September 30, 2016

Top Attractions in Kazakhstan

Trip to Kazakhstan in Lufthansa First Class and Dubai to Stockholm in Qatar Airways Business Class

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Kazakhstan for the first time where I spent two nights in the capital city of Astana. I flew from Dubai to Astana via Frankfurt (and back) in Lufthansa First Class using my miles and needless to say, it was one of the best trips I've ever had. I had a separate ticket on Qatar Airways between Stockholm and Dubai where I flew in economy class on the outbound and business class on the inbound. My business class ticket on Qatar Airways from Dubai gave me the chance to visit their newly opened lounge which was really nice, as well as that of British Airways'. This whole trip lasted for a week and eventhough it was very extensive, I loved every single minute of it!

Photoreview: Lufthansa Business Class Lounge, Dubai T1 Concourse D (DXB)
Review: Lufthansa Senator Lounge, Dubai T1 Concourse D (DXB)
Review: Lufthansa First Class, Dubai-Frankfurt
Photoreview: Lufthansa First Class Lounge, Concourse A Schengen (FRA)
Review: Lufthansa First Class, Frankfurt-Astana
Top Attractions in Kazakhstan
Review: Hilton Garden Inn Astana
Review: Astana Airport Transit Hotel
Review: Lufthansa First Class Astana-Frankfurt
Photoreview: Lufthansa Welcome Lounge, Frankfurt (FRA)
Review: Lufthansa First Class, Frankfurt-Dubai
Review: Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Al Muraqabat
Photoreview: British Airways Galleries Club, Dubai T1 Concourse D (DXB)
Photoreview: Qatar Airways Dubai Premium Lounge, Dubai T1 Concourse D (DXB)
Review: Qatar Airways First Class, Dubai-Doha
Review: Qatar Airways Dreamliner Business Class, Doha-Stockholm

Selfie with the Baiterek Tower

First visit: September 2016
Places visited: Astana

Earlier this month, I was able to visit Kazakhstan for the first time (specifically the city of Astana) and even though it was a very short stay, I was still able to see most of the city's top attractions. It's true that most people do not speak English but you could also be lucky and meet younger folks who have studied abroad and could speak very good English, the way I did when I was waiting for a bus to take me to the airport. They were actually quite curious as why I chose Astana as not so many tourists come here. Well, it doesn't really matter as every new city for me is special and that there is always something I can appreciate from either the place or from its people or both, as is always the case. Transportation here is very cheap as I paid about 3 Swedish Crowns from the city to the airport by bus. Unfortunately, I was not able to try any local food so I guess it's a good reason for me to come back specially next year when the city hosts the World Expo 2017. Also, I did not have the time to visit the Hazret Sultan Mosque which is the second largest mosque in Central Asia, the Oceanarium Duman and the Mini-Astana open air museum among others so I hope to be back next time. For those who are planning to visit this very modern city with really nice architectures/cool buildings and friendly people, here are some of my traveltips.

Baiterek Tower: From it's observation platform, you get amazing views of the city. The glass is yellowish though so the views won't be that clear. Entrance fee is 500 Tenge.

Khan Shatyr: A shopping and entertainment mall that looks like a tent, there's a beach resort wit a tropical microclimate and exotic plants. It looks more beautiful in the evening with all the lights on so don't miss it then.

Astana Presidential Palace: It was a cloudy Sunday morning when I visited this place but it surely is more attractive during summer.

National Opera and Ballet Theater: This is considered as one of the most beautiful in the world.

Nur Astana Mosque: The mosque opened in 2005 and is the third largest mosque in Central Asia.

Palace of Peace and Reconciliation: With a shape of a pyramid, it is a symbol of friendhip, unity and peace in Kazakhstan.

 Shabyt Palace of Creativity

Gashyktar: One of the best places to have a stroll while gazing at the nearby attractions.

Singing Fountain

City Park: They have also these human like stuffs (among others) representing all the countries that would participate in next year's World Expo.

PS. This is how the Kazakhstani Tenge look like.

Ten thousand, five thousand and two hundred Tenge


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