Bayterek Tower. Buy plane tickets to Astana
Astana at Night. Buy plane tickets to Astana
Palace of Peace and Harmony. Buy plane tickets to Astana
Hazrat Sultan Mosque. Buy plane tickets to Astana
Beshbarmak. Buy plane tickets to Astana
Bayterek Tower
Astana at Night
Palace of Peace and Harmony
Hazrat Sultan Mosque
Beshbarmak 
Country
Season
May - Semtember
Languages
Kazakh
No visa required CIS Company Family Leisure break Religion Excursions Summer

In 1997, when Astana became the new capital of Kazakhstan, the city adopted a rapid development plan. Now, 20 years later, it has turned into a modern megapolis of skyscrapers, wide boulevards and luxurious boardwalks. While you won’t find historical structures in Astana, there is plenty of modern art and bold architecture to satisfy your senses.

The most convenient way to get to there is to fly direct to Astana International Airport from Moscow with Aeroflot (duration: 3 hours). To save money, look for round-trip tickets and remember to book in advance, as the best fares sell out quickly.

General flight information Moscow  → Astana

Distance between cities

2 273 km

Time difference in winter

+3 h

Time difference in summer

+3 h

Average direct flight time

3 h 20 min

What to see

Baiterek Tower is a landmark, a symbol of a new but growing city and an example of the futuristic architecture found throughout the country. The tower symbolizes the Tree of Life, with roots growing deep into the ground and branches pointing up to the sky, cradling a glass sphere in the middle. The elevator lifts you up into the sphere and brings you to a breathtaking view of the city. In the middle of the sphere is a wooden globe signed by representatives of 17 religions and a table with the handprint of President Nazarbayev. It is commonly believed that if you touch the handprint and make a wish, it’s sure to come true. 

One more interesting and unusual building in Astana is the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation Pyramid (also known as the Pyramid of Peace and Accord), a centre of religious studies and tolerance. The construction itself looks like a glass pyramid, symbolising Kazakhstan’s transparency to the world and the unity of all religions, ethnicities and cultures. It serves as an 28,000-square-metre (300,000-square-foot) event venue and contains an opera hall, a conference hall, the Turkic Academy, a centre of modern art and a costume museum. 

Another important religious shrine is the Hazrat Sultan Mosque, the second largest in Central Asia after Turkmenistan’s Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque (Gypjak Mosque). The Hazrat Sultan Mosque was built in the classical style and resembles a castle from the Arabian Nights. 

Not far from the mosque is Independence Square with the Kazak Eli Monument, a marble-paved masterpiece. Atop the 91-metres (298-foot) column the gold-leafed mystical bird Samryk - the guardian of all nations -  is perched. The bottom of the column is decorated with carvings reflecting major events in the history of the country. 

You can spend an entire day at the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre, one of the most epic entertainment centres in the world. Underneath the 150-metre-high (500 foot) tent is an area larger than 10 football fields. The gigantic tented structure includes a parking lot, shops, movie theatres, cafes, restaurants and a resort with a sand beach and a pool with artificial waves. This masterpiece is surrounded by exotic foliage and sand imported from the Maldives. The temperature is kept at 35°C (95°F)year-round. Forbes Style magazine included the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre in its list of the most eco-friendly buildings in the world. 

Unique ethno-cultural handicrafts can be purchased at Astana’s various markets (bazaars). Look for dishes decorated with traditional ornaments, taqiyahs (traditional hats), handmade felt shoes, chapans (Uzbek quilted dressing gowns), dolls in national costumes, leather flasks for kumiss (fermented mare’s milk), silver jewelry and chocolate goodies made by Rahat a local chocolate factory.