Kazakhstan Travel FAQ

Visa and Registration

In general, visa is required to enter Kazakhstan. To obtain a Kazakhstan visa, foreign citizens should apply to a Kazakhstan diplomatic/consular institution in their country of residence. Visit Kazakhstan Visa section for the details of Visa application process and essentials of Kazakhstan Visa policy.
According to Kazakhstan regulations, foreigners arriving in the country for over 5 days (arrival/departure days are counted) should be registered at the place of residence/stay by local authorities. Different registration rules apply for those who cross the border by land and air. Visit Registration section for the details of registration policy and the list of registration exempt countries.
You can obtain a visa at the international arrivals lounge of Almaty/Astana International Airport, if there are no consular institutions of Kazakhstan in the country of your citizenship. Visa support / LOI (Letter of Invitation) approved by the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Kazakhstan is required to collect Kazakhstan tourist visa upon arrival.

Before Arrival

The best time to visit Kazakhstan is from April to October. The weather is bright and dry with a fresh wind. From mid-April till early June you can enjoy blossom in steppe. Trekking tours are available in summer and autumn. You can enjoy the ski resorts in winter.
You can bring 2 liters of alcoholic beverages and up to 5 liters of malt beer.
You do not need special permission for visiting historical monuments. But you need special permission to visit Baikonur, Semipalatinsk Polygon, Dzhunagskiy Alatau.

After Arrival

According to the law drinks are available from 12:00 to 21:00 for persons older than 21 years.
All airports have money exchange shops. Cash or traveler's checks for less than 10 000 USD are not subject to customs declaration; Lump sum export exceeding 10 000 USD require filing the passenger customs declaration for the entire amount.
Drinking tap water is not recommended but you can use boiled water. Bottled water can be bought throughout the country.
Most of trading centers, hotels and restaurants accept major credit cards: VISA, Master Card and American Express.
There are 4 mobile operators in Kazakhstan: Beeline; Kcell; Tele-2; Altel.
Mobile standard is GSM; local SIM card can be easily purchased at trading centers, markets and official service centers without any official documents. Cost of SIM card: 2 USD – 10 USD.
You can find free Wi-Fi at the hotels, restaurants, some cafes and trading centers.
ATM machines are available at trade centers, hotels and banks.
Yes, vegetarian food is available in Almaty and Astana.

Transportation Questions

In Almaty ride on public bus and subway costs 80 KZT (one way) and in Astana - 90 KZT (one way). In major cities taxi ride ranges from 800 - 1000 Tenge. In other cities fares are cheaper. The numbers are valid for December 2016.
Yes, it is possible to rent a car in Kazakhstan. Please contact us for the further information.
It is possible to purchase e-tickets for train in advance. Check routes and fares here.

General Questions

Cities Distance, km
Almaty - Astana 1287
Almaty - Shymkent 736
Shymkent - Turkestan 180
Almaty - Aksu-Zhabagly 610
Almaty - Baikonur 1975
The Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT) is the currency of Kazakhstan. Tenge comes in banknote denominations of 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000. Coins are: 1,2,5,10,20,50,100.
The official language is Kazakh, but most of the people speak Russian. in major cities (Almaty, Astana, Shymkent) you can meet English speaking people.
The voltage is 220 V. In order to use 110/120-Voltage devices in places where there is only a 220/240V power you need to use step-down voltage converter or a combination converter. Buying a converter, you need to proceed from your appliance's wattage and circuitry.
Police – 102
First Medical Aids – 103
Local guide provides historical, cultural and contemporary information, heritage interpretation to individual travelers and organized tour groups. Usually tour guides work in their home town and do not travel with the clients throughout the country. They typically work on a daily basis. Local guides have a recognized certificate. 
Tour leader: A person who accompanies a tour group or individual travelers throughout the country or region, usually with a particular knowledge of the region. Their job entails providing commentary, routing the tour, timing the tour and looking after logistics like hotel check-ins, local flight check ins, reservations for attractions, making arrangements for meals. In some cases tour leaders also act as a tour guide and provide sightseeing tours in some places. Tour leaders have a recognized certificate.