Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Almaty

Ile River
Perfect for a lazy boat ride gazing at the steppes at they unroll to the horizon.
Lake Kapchagai
Legendary for it's outdoor parties, Lake Kapchagai rules the summers.
Ile River Delta
A trip to the immense Ile River Delta might not be quick or cheap but it's certainly an unforgettable experience. Certainly it'll make you fall in love with the country hook line and sinker.
Alma Hotel
Sweet, simple and subtle, with delicious rooftop views.
Entrecôte
Unsurprisingly, steak is the speciality here, and it's excellent, as shown by the dozens of locals dining each day.
Cream Café
With it's shaded terrace and Italian scooters, Cream Café's a tribute to the Med.
Kok Tobe
Phenomenal views await if you can make it up the holl to this playground wonderland.
Shera Hotel
Local celeb hangout, with decent rooms a short break from the town centre.
Central Mosque
A true post-Soviet landmark, visit the mosque to see Kazakhstan at it's international best.
Tamgaly
These rock carvings are a World Heritage Site, and a humbling experience for all culture vultures.
Kolsai Lakes
Ever wanted to sleep in a yurt, wake up to views of a sparkling shimmering lake and spend the day riding to your heart's content? Here you are then.
Extremal
Mountain advernture shops - cycling equipment in the summer, ski and snowboard in the winter. These guys are the real experts.
Big Almaty Lake
A great spot for being at one with nature - and huge amounts of water.
Arial Golf Club
A decent club for beginner or junior players, with reasonable prices to match.
Altyn Emel
Burial mounds and sand dunes that hum in the wind are amongst many of this park's varied offerings.
Aksai Gorge
Liberate your soul from material worries and visit the monks in this monastery.
TsUM
There are some great textiles being produced and imported in Almaty the best of which can be found on the top floor of the Tsum department store.
Tumar
A good selection of handmade felts mean there's no need to trawl craft fairs.
Shock
A treasure trove of Sauvage sale pieces, this is one for those who are more max-it than plastic, and looking for bargains.
Ramstor Trade Centre
The introduction of the mall was met with a great deal of excitement in Almaty with consumers of the boom economy eager to spend.
Mega Centre
The biggest selection of Western brands in Kazakhstan, alongside local chains, makes this a popular mall.
Barakholka Market
There's so much going on at Baraholka market it can be hard to know where to look first; it's brimming with goods for both the souvenir-seeking tourist and seasoned local.
Panfilov Park
This is the centre point of Almaty and is the city's biggest and most-loved park; home to the gorgeous Ascension Cathedral and a slew of other historically important monuments.
Kensai Graveyard
Another of Almaty's more fascinating cultural spots, Kensai Graveyard provides awe-inspiring views of the mountains and is something of a moving experience to say the least with headstones aplenty.
Kunaev House Museum
A museum to the memory of one of Kazakhstan's most beloved politicians.
ArtBatFest
An interactive art festival, ArtBatFest is a great place to wander for flashmobs, photography exhibitions and experimental theatre.
Abay Opera House
Come to see well-known and local ballets and operas in the beautiful classical Soviet building with its air of faded grandeur.
Marrone Rosso
A proper comfort-food location, the Marrone also does a great line in decadent hot chocolate. Perfect for those curling up on a sofa days.
Segafredo
Mamma mia! Real Italian coffee.
4A Coffee
This cosy coffee house serves mind-blowing sandwiches and fantastic fresh coffee.
Trader Vic’s
Check out the chilled Polynesian vibe at this surfer's paradise.
Wild Asia
One of the most comprehensive menus we've come across, with excellent cocktail-aided atmosphere.
Kok Tobe Grill
One of the best views of the mountains, relax on the terrace and just gaze.
Sumo San
Serving seriously good sushi and teppyanaki this authentic Japanese spot is popular all year round.
Samal
A beautiful restaurant, with stunningly good food and delicate decorative touches.
Safran
An authentic Arabic experience Safran is a wonderful place to sample Moroccan, Turkish, and Georgian cuisine.
Namaste
Namaste provides a wonderfully informal Indian dining experience in an authentic environment.
Kabuto
Authentic and original Japanese cuisine, with a wide selection.
Beirut
A taste of true Lebanon is on offer at the aptly-named Beirut.
Holiday Inn
A safe bet with its comfortable, neatly designed rooms and ideal location in the centre of the Business District.

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