Air Astana is the most significant airline, with flights from Abu Dhabi, Moscow, Delhi, Beijing, Istanbul, Bangkok, Hannover, London, Amsterdam, Baku, Kuala Lumpur, Frankfurt, and Seoul to Almaty and Astana.
By restricting which airlines may fly to Kazakhstan, Air Astana maintains a monopoly on certain international routes.
Lufthansa also offers daily flights to Almaty, from where you may go anywhere in Kazakhstan through local airline SCAT, which serves the majority of the country’s cities. British Airways and KLM currently fly to Heathrow and Schiphol many times each week, respectively. There is also a nonstop link from Prague twice a week, provided by Czech airlines. Turkish Airlines is a reliable passenger airline that operates flights to Istanbul (ask a travel agent about the student fares, which can be a great deal).
There are two flights each week from Seoul to Almaty, one with Asiana Airlines and one with Astana. Airbaltic also flies to Almaty; if you book ahead of time, you may get there for €130. (from Riga).
Etihad Airways operates a weekly flight from Abu Dhabi to Astana. Flight time is about 4.5 hours. Taxis from the airport to the city cost between KZT2,000 and KZT3,000.
Kazakhstan’s trains are sluggish yet pleasant and clean. Almaty to/from Moscow (77 hours), Novosibirsk (35 hours), and Ürümqi, China are all popular routes (34 hours). Expect a 3–4 hour wait at the Russian border and a 6–8 hour stay at the Chinese border. Train tickets in Kazakhstan may also be purchased online.
Many of the border crossings on the country’s major highways allow you to enter Kazakhstan by automobile. However, be prepared to wait in line for up to 24 (twenty-four) hours, with very inadequate amenities.
Traveling by sleeper bus from Ürümqi to Almaty is quite simple, particularly if you are not in a rush and don’t mind sleeping on a bus for 24 to 36 hours. The border crossing is a bit of a walk, and you may be forced to carry all of your things with you for quite a distance in very hot weather. The bus ride and “baggage costs” are about US$45. You may also pick up your Kazakhstan visa at the embassy in Ürümqi, but expect to wait at least a week, and be sure you obtain a copy of your passport before giving it over.
Freighters sail between Baku and Aktau on a regular basis, and it is feasible to catch a ride. However, it is typical for ships to be held up for days, if not weeks, before arriving port, so you should stock up on food and water before boarding.