Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan. Although the city was founded in 1830, it did not become the capital of Kazakhstan until 1997. Its skyline continues to grow each year as foreign embassies and government offices trickle in, creating an interesting mix of modern designs and old Soviet architecture. Astana is one of the coldest capitals in the world, but that does not stop locals from having a good time.
Best Time to Visit
If you are planning a Travel to Kazakhstan then the best time to visit is all year round and also depending on you favourite tour activity. Like, Horse riding: April to October is the best time. Cycling: Since the summers are so hot in Kazakhstan, and the winters so cold, all-day cycling is best in spring and fall: April – June and September – October. Rafting: Depends on the river, but generally August – October is best as the glacier melt is highest then.
Top Places to Visit in Astana
1. President’s Museum
The interesting building is built like a traditional yurt but topped with a mosque-like dome. Exhibitions detail Kazakhstan’s rich history and the struggle for independence, but the main attraction is the shining Golden Man costume. Found in a tomb on the eastern side of the country, the suit was worn by a warrior and is decorated with over 4,000 gold pieces. The ground floor features traditional Kazakh items, including elaborate carpets, handmade clothing, brightly colored yurts and models of some of the country’s oldest buildings. Another interesting exhibit showcases gifts given to Nazarbayev by foreign leaders, and the entire top floor is dedicated to photographs of Yeltsin.
2. Atameken Map of Kazakhstan
Visit the Atameken Map of Kazakhstan to explore the entire country without ever leaving the capital. The outdoor museum recreates cities throughout the country in miniature. English guides are available to walk you through the over 200 mock-up pieces that detail life around Kazakhstan and highlight historical moments.
3. Kazakh Eli monument
The 100-meter statue is topped with a ìsamryk,î or mythical golden bird, and is surrounded by lovely fountains and gardens. The monument is hugged by the Shabyt Palace, now an art gallery, and the Palace of Independence, which has hosted leaders from all over the world for environmental and political summits.
4. Baiterek Tower
The futuristic tower looks like a giant lollipop, earning the nickname ìChupa Chupsî by locals. The view from the top floor is astounding, and at the center of the 97-meter high viewing platform is a golden palm print left by President Nazarbayev. Visitors line up each day to rest their own hands on the print, and the tower also houses restaurants, an aquarium and an art gallery.
The nightlife in Astana revolves largely around eating and dancing. Turan Street is loaded with inexpensive but good restaurants serving up traditional dishes like sausages, horse meat and vegetable stews, and there is also a small selection of international restaurants in the area. After dinner, locals crowd the city’s discos where they take shots of vodka and dance the night away to the latest techno and electronic hits.