Shopping malls and streets
Mega is the people’s favorite, and the best place if you really need something at a good price. If you just want to shop for the sake of it, Dostyk Plaza (on Dostyk) and Esentai mall (on Al-Farabi) are your playground. Both are very new and shiny. Dostyk is more alive and pleasant, with the middle-class brands the world loves. Esentai mall has a colder, emptier feel, and is stocked with very expensive, exclusive brands. Almaly, under Republic Square, sparkles with the promise of expensive instant gratification. TsUM gives you your old-school luxury shopping in a Soviet institution.
Almaty lacks a shopping high street, but if you are looking to stroll, try the quarter demarcated by Tole Bi and Kabanbai Batyr north-south, and Dostyk-Ablai Khan east-west to stumble upon a host of other fashionable outlets of clothes and accessories.
Bazaars and food shopping
The Green Bazaar is the most attractive place to do some food shopping, conveniently located in the center of town. The major cheap supermarket chains are Green and Magnum, they have locations all around Almaty. Interfood is another one, where you can find items from Europe you cannot find elsewhere. More expensive, obviously. In the center of town there is also the Resej (Rossiya) supermarket, also more expensive, but good if you need something quick. Metro is good if you have your own wheels and want to load up for a big party.
The great bazaar of Barakholka has been reduced but still lures thousands to a giant array of clothes, washing machines and building equipment. Second-hand clothes shops are to be found around the city. Real bargains can be found in stock centers, which import unsold clothes from Europe and Japan.
If you need something electronic, any of the following chains should have what you need.
These shops are not cheap. If you have time and a delivery address, order online if you can. With some online shops, you can also order online and go to their warehouse for pick-up. To buy a cell phone, consult with a local where the best bargains can be currently made in the city.