Shopping in Almaty

USD1 equals about KZT300 and 1 Euro about KZT340 (Mar 2014). As a comparison (2011): a Snickers bar was KZT80; a can of Coke KZT70; a cheese pizza at il Patio about KZT1,200; a cinema ticket for a movie about KZT1,000; a 10 minute taxi trip about KZT300-400; cigarettes, KZT50-150; vodka KZT500+; beer 500ml KZT120+; a litre of juice around KZT150. Beef, KZT 900-1,500 a kilo; pork KZT800 a kilo; horse meat, KZT1500 a kilo. A loaf of bread, KZT40-70. A 2 bedroom modern apartment about USD1,000 a month. Clothing is expensive unless buying knock-offs at Baraholka. (Green Market is relatively expensive).

Good buys:

  • Handmade carpets
  • Felted goods. Handmade dolls, rugs, and slippers made with boiled lamb's wool and natural dyes
  • Handcrafted metal jewelry, including a "tumar", which is a pendant that opens like a locket
  • Handcrafted leather chess sets in a leather folding case with a board pattern stitched on. In most souvenir shops, and on ground floor of Silk Way (Zhybek Zholy and Furmanova).

Banks


Markets, Shops

  • Arbat (Zhybek-Zholy "Silk Road"). Almaty's artist's row on a tree-lined pedestrian street. "Arbat" is a nickname of the street. On the same street you can visit the big mall - TsUM (in Russian - ЦУМ - Центральный Универсальный Магазин). At the east end of this pedestrian street there is the Silk Way Mall. Here you can find Wi-Fi Internet access at Cafemax on the second level (KZT500 for 100 minutes) and a selection of upscale shops. Most of these shops are imitations of Western chain stores such as Zara. They also imitate Western prices.
  • Barakholka. Cheap shopping at a large vendor-style market, find name brands (knock-offs) for cheap. You can find virtually anything there, and if the price isn't right, you can easily haggle with the merchants. You want to find a USD300 winter coat for about USD45? It's possible. Be wary of pick-pocketing.
  • Green Market (Zelyoni Bazaar), Zenkov Street (M: Zhibek Zholy (Жибек Жолы)). Fresh vegetables, dairy products, and meat, as well as a number of non-food household items. Fruit and vegetables are on the lower level. On the upper level you will find dried fruits, nuts, spices, honey and plants, as well as cheese and meat. The meat section includes horse sausages and is a bit challenging to the nose, so vegetarians beware. The prices increase seasonally, and unless you come from Tokyo or London, you will find it quite expensive, as opposed to your typical Asian market shopping experience. Wallet in your front pocket, lest the pickpockets relieve you of your hard-earned money.

Supermarkets

Almaty has many modern supermarkets, offering everything from a bakery section to toiletries and vodka. Any food you could possibly want to find is readily available. There are four major supermarket chains: Ramstore, SM-Market, Gros, and City. And plenty of single supermarkets and small local grocery shops. The chain called "Gros" has convenient locations around town and a good selection of drinks and snacks. Ramstore also has at least three locations, but is a bit pricier. The favorite stores among locals are Stolichni (Ablai Khan and Kabanbai Batyr). Super helpful staff and decent fruits/vegetables year around, but vegetable prices are very expensive. Dastarkhan (Gogolya St between Ablai Khan and Furmanova) has excellent baked goods, especially cakes and cookies. Silk Way City (Tole Bi and Nauryzbai Batyr) shopping center has a supermarket in the ground floor.

  • Ramstore Atrium Supermarket Trade Center (Рамстор Атриум), Ul. Raiymbek Nauryzbai Batyr (Райымбек даңғылы) (Metro: Raiymbek batyr),  +8 727 244-6556fax: +8 727 244-6530. Open: 09:00-23:00. International retrail store chain. - 9 cashdesk with electronic scales; - Accept Moneycards as: Visa, Master Card, Euro Card, American Express, China Union Pay, Altyn. - More units: Samal Shopping center, Address: Furmanov str., 226 (Phone:+8 727 330-5501, Fax:+8 727 258-7570, Open: 9:00-24:00); - Tastak Supermarket, Address : Almaty, Tole Bi str., 229, (Phones:+8 727 2414008, Fax: 8 727 2414015, Open: 09:00-23:00). - Aynabulak Supermarket, Address: Almaty, micro-district Aynabulak, 98 B. (Phones: +8 727 299-4009, 2994069, Fax : +8 727 2994009, Open: 09:00-23:00). - Atakent Supermarket, Address: Almaty, Temiryazev str., 42. (Phones:+8 727 275-6833, +8 727 275-6835, 275-6838, Fax:+8 727 275-7289, Open: 09:00-23:00). - Mega Supermarket, Address: Almaty, Rozibakiyev str., 247 А. (Phones: +8 727 232-2612, +8 727 232-2614, +8 727 271-9740, Fax:+8 727 232-2613, Open: 09:00-23:00). - Hyper Aport Hypermarket, Address : Moll А’port, Karasay district (200 m from the Market Altyn-Orda, Six km west of the City Center. Phone:+8 727 312-15-61, Fax:+8 727 312-1563, Open: 09:00-23:00). - Mango Supermarket, Address: Almaty, st. Sholohova/Seyfullina 29. (Phone:+8 727 313-7522, 313-7520, Fax:+8 727 313-7522, Open: 09:00-23:00). - Globus Supermarket, Address: Almaty, st. Abaya/Auezova 109 b. (Phone:+8 727 356-7564, Fax :+8 727 356-7562, Open: 09:00-23:00. - Almagul Supermarket, Address: Almaty, microdistrict Almagul 18a. (Phone:+8 727 396-2507. Fax :+8 727 396-2508, Open: 09:00-23:00). - 5 . Hyper Altyn Taraz Hypermarket /Рамстор Алтын Тараз/, Address: Str. Abylai Han 3 Moll - Altin-Taraz , Желтоқсан көшесі (Near to Astan - 2 Station). Phone:+8 727 244-6102, Fax :+8 727 244-6106, Open: 09:00-23:00).- Sputnik Supermarket, mkr-n Mamyr-1, 8a Moll Sputnik. (Phone:+8 727 244-7519, Open: 09:00-23:00). - Shemyakina Supermarket, Address: Shemyakina str. 121, (Phone:+8 727 303-4048, Open: 09:00-23:00). - Timiryazeva Supermarket, Address: Almaty, Str. Timiryazeva 37, (Phones: +8 727 248-4631, 248-4633, 248-4635, Open: 09:00-23:00).

Shopping Centers

  • Passage Shopping Center (M: Zhibek Zholy (Жибек Жолы)).
  • Tsum Shopping Center (Centralniy Universalniy Magasin), Abylai Khan Avenue (M: Zhibek Zholy (Жибек Жолы)). Every post-Soviet town has this department store. It's filled with hundreds of identical little counters selling electronic goods on the first floor, and souvenirs and clothes can be found on the second. There is a good selection of souvenirs. One Saturday a month, there is an ad hoc market on Ablai Khan across from the Tsum. Craftsmen from all over come and sell their wares. It's worth checking out.

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