Kazakhstan calls for Western travelers

Calling themselves "stan countries," Central Asian countries are looking to boost their tourism industries. Kazakhstan, which welcomes tourists from Russia, China and India, is eyeing for Western travelers as well.

If you're looking for something different, uncustomary and lesser known countries in your travel plan for a holiday, have a go at Kazakhstan in Central Asia.

A former Soviet republic, Kazakstan gained its independence in 1991. Alongside its historic attractions, the country's fusion of its Soviet-era structures, modern buildings and wide roads are waiting for tourists to be discovered.

Kazakhstan, the largest of the Turkic states, is a huge landlocked country with an area four times the size of Türkiye.

You can start discovering the country from Almaty, the former capital until 1997. The city remains a long-standing major commercial, financial and cultural center of Kazakhstan.

There are direct flights from both Istanbul and Ankara to Almaty, the second-biggest city in the country. The flight time takes approximately 5.30 hours. The transfer from the airport to the city center by bus is only 45 minutes. You can also hire a cab as taxis are very affordable in Kazakhstan, especially if you use the Yandex Go app, the Kazakh version of Uber. If you want to save money, you can take local buses as well.

Almaty means "father of apples," a name that originates from apples, which is also the city's symbol. If you plan to go in September locals advise not to miss the apple festival.

The city can be preferred for both summer and winter tourism, with its historical monuments, large parks and surrounding mountains.

You can see the communist-era Republic Square, walk in Panfilov Park and visit Zenkov Cathedral...

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