Essential Info for Kazakhstan

Population: 17.3 million

Capital city: Astana 

Other major cities: Almaty, Karagandy, Shymkent and Taraz.  

Neighbouring countries: Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Geography: Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world. It’s terrain is comprised of large areas of forests, alpine ranges, steppes, wide plains and numerous rivers, streams and lakes, with a coastline along the Caspian Sea. 

Political system: Presidential republic. 

Major religions: Islam and Orthodox Christianity.

Main languages: Kazakh is the main language and Russian is the official language for business, administration and cross-cultural communication. 

Money: The Kazakhstan Tenge is divided into 100 tiin.

Tipping: Tipping is not necessary, as most restaurants and hotels include a service charge, however tipping is becoming more common with the increase of European and American business. Taxis will rarely accept tips, and if they do, it will require much persistence on the passenger’s part. 

Time: GMT+6

Electricity: 220 volts, 50Hz. European round two-pin plugs are standard.

Internet domain: .kz

International dialling code: +7

Emergency contacts: 102 (police), 103 (ambulance) 

Transport and driving: Drive on the right-hand side. Major cities have bus networks, private taxis and shared taxis for transportation. There are also rail networks across the country and a metro system in Almaty. Foreign drivers can use an international driver’s licence for up to six months, whereupon they will be required to obtain a local licence through a series of tests, medical examinations and applications through their national embassy or consulate and local government.