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About Almaty

1,421,868 in city
324 km² (125 mi²)
861 m
This booming city was founded in 1854 as a Russian frontier fort when the Kazaks were still nomads and was capital of Kazakhstan until late 1997. Almaty has become a honeypot to Kazakhstanis and a mixed bunch of foreign traders, diplomats and financiers jockeying for position in the race to carve up Kazakhstan's mineral resources. Sudden exposure to the outside world turned this provincial outpost into Central Asia's most cosmopolitan city with shops, restaurants, hotels and casinos that would make the place unrecognisable to anyone who had been away since 1990. Almaty is clean (apart from its air) and easy on the eye, with long straight avenues and low-rise uniform architecture bearing the unmistakable imprint of Russia. The Zailiysky Alatau mountains rise like a wall along Almaty's southern fringe and form a superb backdrop when weather and smog permit. There are lots of parks, space and greenery, and many of the Soviet-era buildings are striking if you look at them individually. That said, there's not a great deal to do in Almaty, which is why, for many travellers, it is little more than a way-station.

No. of Buildings

No. Current status
605 All Buildings
under construction

Tallest Buildings

# Building Height Year
1 Esentai Tower 531 ft 2008
2 Hotel Kazakhstan 335 ft 1974
3 Rahat Towers 2 328 ft 2010
4 Rahat Towers 1 328 ft 2010
5 Almaty Tower 6 276 ft 2006