Almaty - Post Report Question and Answers

What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

There are many, join some what’s app groups or telegram channels for your interest and explore. We love cultural life, classical concerts and opera, but there are also lots of salsa bachata parties, many interesting workshops and art studios, local craft of felt art. - Sep 2023

There are so many hiking trails and beautiful vistas that it would be difficult to list them here, but a secret gem that we have enjoyed is horseback riding in Budakovka. - Aug 2015

Travel to Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan. Outdoor stuff mentioned above. There really isn't much touristy things to do here. But, it is pretty good for everyday living. - Jul 2013

Almaty city has a long weekend worth of stuff to do: a museum, a cable-car ride to a park in the hills, a war memorial, a big church downtown, monuments, etc. Having once done them, you probably won't do these things again. The mountains are the big draw, with hiking (which you can do every weekend of the year) and skiing. - Feb 2013

Hiking/skiing/camping/mountain climbing, floating on the Ili River, beach at lake Kapchagai, petroglyphs, picnics in the parks, Kyrgyzstan (only a 3 hour drive). In the region: Uzbekistan for the silk-road cities, flamingoes in Northern Kazakhstan, horse-trekking/hiking in the Tien Shan mountains and the Pamirs, mausoleums in western Kazakhstan, the Baikonur space launch pad. Everything's off the beaten track but awesome when you get there. - May 2012

A day in the mountains looking at wildflowers or skiing/boarding (depending on the season); Going to the green bazaar and seeing every part of a horse, cow or goat on display as well as beautiful raspberries, exotic mushrooms, and other produce; Going to a "trout farm" where you can catch your own fish that they will cook for you (great fun for school-age kids); Going to see the "Grand Canyon" of Kazakhstan (a long day-trip) or the petroglyphs (easy day trip). Depending on your finances, longer trips to Uzbekistan, Delhi, or Istanbul are fantastic. There are also nonstop flights to Malaysia, London, Amsterdam, Bangkok and Beijing, among others (though usually at least $700 per ticket). - Mar 2010

The winter is by far the best season in Almaty. The ski resort, Chimbulak, is 20 minutes up the mountain from the city center, and though it isn't cheap ( about US$20 for a 2 hour pass!), the convenience makes up for the cost. You can leave your house at 9:30, be on the slopes by 10, and be home for lunch by 12:30 ( avoiding the price-gouging at the lunch place there). The outdoor skating rink in the same area is fantastic, if not a little crowded. It's where the Soviet speed-skaters used to train. There are amazing winter hikes and sledding opportunities. In the summer, the moutains are again a source for diversion, and those that get up and out of the city seem to be the happiest. - Mar 2008


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