British Airways currently flies from London to Almaty three times
a week(direct). Austrian Airlines flies from/to Vienna, KLM flies to/from Amsterdam,
Lufthansa to/from Frankfurt on Main and Turkish Airlines also flies to Almaty
from London, Paris, Brusseles, Amsterdam with a stopover in Istanbul. There
are no direct flights from the USA or Australia. "Aeroflot" operates
direct flights to Moscow, St. Petersburgh, Ekaterinburg, Petropavlovsk, Norilsk,
Ust-Kamenogorsk and to Urumchi (China), from where there are connections to
Beijing and many cities of CIS. There are also flights from Almaty to Tehran,
Delhi, Tel Aviv and Tashkent (Uzbekistan) operated by "Uzbekistan Airlines".
International flight duration to/from Almaty
Frankfurt on Main/Hanover
Almaty (ALA) is located 20 km (12.4 miles) northeast of the city.
Airport facilities here open 24 hours and include left luggage office, exchange
office, duty-free shops, restaurants and bars. There is a minibus shuttle service
to the city centre in day time (travel time - 30 minutes). Taxis are readily
available, travel time is 20-25 minutes. Airport is served by buses, which run
every hour. It takes 30-60 minutes to reach the destination.
Note! Departure tax: NONE.
There are international rail connections with the Russian Federation,
Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and China. Services run frequently from Almaty to Urumchi
in China and daily to Moscow (travel time - 3 days) and connect with the entire
Russian Federation railway network. The Tashkent-Novosibirsk express passes
through Almaty each day in both directions. The lines from Almaty in the north
connect with the Trans-Siberian Railway running west to Chimkent and finally
to Orenburg in the Russian Federation. A new railway line connect Kazakhstan
to Iran and Turkey. There are also two TurkSib trains leaving Chimkent daily,
one to Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and the other to Novosibirsk (Russian Federation),
stopping at destinations in between. Railroad services are cheap comparing to
Western standards but not exactly reliable and comfortable. Tickets can be bought
at stations or in most hotels and travel agencies in Almaty. There is Cafe on
board but passengers normally bring their own food and drink on any train journey.
There are also different kings of cars.
Freight is carried on the Caspian Sea to Russia and Iran.
Kazakhstan has road connections to all its neighbours. The main
international road links are with Kyrgyzstan and there are presently two crossing
points into China, Horgos and Dostyk; visitors should note that the Chinese
authorities normally require proof of an invitation by a Chinese tour operator
as a condition of entry. Generally, main roads have good conditions. Visitors
should also note that garage services are very limited outside the cities and
towns. If you are going to travel with your own car, please contact your local
Embassy first to get further information and additional details you might need
to know crossing the borders in Central Asia.
Travel times (by car) and distances from Almaty
Distance in km
Karakol (Issyk-Kul) via Kegen pass
There are coach services to all of the neighbouring countries. There
are regular bus links from Almaty to Tashkent (Uzbekistan) (travel time - 15
hours), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) (travel time - 6 hours), Urumchi in China (travel
time 20-24 hours), Moscow, Ekaterinburg and further to Germany; services leave
the long-distance bus station in Almaty.
On Foot Please note that the only legal places where you can cross
the border is at a designated post - which means that now it is not possible
to follow the trekking routes over the mountains from Issyk-Kul to Almaty in
Kazakhstan which were popular in Soviet times. More detailes can be found in
It is possible to hire the car with/without driver for long journeys,
The best place to look for these is at the west long-distance bus stations for
Tashkent, Issyk-Kul and Almaty Area. The cars without the drivers can be hired
in some of the travel agencies or in a number of rent-a-car companies.
The following goods may be imported into Kazakhstan by travellers
of 18 years or over without incurring customs duty: 1000 cigarettes or 1kg of
tobacco products; 1.5l of spirits and 2l of wine; a reasonable quantity of perfume
for personal use; gifts up to the value of US$500 for personal use only.
Note: On entering the country all valuable items such as
currency, jewellery, cameras and computers should be declared. Customs declaration
form must be retained until departure.
Prohibited imports: Firearms, military weapons, ammunition,
drugs, photographs and printed matter directed against the country, live animals,
fruits and vegetables, loose pearls, porn video or printed materials..
Prohibited exports: All prohibited imports, Items more
than 100 years old and those of special cultural importance require special
permission for export. When buying items that may be more than 100 years old,
ask for a certificate stating the age of the items. Precious metals, stones,
furs, saiga horns, Siberian stag, red deer antlers and deer skins, arms and
ammunition are also prohibited unless on organised hunting trip.