Books:

More books...

Memberships:

Member of Kyrgyzstan Association of Tour Operators      Member of Silk Road Tour Operators Association


Printer friendly version Bookmark this page

GETTING IN AND OUT

Air
   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
Destination
Flight time
Moscow 4 hours
Frankfurt on Main/Hanover 10 hours
Tel Aviv  
London 8 hours
Brusseles/Amsterdam 7 hours
Paris 7 hours
Vienne  
Istanbul 6 hours

International airport
  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.

Rail
   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.

Sea

Freight is carried on the Caspian Sea to Russia and Iran.

Road
  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
Destination
Distance in km
Travel time
Airport    
Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)    
Karakol (Issyk-Kul) via Kegen pass    
Astana    
Karaganda    
Taraz    
Chimkent    
Tashkent (Uzbekistan)    
Baokonur    
Atyrau    
Ust-Kamenogorsk    
Pavlodar  

Bus
  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 passport/visa section.

Car hire
  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.

Duty Free
  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.

Copyright © 2003-2011 by Fantastic Asia Ltd.