General InformationTourism

Know your Kazakhstan…

  • Capital: Nur Sultan
  • Largest cities: Almaty, Karagandy (Karaganda)
  • Languages: Kazakh and Russian are spoken by the local population; English is usually used by staff of major tourism companies and hotels.
  • Currency: the national currency is Tenge (KZT); US Dollars, Euro and other currencies can be easily exchanged in banks and exchange bureaus.
  • Weather: The best season to travel to Kazakhstan is from March to November, since winter in Kazakhstan is usually cold; however snowy winters might be perfect for winter sports. Temperature in summer can reach up to +40’C and more in some regions. More on weather and climate of Kazakhstan
  • Population: major ethnicity is Kazakh; other ethnic groups include Russians, Uzbeks, Tatars, Germans, etc. About 55% of the population is urban and the rest is rural.
  • Food: Kazakh cuisine, Central Asian, Russian cuisines, as well as Italian, Turkish, Korean restaurants are popular in Kazakhstan. Organic and naturally grown ingredients are usually used to prepare meals, which give them an exceptionally rich taste.
  • Useful tips for travellers
  • Emergency and other important telephone numbers in Kazakhstan
  • 101 – Fire brigade
  • 102 – Police
  • 103 – Ambulance
  • 104 – Gas leaks
  • 112 – Rescue service
  • 171 – International and interregional telephone communication orders
  • 118 – Directory inquiry service
  • Business working hours
  • Usual business working hours in Kazakhstan are from 9.00 till 18.00 with a lunch break between 13.00 and 14.00, though some companies, especially in the service industry might work till 8-10 pm.
  • Shops in major cities like Astana and Almaty are usually open till 8-10 pm and some supermarkets work 24 hours. Bargaining is usually not acceptable in shops, but it is a common practice in bazaars.
  • Money
  • Kazakh national currency is Tenge (KZT). US Dollars, Euro and other major currencies can be easily exchanged to Tenge and back in official exchange bureaus and banks.  It is advisable to keep all documents for money exchange until departure from Kazakhstan.
  • The majority of European and international credit and debit cards, including Visa, Master Card, Euro Card are accepted in most hotels, large shops and restaurants of Astana and Almaty. In other cities, it is recommended to check with your hotel whether they accept credit card payments or not. Traveller’s cheques are not common in Kazakhstan and they are most likely not accepted.
  • Drinking water
  • Water in cities is chlorinated, so it is safe to drink. Bottled water is also widely available.
  • Communication
  • Mobile phone network coverage is available all over Kazakhstan, though in remote areas the coverage might be limited. Internet access: free Wi-Fi is available in airports and railway stations of major cities (Astana and Almaty). In addition, internet cafes are widely available in cities of Kazakhstan.
  • Electric power points
  • Electrical current in Kazakhstan is 220 volts, AC 50Hz. Two-pin power sockets are used, mainly compatible with both German ‘Schuko’ and Europlugs. However, unearthed old sockets, which are compatible with only thin Europlugs (4 mm Soviet standard plugs), can be still in use in some older buildings. German Schuko to Europlug and many other types of adapters are widely available in shops.
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