Astana is the new capital city of Kazakhstan, and the word Astana literally means capital in Kazakh. Astana is the second largest city in Kazakhstan after Almaty. In the past, Astana was famous for its fairs, where traders from Russia, Kazakhstan, and all over Central Asia would meet, and today Astana still hosts international festivals with music, dance, and art. The Astana Train Station is an important travel center for Kazakhstan to Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan as well as China.
Travel to Astana is not complete without a tour of the famous Tower of Baiterek, with a stunning view of Astana from the observation deck. Other tour sights in Astana include the Pyramid of Peace, a glass pyramid in the four colors of the Kazakhstan flag, and the impressive marble Ak Orda Presidential Palace. Currently under construction, Astana will soon offer travelers the Khan Shatyry, a giant transparent structure covering a park, shopping area, entertainment venue, and even a river. With its new status as political capital of Kazakhstan, Astana is fast becoming a cultural capital of Kazakhstan as well.