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Planning Your Trip

At the threshold of East and West, Kazakhstan often surprises visitors with its diverse geography, which includes deserts, steppes, mountains, lakes and the sea. Almaty, the vibrant former capital, brims with just as much natural beauty — as well as sophisticated dining, rich cultural attractions and buzzing nightlife.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
What To Pack

Save room in your suitcase for a local memento or special gift. Oner, Almaty’s only art gallery shop and conveniently on Shevchenko Street in central Almaty, is a fine place to discover an only-in-Kazakhstan treasure. Its staff selects the work of local artists who combine tradition with a modern perspective, for a unique assortment of paintings, drawings, sculptures and decorative arts, as well as traditional Kazakh souvenirs made from felt, leather and ceramics. English-speaking associates are available.

Business Travel

A business trip to Almaty is a wonderful opportunity to mix some sightseeing and cultural adventure into the workday. Pack to maximize your luggage allowance and your valuable time.


  • In Almaty, summers are hot and winters are cold, but spring and fall can be unpredictable. Bring lightweight, compact layers to prepare for any weather.

  • Pack versatile pieces that can go from office to dinner with ease — a blue suit, white shirt and brown or black shoes for men; a blazer, a couple of dresses and comfortable shoes for women. Pack sneakers and activewear to work out and to explore the outdoors.

  • Kazakhstan uses plug types C and F. Travelers from many countries, including much of the Americas, should bring a travel adapter to power their devices.
Winter Vacation

Winter in Almaty is cold, no doubt about it. But it’s also the premier time to enjoy Central Asia’s best skiing, at Shymbulak, the ice-skating at Medeu rink and the invigorating Alpine air.


  • You’ll want skiing or snowboarding equipment to explore Shymbulak Ski Resort, the area’s premier ski destination, in the breathtaking Tian Shan mountain range. If you don’t have your own, the hotel’s Ski Butler can customize and arrange rentals, recommend the best spots and even join you on the slopes.

  • Dress very warmly for winter mountain sports — it’s even colder in the mountains than in Almaty, and you’ll be closer to the sun, so don’t forget to bring sunscreen and polarized sunglasses.

  • Even if you’ll be relaxing indoors for most of your trip, be sure to take along warm clothes. Your warmest coat, boots, hat and gloves will keep you toasty and ready for a magical winter experience.
Outdoor Adventure

Aside from its thrilling winter sports, the best of Almaty’s outdoor attractions come alive in spring, summer and fall. Here’s what to bring with you.


  • Pack comfortable, active-appropriate layers ready to wear on long strolls as you admire the architectural highlights and green spaces of the “city of gardens” — and its sometimes unpredictable weather.

  • Bring a trusted pair of hiking boots to explore the mountains in any season.

  • Wear sturdy shoes and plenty of sunscreen to visit the famous “singing barkhans” — sand dunes that emit an organ-like sound in dry weather — and colorful mountains at Altyn-Emel National Park.
A row of glasses, filled with fruit cocktails and custard, overlooking snow-capped mountains
A row of glasses, filled with fruit cocktails and custard, overlooking snow-capped mountains
What To Reserve

Kazakhstan is more than twice the size of the other Central Asian states combined. Its lively former capital, Almaty, is the ideal entry point to a Silk Road adventure. From dining and culture to ecotourism, here’s what not to miss.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Things To Do in Almaty