Kazakhstan — Transportation
Kazakhstan Taxis and Car Rental
One of the best ways to navigate Kazakhstan’s cities is by local taxi. Cabs are a cheap and convenient way to get around and most can be flagged down from on the side of the road. In some areas, like Karaganda, they need to be booked in advance with a phone call. There are no meters or set rates, and foreigners are generally quoted higher fees than normal so it is essential to negotiate a satisfactory price before departing. It is best to have the exact fare in cash as most drivers refuse to give change.
It is possible to rent cars in Kazakhstan as most of the international companies are present, including Europcar, Hertz, Avis, and Budget. There are also several local operators which provide reliable services which can be found at the airport or downtown. The quality of both the roads and the drivers is good in the cities, but deteriorates the more rural you get.
Kazakhstan Trains and Buses
Train travel in Kazakhstan is modeled after the Russian system. There is an extensive network which can be used to reach almost every region in the country, with trains being one of the most scenic and fun ways to get around. Stations can be found in every major city, including Almaty, Karaganda, and Astana. In comparison to most Western European counties, the cost is cheap and there are many options in terms of lines and car classes.
The public bus system is also useful for getting both around and between cities. Within cites, minibuses, trolleys and trams are available. Travelers should, however, be aware that local buses are unreliable in that they rarely arrive or depart on time and can also become crowded. Buses which travel between cities are generally faster than trains that make the same journey but tend to be less comfortable. The bus network covers a wide area of routes and prices are reasonable.