Ust-Kamenogorsk Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Ust-Kamenogorsk with our comprehensive travel guide. Discover the top attractions, activities, food, and accommodations in this beautiful city in Kazakhstan.

Introduction to Ust-Kamenogorsk

Ust-Kamenogorsk is a vibrant city located in the Altai region of Kazakhstan in Central Asia. The city is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant modern-day offerings. With a population of over 300,000 people, Ust-Kamenogorsk is the third-largest city in Kazakhstan and boasts a unique mix of Soviet-era architecture and modern towering skyscrapers.

List of Places to Visit in Ust-Kamenogorsk

There are plenty of things to see and do when visiting Ust-Kamenogorsk. Here is a list of the top places to visit:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Central Museum of Altai State University
  • Ust-Kamenogorsk Regional Museum of with exhibitions on local history and culture
  • The O.V. Ganina Museum of the History of the Cossacks in Altai

Natural Attractions of Ust-Kamenogorsk: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Katon Karagai National Park
  • The sacred Bukhtarma River which runs through the city
  • Golden Mountains of Altai nature reserve

Hiking/Biking Routes of Ust-Kamenogorsk

Ust-Kamenogorsk is a great place to hike or mountain bike. There are several options to consider:

  • The Katon-Karagai National Park has miles of hiking trails and several routes for mountain biking.
  • The Ust-Kamenogorsk Zinc Plant’s trails are popular for hiking and cycling as well.

Best Things to Do in Ust-Kamenogorsk: Activities and Tours

  • Participate in an Altai Shaman ritual
  • Take a boat ride to see the city skyline from Bukhtarma Lake
  • Visit the Burabai Mosque, one of the largest and most beautiful in Kazakhstan

Week-Long Itinerary for Ust-Kamenogorsk

Day 1: Explore the Ust-Kamenogorsk Regional Museum Day 2: Hike or bike the Katon-Karagai National Park trails Day 3: Take a scenic drive around Lake Zaysan Day 4: Visit the Burabai Mosque Day 5: Explore the Central Museum of Altai State University Day 6: Enjoy an Altai Shaman ritual ceremony Day 7: Relax and unwind at a local spa.

Food and Drink Scene of Ust-Kamenogorsk

Ust-Kamenogorsk offers a variety of traditional and modern cuisine options. Don’t miss out on trying these local dishes:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Pelmeni, small dumplings filled with ground meat
  • Beshbarmak, a traditional Kazakhstani dish made of boiled meat with noodles.
  • Kazy, a smoked sausage made from horse meat.

Local Beverages

  • Kymyz, a fermented mare’s milk drink
  • Shubat, a sour milk drink
  • Bozo, a fermented wheat drink.

Where to Stay in Ust-Kamenogorsk: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are several great hotels, hostels, and guesthouses in Ust-Kamenogorsk, including:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
  • Hotel Victoria
  • Hotel Kainar

What to Buy in Ust-Kamenogorsk: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Kazakh rugs made with natural wool or silk
  • Handmade jewelry made with local stones and metal
  • Altai honey, considered to be some of the best in the world.

Local Culture and Customs of Ust-Kamenogorsk

Kazakh culture plays an important role in life in Ust-Kamenogorsk, so it’s essential to be respectful of local customs, including:

  • Always removing shoes before entering someone’s home
  • Greeting people with a simple “Salam” or “As-salamu alaykum.”
  • Dress modestly in public places and religious sites.

Best Time to Visit Ust-Kamenogorsk

The best time to visit Ust-Kamenogorsk is during the summer months (May to September), when temperatures are warm, and outdoor activities are accessible.

Do’s and Don’ts of Ust-Kamenogorsk


  • Always be respectful of local customs and traditions
  • Visit a local spa for a relaxing experience
  • Try local cuisine and beverages


  • Use flash photography in religious sites
  • Touch or take photos with Kazakh eagles without permission.
  • Wear revealing clothing in public places.

Safety and Health

Safety in Ust-Kamenogorsk

Ust-Kamenogorsk is generally a safe city, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Be cautious when traveling alone at night
  • Keep valuables out of sight when in public.
  • Avoid political demonstrations and protests.

Health in Ust-Kamenogorsk

Before traveling to Ust-Kamenogorsk, it is recommended to consult with your doctor about routine vaccinations, including Hepatitis A and B, and Typhoid fever.

Getting to Ust-Kamenogorsk: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Ust-Kamenogorsk

  • Ust-Kamenogorsk Airport (UKK)

Bus Stations Near Ust-Kamenogorsk

  • Ust-Kamenogorsk Central Bus Station

Other Options

  • Train from Almaty or Astana

How to Get Around in Ust-Kamenogorsk

  • Taxis and ride-sharing applications are available throughout the city.
  • Walking or biking is an option for exploring the city center.

Where to Go Next from Ust-Kamenogorsk: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Visit the beautiful lakes and hiking trails of Lake Markakol.
  • Travel to the historic city of Semey, just a few hours’ drive from Ust-Kamenogorsk.


Ust-Kamenogorsk is a unique travel destination that offers a blend of natural beauty and modern-day offerings. Whether it’s exploring the city’s history and culture, hiking through the national parks or indulging in local cuisine, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Ust-Kamenogorsk.