The biggest city in Kazakhstan, Almaty is a bundle of juxtapositions. It has vast natural spaces and crowded bustling markets, it has an abundance of apple trees (‘Almaty’ roughly translates to ‘father of apple trees’) that stand proudly next to high rises, and it has excellent museums and gardens for the peace lovers as well as ski resorts and adventurous hiking opportunities for the thrill junkies! Enough reasons to visit Almaty!
If you are still on the fence about visiting Almaty, here are 5 riveting reasons that will convince you to visit the city ASAP!
5 Reasons To Visit Almaty, Kazakhstan This UAE National Day Long Weekend!
Reason 1: Almaty is the best place to have your first ever snow experience!
Relatively untouched by tourism, Almaty is the perfect place to visit during the winters, especially if you want to enjoy your first ever snow experience. To begin with, you can hop on a cable car and ride up to the pristine ski resort of Shymbulak which is the largest ski resort in Central Asia. You can continue enjoying the snow with a drive to the immaculate Lesnaya Skazka. Lesnaya Skazka is a serene mountain resort located within the ethereal Ile-Alatau National Park. It features wooden cabins, restaurants that serve a plethora of cuisines and even a spa and wellness centre.
Reason 2: Ice skating at the highest skating rink in the world!
Located around 25 kilometers from Almaty, Medeo (or Medeu) is a picturesque valley that is home to the highest (and some people claim, the largest) ice skating rink in the world. Located at an altitude of 1,691 meters above sea level, the Medeo skating rink is spread across an area of 10.5 thousand square meters. How many times in your life have you gotten a chance to boast about the fact that you have ice skated on the highest skating rink in the world? Now is your opportunity, grab it with both hands we say!
Reason 3: Almaty is home to the second-tallest wooden building in the world!
The Zenkov Cathedral, also known as the Ascension Cathedral, is the second tallest wooden building in the world. It is a Russian Orthodox cathedral that was built completely out of wood and, it was built in such a way that not a single nail was used. This 56 meters tall architectural marvel features five domes, three aisles and a built-in bell tower and also houses a library.
Reason 4: To indulge in some finger-licking good food!
Kazakhstan food titillates the senses and how! While in Almaty, you should definitely indulge in the following dishes:
- Beshbarmak – this national dish of the country is made up of minced spicy meat, boiled noodles, onion sauce and mutton broth. It is sometimes garnished with coriander leaves.
- Kazy – it is a traditional sausage-like food generally made from the meat of a horse.
- Baursak – this is a type of Kazakh doughnut made up of flour, yeast, sugar, eggs, salt and margarine.
- Shubat – Shubat is essentially fermented milk of a camel. Although it sounds simple, it tastes anything but simple!
Reason 5: Head over to Almaty for that perfect Silk Road getaway!
The city of Almaty is one of the most ancient cities in Central Asia. It is believed to have been established during the Bronze Age, sometime around the 1000–900 BC. Falling on the ancient Silk Road route between China and Europe, Almaty still has traces of its flourishing past and you can explore these sites and sights on your getaway. And since Almaty sits at the base of the beautiful Tien Shan mountains, you can exploit the hiking, nature walking and skiing opportunities it has to offer. You should also check out its popular tourist attractions such as the Palace of President, Republic Square, Monument of Independence and the Kok Tobe.
Convinced to visit the city of Almaty ASAP? Check out this cool UAE National day holiday package that’ll take you to this fascinating city immediately!