Cheap flights to Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is one of the final frontiers for world travellers. It might be the ninth largest country in the world, and the gateway to Central Asia, but it’s still largely untouched by mass tourism. Over the past few years Kazakhstan has become more popular, thanks in part to Borat, but visitors are still rare and locals are likely to greet you with a mixture of hospitality and curiosity. There’s plenty to see and do in Kazakhstan, whether you’re visiting the modern and vibrant cities of Almaty and Astana or going trekking on the vast steppe.

International travellers can make their way into Kazakhstan from the following airports.

Almaty International Airport (ALA)

The largest airport in Kazakhstan, Almaty International Airport is responsible for 50% of the passenger traffic coming into the country. Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan, and is well known for its excellent winter sports scene. The city itself is very western and has so many tree-lined streets, glamorous shops, and pavement cafes that you might believe you’re in France. Excellent nightlife and fantastic museums make the city far more than just a travel hub.From the UK you can fly to Almaty with Air Astana and British Airways.

Astana International Airport (TSE)

Astana International Airport has recently been upgraded, as befits the airport serving Kazakhstan’s new capital. Astana has been the capital of the country since 1997, and the glittering modern architecture hints at a bright future. The city has an interesting combination of Western, Soviet, Islamic and modernist buildings, and at ground level you’ll find plenty of wonderful sculptures and excellent eateries. From the UK you can fly in with Air Astana, and although there are a few flights from Western European airports the majority of traffic comes from Russia.

Shymkent International Airport (CIT)

Shymkent is the vibrant capital of the Kazakhstan South Region, the most populated area in the country. This is where you’ll find the Central Asian vibe that’s somehow missing from Astana and Almaty. There are lively street markets to visit, historic sights to see, and excellent beer to sample. Unfortunately you can’t fly direct from the UK to Shymkent International Airport, however there are connecting flights from Almaty and Astana once you arrive in Kazakhstan.  

Images by Flickr/Ken_and_Nyetta

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