Flying to Almaty (direct or indirect)
It was a first visit, and I was unsure what airline to take. However I discovered that British Airways (BA) flies direct to Almaty from London a number of times weekly.
There are other flights but these are indirect and have quite lengthy transit waits in each of the few locations used (eg Kiev and Istanbul)
From and To the airport by taxi
A lot of scam taxis are waiting for you when you arrive at Almaty Airport as well as other cities in CIS countries. You would be better to ask transport company which shows sign or ads card of transport service to the city. There are some transport company's counter at waiting area and "555-333" taxi is one of secure company. It was 2300KTZ with "555-333" taxi when I requested through my hotel. Kazakhstan Hotel charged 3500KTZ. Ads at airport shows 2000-3000KTZ. Perhaps if you are frequent flyer you may take taxi more reasonable (normal) charge. It take around 30 minutes to/from the airport to city centre.
By Sea and River
Kazakhstan's section of the Caspian Sea has two ports,Aktau and Bautino.In total,there are three seaports in the country.Other than the Caspian,Kazakhstan does not have access to the sea.
The port of Aktau,on the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea,is operational all year round.It is the only seaport in the country used for international shipping of dry goods,crude oil and petroleum products to Iran,Baku,Astrakhan and Europe through the Volga-Don canal and the Dunai system.
Atyrau river port is located 60 km from the mounth of the Ural river.It operates approximately 200 days of the year has access to the Caspian Sea through the sea channel.
- Business Travel
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Railways are the backbone of Kazakhstan's transportation system,delivering 80% of freight and 60% of passengers.There are approx. 13.400km of railways in Kazakhstan,a density of 5.3 km per 1000 sqkm.
There are several major freight and passenger transportation routes in the region,two of which run across Kazakhstan:the Trans-Asian(Beijing-Almaty-Istanbul) and Eurasian railways(London-Almaty-Beijing).
By Air,Kazakhstan's air corridors are favoured by foreign airlines operating flights between Europe and south-east Asia,as using Kazakh airspace can cut the lenght of routes considerably.
Kazakhstan has 54 airports,including international airports in Almaty and Astana.Pratically every part of the country can be reached by air.
From Almaty you can fly to all major cities.From the capital,Astana,there are flights to ten major cities in Kazakhstan and to Germany,Russia,and Ukraine.You can fly to various CIS destinations from Almaty,Astana,Atyrau,Pavlodar,Karaganda,Aktau,and Ust-Kamenogorsk.
The following airlines operate regular scheduled flights from Almaty;
Air Kazakhstan:Bangkok,Beijing,Budapest,Delhi,Dubai,Frankfurt,Hanover,Istanbul,Karachi,Moscow,Seoul,Tashkent,and Tel-Aviv.
- Business Travel
Train from Almaty to Moscow
Contrary to comments by ianrmillard that the train is dirty and full of drunks (after admitting to not having used it) I would like to have all who are interested know it was NOT dirty nor full of drunks when we rode from Almaty to Moscow as one of the final legs of a trip through several "Stans".
Contrary to that it was surprisingly decent, thought not a luxury trip. Those interested can see our weblog of the Stans Trip by going to http://www.rubbercow.com/dispatch and clicking on August 2006 for the start of the whole trip, or on http://www.rubbercow.com/dispatch/?m=200609&paged=2 to go straight to the page with the train ride post on it.
The train car had two crew members living on board with you, so it was not a free for all. They kept the toilets clean. I'd say some Russian language or Kazahk would be a plus (NO ENGLISH) but as a cultural experience, it way outweighs the negatives.
Arrival to Almaty
Being an ex-capital, there are many international direct flights to Almaty.
Air Astana (Kazakh Airlines) offer cheapest rates with a reasonable service. There are also connecting flights via Atyrau and Astana. www.airastana.com.
One of the best service is offered by Turkish Airlines. The flight is direct from Istanbul. www.thy.com
KLM has also flights to Almaty. www.klm.com
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There are trams, but beware: they are very fast! If you want to cross the streets just be care ful, that there is no tram approaching! They are a cheap way to get around in Almaty. There are also public busses and taxis.
- Budget Travel
Buses, trains and automobiles
Well there's buses that have been converted to be electrical trams...
Or trains to other cities..
Or in a friend's car..
Any car can be a taxi...just ask how much..expect to pay more if you speak English
Roads are always busy so look left, right, then left.....before crossing.
Les bus urbains sont dans un état un peu disparate. Il circule encore des véhicules dont on se demande comment ils avancent encore, et dont la sécurité semble assez aléatoire. A côté, on voit des engins plus "modernes", certains ayant été visiblement achetés à des compagnies occidentales après leur mise à la réforme.
The urban buses are in a state a little disparate. It circulates more vehicles of which one wonders how they advance again, and whose security seems uncertain enough. To side, one sees more "modern", some having been bought to western companies visibly after their stake to the reform.
Your first trip in Almaty will be from the airport to the city of course. Almaty airport is located in about 15 km from the city center. If your plane arrives in daytime and you want to save money on taxi, it is safe to take bus 492 running from the airport through the main streets of the city. Because of frequent airport scamming, avoid using private taxi drivers (cars without taxi signs) and try to find a regular taxi although it may be a little more expensive. Be ready to pay for the trip from the airport between $10 and $20. You do not have to pay in dollars. When making reservation at a local hotel check if they can pick you up from the airport. Some more expensive hotels do it for free.
The airport was founded in 1935. Up to 1990 it was the part of Kazakh Department of Civil Aviation. On April 26, 1991 the airport had been re-organized into "Alma-Ata Airport", and beginning from 1993 it run as an independent business unit. In 1994 it was re-organized into OJSC "Almaty Airport", later re-named to JSC Almaty International Airport.
The Almaty International Airport (Almaty, Kazakhstan) has an advantageous geographical location on the route from South-Eastern Asia to Europe and back.
The Great Silk Road from China to other parts of the globe passes through our city since the earliest times. The high status of the leading airport of the Republic makes it necessary to provide services that are continually improved and modern. Thus, up to date technology and advanced qualifications of personnel to match, is one of the priority directions in the Almaty airport’s management action plan.
- Road Trip
200 tenge is enough to get whereever you wish
there is no metro in Almaty..not yet, though they say in the nearest future there will be 4 metro stations in the city! but we are here yet...so you can take a bus.. or a taxi. bus is not recommended for sure..it's always overcrowded and i saw few times people practically falling from buses steps...believe me taxi is best choice, it will cost only 200 or 300 tenge (2-3$) to get to any location within the city
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
from the novy autobus station this trip costs about $7 and takes you for many hours on the southern par tof the country entering biskhek just for a fe minutes and departs right away to taraz and shymkent. this is the bus you should take if you want to head south to uzbekistan, from shymkent you can take another bus to the border and from the uzbekistan border another bus to tashkent capital of uzbekistan. all the trip is very nice and the mountains are beautiful!
you have 3 daily buses from almaty to shymkent. the best is the noght bus that will make you arrive in shymkent in the morning not at night time!
OUT Almaty by BUS
you can get several long distances buses from sayran bus station at novy abtovoksal corner with tole bi and mate zalki. phone 264644. this staion is 4km away from the centre and you can get a bus there on the bus stops aside silk way city shoing mall the new one.
you can get to balkash shymkent a and further to turkistan. taraz service also runs here and usually is the same service that goes to shymkent (this is the bus you have to take if you want to enter uzbekistan by local transport.
at the sayakhat bus station you have buses for local destinations like talgar canyons, chilik, kapchagay. you can also take the bus for $5 to taraz and $t to shymkent. this bus station is located in stary avtovokal and the phone is 300882 at the raymbek ulitsa.
on the picture you have the novy abtovoksal bus station.
Ride on the back art of a local truck
If you think you can handle and you arec onfident enough with yourself you can easily get a Ride on the back art of a local truck. you can just ask for a ride and people will stop and give you a ride. i dont think this is a very good tip as many people say getting rides in central asia is dangerous.
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