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Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan and after Almaty it is the largest city in the country with over 600,000 inhabitants. It is located in the Akmola Province in the central north of the country. The city has been the capital only since 1997, before that time Almaty hold that position. It makes it one of the newest capitals in the world and the name actually means 'capital city' in the Kazakh language. The surroundings of the capital are almost totally flat countryside, called the Kazakh steppe and has one of the coldest climates of all capitals in the world. The city had different names, from Akmolinsk in the early 19th century, to Tselinograd in 1961 and Akmola in 1991 when Kazakhstan became independent. Different stories arise why this city became the capital in 1997, naming it Astana, but all in all a more central position was desired for several reasons. The city is still developing fast, with more townplanning on its way during the next years or so.
Astana is located in the northern part of the country, where steppe and semi-arid conditions prevale. The city has very little rain or snowfall during the year, generally between 100 and 150 mm of precipitation. Summers are hot, averaging 30 degrees during the day from June to August but over 35 degrees is possible. Nights are pleasantly cool, around 17 degrees. Winters are bitterly cold, averaging between -10 and -15 degrees Celcius but dropping as low as -35 degrees on some nights.
Air Astana is the national airline of Kazakhstan and has flights to and from Astana International Airport (TSE). Delhi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hanover, Moscow and Shannon (Irleand) are served from here. A number of other airlines serve the airports, mainly to and from Asian countries, like the neighbouring Stan States.
Air Astana has frequent flights to and from Almaty.
Astana has at least a few daily trains to and from Almaty.
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|Nomad Hostel Astana||Room 112, 10 Apartment Syganak Street||Hostel||-|
as well as Hien (9%)
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