According to ITYPEMBA, Astana is located in the north of the central part of Kazakhstan in the Akmola region on the banks of the Ishim River (a tributary of the Irtysh River).
In 1832, on the site of modern Astana, the Russian Cossack fortress Akmola was built, which guarded the caravan route from Central Asia to Western Siberia. Later, a small trading town grew up on the site of the Akmola order. Its heyday came in the second half of the 20th century, when Khrushchev announced the “Revival of Virgin Land”. The center of this project was Akmola, which was renamed Tselinograd. In 1992, the historical name Akmola was returned to the city. In 1997, the capital of Kazakhstan was moved to Akmola from Alma-Ata, and in 1998 the city received a new name – Astana, which means “capital”.
There are not so many attractions in the city, mainly the buildings of the Soviet period and ultra-modern buildings erected in recent decades. The symbol of Astana is the Baiterek tower, which means “poplar” in Kazakh. The height of the tower is 150 m. It is crowned with a huge glass ball with a diameter of 22 m and a weight of 300 tons, which changes color depending on the lighting. On the tower at the level of 97 m there is an observation deck from which the whole city is visible. Here you can also see the golden handprint of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The buildings of the Central Square of Astana are interesting: the chic Presidential Palace “Ak-Orda”, in the decoration of which gold and Italian marble were used, Government House and Parliament. In 2004, the Museum of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan was opened in Astana, which tells about the modern history of the country. The museum’s funds contain several hundred thousand exhibits. Be sure to visit the entertainment center “Duman”, where the Oceanarium, 5D cinema, numerous attractions, restaurants and cafes are located. The Oceanarium of the “Duman” center is truly unique, it is the first and only Oceanarium in the CIS and the only Oceanarium in the world, which is more than 3000 km away from the ocean. More than 2,000 marine life are represented here. The oceanarium consists of a large aquarium and two exhibition areas with 11 aquariums. A tunnel with a moving walkway runs along the bottom of the large aquarium, which gives visitors the opportunity to take a walk along the seabed. If you want to get acquainted with all the sights of Kazakhstan and see them with your own eyes, then you should go to the ethnographic park “Atameken”. The park is a relief map of the state with an area of 1.7 hectares, which presents all the cities and historical monuments of Kazakhstan in miniature. Be sure to take a walk along Turan Avenue, along which restaurants are located.
Most often, tourists come to Astana in order to go on a trip to the natural attractions surrounding the capital. Akmola region and Kostanay, Pavlodar and Kraganda regions adjacent to it from the east, west and south are located on the territory of the Kazakh uplands, whose name in Kazakh sounds like “Saryarka”. This area is occupied by steppes, forests, low mountains and protected lakes, along the banks of which rare birds settle.
Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve is located 130 km southwest of Astana on the border of Akmola and Karaganda regions. The reserve was established in 1968 to preserve the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn lake systems. The area of the reserve is 258.9 thousand hectares, of which 198 thousand hectares fall on the water surface. Most of its territory is occupied by salt and fresh water bodies, the largest of which are the flowing lake Korgalzhyn and the drainless lake Tengiz. These lakes are regarded as one of the most important wetlands for migratory birds in Kazakhstan. and throughout Asia. In total, more than 300 species of birds live here, including such rare birds as pink flamingos, curly and pink pelicans and white-headed ducks. The reserve offers ornithological bird watching tours.
Also from Astana you can go to the northern part of the Akmola region, where in the vicinity of the city of Kokshetau there is a national resort “Borovoe”, surrounded by the National Park “Burabay”, and the National Park “Kokshetau”; to the Kostanay region, where 190 km south of Kostanay is the Naurzum Reserve, which protects the system of fresh and salt lakes; in the Pavlodar region in the Bayanaul National Park, located in the vicinity of Ekibastuz; and to the vast Karaganda region, which is considered the historical center of the Kazakh people.