Shymkent is the third most populous city in Kazakhstan and the biggest one by area. Despite the fact that it is located in the Turkistan Region, it is a separate administrative-territorial unit. Shymkent has a well-developed tourist infrastructure, many historical sights, and endless recreation opportunities.

Why is Shymkent worth visiting?

Scientists claim that Shymkent has existed for more than two thousand years. At the 48th UNESCO Conference in November 2019, it was announced that Shymkent is in fact 2200 years old. As in any ancient city, there are many historical sights, which are carefully protected here. The country's authorities have included Shymkent in the Cultural Heritage Program, planning to turn the city center into a historical and cultural complex.

Shymkent is the sunniest city in Kazakhstan. It sees 300 sunny days a year, so you don't have to worry that bad weather will ruin your trip. Shymkent has something to offer to everybody: there are green parks, theaters, museums, restaurants, and cafes. You should also definitely explore the Shymkent Arboretum, visit the Old Town and spend some time in the Ken Baba Ethnographic Park. Due to the almost eternal summer, fruits and vegetables are quite inexpensive in Shymkent, and the average check in restaurants is significantly lower than in neighboring regions.

In 2011, the International Assembly of Capitals and Large Cities recognized Shymkent as the best city in the CIS (post-Soviet countries). Since then, it has gotten even better. Shymkent is definitely worth a visit if you want to feel the unique atmosphere of a medieval Central Asian city.

updated: 16 january 2023

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