ALMATY TRAVELER ESSENTIALS
Kazakhstan Standard Time
Kazakhstan standard Time is 6 hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +6), 5 hours in advance of central European winter time and 10 hours in advance of the United States eastern standard time throughout the year. There are 2-time zone differences within the country (GMT+ 5 and +6), with Almaty and Astana GMT +6.
Security and Safety
Moderate crime does exist in Kazakhstan, so I would advise you to take a few basic precautions. All valuables are recommended to be locked in the safe of your hotel. The thieves usually operate on public transport, private taxies and crowded areas, such as outdoor markets. Local police is easily recognized in their blue uniforms and by their white (grey) and blue patrol vehicles.
Phoning overseas from Kazakhstan
If you wish to make a call overseas, you must first dial +. You then dial the country code, area code of the city or region and the number of the person you wish to call. e.g. if you make a call to the USA, telephone number you must dial +1-812-123-45-67
The Kazakhstani tenge is used here and notes come in denominations of 200KZT, 500KZT, 1000KZT, 2000KZT, 5000KZT, 10000KZT. Coins come in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 KZT
Visitors can register for a free public Wi-Fi account with their foreign mobile numbers at airport, hotels, shopping mall areas, restaurants. The wi-fi is usually password-protected, and the pswd is provided to the clients.
Visitors can purchase a sim card from a local telecommunication company (KCell, Beeline, Tele 2, Altel). The offices are located in every big store as well as at the airport. The average cost is about 3000 tenge (or about $10) for a monthly plan, including internet access and local calls.
You won't easily find Kazakhstanis who speak English. The official languages are Kazakh and Russian. Most of the restaurants don’t offer a menu in English, some signs in the city don’t have English names, therefore carrying English-Russian vocabulary is essential. But the subway is adapted to the non-CIS tourists.
Kazakhstan has 4 seasons, the climate is continental, with temperatures usually reaching over 30°C in summer and below -10 C in winter.
The standard electrical current used in Kazakhstan is 220 and you can use power plugs with two square prongs here.
The 10% service fee is always included to the bills, but tipping is encouraged when you experience good service.
No Smoking Areas
You are not allowed to smoke in all air-conditioned places, such as malls and eateries. There are designated smoking areas.
Safe Drinking Water
You can drink water straight from the tap. You can also buy bottled water at any grocery store for 100 KZT half a liter.
Police 102; Ambulance 103; Fire Brigade 101; Flight Information 155
Almaty city runs official, private, uber and yandex taxi services. The average price for one way airport transfer ranges KZT3000 - KZT5000.