top of page

Almaty Metro Tour

Ride one of the most beautiful subway systems in the world, its themed stations adorned with marble, mosaics and chandliers. Beat the summer heat or the winter chill with a substantial tour that's entirely subterranean!

The Almaty Metro

You don't often hear about a metro system that's an attraction on its own, and not just a means of getting from Point A to Point B. The Almaty metro, however, has been delighting visitors since 2011, despite its dubious utility - with only one line, and some awkwardly placed stations, you may never need to ride the subway on your trip, but we think you should!

The metro's lavish beauty draws comparisons to legendary Soviet undergrounds like the Moscow and Tashkent metros, but this isn't a Soviet metro, per se — it was a Soviet zombie. That's because metro construction began in 1988 under Mikhail Gorbachev, but it stalled after the Soviet collapse. Kazakhstan's early 2000s petro-boom put the project back on the table, and after more than two decades, the project was finally finished, with the questionable distinction of being the longest metro construction project in history. 

Like its Soviet forebears, the Almaty metro is a grandiose ode to the importance of public transport. Every surface is faced with polished stone and extravagant chanedeliers hang overhead. Trains run on time, are rarely full, and the cars and platforms are as clean and tidy as the day they opened. 

Each stop has thematic artworks that can teach us about Kazakh history and culture. The Zhibek Zholy, or "Silk Road" station, features stunning ceramic bas-reliefs of the great Central Asian trading routes. Another stop is called Almaly, the "Land of Apples," and has stained glass windows of native Sievers and Aport apple trees. And the Abai station, named after Kazakhstan's most beloved poet and philosopher, includes a Florentine mosaic with the writer's most quotable lines. 

On our tour, we'll spend two hours hopping from station to station, skipping the simpler stops to focus on the system's highlights. During our research, we met with the craftsmen who decorated the metro, so we'll show you exclusive behind-the-scenes details that others guides might overlook. Enjoy the climate-controlled oasis of Almaty's underground and you won't want to leave!

What You'll See

  • Zhibek Zholy Station

  • Almaly Station

  • Auezov Theater Station

  • Sary Arka Station

  • Abai Station

  • …and more!

What You'll Learn

  • How did Almaty almost build the first maglev monorail in the world?

  • Why are Mexican pyramids depicted on a bas-relief of the Silk Road?

  • Which station's artwork was covered up for more than a decade by a portrait of Kazakhstan's former strongman? 


 Starting Point 

The Zhibek Zholy Station

Gogol St. and Panfilov St.

Nearby: Arbat Walking Street, Panfilov Park

Screen Shot 2023-05-21 at 9.28.29 PM.png


2 km (1+ miles)

Downhill, half sunny, half shady

photo_2023-04-13 00.18.31.jpeg


Everything you'd ever want

A charming tour guide!

More advice than you've asked for!

Screen Shot 2024-06-19 at 11.42.33 AM.png

 Ending Point 

The Almaly Station

Kabanbai Batyr St. and Panfilov Nearby: Opera House, Old Square



1.5-2.5 hours

Trains there right when we need them?

We might finish early.

Have a lot of questions? We might finish late. 


 Not Included 

Various indulgences

Transportation to/from tour

Horse milk

bottom of page