Welcome to Almaty

Travel items. © Tourism Almaty

Welcome to Almaty

Almaty is the cultural, financial, educational, commercial and tourist center of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

- Founded in 1854
- 1927-1997  - the capital of Kazakhstan (now the capital of Kazakhstan – Astana)
- The area of 340 km ².
- The population of 2 million people.
- Within the park – 80 km ²

City at the foot of the mountains

“Welcome to Almaty” – the phrase that citizens say with a great pleasure. Hospitality runs in the blood of Kazakh people. The hospitality of the country shaped its history. At first there were nomads and traditional guests honoring. Later the modern history was added to these traditions. The country has survived several waves of exiles, evacuations, mass exodus from hunger, but despite any religion, nationality or language people were always welcomed here.

Now Almaty is a cosmopolitan, modern megalopolis, cultural capital and business and tourist center. The name of the city – Almaty – in translation from Kazakh language means “apple”. Local youth often calls the city “Apple city”.

In Soviet times the city was called Alma-Ata. Now many people think that “Alma-Ata” is a derivative of “Almaty” but it’s not true. It’s a completely different name of the city. The name “Alma-Ata” could be translated as “Apple-Old man” (in soviet books it was translated as “Father of Apples”). This name derives of Kazakh words “alma” (apple) and “ata” (grandfather). The city received such “apple” name, because it is situated near the natural boundary Zailiyskiy Ala-Tau, which is a motherland of Wild Apple tree – a mother of more than 7,5 thousand varieties of apples which spread from the “apple place” around the world. One of the Almaty symbols is “Almaty aport” – a legendary and delicious apple, ripening in September and reaching the weight of 600-800 grams.

The city is situated in the foothills of the Tien Shan that provides a unique mild climate and more than unique view. The southern part of Almaty decorated with huge ranges of eternal ice caps. From this, locals developed a habit, over which the rest of Kazakh people laugh, to use the terms “top” and “bottom” while explaining the road to some place of the city. For all people, the mountains are the main reference point.

The population of the city is more than 1,5 million and, according to the Kazakh standards, it is a lot. Almaty is the biggest city of the country, but such amount of people doesn’t turn the megalopolis into the concrete jungle. The compact business center and “old part” of the city, where the last century building prevails, smoothly pass into the bedroom suburbs of different prestige level. It’ll take you forty minutes to get from the center of the city to the wild nature of the mountains – to the natural boundary Medeo with a cable railway taking you to the ski resort Chimbulak, or to the Alma-Arasan gorge with the observatory and the Big Almaty Lake.

Almaty, the capital of the country in the past, now is the cultural capital, because this is the place where the biggest number of museums, theatres, galleries and concert halls is concentrated. The city streets are notable not for the traditional radial structure, but for the rectangular one. It provides a good air flow by the mountain breeze through the city. The guests of Almaty notice that it’s a very “green” city. And the residents of Almaty are proud of the numerous squares, parks and the flower beds’ richness.

Welcome to Almaty!