Kazakhstan is a rapidly growing country with developments in different spheres of life. Currently, only one metro system exists in Kazakhstan and has only eight stations, but each is a work of art and worth exploring. Whenever you are in Almaty, take a ride in the local metro and enjoy discovering the marvelous artworks in the only subway chain of Kazakhstan.
Almaty Metro is the only subway chain of Kazakhstan, the second in Central Asia after Tashkent in Uzbekistan and the 16th among Post-Soviet countries. It was officially open on December 1, 2011. The price for a ride in the metro for adults costs 80 tenges, whereas for the children it is only 40 tenges and can be bought at the counter in the underground at any station. Once you make a payment, you will be given a token that must be inserted at the entrance doors, and the world of underground art of Kazakhstan opens its doors to you. The metro stations operate from 6 am to 12 pm. On weekends, trains go every 13 min, and on weekdays, it is a 10-minute interval between the trains. The trains were produced by a South Korean concern Hyundai with all the comfort, such as air conditioning and cozy seats.
In the first year of work, the Almaty subway chain transported 6 million passengers, and in the following years, that number kept increasing. Close to 2017, the subway transported around 14 million passengers, which is approximately 80 percent of the whole Kazakhstani population! According to the subway rules, one should stand on the escalator closer to the right side and pass from the left side. However, people are not really following these rules, and it is not discomforting anyone. Keep in mind that only several subway stations have some snack and drinks points. If you want to film a professional video for commercial purposes, you are advised to get permission from the subway administration first.
The line of the subway chain starts with the Rayimbek Batyr metro station and ends in the last stop called Moscow station. The Rayimbek Batyr was named after the great warrior of the Kazakh nation from the 18th century. He was a fighter for the freedom of the Kazakhs from the Dzhungarian invaders and liberated Semirechye. For his bravery, Abylai Khan appointed him as one of his commanders. At the end part of the subway, there is a big portrait of the Rayimbek Warrior. The interior inside is done in a moderate style with golden color. This station gives access to the taxi station and Almaty 1 train station. In front of the entrance doors to the train station, there is a sculpture of Abylai Khan, the beloved ruler of the Kazakh people in ancient years.
Zhibek Zholy station is named after the great Silk Road that was the biggest route for the buy and sell caravans that passed through Kazakhstan to different parts of the world. The station's design is full of Kazakh traditional patterns, and at the end, there is a big circle of caravan representing the picture of the Great Silk Road. It gives access to several tourism destinations like the Arbat boulevard, Kok Bazaar, where one can purchase dozens of things for daily usage, starting from groceries, clothes to souvenirs. The second tallest wooden cathedral in the world – Voznesenskyi sobor, is just 5-10 mins of walk from the station. From the park of the cathedral, there is a 28 Panfilov Warriors park with an eternal flame. The Almaly station means Apple-like in the Kazakh language. The Arbat boulevard lasts from Zhibek Zholy to Almaly station, where at the end, one can see a lively street bringing to the Opera and Ballet Theater.
Abay Kunanbayev was a Kazakh poet, composer and philosopher popular among all Turkic ethnicities. The station has a huge portrait of Abay Kunanbayev. The metro station is close to a famous bus stop at Kazakhstan hotel, where most mountain hikers take their ride on the bus to reach their destinations to start their mountainous trips. Also, it is close to the starting point of Kok Tobe, where one can take a cable car and reach the uphill. Also, the apartment museum of the first soviet secretary of the communist party in Kazakhstan in the Soviet time Dinmukhamed Kunayev.
Baikonur station bears the name of the famous Baikonur - the first and also world's largest operating spaceport, that started working in 1957 in the Soviet time. The metro station from the inside is made in blue and white colors and lightings. It actually gives an impression of one being inside of the huge spaceship and enjoy the cold colors.
The station is located near the Theater after Mukhtar Auezov, a Kazakh writer and a social activist. His name is engraved in the literature and history of Kazakhstan. The station can bring to the amusement park 'Fantasy World' and Almaty Circus. Apart from that, the theater hosts lots of performances from modern and old folklore. The interior of the station is made in light to dark brown colors. At the end of the corridor, there is a large painting of Kazakh women in traditional costumes. This one is worth seeing!
Alatau metro station is in the lively part of the old city center, and it is a great place just to hang around being surrounded by many housings of the Soviet time and some modern ones. The station has some nice picturesque paintings of mountains since Alatau is the name of the Almaty mountains. The Sayran station is full of colorful patterns because in the Kazakh language, it means to rejoice.
The Moscow station, as of now, is the final stop of the subway chain. When you get outside of the metro, in a couple of minutes you can find a big shopping mall called Moskva, the Russian naming of Moscow city. The subway from the inside has a lot of red color and is designed in quite subdued tones. According to the underground structure, there are two more stations planned to build so that people can reach more remote parts of the city.
The metro system allows reaching different tourism destinations of Almaty at ease and with comfort. It is the very first subway chain in Kazakhstan, thereby all interiors inside are made with care. It is truly historical for Kazakhstan to have a metropolitan city full of great artworks, which then will be passed on to younger generations. Moreover, it is one of the highlights of the tourists' experience with the Kazakhstani infrastructure and art. Hence, you definitely need to discover the marvelous artworks of Almaty Metro!
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