Travel

Airports

Astana and Almaty are well served by major international air carriers. Convenient connections between Australia and Kazakhstan include:

  • European carriers including Austrian Airlines, British Airways, KLM and Lufthansa service Kazakhstan
  • Asian carriers operate via Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo.

Ground transport

Almaty and Astana have modern international airports, however there are no express train services to the city from these airports.

It is generally advisable to book your airport transfer in advance, via your hotel or other options. For your safety, do not ride with airport taxis arranged by touts. Alternatively, you may reach the city by taxi or city bus. You will need to pay all expenses directly to the taxi driver in Kazakh tenge cash. Few taxi services provide receipts for journeys. Very few drivers speak English, however, an increasing number of drivers do understand directions and it is generally possible to communicate without a translator.

Hotels

Almaty and Astana are both served by a number of international-class hotels. Your travel agent should be able to recommend and book suitable accommodation to meet your budget. Many hotels also offer Internet reservations.

Hotels suitable for international business travellers are available in major cities of Kazakhstan, including Aktau, Atyrau and Karaganda. Austrade can assist with bookings upon request (service fees apply).

Dining

A wide variety of quality dining options are available in Kazakhstan, where you can find many types of food including Kazakh national cuisine, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Mediterranean, fusion, Tex Mex, Indian and much more.

Tipping

A five to 10 per cent tip is welcomed at restaurants, but tipping is not the norm elsewhere. As in other countries, restaurants sometimes apply a service charge of 10 per cent.

Tourist attractions

Kazakhstan is rich in tourist attractions. Tourism is mostly focused on mountain sports (skiing, mountaineering and trekking), as well as ethno-historical (archaeological excavations, petroglyphs, nomadic life and culture) and ecological (hiking, picnics, ornithological and botanical tours). The snow-capped mountains behind Almaty and the national museum in Astana are particular highlights. Your hotel reception should also be able to provide information on tourist activities.