The lakeside city of Kokshetau is a gateway to the north. Set between Lake Kopa and the Kokshetau Uplands, the city is an ideal base for exploring Burabay National Nature Park and the surrounding lakes in the area.
Things to do in Kokshetau
While you won’t see people swimming in Lake Kopa, the sandy beach is a nice place for a stroll. Head into the city centre to visit the Regional History Museum housed in a handsome historic building. It’s filled with exhibits spotlighting both local and international cultures. Admire ancient Egyptian artefacts, dinosaur dioramas and traditional Kazakhstani folk costumes.
Kokshetau is a launchpad to Burabay National Nature Park, where you’ll find some of the tallest peaks in the region. A hiking trail winds up to the 947-metre-high summit of Mt Kokshetau and takes around three hours to complete. From the top, you can enjoy sweeping views over the park and the surrounding mountains.
The city centre is brimming with restaurants where you can try traditional Kazakhstani cuisine, as well as specialties from the north. Enjoy “beshbarmak” boiled horse meat, “manti” steamed lamb dumplings and “shelpek” flatbread cooked in a clay oven.
Getting around Kokshetau
Taxis are a fast and comfortable way to get around Kokshetau. Shared taxis are a more affordable option, while long-distance buses run between Kokshetau and Astana, the Kazakhstan capital. Trains are also a good way to travel between Kokshetau and Astana, as well as other cities like Kellerovka, Atbasar and Schuchinsk.