This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Shymkent. To help you make friends with Shymkent before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Shymkent, Kazakhstan, is the largest city in South Kazakhstan and third-largest in Kazakhstan. It is a frequent stop for overland travelers around Central Asia and a base for day trips to the mausoleum in Turkestan.
Shymkent is just over one hundred kilometers from the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which is the main road for those coming from Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent. Despite being on the route for many people traveling around Central Asia, you won’t find nearly as many travelers as in Astana and Almaty, two other cities in Kazakhstan that have seen a big increase in tourist numbers over the last few years. However, Shymkent, Kazakhstan, is worth stopping by for a day or two. It is a pleasant city to spend some time, with nice parks and interesting Soviet memorials and monuments. If you feel a desire to cool down on a hot summer day, you might as well enjoy the ice skating rink at the mall in the centre.
Within two hours by public bus or marshrutka from Shymkent you can reach the silk road city of Turkestan. The landmark you will want to see is the stunning mausoleum. It is unlikely that you will spend more than two hours at the landmarks, which are all pretty concentrated in the city. There is not much of a tourist infrastructure outside the mausoleum area, making it visited best as day trip from Shymkent.
Until a few years ago, Shymkent, Kazakhstan was lacking good infrastructure for backpackers. There were hotels, but they were either expensive or of a very poor quality and Shymkent, Kazakhstan hostels did not exist. Fortunately the situation has changed and there is now a wide choice of Shymkent, Kazakhstan hostels. The most vibrant area of the city is between Abay Park and Independence Park. If location within the city is a priority to you, this is the best area in which to book your Shymkent, Kazakhstan hostel.
Written by local enthusiast for Shymkent hostelsMartin Straatman