Almaty Kazakhstan is one of those far-off cities in the middle of central Asia. Far off in distance from anywhere, 6 hours from Beijing and 6 hours from Paris. It also happens to be far off the popular tourist trail as well. Mountains rise up sharply from the edge of the city and remain snow-capped all year round making for some amazing views from the city. Almaty with Teenagers is a great introduction to Central Asia
- Know before you go. Our top Almaty travel tips
- Things to do in Almaty with teens
- Central Park Almaty
- Dolphinarium Nemo
- Aqua Park Almaty
- Big Lake Almaty
- Related family travel with teenagers posts
- Zenkov Cathedral
- Kok Tobe
- Ice skating at Medeu
- Shymbulak ski resort
- The most Instagrammable places in Almaty
- Cinemas in Almaty
- 10 Pin Bowling in Almaty
- Escape Rooms in Almaty
- Going to the gym in Almaty with teenagers
- Shopping in Almaty Kazakhstan
- Day trips from Almaty
- Frequently asked questions about Almaty
- Where to stay in Almaty with family
- Weather in Almaty
We found Almaty with teenagers an amazing destination for outdoor activities and old-world Soviet Union charm mixed with a desire to modernise for a burgeoning tourist industry. Almaty was once the capital of Kazakhstan and with a population of 1.7 million, it still is the largest city in the country and it will not disappoint visitors.
Know before you go. Our top Almaty travel tips
Travelling to Almaty can be such an enriching experience for the whole family. There are so many things to do in Almaty and having the best place to stay in Almaty and wander is extremely important. Here we’ve got some information to get you planning your family vacation to Almaty to make it completely hassle-free.
Where to stay in Almaty with teenagers
You’ll never be short of options for your accommodation in Almaty. In Almaty, you find a range of hotels, apartments and hostels. You will be sure to be able to find something to fit singles, couples, and large families traveling with teenagers and groups on every budget. If you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs, we recommend using Trip Advisor and Agoda to find the best prices in Almaty.
- Luxury: Offering family holiday suites with mountain views. and breakfast included is the InterContinental Hotel Almaty. Guests enjoy a fully equipped gym, swimming pool and tennis court.
- Mid-Range: Holiday Inn Almaty offers adjoining rooms for your family vacation in Almaty. The hotel features a bar and restaurant, laundry facilities and airport transfers on request
- Budget: Featuring double rooms with 2 pools is Shera Park Hotel. Free breakfast, wifi and airport transfers are available.
For all your other Almaty accommodation needs Booking.com also has amazing deals and some properties even have a free cancellation just in case!
Almaty apartment alternative for your stay
If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation when you travel with teenagers then an apartment is the best choice for you on your Almaty vacation with teens. There are so many options for singles, large families traveling with teens, and budget-friendly options as well. For Almaty Search Airbnb or check out the map below to find the perfect apartment in Almaty for teenagers on your Almaty vacation with family.
How to get to Almaty Kazakhstan
- Almaty Airport is the busiest airport in Central Asia and the largest international airport in Kazakhstan. The major airline that services Almaty is the Kazak National Airline Air Astana. You can book Almaty flights with Cheap-O-Air.
- You can book an airport transfer from Almaty Airport to your hotel.
- If your flights have a long stopover, or you just want to relax before your trip you should consider getting a lounge pass with Priority Pass. Priority Pass has access to airport lounges all over the world. Search now for your lounge pass
- You can book an airport transfer from Almaty Airport to your hotel.
- There are 2 main train stations in the city. Almaty 1 and Almaty 2 train stations serve both domestic and international trains. Currently. Trains departing Almaty-1 head (via Almaty-2) to Aktobe, Kostanay, Karaganda, Pavlodar and Novosibirsk.
- Sairan is Almaty’s long-distance bus station. Bus destinations include Bishkek, Urumqi, Taraz, Shymkent, Oskemen, Karaganda and Nur-Sultan
- You can grab a hire car in Almaty, the quality of the roads in Kazakhstan varies greatly from Western standards to third-world standards. Search your Rental Car today!
How to get around Almaty
Almaty is a fairly small city by Western standards. Public transport including the Almaty metro can be hard to navigate in Almaty with signs and timetables in Russian. Most things can be reached with a 2-3 kilometre walk. Alternatively, we suggest you download the Yandex app and order lifts through it.
What currency do I need for my trip to Kazakhstan?
The official currency you need to use in Kazakhstan is the Tenge. We recommend that you get a Revolut travel money card, that can be loaded with multiple currencies and has nearly non-existent withdrawal fees to save you money.
Travel insurance for Almaty
Kazakhstan has an acceptable quality of healthcare but in saying that travel insurance is still recommended for all travelers entering the country. The last thing you want is a huge bill for medical expenses should you require care on your family holiday in Almaty
We recommend using Travel Insurance Master, their website will compare the best deals from a number of providers and present you with the best value for money policy on the market. Click through to Insurance Masters to get a free quote.
Using your phone in Almaty
Relying on Wi-Fi when you are travelling and sightseeing in Almaty with family can be hard. Making calls and staying in contact when you travel with teenagers is a top priority. Plan your family trip to Almaty and order your sim before you leave home to stop any stress about travelling, data and calls on your family vacation in Kazakhstan.
Things to do in Almaty with teens
Kazakhstan is an emerging family travel destination and a brilliant place to take your travelling teens off the beaten path. Let’s take a look at some things to do with teenagers in Almaty.
Central Park Almaty
Almaty Central Park is one of the most popular parks in Almaty. Formally known as Gorky Park this green space in the middle of the city covers 100 hectares. It is the largest recreational area in Almaty and it is stunning. This family-friendly park is a gathering place for people to meet, eat, drink, walk, run and have some serious fun.
At times it seems everyone in Almaty is at Central Park. Families, couples and kids gather to meet, chat and eat in the good weather of Almaty. The park features a large pond where you can hire paddleboats, ropes courses, a basketball court, a football pitch, the Almaty Zoo, Dino Park and gardens.
Dolphinarium Nemo is the Almaty version of Seaworld minus the whales. People travel from all around the region to see the shows at the Dolphinarium. You have to think Almaty is well over 2000 kilometres from the nearest coastline. The shows feature dolphins and seals (we know this is not something everyone agrees with) and last just one hour.
The show will keep you entertained with dolphin antics and sea lion fun as the crowd cheers and enjoys the atmosphere. The venue offers photo opportunities, dolphin therapy programs, diving with the dolphins and more. For younger visitors, there is a children’s playground.
Aqua Park Almaty
Aqua Park Almaty is also located within the confines of Central Park Almaty. It is located right next to the Dolphinarium Nemo. Aqua Park is a great place for families on vacation to spend a warm summer day in Almaty. The Aqua Park features water slides, and swimming pools and is shaded by trees to help you be sun smart.
There are large water slides such as the kamikaze, tornado, abyss, yellow river and black hole. For families with both teenagers and younger children, you will find a kid’s area featuring two pools, water slides, and a waterfall that has been created on the territory of the water park. There are food and drinks available on site.
Top travel in Almaty with teenagers tip:
If the weather turns bad in Almaty, there is a second water park in the city. Aqua Park Hawaii is an indoor water park in Almaty that is open all year round. If you are visiting Almaty in winter this may be a great option for a fun activity in Almaty with kids.You can find more details here for Aqua Park Hawaii
Learn More: We have all the very best tips on how to keep your kids safe on vacation in this guide.
Big Lake Almaty
Located a short 15 Kilometres outside the city is Big Lake Almaty. It is as much an adventure reaching the lake as it is exploring the lake. Roads in Kazakhstan leave a lot to be desired once you get out of the city. You can make regular stops on the way to the lake for some amazing pictures.
Big Almaty Lake is a reservoir high in the mountains above the city. It is located in the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains at 2511 meters above sea level. It is the lake’s unusual teal turquoise colour and surrounding nature that make it one of the most beautiful places you will ever see.
How to get to Big Lake Almaty with teenagers easily?
The easiest way to get to Big Lake Almaty is with a Yandex. As we have previously mentioned Yandex is an Uber equivalent. The beauty of Yandex is you can pay a driver at a decent rate to wait for you at the lake. It will take you around an hour to get to the lake, you might spend 1-2 hours there and then want to come back to Almaty. For us, it cost us around $50 Australian for a 4-hour return trip.
Alternatively, you can always take a tour of the lake if that makes it easier. Big Lake Almaty is way worth a visit, one of the best family things to do in Almaty with teenagers.
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I can guarantee your teenagers will have seen nothing like this in any Western country before. The stunning Zenkov Ascension Cathedral is remarkable for three reasons: it’s made entirely of wood, no nails are used to hold it together, and it was one of the few buildings in Almaty to survive the 1911 earthquake (locals think this was an act of God).
The interior – Russian Orthodox church icons veiled in clouds of incense – is as beautiful as the exterior, and it looks remarkable in the Kazakh winter, dusted with snow.
Kok Tobe is a natural Almaty landmark that will give you some of the best views anywhere in the world. It is a hill that overlooks the city one way and the amazing steep mountains the other. The mountain’s height is 1100 meters above sea level so you can catch a cable car to the top from near the city centre or you can catch a Yandex halfway and walk the rest!
It is a popular recreation area among visitors and tourists to Almaty and it has to be one of the best places to visit in Almaty with teenagers. Besides the amazing views you get from the cable car, there is also a toboggan track, Ferris wheel and other amusement-type rides and stands.
There is a Beatles statue that is a popular photo spot and a small zoo. You can grab a bite to eat at restaurants, cafe and food stand all while being surrounded by magnificent views.
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Ice skating at Medeu
Medeu is the largest ice skating rink in Central Asia and is located on the outskirts of Almaty. Medeu was built as a place for people to enjoy winter sports such as skating and has been drawing crowds since it opened 70 years ago. The ice skating season starts in November and ends in April, with a total of 150 days on the ice during the year. It makes a great activity for families in conjunction with a trip to Shymbulak.
Shymbulak ski resort
Among the many great attractions in Almaty to see right at the top of the list of things to do in Almaty is visit Shymbulak ski resort (sometimes spelt Chimbulak) Shymbulak is the largest ski resorts in Central Asia which is one of the top Almaty tourist attractions all year round.
You need to catch a cable car from Medeu taking you up to a height of 2400 Meyers above sea level. This is the first station of the Shymbulak ski resort. Here you will find horse riding, ropes courses, hiking treks, cafes and hotels. Here you will find plenty of outdoor fun for kids in Almaty.
From here you can catch a ski lift to 2800 meters and then another to 3200 meters above sea level. You honestly feel like you are on top of the world. You are able to hike up and down the mountain, using existing trails if you don’t want to use the cable car
The most Instagrammable places in Almaty
With Instagram and social media playing an important part in the lives of teenagers, we have some great places for Instagram photos in Almaty. We recommend visiting Central Park Lake, Almaty cable car, Holy Ascension Cathedral and the road to Big Lake Almaty for the best Instagram shots in Almaty.
Not sure what your teens need on vacation? Read our guide on all the best travel essentials for teens
Cinemas in Almaty
Watching a movie is popular with teenagers anywhere in the world. Going to the cinema in Almaty with teenagers is a great evening activity. You will find state-of-the-art screens and sound for you to watch the latest blockbusters in Almaty cinemas.
10 Pin Bowling in Almaty
If you’re looking for a bit of fun, friendly family competition in Almaty then 10-pin bowling might be just the activity for you and your teenagers. You can go 10-pin bowling in Almaty at a number of different locations in the city centre
- Bastau – Bowling, Billards, Restaurant
- Cosmo Bowling
Escape Rooms in Almaty
For those new to Escape rooms, this is a quick run down.
An escape room, also known as an escape game, is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategies to complete the objectives at hand.
Escape rooms may consist of a large, single room, or span multiple rooms. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. If your teen likes this stuff it is definitely one of the top things to do in Almaty with teenagers.
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Going to the gym in Almaty with teenagers
Fitness is very important to a lot of teenagers these days. Working out is a big part of a healthy lifestyle. Just because one is travelling with teens does not mean one needs to stop working out. You can even go to the gym in Almaty.
In Almaty, you can go to a number of Gyms that sell passes ranging from a day to a week and a month. Day passes start at 16 euros a day while a week pass costs 45 euros. You can find a list of gyms in Almaty on the Trainaway Fit website.
Shopping in Almaty Kazakhstan
If you need to do some shopping in Almaty there are so many places to go. Many brands you know well are for sale in Almaty and you will have no trouble getting a bargain on Zhibek Zholy Pedestrian Street or in a plaza.
The newest shopping location in Almaty. Dostyk Plaza is a brand new 3-story shopping centre featuring specialty shops such as Zara, Levi’s, Nike, Guess, Xiaomi and Galmary supermarket. Mix all this in with a cinema and a food court featuring international names like KFC and Subway and local takeaway shops.
Lotte Chocolate Shop
If you are near the Green Bazaar you may notice the smell of chocolate in the air. The smell is coming from the nearby Paxat (Lotte) chocolate factory nearby. If you’re a chocolate lover and teenagers aren’t then head to the factory store. You can choose from hundreds of different chocolates.
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The Green Bazar
The Green Bazar has been an Almaty landmark since 1875. The market has been an important trading point in Almaty since the days it was used as a stopover” for travelling merchants and caravans. The market currently sells spices, meats, fruit and vegetables along with produce, textiles, furniture, and a wide variety of odds and ends. Along the side of the Green Market is an open market street with stalls on each side selling fashions, electronics and more.
Souvenirs from Almaty
If you’re visiting the Green Bazar fruit and vegetable market you will find a small row of souvenir shops next to the entrance. If you follow the little pathway of tiny shops you’ll come to a market area that has a couple of laneways with small shops and stalls selling clothes, electronics and more. You can pick up some traditional Kazak crafts at great prices to take home.
Day trips from Almaty
Getting out of the city is a great way to experience more of what Kazakhstan has to offer and it has plenty to offer. Here are some brilliant day trips from Almaty for you to consider.
The capital of Kyrgyzstan is just over 200 kilometres away. Be prepared to get up early and arrive back late at night when making a trip from Almaty to Bishkek. The trip will take around 3 hours each way with a border crossing involved. The trip has amazing views of Central Asia’s Tian Shan range. Explore the State Museum of Fine Arts and the huge Soviet-era Ala-Too Square.
Charyn Canyon is the Central Asian version of the Grand Canyon. The Canyon is 200 kilometres east of Almaty close to the Chinese/Kazak border. The canyon is roughly 90 kilometres long and forms the Charyn National Park.
Not as deep as the Grand Canyon but equally impressive in parts with its stacks and colours on display for all to see In various places. In certain locations, the canyon has a depth of 150 to 300 metres. Many tours to Charyn Canyon also include a visit to Altyn-Emel National Park, Lake Kaindy and the Kolsai Lakes.
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Frequently asked questions about Almaty
Munich is one of the best family city breaks in Kazakhstan and one of the best places to vacation with teenagers. There are so many things to consider when you are planning your family vacation in Almaty. Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about the city to help you make your family vacation to Almaty easy and hassle-free.
What is the legal drinking age in Kazakhstan?
21 is the legal drinking age in Kazakhstan.
Is Almaty safe for tourists?
Almaty is an extremely safe city. The crime rates there are much lower than in average Western cities. As in all cities be aware of your belongings while walking in tourist areas.
What type of power socket do they use in Kazakhstan?
For Kazakhstan, there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug that has two round pins and plug type F has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. Kazakhstan operates on 250 voltages and 50 Hz.
Can you drink tap water in Almaty?
It is fine to drink tap water in Almaty but not advisable in any other Kazakh city. You can buy a Filtered Drink Bottle for your trip today
Do people speak English in Almaty?
It can be a challenge in Almaty. Don’t expect anyone older than 35 to speak English, they will all speak Russian. You will be able to get by though. You should consider buying the Langogo travel language translator before you leave for Kazakstan
How do I call the Police in Almaty?
Is tipping required in Almaty?
Tipping is not customary in Kazakhstan, as a service charge is included in hotel and restaurant bills
Where to stay in Almaty with family
At the top of the article, we suggested some Almaty accommodation choices. If you are looking for a wider variety of choices please find below an interactive map from Booking.com for you to find your perfect stay in Almaty.
Are you looking to book flights, hotels, apartments, tours, airport transfers, travel insurance and more? Are you just not sure what companies you can trust to book your travel online? We have a resource page that is full of companies that we personally use and book through for all trips from a weekend away to long-term travel around the world. Click here to search our travel resources page.
Weather in Almaty
Almaty’s temperature can rise high into the 30s in the summer months of July and August before plummeting into the minus degrees in the cold winter months. Snow can be seen all year round on the hills surrounding Almaty. Overall it has a nice warm mild climate for the summer months that allows you to enjoy the outdoors while winter is perfect for skiing and ice skating.
We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Almaty with teenagers. There are so many things to do in Almaty with teenagers that will have you entertained for your family’s stay in Almaty.
Travel with teenagers and tweens. Travelling with young adults has just as many issues as travelling with young children. Choosing the best teenage vacation destinations can be so time-consuming. Use our Travel with Teenagers Destination Guides from all over the world for your next family vacation inspiration to make your family vacations with teens epic.
For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Kazakhstan click through to our Kazakhstan Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.