Kazakhstan is probably best known for the antics of the pseudo-Kazakh Borat. It’s economy is the largest in the Central Asian states, mainly due to the country’s vast natural resources, including oil.
Ethnically the former Soviet republic is as diverse with around 130 nationalities populating Kazakhstan: 66% are Kazakhs, 21% are Russians and the remaining 13% constitutes of Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Germans, Uighurs and Tartars.
Since independence, following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, major investment in the oil sector has brought rapid economic growth making Kazakhstan the wealthiest country in Central Asia.
Area of Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world accounting for 1.8% of the world’s land area and by far the largest in Central Asia.
Kazakhstan’s population density is fewer than six people per square km. The country is also known as the most ethnically diverse state of the former Soviet Union
The Kazakhstani Tenge is the currency of Kazakhstan. Check the latest course here: xe.com
Spoken languages are Kazakh official and Russian as the second language
Popular Kazakhstan tourist destinations
Kazakhstan quick tips
In general, tap water is not safe to drink in Kazakhstan. Some locals do, or have filters attached to their taps, or they buy bottled water with the cost being around 0.5$
Kazakhstan is a safe country, however avoid walking alone in the nights in certain areas.
Stay aware of your belongings and surroundings in the crowded places like bazaars.
Best time to go
From middle April to early June or from late August to early October is the best time to visit.
Summer time is good, as long as you don’t visit the hottest regions of Kazakhstan.
Currency exchanges in Kazakhstan are quite well developed, so it is easy to exchange US dollars, euros, and Russian rubles in banks, exchange offices, and airports. Banks in Kazakhstan are open from 9 until 18 Monday to Friday and half day in Saturday’s.
As the wealthiest country among other central Asian countries, consequently, price is higher. Accommodation in the hostel might be about 18-20$, meal 5$ and budget is one of the reasons that attracts most travelers.
You can get a bed for 10$- 15$ and have lunch for 3$. In general, Kazakhstan is still very affordable.
VISA and MasterCard are accepted in many places, and there are ATMs in cities and in airports.
Kaspi cashback is one of the popular payment ways in big cities. If you are going to the regions better get a cash.
Local Sim card
A local sim card can be purchased in any shop and the vendors will even install it on your phone. You will find it is affordable and it gives you the freedom of staying connected and being able to get around easily in the country.
There are points with free WiFi in public places, transports, cafes, restaurants and shopping centers in Almaty, Astana and other big cities. Most of the hotels and hostels provide free WIFI as well.
Islam is the most popular religion making up to 70 % of the population, followed by Christianity 20 % and other religions in the minority.
Today there are 3,244 religious centers – churches, mosques and other houses of worship in Kazakhstan. Although, anyone can get alcohol in Kazakhstan.