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City in a day

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altAlmaty is an urbanized Asian city, much like many European capitals. Chances are you will most probably be coming here for a business conference or international convention rather than out of free choice on a family vacation so it is very likely you’ll have to see this city in a day. It is advisable to spend some time in the great outdoors rather than visit crowded, noisy downtown districts on your last day. Not only will that help you relax, but it may leave behind memories so pleasant that you might consider the city again as a purely vacation destination for your next holiday season!

If you want to enjoy the winter aspect of the city, even when visiting in the summer months, head up to the Medeu Ice Rink. This is just a 45 minutes bus ride from the main city. Located high up on a mountainside, with dense alpine forests all around it, the wet smell of leaves and fresh oil in the air, and the happy cheers of skaters as they glide about gracefully on the largest ice rink in the world, this place is sure to make you keep coming back. Enjoy a day of skating, and a refreshing walk up to the Medeu Dam, then come down back to the rink for a quiet evening meal and maybe a warm cup of coffee, looking out at the city below starting to glitter as night falls in.

Another great way to spend a day is to head to the Koktyube (Green Hill). A cable car ride takes you above the city houses and trees right to the recreational park on top of the Green Hill. You will see amazing sights on the route. You can entertain yourself at the various small themed entertainment parks, enjoy local cuisine and music at one of the few restaurants on the hilltop, and, as the shades of the sky turn to grey, watch the city spring to life at night!

A third way to spend a day would be to visit the Central Gorky Park, and yet another to go to the Panfilov Park. Both these parks promise to be two of the best you would ever have seen around the world. Go to the Gorky Park if you have a trail of children with you – it contains amusement parks, a zoo and a water park. Head to the Panfilov if you want some serious relaxation and food for the mind and soul – the sculptures, the landscaping, the majestic Zenkov Cathedral, will all speak to your heart and bring a pleasant end to your Almaty experience, giving you sweet dreams on the flight back home!

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