Largest Cities in Kazakhstan

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The unitary powerful and influential country of Kazakhstan is situated in Asia’s center region. Almaty is indeed the largest city but Nur-Sultan (originally Astana) is the capital. According to estimates, there are 17,993,500 individuals residing in the nation, with a population of 16.82 individuals for every square mile. The ethnic majority group, comprising 63.6% of the total, is Kazakh. Having secondary school required, Kazakhstan has a relatively high literacy rate, with a literacy level standing at 99.5%.

Approximately 50% of Kazakhstan’s people are categorized as urban because they reside and operate in the country’s cities and towns.

Kazakhstan has many cities that offer incredible experiences, even though a large portion of the country is still rural.

The country’s modern capital, Nur-Sultan, serves as an example of the growth and transformation that many regions have seen recently, while Turkestan, a historic city, serves as a reflection of the nation’s rich history.

To assist them in planning their vacation, travelers can see the list of Kazakhstan’s largest cities below, along with details on some of the most popular ones.

The following largest cities in Kazakhstan each have a minimum population of 50,000.

Astana The Capital ( now Nur Sultan)

Kazakhstan’s capital is Nur-Sultan. It is situated on the bank of Ishim River in the country’s northern areas. Originally known as Akmoly, it was founded in 1830 and has undergone several name changes, including Astana in 1998 as well as Nur-Sultan in 2019. In recent years, the city has undergone two name changes: from Akmola around 1998 to Astana in 2019. In honor of outgoing president Nursultan Nazarbayev, the title Nur Sultan was picked. The city has a size of 274.2 sq miles approximately 860,368 inhabitants. In December 1997, it was proclaimed as the capital. The country’s new major industrial as well as cultural hub, in addition to a railroad and car transit intersection, is Nur-Sultan. It was established as a defensive fort in 1824, became a city in 1868, and played a significant role in the 1950s in the construction of unused and virgin territories in the north.


The earliest settlements in Almaty date back over 150 years. In the city’s history and throughout the lives of the citizens, many happy and tragic pages have indeed been recorded, and there have been numerous political, economic, and social, changes. It’s indeed our civic responsibility to safeguard Almaty’s history, recreate the city’s profile against such a historical backdrop, and transmit to future generations artifacts of the period in terms of events, people, and structures. From 1929 until 1977, whenever Astana was chosen as the new capital, the city functioned as the nation’s capital. It continues to be Kazakhstan’s principal business and cultural hub today. A significant earthquake that struck in 1887 nearly leveled the city in far less than 15 minutes. The average temp of Almaty, which is a somewhat frigid city, is 10 ° Celsius.


Having been established in 1931, Karaganda now has 459,778 residents. The fourth most populous city in the nation, it serves as the central town of Karaganda. The region’s abundant caragana shrubs are the source of the title Karaganda. When a USSR power wire that was shallowly buried ignited the city’s electrical power station in 1962, the city suffered the very worst EMP damages ever.


Although Aktobe is indeed an industrial powerhouse and one might not be very enthusiastic about it, it is located within the most eastern region of Europe just south of where the Ural Alps finish. While it is difficult for geographers to pinpoint precisely at which Europe’s eastern borders begin and end, it is generally accepted that those who pass across the Kazakhstan Emba River to Aktobe, then continue west into the Caspian Sea once getting passed through Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan on their way to the Black Sea.

Shymkent ( Formally Chimkent)

To give cities in Kazakhstan names, Shymkent, which was originally known as Chimkent, underwent a new title in 1993. There are roughly 854,500 people residing in the 134 sq mile area. Lead is produced mainly in Shymkent, as well as a lead smelter facility was created there in 1934. Due to the lead smelting in the city, air pollution is extremely high. Other sectors include those that make karakul pelts, pharmaceuticals, food, textiles, and beverages.


Atyrau (Atirau, Aterau, Atyraw, Atiraw, and Atirav are further transliterations) is one of the largest cities in Kazakhstan and the administrative center of the Atyrau Province (known as Guryev throughout the Soviet period). It is situated 350 kilometers eastern Russian city of Astrakhan and 2700 kilometers west of Almaty,

Atyrau is well-known nowadays for its fish and oil businesses. It now has 154,100 residents ( over 142,500 in the 1999 statistics), 90% of whom are of Kazakh ethnicity (over 80%), with the remainder being primarily Russian and members of other ethnic groups including Tatars as well as Ukrainians. Salimzhan Naqpayev has served as its governor since 2006.

Turkestan ( Most Ancient city)

Another largest and most ancient Kazakh city worth seeing in Turkestan. In the past, Turkestan, a historic city in southern Kazakhstan, served as the hub of the country’s caravan commerce. Ahmed Yesevi, a Sufi (Muslim mystic) who lived in the city in the 12th century, was a significant religious figure. The primary landmark and top tourist destination in Turkestan is the Tomb of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi.

The mausoleum, a noteworthy specimen of Timurid construction, was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003. Another fascinating historical monument in Turkestan is the Hilvet Semi-Underground Mosque, which houses the cell where Akhmed Yasaui retreated toward the final stages of his life.


Taraz (Talas), also known as the “City of Traders,” has existed for more than over 2000 years. It peaked between the 10th and 12th centuries when it rose to fame as the Karakhan State’s capital. The Dautbek and Karakhan Mausoleums, ruler’s palaces, and numerous ancient burial sites allow you to travel back in time.

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