Astana Layover Guide

In 1997 Astana received the status of the capital city that previously belonged to Almaty. Since then it has gone through a rapid development transforming into a megapolis of future with modern and cosmic architecture. Holding the International exhibition of EXPO-2017 has boosted this progress. The city has acquired new fascinating sights, improved tourist infrastructure and know-hows in “green” technologies and “green” city planning. If you are in transit in Astana and have some free time, then take Astana layover tour to explore the most popular and interesting sights of the capital. Our detailed Astana layover guide will introduce you to the route.

Astana, Kazakhstan
Astana, Kazakhstan
Astana, Kazakhstan

Independence Square is the best startpoint of Astana stop-over tour. Firstly, it has the picturesque panoramic views of Astana riverside. Secondly, the Square is beautiful and nice for walks among fountains and monuments where you will get the first impression of values and culture of Kazakh people. Finally, Independence Square is surrounded with numerous landmarks located not far from one another and you will be able to tour them in few hours. There is National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Palace of Peace and Reconciliation nearby built in the shape of the pyramid based on the project of famous architect Norman Foster, mosque of Hazret-Sultan and National University of arts “Shabyt”. The monument “Qazaq Eli” (Kazakh land) is also there embodying the stela with mythic bird Samruk symbolizing freedom, prosperity, strength and development.

Continue to the left banks of the Ishkashim River to see a signature monument “Astana-Bayterek” – a unique metallic construction of 105 meters high and 100 tonnes in weight crowned with a sphere weighing 300 tonnes. The sphere is made of glass “chameleon” that changes colour reflecting the sunlight. From the Bayterek observation deck you will enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of the city. After enjoying the beauty of the city of future from the top, take some time to stroll in the Vodno-Zeleniy (Water-Green) Boulevard.

Astana, Kazakhstan
Astana, Kazakhstan
Astana, Kazakhstan

Vodno-Zeleniy Boulevard as well as Round Square are great places for rest. There you can see many fountains, neither of which resembles another. It also has an impressive collection of monuments: 12 in total. They are all dedicated to different historical and cultural figures of Kazakhstan. There are few restaurants to try dishes of Kazakh cuisine during your small excursion in Astana. Our Astana layover guide won’t be full without mentioning must try foods that include, but not limited to traditional beshbarmak, baursaks and kuwirdak.

Great end of your small trip will be shopping at Khan-Shatyr Entertainment Center. Khan-Shatyr is an unusual construction in the form of the oriental marquee. Moreover, it is the largest shopping mall in the entire Central Asia. It finalizes the main axis of the city center that starts at the Residence of the President and complex of state buildings.