Cheap flights to Astana
Since the city was chosen to be Kazakhstan's new capital in 1997 and renamed Astana, which literally means "capital city", it has rapidly transformed itself into a forward looking destination with plenty of culture and attractions to entice visitors such as museums rich in the region's history and huge tented shopping centres. Soviet-era architecture sits alongside futuristic buildings like the Baiterek Tower. With more of these landmarks being added to the city's skyline every year, it's been given the nickname "Singapore of the Steppes". Not only youthful in its architecture, Astana is youthful in its demographic and vibe, a vibe that quickly gets under the skin of its visitors.
Things To Do
A stroll through Astana's streets reveals an intriguing blend of Soviet-era architecture and modern buildings designed by iconic names like Norman Foster. Laid out in an orderly fashion, the modern city was built to a master plan designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa.
A view of the city
Take a fast lift to the top of the Baiterek Tower, it's a great way to start your city visit. You'll discover a panorama of streets and buildings laid out before you and you can even place your hands in the handprints of the President.
Where shopping meets the beach
The Khan Shatry Mall is the world's biggest shopping centre in a tent and certainly a sight to behold. There's plenty to occupy the whole family for a day or more with shops, an aqua park and even an artificial beach with sand imported from the Maldives!
Exploring the country's past
The fascinating exhibits of the National Museum of Kazakhstan take you on a journey through the country's history and culture. The collection of gold Iron Age jewellery is particularly impressive.
Calendar Of Events
The country of Kazakhstan has some claim to being the most culturally active in Central Asia and as its capital city Astana plays host to a packed annual calendar of events that embrace history and food, film and music.
Astana Day: Celebrated on 6th July, the day the city became the capital of Kazakhstan. The square behind the Palace of Peace and Harmony becomes the focus for a fairground, outdoor concerts and firework spectaculars. The event coincides with President Nazarbayev's birthday the following day which is also a holiday.
International Action Film Festival: Also in July, this film festival is slightly different from others around the world as it's the only one to focus on the action film genre. The event began in 2010 and was founded by the renowned Kazakh director and screenwriter Timur Bekmambetov. The festival is not a competition but a chance to showcase new talent in the genre.
International Jazzia Festival: Over three days in August world famous jazz names are invited to take to the stage. This festival has its own unique twist as all artists are dedicated to a sustainable approach to life and believe music should be in harmony with nature.