Almaty, with a population of 2 million, is the capital of Kazakhstan and is the country’s major commercial, financial, and cultural centre. It’s located in the mountainous area of southern Kazakhstan near the border with Kyrgyzstan in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau at an elevation of 700–900m. Running in Almaty can be a bit of a challenge, given the wide roads, congestion, and pollution. But there are also some large open spaces and parks, making for some decent running options.
A great way to start is with our Almaty ‘runseeing’ tour, which is nearly all off-road and features Republic Square, Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, Astana Square, Zenkov Cathedral, & the main commercial streets. Just to the east of this route are some nice paths in Central Park and along the Kazachka River. In the Atakent area, we like running in the Botanical Garden, and the tree-shaded path through Gandhi Park. Near the Tastak historic district, runners like the 3.7 km loop around the Sairan Reservoir. One of the best places to run in Almaty is combining First President Park and the Big Almaty River Bank path in the Bostandyk District. Trail runners will scenic and challenging running on the hiking trails in the mountains south of the city.
Notes: Runners should be prepared for Almaty’s cold & snowy winters. For getting around, there’s a good bus & metro system. And for a post-run treat, head to the Arasan Wellness center — one of the largest bathhouses in Asia.