The Kazakhstani North is comprised of the provinces of Kostanay, North Kazakhstan, Pavlodar, and Akmola. You will find the new capital of the country here, as well as most of the country's major industrial cities. The Kazakhstani North also is home to most of Kazakhstan's large Russian ethnic minority. Make no mistake, here you are moving out of Central Asia and into cold, cold Siberia.
Ekibastuz — a big coal city, home to the world's biggest open-cast coal field, and former home to gulag prisoner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Kokshetau — the administrative center of Akmola Province
Kostanay — one of the few cities in the north of any touristic interest, with an attractive, unique mosque, several memorials, and some hotels that cater to people other than energy-sector businessmen
Pavlodar — the oldest Russian city in the country, founded in 1720, closed until 1992 for its military significance in tank production, and home to one very impressive mosque, as well as other interesting Orthodox churches and various memorials
Petropavl — another former Russian fort town, now the center of the North Kazakhstan Province
Burabay National Park — The little Switzerland is a spot you don't want to miss when travelling to Kazakhstan. Only a few hours by train from Astana, hotels are very demanded in summer and an early booking is necessary. Camping can be done without any problem as the nature is quite wild as of July 2008. However, the place has been chosen as a tourist resort and in the next few years it might lose it's untamed appearance.
Naurzum State Nature Reserve, Kostanay Province. Together with Korgalzhyn (below), this nature reserve comprises the Saryarka – Steppe and Lakes of Northern KazakhstanUNESCO World Heritage site. Both contain wetlands on the steppe which serve as a rare habitat for a diverse range of bird species, many of them endangered, as well as various other steppe flora and fauna.