2,724,900 km2 Area
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 from 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.
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 a wealthiest country among other central asian countries, consequently price is higher. Accomodation in the hostel might be about 18-20$, meal 5$ and budget is one of the reason that attract most travellers. You can get a bed for 10$- 15$ and have a 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
Local sim card can be purchased in any shops and seller can even install it to your phone. You will find it is affordable and 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, transport, 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.