Visiting Astana

22nd April 2024

8 Best Things to Know Before Visiting Astana

Hey there, fellow wanderers! Planning a trip to Astana? In this blog post, we’ll be spilling the beans on all the essential things to know before visiting Astana, ensuring you have a seamless and unforgettable experience in the heart of Kazakhstan.

From our last visit to this place, we learned that Astana is a true gem waiting to be discovered, and we can’t wait to share our insider tips and local insights with you!

Whether you’re drawn to its architectural wonders, eager to savor local delicacies, or excited to immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the Kazakh people, we’ve got you covered with all the need-to-know details.

Let’s dive into the enchanting world of Astana and get you prepped for an extraordinary journey like no other!

Things to Know Before Visiting Astana

1. Planning

Planning a trip to Astana, the vibrant capital of Kazakhstan requires careful consideration to make the most of your experience. Before embarking on your journey, it’s essential to gather some valuable insights about the city to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit.

First and foremost, familiarize yourself with the weather and seasonal variations in Astana.

The city experiences extreme temperatures, with freezing winters and scorching summers. Packing appropriate clothing, depending on the time of your visit, will ensure you stay comfortable throughout your stay.

Researching the city’s top attractions and cultural sites is crucial for creating an itinerary that suits your interests.

Astana boasts a mix of modern architectural wonders and historical landmarks, like the Baiterek Tower and Independence Square, which symbolize the city’s progress and struggle for independence.

Understanding the local customs and traditions is vital when visiting any foreign city, and Astana is no exception.

The Kazakh people are known for their warm hospitality, so learning a few basic phrases in Kazakh or Russian will go a long way in fostering meaningful interactions with the locals.

Lastly, consider transportation options within the city and plan how to get around efficiently. Astana offers various modes of transport, including buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services, making it relatively easy to navigate the city’s sprawling landscape.

2. Best Time to Visit

Choosing the best time to visit Astana is key to having a delightful experience in this dynamic city. Astana’s climate features distinct seasons, each offering unique opportunities for exploration and enjoyment.

If you prefer milder weather, the best time to visit is during the spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October).

During these seasons, the temperatures are pleasant, and the city’s parks and green spaces come alive with blossoms or colorful foliage, providing a picturesque backdrop for your adventures.

For travelers who enjoy winter wonderlands and snowy landscapes, visiting Astana during the winter months (December to February) is ideal.

You can witness the city transformed into a magical snowy realm, and even partake in winter sports like ice skating and sledding.

However, summer (June to August) in Astana can be quite hot, with temperatures soaring above 30°C (86°F).

If you don’t mind the heat, this season offers a plethora of outdoor events, festivals, and concerts, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Astana depends on your preferences and the kind of experience you seek.

3. Know the Language

Before embarking on your journey to Astana, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the language spoken in the city to enhance your travel experience and foster meaningful connections with the locals.

The official languages of Kazakhstan are Kazakh and Russian. While Kazakh is the state language, Russian is widely spoken and often used in business, education, and government settings.

Learning a few basic phrases in both languages can be immensely helpful in navigating daily interactions and showing respect for the local culture.

Simple greetings like “Salemetsiz be” for hello in Kazakh or “Zdravstvuyte” in Russian can go a long way in breaking the ice and making locals feel appreciated.

Additionally, knowing how to say “thank you” (Rakhmet in Kazakh and Spasibo in Russian) will undoubtedly leave a positive impression.

While many establishments in Astana may have staff who speak English or other common languages, having some language skills will undoubtedly enrich your experience, allowing you to connect more authentically with the people and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of this dynamic city.

So, take the time to learn a few phrases and embrace the linguistic diversity of Astana, making your visit even more memorable and enjoyable.

4. Look For the Best Hotels

Finding the right accommodation is crucial to ensure a comfortable and memorable stay in Astana. The city offers a diverse range of hotels, from luxurious five-star establishments to budget-friendly options, catering to various preferences and needs.

When searching for the best hotels in Astana, consider factors such as location, amenities, and guest reviews. Staying in the city center or near popular attractions provides easy access to key sites, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

For those seeking a lavish experience, luxury hotels in Astana offer opulent rooms, top-notch facilities, and exceptional service. Many of these hotels boast stunning views of the city’s skyline, allowing you to indulge in the modern beauty of Astana.

Travelers on a budget can find comfortable and affordable options without compromising on quality. Hostels and budget hotels provide cost-effective solutions, often with essential amenities and a welcoming atmosphere.

Online reviews and recommendations from fellow travelers are valuable resources to gauge the quality of hotels.

Reading about the experiences of others can help you make informed decisions and choose accommodation that aligns with your preferences.

Booking in advance is advisable, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure your preferred hotel and potentially enjoy discounted rates.

Whether you seek luxury, convenience, or affordability, Astana offers an array of hotel options to cater to all tastes and budgets, ensuring a delightful stay in this captivating city.

5. Become a Shopaholic

Astana, the dazzling capital of Kazakhstan, offers a shopping paradise for every visitor.

Before you embark on your journey, there are essential things to know to fully immerse yourself in the shopping experience and make the most of your retail therapy in this vibrant city.

Firstly, be prepared to encounter a diverse array of shopping options, from modern shopping malls with international brands to traditional bazaars showcasing local craftsmanship.

The Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center, a massive tent-like structure, houses an exquisite selection of boutiques, perfect for indulging in luxury shopping and cultural souvenirs.

Secondly, bargaining is a common practice in local markets, so brush up on your negotiation skills to snag great deals. Engage with the friendly local shopkeepers, and you might find yourself discovering unique items at bargain prices.

Lastly, don’t forget to explore the bustling Green Bazaar, a centuries-old market where you can discover an assortment of fresh produce, spices, and handicrafts.

This vibrant market is a true representation of Astana’s cultural heritage and a sensory delight for every shopaholic.

6. Hunt Those Local Dishes

One of the most delightful aspects of visiting Astana is indulging in its delectable local cuisine. To fully savor the gastronomic wonders this city has to offer, there are a few things to know before you embark on your culinary adventure.

Firstly, make sure to try traditional Kazakh dishes like Beshbarmak, a savory dish of boiled meat and noodles, and Kazy, a unique horse meat sausage. Don’t miss the chance to experience the richness of Kazakh culture through its flavorful and hearty cuisine.

Secondly, explore the diverse dining options that Astana boasts, from cozy family-run eateries to sophisticated restaurants offering international fare.

Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant food scene and embrace the opportunity to try dishes from different cultures.

Lastly, seek out local recommendations and hidden gems. The locals are the best guides to lead you to lesser-known establishments where you can sample authentic and mouthwatering dishes.

Be adventurous and open to trying new flavors, as Astana’s cuisine is a true reflection of its cultural tapestry.

7. Carry That Cash

As you prepare for your exciting trip to Astana, it’s essential to know that while the city is rapidly modernizing, having cash on hand is still vital for a smooth and convenient journey.

While many establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, and upscale stores, accept credit cards, smaller shops, local markets, and public transportation may prefer cash payments.

The local currency in Astana is the Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT). Before your departure, check with your bank for currency exchange options, or consider exchanging some cash at the airport upon arrival for immediate expenses.

It’s advisable to carry small denominations and coins for everyday purchases and to have larger bills for major expenses.

While exploring the city’s markets and interacting with friendly locals, you might find that cash transactions add to the authenticity of your experiences.

It’s also a good idea to inform your bank about your travel plans to ensure smooth usage of your credit cards while abroad.

By carrying that cash in Astana, you’ll have the freedom to explore the city’s hidden gems, enjoy delicious street food, and shop for unique souvenirs, ensuring you make the most of your time in this captivating destination.

8. Make Use of The Public Transport

Navigating a bustling city like Astana can be a thrilling adventure, and the good news is that the city offers an efficient and accessible public transportation system that allows you to explore its diverse attractions with ease.

As you plan your visit, it’s helpful to know about the different transport options available to make the most of your time in this dynamic metropolis.

Astana’s public transport includes buses, trams, and a modern and expanding metro system.

The buses and trams provide convenient access to various parts of the city, including popular tourist spots, while the metro offers a quick and reliable way to travel between neighborhoods.

To use public transport, consider purchasing a contactless smart card at any metro station or select kiosks. This card can be used on buses, trams, and the metro, making it a cost-effective and time-saving option for frequent travelers.

Additionally, ride-hailing services are also available in Astana, providing a convenient alternative for getting around the city at any time of day.

Whether you’re exploring architectural wonders, visiting cultural attractions, or venturing into the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, making use of the public transport in Astana ensures a hassle-free and enriching experience during your stay.

Conclusion – Things to Know Before Visiting Astana

Astana, the vibrant capital of Kazakhstan, beckons with its futuristic skyline and rich heritage. Planning your visit wisely ensures a seamless experience in extreme temperatures.

Embrace linguistic diversity by learning some Kazakh and Russian phrases. Choose the best time to explore its wonders, be it during the spring bloom, enchanting winter, or lively summer festivities.

Shopaholics will revel in the array of modern malls and bustling bazaars. Indulge in local delicacies like Beshbarmak and Kazy to savor Kazakh culture.

Carry cash for an authentic shopping experience, and make use of efficient public transport to navigate the city with ease.

Astana awaits, offering an unforgettable adventure of culture, cuisine, and captivating experiences.

FAQs – Things to Know Before Visiting Astana

What’s the best time to visit Astana?

The best time to visit Astana depends on your preferences. If you prefer milder weather, spring and autumn (April to May and September to October) are perfect with pleasant temperatures and blooming landscapes. If you love winter wonderlands, visit during December to February for magical snowy experiences. Summer (June to August) offers vibrant festivals but can be hot. Choose the season that suits your taste and interests!

Do I need to learn the local language before visiting Astana?

While English is spoken in some places, knowing a few basic phrases in Kazakh and Russian will go a long way in connecting with locals. Simple greetings like “Salemetsiz be” (hello) in Kazakh or “Zdravstvuyte” in Russian will make a great impression. Locals appreciate the effort, and it’ll enrich your cultural experience. Don’t worry; a few language skills are enough to enhance your trip!

What are the must-visit attractions in Astana?

Astana offers a mix of modern wonders and historical landmarks. Don’t miss the Baiterek Tower and Independence Square symbolizing progress and Kazakhstan’s independence struggle. Visit the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center, a grand tent-like structure, for shopping. Explore cultural gems like the Astana Opera House and the Green Bazaar for local experiences. Astana has something for everyone!

How can I find the best hotels in Astana?

Finding the perfect accommodation is vital. Look for hotels near key attractions or the city center for convenience. Luxury seekers will enjoy upscale hotels with stunning skyline views. Budget travelers can find comfortable options. Read reviews to gauge quality and book in advance for discounts. Astana has a diverse range of hotels to cater to your needs and preferences!

Is Astana a good place for shopping?

Absolutely! Astana is a shopping paradise. Visit modern malls like the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center for luxury shopping and cultural souvenirs. Don’t miss the bustling Green Bazaar for a true taste of local life and fresh produce. Bargaining is common, so brush up on your negotiation skills for great deals. Get ready for a shopaholic’s dream come true!

What local dishes should I try in Astana?

Astana’s cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors. Don’t miss the traditional Kazakh dishes like Beshbarmak (boiled meat and noodles) and Kazy (horse meat sausage). Explore diverse dining options, from family-run eateries to international restaurants. Seek local recommendations for hidden gems. Be adventurous and try new flavors – you’ll love the hearty and flavorful Kazakh cuisine!

How can I get around Astana easily?

Astana’s public transport is efficient and accessible. Buses, trams, and the metro cover the city’s attractions. Get a contactless smart card for cost-effective travel. Ride-hailing services are also available. Public transport is the best way to explore the city’s wonders. Embrace the adventure and make the most of your time in this vibrant metropolis!
  1. The Ultimate Baikonur Cosmodrome Travel Guide: History, Facts, Things To Do, How To Reach (2023)
  2. Best Honeymoon Destinations In Kazakhstan: 7 Idyllic Retreats For Newlyweds (2023)
  3. The Ultimate Shymbulak Ski Resort Travel Guide: History, Facts, Things To Do, How To Reach (2023)
  4. 12 Unforgettable Kazakhstan Family Friendly Activities: Fun For All Ages (2023)
  5. The Ultimate Singing Dunes Travel Guide: History, Facts, Things To Do, How To Reach (2023)
  6. 12 Best Shopping Malls In Almaty: Ultimate Shopping Destinations (2023)
  7. 11 Best Family-Friendly Attractions In Almaty (2023)
  8. Unveiling Best Time To Visit Kazakhstan: A Month-By-Month Weather Breakdown (2023)
  9. 10 Best Kazakhstan Traditions And Culture You Need To Know Before You Go!
  10. 17 Best Cafes In Almaty: Unleash Your Taste Buds!
  11. 15 Best Offbeat Kazakh Locations: Know It All (2023)
  12. Discover 15 Best Family Destinations In Kazakhstan: Create Lifelong Memories (2023)
  13. The Ultimate Kok Tobe Hill Travel Guide: History, Facts, Things To Do, How To Reach (2023)
  14. 10 Best Things To Do In Kazakhstan
  15. The Ultimate Aktau Mountains Travel Guide: History, Facts, Things To Do, How To Reach (2023)
  16. Best Time To Visit Almaty: A Month-By-Month Weather Breakdown (2023)
  17. 10 Best Kazakhstan Traditions And Culture You Need To Know Before You Go!
  18. The Ultimate Almaty Travel Guide: History, Facts, Things To Do, How To Reach (2023)
  19. 10 Best Street Foods In Almaty That You Should Definitely Try
  20. Best Things To Do In Astana
  21. 10 Best Kazakhstan Traditions And Culture You Need To Know Before You Go!
  22. 15 Best Things To Buy In Almaty: Ultimate Shopping Guide (2023)
  23. 11 Best Nightlife Spots In Almaty: Experience Electric Nights (2023)
  24. 10 Best Things To Buy In Astana: Shopping Paradise
  25. 12 Breathtaking Instagram-Worthy Spots In Almaty (2023)
  26. 12 Things To Know Before Visiting Almaty: Plan Your Perfect Trip
  27. 15 Best Restaurants In Astana: A Culinary Journey
  28. 10 Best Historical Sites in Astana
  29. Discover 10 Best Area to Stay in Astana
  30. 16 Best Cafes in Astana: Your Ultimate Coffee Guide
  31. 10 Best Things To Buy In Astana: Shopping Paradise
  32. The Ultimate Green Bazaar Travel Guide: History, Facts, Things To Do, How To Reach (2023)
  33. 10 Things to Avoid in Astana – Your Must-Know Guide
  34. 20 Things To Avoid In Almaty For A Safe Trip (2023)
  35. Best Time To Visit Astana: A Month-By-Month Weather Breakdown (2023)
  36. 10 Incredible Reasons To Visit Astana That You Should Definitely Know
  37. The Ultimate Big Almaty Lake Travel Guide: History, Facts, Things To Do, How To Reach (2023)
  38. 12 Best Historical Sites In Almaty (2023)
  39. 8 Best Architectural Marvels In Almaty You Shouldn’t Miss!
  40. 13 Best Hiking Trails Near Almaty: Uncover Spectacular Hikes (2023)
  41. 9 Best Indian Restaurants In Almaty You Need To Visit (2023)
  42. 10 Best Street Foods In Astana That You Can’t Miss
  43. 10 Things to Avoid in Astana – Your Must-Know Guide
  44. 11 Best Instagram-Worthy Spots In Astana, Kazakhstan (2023)
  45. The Ultimate Charyn Canyon Travel Guide: History, Facts, Things To Do, How To Reach (2023)
  46. 10 Best Things To Know Before Visiting Astana
  47. 7 Best Architectural Marvels in Astana : Get Amazed
  48. 10 Best Kazakhstan Souvenirs: Uncover The Hidden Gems! (2023)
  49. 10 Irresistible Reasons To Visit Almaty: Discover The Jewel Of Kazakhstan
  50. The Ultimate Almaty Central Park Travel Guide: History, Facts, Things To Do, How To Reach (2023)
  51. 10 Best Things to Know Before Visiting Astana
  52. 12 Best Shopping Malls In Almaty: Ultimate Shopping Destinations (2023)
  53. 11 Best Nightlife Spots In Almaty: Experience Electric Nights (2023)
  54. 6 Best Indian Restaurants In Astana, Kazakhstan For All Foodies (2023)
  55. 15 Best Restaurants In Astana: A Culinary Journey
  56. 10 Mouthwatering Kazakh Local Dishes You Must Try (2023)
  57. 12 Best Shopping Malls In Almaty: Ultimate Shopping Destinations (2023)
  58. 10 Best Things To Buy In Kazakhstan
  59. 15 Best Things To Buy In Almaty: Ultimate Shopping Guide (2023)

Check out our other trips