Almaty is the former capital and the largest city in Kazakhstan. It is situated at the foot of Tian' Shan' mountaiuns and from the city you can see the snowcaps of the surrounding mountain ranges. If you love mountain climbing and have time, you can climb Talgar (5017m), Komsomol (4376m), or Big Almaty (3684m). Situated at about 1000 m above the sea level Almaty has an excellent climate and is surrounded by huge apple gardens. The name Almaty is from the Kazakh word “Alma” which means “an apple."
Almaty was founded as a small settlement in the middle of the Great Silk Road. This city has has risen and fallen due to wars, revolutions, earthquakes, and mudslides. In 1857 it was named Vernyy ("Faithful" in Russian) and from 1921 till 1993 it was named Alma-Ata. In 1993 it was given the present name of Almaty. It is the biggest city of Kazakhstan and has the status of administrative, educational, economical and cultural center.
Today Almaty is Central Asia's most cosmopolitan city with a wealth of shops, restaurants, hotels, and casinos. It is a city of modern architecture, parks, fountains, and spectacular mountain views. Much of the city's architecture is a legacy of the Soviet era. The city is populated by 1.2 million.people of different nationalities: Kazakhs, Russians, Ukrainians, Koreans, Germans, Tatars, Uzbeks, and others. The main languages in Almaty are Russian and Kazakh.
The Almaty airport connects with Moscow, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Istanbul, as well as many other cities.