Fly To Almaty, Kazakhstan
Ever considered Kazakhstan as a holiday destination? Almaty boasts international stores, a snow-capped backdrop, fine restaurants, bustling nightclubs and green parks. It’s a great place if you enjoy visiting top notch museums, theatres and markets and a good starting point for various drives, hikes, treks and some good skiing.
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Currently there are no direct flights between South Africa and Almaty, Kazakhstan, but you can easily find your way there by air with Travelstart.co.za. Use Travelstart to search, compare ticket prices and book flights to Almaty on all airlines such as Lufthansa Airlines flights via Frankfurt, KLM Airlines flights via Amsterdam and many more. Simply enter your trip details into the flight search tool to see the latest prices, airlines and availability. Refine your search for cheap Almaty flights with useful parameters like number of stops, flight duration and price; and find the airlines with the most convenient connections on Travelstart.co.za.
Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South African passport holders do need a Visa to visit Almaty and anywhere else in Kazakhstan. Be sure to leave ample time for processing and ensure that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date. Also make sure that you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.
- The South African Embassy in Kazakhstan is located at 17th Floor, Kaskad Business Centre, Kabanbai Batyra 6/1. 010000, Astana. Phone: +7-7172-925-326.
See and do
There is only one English language theatre in the country and that’s the Kazakhstan English Language Theatre. There are just two shows a year as well as various workshops. The scenery and architecture around the Presidential Palace is worth a look and the National Museum across the road features displays centred on the history of the country. There are guided English tours available.
Republic Square is the former administrative centre and there are some beautiful flower gardens and memorials to explore. Arbat, the artist’s row in Almaty is a pedestrian street worth checking out. There is also a big mall with Wi-Fi access and a Cafemax. Another tour worth doing is that of the chocolate factory.
For a fun day out, get to Medeu, the Olympic sized ice rink. It’s geared towards teenagers who will definitely enjoy the somewhat surreal experience.
On a clear day in Almaty you can enjoy the snow-capped, rugged mountains right on the city’s doorstep. This city is amongst the top 50 for most expensive in the world when it comes to living but when it comes to shopping as a tourist, there are some reasonably priced knock-off shops selling European items.
The mountains outside of the town play a critical role in direction. If you’re told to head up, that means head towards the mountains and if you’re told to head down, head away from them. Getting around the city is very easy as most of the roads either run parallel or perpendicular to one another. An underground system was launched in 2011 and it’s a cheap and quick way to get around the city and you can purchase tickets at manned booths in the stations. There is also an extensive network of trams, buses and trolleys. The tram lines are a bit limited and only serve certain areas of Almaty. Simply put your coins in the dedicated machine inside the vehicle or pay the conductor when you exit.
As for taxis, there are both unofficial and official taxis. The official ones can be booked in advance and are pretty quick. For an unofficial taxi, raise your hand for the car to stop and be sure to negotiate prices and directions. The taxis are extremely efficient and probably the best way to get around Almaty.
Almaty International Airport – ALA
Food and beverage: Various cafes, bars and fast food are on offer at Almaty Airport.
Currency Exchange: Find the exchange office in the terminals at Almaty International Airport.
Lost Luggage: For luggage lost in transit contact your airline directly. Be sure to hang on to your baggage tracking stub until you have completed your journey.
Airport Hotels: None on site but the Ekipage Hotel is just 1 km from the airport.
Car Hire: Europcar, Argus, Rhino.
Airport Hub: Almaty International Airport (code ALA) is a hub for Air Astana, SCAT, DETA Air and Irtysh Air.