Many visitors find that the weather in Kazakhstan is at its best during the spring months, so May and June may be the optimum times to fly if enjoying the sunshine is particularly important to you. Travel during these peak times is likely to be more expensive than during off-peak seasons (such as the winter). Visit the city during one of the many festivals that occur each year, such as the annual international Eurasian film festival, to experience some colourful culture and an exciting buzz.
Natural beauty and cultural attractions meet in Almaty, one of the most memorable places that you will ever visit. Head down to Kolsai Lakes to enjoy a stroll amid amazing scenery or a tranquil picnic with your travel companions beside the shimmering waters, surrounded by fairy tale woodland. The Zenkov Cathedral dominates the city centre with its majestic, subtly colourful architecture, and is well worth a visit thanks to its elegant interiors. One of the most inspiring and mysterious landmarks to be found in Almaty is the Tamgaly Tas with its ancient caves, complete with prehistoric fire altars. If you want to rub shoulders with the locals, and soak in some exciting contemporary culture, then book in to watch a show at the regal Abai’s Theatre. The city is also home to a brilliant variety of different restaurants, cafes, and other eateries, so be sure to investigate the delicious local cuisine during your stay. The Botanical Garden is a wonderful place to stroll as you work off a delectable feast, and is filled with fascinating examples of flora native to the region. The city boasts plenty of unique museums, such as the Museum of Folk Music Instruments named after Yihlasa, which is a lovely place to visit as a family.
You can take a taxi, or hire a car to drive where you want to go in the city. There are both public buses and special tour buses that will take you where you need to go. The city is also home to a recently built metro system, which is perhaps the most efficient way of getting around. Previously, tram links were the favoured means of public transport in Almaty. However, since the metro was built, the tram lines have dwindled to two. Taking the tram is a great way to connect with the history of Almaty, however, as the tram lines were built back in the 1930s.
Almaty International Airport (ALA) is located around 9 miles (15 km) to the north east of the city. Taxis, shuttle buses, and hire cars are all available to take you the short (10-minute) journey into the town centre once your flight arrives at the airport. You can book hire cars online before your trip and have them ready and waiting for you when your plane touches down.
(prices quoted are from London)