Hotel Otrar Almaty
Surrounding the obelisk are several statues representing the Kazakh people. Hotel is located in the resort area. Kazakhstan, Almaty, Dostyk Prospekt, There are a stadium and restaurants in the area. La Grenouille and Trieste are 5 minutes walking distance from Kazakhstan Hotel. Rate this property Very bad Excellent 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Like eternal flames elsewhere in Central Asia and Russia this one serves as a popular photo spot for wedding parties. I get the symbolism of the eternally burning flame of love but at the same time you may find the ebullient joy of the new brides and grooms next to the mourning visitors incongruous. After photos many of the wedding parties continue to the parking lot to blast Russian music from their cars, drink vodka and dance en masse.
It is worth checking out. To the east of the memorial is another striking wooden traditional Russian building displayed prominently in many an Almaty guide. The building itself is worth a visit but the museum it houses is perhaps Almaty's finest. It costs KZT and has an extensive collection of Kazakh instruments. There is absolutely no English translation and as a result the narrative thread can be a bit hard to follow — what are those cavemen doing?
Frustratingly, there are no recordings of the instruments. Still, there are quite a few gems — like nomad bagpipes — in the collection. It is in a huge Soviet era building and has an extensive collection of artefacts from throughout Kazakh history.
The Kazakhstan Museum of Arts is Central Asia's Louvre and has a huge collection of work from artists both local and international. It is located in the south of the city across the street from the Hyatt Regency.
The museum itself is massive and sprawling. If you want to really appreciate everything in the collection give yourself the better part of a day. The Soviet era elements of the museum seem the most popular with foreigners although I loved the work from modern Kazakh artists. The museum itself can seem a bit run down and it definitely has an odd streak. I perused an exhibit featuring paintings of tigers.
Before the capital moved to Astana this was the political centre of Kazakhstan. On top of the obelisk is the golden man, a Kazakh warrior riding a snow leopard. Surrounding the obelisk are several statues representing the Kazakh people. Just a few feet from the obelisk is a busy road so be careful when taking a picture. Be sure to take a peek inside this orthodox edifice as the painted walls, ceiling and icons are otherworldly. Ask anyone working at the cathedral if you can take pictures and they will assure you that you can but I still felt awkward taking out my camera and did notice a few of the faithful glaring.
Aside from things to see Almaty shopping presents a number of distractions. Those looking for bargains, or hoping to find indigenous Central Asian handicrafts might be disappointed but people whose taste runs more towards Prada will be in designer-label heaven.
Also, available are smaller local Kazakh fashion brands as well as Russian labels. This street is less developed than Gogol but about five or six blocks of it have been designated pedestrian-only.
The first couple of blocks are taken up by a farmer's market and then the rest of the road becomes a cross between a European promenade and a flea market. It is also a good place to people watch. Kazakhs come into town from the countryside to sell their produce here.
For more people watching, the other pedestrian blocks of Zhibek Zholy are good spots in which to gawp at Almaty's youth flaunting their chic fashion tastes.
Oddly absent in Almaty are the bazaars that are such an integral part of other Central Asian cities. There is one bazaar in the city itself.
Compared to the major bazaars of other cities in the region, the Zelyony Bazaar is tiny, but its size makes it manageable. Although it mostly sells food, it is still well worth a visit and won't take long to see. Our Almaty guide certainly doesn't slow down after dark. As the sun sets the streets fill with young people drinking beer and eating ubiquitous tortilla-wrap kebabs. Almaty nightlife is arguably the best in Central Asia. It even draws big-name DJs.
For those who have sampled Russian discos there will be no surprises here. The club scene in Almaty is in constant flux as kids in Almaty are famously picky. Ask a local which spot is hot at the moment. Although pounding on weekends, the Almaty nightclub scene is pretty much dead during the week.
Almaty has a vibrant bar culture. Although in most Central Asian cities drinking takes place in restaurants or in parks, those looking to imbibe in the Kazhak capital will have a wide variety of watering holes to choose from.
The city has everything from wine bars to cocktail lounges and even a burgeoning gay scene. Thrilling then to discover the pubs. The Rixos Almaty almaty. Expect a 25m indoor swimming pool, a Spa and fitness centre and gym with Turkish hammam, and a spacious ballroom for Almaty conferences and meetings.
The rooms are ornate in a faux -classical-Euro fashion with space ranging from a 32sq m Deluxe to a sq m Presidential Suite where you can play out your Louis XVI fantasies. Enter your starting point Driving Directions. Local attractions Kok-Tobe Hill. Please, select dates to see available rooms.
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