Astana Kazakhstan

Gleaming constructions of glass and steel by the world’s top architects, rising out of nowhere from an inhospitable desert.

The comparison to Dubai is apt, and Astana’s army of bureaucrats and careerist professionals love to holiday in the Emirates. You will need at least a day to visit all the new monuments and to get a sense of the reverence (some say personality cult) its inhabitants hold for the creator of this shining mirage, Kazakhstan’s only-ever president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

In the evenings, suit up for a night at the opera, located below the pyramidal Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, or shop til you drop at consumer paradise Khan Shatyr, the world’s largest tent.

Need to know

Central Asia travel tips

There’s no escaping the fact that the more recent history of the region has been troubled. Post-Soviet independence saw the rule of dictators with appalling attitudes to human rights. But there are hopeful signs of things changing in at least some of the ‘stans as people, especially the young, find their more

10 days

The Kazakhstan Loop

Almaty, Shymkent, Astana and Karaganda
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Astana Travel Companies

Central Asia

Kalpak Travel

Small group tours of Central Asia

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