Kazakhstan is the world’s ninth biggest country, and it’s got a lot more going for it than oil and Borat.

Thanks to natural resources (and sheer size) Kazakhstan is probably the best developed of the –stans. You’re more likely to get a good coffee on the leafy avenues of Almaty than anywhere else on the Asian steppe, and the country’s capital, Asatana, is a 21st-century showcase of modern architecture and futuristic design. Not what you’d expect from a country where the horse and cart is still a pretty big deal. Whatever your expectations are, leave them in the arrivals lounge. Kazakhstan defies them all.

Our Kazakhstan trips

10 Days From $2,985

Veer off the beaten track in Kazakhstan. Visit the once vast Aral Sea and discover the...

10 Days From $2,865

Veer off the beaten track in Kazakhstan. Visit the once-vast Aral Sea and discover the...

Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Kazakhstan tour reviews

Our Kazakhstan trips score an average of 4.5 out of 5 based on 12 reviews in the last year.

Expedition - Baikonur & Kazakhstan, October 2017

Lee Coupland

Expedition - Baikonur & Kazakhstan, October 2017

Sophie Delaloye

Articles on Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan travel highlights

Kazakhstan holiday information

At a glance

Best time to visit Kazakhstan

Top 5 Tastes of Kazakhstan

Health and Safety

Further reading

Kazakhstan travel FAQs


Many nationalities, including Australia, Germany, USA and United Kingdom do not require a visa for stays of up to 15 days. Please check with your local consulate for the most up to date requirements. New Zealand passengers do require a visa to travel to Kazakhstan. New Zealand passengers will need to send their application and passport to Sydney or Singapore, so it is important that this is done well in advance of the travel date. 

A service charge of 10% is included at most restaurants so tipping isn’t necessary.

There are internet cafes available in the main towns and in libraries and universities.

Reception is good in the main towns but sketchy elsewhere. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.

Toilet facilities may be very basic. Expect drop toilets outside of hotels and bring your own toilet paper as there may not be any.

Bottle of soft drink = 120 KZT
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 400 KZT
Simple lunch = 800 KZT
Three-course meal = 3500 KZT
Short taxi ride = 500 KZT

Drinking tap water in Kazakhstan isn’t recommended. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.

Credit cards are accepted in major shops and hotels in Almaty.

There’s some access to ATMs in major towns and cities.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

  • 1 Jan New Year
  • 2 Jan New Year Holiday
  • 3 Jan New Year Holiday
  • 7 Jan Orthodox Christmas
  • 8 Mar International Women's Day
  • 20 Mar Nauryz Meyramy Holiday
  • 21 Mar Nauryz Meyramy (Persian New Year)
  • 22 Mar Nauryz Meyramy Holiday
  • 23 Mar Nauryz Meyramy Holiday
  • 1 May Kazakhstan People Solidarity Day
  • 7 May Defender's Day
  • 8 May Defender's Day Holiday
  • 9 May Victory Day
  • 6 Jul Capital City Day
  • 7 Jul Public Holiday
  • 30 Aug Constitution Day
  • 1 Sep Kurban Ait
  • 1 Dec First President Day
  • 16 Dec Kazakhstan Independence Day
  • 18 Dec Kazakhstan Independence Day Holiday
  • 19 Dec Kazakhstan Independence Day Holiday

Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Kazakhstan go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/kazakhstan/public-holidays

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Responsible travel in Kazakhstan

Top responsible travel tips for Kazakhstan

  1. Be considerate of Kazakhstan’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
  2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered when entering places of worship.
  3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
  4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully.
  5. Smoking is banned in public places.
  6. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
  7. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
  8. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
  9. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
  10. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
  11. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.