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8 Tips for Visiting Kazakhstan on a Budget

Kazakhstan may seem like an exotic and expensive destination, but with some planning, you can explore this beautiful country even if you’re on a tight budget. From securing cheap flights to using public transportation, here are some top tips for keeping costs low during your trip to Kazakhstan.

Tips for Visiting Kazakhstan on a Budget, photo 1
Image by Vladimir Fayl from Pixabay.

Search for Cheap Flight Deals

The biggest expense for any trip is usually airfare, so be sure to search for cheap flight deals on flights to Kazakhstan. Consider flying into Almaty, the largest city and main transportation hub. Budget airlines often have sales, so sign up for email alerts about low fares. You can also use flight comparison sites to find the most affordable tickets from your home airport. If your dates are flexible, try flying midweek when fares tend to be lower.

Get Around by Public Transit

Once you are in Kazakhstan, use public transportation to keep costs down. Download the Yandex Taxi app and compare prices if you need a cab. Or take the metro, public bus, or marshrutka (shared mini-bus) to explore cities like Almaty. For longer journeys between cities, opt for a budget airline, overnight train, or intercity bus over hiring a private driver. While they might be less comfortable, these options are far cheaper.

Tips for Visiting Kazakhstan on a Budget, photo 2
Image by Ruslan Zhanabaev from Pixabay.

Stay in Hostels

Instead of hotels, stay at hostels to save money on accommodation. For example, FM Hostel Almaty and Hostel Forum in Astana offer budget dorm beds. Hostels also have communal kitchens so you can cook simple meals. Make sure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons. Private rooms in hostels are another affordable option if you want more privacy.

Visit Free Sights

Kazakhstan has many amazing sights that don’t cost anything to enjoy. For instance, you can hike trails along glacial lakes and red canyons without entrance fees. Stroll through historic city parks and busy walking streets for some great people-watching. Attractions like Medeu ice rink and Kok Tobe hill also offer free outdoor areas to explore on foot.

Tips for Visiting Kazakhstan on a Budget, photo 3
Image by harlandski from Pixabay.

Pack a Picnic

Eating out for every meal can really add up. Instead, shop at local markets and grocery stores to pick up fresh produce, bread, cheese, and other portable snacks. Pack lunches and picnics to enjoy in between sightseeing or on day trips. This allows you to sample local foods for less. Just be sure to carry plenty of water too.

Look for Free Walking Tours

Free walking tours run on tips are available in many major cities around the world, including Almaty. Local guides lead groups to top attractions while sharing history and cultural insights. You only pay what you think the tour was worth at the end, which allows you to stretch your budget further. Just be sure to carry some small bills for tipping your guide.

Travel in Shoulder Season

Visiting Kazakhstan during shoulder season means you’ll avoid peak summer crowds and prices. Spring and fall tend to be less busy, with comfortable weather ideal for exploring both cities and nature. You may also be able to find flight and hotel deals during this time. While winter activities like skiing and ice skating can be budget-friendly, some attractions close from December through March.

Tips for Visiting Kazakhstan on a Budget, photo 4
Image by tom_aaa from Pixabay.

Join a Multi-Day Tour

Booking a multi-day group tour allows you to see more of Kazakhstan for less by sharing transportation and accommodation costs. For example, 4-day tours to stunning areas like Charyn Canyon and Kaindy Lake cost around $300 per person including lodging and some meals. Just be sure to do your research to find responsible tour operators with good reviews. Multi-day tours let you maximize sightseeing on a budget.

With careful planning using these budget tips, Kazakhstan can be an affordable destination full of natural beauty and cultural treasures waiting to be uncovered. By searching for deals on essentials like flights and sticking to cheaper transportation and lodging, you can experience this unique country without breaking the bank.

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