The Ultimate 7-day Kazakhstan Itinerary

Waquar Habib


Kazakhstan in Central Asia offers a perfect blend of modernity and ancient charm. Nur-Sultan has futuristic skyscrapers, Almaty has the serene Big Almaty Lake and the wooden Zenkov Cathedral, while Turkestan boasts the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi.

Bayterek Tower, Astana, Kazakhstan | Shutterstock

Day 1: Astana


Start your trip from the capital, Astana. Visit the Bayterek Tower, an iconic symbol of Nur-Sultan and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the observation deck. Later, explore Nur-Astana Mosque, a beautiful architectural masterpiece.

Nur-Astana Mosque, Astana | Shutterstock


Head to the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center for lunch and some shopping. Later, visit the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, known for its unique pyramid shape and cultural events.

Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center | Shutterstock


Stroll along the Ishim River promenade. The river's source is in Kazakhstan, and its mouth is the Irtysh River. Then, grab dinner at a traditional Kazakh restaurant in the city.

Ishim River promenade | Shutterstock

Day 2: Astana


Visit the National Museum of Kazakhstan to explore the country's history and culture. Then, walk through Independence Square and see the Kazakh Eli Monument.

National Museum of Kazakhstan | Shutterstock


Grab lunch at a local restaurant like The Kitchen or Aura Verdant. After lunch, explore the Astana Opera House or attend a performance if available.

Astana Opera House | Shutterstock


Relax at the Nurzhol Boulevard, known for its vibrant atmosphere and modern architecture. It's located on the left bank of the Ishim River, in the city's new administrative and business centre. Later, grab dinner at a trendy restaurant in the city center.

Nurzhol Boulevard | Shutterstock

Day 3: Almaty


Fly in to Almaty, the cultural capital of Kazakhstan. Visit the Panfilov Park and Zenkov Cathedral. The cathedral is made of wood but without nails and is considered to be the second tallest wooden church in the world.

Zenkov Cathedral | Shutterstock


Have lunch in the Green Bazaar, where you can try local Kazakh delicacies. Later, explore the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan. The exhibits cover topics such as ancient centuries, medieval times, national traditions and customs, and the history of Kazakhstan.

Central State Museum of Kazakhstan | Shutterstock


Stroll around the Kok-Tobe Hill and enjoy panoramic views of Almaty. Grab dinner at a local restaurant like Avlabar or Alasha.

Kok-Tobe Hill | Shutterstock

Day 4: Almaty


Head to the Big Almaty Lake for a scenic morning surrounded by nature. Later, visit the Almaty TV Tower for a bird's eye view of the city. Built between 1975 and 1983, the tower stands at 1,219 ft and is the world's tallest tubutal steel structure.

Almaty TV Tower | Shutterstock


Lunch at a restaurant near the lake. Then, head to the Shymbulak Ski Resort and explore the landscape. It is Central Asia's largest ski resort and offers skiing, snowboarding, and paragliding, as well as hotels, restaurants, and parks.

Views from the Shymbulak Ski Resort | Shutterstock


Head to the Museum of Musical Instruments. Located in Panfilov Park, the wooden building was erected in 1908, simultaneously with Ascension Cathedral. Later, grab dinner at a local restaurant.

Museum of Musical Instruments | Shutterstock

Day 5: Charyn Canyon


Drive to Charyn Canyon, a 154-kilometer-long canyon known for its stunning red rock formations. Hike or take a guided tour through the canyon.

Charyn Canyon | Shuttterstock


Picnic lunch amidst the picturesque canyon landscape. Later, visit the Valley of Castles within Charyn Canyon. It is a magnificent natural monument built of sedimentary rocks, aged about 12 million years.

Valley of Castles | Shutterstock


Return to Almaty and stroll around your favourite spots before heading out of the city. Go shopping and buy some souvenirs.

Almaty | Shutterstock

Day 6: Shymkent


Fly to Shymkent, a city with a rich historical heritage. It is also a good base for trekking in the nearby Sayram-Ugam national park and Aksu canyon. Visit the Shymkent Circus and City Park.

Monument Altyn Shanyrak in Independence Park | Shutterstock


Grab lunch at a local eatery. Later, explore the Shymkent Independence Monument and the Ordabasy Square, the starting point of many popular historical and cultural walks

Ordabasy Square | Shutterstock


Head to Abay Park, a large park in the centre of Shymkent that has bike rentals, cycle paths, a playground, cafe, and museums. Dinner at a traditional Uzbek restaurant in the city and stroll around the city centre.

Monument to Al-Farabi in Shymkent | Shutterstock

Day 7: Turkestan


Take a day trip to Turkestan, the jewel of the Silk Road and home to the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (a UNESCO World Heritage site). Explore the historical and architectural wonders of the city.

Mausoleum of great Turkic sufi poet Khoja Ahmed Yasawi | Shutterstock


Grab lunch at a local restaurant and then visit the Turkestan Archaeological Museum. The museum was founded in 1876 and features archaeological and architectural monuments. Later, visit the Keruen Saray shopping complex.

Keruen Saray | Shutterstock


Head to the Jibek Joly City Park and then return to Shymkent for a farewell dinner and stroll along the city roads as you contemplate on your stay so far. Do not forget to buy some souvenirs from the trip.

Inside the Jibek Joly City Park | Shutterstock

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