The capital of Kazakhstan is one of the largest economic and business centers in the country, with foreign colleagues and business partners that often come here for short business meetings, and sometimes high-level diplomatic meetings are held among state representatives. Many travelers stop in here while having lay-over flights or passing through central Asia. But what most people are unaware of is that, excursion tours to Asltana are quite popular not only among locals but foreigners as well: thousands of travelers come here every year to admire its beauty. So what do all these completely different people have in common? The answer is, the lack of time to thoroughly explore all the attractions of this beautiful capital. What we have come up with is how to help you to spend your 24 hours in Astana and have a great time of your life!
How to plan a sightseeing schedule?
Do you want to learn as much as possible about the history of this land, see the national and cultural monuments, or maybe your soul wants a different type of entertainment? Why not do it all? From shopping to art exhibits, the capital is more than well equipped to handle every type of tourist that travels through its beautifully designed city. No matter how high the demands of the guests are, Astana will always surprise them.
If you are planning to visit some of the sights, we recommend that you devote the first half of the day to the cultural aspect, and then for the second half of the day to rest and relaxation.
So what we have done was a day in Astana arranged in the way you can do and see as much as you possibly can in a day. To make it easier for you, we have included a certain set of locations into your schedule, which will also indicate the approximate amount of time to visit each sight. If you wish to check off every sight on your itinerary, you should probably stick to the time allotted for each place or you will not be able to see the rest of the treasures that await!.
Astana is an ideal place for cultural tourism
If you do not live in Kazakhstan, you probably don’t even know what this amazing city is all about, let alone its two halves - the left bank and the right bank that have been divided by the Esil (Ishim) River. Astana is far from the notion of an “ordinary” city. On the right bank one has the feel of a Soviet city mixed in with some modern interpretation, while left bank looks like something out of a movie with its futuristic metropolis and architecture. For example, walking along Jeltoksan street (which is on the right bank), you can find the Academic Russian Drama Theater, which was, erected back in 1899. Lenin Avenue, now renamed in honor of the great Kazakh poet Abay, has not changed much since the Soviet era. The House of Soviets, which is now occupied by the apparatus of the capital akimat (city administration) stood there in the earlier years of the capital. And there are a lot more examples: if you are just walking idly through the streets of the old city, here and there you will notice unusual buildings for the most part of Astana and its architectural monuments of the 19th century (the houses of merchants - Kubrin and Moiseyev, the first Muslim school, etc.). In addition, on both banks there is an impressive number of various cultural attractions. However, if your time is limited, then we recommend that you pay a visit to some of the most remarkable and impressive monuments in Astana:
Bayterek Tower. This incredible tower should be the very first on your list of sights to visit. It is also probably the first structure that will get your attention. In its form, it perfectly reflects the ancient idea of the Kazakh people about the universe. As conceived by architects, the glittering sphere at the top of the monument is nothing more than a golden egg - the Sun, which the sacred bird Samruk lays in the branches of the Tree of Life so that it would give warmth and light to all earthly creatures. It is safely placed so high, to remain out of reach from Aidahar. For it is said that Aadhar is an evil dragon who is tirelessly hunting for the egg. Unlike many iconic buildings in the world, which you can only take a beautiful picture, here anyone can climb inside the giant “egg” and at the very top they can take in the city from a bird's-eye view. In the center of the panoramic hall “Ayaly Alakan” is located - a pedestal with a print of the palm of the First President of Kazakhstan. Here travelers can place their hand inside of this casting to feel what it is like to be a president for a moment, which now has become a ritual of this mold. (1-1.5 hours)
Nur Alem Museum of Future Energy. The heritage of the world exhibition “EXPO-2017” is the first high-tech museum devoted to the use of natural energies that will propel us into the future. This museum literally breaks all the stereotypes of such establishments. This huge sparkling sphere, where inside contains 8 thematic sections: "Sun Energy", "Wind Energy", "Space Energy", "Biomass Energy", "Water Energy", "Kinetic Energy", "National Pavilion" and "Future Astana ". In each of them you will find entertaining interactive presentations, with the opportunity to personally participate in various experiences and get acquainted with the real technical projects of the future. (2 hours)
Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. Practically all representatives of other nationalities, arriving in Kazakhstan, are surprised at the level of national self-consciousness and how harmoniously hundreds of different people coexist on the same piece of land. One of the clearest examples of this is the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation in the form of a giant pyramid. This temple embodies the friendship of peoples and freedom of religion, even its interior layout is based on a single religious concept of the world: the lowest and the darkest level symbolizes the underworld, the snow-white average level is the world of people, the upper, completely transparent level is the heavenly kingdom. (1-2 hours)
National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan. When you come to Astana for the first time and you want to learn as many interesting historical facts about the origin, development and formation of the Kazakh statehood as possible, then you need to take a tour in the National Museum. In this museum, there is almost an endless amount of information that is presented in the most unusual form, so that each visitor can literally travel back and forth in time, checking out genuine and valuable artifacts, amazing installations and expositions. (1,5 hour)
Where to spend your leisure time in Astana?
When you finish the first part of your itinerary and you are about to explode from the new knowledge, along with unforgettable images, we recommend that you plunge into the world of entertainment with a clear conscience. Here you can clear your mind and relax your body to complete serenity! We have selected a few of the most well-known and most visited locations that will surely surpass all your expectations:
Ailand Entertainment Center. This place literally embodies exactly what “rest” is and how it should be taken. This entertainment center has a special effect on children and adolescents, even adults do not want to leave this enchanting space. The secret of Ailand is simple: it is the most distant from the ocean aquarium in the world! In addition to Ailand there is an amazing water park with towering waterslides and a swimming pool. Another amazing area the "Jungle" gives you a chance to experience a wonderful journey through time: from here this will take you back into the era of dinosaurs. And, of course, there is the tallest Ferris wheel in the country! All this excitement will work up an appetite, which can only be satisfied by the finest restaurants and cafes, where you can eat and rest from your adventurous outing.
Restaurants of Kazakh haute cuisine. These remarkable restaurants, that will not break your bank account offering very reasonable prices accompanied with the aesthetic and some of the finest Kazakh culinary skill, will really leave you in awe. Once you spend a couple of hours in a place like this for a gourmet meal, and soon you will understand why interest in Kazakh cuisine is gaining momentum on the international stage faster and faster.
Astana Opera. If the restaurants don’t take too long, and you still have some time for an evening performance in one of the most stunningly beautiful theaters in the country. The unique architecture, the interior decorations in the national style with romantic Greco-Roman notes, the perfect acoustics and the professional performance of world and Kazakhstan stars on the stage will make your evening unforgettable.
Khan Shatyr. Another great option to spend your time in a very unusual and colorful way is to take a stroll through the biggest tent in the world. There are a lot of things to do in the tent: huge number of boutiques with brand name clothing and accessories, coffee shops, restaurants and food courts, the up-to-date cinema and an amusement park for younger visitors... But there is more - the highlight of Khan Shatyr can rightly be called the Sky Beach Club. Here, under the transparent dome of this huge tent, you can soak up a real tropical beach life: soft sand, palm trees, a wave pool with azure water, with great refreshing cocktails and snacks. This is the cherry on the top of your day!
As you can see, 24 hours in Astana can be turned into an exciting journey full of positive and unforgettable memories! Even if you deviate from the intended course and just want to take a walk in the capital, you can be sure that it will surprise you: in the afternoon, the Nurjol Boulevard will meet you with its color, unusual buildings, fountains and sculptures; and in the evening you can walk along the embankment, see the enchanting laser show and just admire the lights of the capital, as they reflect off of the waters of the Esil (Ishim) River. On the way, you will surely come across many interesting places where you can look at the lights, clubs, bars, billiard rooms, amusement parks, a circus-shaped flying saucer building, quest rooms, entertainment centers for gamers, where you can try virtual reality simulators and much, much more! Astana has many sides that are beautiful in their own unique way, but here everyone can find their piece of satisfaction.