Atyrau is a city of 160,000 people in the far west of Kazakhstan, where the Ural River flows into the Caspian Sea. Two interesting geographical facts about the city are that it is situated 20 meters below sea level and that the city lies on both sides of the river, meaning it is effectively located partly in Europe and partly in Asia.
The city was founded as a fishing village in 1615, but the arrival of the oil industry and a major railway station (connected via Volgograd to Moscow as well as to Astana with a "high speed" rail that still takes nearly a day) into town have sped up development significantly. Nowadays oil is the major industry, and you will find the odd expat around.
We thought the picture accompanying this article was a nice what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of photo. Atyrau is not a bad place but contrary to what the Kazakh tourism authority will tell you, its tourism infrastructure is (surprise surprise) not all that developed.
Accommodation tends to be expensive or not great, and in terms of sights the town only boasts the Imangaly Mosque with blue dome, a cathedral and modest art/history museums and that's about it. Some malls, markets and decent bars and restaurants might still make your stay here pleasant enough. [Review by travelindicator]
- Atyrau is a city in Kazakhstan. It has a population of 163,221, is situated at an altitude of -79ft and the best airport to fly into is GUW (Atyrau International, Atyrau)
- The main spoken language here is Kazakh / Russian, and the average English skill is low
- Note Atyrau is not a good point of entry for trips to Kazakhstan as it is not well internationally connected. Instead try entering through for instance Aktau
- The currency used in Kazakhstan is the Kazakhstani tenge (KZT)
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