The official language in Kazakhstan is Kazakh, which is similar to what is spoken in Turkey, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and several dialects are used in different regions. People working in the business and tourism sectors generally have a good working knowledge of English, but such language proficiency should not be expected in the more remote areas.
The official currency is the Kazakh tenge. Most international credit cards are accepted, including MasterCard and Visa. ATMs can be found in the large cities, but are scarce in rural areas. Currency exchange can only be made at official offices and US dollars are preferred.
Kazakhstan time zone is GMT +6.
Kazakhstan uses electricity at 220V/50Hz and uses European plug outlets.
The international dialing code for Kazakhstan is +7. Roaming services are available for operators from most countries, but travelers should be sure to check with their service provider before leaving home. There are several local mobile networks which offer reliable services, including K-Cell, Beeline, Tele2, and Altel. SIM cards and inexpensive handsets can be purchased from stores across the country. Wireless is not prolific although tourists may be able to find access in the big cities. There are many internet cafés in towns which offer reasonable hourly rates.
Travelers are permitted to enter Kazakhstan with the following without paying duty: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 200 g of tobacco products; three liters of alcoholic beverages; one liter of eau de toilette; and other gifts not exceeding a value of US $500.
State Agency for Tourism and Sport, Astana: +7-3272-396-638 or www.kazsport.kz
Consulates in Kazakhstan
British Embassy, Almaty: +7-7172-556-200
American Embassy, Almaty: +7-7172-702-100
Canadian Embassy, Almaty: +7-3272-501-151
German Embassy, Almaty: +7-3272-506-160
Chinese Embassy, Almaty: +7-3172-793-570
Italian Embassy, Almaty: +7-7172-243-868
French Embassy, Almaty: +7-7172-582-504
Belgian Embassy, Almaty: +7-7172-974-485