Colorful silk scarves, fragrant spices, caviar* and tea are popular souvenirs from Kazakhstan. A noble souvenir is silver jewelry, which is often decorated with rubies or emeralds, sometimes with semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli. In small mom-and-pop shops you can get everything you need on a daily basis, such as hygiene items and groceries. In the larger cities there are colorful bazaars where traders offer a variety of different products. In addition to groceries and fresh fruit and vegetables, you can also get clothes, shoes, jewellery, electronics and much more here. You can haggle over the prices. The most famous bazaar is the Baracholka in Almaty, which is located north of Panfilov Park and is one of the largest bazaars in Central Asia. In recent years, more and more supermarkets have opened in Kazakhstan, with the larger chains including GROS, Green and Ramstore. The German Metro Group also operates several branches spread across the country. You can often find products from the West in the supermarkets, the prices correspond to the European level. In the big cities like Nursultan, Almaty or Türkistan there are luxurious shopping malls, such as the Silka Way City Mall in Almaty, where you can also find international labels like Yves Rocher or Benetton.
- Searchforpublicschools: Offers schooling information of Kazakhstan in each level – compulsory, technical and higher education programs.
Most shops open Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, some shops open Sat 9am-3pm. Large shops such as shopping centers sometimes also open on Sundays.
* The import of caviar to Germany is strictly limited due to the Species Protection Act. Violators will be severely punished.
In the country’s major cities there is a varied range of entertainment with nightclubs, discotheques, bars and pubs. Music is played in many restaurants after 8 p.m. to create a relaxed atmosphere. Things are much quieter in rural areas. The city of Almaty in particular has an exciting nightlife to offer. Live music is often played in the numerous clubs. The most popular club in town is fun to mass. Soho Club (www.soho.kz) is popular with foreigners. Performing arts lovers will find a wide range of theatres, operas and ballet houses in Almaty, including the National Uyghur Theater which is the only professional Uyghur theater in the world. in the Deutsches Theater located in the west of the city, plays are played for the German-speaking minority living here. There are numerous nightclubs in the capital Nursultan. The city also has some very good theaters to offer, such as the Tilep Kobyz Sarayi or the Kalibak Kuanyshev Kazakh Theater. In the modern Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall, in addition to three concert halls, there are also several restaurants and bars. With 3,500 seats, the main concert hall is one of the largest concert halls in the world. The building hosts classical music events as well as rock and pop concerts, ballet performances, cinema screenings and various conferences throughout the year.
Kazakhstan’s cuisine reflects the country’s unique ethical and religious makeup. Traditional Kazakh cuisine is mostly based on meat and dairy products. Over time, she has been primarily influenced by Uzbek, Uyghur, Russian, Tatar and Korean cuisine. Fruit, vegetables, fish and desserts are also served today. Meals are taken at the Dastarkhan, a low table.
Typical Kazakh dishes include kasi, chushuk, suret and beshbarmak (made from horsemeat or mutton). Shish kebab (mutton grilled over charcoal) and lepeshka (round unleavened bread) are often sold on street corners. Made from mutton, grated turnips and rice, plov is one of the national dishes of the Central Asian republics. Other mutton dishes like laghman and beshbarmak include thick noodles served with a spicy meat sauce. Manty (small dumplings with meat and vegetables), samsa (spicy dumplings filled with meat or vegetables) and chiburekki (fried dumplings) are popular snacks.
Traditionally, most Kazakhs serve the most important guest (usually the elder) with a boiled sheep’s head as a sign of respect. The guest cuts up the head and distributes the pieces of meat first to the older guests at the table, then to the children and finally to the relatives. National custom forbids younger family members whose parents are still alive to cut off the sheep’s head. You must pass the sheep’s head to the other guests to cut.
Hotels and restaurants charge about 10% service. An extra tip is not expected, but is appreciated. Taxis charge a set rate.
Kazakh tea (or chai) is very popular. In the chai khana (tea houses), a national institution, visitors can taste this Kazakh specialty. Beer, vodka, brandy and sparkling wine are available in many restaurants. The national drink is kumis, fermented mare’s milk.
Minimum age for consumption of alcoholic beverages
In Kazakhstan, you can drink alcohol from the age of 18.
Most cities have a limited number of accommodations of acceptable comfort. It is advisable to book in advance either directly or through a travel agent. Categories: Accommodation in Kazakhstan is divided into the following categories: Super Class A, Super Class B, First Class and Second Class. Most of the hotels in Almaty, Karaganda, Chimkent, Nursultan, Kokshetau and Kostanay belong to the first and second class. Classifications of tourist hotels and campsites are made by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Tourism. All other accommodations are classified by the district offices.
The only designated campsites are the permanent base camps, from which the mountain peaks of Kazakhstan can be climbed. Wild camping is at your own risk.
70% of the Kazakh population is Muslim (mainly Sunni), 26% is Christian. There is a Jewish minority (less than 0.5%). Islam in Kazakhstan is liberal, Kazakhs never express their religious feelings fervently. Kazakhstan is on the fringes of the Muslim world and a meeting point of Russian, Chinese and Central Asian cultures. Islam plays a minor role in politics and there are no major Islamic political organizations in the country.
Social Rules of Conduct
General: Kazakhs are traditionally extremely hospitable. Sneezing and blowing your nose are considered unhygienic, especially at the table. As in many Asian countries, however, spitting out in the street is common practice. Manners: The usual forms of politeness should be observed. When greeting, the host gives the guest both hands. Invitations to private homes are common, so always have a few favors on hand. Culinary or alcoholic specialties from the home country and illustrated books are popular, for example. The children are happy about a few small sweets. In Kazakhstan, conversations always start with lengthy small talk before talking about the actual issue. This is especially true in the business sphere. Clothing: Smart, casual clothing is acceptable on the street, but knees and shoulders should be covered. More elegant attire is expected for a visit to the theater or an invitation to dinner. Shorts should only be worn on the sports field. Shoulders and knees must be covered when visiting a mosque, and women should also cover their hair. In the mosques, women follow their own rituals in a separate room. Photography: It is forbidden by law to photograph airports and military buildings and facilities. People should be asked before being photographed. Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in public spaces and on public transport. Tipping: It is not customary to tip in Kazakhstan.
Best travel time
Continental climate with cold winters (-10°C on average) and hot summers (25°-30°C, up to 40°C in some areas) in the north.
Desert climate in central and western Kazakhstan.
Humid continental climate in the south of the country.
Warmest month July, August in mountain regions.
The best travel times differ depending on the region and type of holiday: cultural travelers enjoy the most pleasant weather from April to June and from September to October. Alpine regions are best visited in the months of June and August, and winter vacationers get their money’s worth from January to March.
Area (sq km)
18,776,707 (Source: homosociety)
Population density (per square km)
Population statistics year
Main emergency number