When is the Best Time to Visit Kazakhstan?
The best time to visit Kazakhstan is in shoulder season - either spring or autumn. The temperatures are never too extreme and the produce is in abundance, as are the festivals. While visiting Kazakhstan is desirable in both summer and winter, many of the day trips in the area are simply not feasible due to weather conditions (ie. Singing Dunes are too hot in summer and snow prohibits many trips in winter).
Kazakhstan is a country where you can experience true seasons all year round in many parts of the country. Thanks to the topography and the climate caused due to it being completely landlocked, temperatures between seasons fluctuate from very hot summers to cold and snowy winters. Due to the size of the country, there is also a marked difference between southern and northern climates. As the seasons transition, new wonderful experiences open up and become available, making Kazakhstan perfect to visit year-round.
Summer in Kazakhstan tends to be dry and hot, especially in the northern part of the country where dry, warm winds blow across the plains and day time temperatures regularly rise above 30°C. In the southern part of the country, the Tian Shan mountain range keeps the summers slightly cooler with a little more rain. During the summer months, Kazakhstan comes alive with festivals throughout the country and wedding season for the locals arrives, meaning you will likely bump into wedding parties celebrating the special unions. During this time, the nature in Kazakhstan is lush and green making exploring nature a wonderful experience as you see everything in full bloom. Towards the end of the summer months, the ground can get dry and arider as droughts set in.
Autumn in Kazakhstan. Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons and it may just be the best time to visit Kazakhstan. Temperatures tend to be relatively temperate, which is perfect for exploring the incredible Kazakh nature as the leaves start to turn. Spend time exploring the lakes in the mountains of Kazakhstan, surrounded by trees that are slowly turning from green to hues of red and yellow, perfectly contrasting with the crisp blue waters. As you get deeper into autumn in Kazakhstan, the weather tends to fluctuate between warm days and the first snowfall of the year, and the snow starts to cap the mountain peaks. The final celebrations and festivals in Kazakh cities tend to happen in autumn, such as the Almaty Apple Festival, where they celebrate and harvest the indigenous fruit that is so prominent around the city.
Winter in Kazakhstan. During the winter months, you will find that temperatures in Kazakhstan plummet with nighttime temperatures dropping far below 0°C. However, during this season, the country still feels like a truly magical place as snow blankets the cities, hills, and steppe. Winter in Kazakhstan is one of the longer seasons in the country with polar and Siberian winds keeping an icy grip on the country until April. Despite this, there are still many wonderful things that can be done during the winter, with activities like skiing becoming a popular past time and brilliant resorts popping up throughout the mountainous regions. In the cities, it is the perfect time to enjoy the Kazakh cafe scene and pop into little coffee shops to escape the cold or to a restaurant to enjoy a hearty meal that will keep you warm for hours to come. While it may not be desirable to those who do not like the cold, winter is one of the best times to visit Kazakhstan.
Spring in Kazakhstan. This is probably the shortest season, as winter releases its icy grip and the temperatures rise and nature and cities start to become more lively. During the short spring in Kazakhstan, there tend to be many festivals and feasts that celebrate the transformation of the seasons. Temperatures tend to be mild and perfect for heading into the wilds of Kazakhstan to see the flora start to bloom and the landscape changes from snowy white to lush green. As the snow on the mountain tops starts to melt, the meltwater runs into the lakes creating vibrant, icy blue waters that look picture perfect.