Unearth Shymkent’s Hidden Treasures: Must-See Sights and Offbeat Gems


Discover the best sights and hidden gems in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, from ancient ruins to natural beauty, museums to mosques.

Shymkent, a city located in the south of Kazakhstan, is one of the most beautiful and vibrant destinations in the country. It is also one of the oldest cities in Central Asia, with a rich history dating back to ancient times. Despite its many charms, Shymkent remains relatively undiscovered by tourists. In this article, we will explore some of the must-visit sights and lesser-known places in Shymkent, and provide a strong motivation for travelers to visit this fascinating city.

Why Travel to Shymkent?

Shymkent is a city that has a lot to offer visitors. From its rich history to its vibrant culture, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are interested in exploring ancient ruins or modern art, Shymkent has it all. Here are some reasons why you should consider traveling to Shymkent:

  1. Ancient History: Shymkent is home to many ancient ruins and archaeological sites, including the ancient city of Taraz and the Otrar Oasis. These sites offer a glimpse into the history of Central Asia, and are a must-visit for anyone interested in history.
  2. Vibrant Culture: Shymkent is home to a diverse mix of cultures, including Kazakh, Uzbek, and Russian. This cultural diversity is reflected in the city’s art, music, and cuisine, making it a fascinating place to explore.
  3. Natural Beauty: Shymkent is surrounded by beautiful mountains, deserts, and valleys, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. The Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve, located just outside the city, is home to many rare species of flora and fauna.
  4. Modern Infrastructure: Despite its ancient history, Shymkent is a modern and well-developed city, with excellent infrastructure and facilities for travelers. From comfortable accommodation to modern transportation options, Shymkent has everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Sights to Visit in Shymkent

Now that we have established why you should visit Shymkent, let’s take a look at some of the must-visit sights in the city.

  1. Shymkent Central Park  is a beautiful green space located in the heart of the city. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The park is home to many attractions, including a zoo, a Ferris wheel, and a lake.
  2. Aina Bazaar is one of the oldest and largest bazaars in Shymkent. It is a great place to experience the local culture and shop for souvenirs. The bazaar offers a wide variety of goods, including spices, textiles, and handicrafts.
  3. Sayram Lake is a beautiful natural attraction located just outside the city. It is a popular destination for hiking and camping, and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
  4. The Kazygurt Mountains are a range of mountains located just outside Shymkent. They offer a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, rock climbing, and skiing.
  5. The Otrar Oasis is an ancient archaeological site located just outside Shymkent. It was once a thriving city and trading center, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Little-Known Places to Visit in Shymkent

While the above sights are all well-known and popular with visitors, there are also many little-known places to visit in Shymkent. Here are a few hidden gems that are worth checking out:

  1. The Shymkent City Museum is a small museum that provides a fascinating insight into the history and culture of Shymkent. The museum contains a range of exhibits, including ancient artifacts, traditional costumes, and artworks by local artists.
  1. Aksu Canyon is a beautiful natural attraction located just a short distance from Shymkent. The canyon offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, as well as opportunities for hiking and rock climbing.
  2. The Zharkent Mosque is a beautiful mosque located in the town of Zharkent, just a short distance from Shymkent. The mosque is one of the oldest in Kazakhstan, and is famous for its stunning architecture and intricate decoration.
  3. The Shymkent Circus is a popular attraction in the city, and is a great place to experience the local culture. The circus features a range of performances, including acrobatics, clown shows, and animal acts.
  4. The Arystanbab Mausoleum is an ancient mausoleum located just outside Shymkent. It is the final resting place of the revered Sufi teacher Arystanbab, and is a place of pilgrimage for many Kazakhs.

Shymkent is a city that has a lot to offer travelers. Whether you are interested in history, culture, nature, or adventure, there is something for everyone in Shymkent. The city is still relatively undiscovered by tourists, which means that you can experience the local culture and way of life without the crowds and commercialization that can be found in other destinations.

Moreover, Shymkent is a safe and friendly city, with welcoming locals who are eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors. The city has a vibrant nightlife, with many bars, restaurants, and clubs where you can relax and have fun.

In summary, if you are looking for a destination that is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, and that offers a unique and authentic travel experience, then Shymkent should be at the top of your list. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor to Kazakhstan, Shymkent is a must-visit destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories and experiences.