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 cost between 3$ and 6$, even in nicer venues, with an entrance fee often under 10$.

Foreigners are rare and they are usually well-treated, though there are some cases of racism.

People are ethnically very diverse: A third is Russian, half is Kazakh (Asian-looking), and the rest is mixed.

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 late spring. 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
You can click on the map to enlarge it.

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 (also called Nazarbayev street). You can also walk along Panfilov street, a semi-pedestrian road with many restaurants, cafés and bars.

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:

The Dostyk Hotel (rated 8.8/10 on Booking.com): 150$ per night

Voyage Hotel (rated 8.8/10 on Booking.com): 85$ per night
Holiday Inn Express (rated 8.5/10 on Booking.com): 100$ per night

Mildom Hotel (rated 8.4/10 on Booking.com): 60$ per night

30$ for a double room or less than 10$ for a dormitory bed in those hotels:

Nightlife Tips for Almaty:
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, you may find after-hour venues but the location changes regularly.

Dress Code
You can visit most midrange bars in Almaty wearing shorts and sandals. All the more upmarket venues will do what they call "face and dress control". This means that if you don't fit with the vibe of the place, you will not be allowed to get it. To avoid being rejected, dress well with pants, shoes and shirts. Unfortunately, many of these places also discriminate against darker skin foreigners, in particular with Indians/Pakistanis/Arabs.

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 2,500 Tenge and 5,000 Tenge (6$ to 12$). A large local beer will cost between 800 Tenge and 1,600 Tenge (450 Tenge in a supermarket), and a glass of spirit between 1,000 Tenge and 2,000 Tenge. A taxi ride will cost you 600 Tenge for 10 minutes (less if you use Yandex Go, the Uber alternative).

Overall: A fun night out will cost you around 20,000 Tenge (50 USD).

Dating scene
Almaty is a fairly easy city to meet girls or guys, though it is rather conservative. Apps that work well are Tinder, Bumble, and Mamba (Russian). Many profiles available as well on the more controversial website Seeking.com.

Best Nightclubs, Bars and Pubs In Almaty:
Kipyat.com, a website in Russian about Almaty and Astana nightlife, was very useful in my search for the most happening bars and nightclubs. They also have an Instagram page with party pics.

If you are looking for techno parties, check Zvuk Collective, Spekto and Bult. They organize events and festivals regularly in different locations around the city.

Finally, you can also follow Party Killers, which also posts about concerts, parties and events in Almaty.

Spacious bar/club with various areas. Very crowded and happening on weekends until late. 5,000 tenge entrance fee (less than USD 12). They have erotic shows every week during their ladies' night. DJs play mostly electronic music.

The Sky Bar is the most happening night spot in Almaty at the time of writing. Open during summers, it is a large rooftop with several semi-open themed bars, for instance BHB. 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 - 2,500 Tenge for drinks).

Chic, young, well-dressed and a beautiful crowd. They'll look at your ID to verify that you are over 24 (for guys) or 21 (for girls).

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, good-looking crowd. Good music.

One of the most exclusive bars in Almaty. Indoor and outdoor area (summer only). Lots of beautiful people. Good DJs. Expensive.

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.

If pubs are your thing, these are popular in Almaty: ShakespeareHarat's Irish PubChe Chill PubDickensGuinness Pub.

Fun bar/restaurant that turns into a club at night. Live music, usually pop-rock. Middle to upper-class crowd.

I only 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.

Local club, not many foreigners know about it even though it's location is quite central. They are open every day until 6AM. Male-oriented.

If you like local clubs, you can also go to Red Room Bar and Barviha.

Furmanov/Nazarbayev Street 120-124 and nearby
This is not a bar, but a housing complex with around 15 entertainment venues, including restaurants, cafés, bakeries, live music and bars. The venues don't usually last very long, so the best is to go there and check for yourself. You can start in Kumano Bar, which focuses on techno. Also nearby is Panfilov street, where you have even more restaurants and bars.

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