Kazakhstan Travel Guide

Practical information for tourists traveling to Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is a large country in Central Asia that attracts tourists with its combination of modern megacities, historical sightseeings and diversity of natural beauties. Touristic infrastructure in Kazakhstan is already well developed and travelers should not face problems there. Guests are welcomed there, but as in any state, there is a row of laws and regulations that will be good to know before traveling. Present Kazakhstan travel guide will introduce you practical information on Kazakhstan entry and exit rules and help to make your trip smooth.

Preparation to the trip to Kazakhstan

Booking
To make sure of the availability of the hotels and tours you have chosen, we recommend you to make an advanced booking, especially when it falls on the high season, which lasts from April to October. Before you travel to Kazakhstan, you can make your reservation using our online booking system. You can also request one of the tours in Kazakhstan.

How to get to Kazakhstan

The best way to get to Kazakhstan
Traditionally, the fastest and the most convenient way to get to Kazakhstan is an air-flight to Astana or Almaty. There are many international airlines operating flights to/from Almaty and Astana. You can travel to Kazakhstan by train from Russia; the road will take slightly more than 24 hrs. Also, you can get by car from neighboring countries: to Almaty and Chimkent you can drive from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China, and to other cities in the north of the country including Astana, you can reach from different regions of Russia. Besides, in the western part of the country, on the shores of the Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan has two port-cities Aktau and Atyrau, where you can get via naval ways from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Though, this is rather adventurous choice, as you will be traveling by merchant ship due to no passenger connection.

Arrival in Kazakhstan

Registration
Upon arrival in Kazakhstan, citizens of foreign countries are required to obtain an immigration card where you get the date stamp. Hotel registration is also recorded there. Each foreigner arriving in Kazakhstan should register within five days (Saturday and Sunday are counted). However, according to international agreements, citizens of 48 countries are free of registration procedures within the first 5 days, if arrived by airplane; at the airport they receive it straight away
In other cases, foreigners can complete the registration within 5 days in the migration police office themselves or hand it to a travel agency.

Also, according to the new regulation citizens of few countries may get a registration in their passport upon receiving visa in the Embassy of Kazakhstan or at the passport-custom control check points in 12 international airports of Kazakhstan, railway checkpoint of “Dostyk-Alashankow”, automobile checkpoints of Horgos, Dostyk, Bahty, Maykapchagay, Korday, Kolzhat, and naval ports of Aktau and Bautino. We suggest to contact a travel agency for details of registration policy on arrival in Kazakhstan.

Citizens of the following countries are exempt from registration in the case of arrival by plane:

1. Australia
2. The Republic of Austria
3. The United States of America
4. The Kingdom of Belgium
5. United Arab Emirates
6. The Republic of Bulgaria
7. The Federal Republic of Brazil
8. The Federal Republic of Germany
9. The Hellenic Republic
10. The Kingdom of Denmark
11. New Zealand
12. Japan
13. The State of Israel
14. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
15. The Republic of Ireland
16. The Republic of Iceland
17. The Kingdom of Spain
18. The Italian Republic
19. Canada
20. The State of Qatar
21. The Republic of Cyprus
22. The Republic of Korea
23. The Republic of Latvia
24. The Republic of Lithuania
25. The Principality of Liechtenstein
26. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
27. The Republic of Hungary
28. The Federation of Malaysia
29. The Republic of Malta
30. The Principality of Monaco
31. The Kingdom of the Netherlands
32. The Kingdom of Norway
33. The Sultanate of Oman
34. The Republic of Poland
35. The Portuguese Republic
36. Romania
37. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
38. The Republic of Singapore
39. The Slovak Republic
40. The Republic of Slovenia
41. United Kingdom
42. The Republic of Finland
43. The French Republic
44. The Republic of Croatia
45. Czech Republic
46. The Swiss Confederation
47. The Kingdom of Sweden
48. The Republic of Estonia

Accommodation
Diversity of hotels in Kazakhstan will satisfy any requirements, and it will not be hard to find a proper accommodation. Almaty and Astana offer a list of the most luxurious hotels which correspond the international hotel standards. Even in small cities, it is possible to find decent hotels from 2 to 4 stars. You can also stay in private apartments.

Cash and plastic cards
Currency exchange in Kazakhstan is very well developed; it is easy to exchange US Dollars, Euro and Russian rubles in any bank departments, currency exchange offices and airports. Mostly, banks in Kazakhstan work from 09.00 to 18.00 on Mon-Fri, Saturday and Sundays are days off. Besides, VISA and MasterCard bank cards are in use in Kazakhstan. There are ATMs in cities and at the airports to withdraw cash, some of which are available 24/7. Please note, that commission of local bank where the ATM belongs, charges 3-4% in average.

Departure from Kazakhstan

Preparation for departure
Departure at the airport is simple: you need to check in for your flight, pass the customs and passport control, go through the security service point and proceed to your plane. For international flights, travelers are recommended to arrive at the airport 2-3 hours in advance. Before departing the hotel, please make sure you check availability of the following documents: passport, immigration card given by OVIR or OVD and air ticket.

Hand-made goods and souvenirs
At the checkpoint of the customs, you may be asked to declare the hand-made items that you have purchased, in order to make sure you do not deal with illegal export of goods that are of cultural value or antiquary. If you are exporting such goods, you should have respective documentation. If you have purchased an item of cultural value, please contact Advantour in advance.