How much money do you need to travel in Kazakhstan? It’s not as cheap as you would wish, but travel in Kazakhstan is still much less expensive than travel in Europe or USA would be.
Some general facts:
- Transport is not expensive, seeing how huge the country is. Getting to remote destinations will weigh heavily on the budget, though, since you will need to take a taxi, a tour, or a rented car.
- Accommodation is definitely a problem for backpackers. There are almost no hostels or cheap places to stay for single travelers. For stylish travelers, it is a similar problem: besides the main expat draws there are only communist relics.
- A decent meal and a drink in a simple restaurant will cost around 5$. Fast food sells for 2$, at the market you can expect prices to be around 50-80% of Western prices. Upmarket restaurants charge 15$ to 100$ for a meal.
So how much would a 3 week travel to Kazakhstan cost me then? Let’s break it down further according to 3 traveler types. You can learn more about their trip on the overview page.
Passing through the country as cheap as possible, Marvin will find helpful truckers to get him across the country. He finds some locals to stay with in Astana, Shymkent and Almaty, but finds no space in Aralsk and has to settle for an overpriced hotel (20$). He goes for a hike in the Ili-Alatau national park. Culinary highlights include a cup of kumys from a friendly shepherd and a hearty lasagna in a student stolovaya (3$).
Tours and sights 0$
Emilio visits the underground mosque of Beket-Ata (20$), stays in a homestay in Aksu-Zhabagly nature reserve for 2 days and takes a tour (60$), goes with friends to Kolsai Lakes (40$), takes a tour to Charyn canyon (12$) and takes a train and back to Astana (40$). He goes out for beers and shashlik in the city. He sleeps in homestays, hostels, with locals and in his tent. He buys a dozen felt camels for his friends before he takes a bus to Urumqi.
Tours and sights 200$
Katja flies into Astana and relaxes a few days at a spa at Borovoye lake (200$). She takes a tour of the high Altai mountains with some friends (200$), and returns to Astana to take the fast train to Almaty (85$). In Almaty she spends her days partying and stays overnight (30$) in the Altyn Emel national park to see kulan (30$). She buys a fur hat.
Visa and permit 120$
Tours and sights 800$