photography spots to visit in Almaty that you should not miss.

1. Kok Tobe Hill

kok-tobe-hill

Kok Tobe Hill in Almaty offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains and is a must-visit for photographers. You can reach the top via a scenic cable car ride, which takes about 6 minutes and offers stunning views along the way. At the hilltop, you’ll find a 360-degree viewpoint perfect for capturing sunrise and sunset shots. 

Don’t miss the modern infrastructure, landscaped alleys, and various restaurants at the park, making it an ideal spot for creating stunning photographs. Additionally, the park features the Kok Tobe TV Tower, the highest building in Almaty. Whether you’re looking for one of the perfect instagrammable places in Almaty or simply want to enjoy the views, Kok Tobe Hill has something for everyone.

2. Big Almaty Lake

big-almaty-lake

Big Almaty Lake is a beautiful mountain lake located about 15 kilometres south of the city. The lake’s turquoise waters stand out against the surrounding rugged mountains and green meadows, making it a great location for landscape photography. The best times to capture the lake’s natural beauty are early morning and late afternoon. This for sure is one of the top instagrammable places in Almaty and clicking photos here is the best thing to do in Almaty kazakhstan.

3. Zenkov Cathedral

zenkov-cathedral

Zenkov Cathedral, also known as Ascension Cathedral, is a famous landmark in Almaty. It’s a colourful wooden Orthodox church located in Panfilov Park. The cathedral has beautiful golden domes and a bright facade that stands out in the park, making it one of the top places to take photos in Almaty.

4. Medeu Skating Rink and Shymbulak Ski Resort

medeu-skating-rink-and-shymbulak-ski-resort

The Medeu Skating Rink, located in the Medeu Valley, is the highest ice skating rink in the world. It’s an excellent place to watch winter sports and enjoy the snowy scenery. On-site, there are various cafes and restaurants serving local hot food and drinks. Nearby, the Shymbulak Ski Resort offers more opportunities to see winter scenes and mountain views. The resort’s cable cars also provide stunning aerial views of the area. Do add this to your list of top photography spots in Almaty. Also remember that these places are known for their adventure activities in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

5. First President’s Park

first-presidents-park

First President’s Park in Almaty is a beautiful and peaceful retreat from the city. It has gardens, fountains, and walking paths, perfect for nature and portrait photography. Perhaps it is also one of the most Instagrammable places in Almaty in terms of tourism. The park covers a 73-hectare area and construction began in 2001. The park features a grand monument dedicated to Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

6. Almaty Botanical Garden

almaty-botanical-garden

The Almaty Botanical Garden is one of the best photography spots in Almaty. It covers 108 hectares and has a wide variety of plants, including rare and exotic ones. The garden has beautiful paths, ponds, and different themed sections that offer many opportunities for macro and landscape photography.

7. Republic Square

republic-square

Republic Square is a central square in Almaty, surrounded by important buildings like the Presidential Palace and the Central State Museum. The square is famous for the large Independence Monument, featuring a golden warrior statue, which is a popular spot for photographs, especially during golden hour.

8. Green Bazaar

green-bazaar

If you’re looking for an authentic local experience and great street photography opportunities, check out the Green Bazaar. It’s a busy market with a lot to see, offering fresh produce, spices, meats, and traditional Kazakh goods. The market is lively and colorful, and the vendors are friendly, making it a fantastic place for casual and documentary-style photography. Do capture candid moments in this perfect photography spot in Almaty.

9. Panfilov Park

panfilov-park

Panfilov Park in Almaty is a historic park named after the Panfilov Heroes. The park has monuments including the War Memorial and the Eternal Flame. The park’s historical significance and natural beauty make it a great place for various types of photography in Almaty, such as portraits and historical documentation.

10. Arasan Baths

arasan-baths

The Arasan Baths, /near Panfilov Park, showcase Soviet-era architecture with a touch of luxury. The baths have an elegant exterior and richly decorated interior, making them a unique subject for architectural and cultural photography. Capture the detailed mosaics, spacious hallways, and the peaceful atmosphere of this iconic Almaty establishment.

11. Central State Museum of Kazakhstan

central-state-museum-of-kazakhstan

The Central State Museum of Kazakhstan is one of the country’s largest and oldest museums. It has a beautiful exterior and well-kept grounds that are great for taking photos. Inside, the museum has a large collection of historical artefacts, traditional costumes, and exhibits showcasing Kazakhstan’s rich cultural heritage, providing plenty of opportunities for photography in Almaty.

12. Almaty Tower

almaty-tower

The Almaty Tower, also known as the Kok Tobe Tower, is a major sight on Kok Tobe Hill. It is 371 metres tall and one of the tallest structures in Almaty. The tower is impressive, and its observation deck offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding landscapes, making it one of the of the best photography spots in Almaty.

13. Ile-Alatau National Park

ile-alatau-national-park

Ile-Alatau National Park is close to Almaty and is great for nature photographers. The park is over 200,000 hectares of untouched wilderness with forests, rivers, waterfalls, and glaciers. The different terrain and many animals make it a great place to take pictures of nature. The most popular spots in the park are the Butakovka Waterfall and the Tuyuk Su Glacier.

14. Esentai Mall

esentai-mall

To experience modern urban photography, visit Esentai Mall. Esentai Tower, the city’s tallest building, is located on Al-Farabi Avenue. It was built from 2006 to 2008 and stands at almost 170 metres with 36 floors. The upscale shopping centre has sleek architecture, contemporary design, and high-end stores. 

The well-lit interior provides excellent conditions for capturing modern urban life and architecture. The lower floors house business centres, while the top floors are occupied by offices and the luxurious Kazakhstan hotel – “Ritz Carlton”. You can take stunning bird’s-eye view photos from the high-speed elevator, as the tower’s huge windows offer a panoramic view of the entire city.

15. Dostyk Plaza

dostyk-plaza

Dostyk Plaza in Almaty is a modern shopping centre known for its innovative design and lively atmosphere. The plaza has a striking exterior and dynamic interior spaces, making it one of the photography places to visit in Almaty. You can capture the interplay of light and shadows in the mall’s open spaces or focus on the vibrant scenes of shoppers and visitors.

16. Almaty Zoo

almaty-zoo

The Almaty Zoo, located in the eastern part of the city, is the largest zoo in Almaty and one of the oldest in Kazakhstan. It’s a 21.5-hectare zoo that is home to a variety of animals, including exotic species and local wildlife. Over almost 100 years, the number of animals at the zoo has increased significantly. It’s an excellent spot for capturing animal portraits and behaviour, as well as for documenting family outings and interactions with nature. Almaty zoo is a must visit place in Almaty Kazakhstan.

17. Al-Farabi Avenue

al-farabi-avenue

Al-Farabi Avenue is a major road in Almaty. It has a mix of city and nature views. The avenue has modern buildings, parks, and monuments, providing many things to take photos of. You can capture the busy traffic, the tree-lined streets, and the mix of old and new buildings along this famous road.

18. Central Park

central-park

Central Park, also called Gorky Park, is a large recreational area in Almaty that has many activities and nice views. The park has rides, a lake for boating, gardens, and open spaces. It’s a good place to take pictures of people enjoying activities or of the scenery and nature. Do mark this as one of the photography spots in Almaty.

19. Nurly Tau Business Center

nurly-tau-business-center

The Nurly Tau Business Center in Almaty showcases modern architecture. Its futuristic design features sleek glass facades and sharp angles, making it a captivating subject for architectural photography. At night, the business centre looks particularly beautiful when illuminated by colourful lights.

20. Khast Imom Mosque

khast-imom-mosque

The Central Mosque in Almaty, also known as the Khast Imom Mosque, is a large and beautiful mosque. Its elegant minarets, grand dome, and detailed tile work make it perfect for cultural and architectural photography. Capture the calm atmosphere and the exquisite details of this important religious site.

21. Kok Tube Amusement Park

kok-tube-amusement-park

Kok Tobe Amusement Park in Almaty is a great place for photography in Almaty. It’s on top of Kok Tobe Hill and has beautiful views of the city and the mountains. You can take great photos of the city skyline from the viewpoint there. The Ferris Wheel is also a good subject for photos, especially at night when it’s all lit up. The amusement park has lots of rides and fun things to take pictures of.

Whether you like taking pictures of landscapes, candid moments, or nighttime scenes, there are lots of different photo opportunities at Kok Tobe. Try taking pictures from different angles and at different times of day to capture the beauty of this unique location.

22. Sairan Lake – Man made lake in Almaty

sairan-lake-man-made-lake-in-almaty

Sairan is a man-made lake in Almaty. It is a beautiful and peaceful place away from the busy city. The lake is surrounded by recreational areas and paths, making it a great location for photographers. You can capture serene water scenes, outdoor activities, and the stunning Tien Shan mountains in your photos. The mountains in the distance provide a dramatic backdrop to the lake. 

People enjoy activities like boating, fishing, and picnicking at the lake, which can add life to your photos. The area around the lake is rich with plants and wildlife, giving a natural feel to your photos. Sairan Lake is also perfect for sunset and night photography. You can capture the magical atmosphere created by the setting sun and the calm waters, as well as the unique urban landscape formed by the city lights reflecting on the lake at night. 

By visiting at different times of day and exploring different angles, you can capture the unique charm and tranquillity of this man-made lake. Whether you’re an experienced photographer or just starting out, Sairan Lake provides ample opportunities to create stunning and memorable images.

23. Zhibek Zholy Street

zhibek-zholy-street

Zhibek Zholy Street, also known as Silk Road Street, is a lively and culturally rich area in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It has a mix of old and new buildings, street art, and bustling street scenes. Arbat Street, a car-free part of Zhibek Zholy, is famous for its lively atmosphere, street performers, and outdoor art exhibits. It’s a busy place for both locals and visitors. The street is lined with beautiful old buildings that show the city’s architectural history. Use a zoom lens to capture the details and craftwork of the buildings such as carvings, balconies, and windows.

Zhibek Zholy Street also has parks, which provide a refreshing change from the city scene. These green spaces are perfect for taking pictures. The street is home to various markets and shops, giving you a glimpse into local culture and lifestyle. Take candid photos of sellers interacting with customers. These shots can tell an interesting story about everyday life.

24. Charyn Canyon

charyn-canyon

Charyn Canyon, often called the “Grand Canyon of Central Asia,” is one of the most stunning natural attractions near Almaty, Kazakhstan. Its impressive rock formations, vibrant colours, and unique landscapes make it a great place for taking photos. Photographers will find various opportunities to capture the beautiful scenery, interesting rock formations, and the colourful contrast of light and shadow. By visiting at different times of the day and exploring different viewpoints, you can build a diverse collection that highlights the natural beauty of this wonder near Almaty.

Conclusion

Almaty has a mix of modern and traditional elements, with cityscapes blending into natural beauty. Anyone, whether a professional or hobbyist photographer, can find diverse and captivating spots to take photos. From the panoramic views on Kok Tobe Hill to the bustling Green Bazaar, from the serene Big Almaty Lake to the historical Zenkov Cathedral, each location has its own unique story to tell. So, grab your camera and explore these 24 photography spots in Almaty to capture the city’s vibrant essence.

What are some popular cultural sites in Almaty for photographers?

Some popular cultural sites in Almaty for photographers include the Ascension Cathedral (Zenkov Cathedral), Panfilov Park, the Kazakh Museum of Folk Musical Instruments, the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, and Republic Square. These sites offer rich cultural and historical elements perfect for capturing the essence of Almaty.

Are there any scenic viewpoints in Almaty ideal for capturing cityscapes ?

Almaty offers scenic viewpoints for capturing stunning cityscapes. Kok Tobe Hill provides panoramic views of the city and the Tien Shan mountains, especially breathtaking at sunset and night. The Medeu Skating Rink, Shymbulak Resort, and Big Almaty Lake also offer picturesque settings for capturing the vibrant essence and natural beauty surrounding Almaty.

Which historical landmarks in Almaty are great for photography?

Almaty boasts several historical landmarks that are perfect for photography. The Ascension Cathedral (Zenkov Cathedral), Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, Panfilov Park, Republic Square, and the Kazakh Museum of Folk Musical Instruments are great spots to capture the rich cultural and historical heritage of Kazakhstan through photography.

What are the best nature photography spots in Almaty?

The best nature photography spots in Almaty are Big Almaty Lake, Ile-Alatau National Park, Kok Tobe Hill, Medeu Skating Rink and Shymbulak Resort, Almaty Botanical Garden, Tamgaly Tas, Charyn Canyon, Turgen Gorge, Kolsai Lakes, Butakovka Gorge.

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