Kazakhstan Astana

17th April 2024

Best Things to do in Astana: Mind-Blowing Adventures (2023)

Are you ready to embark on an exciting journey through the vibrant capital of Kazakhstan? Look no further because in this blog post, we’ll be uncovering the best things to do in Astana!

Why should you listen to us? From our last visit to this place, we learned that Astana is brimming with incredible landmarks, bustling markets, and a thriving arts scene that will leave you in awe.

We’ve curated a list of must-visit attractions and unique experiences, ensuring that your trip to Astana is nothing short of extraordinary.

So, let’s dive right into the enchanting world of Astana and discover the endless possibilities that await!

5 Facts about Astana

  1. Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan since 1997, is a modern and rapidly developing city.
  2. The city is known for its futuristic architecture, including iconic landmarks like the Baiterek Tower.
  3. Astana experiences extreme continental weather, with scorching summers and freezing winters.
  4. The city hosted the EXPO 2017, showcasing the theme of “Future Energy” and attracting visitors from around the world.
  5. Astana is a cultural hub, with numerous museums, theaters, and art galleries, celebrating the rich heritage of Kazakhstan.

Best Things to Do in Astana

1. Bayterek Tower

The Bayterek Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in Astana, Kazakhstan. Standing tall at a height of 97 meters, this futuristic tower holds great cultural and symbolic significance.

The design of the tower represents a Kazakh folktale about a mythical tree of life. At the top of the tower, visitors can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

Apart from its architectural beauty, the Bayterek Tower serves as a symbol of national pride and unity.

It is believed that by placing their hand in the golden handprint of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, visitors can make a wish. This act symbolizes the connection between past, present, and future.

  • Location: Байтерек, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan.
  • Famous For: Its iconic design and panoramic views of the city.

2. Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center

The Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center is a unique and impressive structure located in Astana. Shaped like a tent, this architectural marvel is the largest tent-like building in the world.

The center offers a wide range of entertainment and leisure activities for visitors of all ages.

Inside the Khan Shatyr, you’ll find a diverse array of attractions. From shopping malls with high-end brands to indoor beaches with sand and palm trees, the center offers a surreal experience.

Visitors can engage in various activities such as shopping, dining, ice skating, and even mini-golf.

The centerpiece of the Khan Shatyr is the Sky Beach, an enclosed beach area with an artificial climate that provides a tropical atmosphere year-round.

It’s an incredible experience to relax on the beach, enjoy the warm temperature, and gaze at the panoramic view of the city from this unique vantage point.

  • Location: Turan Ave 37, Astana 020000, Kazakhstan.
  • Famous For: Being the world’s largest tent-like structure and housing various entertainment facilities.

3. Palace of Peace And Reconciliation

The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, also known as the Pyramid of Peace, is a stunning architectural masterpiece located in Astana.

Designed by renowned British architect Sir Norman Foster, this pyramid-shaped building serves as a center for promoting global peace and harmony.

The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation is a symbol of Kazakhstan’s commitment to interfaith dialogue and understanding.

Inside the pyramid, you’ll find a variety of spaces dedicated to fostering cooperation among different cultures and religions. The building houses a concert hall, exhibition spaces, conference rooms, and a winter garden.

One of the most notable features of the Palace is the Hall of Cultures, a round room with stained glass windows representing different world religions.

This space serves as a venue for gatherings, discussions, and ceremonies aimed at promoting mutual respect and understanding.

  • Location: Tauelsizdik Ave 57, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan.
  • Famous For: Promoting peace and harmony among different cultures and religions, featuring a unique pyramid-shaped structure.

4. City Park

City Park is a beautiful urban green space located in the heart of Astana. Spanning over several hectares, this park offers a serene and refreshing escape from bustling city life.

It is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, providing a peaceful retreat where one can relax and rejuvenate.

The park features lush lawns, colorful flower beds, and well-manicured gardens. It offers various recreational amenities such as walking paths, cycling tracks, and playgrounds, making it an ideal spot for outdoor activities and picnics.

Within City Park, you’ll also find several notable landmarks and attractions. These include the Hazret Sultan Mosque, the largest mosque in Central Asia, and the Independence Square, a spacious area often used for public events and celebrations.

  • Location: Astana, Kazakhstan.
  • Famous For: Offering a serene and green space for relaxation and recreational activities in the heart of the city.

5. National Museum of Kazakhstan

The National Museum of Kazakhstan is a significant cultural institution located in Astana. Housed in a striking modern building, this museum showcases the rich history, diverse culture, and natural heritage of Kazakhstan.

The museum’s exhibits take visitors on a journey through time, starting from the ancient civilizations that once thrived in the region to the present day.

The displays include archaeological artifacts, traditional costumes, intricate crafts, and interactive multimedia installations.

One of the highlights of the National Museum is the Golden Hall, which houses a stunning collection of ancient gold artifacts discovered in Kazakhstan.

These intricate pieces represent the exceptional craftsmanship of the ancient nomadic cultures that once roamed the Central Asian steppes.

  • Location: Tauelsizdik Ave 54, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan.
  • Famous For: Showcasing Kazakhstan’s rich history and culture through an extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits.

6. Sky Beach Club

The Sky Beach Club is a unique and luxurious attraction located in Astana, Kazakhstan. This one-of-a-kind destination offers visitors a tropical paradise experience right in the heart of the city.

The club features an expansive rooftop pool surrounded by sandy beaches, palm trees, and comfortable lounging areas. It’s a perfect oasis to escape the bustling city and enjoy a relaxing day under the sun.

With its stunning views of the city skyline, the Sky Beach Club provides an idyllic setting for both daytime relaxation and evening entertainment. Visitors can indulge in refreshing cocktails, savor delicious cuisine from the onsite restaurant, and enjoy live music or DJ performances.

The club often hosts vibrant parties and events, creating a lively and vibrant atmosphere for guests to unwind and socialize.

  • Location: Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center, Turan Ave 37, Astana 010017, Kazakhstan.
  • Famous For: Offering a unique rooftop beach experience with stunning city views, pools, and recreational activities.

7. Duman

Duman is an impressive entertainment complex situated in Astana, Kazakhstan. It is a multifaceted venue that offers a wide array of activities and attractions suitable for visitors of all ages.

One of the main highlights of Duman is its large and modern zoo, which houses an extensive collection of exotic animals from around the world.

Visitors can observe and learn about various species, ranging from majestic lions and tigers to playful monkeys and colorful birds.

In addition to the zoo, Duman also features a thrilling 3D cinema, where visitors can immerse themselves in captivating movies with cutting-edge visual effects.

The cinema provides a unique and immersive experience that engages the senses and transports viewers into fantastical worlds.

  • Location: Korgalzhinsky Hwy 2A Astana, Kazakhstan 010000.
  • Famous For: Housing the largest spherical screen in the world and providing an immersive cinematic experience.

8. MEGA Silk Way

MEGA Silk Way is a renowned shopping mall located in Astana, Kazakhstan. It stands as one of the largest retail centers in the city, offering a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options under one roof.

The mall’s impressive architecture and spacious layout provide a modern and inviting atmosphere for visitors to explore and indulge in a world of retail therapy.

Shoppers at MEGA Silk Way can browse through an extensive selection of local and international brands, from fashion and accessories to electronics and home decor.

The mall caters to all tastes and budgets, making it a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike.

Beyond shopping, MEGA Silk Way also houses a diverse range of dining establishments, ranging from fast-food chains to upscale restaurants. Visitors can savor a variety of cuisines and flavors, making it a perfect spot for a quick bite or a leisurely meal.

  • Location: 010000, Qabanbay Batyr Ave 62, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan.
  • Famous For: Being one of the largest shopping and entertainment centers in Central Asia, offering a wide range of retail stores, dining options, and entertainment facilities.

9. Ajar Center

The Ajar Center is a vibrant cultural hub located in Astana, Kazakhstan. It serves as a creative space and community center, dedicated to promoting and preserving the arts and crafts of the region.

The center showcases the rich heritage and craftsmanship of Kazakhstan through various exhibitions, workshops, and interactive experiences.

Visitors to the Ajar Center can immerse themselves in the world of traditional Kazakh art, including handcrafted textiles, intricate ceramics, and exquisite jewelry.

The center often hosts exhibitions featuring the works of talented local artists, providing a platform for them to showcase their creativity and connect with a wider audience.

In addition to exhibitions, the Ajar Center offers workshops where visitors can engage in hands-on activities and learn traditional crafts such as weaving, embroidery, and pottery.

These interactive experiences provide a unique opportunity for visitors to gain insight into the traditional arts of Kazakhstan and develop new skills.

  • Location: Tauyelsyzdyk Ave. 34, Nur Sultan 010000, Kazakhstan.
  • Famous For: Serving as a hub for contemporary art and culture, hosting exhibitions, workshops, and performances.

10. The State Theatre of Opera And Ballet

The State Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Astana, Kazakhstan, is a prestigious cultural institution renowned for its exceptional performances and world-class productions.

Established to promote and showcase the artistry of opera and ballet, this theater is a cornerstone of the city’s cultural scene.

The theater’s architectural design reflects a harmonious blend of traditional and modern elements, creating a visually striking venue that captivates audiences from the moment they step inside.

Its grand auditorium, adorned with exquisite decor and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, provides a magnificent setting for the awe-inspiring performances that take place on its stage.

The State Theatre of Opera and Ballet hosts a diverse repertoire of operas, ballets, and other classical performances throughout the year.

Audiences can witness breathtaking ballet routines, powerful vocal performances, and compelling theatrical productions, all delivered by highly skilled artists and accompanied by a talented orchestra.

  • Location: Kabanbay Batyr St 110, Almaty 050000, Kazakhstan.
  • Famous For: Presenting world-class opera and ballet performances, showcasing the talent and artistry of Kazakhstani artists.

Best Time to Visit Astana

The best time to visit Astana is during the summer months of June, July, and August when the weather is relatively warmer and more pleasant.

With average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F), visitors can explore the city comfortably and enjoy outdoor activities. During this time, Astana experiences longer daylight hours, providing ample time to discover its architectural wonders, visit parks, and engage in cultural events.

It’s worth noting that winters in Astana are extremely cold, with temperatures dropping well below freezing, so summer offers a more enjoyable and accessible experience for travelers seeking to explore this vibrant and modern city.

How to Get to Astana

1. By Road

Travelers can reach Astana by road via well-connected highways. Buses and private cars are popular modes of transportation, offering convenient access from various cities and regions in Kazakhstan and neighboring countries.

2. By Train

Astana has a well-established rail network, making train travel an efficient option. The city is connected to major cities within Kazakhstan and neighboring countries, providing comfortable and scenic journeys for passengers.

3. By Air

Astana is served by the Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport, offering domestic and international flights. Numerous airlines operate regular flights to and from Astana, connecting the city with major destinations worldwide. The airport provides modern facilities and transportation services for a seamless travel experience.

Where to Stay in Astana

  1. Hilton Astana: Located in the heart of the city, Hilton Astana offers luxurious rooms and suites with modern amenities. The hotel boasts excellent facilities, including multiple dining options, a fitness center, and a spa. Its central location provides easy access to major attractions and business districts.
  2. Rixos President Astana Hotel: Situated in the new administrative center, Rixos President Astana Hotel offers upscale accommodation with elegant rooms and panoramic city views. The hotel features a range of dining options, a wellness center, and event spaces. It is conveniently located near major governmental and cultural institutions.
  3. The St. Regis Astana: The St. Regis Astana offers a lavish and sophisticated experience in a prime location. The hotel features luxurious rooms and suites, fine dining restaurants, a spa, and a fitness center. It is situated in the central business district, close to prominent landmarks and shopping destinations.

Where to Eat in Astana

  1. Assorti Restaurant: Known for its diverse menu and elegant ambiance, Assorti Restaurant offers a wide range of international and Kazakhstani dishes. From delicious steaks and seafood to traditional Kazakh cuisine, this restaurant caters to various tastes and preferences. The cozy atmosphere and attentive service make it a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.
  2. Talan Restaurant: Talan Restaurant is renowned for its exquisite Kazakhstani cuisine and warm hospitality. It offers an authentic dining experience with a focus on traditional flavors and recipes. The menu features an array of flavorful dishes, including hearty soups, succulent meat dishes, and mouthwatering desserts. The restaurant’s cozy setting adds to the overall dining pleasure.
  3. Gosti Cafe: Gosti Cafe is a trendy and vibrant eatery known for its modern atmosphere and delicious food. The cafe serves a fusion of international and local dishes, with options ranging from salads and sandwiches to pasta and sushi. Gosti Cafe’s welcoming environment, stylish decor, and quality cuisine make it a popular spot for both casual dining and socializing.

Travel Tips and Suggestions

  1. Dress in layers as the weather in Astana can vary greatly throughout the day.
  2. Take advantage of the efficient public transportation system to explore the city.
  3. Don’t miss the opportunity to try traditional Kazakhstani cuisine, such as beshbarmak and kazy.
  4. Plan your visit during the summer months to enjoy pleasant weather and outdoor activities.
  5. Visit the iconic landmarks like the Bayterek Tower and the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.
  6. Respect local customs and traditions, especially when visiting religious sites.
  7. Engage with the locals and seek their recommendations for hidden gems and authentic experiences.

Conclusion – Things to Do in Astana

In conclusion, Astana is a captivating city that offers a plethora of attractions and experiences for every traveler.

From the iconic Bayterek Tower and the modern Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center to the cultural gems like the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation and the National Museum of Kazakhstan, there is something for everyone.

Don’t forget to relax at the Sky Beach Club, explore the wildlife at Duman, indulge in retail therapy at MEGA Silk Way, and immerse yourself in the art and crafts at the Ajar Center.

With its unique blend of tradition and modernity, Astana is a destination that will leave you in awe.

So pack your bags, visit this vibrant capital, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

FAQs – Things to Do in Astana

What are the must-visit attractions in Astana?

Some of the must-visit attractions in Astana include the iconic Bayterek Tower, the futuristic Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center, the symbolic Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, and the enriching National Museum of Kazakhstan.

When is the best time to visit Astana?

The best time to visit Astana is during the summer months of June, July, and August when the weather is relatively warmer and more pleasant. This allows you to enjoy outdoor activities and explore the city comfortably.

How can I get to Astana?

You can reach Astana by road through well-connected highways, by train via the established rail network, or by air through Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport, which offers domestic and international flights.

Where can I find the best shopping and entertainment experience in Astana?

For a fantastic shopping experience, head to MEGA Silk Way, one of the largest retail centers in Central Asia. To enjoy entertainment and leisure activities, visit the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center, which houses various attractions and even an indoor beach.

Are there any unique dining experiences in Astana?

Yes, Astana offers a diverse culinary scene. You can try Assorti Restaurant for a mix of international and Kazakhstani dishes, Talan Restaurant for exquisite Kazakhstani cuisine, and Gosti Cafe for a trendy and vibrant dining experience.

What are some local tips for exploring Astana?

Dress in layers to adapt to the changing weather, take advantage of the efficient public transportation system, and engage with the locals to discover hidden gems and authentic experiences in Astana.
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