Though it lost its status as Kazakhstan's capital to Astana in 1997, Almaty is still the country's most popular city and is often referred to as the capital of the south. Located in the mountainous terrain of the Kazakh southeast, among the foothills of Trans-ili-Alatau mountains, it is surrounded by dramatic and beautiful terrain and remains the largest and most ethnically and culturally diverse city in Kazakhstan. It enjoys a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters.

Many visitors base themselves in the city to explore, hike and ski the mountains around and from the top of Kok Tobe, a mountain to the southeast which overlooks the city, tourists enjoy the views and a number of activities and entertainment including a small amusement park. Meanwhile, the city itself is perfect for strolling and contains many historical buildings including museums and cathedrals. What's more, there are a number of parks and a plethora of fountains.


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Almaty Central Stadium

A popular winter sport in Kazakhstan is bandy. Similar to hockey, it is played by skaters on ice with sticks. Almaty is home to the Federation of International Bandy and the Almaty Central Stadium hosts many well-attended and exciting international games.

Kazakh Museum of Arts

Almaty is the proud home of this museum, which houses the most comprehensive and diverse collection of art in the country. It features works from Russian and Western European artists as well as an entire floor dedicated to traditional and modern handicrafts made in Kazakhstan.

Kök Töbe

The highest point of the city, Kök Töbe mountain is over 3,600 feet above sea level and is home to a popular recreational area, accessible by cable car from the Palace at Dostyk in the city center. Visitors can enjoy sweeping views of the city as well as a small zoo, a rollercoaster and can even take pictures of the world’s only bronze statue of all four Beatles.

Oriental Calendar Fountain

One of the most famous and elaborate of Almaty’s 125 fountains, the Oriental Calendar Fountain features fabulous carved sculptures of the twelve animals in the Kazakh calendar, which cycles every twelve years and is similar to the Chinese version but with a snail instead of a dragon.

Panfilov Park

In the center of the city is an attractive square of lush green, perfect for relaxed strolling and picnicking in the warm summer months. In the middle stands the picture-perfect, candy-colored Zenkov Cathedral. Built in the early 20th century it is one of the only wooden cathedrals in the world.

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