Planning to visit Kazakhstan, the first and most important thing what everybody should to do, its visit Almaty the former capital and largest city in the country. Almaty also known as the “City of Apple Trees” is one of the most fantastic destinations to base yourself in while traveling in Central Asia. Only in Almaty after walking through the city center in an hour you can enjoy the country of glaciers and mountain lakes.
1. Visit the Green Market “Zelionyj Baazar”
To feel the soul of the peoples of Central Asia you should visit the Green Market. This Market is one of the largest, oldest and most famous in Central Asia. The Green Market is a local favorite and landmark where you can try the Kazakh delights, ranging from horse sausage “Kazy” to traditional cheese “Kurt” and alcoholic horse “Kumys” and camel “Shubat” milk. Green Market was built in 1875. Then the Almaty city called Vernyi. Only here it was possible to buy fresh vegetables and fruits. That is why the Green Market received such a name. For more than 140 years, the roof of the Market is green, this is the second version of the name "Green Market".
Life hacks: Do not forget to bargain,
After going through the whole bazaar, you can try a little at each sellers and have a snack absolutely free.
2. Visit Zenkov Cathedral (The world's largest wooden Orthodox church)
One of the most popular attractions in Almaty is the Ascension Cathedral. We can’t imagine our city without it. The Ascension Cathedral was built in 1904-1907 with the participation of the engineer-builder A. P. Zenkov. That’s why locals called it Zenkov Cathedral. It is the second tallest wooden building in the world. Because Almaty is located in a seismic zone, Zenkov was faced with the task of making a unique construction what should be resistant to earthquakes. He handled it perfectly. The ingenious building construction, whose height is 54 m. built from Tien Shan spruce, resisted during an earthquake measuring 9\10 balls on the Richter scale. Ascension Cathedral was the highest building in Almaty until 1977, this year was built hotel Kazakhstan. Since 1929, the Ascension Cathedral was used as the central museum of the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The bell tower of the cathedral was used to transmit the first radio programs in Alma-Ata. In April 1995, by the decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church.
Zenkov Cathedral is currently reconstructed and is one of the most popular attractions to visit.
3. Relax at the Arasan Baths
If you are tired after long flight, want to relax after mountains hiking or a walk around the city, you definitely need to visit the Arasan bathhouse in the city center of Almaty, near the 28 Panfilov Guardsmen Park. The Arasan Baths are considered to be one of the best bathhouses in Central Asia. The complex includes a male and female department and has 3 types of baths: Russian, Finish and Turkish. Inside you can find the pools with clean water, extracted from its own artesian well. Bath was built in the years 1979-1982.
Life hacks: Choose weekdays until 5 pm. At this time, you can avoid a many visitors.
4. Visit Medeu (The highest ice skating rink in the world)
Medeu is a skating rink which is known worldwide. It is located at an altitude of 1691 meters above sea level. The Medeo rink was constructed in 1949, and the first competition took place at the stadium on the February 4th, 1951. Crystal clear mountain water to fill the ice, thin air and exceptional natural conditions gave Medeu the second name "Factory of Records". In total, Medeu has been set more than 120 world records. In 1972, the natural ice on Medeu was replaced by artificial and its unique artificial ice freezing system is still in use to this day. In winter, you can rent skates and enjoy skating on the ice, in the fresh air. In summer, you can also find a pleasant hangout. You can climb the mudslip dam, which offers an amazing view of the Zailiisky Alatau. Don't forget to count the steps when climbing. Just from the skating rink Medeu you can go to the ski resort Shymbulak on the cable car, by bus or by taxi.
5. Enjoy the sunset from Kok Tobe
All guests of the southern capital of Almaty are strongly recommended to visit Kok Tobe at evening time, before the sunset. At this time you can see three unforgettable pictures: evening Almaty, sunset, bright lights of the night Almaty. Kok Tobe Park has long been considered one of the symbols of the city of Almaty, it is located at an altitude of 1070 meters above sea level. Here you can climb on the cable car, which is located near the palace of the republic in the sand of Dostyk and Abay streets. At Kok Tobe you can find entertainment of any choice. Here are located: three view points, restaurants, a Ferris wheel, a mini zoo, monument to the rock group Beatles and an attraction for children. In 1972, a television tower with a height of 372 meters was built on Mount Kok Tobe. The idea of building the park belongs to the first secretary of the communist party of Kazakhstan, D. A. Kunaev. Construction began in 1965 with the construction of the lower cable car station. The main part of the construction took place with the participation of the Tbilisi engineers. The length of the cable car was 1620 meters. In 2014, the cable car was closed for renovation. and in 2016 a new cable car appeared.
6. Walk around Panfilov Park
The most popular park among the locals and guests of Almaty is the park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen. The park was founded in the 1870s and since 1972 the planting of poplars began. In the park you can visit the memorial of glory of 28 Panfilov guardsmen, who was to be built on the 30th anniversary of the victory over Hitler's Germany. You can also visit Museum of Folk Instruments “Yhlas” (a sample of wooden architecture). Where you can listen to the sound of Kazakh instruments and get acquainted with the history of the origin of music on Kazakh lands. To the west of Glory Memorial is the “Alley of Presedents” with Tien Shan spruce trees planted by the heads of state who visited Kazakhstan in 1996/1997. Zenkov Cathedral are also located in park.
7. Visit the independence monument at Republic Square
The main venue for celebrations, sports events, parades, folk festivals is the Republican Square. The square was opened in 1980. Throughout its history, the square had three names: Brazhnev Square, Novaya Square and Republic Square. On the square there is a 180 meter composition - this is a monument of independence, which was installed in 1996 after Nazarbayev’s visit to Egypt. Around the monument installed 10 images that show the most significant historical events of Kazakhstan.