from Astana: by train from the central trainstation in Astana, costs 915 (3. class) to 1400 (2. class) Tenge one way. Takes about 3 hours. by taxi: to be hired at the central train station, shouldn't cost more then 10$, car just leaves, when it is full. Attention: there has been a flood in may 2014, so the street is still bad and a lot of car accidents occour in this section.
Karlag Memorial - Gulag Museum in Dolinka - Bus Number 121 from the central bus station to shachta 2 [шахта 2], 120 Tenge, about 1 hour (45 km) - change to bus number 5 and tell the driver to get out a the museum, 2-3 stations, you can also walk on foot, 40 Tenge
The museum (entry 400 Tenge for foreigners, taking pictures costs extra, entry with English speaking guide is 800T) has opened in 2011 and is located in the former administration head quarter of the gulag. Scenic design with theatralic music, information in three languages (kazakh, russian, english), takes about 2 hours, very worth to see.
Karaganda Ecological Museum, Bukhar Zhyrau dangyly 47.
Karaganda Oblast Museum, Yerubaev 38.
Hotel Gratsia, Voynov Internatsionalistov, tel. 41 24 59 (beside City Mall). Very good budget option 15 mins walk to train and bus stations. Rooms starting from 3,000T for single room with en suite toilet and sink (no shower). Several standards of room including those with showers and TVs. The building does not look like a hotel. It is painted salmon pink and has a modern blue and yellow sign saying "Gostinitsa". Entrance is facing the Circ building.
Hotel Ar-Nuvo, Beibitshilik bulvary 4A, tel. 42 02 84. Very nice hotel in secluded area with rooms from 20,000T including breakfast. 24 hour reception. Very pleasant English speaking staff.
Zere Hotel, Jambila St. Nice hotel with rooms from 16,000T including large breakfast. Helpful non-English speaking staff. 24 hour reception.