Never ending fun in the Kazakh State Circus of Almaty

Heewon Jang | Live the World

November 23, 2022

If you have never heard of circuses that are recognized as cultural monuments, I present** you the Kazakh State Circus. It’s the first circus in Kazakhstan that was acknowledged as a cultural and historical monument of local significance. It’s also one of the most remarkable buildings in Almaty. But people love it not just for this. Going to circus is always fun: clowns, talented artists, friendly animals, cotton candies and balloons are attractive in any season. It's like going back to childhood. You will want to come again because you won't be disappointed. A never-ending fun in the Kazakh State Circus of Almaty **is waiting for you.

Picture © Credits to iStock/Nikolay Sivenkov

History background

The story of this circus starts in 1968. The initiative of building the Kazakh State Circus belongs to the first secretary of the communist party of the Kazakh SSR - Dinmukhamed Kunaev. That year, Kunaev and the main architect Vladimir Katsev started to make a plan of the circus. Katsev moved to Almaty from Ukraine, especially for this project. But officially, the Kazakh State Circus opened its doors for the visitors only in 1972. It had 2060 seats and 16 rows. After some major repairs in 2003-2006, the number of seats was reduced to 1798. The project turned out to be unique for that time in terms of comfort and convenience for the audience. At the exit were located 14 buffets and toilets (including the toilets for people with disabilities).


Outside, the building reminds of a yurt (a tent). It has a beautiful hyperbolic dome, which has a scaly coating of light color. The oval lines encircling the upper part of the dome transform into a small round shape. 


The circus consists of a main circular building and a rectangular two-floor administrative building. In the administrative building, there is a training arena, a canteen, rooms for animals and dressing rooms. To make animals feel comfortable, there are two courtyards for walking them and a special bathroom. 

Picture © Credits to Мазур Владимир

The Kazakh State Circus Today

In April 2017, they opened an exhibition hall of the history of the Kazakh State Circus. The museum reflects the history of circus art in Kazakhstan. It contains the first sketches of the building, photos of the founders and veterans, an inventory of old circus performances, costumes of artists, memorable items and gifts. The exhibition is absolutely free and open to all the visitors. As a part of the complex, there is a three-star hotel with 70 rooms, where a price for a room varies from 7000 to 12 000 tenges (around 16-28 euro) per night. Each room has showers, mini fridges, air conditioning, and TV. During the circus tour, guest artists live there. In the free time, the rooms are rented to tourists.

Picture © Credits to Elena Odareeva

The circus is open every day from 9h to 18h (except on Saturdays and Sundays - from 16h to 18h). This means that you can enjoy the never-ending fun in the Kazakh State Circus of Almaty any day.

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