Opened in March 2005, the Astana International Airport is a direct response to the governmental capital of Kazakhstan moving to Astana in 1997. This put a great strain upon the old regional-style airport in Astana until a new one, in step with the stature of an exciting, growing country, could be constructed. The exterior of the passenger terminal dome, based on the shape of a traditional Kazakhstan movable house called a 'Yurta', has been clad in beautiful blue mosaic tiles to express the colors of the Kazakhstan national flag and solidarity with the mostly Islamic identity of the country. At night the dome is lighted and provides a very distinctive, blue glow that is a visually appealing welcome to the airport.
This airport was built for the 21st century and features two runways capable of handling high capacity, wide bodied jets.
The design inside the dome gives an open space up to the top of the spheroid including perimeter mezzanines on each level. Inside the terminal, besides the passenger windows, immigration control and gates, there are retail, food and duty free shops.
These are found on the third and the fourth floors of the passenger terminal along with entertainment areas, game rooms and rest lounges. There is even a small transit hotel located at this airport.
Flights to Astana are usually by Air Astana but there are other airlines that serve this market.
As of March 2008, one can fly directly to Astana from Frankfurt, Hannover and Moscow. Oftentimes one must fly to Almaty first and then on to Astana in order to get to Astana at a reasonable time. Check schedules as this can be a problem if you do not prepare for it in advance.
You will also be glad to know that, as in most international airports, announcements were given in several languages including English. I did not have any trouble finding my way around this airport. And there were some very colorfully dressed passengers so the people watching was a good way of passing the time.
Sarky Arka 4, Astana, Kazakhstan, 010000, KZ
Good for: Business
Luxury hotel offers everything to satisfie modern tourist needs. This is really a hotel built...more
8 Beibitshilik, Astana, 010000, Kazakhstan
Good for: Solo