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Travel advice on EXPO 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan

Advice for visitors travelling to Kazakhstan for the Expo 2017 International Exposition in Astana from 10 June to 10 September.

UK Pavillion
UK Pavillion

Expo 2017 is an International Exposition scheduled to take place between 10 June and 10 September 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Dates

Saturday 10 June to Sunday 10 September 2017

Venue

EXPO 2017 Pavilion in Astana is located between main streets of Astana: Kabanbai batyr avenue, Orynbor street, Hussein bin Talal and Turar Ryskulov streets.

  • during the exhibition, seven new shuttle-BUS routes will be launched, which will have 250 buses, running from all major points of the city - shopping centres, railway stations and the airport to the territory of the EXPO. With a minimum number of stops it can take around 30 minutes to get to the exhibition centre from the city centre
  • the pavilion is about 3 km from Baiterek City Center, 11 km from the central railway station, 8 km from Astana International airport

Astana, Kazakhstan – Expo 2017 site map can be found here

As well as this advice, check out our travel advice for Kazakhstan

Visas and passports

  • until 31 December 2017 you can travel to Kazakhstan without a visa, provided your stay does not exceed 30 days (the day you arrive counts as day 1, regardless of arrival time)
  • if you wish to stay longer than 30 days, you’ll need a visa. You should contact your nearest Embassy of Kazakhstan for further information
  • your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of your request for a visa. Your passport should also have at least 1 blank page for your visa
  • your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay
  • if you violate the conditions of your visa, you could face a short term of imprisonment and/or a ban on entry to Kazakhstan for up to 5 years
  • you should carry your passport with you for identification purposes
  • always take care of your passport, as getting a replacement is costly and time-consuming. Keep a photocopy separately from the original document, this will help speed up the replacement process if needed
  • if you lose your passport, you’ll need to get an Emergency Travel Document from the British Embassy, Astana. The service is available within the Embassy working hours

Registration

  • for most visits, British passport holders don’t need to register with the local authorities
  • when entering Kazakhstan, travellers receive a white registration card. You must fill in and retain this card throughout your stay in Kazakhstan
  • if you don’t need to register with the local OVIR office (the Department for Visas and Registration under the Ministry of Internal Affairs), you must keep your white immigration card stamped by Kazakh Immigration throughout your journey and present it on departure
  • if you intend to enter through a land or sea border point check with the Kazakhstan Embassy to see whether registration is required

Insurance

  • take out appropriate travel insurance, even if you’re only going for one night; it could save you a lot of money if you get into difficulties. Note there is no reciprocal healthcare agreement between the UK and Kazakhstan

Local information

Personal security

  • be prepared for increased controls and security checks
  • most trips are trouble free, however, mugging and theft occur in cities and rural areas foreigners can be targeted
  • although homosexuality isn’t prohibited by law, public attitudes are less tolerant than in the UK and public displays of affection may attract negative attention. There’s no provision under Kazakhstan legislation guaranteeing freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation
  • look after your personal belongings, in particular your passport and your money
  • smoking and drinking alcohol is prohibited in public places; this includes airport and its areas, transport, bus stops, underground crossings, cultural, sports and governmental establishments, playgrounds and parks
  • don’t get involved with drugs - the penalties are severe

Transportation

  • get information on how to get to the Astana International Airport and Railway Station to the city centre
  • use official taxis which display the name and telephone number of the taxi company. agree a price with the taxi driver for your journey in advance
  • buses are the only public transport; price for one way route is 90 KZT but can be overcrowded at peak times

Disabled travellers

  • we’ve been advised that Astana EXPO Pavilions will have facilities / access for disabled travellers
  • the rest of Astana has very limited facilities for the disabled traveller - the pavements, even on the main roads can be difficult to negotiate for those with disabilities
  • access to public transport is also difficult

Currency

  • the official currency in Kazakhstan is Tenge (KZT). US dollars and Euros are the easiest currency to exchange in Kazakhstan. Sterling may also be exchanged at a more limited number of sites. Scottish and Northern Irish notes aren’t accepted. Use only official exchange booths
  • ATMs are available and credit cards are widely used in Astana
  • the government of Kazakhstan imposes limits on how much foreign currency can be imported or exported and certain goods are subject to custom regulations. For further information please visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Climate and time

  • the average temperature in summer is around 20ºC - 25ºC during the day. Mostly very windy and dry. You can find local weather information here
  • Astana is plus 5 hours BST

Language

  • the main language is Kazakh. Russian is also widely spoken
  • younger generation usually has a good knowledge of English

Religion

  • Kazakhstan has predominantly Muslim (70%) population although there are Orthodox Christians (23%) and Catholics (7%)
  • respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs

Consular assistance

If there’s a genuine emergency during your visit to Astana (e.g. one involving accident, injury or loss/theft of your passport) call +7 7172 556 200 and follow the instructions to be put through to a consular officer.

Lost or stolen passports

If your passport is lost or stolen report the loss to the local police as soon as possible and get a copy of the police report. You can’t travel back to the UK without a valid travel document. You’ll need to apply to the Consular Section of the British Embassy Astana for an Emergency Travel Document (ETD). Please see our ETD web page for more information.

For more information visit the British Embassy, Astana

Contact the British Embassy Astana

62 Kosmanavtov st,

Chubary district

Renco Building, 6th floor

Telephone: +7 7172 55 62 00 (including out of hours assistance)

Email: astana.consular@fco.gov.uk

Office hours:

Monday-Thursday 9am to 5pm

On Friday 9am to 4pm

Emergency services numbers

101 – Fire

102 – Police

103 – Ambulance

Further information

Published 2 May 2017