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Cities of Kazakhstan

From Astana to Almaty, Shymkent to Turkestan, take in the major cities and sites of Kazakhstan in just six days with this expertly-crafted itinerary. By taking flights instead of overland transportation, you will be able to explore a slew of museums, mausoleums, canyons and caves in less than a week, hitting all the major hot spots and igniting your appetite for Central Asian history and culture. The trip ends at the Uzbekistan border at Chernyaevka, the perfect place for you to continue on, or end your journey. 

Highlights   Pricing
  • Take in views of the capital city of Astana from a rotating restaurant, 23 stories in the air
  • Enjoy dinner on the Kok-Tobe mountain, overlooking the Medeo skating rink and Almaty, the largest city in the country
  • Explore the spectacular Aksu canyon in the Sairam Ugam National Park
  • Stay overnight in the ancient city of Sauran outside Turkestan 
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

Your adventure in Kazakhstan kicks off today in Astana, the country's capital city. After settling in at the Solaxe hotel, embark on a guided tour of the city's highlights, including the Museum of the First President, the Temple of Peace and Accord and a large entertainment complex. Enjoy dinner on the 23rd floor of your hotel, where you will be treated to panoramic views of the city from the rotating restaurant’s windows.

Day 2

Today, you will take an early flight to Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan. Settle in at your hotel before heading out on a tour of the city, exploring the Central Historical Museum, the Republic Square and Monument of Independence and a farm featuring a falcon show. Enjoy dinner and a show before staying overnight.

Day 3

Continue to explore Almaty, visiting the Green Bazaar, Panfilovtzev Park, which commemorates the victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War, Zenkov Cathedral and the Central Mosque. Afterward, head to Medeo skating rink, a famous skating rink located in the mountains just outside of the city, where you can check out spectacular views from the rink and from even higher viewpoints. Enjoy dinner at a restaurant on Kok-Tobe mountain and take a jewelry making class before heading back to your hotel for the night.

Day 4

This morning, catch a flight to the city of Shymkent in the South Kazakhstan Province, where you will check into the Canvas hotel. You’ll then set out to explore the Aksu canyon in the Sairam Ugam National Park, known as the “Valley of a Thousand Eyes” due to a set of caves resembling rocky peepers. Enjoy hiking, fishing and lunch before returning to Shymkent to visit an underground mosque and take a ceramic master class.

Day 5
Shymkent - Turkestan

On the 105-mile/3-hour drive to Turkestan, enjoy stops at a museum in the village of Shaulder, the Otrar ruins and the Mausoleum of Arystan-bab. You’ll have lunch in Turkestan, a city near the Syr Darya river, before travelling approximately 25 more miles to visit the ancient city of Sauran before returning to Shymkent in the evening.

Day 6
Uzbek-Kazakh border

Today, you will be transferred to the Uzbek-Kazakh border at Chernyaevka (around 2 hours' drive) where you may continue your exciting journey into Uzbekistan or return home. Safe travels!


Suggested Accommodations

Marriott Astana Hotel, Radisson Hotel

Marriott Astana Hotel

From the moment guests walk into the golden, adorned lobby of the Marriott Astana Hotel, they will be whisked away into a world of all things chic, sleek and sophisticated. Located just steps from the shops and restaurants of the new city center of Astana, the Marriott offers guests the best location to take in the nearby city sights, such as the Bayterek monument and the city parks. With over 270 guestrooms and suites and an on-site health club and indoor pool, guests of the Marriott can relax after a busy day of sightseeing and shopping before enjoying a gourmet meal at Aroma Restaurant. To cap off the night, visitors can indulge in a cocktail and a view at Vista Sky Lounge, overlooking the capital city. 


Radisson Hotel

For comfort, style, and the glitz and glamor of a cosmopolitan center, welcome to the Radisson Hotel in downtown Astana, Kazakhstan. This riverside hotel - located at the intersection of the old city and the new - defines modern luxury, from its regional art decor to its Cigar Bar, its grand ballroom to its expansive fitness and spa center. Staying just steps from the adjoining Arman complex, guests of the Radisson have everything they may desire within arm’s reach: world-class shopping, gourmet restaurants, an indoor pool, a nightclub and even an on-site brewery! Guests can choose between Standard and Business Class Rooms and Junior, Presidential and Royal Suites, all furnished with high-end decor for sleek, smooth style and comfort.  

Ritz-Carlton Almaty, The InterContinental Almaty

Ritz-Carlton Almaty

Occupying the top ten floors of the Esentai Tower, the Ritz Carlton enjoys unrivalled views of Almaty and the sweeping, jagged, snow-peaked Ile-Alatau mountain range. Guests choosing to stay here have the best of both worlds with easy access to the city and all its famous historic sights as well as the ski slopes in the national park to the south. After a long day on the piste or exploring the city, guests can ascend the escalator into the luxurious surroundings and enjoy all that the hotel has to offer. With restaurants and bars decorated with the latest works from the hottest modern artists in the country, from cocktails with a view to sumptuous dishes prepared with expertise, dining and drinking at the Ritz Carlton is a feast for the senses. Rooms and suites boast stunning panoramas and are fitted with every modern convenience and comfort. Meanwhile, the acclaimed Six Senses Spa offers a retreat from the stresses of everyday life. 


The InterContinental Almaty

The InterContinental in Almaty is a luxury hotel sitting opposite the famous Presidential Palace in Republic Square. It’s the perfect location to see this popular attraction, as well as the city’s many others in this central area. The InterContinental’s rooms are big, bright and fresh with a whole list of facilities and services right on hand. The dining options are impressive too, with an excellent international breakfast buffet, Asian café, rooftop grill, Turkish restaurant and jazz bar. In the evening guests can enjoy relaxing in one of three bars, including a jazz bar and beer garden with light music and boardgames to wind down summer evenings. Elsewhere there is an indoor pool, children’s play area and tennis courts.

Orbita, Rixos


This boutique hotel in Shymkent, Kazakhstan is the perfect base from which to explore this vibrant city in the south of the country. With its world-class service and intricate design, Orbita Hotel is setting the standard for hotels in Shymkent. Located inside a historic two-storey house built by Japanese prisoners-of-war in the 1950s, the hotel combines Kazakhstan flair with traditional Japanese design, including the counter-clockwise numbering of the hotel’s seven rooms, each uniquely decorated. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar, the quiet location, just outside of the busting city, and most importantly, the top-quality service. 



For class, style, and a dash of opulence, the Rixos Khadisha Hotel is the perfect luxury-home-away-from-home in Shymkent. This world-class hotel, located in the business district of the city, features a grand staircase, a spacious entry, and a full-featured spa, including an indoor pool and fitness area, a sauna, and a Turkish hammam - the perfect way to relax after a busy day. Dining options abound: Kazakhasia restaurant, which serves a variety of Asian cuisine; Olivia restaurant, offering traditional Italian; a cocktail at one of the on-site bars; or room service delivered straight to the guest’s luxurious room or suite. At this hotel, guests should prepare to be treated like royalty. 

The Turkestan Hotel

The Turkestan Hotel

Hotel Turkestan, quite appropriately, lies at the heart of Turkestan city in South Kazakhstan. Guests have a choice of standard rooms (double or twin) or can upgrade to a deluxe. The no-frills rooms are basic and could do with a bit of an upgrade, although that's not to say they don't offer a comfortable stay for one or two nights. The grand lobby does its best to bump up the star-rating of the Turkestan, and there's also a bar and restaurant serving a buffet-style breakfast every morning. The real reason guests stop here is to explore the surrounding region, which boasts various attractions illustrating area's rich and long history. The city of Turkestan, about 200 miles northwest of the larger Taraz city, has played a significant role in shaping Kazakhstan into the country it is today, and this city is considered to be sacred for many Kazakhs.
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On his visits to Kazakhstan, Jay is consistently struck by its wild nomadic traditions and its spectacular, thrusting new architecture.
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