Kazakhstan: Almaty Winter Escapes (1)

1 Dec

Winter is really on its way now in Almaty, with snow making on and off appearances and New Year decorations springing up. Kazaxia wants to share some of its favourite things to do in and around Almaty to help pass those frosty days and long nights.

Our first tip is the outdoor skating rink at Medeu.

Medeu, home to one of the best winter activities in Almaty – ice skating – is an immense skating rink located at an elevation of 1,691 metres and boasts a huge space for ice aficionados.

Since it opened in 1972 more than a hundred speed skating world records have been set in the ideal conditions found at Medeu. The setting is outstanding with snowy peaks and fir tree clad hillsides visible from the ice.

It’s easy to get to Medeu from the city with the number 6 bus running regularly from the bus stop opposite the Hotel Kazakhstan on the corner of Dostyk and Kurmangazy streets.

Lord Venal and friends take to the ice at Medeu


Some seasoned Medeu skaters think that it’s not so much fun since they cracked down on drinking on the ice, although this has made the experience somewhat safer as you’re less likely to crash into other drunks on the ice!

It costs 1,600 tenge ($11.00) for a session (half price for kids and students) and if you don’t have your own skates then you can hire them for 1,000 tenge ($6.75) for two hours.

Usually there’s two sessions a day from Thursday to Sunday with a morning session from 10.00 – 16.00 (09.00 at weekends) and an evening session from 18.00 – 23.00. You can check the opening times on this site or call 3869533 in Almaty.

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