Russian visa for baikonur town

All about Kazakhstan. Experts: Julia, walkingalmaty
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Re: Russian visa for baikonur town

Postby Julia » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:15 pm

What price would be ok for you?
I don't think I saw tours to Baikonur cheaper than 500-600 usd. But not sure. Maybe some tour companies give discounts. Anyway, the only way to get there is to buy a tour with a tour company. So just search for a better prices.

If for your last question - no, there is nothing in the area around Baikonur.
I was there. There is a tiny village Turatam just next to Baikonur. You don't need any permission to get to that village. But it looked depressing and poor. And I didn't feel like being just next to the modern rocket place.
The cosmodrome is surrounded by walls, there are check points and guards. They won't let you in without permission and you won't see anything at all.
So I don't recommend to go to that area if you don't have a tour to Baikonur.
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Re: Russian visa for baikonur town

Postby guido » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:12 am

Julia wrote:(...)
Anyway, the only way to get there is to buy a tour with a tour company.
So I don't recommend to go to that area if you don't have a tour to Baikonur.

I see, thanks.

Well, although I definitely don't like wasting money and I travel quite cheap and easy, I could definitely afford 5-600usd and more, even 1.000 or 10.000 if I wanted, but the point is: would it be worth it?
The place is definitely interesting, but that much money for a single place...? seriously?
I was hoping being already there (not a tour from astana etc) would make the cost be more reasonable.
I don't have financial problems, but yet I'm not "rich" to the point I don't care to "waste" 500usd just to say "hey, i was in the cosmodrome, how cool is that?". While definitely the place has an appeal, at this price tag it sounds more like one of those things that people want to brag about.

Anybody has been there and can say the place is really worth it?
What would I get exactly for those money?
I'll try to find info on my own but with the time becoming shorter and shorter and the russian language barrier, I might well use some hints.

Thanks a lot!

PS: if I get it right, even to just go and visit the space museum you need a permit, right?
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Re: Russian visa for baikonur town

Postby bwv812 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:52 am

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Re: Russian visa for baikonur town

Postby Julia » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:11 am

Yes, you need a permit just to see the museums. Because they are inside the city surrounded by walls.
Just to walk inside Baikonur city you need a permission.

I know a few people who were there. But they were during rocket launching.
So it was interesting from their references.
If I'm not mistaken there are no rocket launches in the nearest future. Otherwise tour companies would advertise it.

I think if you're not into space science than you can skip a trip to Baikonur and you won't miss anything.
You'll see museums. Also a tour around cosmodrome and its facilities.
That's basically it.
Just for museums it's pricey for sure. If you're not into space science or want impress your friends))

For personal experience you can choose other destinations.
That's what other visitors said. But the show of rocket launch impressed them.
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Re: Russian visa for baikonur town

Postby guido » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:59 am

Yeah thanks... seen next launch is on the 11th of october.. i remembered something on 8th of september too, but can't find it anymore so I ha dprobably read something wrong. In any case it would be really pricey... so good there's no launch, so i'm not tempted :D

It's a pity they don't allow to reach the museum :(

Thanks a lot
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Re: Russian visa for baikonur town

Postby trabuccoitalia » Wed May 08, 2019 12:18 pm

DamiaanReijnaers wrote:However, for an additional fee of about 500-1000 Tenge (per person) one can ask the taxi (or bus) drivers to sneak yourself into town. The following phrases can help;

"У меня нет пропуска" (I don't have a permit)
"Можете провезти через КПП без пропуска?" (Could you take me/us through the checkpoint without a permit?)

I spent few minutes in front of the check point to enter the city of Bajkonur. I saw every single car being checked and asked to open the trunk. I really think that is not a feasible option.
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Re: Russian visa for baikonur town

Postby Bigmapidea » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:12 pm

Ok, me and my girl we just came back from Baikonur city where we spent around 5 hours.

First of all, in our opinion it's really worth it. The city itself has quite amazing authentic (post)soviet feel, there's actually a lot to see and even more if, like us, you just enjoy a stroll among the blocks. Some of the must see places are:
Gagarin monument,
"rocket" monument,
Museum of History of Baikonur Cosmodrome
Central Market (also here it's easy to find some souvenirs),
Lenin's square with statue of him and nice Koroleva street going from it,
city park south from Komarov street which at time looks more like overgrown savannah,
Stele "Science and Space" statue,
An-12 Plane statue,

Second - how to get there without permit. I admit it took us quite some time to figure out the way, and later to find the cheapest option.

The hole - Using informations on polish forums we learned about the hole in the wall, so we paid very small amount for taxi to get to it, just to find out that in front of almost whole lenght of the old wall there's a new fence with barbed wire on the top. On the way back to Toretam though we found part of the old wall without the fence, in it, at least two easily accesible holes (wall is in the distance of 10m from the Toretam road).

The driver (transport to Baikonur centre) - it can get quite irritating, but now with the knowledge we share you have a chance to avoid it. In Toretam, many taxi drivers will offer to take you to Baikonur. The offer is pretty much not attractive but it seems that many foreigners took it. Taxi drivers believe that all what's worth seeing in Baikonur is the "rocket" monument, or not even seeing it - taking photos of it for some minutes. Then they would take you back to Toretam. Offered prices of this excursion were high, but even if cheap it's pretty much not interesting. I have no idea how they go through the border checking with you in the car, maybe it's all about the bribe. What we learned is that none of the drivers wanted to leave us there for some hours and come back for us. They say that for sure we will get caught by the police inside, and even if we would not tell the driver's name away, they can track him down via cameras. Pretty reasonable worry if you ask us. The thing is.. it's hard to get caught inside, but this post would be way to long to explain it!

We chose other strategy - finding a younger driver who would realise that such trip in there is quite risk-free. Taxi sign is a rare thing in Kazakhstan so I just walked around the street and asked. One guy responded that he's not a taxi driver but nevertheless he will help us.
For around 10EUR he:
1. took us (with our guidance) to previously mentioned hole in the wall
2. After we went through it and waited for him to come from Baikonur side and took us to the centre
3. After 4-5 hours I shared with him our current location in Baikonur on whatsapp, he came for us and took us back to the hole
4. In the end he came for us on the Toretam side of the wall to take us back to the city.

Hole we used exact coordinates: 45.633926, 63.297569
Second one is on the same part of the wall a little bit more up to the north side

Can you get there for free?

Now, back then, not knowing what is on the second side of the wall we did not want to risk getting caught there, in the industrial area. After experiencing whole of the road we think that the risk is pretty low there. The coordinates for the way out of that area to city living space is here: 45.630494, 63.309412. On the road from the whole to that point you'll probably see some people, workers of the termal plant or owners of the nearby garages. Nothing to be stressed about.
So yes, you can get there for free but to get to the hole, from hole to the city and later on go whole way back might take some time, effort etc. In the end it's up to you!

Sorry, I'm pretty weak at making such posts short. 2 last things. I have the number of my driver, I might be able to share it with you through private messaging. Second - little self promotion, our instagram is bigmapidea, make sure to check us out!
PS. Feel free to ask me any questions about anything connected to visit in Baikonur city :) Good luck!
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