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HomeRoad TripsAsiaCentral AsiaKazakhstan

Road Trips in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is a vast and diverse country located in Central Asia, and taking a road trip through this fascinating nation can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Here are some reasons why you should consider taking a road trip in Kazakhstan:

Firstly, Kazakhstan offers stunning natural scenery that is unlike anywhere else in the world. From the snow-capped peaks of the Tien Shan Mountains to the vast steppes and deserts, there is no shortage of breathtaking landscapes to explore. A road trip allows you to take in the beauty of the country at your own pace and on your own terms.

Secondly, Kazakhstan has a rich and unique culture that is worth exploring. The country is home to many different ethnic groups, each with their own traditions, music, and cuisine. A road trip allows you to experience the diversity of Kazakhstan firsthand, from the cosmopolitan city of Almaty to the traditional yurt camps of the countryside.

Thirdly, a road trip in Kazakhstan is an opportunity to learn about the country's history and heritage. Kazakhstan has a long and storied past, from the nomadic tribes that once roamed the steppes to the Soviet era and beyond. Many historic sites and museums offer a glimpse into this fascinating history, from the ancient petroglyphs of Tamgaly to the space museum in Baikonur.

Finally, a road trip in Kazakhstan allows you to meet friendly locals and experience the warmth of Kazakh hospitality. Whether you're staying in a guesthouse, eating at a local restaurant, or just stopping to ask for directions, you're likely to encounter people who are eager to share their culture and learn about yours.

Overall, a road trip in Kazakhstan is a great way to experience the country's natural beauty, culture, and history. With its wide-open spaces and friendly people, it's a journey that is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for this fascinating part of the world.

Expect on your itinerary

Landscape Landscape
Nature Nature
Value Value
Culture Culture
Shopping Shopping
Benefit-stress ratio Benefit-stress ratio
Wildlife Wildlife
Security Security

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Road Trip Highlights in Kazakhstan

One of the most beautiful regions in the country is South Kazakhstan with a number of brilliant landmarks and interesting natural jewels. The snow-covered summits are juxtaposed with the desert-like landscapes. It is here that you can find the Singing Barkhan, a dune producing a unique singing sound.

Travellers choosing Kazakhstan as their holiday destination often fall in love with the beautiful capital, Astana. Here, you’ll find tourist attractions galore with such interesting venues as the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Khan Shatyr, and the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. The capital is a brilliant showcase of modern architecture that still maintains its traditional cultural depth.

Almaty is yet another urban jewel that cannot be missed. The country’s capital in the past, Almaty combines the best of two worlds – the mountains and the plains. It is the most important cultural, architectural, and economic hub of the region. The city will impress you with its beautiful fountains, green parks, and top-notch nightlife spots.

One of Kazakhstan’s most vibrant cities is surely Shymkent. The buzzing downtown is the right place to start your sightseeing. Check out the city’s lively bazaars, learn more about local culture in the Regional Museum of Southern Kazakhstan, or try some of the regional specialties at one of the traditional restaurants.

Let’s not forget about the northern recesses of the country. Northern Kazakhstan also hides plenty of natural gems that will make your heart melt. Dense forests, blue lakes, and towering hills will make a superb environment for the ls of outdoor activities. Karaganda and Burabay are among the greatest urban gems of the region.

Suggested road trips in Kazakhstan to consider:

Overall, these road trips offer a range of experiences, from natural beauty to cultural heritage to modern cityscapes. With its friendly people and stunning landscapes, Kazakhstan is a great destination for a road trip adventure.

Car Rentals in Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan, there exist areas which are closed to travellers without a special permission. These include Baykonur, Karmakchi and Kazalinsk districts, and the Gvardeyskiy urban-type village located in Almaty region. Apart from these locations, it is possible to reach many places in Kazakhstan by means of public transport. At your disposal, you’ll have buses, taxis, and trains. Many tourists also choose rental cars for a fuller and smoother travelling experience. These are mostly available in larger cities and at international airports.

Kazakhstan: road state and bribes

Kazakhstan follows right-hand traffic system. That’s some consolation concerning the dire state of its roads. Apart from the poor conditions of most of country’s arteries, you may encounter one more hazard – traffic police. Police officers in Kazakhstan are infamous for taking bribes. Therefore, stick to the traffic regulations and road signs to avoid any situations that will allow the officers to stop you. Just try to pass any police vehicles extremely slowly. The standard bribe amounts to KZT 5000. Whenever you are stopped by the police, you’ve got the right to receive a ticket that should be paid on the nearest police precinct.

Kazakhstan: traffic regulations

There is a very strict policy concerning drinking and driving. There is zero tolerance when it comes to blood alcohol level as Kazakhstan is a Muslim country. Driving after alcohol will always result in high penalties, including jail sentence. It is also forbidden to use mobile phones while driving so invest in a hands-free set.

The minimum driving age is 18; however, most car rental companies rent vehicles to motorists who are between 23 and 25 years of age. There’s high likelihood that you’ll be required to pay an additional fee for the fact that you’re a rookie driver.

Service stations are really scarce so make sure to take everything that you need for the trip. You should hire a vehicle that is well-maintained and in a condition enabling you to cover long distances. 

Even though you won’t find regular speed cameras in Kazakhstan, there are plenty of mobile speed traps. 

Kazakhstan: required documents

While travelling around Kazakhstan, you should carry an International Driving Permit as well as a proof of the obligatory third party insurance. Police officers may also ask you for the vehicle’s ownership documents. 

Kazakhstan: speed limits

The speed limits in Kazakhstan are as follows: 20 km/h in residential areas, 60 km/h in built-up areas, 90 km/h in rural areas, and 110 km/h on motorways.

Kazakhstan: parking options

Kazakhstan offers a wide choice of paid parking places in major cities. It’s advisable to use only reliable parking lots and avoid leaving your car in the street. Generally, it is allowed to stop your car on the right side of the street only. However, when it comes to residential areas, you can stop and park on the left side of the street.

When taking a Road Trip in Kazakhstan

When taking a road trip in Kazakhstan, there are several things to be aware of to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

By keeping these factors in mind, you can enjoy a safe and rewarding road trip through Kazakhstan. It's also a good idea to research the specific route you plan to take and ask locals or travel experts for advice on any specific concerns.

Best Time for taking a Road Trip in Kazakhstan

The best time of year for taking a road trip in Kazakhstan depends on your preferences and interests, as the country experiences a range of weather conditions throughout the year. Here's a breakdown of the seasons and what you can expect:

Overall, the best time to take a road trip in Kazakhstan depends on your interests and priorities. If you enjoy outdoor activities and sightseeing, summer and fall are great options. If you prefer cooler temperatures and winter sports, winter may be a better fit. Regardless of when you visit, be sure to check the weather forecast and road conditions before you go to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Guidebooks and Road Maps for Road Trip in Kazakhstan

Sure, here are some popular guidebooks and road maps that you might find useful for planning your road trip in Kazakhstan:

These are just a few examples of the many guidebooks and maps available for planning a road trip in Kazakhstan. Be sure to research and compare different options to find the ones that best suit your needs and preferences.

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