Kok Tobe Travel Guide, Almaty’s Mountain Playground

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kok Tobe?

Kok Tobe is a mountain featuring an amusement park in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Where is Kok Tobe?

It is located to the west of Almaty City in Kazakhstan, Central Asia.

How high is Kok Tobe?

The mountain sits at 1,100 metres (3,600 feet) above Almaty.

How can I get to Kok Tobe from Almaty?

You can take the cable car from Dostyk Avenue or shuttle bus from Omarova bus station.

About Kok Tobe

Kok Tobe is a 1,100 metre (3,608 feet) mountain in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It is the location of Almaty’s TV tower and at 372 metres, one of the tallest such towers in the world.

The mountain is also home to an amusement park, small zoo and restaurants overlooking the city. Access to the mountain is by cable car or road.

Kok Tobe Viewing Platforms

There are several viewing platforms around the mountain affording magnificent views across the city and towards the mountains.

The platforms are an excellent place to watch the sun disappear behind the city and illuminate the mountains in glows of pink and orange.

Walking Paths at Kok Tobe

Although the site is not large, there are walking paths around the mountain with great views to the higher Tian Shan in the distance. It’s a great place for an early evening stroll before dinner at one of the cafe’s or restaurants.

Kok Tobe Amusement Park

The amusement park includes the following attractions: –

  • Ferris Wheel
  • Upside-down house
  • Climbing wall
  • Rollercoaster
  • Arcade Games

Beatles Monument

Rather bizarrely there is a bronze monument to the Beatles within the amusement park. John Lennon is sitting on a bench playing guitar with the others standing behind so you can get your Insta-seflfie with the “Fab Four” if you so desire.

The sculpture was added to the mountain in 2007 as part of the National Music Awards ceremony.


There is a small “zoo” which is basically a few caged birds where you can buy food and feed the animals. Avoid.

Souvenir Shops

There is a parade of souvenir shops selling postcards and traditional Kazakh gifts and clothing as well as the usual tourist tat you can find anywhere in the city.

Kok Tobe Cafe’s and Restaurants

There are several cafes and restaurants serving a variety of Kazakh and western fast foods.

The Yurt Restaurant is housed inside a traditional Kazakh yurt (similar to a Mongolian ger) and serves up staple Kazakh dishes such as beshbarmak (meat and noodles), lagman (similar to beshbarmak) and manty (dumplings).

My personal favourite is the Kok Tobe Café tucked away at the very end of the amusements behind the petting zoo. It’s a good place to escape the noisy families and is rarely very busy.

There is a large open-air veranda overlooking the city and mountains. It’s a great place to watch the sun set while tucking into some of the best shashlyk and beer in the city (at very reasonable prices too).

How to get to Kok Tobe

Cable Car, Almaty
Cable Car, Almaty

By Cable Car

The cable car leaves from the Palace of the Republik near Hotel Kazakhstan on Dostyk Avenue. The nearest metro is Abay, then continue along Abay Avenue until you reach the intersection with Dostyk Avenue.

A return ticket for the cable car is 2,000 Tenge (1,000 one way) and takes approximately 10 minutes to reach the top. The last cable car returns at midnight, but be aware that in bad weather it might it run at all.

Shuttle Bus

The cheaper option is to take the shuttle bus from Omrava Bus Terminal (buses 95 and 99 terminate here) which runs from 10am until 1am. Cost is 300 Tenge one way and 500 Tenge return.


You can also flag down a taxi but it will cost around the same as the cable car (1,000+ Tenge).

Other Almaty Attractions:

If you want to head into the mountains proper, you can take bus 12 to Medeu or Shymbulak by crossing the street and walking a few hundred metres to the stop across from Hotel Kazakhstan.

Check out my new guide to backpacking in Kazakhstan for more top destinations and some useful money-aving tips!

Dunhuang, Gobi Desert, China

About the author:

Steve Rohan is a writer from Essex, England. He has traveled to over 60 countries, lived in Armenia, China and Hong Kong, and is now living the digital nomad life on the road.

Steve prefers “slow travel” and has covered much of the world by train, bus and boat. He has been interviewed multiple times by the BBC and recently featured in the documentary Scariest Places in the World. See the About page for more info.

Where I am now: Yerevan, Armenia 🇦🇲

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