I spent around 10 days in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan. I was told it had the best nightlife in Central Asia, and it is probably true. While it is sometimes still rough around the edges, I can say that it is one of the most underrated party destinations I've ever been to.

The city has at least 10 decent nightclubs and 30 bars worth visiting. It is generally cheap: Drinks costs between 2$ and 5$, even in nicer venues, with an entrance fee always below 10$.

Foreigners are rare and they are treated like royalty. A few times, I was able to avoid queuing after the bouncers heard me speaking in English.

Girls are gorgeous and ethnically diverse: Around a third is Russian, half is Kazakh (Asian-looking), and the rest is mixed. They are interested to meet with foreigners so you can expect to be popular even if you look average.

Finally, I found Almaty to be particularly safe. I walked a lot at night between places and I never felt scared.

The following guide should cover everything you need to know about partying in Almaty. Please note that I was there during summer. Naturally, more bars were open and the atmosphere was generally nicer. If you have experience partying during the winter, please share it in the comment section below.

Nightlife Areas + Hotels
Almaty nightlife is spread out in the city center, called the Golden Square, without a specific party neighborhood. As long as you choose a hotel there, you will never be too far from a bar or a nightclub.

There are a few zones with a higher density of night spots: Around the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, on Gogol Street, on Dostyk Avenue and on Furmanov Street.

If you need a hotel near the nightlife (and also near the best tourist attractions and near a metro station), I would recommend one of the following properties:


Rixos (rated 9.2/10 on Booking.com): 250$ per night on HotelsCombined.


WorldHotels Saltanat (rated 9/10 on Booking.com): 125$ per night on HotelsCombined.


Mildom Hotel (rated 8.2/10 on Booking.com): 60$ on HotelsCombined.


30$ for a double room or less than 10$ for a dormitory bed in those hotels:
BAZA Hostel
LES Hostel
Hostel Nomads GH

Nightlife in Almaty: Generalities

When to Party?
There is only one thing I didn't like about Almaty nightlife: The bars and clubs are only happening on weekends and they are dead on weekdays. Even on Wednesdays, it is difficult to find somewhere that isn't completely empty.

Clubs start to fill up at midnight and they close at 5 AM or 6 AM. After this time, the only after-hour venue I know is Vzletnaya (see below for details).

Dress Code
You can visit 95% of bars and nightclubs in Almaty wearing shorts and sandals. Pants and shoes are mandatory in Sky Bar, TSB, Club Gogol, Gan Bei and China Gold.

ID Card
Don't forget to bring your passport with you as you may be asked for a proof of identification even if you look old and rich. Many clubs are not allowed for people under 21 (even under 25 sometimes) but if you are part of a larger group, they will probably turn a blind eye on your age.

Cost of Partying
The best clubs have an entry fee between 1,500 Tenge and 3,000 Tenge (3$ to 6$). A large local beer will cost between 500 Tenge and 1,200 Tenge (250 Tenge in a supermarket), and a glass of spirit between 1,000 Tenge and 2,000 Tenge. A taxi ride will cost you 400 Tenge for 10 minutes (less with Uber).

Overall: A fun night out will cost you around 20,000 Tenge (60 USD).

Meeting Girls
Almaty is one of the best cities in the world to meet girls. Tinder works very well, you'll normally get more matches than you can handle. You can also try Mamba (Russian dating app) and Badoo.

In nightclubs and bars, Kazakh girls are easy to approach. Your best chance is to go to Chukotka, Friday, Gan Bei, TSB, Bar 7 and Sky Bar.

Best Nightclubs, Bars and Pubs In Almaty:
I have been to all these venues around mid-June 2017. If I forgot an important one, please leave a comment below.

Kipyat.com, a website in Russian about Almaty and Astana nightlife was very useful in my search for the most happening bars and nightclubs.

Территория Соединенных Баров (TCБ or TSB)
This nightclub, whose name could be translated as "Territory of the United Bars", was my favorite in Almaty. Oddly, it is located within the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, just one hundred meters from the eternal flame commemorating soldiers who died during the World War II.

I visited at 2AM, just after Ooh Chic which is around the corner. The entrance fee was 2,000 Tenge, with no drinks included (I had a whisky coke = 1,300 Tenge).

Inside, there are 3 separate rooms on 2 floors, each with a different music (Rn'B and EDM). You also have a small terrace for smokers. Great for meeting people. The atmosphere was really lively, with all customers in full party mode. Lots of very pretty girls, 80% Russian. Closes at 5AM.

Instagram: TSB Official
Facebook: Территория Соединенных Баров

The Sky Bar Street
The Sky Bar Street is the most happening nightspot in Almaty at the time of writing. Open during summers, it is a large rooftop with several semi-open themed bars (Cocktail and FriendsMade in ChinaBootleggerDeath&CoSangria BarMvmmonthWall StreetDilani, etc). The space between each becomes the dance floor during peak hours on Friday and Saturday. In general, the entertainment consists of live music followed by commercial house/hip hop. Expensive prices for Almaty standards (1,500 - 2,000 Tenge for drinks).

Chic, well-dressed and beautiful crowd. Don't even attempt to enter if you are wearing shorts. They'll also look at your ID to prove that you are over 24 (for guys) or 21 (for girls).

Facebook: Sky Bar Street
Instagram: Sky Bar Official

Chukotka
I spent 4 evenings in Chukotka, maybe the most popular bar/club in Almaty among tourists. During the weekend, it can get really full and you may have to queue before entering. It is foreigner-friendly, with many hot girls inside looking to hook up with anyone who is European, American or Australian. Prices are affordable (500 Tenge for the cheapest beer). On the first floor, the main dancing spot features Top 40 music (live and DJs). On the second, a more relaxed café area with less commercial songs.

Overall: Number one pick up bar in Almaty to meet normal Kazakh girls.

Facebook: Chukotka
VK: Chukotka

Tuyskan
A cool bar for hipsters and artsy people. Hard to find as there aren't any exterior signs in English. Just look for a red light and a long tunnel at the corner of Kabanbai Batyr street and Dostyk Avenue. LGBT-friendly. 

Facebook: Tuyskan

Club Gogol - Bar 7
Gogol Club is a 3-floor complex with a restaurant, a bar (Bar no7), a karaoke and a club. I spent most of my time in the latter, which was almost packed. High-end crowd. Many pretty girls and some sexy dancers. Good music.

Instagram: Gogol Club

Gan Bei
Another great club, with mostly hip hop music. It is intimate, with a long bar in the middle of the main room, great for meeting new people. Pricier than average, it attracts the elite of Almaty. This is the place to go to if you want to hook up with models and socialites. Drinks cost at least 1,500 Tenge. More Kazakhs than Russians in the crowd. Wear shoes/trousers and bring your ID.

Instagram: Gan Bei
Facebook: Gan Bei

Vzletnaya 
A secret after-hour nightclub with techno music. The strangest place I've been to in Almaty. Only for die-hard clubbers. Drugs probably available. It is a challenge to find it: You should go to the street Kunaeva, number 64. There, you will see a door like this:
Secret entrance of Vzletnaya
Someone will be at the entrance to filter the guests. As long as you look OK you'll be admitted (just don't be loud or drunk). It closes at 11 AM if I remember correctly. This is a video I shot inside with my phone:
Facebook: Vzletnaya
Instagram: Vzletnaya

Friday Club (Esperanza Complex)
Friday Club is in the basement of the Esperanza complex, next to the Mega Center Mall. It has the reputation of being a pick up place for foreign guys. Girls are mostly freelance prostitutes, but you may also find normal ones. The entrance fee was 2,000 Tenge with a free enormous beer. Commercial music. Lots of people dancing and socializing. Mixed Russian and Kazakh crowd. Sexy dancers.

Facebook: Friday

William Lawson 13 Bar
This whisky bar was recommended to me by several Almaty residents. It is actually more like a pub, with sports channels on TV, a large selection of beers and a static crowd. Hipster vibe. You can go there to warm up, before hitting the clubs.

Website: William Lawson 13

Ooh Chic
When we visited Ooh Chic, there was some confusion at the entrance that led my friend and I to accidentally buy 2 bottles of wine (10,000 Tenge in total). It tasted terrible but it made the whole night a lot more fun. The place in itself does not have anything special. There are two floors: Below is the bar, facing a large square-shaped dance floor. Upstairs is a lounge area with sofas and tables. At 2 AM, it was half empty and even more by 3 AM. Mainstream clubbing music. The customers were almost all Russians, including many gorgeous ladies. At some point, there were 2 sexy dancers that I filmed with my phone:
VK: Ooh Chic Almaty
Instagram: Ooh Chic (lots of hot pics and videos)

Fun to Mass - Siniy Bar (синий)
A coyote club with hot waitresses who dance on the bar with sexy outfits. Free entrance but the drinks are quite expensive (1,400 for the cheapest beer). Many pretty girls in the public, they might be prostitutes though. Commercial music. Small dance floor. Next to Slim Club.

VK: FunToMass Almaty
Facebook: Siniy

Бар Папин гараж (Papin Garage - Dad's Garage)
I went to this club at 4.59 AM and it was closing at 6 AM. The DJ played a little longer but there were no customers except for a group of friends. I didn't find any mention of this place on the internet but it's quite easy to find it. It is on the third floor of the building just in front of Slim and Fun To Mass. I think it used to be called Lollipop.

Slim
That's another club I visited very late, just before closing time. There were only about 50 customers left (40 guys and 10 girls). The music was old school/Rn'B. It seemed to me like a middle-class, easy-going nightclub. No entrance fee.

VK: Slim
Facebook: Slim

Barcode
This club is walking distance from Soho Bar and Killfish. I just had a quick look around 2AM and it was almost empty. The music was very loud EDM. It seems some of the girls were prostitutes. Not recommended. 1,000 Tenge entrance fee. All you can drink beer for 3,000 Tenge.

Facebook: Barcode

Killfish Discount Bar
Killfish is a chain of discount bars with dozens of locations in Russia. They have at least 2 branches in Almaty. I visited the newest one on Rozybakiev street with a group of 4 friends, lured in by the promise of cheap booze. Our hopes were high but the evening turned out to be a disaster: Terrible service (45-minute wait, rude staff), deafening music, and a scam (we bought an expensive mojito jug which contained no alcohol in it). We also learned that the "discounts" only applies if you are a member. I recommend you to avoid this place. If you are on a budget, just buy alcohol at the supermarket. Note: Killfish is half-way between a bar and a nightclub. Some people drink with their friends in private booths, and the rest will be on the dance floor. There is a DJ who plays International and Russian Top 40 hits.

Website: Killfish Discount Bar
Instagram: Killfish Almaty

More clubs and bars I didn't go to:
There are several nightclubs I couldn't visit because of a lack of time. Some of them seem interesting and if you've been there, I would love to hear your comment:

Underground Club and Bar: Is it a hip hop club?
Olivier: A 24-hour café/restaurant, good for after-clubbing snacks
China Gold: Elite karaoke, restaurant and lounge
Aura and Grand Opera: High-end karaokes
Tapas Bar: I just passed in front of this place. They had live latin music and it was full. 
Pinta Bar and Restaurant: A popular chain of pubs that you can usually find near malls. They can be busy even during weekdays.
Hard Rock Café: Live music and American food
Tancy Bar and Syedin Bar: Next to each other, they have the same owner as William Lawson 13. Sexy gogo girls.
El Mirador and Burlesque: A building with an expensive restaurant, karaoke and cabaret. Erotic dancing performances.
6/45: I was told it serves the best cocktails in Almaty but never got a chance to try them.
Line Brew Mix: Interestingly enough, this Chinese restaurant is headed by a Singaporean. In a quiet street and with a stylish setting, it is a good spot for a date.
W365: Well-designed bar. Live music on weekends.

There are also countless British, American and Irish pubs in Almaty, in almost every streets of the city center. I entered in a few of them, but none caught my attention. Here are a few: Sir Francis DrakeFree Rider, Shakespeare, Mad Dogs (reputably the oldest expat bar in Almaty), Soho, Mary the Butcher, DickensGuinness Pub, Old English, Che Chill Pub, Harat's Irish Pub, etc.

Outside from the center, you may find more local-oriented nightclubs, such as Angar.

Best Strip Clubs In Almaty:
As in every ex-USSR countries, Almaty has a fair number of strip clubs and cabaret. In general, there is an entrance fee (up to 5,000 Tenge) and naturally you'll pay more to get a private lap dance.

The recommended venues are 50 Shades of Grey, Kazanova and Men's Club Matrioshka. I also saw another one called Какаду (Kakadu) but when we tried to go there at night it was closed.

Almaty Nightlife Map

No Comment to " Almaty Nightlife: Best Bars and Nightclubs (2017) - Kazakhstan "