Almaty metro is shiny, very clean and well-maintained. It is the quickest way to get around the city if your destination is close to a stop. Fare price is 80 tenge. The metro runs from 6.30am to 11.30pm.
Only 1 line is open at the moment, traveling from east (Moscow station) to West (Rayimbek Batyr) along Abay avenue and Furmanov street. Since April 2015, the metro has 2 more stations and you can now travel from near Sairan bus station (Moscow) to near Sayahat bus station and Almaty-2 train station (Rayimbek Batyr) by metro.
There is also a timetable app (android only). Foreigners have been known to get hassled by underemployed security personnel asking for identification, so bring your passport or ID just in case.
To pay for the metro ride, you now need the Onay card, sold at kiosks or metro stations for 400 tenge. You then need to charge the card at a payment terminal. You get 1 free ride for your 400 tenge and you can sell the card back at the head office of Onay at Ryskulbekova 33/1. It’s seriously far away though.
Be aware that it takes 15 minutes for your card to recharge, and that you cannot beep in someone else on the same card if you are 2 on the bus. The card is only valid in Almaty and can also be used for the bus.