Visiting

Business hours

Official hours of business are from 9.00am - 6.00pm.

Government hours are from 9.00am - 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Bank hours are from 9.00am - 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Some banks are open later in the evening and may be open on Saturdays and even Sundays, although this should be confirmed in advance.

Retail hours often extend late into the evening, with 10.00pm a typical closing time.

Public holidays

January 1-2 – New Year's Day
January 7 – Orthodox Christmas
March 8 – International Women's Day
March 21-23 – Nauryz (Persian/Turkic New Year)
May 1 – May Day
May 9 – Victory Day
July 6 – Capital Day
August 30 – Constitution Day
December 16-17 – Independence Day
10th day of the 12th and the last Islamic month – Kurban Ayt (Muslim Greater Eid)

Climate

The climate is continental, with warm summers and very cold winters. Precipitation varies between arid and semi-arid conditions and there are gradual change of natural zones between forest steppes, steppes, semi-deserts and deserts. The south of the country is warmer than the north. Average temperature in January, the coldest month, range from - 5C in southern areas to -20C or colder in the north. In summer, average July temperatures ranges from 18C in the north to 29C in the south.

For weather details in Kazakhstan, please visit the World Meteorological Organization.

Currency

Oanda currency converter

The official currency is the Kazakh tenge (KZT).

A freely floating exchange rate for local currency was introduced by the Kazakh government in 2015.

The Kazakh banking system operates in a manner similar to Western practice. It is no longer necessary (nor advisable) to carry large amounts of cash. Most transaction are conducted through the banking system, and not in cash. ATM machines are widely available.

Import or export of foreign cash or its equivalent in local currency in excess of US$10,000 is subject to a mandatory written declaration. Non-residents may export foreign cash under US$10,000 without documents that confirm its origin. Kazakh tenge may not be exported.

Exchange points (some 3,300 throughout the country) and banks are widely available throughout Kazakh cities. Most exchange points display their rates on screens outside their front door.

Take normal precautions when choosing an exchange point, with well-lit locations best. Ideally use an exchange point that only admits customers one at a time. Always count your change in front of the clerk before leaving the window.

US dollars and Euros are the easiest currencies to exchange. It is rarely possible to exchange Australian dollars and rates are usually not favorable.

International credit cards are generally acceptable, particularly in the main centers of Almaty and Astana. If you are travelling in other parts of Kazakhstan, it is recommended to check on the availability of ATMs and whether the hotel where you are staying accepts international credit cards. Many hotels offer basic banking facilities such as currency exchange and cash advances on your credit card, although rates may not be favorable.

Traveller’s cheques are not widely used in Kazakhstan/CIS.

Time zones and time differences

There are two time zones across Kazakhstan.

The western time zone is UTC+5 hours (includes the cities of Aktau, Atyrau, Kul’sary and Oral).

Astana (capital city) and Almaty (business centre) are located in the eastern time zone which is UTC+6 hours. They are four to five hours behind the Australian east coast (depending on time of year).

The country eliminated daylight saving time in 2005.

To find out the current time in Kazakhstan, view the World Clock.

Dialling codes

Kazakhstan’s country code is 7.

For calls to Kazakhstan from Australia dial: 0011 + 7 + area code + telephone number.

For calls from Kazakhstan to Australia dial: 8 + 10 + 61 + area code + telephone number. From your mobile phone, you can dial +61 + area code + telephone.

Find out more about Australian are codes or international dialing codes.

Electricity and water

Kazakhstan’s power supply is 220 volts, 50Hz. The round two-pin European plugs are the most common.

Travel and tourism

Air-Astana Airlines
Visit Kazakhstan

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