Locals' favorite: Gorky Central Park, Almaty

Nazerke Makhanova | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Probably, every big city's top place to visit is its local central Park. Almaty's Central Park appears to be a favorite place for locals to find harmony and fun, all in one place. This is a so-called paradise for a person who is seeking to find something to eat, enjoy the view, rest, have fun, and get some fresh air. This Park used to be named the best park of the Soviet Union, and its history started in 1856! It has various names: simply Gorky Park or Central Park or fully Gorky Central Park of Culture and Rest. But most importantly, it is known as the locals' favorite place!


The park's history started in 1856. At first, the park covered a territory of more than 100 hectares. The park was established aiming to civilize Almaty, former Verny city, by the scientist-gardener G.Krishtopenko. He then gathered volunteers who loved gardening and had them involved in the work process of the park's rebuilding. After some scientific investigations, it was decided that the soil of the Park can be home to some species of trees that grew in Russia and Uzbekistan. But the true flowering period of the Park had started when the brother of the famous forester, Eduard Baum-Karlu, took leadership in renovating the place. During the period from 1869 to 1875, the park opened its doors to attractions for adults and children and became a place for families and friends. As the city grew, the park was modernized according to the model of typical parks. 

© Flickr / Mister Foley

The park

The Central Park now only covers 42 hectares; however, you need a whole day to walk around it to see it fully. The Park is located quite comfortably near many remarkable and must-see places in the old city center. The Panfilov Park, the local market of Kok Bazar are in close distance to the Gorky Park. Also, the biggest zoo in Kazakhstan, the only one in town so far, is placed nearby. Walking through the Park, it is easy to reach the zoo as they are connected. The Park is open to all visitors, and the entrance is free of charge. However, for additional activities, there might be some charges (friendly prices). 

© Flickr / Russell Scott

What can you find inside

The park has a lovely mountain view from all parts of it. In order to see the whole place in a short time, have a train ride that shows around the park. Also, try not to miss out lake boating, which costs a maximum of 3500 tenges per hour- certainly for less time the price decreases. There is a small amusement park inside with attractions such as a dinopark, an aquapark, and a horror room with some gaming spots where you have the chance to win a prize. All the attractions can be enjoyed at a very fair price of (maximum) 700 tenges. By the way, the regulations of the aquapark differ from the general rules of Central Park, so please pay close attention to details before you decide to visit the aquapark inside Gorky Park

© Flickr / Mister Foley

Eating time

There are dozens of snack spots around the Park, as well as nice cafes and restaurants with a fountain, a lake, and a mountain view. From the lakeside of the Park, you can even see the famous TV tower, called Kok tobe, which is among the top list of must-visit places in Almaty. There are two places to have fun and fresh air in the city: the first is Kok-Tobe, and then follows the Gorky Park. Usually, in this kind of parks the food is a little overpriced, so, if you are traveling with a 'limited budget' mentality, then wait till you get out of the park, where you will find some cafes. Do not worry, you will be fed well in both choices. 

© iStock / bob_sato_1973

What else to do

The park is very big and offers lots of activities to do. Apart from having a walk, boating, enjoying the attractions, etc. the park is a popular place to practice sports activities, such as basketball, volleyball, dancing, and yoga, among youngsters. The park is equipped with several concert scenes, so whenever there is a big event or a popular singer in town, if you are lucky enough, you can witness some excellent shows there. Gorky Park has its very own dolphinarium and it is welcoming guests at all times. Since Kazakhstan is very far from the ocean, certainly this kind of unique activities, like swimming with dolphins, will be pricey.  

© iStock / byheaven

It is truly amazing to visit such a place with a history of more than 150 years! The real beauty of the city with its best views is possible to be experienced in the locals' favorite place - Gorky Central park of Almaty!

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