Useful information

About a city

Almaty City is in the center of the Eurasian continent, at the foot of the Trans-Ili Alatau ridge. The geographic coordinates are 77 degrees east longitude and 43 degrees north latitude.

Almaty is the biggest city and region of Kazakhstan by population. More than 2 million people live here.

The city was founded in 1854 and was called Vernyi. However, in 1921, the title of the city changed to Alma-Ata. In 1929, the capital city of Kazakh ASSR relocated here. And finally, in 1993, the city was renamed to Almaty. Four years later, the capital city moved to Akmola (Astana nowadays), and Almaty reserved the right to call itself the southern capital of Kazakhstan.

The city conventionally was separated into “top” and “bottom”. “Top” is where mountains are in the south, and “bottom” is in the north.

The height of the central part of Almaty city is about 800 meters above sea level.

Almaty is the scientific, historical, financial, and economic center. It is also considered the cultural capital of Kazakhstan.

Photo © Depositphotos

What to use to get around the city?

The transport connection of Almaty City is well developed. You can get around by shuttle buses, trolleybuses, and metro. Taxi, car rental, scooter rental, and bike-sharing services are also available.

How can I pay transportation fees?
There are several ways to pay for public transport:

  • By cash. In this situation, you should pay 200 tenge to the bus driver.
  • Unified transportation card called “Onay”.You can use it in metro, shuttle buses, and trolleybuses. The card costs 500 tenge. One way trip costs 100 tenge.

Free transportation fees are available to children under 7, and children between 7 and 15 years old have a 50 % discount upon the official document confirming their age.
If you want to pay your fee via QR code, you can register the Onay card in a mobile application.
You can buy Onay cards at the airport, railway stations, metro, and newsstands. You also can top up your card with the Onay mobile app, payment terminals, and your phone balance.

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There are more than 130 bus routes in Almaty. Some of them connect the city with small towns located nearby. You can track bus traffic online in “Onay” and “CityBus” mobile apps.

Buses start running at 6 am and usually end at 10 pm, but some routes work till 11 pm.

Almaty trolleybus network consists of 9 routes, and they connect the west, east, and south parts of the city with the Almaty-1 and Almaty-2 railway stations.

Almaty has lots of taxi services. You can call a taxi by phone, as well as by using a mobile application. The fare will depend on the distance. At Almaty International Airport, some companies installed banners with the approximate cost of taxi rides and contacts of official services. Generally, a ride fare from the airport to the destination point will vary from 3 to 7 thousand tenge.

Metro runs every day from 6.20 am till 00.00 pm. The metro consists of one line and 11 stations. You can check train schedules and traffic patterns here in online mode.

There are several kickscooter services in Almaty city. To rent a scooter, you need to download a mobile app of any service. You also can look up the area of usage via this mobile app.

Please notice! Electric scooters can move without restrictions on bicycle paths, sides of the road, and sidewalks - at the speed of pedestrian flow, no more than 6 kilometers per hour. It is allowed to drive an electric scooter in the right-hand lane of the roadway, including the one-row bus lane. However, to do this, the driver must be 18 years old, wear a fastened helmet and reflective uniform, and have a driver's license of any category. Carrying heavy luggage and passengers on an electric scooter is prohibited. At pedestrian crossings and intersections, electric scooter drivers must move on foot.

Reminder for foreign visitors

What does a foreign tourist need to know when entering Kazakhstan?

Foreign citizens can enter the Republic of Kazakhstan with valid foreign passports or documents replacing them if they have valid RK visas unless a different procedure is established by agreement with the relevant country.

Any foreign citizens should inform the migration service about their arrival when entering Kazakhstan within three days. Notification is required in all cases, regardless of the order of entry - with a visa or within the framework of a visa-free regime.

To find out more about how to submit a notification, use: the link.


Foreigners from 54 countries do not require visas to enter Kazakhstan for tourism, guest, and business visits.

Visa-free entry allows you to stay and move freely throughout the country for 30 calendar days. To do so, you just need to have a valid passport with you.

Remember: the total period of stay in Kazakhstan shouldn’t exceed 90 calendar days during each 180 days, but not more than 120 days within one calendar year. For a long-term stay, you need to apply for the appropriate visa.

To find out more about whether you need a visa or not, use the link.


The official currency in Kazakhstan is Tenge (KZT).

You can exchange US dollars, Euros, and Rubles for tenge in any exchange office operating at banks or separately. Banks in Kazakhstan are open weekdays from 9 am to 6 pm. Freestanding exchange offices are open from early morning until late night. You can find them at airports, train stations, large shopping centers, and city streets.

Emergency calls:

101 - fire department
102 - police
103 - emergency or ambulance
112 - rescue service

Visit Almaty information points

Visit Almaty information points are special information centers for tourists, where you can find out the most necessary information. Here you can find free maps, directions and magazines with attractions, as well as other information.


  • st. Mailina, 2 (1st floor of the Almaty International Airport building)
  • st. Zenkova, 24a (opposite the Ykylas Museum of Musical Instruments)
  • st. Panfilova, 84
  • Dostyk Ave., 56/3 (behind the Kazakhstan Hotel)
  • st. Timiryazeva, 40/2 ("Atakent")
  • microdistrict Orbita 2, 11/3 (Park of the First President)
  • st. Omarova 76/2 (bus stop near Kok-Tobe)
  • st. Kerey-Zhanibek khandar, 465a ("Medeu")

Important contact information for foreigners

Here you can find phone numbers and addresses of foreign diplomatic representatives and consular offices in Kazakhstan:

Mobile operators

Almaty has both broadband and mobile Internet.

The list of mobile operators you can use:

- virtual operator IZI

- banking services ForteMobile and JusanMobile.

A SIM card can be purchased immediately upon arrival at the airport, in shops, or on newsstands that usually stand next to bazaars.

To buy a local SIM card, you must have an identity card or passport with you, which can be required when the card is issued in your name.

If citizens of other countries arrive in Kazakhstan and buy a SIM card from a domestic operator, they receive an SMS message to register their phone in the mobile network. But if foreign guests use the services of their SIM card in roaming mode, then there is no need to register the device.

Using a SIM card from any operator, you can make long-distance and international calls, send SMS messages, and access the Internet.

Also, many cafes in Almaty offer free WI-FI.