Explore the Top Places To Visit In Almaty For A Complete Vacay In 2024

 In Almaty, Places To Visit, Travel

Get ready to be captivated by the enchanting city of Almaty! Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains, this bustling metropolis seamlessly intertwines the ancient mystique of the Silk Road with contemporary luxuries and awe-inspiring natural landscapes. 

Join me on a journey as we explore the most captivating attractions, cultural marvels, and hidden treasures that make Almaty an absolute must-see destination! You can also experience an unforgettable Almaty tour with our exclusive Almaty tour packages, ensuring you don’t miss a single delightful moment in this exotic destination.

Best Places To Visit In Almaty Kazakhstan

  • The Ascension Cathedral (Zenkov Cathedral)
  • Kok-Tobe Hill
  • Big Almaty Lake
  • Almaty Central Mosque
  • Shymbulak Ski Resort
  • Medeu Ice Skating Rink
  • Green Bazaar
  • Central State Museum of Kazakhstan
  • Kazakhstan Museum of Arts
  • Republic Square
  • Zhibek Zholy Pedestrian Street
  • Charyn Canyon
  • Almaty Zoo
  • Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
  • Arasan Baths
  • Kasteev State Museum of Arts
  • Botanical Garden
  • National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Almaty Tower
  • Gorky Central Park
  • The Beatles Monument
  • Esentai Mall
  • Baikonur Cosmodrome Museum
  • Sunkar Falcon Center
  • First President’s Park
  • Vernissage Market
  • Abai Opera and Ballet Theatre
  • Ile-Alatau National Park
  • Panfilov Park
  • Taraz
  • Lake Balkhash

1. The Ascension Cathedral (Zenkov Cathedral)


The Ascension Cathedral, a famous tourist place in Almaty, stands tall in Panfilov Park and is a famous landmark. It was built in 1907 using only wood and no nails. People from all over the world come to see its beautiful colors and impressive architecture. Inside, you can admire detailed paintings on the walls and feel a peaceful atmosphere.

2. Kok-Tobe Hill


Kok Tobe Hill, located about 1,100 meters above sea level, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Almaty for visitors to enjoy the city’s views and surrounding landscapes. The hill offers mesmerizing panoramic vistas of the mountains. Visitors can experience a thrilling ride on the Kok Tobe Funicular and Kok Tobe Zipline, providing speechless moments while admiring the hills.

In addition to its scenic beauty, Kok Tobe Hill offers a variety of attractions for visitors, such as the iconic Kok Tobe TV Tower symbolizing modernity, and the charming Kok Tobe Park where families can enjoy the lush beauty.

To make the most of the visit, it is advisable to plan the trip during the early morning hours or late afternoons to avoid crowds and enjoy the surroundings at the best times. Comfortable shoes and a camera are essential for capturing the beautiful moments. Visitors are also encouraged to try out the delicacies offered at the hill cafes and enjoy the ambiance.

3. Big Almaty Lake

The big Almaty lake is a natural wonder in Kazakhstan, near Almaty city. The lakes that fall under the top of Almaty attractions have clear water that reflects the surrounding mountain peaks. Getting there is an adventure in itself, with chances to see local wildlife and beautiful landscapes. 

The area offers hiking trails and rugged terrain for adventurous souls. Remember to bring comfortable hiking shoes, plenty of water, and a camera. Standing by the lake, you can’t help but feel wonder and gratitude for the natural beauty. Don’t miss out on a chance to visit this spot as it comes among the best places to visit in Almaty.

4. Almaty Central Mosque


The Almaty Central Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Kazakhstan and is one of the best places to visit in Almaty. It features a grand blue dome and intricately designed minarets, showcasing beautiful Islamic architecture. Modest dress is required, but visitors are welcome to explore the serene interior of the mosque, which is not only a place of worship but also a site of cultural interest.

5. Shymbulak Ski Resort


If you’re visiting in winter, you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Shymbulak Ski Resort. The resort is in the Medeu Valley, just a 25-minute drive from the city center. It has well-maintained slopes, modern facilities, and stunning mountain views. In the summer, the resort is a great spot for hikers and mountain bikers. Adventure seekers must add this tourist place in Almaty to your list.

6. Medeu Ice Skating Rink

Get ready for an unforgettable experience at the Medeu Ice Skating Rink, one of the most popular places of interest in Almaty! Nestled in the Medeu Valley, this incredible venue holds the title of the highest-altitude skating rink in the world. It’s not just a sports venue, it’s a cultural icon beloved by locals and visitors alike. Since its opening in 1951, it has symbolized national pride and Kazakhstan’s enduring love for winter sports.

Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a novice, this rink offers a smooth ice surface and crisp mountain air that will make your heart race with excitement. A day at Medeu promises endless fun, laughter, and unforgettable memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. So, gear up, hit the ice, and let the magic of Medeu captivate you forever!

7. Green Bazaar


A visit to the Green Bazaar is a great way to experience the local culture and food. The market is full of interesting sights, sounds, and smells. You can find fresh produce, traditional Kazakh dishes, and handmade souvenirs there. Be sure to try local specialties like kazy (horse meat sausage) and kurt (dried cheese balls). Do consider visiting this market, it being one of the top Almaty tourist places.

8. Central State Museum of Kazakhstan


The Central State Museum is the largest and oldest museum in Kazakhstan, and also one of the best places to visit in Almaty. It has many old things from Kazakhstan’s history. You can see things from a long time ago and also things from now. Some of the things are about the Silk Road, old Kazakh clothes, and a copy of the Golden Man’s suit. The suit belonged to a warrior and was found in a place called the Issyk mound.

9. Kazakhstan Museum of Arts

Art lovers will enjoy the diverse collection at the Kazakhstan Museum of Arts, which includes traditional Kazakh art as well as contemporary pieces. The museum features paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, offering insight into the country’s artistic heritage and modern creativity. This too falls under the category of some of the best places to visit in Almaty.

10. Republic Square


Republic Square is at the centre of Almaty and is an important historical and cultural site. In the middle of the square, there is the Independence Monument, which honors Kazakhstan’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Around the square, there are significant government buildings and the State Museum of Kazakhstan, making it a key location for visitors.

11. Zhibek Zholy Pedestrian Street


Zhibek Zholy Pedestrian Street in Almaty is a busy place with lots of shops, cafes, and street performers. It’s great for strolling in the evening, people-watching, or buying unique souvenirs. The street also holds cultural events and festivals all year round, making it one of the most happening places to visit in Almaty.

12. Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon is a bit of a drive from Almaty. It’s often called the Grand Canyon’s little brother and has stunning rock formations and a dramatic landscape. Hiking trails let visitors explore the canyon’s depths and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of this top tourist place in Almaty.

13. Almaty Zoo


Almaty Zoo is located in Gorky Park and is one of the oldest and largest zoos in Kazakhstan. It has many different animals, including rare and endangered species. The zoo has animal enclosures that look like natural and educational programs for families. Kids will love spending time in this top tourist place in Almaty.

14. Al-Farabi Kazakh National University


The university, named after the philosopher Al-Farabi, is known for its beautiful buildings and well-maintained gardens. It also hosts cultural events and exhibitions that are open to the public.

15. Arasan Baths

For a really relaxing time, go to the Arasan Baths. They are a group of traditional bathhouses that offer different wellness treatments. You can use a Finnish sauna, Russian banya, or a Turkish hammam, and then have a quick swim in the cold plunge pool. The baths are a great way to relax after a day of sightseeing. Must count this one as one of the best places to visit in Almaty.

16. Kasteev State Museum of Arts


The Kasteev State Museum of Arts, named after the famous Kazakh artist Abylkhan Kasteev, is the biggest art museum in Kazakhstan. It has an extensive collection of over 23,000 works of art, including ancient artifacts and contemporary pieces. The museum is a valuable representation of Kazakh culture and artistic expression.

17. Botanical Garden


The Botanical Garden is one of the peaceful places to visit in Almaty where you can see many different plants and flowers. There are over 6,000 types of plants from around the world in the garden. It’s a great place to take a gentle walk, take pictures, or just enjoy being outside.

18. National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan

The National Academy of Sciences is a vital hub for scientific research and education. The building is architecturally impressive, with beautiful design features and a fascinating history. You can often find interesting exhibitions and public lectures taking place here.

19. Almaty Tower


The Almaty Tower is one of the tallest free-standing structures in the world at 371.5 metres. Although not open to the public, its impressive silhouette dominates the city skyline. For the best view, head to elevated spots around the city, like Kok-Tobe Hill. You must pay a visit here as this is one of the most beautiful places to see in Almaty.

20. Gorky Central Park


Gorky Central Park, also called Central Park of Culture and Leisure, is a popular place for both locals and tourists. The park has rides, a lake for boating, sports facilities, and many cafes. It’s a lively place to spend a sunny afternoon with family or friends. The Park surely is one of the places of interest in Almaty.

21. The Beatles Monument

The Beatles Monument is located on Kok-Tobe Hill, and it’s a special attraction for music fans. You can see life-sized bronze statues of John, Paul, George, and Ringo there. This monument is unique because it’s the only one in the world dedicated to the Fab Four with all members shown together. It’s a great place to take photos and shows how much the band has influenced the world.

22. Esentai Mall


Esentai Mall offers a variety of upscale shops, dining, and entertainment options for a modern shopping experience. You’ll find well-known international brands, a cinema, and art exhibitions, making it a popular destination for both shopping and leisure.

23. Baikonur Cosmodrome Museum


Even though the Baikonur Cosmodrome is far from Almaty, the city’s museums often have displays about Kazakhstan’s important role in space exploration. The Baikonur Cosmodrome Museum in Almaty exhibits models, photos, and artefacts related to the history of space travel. This is one of the most beautiful historical places to visit in Almaty.

24. Sunkar Falcon Center

To experience something special, go to the Sunkar Falcon Center. There, you can see the ancient art of falconry. Trained birds of prey put on shows every day to demonstrate their hunting skills. It’s an educational and thrilling experience that showcases an important part of Kazakh culture.

25. First President’s Park


This park is a lovely green space dedicated to Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first president of Kazakhstan. It has fountains, statues, and beautiful gardens. Many people come here for walks, jogs, and family outings, and the park also offers stunning views of the mountains.

26. Vernissage Market


If you’re into arts and crafts, you’ll love Vernissage Market. It’s full of handmade items like jewellery, pottery, textiles, and paintings. The market supports local artists and craftsmen, so you can find one-of-a-kind souvenirs there.

27. Abai Opera and Ballet Theatre

The Abai Opera and Ballet Theatre in Almaty is named after the famous Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai Kunanbayev. The theatre being one of the top places to visit in Almaty hosts operas, ballets, and concerts. It has beautiful architecture and rich interior design, making attending a performance there a memorable experience.

28. Ile-Alatau National Park


Ile-Alatau National Park, located south of Almaty, covers a large area and offers various outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and wildlife watching. The park is home to a variety of plants and animals, including snow leopards and ibex. Notable attractions within the park include the Turgen Gorge and the Butakovka Waterfall.

29. Zailiyskiy Alatau


The Zailiyskiy Alatau mountain range, which is part of the Northern Tien Shan, creates a beautiful backdrop to the city of Almaty and offers many outdoor activities. Hiking, rock climbing, and mountaineering are popular in these mountains, with trails suitable for all skill levels. The area’s scenic valleys and unspoiled nature make it a great place for people who love outdoor activities.

30. Panfilov Park

This park pays tribute to the brave warriors of World War II and serves as a symbol of resilience and patriotism. It’s the perfect place for picnics and relaxation, surrounded by breathtaking nature. The park is packed with attractions for visitors of all ages and interests.

History enthusiasts will love exploring the various monuments and memorials that offer a glimpse into Kazakhstan’s captivating past. The Memorial of Glory honours the heroic soldiers of Kazakhstan who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But the excitement doesn’t stop there! Surrounding the park are incredible landmarks and attractions waiting to be explored. Dive into the vibrant atmosphere of the Green Bazaar, where you can indulge in local delicacies and pick up unique souvenirs. And don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, where you can uncover the fascinating history and culture of the country. There’s no shortage of incredible things to see and do in this dynamic area!

31. Taraz


If you’re fascinated by ancient sites, mysterious places, and awe-inspiring ruins, then you absolutely have to make your way to Taraz. This city is renowned as one of the top tourist destinations in Kazakhstan, offering a treasure trove of secrets from centuries past. 

Don’t miss the chance to explore the Babaji – Khatun Mausoleum with its distinctive sixteen-ribbed conical dome, and be sure to plan an adventure to Talas River near the border with Kyrgyzstan. Taraz is not just a city; it’s a living, breathing historical wonder that every traveler should experience.

32. Lake Balkhash


Imagine a breathtaking body of water, the 15th largest lake in the world! Nestled 600 miles to the east of the Aral Sea, this majestic lake not only serves as a vital source for hydroelectric projects but also stands as one of the most remarkable places to visit in Kazakhstan. Its northern banks are adorned with an impressive array of rocks, adding to the lake’s allure. Once a thriving hub for marine life, Lake Balkhash was home to an astonishing 20 species of fish.

Almaty is a city that mixes tradition and modernity. It has something for every type of traveler, from cultural heritage to natural beauty. You can find adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion here. Consider visiting these remarkable places to fully appreciate this dynamic city.

What local cuisine should I try in Almaty?

Some local cuisine to try in Almaty include beshbarmak (a meat and noodle dish), plov (rice pilaf), and shashlik (grilled meat skewers), lagman (noodle soup).

Is Almaty suitable for adventure activities?

Yes, Almaty is suitable for adventure activities, including hiking, skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, paragliding, rafting, and horseback riding, thanks to its surrounding mountains, lakes, and rugged terrain.

What are the top attractions in Almaty?

The main attractions in Almaty are The Zenkov Cathedral (Ascension Cathedral), Panfilov Park, Kok-Tobe Hill, Big Almaty Lake, Almaty Central Mosque, Shymbulak Ski Resort, Medeu Skating Rink, Green Bazaar, Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, Republic Square.

What is the best time to visit Almaty?

The best time to visit Almaty is in the summer months from June to August for pleasant weather, or in winter from December to February for skiing and snow activities.

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