Ready to wing your way to exotic Kazakhstan? Let Skyscanner help you find the cheapest air rates into either the Almaty International Airport (ALA) or the Astana International Airport (TSE) from several departure points in Canada. Find the most convenient route, even book your hotel and car rental. Get ready for that trip of a lifetime.
h2>What to Do in Kazakhstan
p> Outside of the major cities, Kazakhstan is made up of wide open spaces, some desert, some farmland and some mountainous terrain. In Asana, the nation's capital, visitors and locals like to visit the 97-metre tall Bayterek Tower to get a panoramic view of the surrounding area. The Central State Museum in Almaty, dating back to 1931, and the newer National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan give you some insight into the area's history. Visit the colourful Ascension Cathedral in Almaty, covered with the intricate artwork found in Russian Orthodox churches. Roughly 170 kilometres north of Almaty is Tamgaly, a collection of ancient petroglyphs that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Airports in Kazakhstan
- Almaty International Airport (ALA) is Kazakhstan's largest airport, located roughly 15 kilometres from the city of Almaty. Lufthansa and Air India provide service from Canada, typically with multiple connections. KLM flies into Almaty from Amsterdam. Aeroflot provides service from Moscow. Other carriers from Asia and the Middle East include Air Arabia, Asiana Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Kam Air and Pegasus Airlines, the latter providing service from Istanbul. Almaty International has one terminal for all passengers. Cafes, bars and fast food outlets are available, as is a currency exchange office. Wi-Fi is free throughout. Rental car outlets are onsite and taxi service is available. Taxis are not metered. Fares are negotiated at the point of pick up.
- Astana is the nation's capital and Astana International Airport (TSE) is 17 kilometres from the city centre. It has two terminals, one domestic, the other for international passengers. KLM, Air China, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines fly from Canada to Astana, all with at least one connection. Similar European, Russian, Middle Eastern and Asian airlines to those that fly into Almaty also provide service to Astana. Passenger services are similar.
- The Kazakhstani Tenge is the accepted currency. Though both airports have currency exchanges and ATMs, it's a good idea to change some cash into the local currency before you leave home to cover incidentals.
- Canadians travelling with a Canadian passport do not need a visa to visit Kazkhstan for stays up to 30 days. If you are staying longer, up to 90 days is allowed with a visa. If you are going for missionary work, then a visa is also required. Your passport, or a certified copy obtainable from a Canadian Consulate or Embassy, must be kept with you at all times. No specific vaccinations are required, but do make sure the usual vaccinations, such as for tetanus, are up to date.
- Kazakh is the official language, which, like Russian, uses the Cyrillic alphabet. Some signs have both the Cyrillic spelling and the English equivalent. Russian is considered a semi-official language and is also widely heard.
- If you decide to rent a car, be sure and follow the restrictions on the contract. Many car companies limit how far you can take a car out of a city, such as Astana or Almaty. Unlimited mileage contracts are rare.
- The best time to travel to Kazakhstan is during May or June and between September and November. Summers are hot, averaging 36 degrees Celsius daily and winter days can get down to -26 degrees Celsius. The desert part of the country gets little rain, but mountainous areas get lots of rain and snow. Bring appropriate clothing for the time of year you visit, along with the obligatory rain coat. Dress modestly.