Kazakhstan is the biggest country in Central Asia, stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Altai Mountains. It is the largest landlocked country in the world and ninth largest overall. Kazakhstan is also a country of diverse cultures and religions. They coexist in harmony, respect and tolerance.
These, combined with the country’s new incentives to restart tourism, make it a great destination for an upcoming trip abroad. Here are the main things you need to know when planning your next trip to Kazakhstan.
1. Direct flight connections from Europe
Direct flights from Europe to Kazakhstan are available to the two main airports, Nur-Sultan, near the capital, which is now called Astana, and Almaty, near the city Almaty, which is the largest city and commercial capital of the country.
1.1. To Astana, Nursultan Nazarbayev Airport
- From Frankfurt, Germany: Lufthansa, Air Astana
- From Budapest, Hungary: Wizz Air
- From Warsaw, Poland: LOT Polish Airlines
1.2. To Almaty
- From Frankfurt, Germany: Lufthansa
- From Milan, Italy: Italian airline Neos
- From Crete and Podgorica, only during summer: Air Astana
2. Visa requirements
Citizens of all the EU Member States can travel to Kazakhstan for up to 30 days without needing a visa. Additionally, members of the European Economic Area, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein, as well as Switzerland, also enjoy the 30-day visa free entry.
For other European countries, the visa status varies between 30-day visa free, 90-day visa free or visa required. Detailed information regarding visa requirements for each country can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
3. Main attractions
Astana, known as Nur-Sultan between March 2019 and September 2022, is the youngest capital of the world, as it only became the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997. Previously, Almaty was the capital.
The Kazakh capital is a modern mega-city like no other. Heritage and modernity blend in perfect harmony here, the financial and technological centre being contrasted by the beautiful traditional architecture .
Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan and the country’s former capital. It is a major commercial and cultural centre. It is surrounded by mountains scattered with hidden treasures .
3.3. Lake Karakol
Lake Karakol is situated on the southern outskirts of the city of Aktau, within the Karagye-Karakolskiy nature reserve. The lake is an ornithological paradise, with over 80 species of birds being recorded in the area. The dense vegetation and shallow waters along the shores make it ideal for nesting. Swans, pelicans, herons and owls can be spotted here, but the most famous of all are the flamingos .