Kostanay is the center of the region of the same name. The city lies n the Trans-Urals, on the outskirts of Western Siberia. The city is located in the steppe zone, in the northern part of the Turgai plateau, on the Tobol river, five hundred and seventy kilometers from Astana. Geographically closest big city with a population of over one million is Chelyabinsk in Russia, located at a distance of two hundred and sixty kilometers in the northwest direction. 

Kostanay city center

Kostanai Region is the westernmost of the three regions making Kazakhstan’s northern head, is a significant hub of wheat production, and a number of key mineral resources, particularly iron ore, asbestos, and bauxite. Its regional capital, Kostanai, is a charming provincial city on the banks of the River Tobol.

Today Kostanai holds many attractive red-brick buildings from the Tsarist period. The evacuation of factories to Kostanai during World War II, and the city’s post-war role as one of the hubs of the Virgin Lands Campaign, further promoted its development. After weathering the difficult post-independence years, the city represents much-renewed development, exemplified by the pedestrianized center, vibrant on warm summer evenings. 

Kostanay history

Kostanai was found in 1879 by Russians during the Tsarist-era and received the name by Nikolaevsk in honor of Tsar Nicholas the Second. The first settlers came from Orenburg in the summer of the same year. Within the next 10 years, the inhabitants increase to 3000 who were involved in the building mill and factory jobs. Consequently, the town grows like a mushroom.

In 1895 the town received a new name Kustanay. By 1911 Kustanai’s population become more than 25,000. Due to the strategic significant location, the trade was the main activity of the town. 
Following the regions iron and bauxite ore reserves begun up near Rudniy and Kostanay became the center for the region’s expansive mining development. In the vast mines of Sokolov-Sarbay iron ore is mined in open pits. Kaolin, titanium, zirconium, gold and brown coal are also exploited in the Kostanay area. 


During the 1950s, the vast surrounding area of  Kostanay was developed into the wheat as well as other agriculture. Due to agriculture, large food- processing operational factories were established in the city’s industrial economy. Yet today, the region is s highly developed and prosperous in terms of its development of culture, sport and tourism.

Kostanay Sights

Kostanay holds a variety of red-brick buildings from the Tsarist period. Some beautiful buildings from the time of its foundation have been preserved in the town center like Russian Drama Theatre he university and some administrative offices located between the railway station and the river.  Moreover, you can visit the stunning old Maral Ichana mosque and the Russian Orthodox cathedral. The city is green and peaceful, you can check out local cafes and restaurants as well as local colorful bazaars and museum. 

Kostanay Regional Museum of History

The museum situated in the two-story building, was built in Tsarist times by a local merchant and server later as a department store. The museum contains thousands of collections of the rarest artifacts brought from different parts of the region, including items from the bronze age, unique photographic materials, jewelry, musical instruments, archaeological finds, collections of coins and weapons and other relics of various times. Today there are over 107 000 exhibits, but the information is mainly in Kazakh and Russian only. For more information you can visit their official website

Museum of Military Equipment

Open-air military equipment museum was opened in 2013 for the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. It is the only museum of real military equipment in the Republic and it is located in the territory of Victory Park. The museum offers 14 actual samples of military equipment since the Great Patriotic and Civil Wars and the postwar period. Among them are the legendary T-34 tank, the Katyusha artillery installation and various armored vehicles from different years. 


Travel to Kostanay


There are daily flight from Astana to Kostanaly by Air Astana and five times a week from Almaty by SCAT airlines. Besides, Aeroflot  operates three times a week from Moscow. 

Kostanay airport is located beyond the western edge of the city. 


Daily trains from Astana and Almaty as well as from Karaganda Karaganda and several times from Uralsk, Atyrau and Chelyabinsk, Russia. You can check and purchase ticket through the official website

The railway lies on the northwestern edge of the city center at the end of the main Al-Farabi Avenue. 

Bus / Minibus / Taxi

There are daily busses and minibuses as well as taxis to the nearest town in the region as well as to Petropavl and several departures to Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg in Russia. 

The bus station located at the southern edge of the town. 

Explore nothern Kazakhstan further

Page udpated 18.9.2022

Scroll to Top