Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Astana

Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve
Birds of many kinds of feather flock together in Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve and it is worth going for them alone, though also watch out for rare antelope.
Central Mosque
Portofino
Line Brew
Alasha
Café Corso
Décor and clientele don't quite match at this chintzy little establishment with burly vodka slurpers propping up the bar. One for the brave.
Altyn Taga
Hit the hippodRome for racing and traditional sports.
Prestige Hotel
Eight individual rooms rule the roost at this boutique hotel, whose friendly staff make any staff. One of our top picks.
Suntana Aquapark
With temperature-controlled sand flown in from the Maldives, relax here while gazing out at an ice-clad city.
Nomadic Travel
This tour agency specialises in homestays with local families.
Kokshetau National Park
Another National Park, Kokshetau is the perfect place to spend a relaxing and invigorating weekend.
Keremet Banya
If you like your baths with company, this place offers a huge number of options.
Ishim River
Cross/ski down/swim in the iced-over river for a bracing morning.
Cross-Country
If you've ever been tempted to try your hand (or legs?!) at cross-country skiing then this could be the perfect opportunity; head out into the wilds for a proper adventure.
Duman Centre
An oceanarium at the farthest possible point from the sea.
Ice City
Enormous ice sculptures of famous landmarks, with built-in slides. What's not to love?
Burabay National Nature Park
Located in the North of Kazakhstan, Astana is perfectly placed for exploring the steppe; head out for day trips (or longer) to beautiful national parks for walking and nature-watching.
Akmola Tourist
Tour operator, which specialises in sanatoria, but has many other options.
Saryarka
More manageable shopping at this smaller venue, though decent brands are still available.
Palace of Independence
See the city in miniature with the Palace's model of Astana.
Saints Konstantin & Elena Cathedral
This small Cathedral is perfect for quieter contemplative moments.
Uspensky Cathedral
The city's main cathedral, the Upensky is an impressive sight.
Palace of Peace & Reconciliation
Designed to cause a stir, this Norman Foster-designed building resembles something out of a science fiction movie. Stare in wonder.
Presidential Cultural Centre
The ultimate spot for catching up with Kazakh culture.
Saken Seifullin Museum
Museum to one of Kazakhstan's great literary figures and freedom fighters.
Malinovka
A moving tribute to the wives of political prisoners.
Central Concert Hall
A large, modern building hosting numerous cultural events.
Has Sanat Gallery
The home of much of Kazakhstan's most inspiring artwork - not to be missed.
Kazakh Drama Theatre
Young Kazakh actors perform national works to an enthusiastic crowd.
Beit Rachel Synagogue
A large (for Central Asia) synagogue, this maintains a community feel.
Atameken Ethno-Memorial
A monument to those who died at the hands of Soviet repression.
Baisetov National Theatre
Over thirty classic operas and ballets are on offer in this beautiful theatre, well worth a visit.
Baiterek Monument
The symbol of the capital, climb this imposing tower to see it spread beneath your feet.
V Dali Ot
Sexual adventurers might get more than they bargained for at V Dali Ot. How crazy are you?
Fashion
Serious face and dress control apply here. Inside a crowd of beautiful bright young things pack out this Friday night favourite.
Sweets and Coffee
Exactly what it says on the tin (with a full menu at lunchtime).
Tea & Coffee Garden
Caffeine abounds in the vast selection of this little café chain, with dozens of varieties on offer.
Madlen
Coffee, juices and innovative drinks combine with a diverse food menu to keep visitors interested.
Favor Gastronom
Takeaway outlet of the popular restaurant, with all food prepared by the same chef, guaranteeing the excellent quality.
Fish Market
This hands-on approach to dining sees customers shoaling from all over Astana.

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