Medeu Tract and Medeu Skating Rink
The Medeu Tract, one of the most picturesque places near Almaty, is located at the foot of the Ile Alatau Mountains (also spelled as Trans-Ili Alatau Mountains), in the valley of the Malaya Almatinka River. Due to its close proximity to the city, the tract is popular with hikers and many other outdoor enthusiasts.
The tract was named after Medeu Pusurmanov, a person who owned this land in the late 19th century. He contributed greatly to the improvement of the city of Verny (former name of Almaty) and the surrounding area. He gained respect among the city officials after he financed the restoration of Verny after an earthquake and a flood.
In order to protect the city of Almaty from mudflows, a 150-meter dam was built in the tract during Soviet times. You can climb the stairs to the top of the dam, from where you'll see a stunning view of the tract. The 842-step staircase is a place of many stair climbing competitions and is quite popular among health enthusiasts.
Also, you can enjoy a great view of the Medeu Tract if you take a cable car to the Shymbulak Ski Resort. The cable car's length is 4.5 km (2.8 mi). During the 20-minute scenic ride, you will see jaw-dropping views of the Ile Alatau Mountains.
The Medeu Tract is also a starting point for many hiking trails. From there you can reach Kok Jailau Plateau, Furmanov Peak, Talgar Pass, and other natural attractions. If you're into hiking and trekking, feel free to book tours here.
Medeu Skating Rink
Medeu Skating Rink is an iconic landmark that has become a symbol of Almaty. Built in 1949-1951, it can hold over 8000 viewers. The skating rink sits nestled at an altitude of 1691 meters (5548 ft) above sea level, making it the highest outdoor skating rink in the world.
Clean mountain air must have had some special effect on athletes because Medeu has seen many world records in speed skating over the years. In addition, the purest mountain water is used to make ice, which makes it comfortable for skiing. Throughout its 70-year history, the rink hosted many championships including the 2011 Winter Asian Games, the 2012 Bandy World Championship, the 2017 Winter Universiade, and many more.
Medeu is still an important training center for professional athletes. If you are no athlete but would really like to learn how to skate, there is a school where instructors will help you feel more confident on ice.
Since 2022, Medeu has been working all year round. Now you can go skating not only in winter but also in the warmer months thanks to the indoor ice court. In addition to skating, the complex offers a bandy field, a roller rink, a skatepark, and a gym. By the way, the roller rink is decorated with the largest horizontal graffiti in Central Asia. There are also a giant sundial and a photo zone where you can see photographs taken throughout the rink's history.
Equipment and skate rental
You can rent skates and sharpen them if needed. You can also rent protective equipment (helmet, elbow and knee protection) and skate helpers to assist kids in making their first steps on ice.
How to get there?
Address: Kazakhstan, Almaty, 465 Kerey-Zhanibek Khandar St.
You can reach the skating rink by car, taxi, or city bus #12. The bus departs from the Almaty-2 railway station, passes through the city center, and then follows to the skating rink. You need to get off at the last stop. If you want to ride the cable car, get off one stop early. The cable car goes as high as 3200 meters (10500 ft) above sea level and will take you to the Shymbulak Ski Resort, which is also worth a visit. It should be noted that the cable car does not stop near the skating rink but goes straight to Shymbulak.
Opening hours: Daily from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (there are technical breaks). On some days, the rink works till 12:00 am. Feel free to visit the Medeu Skating Rink's official website (only in Russian and Kazakh so far) for more information about the schedule of skating sessions and the cost of entrance tickets.
Other tourist attractions near the Medeu Skating Rink:
- Medeu Mudflow Protection Dam
- Butakov Waterfalls
- Shymbulak Ski Resort
- Kimasar Gorge
- Ile-Alatau National Park
- Kok Jailau Plateau
- Gorelnik Hot Spring
- Furmanov Peak
Immerse yourself in the breathtaking mountain landscapes just a stone's throw away from the center of Almaty! Explore the awe-inspiring wonders nestled in the Ile-Alatau Mountains and ascend to an elevation of 2260 meters above sea level.
A fantastic option for a day-long adventure that involves discovering Almaty's most fascinating landmarks. This excursion allows you to explore the best attractions of Almaty and also takes you to an elevation of 2260 meters above sea level, providing a delightful experience amidst the breathtaking mountain landscapes.
Butakov Waterfalls can be found in the Ile Alatau Mountains near Almaty. The breathtaking scenery, pristine air, and refreshing coolness have been drawing tourists to this location for quite some time.
Embark on a trek to the Bogdanovich Glacier, the closest glacier to the city of Almaty. Enjoy a magnificent view of the surrounding peaks from the glacier's observation point.
Situated at an altitude of 3600 meters above sea level, this frigid and desolate lake boasts a depth of 30 meters. The lake is encompassed by stunning mountain peaks, creating an exceptionally beautiful panorama from all directions.
Standing at 3680 meters, the Big Almaty Peak might give the false impression of being a formidable and challenging climb. However, ascending to the summit doesn't necessitate specialized mountaineering skills.