The Almaty Half-Day City Tour is perfect for anyone who finds themselves with a long layover in Almaty or passing through on their way to Charyn Canyon or Kyrgyzstan. This short tour is filled with Almaty’s must-see attractions: shopping at the famed Green Bazaar, touring modern Almaty Central Mosque and traditional Zenkov Cathedral, admiring the monuments in Panfilov Park and Republic Square and tracing the history of Kazakhstan at the Central State Museum before speeding underground on the Almaty Metro.
Your guide and driver will meet you in the lobby of your hotel to begin the Almaty city tour:
- Walk the pleasant pathways of Panfilov Park, named after an esteemed general who perished while defending his homeland. Within the park is the corresponding World War II Memorial Complex, whose focal point is a gigantic monument of soldiers bravely in advance, with an eternal flame blazing nearby.
- Visit Zenkov Cathedral (a.k.a Ascension Cathedral), also situated in Panfilov Park. Constructed entirely of wood without a single metal nail, this colorful five-domed wonder is one of the oldest buildings in Almaty, with an interior as culturally enlightening as its outer façade.
- Plunge into the atmosphere of Green Bazaar, a lively eastern market whose festive colors, mouth-watering smells and lively crowds transform an ordinary shopping trip into an unforgettable cultural experience. It’s the perfect spot to purchase dried fruits and famous Kazakhstan chocolates…but don’t forget to bargain!
- Admire the Almaty Central Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Central Asia that can accommodate thousands of attendees. Its gold domes and striking white marble exterior give this post-independence building a regal quality, while the interior impresses with artistic simplicity.
- Stop by Republic Square, where the Mayor’s Office, Central State Museum and former Presidential Palace encircle the Monument of Independence, a towering statue of the Golden Man flanked by smaller symbolic sculptures and bronze bas-reliefs depicting the country’s history.
- Tour the Central State Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, containing nearly a quarter million permanent and temporary exhibits, including its most well-known display, a replica of the Golden Man. Exhibits are very informative, covering the full gamut of Kazakhstan ethnography and history from prehistoric times to the 21st century.
- Ride the 21st-century Almaty Metro, whose tunnels give the impression that you’re in a palace instead of a public subway system. Each station has been beautifully designed to portray a specific theme, and you’ll stop at 2-3 stations to admire the colorful, intricate murals.
Drive back to the hotel. End of Almaty Half-Day City Tour.
Tour Duration: 3-4 hours
- Private, local English-speaking guide;
- Entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary (including metro token);
- Transportation throughout the tour.