Blending the boldly futuristic with a nomadic past and vast, wild beauty

With a name that translates to ‘land of the wanderers’, Kazakhstan is as enigmatic as it is epic. From astronauts taking off in the Kazakh desert, to the ski runs on the Tien Shan mountains, everything here is on a truly dramatic scale. Satisfy your adventurous spirit in this cultural melting pot, which gleams with space-age architecture, otherworldly canyons and grassy steppes as far as the eye can see. 

Practical Information

Capital city

The Kazakhstani tenge (KZT), in 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and  20,000 notes.

Thanks to the Kazakh peoples’ nomadic past as herders, horsemeat and mutton are common in modern Kazakhstani cuisine. Influences from other countries abound, from Russia to Korea and the Middle East. Beshbarmak is a national favourite – a sharing dish of meat and noodles served with a broth, and best enjoyed in good company.

Tipping etiquette
There’s usually a small service charge added to hotel and restaurant bills. Feel free to add an extra tip, but it certainly wouldn’t be expected. 

Saying hello
Use Сәлеметсіз бе (salemetsiz be) in a formal setting, or if you want to be respectful to an elder. Otherwise, a simple сәлем (salem) is the equivalent of ‘hi!’.

When To Go

October to March are decidedly chilly months in Kazakhstan, with temperatures dipping far below zero. May to September is perfect for hiking across Kazakhstan’s vast, wildflower-covered steppes, spotting migrating birds, and comfortable sight-seeing around Nur-Sultan.


Top Tip from SLH

Horse-riding is intrinsic to Kazakh culture. Watch their popular sport ‘kyz kuu’, as young men and women in traditional dress race each other on horseback.