Located on the northwestern edge of Almaty at the crossroads of Tole bi and Otegen Batyr streets (OSM/ Gmaps), Sairan is the city’s long-distance bus station. Its hulking body dominates the surroundings, its giant roof is a daring hat. Bus destinations include Bishkek, Urumqi, Taraz, Shymkent, Oskemen, Karaganda, Astana. For more options to reach these and other cities, see our Almaty transport guide.
A number of city buses traffic between Sairan and the city center – #45 is handy, it stops in front of the Palace of School Children. The closest metro stop is also called Sairan, but it is a 30 minute walk away.
Sairan does not have a cheap hotel attached to it like the train station, but there is a 24/7 luggage room where you can store your bags.
Phone numbers you can try for reservations and timetable information: +7 (727) 276-28-55, 390-93-27, +7 (727) 396-70-63, 276-26-77, 276-26-23, 276-26-86, 276-26-96
But wait, there’s more!
Sairan is not just a place to catch a bus. It is one of those miniature ecosystems, like the Green Bazaar, that make Almaty such a pleasure to discover. There are plenty of places to eat, of course, including a rare cafeteria that has beshbarmak on the menu. There is also a dentist, a pawn shop, an advertising agency and a seamstress atelier on the second floor.
The real gem, however, fills the entire waiting hall on the second floor: an army bazaar. Stop by before you hop on a bus for a precious souvenir, if you didn’t already buy souvenirs elsewhere in Almaty. You can buy one of those big police caps, all manner of military badges and brooches, military grades from 1 stripe to 4 stars, medals, cuff links with the Kazakh flag, etc. You can even buy a full-on ceremonial military costume.
In short, everything for your next Halloween outfit.
UPDATE: due to renovations, the Army bazaar has moved across the street to the second floor of Avtolombard Almaty Progress.