When exactly is the best time to visit Kazakhstan and how to get the most out of your stay in this country?

Kazakhstan is a country that has everything to meet the expectations of even the most demanding travelers! It is a perfect combination of history, culture, landscapes and outdoor adventures.

 

 

Why visit Kazakhstan

 

 

Visiting Kazakhstan can be a real adventure, and here's why:

• Kazakhstan is home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, the petroglyphs of the Tanbala archaeological landscape, Saryarka - the steppe and lakes of Northern Kazakhstan, the Silk Road: the route network of the Chang'an-Tianshan corridor, and the Western Tien Shan.

 

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

 

• Kazakhstan's lakes are reason enough to put this country on your "wish list". Some of the most stunning lakes to see include Lake Markakol, Lake Balkhash, Big Almaty Lake, Lake Issyk, Lake Kaindy and Lake Zaisan.

 

Big Almaty lake, Kazakhstan, Almaty

Big Almaty lake, Kazakhstan, Almaty

 

• Then there are the mountains - another majestic example of how fantastic the beauty of nature can be. From the Tien Shan, Altai and Mugodzhar Mountains to Tarbagatai and the Ural Mountains, Kazakhstan has no shortage of stunning mountain peaks.

 

Tianshan mountains, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Tianshan mountains, Almaty, Kazakhstan

 

• Kazakhstan, home to a variety of national parks, can turn nature lovers into regular travelers. We recommend the following national parks: Altyn Emel National Park, Burabai National Park, Sairam Ugam National Park, Buiratau National Park, Kokshetau National Park and Tarbagatai National Park.

• The nature of Kazakhstan is not without the opportunity to observe wild animals. Going to Kazakhstan, you can see tiger, snow leopard, lynx, saiga antelope, golden eagle, Caspian seal and many others.

 

However, not everything revolves around nature - the locals are hospitable and have very interesting traditions. Apparently, in the past in Kazakhstan there was a famous saying "to meet a guest as a messenger of God", and this is exactly the attitude you can expect during your stay here.

 

And then there is the food and gastronomy. If you're a meat lover, you simply won't want to leave Kazakhstan! Here is just a brief overview of what you should try during your stay in Kazakhstan: beshbarmak, sorpa, kyrdak, kazy, nan-salma, palau, manty, nauryz-kozhe, koktal and syren.

 

Beshbarmak with horse meat and boiled dough

Beshbarmak with horse meat and boiled dough

 

Kazakh holidays and festivals will make you question everything you know about such celebrations - there is nothing like it here. From colorful parades, local customs and bright costumes to creative entertainment and performances, the Kazakh way of doing things will win you over immediately.

 

Best time to visit Kazakhstan

 

 

In general, the best time to visit Kazakhstan is the peak of summer - July and August. In these two months, the temperature fluctuates around 25 degrees Celsius. Since the weather is warm, you can spend time outdoors actively during this time. While summer can be too hot for strenuous physical activities such as cycling, a trip to the mountains takes the heat off, making the weather ideal for hiking and trekking.

 

We recommend the Tien Shan and the Greater Almaty Dahlia for the best scenery. If wandering the mountain ranges of Kazakhstan isn't your thing, you can simply stop and enjoy the lush nature and flowering plants.

 

To cool off, head to beach regions such as the Caspian Sea, Alakol Lakes and Kapshagai. For those who love unique festivals, we can recommend the "Zapovedny Balkhash" festival (exact dates change every summer). This festival, created to preserve nature and give people the opportunity to have fun, unites bikers from different regions of the country. If you find yourself in Astana in early July, you will have time to get to the celebration of the Capital Day.

 

In early August, tourists should get to the celebration of Constitution Day. One of the country's most significant holidays, Constitution Day is a major reminder of Kazakhstan's freedom and the people's responsibility to their country, marked by many educational programs, gatherings and performances. Then, usually in August, there is the Chabana Festival, which celebrates the tea-making process with tea ceremonies, performances and exhibitions. Keep in mind, however, that the exact dates may change each year.

 

Finally, if you are visiting the country during its busiest season, book your airfare and accommodation in advance. Note that you should book train tickets, especially overnight train tickets, as early as possible.

 

 

Budget time to visit Kazakhstan

 

 

 

The cheapest time to visit Kazakhstan is in the fall (September-November). However, it may be worth refraining from traveling to Kazakhstan during the period of the International Oil and Gas Exhibition (KIOGE) (September or October, dates vary), as accommodation prices increase significantly during this time, especially in the more established hotels. The autumn months in Kazakhstan are characterized by pleasant weather with temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius, although precipitation sometimes occurs.

 

In addition, glaciers melt intensively at this time, so rafting and kayaking on the Almatinka River is in full swing. If you hope to admire the fall foliage, go to Almaty, as the richness of colors simply amazes the imagination.

 

Real foodies should head to The FoodExpo Kazakhstan Almaty (November). In addition, fall is ideal for fishing. For example, cat fishing in the Ile River delta is very popular in September-October, and if you are interested in trout fishing in the Tien Shan, go there anytime from September to mid-November.

 

 

Least busy time to visit Kazakhstan

 

 

 

The least busy time to visit Kazakhstan is between April and June. If you want to enjoy solitude in one of the national parks or explore the country's capital without crowds of tourists, the spring months are perfect for you. In addition to being less crowded, the weather is comfortable at this time, so it is quite pleasant to walk around the cities and visit the main attractions at this time. If you come to Kazakhstan in early spring, avoid hiking and generally hiking in the mountains, as the passes are still either covered with snow or mud.

 

However, in May you can admire the beautiful scenery on the slopes of the Tien Shan, where tulips strike the imagination of locals and visitors alike. If you come in early May, take part in the celebration of the People's Unity Day. This event, accompanied by numerous parades, honors the country's culture. In the same month, Victory Day is celebrated with military parades, patriotic performances and numerous exhibitions.

 

 

Worst time to visit Kazakhstan

 

 

 

In terms of weather, the worst time to visit Kazakhstan is winter (December-March). This is "icy" weather, when the temperature fluctuates around -5, which is certainly not the most pleasant time for travelers who want to go to nature or just wander around Kazakhstani cities in a quiet environment.

 

However, winter is ideal for those who want to go skiing in Chimbulak. For a more dynamic winter pastime, you can try horseback riding in the snow, ice fishing or eagle hunting.

 

Ropeway to Chimbulak, Kazakhstan

Ropeway to Chimbulak, Kazakhstan

 

You can also use the cable car in Kok-Tob or visit the Medeo ice rink. That said, winter in Kazakhstan can vary in intensity depending on the region you travel to: some parts of the country have a solid layer of snow, while others may only have chilly weather.

 

Funicular to Kok-Tobe Mountain

Funicular to Kok-Tobe Mountain

 

December holidays include Independence Day. From parades and fireworks to flag hoisting and cultural festivities, all Independence Day activities are not to be missed. Nowruz, held in March, kicks off the spring season with fun festivities, people in traditional dress and delicious food.

 

 

Things to watch out for

 

 

 

Kazakhstan is a fairly safe country, but we urge you to be cautious and always mind your belongings. In tourist areas, you may find people speaking English. However, you should have translation apps at the ready in most areas.

 

Be careful when taking pictures. It is forbidden to take photos of certain sites, such as airports or official buildings. Also, there are very few tourists in rural areas and life there is still traditional, so remember to respect the locals and never take photos without permission.

 

Although drones are allowed in the country, you must first register them and obtain the necessary license to use them while in the country. Failure to obtain such a license may result in confiscation of the drone, fines or detention.

 

 

How many days are enough to visit Kazakhstan

 

 

 

As Kazakhstan is a huge country with large distances between different cities and attractions, you can spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks in Kazakhstan and still have the feeling that there is plenty to do and see.

 

In general, we recommend spending at least one week in Kazakhstan to get an idea of the country, taste the local cuisine, see the main sights, attend a festival (if it coincides with your travel dates) and experience nature.

feb 24, 2024
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