The 5 Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Kazakhstan In 2024

Kazakhstan tourism: Is Kazakhstan worth visiting? What is there to see and what are the things to do in Kazakhstan? Here are the 26 best places to visit in Kazakhstan: from the most beautiful landscapes and natural wonders to the best cities and most remarkable historical sites.

Although Kazakhstan is one of the 5 largest countries in the world, it’s still a destination that many travelers haven’t put on their bucket list.

After spending nearly 6 months on and off in the country, I can tell you that Kazakhstan is definitely worth visiting!

5 Beautiful Places Near Almaty (Southeast Kazakhstan)

Almaty is very often the first city where travelers arrive and the majority of them don’t go beyond this part of the country – which is, to be honest, a shame as there are some incredible places in other parts of the country. You’ll find out when you continue reading this article.

The natural diversity of the Almaty region is amazing – from arid deserts and scenic canyons to lush valleys, snowcapped mountains, beautiful glaciers, and turquoise lakes.

1. Almaty

Almaty is the former capital of Kazakhstan and the largest city of the country. It’s the gateway of many travelers who start their journey in the country or travel to the neighboring country Kyrgyzstan.

Almaty is a surprisingly modern city. It’s the scientific, cultural, historical, industrial and financial center of the country and by the looks of the number of banks, shopping malls and modern designs of the buildings, you can tell that there’s money invested in this city!

How to get to Almaty:

Almaty is the Rome of Kazakhstan as all the roads in the country lead to this city. You can get there by train, minibus or by plane.

You can also travel from Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) to Almaty by minibus.

Read all the practical information about traveling to and around Almaty in The Ultimate Travel Guide to Kazakhstan

2. Ile-Alatau National Park

The Ile-Alatau National Park is a beautiful national park located in the Trans-Ile Alatau mountains south of Almaty. The park was created in 1966 and is home to approximately 300 species of wildlife, including the snow leopard.

There are lots of hiking trails in the National Park that will bring you through woodlands and alpine meadows towards beautiful waterfalls, glaciers, and lakes.

3. Big Almaty Lake

Big Almaty Lake is easily the most famous and recognizable lake in Kazakhstan. Situated extremely close to Almaty, it can strangely feel like worlds away from city life when you arrive in the mountains to the lake.

Known for its ever-changing blue and teal hues, the lake is located very close to the border of Kyrgyzstan- a border that you used to be able to cross on foot but is now off-limits to trekkers. Big Almaty Lake supplies drinking water to the residents of Almaty and you are prohibited from swimming in its vivid waters.

4. Issyk Lake

Nestled in the mountains, the picturesque Issyk Lake is also part of the Ile-Alatau National Park and is fed by the Issyk River. The lake is often confused with Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan, which is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world.

The lake was created by an ancient natural landslide damming the valley and then was covered up by another natural landslide destroying it in 1963.

5. Turgen Gorge

The Turgen Gorge is also part of the Ile Alatau National Park. This beautiful gorge is a real paradise for hikers and is home to dense forests, alpine meadows, lakes, hot springs, and seven waterfalls.

You can go on some stunning hikes or visit the gorge on a mountain bike or on horseback. Here’s a great hiking guide to the Turgen Gorge.


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