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Uralsk

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Uralsk (Kazakh: Орал Oral, Russian: Уральск Uralsk) is a city in West Kazakhstan.

Understand[edit]

Oral (Kazakh: Орал), Uralsk (Russian: Уральск) in Russian, is a city in northwestern Kazakhstan, at the confluence of the Ural and Chagan Rivers close to the Russian border. As it is located on the western side of the Ural river, it is considered geographically in Europe. It has a population of 300,000. It is the capital of the West Kazakhstan Province. While the majority of the population is made up of ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Russians also make up a large percent of the populations, and many other ethnic groups such as Tatars, Bashkirs, and Azaris are also represented. Because of its geographic proximity to Russia and its history, the city has been greatly influenced by Russian culture.

Founded in 1584 by Cossacks, the city was originally part of the Russian Empire. The Russian influence is still present to this day having strongly influenced the architecture and culture of the city and its people. The city played a small part in Russian history as the center of the Pugachev serf rebellion in the 18th century. The father of Russian Literature, Alexander Pushkin, visited the city with his friend Vladimir Dahl in September 1833 while doing research for his book The History of Pugachev and his novel The Captain's Daughter. Tolstoy has also visited.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Uralsk Ak Zhol airport is 15km out of town on the other side of the river. Bek Air and SCAT offer daily flights to/from Almaty, Astana and two flights a week to Atyrau and Moscow. However if you have a Russian visa you can use nearby Samara airport [1] with direct flights to/from Moscow (up to 12 a day), Frankfurt (Lufthansa) and Prague (Czech Airlines).

By train[edit]

Train services calling at the Uralsk train station in the north of the city include Kiev-Astana, Moscow-Almaty, Kharkov-Tashkent and Moscow-Aktobe direct services that run on different days. If travelling by train check whether the time you have been quoted is local time or Astana time (which is an hour difference, this could cause you to miss your train.

By car[edit]

By bus[edit]

There are bus services connecting Uralsk with Samara (4 a day), Saratov and Orenburg as well as Atyrau (4 a day), Aktobe and Aksai. there is a bus to Moscow which leaves from outside the bazaar.

Get around[edit]

The city has an excellent transportation network including buses and marshrutkas (mini-vans that drive along a set route). However, getting a map of the transportation network may be difficult for travellers to the city, some of the buses have maps showing their routes. The Number 5 bus goes from the train station down Dostyk Avenue and the number 12 bus to the airport. Taxis services are also available. The easiest way to get around though, is to hail the gypsy cabs on the street and negotiate a price.

See[edit][add listing]

Traditional Russian architecture dating back to the 17th century can be seen throughout the center of the city. The main pedestrian street of Teatralnaya is like a mini version of Moscow's Arbat. Kazakhstan's first drama theatre, 150 years old, is located in this street. This theatre is now know as the Russian drama theatre. A larger, modern drama theatre, known as the Kazakh drama theatre, is located nearby on the main boulevard, Dostyk. Beautiful architecture, including two Russian Orthodox churches (one which is quite old), can also be found along Dostyk.

Churches[edit]

  • Cathedral of Christ the Saviour Dostyk Avenue;

Has golden onion domes and is very elaborate inside, two dates 1591 and 1891 on the steps outside bear no relationship to when it was built by Cossacks, the cathedral was completed in 1907.

  • Cathedral of Archangel Mikhail Dostyk Avenue;

Built in 1751. Onion domes and a big bell tower. Candlelit and mysterious inside with old painted walls. Was once part of a fortress which played a large part in the Pugachev Rebellion.

Mosques[edit]

  • Central Mosque Eurasia Avenue;

Modern building opposite 'Galactica' cinema and shopping complex, has two minarets and a big glass dome.

  • Some older mosques can be found near the bazaar on Dosmukhamedov Street and a wooden one between the University and the Chagal River.


Museums[edit]

  • Museum of Yemelyan Pugachev (музей им. Емельяна Пугачева), 35 Dostyk Avenue;

This museum is located in a house built in 18th century. This house, which was built as a residence for Pyotr Kuznetsov, an Ural Cossack, once happened to be the very center of Pugachev inspired Russian serf rebellion, which took place between 1773-1775. It was once also a home for a library until it was transferred to a regional historical museum. It houses an extensive display of Ural Cossacks' artifacts such as cannons, banners and luxurious presents from Tzars. This is a very exciting exhibition that represents the life of Ural Cossacks.

  • Museum of Regional History, 184 Dostyk Avenue;

Ornate white and green building opposite the Kazakh Drama Theatre. Shows the history of the West Kazakhstan area from the stone age through the Golden Horde to the Cossacks on the Ground Floor and upstairs the Second World War, a Yurt and a room dedicated to President Nazarbayev.

  • Nature and Environment Museum, 151-1 Dostyk Avenue;

Starts with a display of fossils including Mammoth tusks and oil fields then leads into rooms displaying stuffed animals of the steppe and the forest. There are stuffed specimens of many creatures found in Kazakhstan's Red Book.

  • Pushkin Museum 168 Dostyk Avenue;

Opened in 2006, has furniture of the same period as Pushkin and has letters written by him. There are clothes to dress up as Pushkin for photo opportunities.

  • House Museum of Manshuk Mametova, 51 Saraichik Street;

Dedicated to a Hero of the Soviet Union, Manshuk Mametova a machine gunner in World War 2. Contains some of her personal items and in a building behind is a huge diorama showing trenches and tanks with Manshuk's machine gun. There is a light and sound show that goes with it with bullets flying and music from the period.


War Memorial[edit]

Near the river Ural, dominated by two massive concrete towers can be seen from far away. There are pictures of German bombers and Soviet victories. There is an eternal flame and thousands of names of people who died from the Uralsk area. Behind there are smaller memorials to those unnamed soldiers who died in the hospitals here from Stalingrad and to the people who died in the Gulags. There is also a memorial to the soldiers killed in Afghanistan with a Red Army helmet.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Kirov Park A large wooded area next to the river. Funfair in the summer including an antique ferris wheel, boats and pedalloes on the river, numerous shashlik stalls. In winter has skating on the river and skiing. A pleasant area to spend a weekend afternoon.Toilet facilities basic.

Learn[edit]

Work[edit]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • The Geordie Pub, Opposite Cum Cum; Dostyk Avenue

This bar is located in the center of Uralsk. It is only open during summer, but provides a lovely range of local beers, has some lovely food and not so nice toilet facilities. There is also a bar maid that has been to Newcastle. Look for a fence, some umbrellas and a TV.

  • Cum Cum, Opposite The Geordie Bar;Dostyk Avenue

This restaurant is the most renowned in Uralsk for it's 'Meat-on-a-stick' or 'Shashleek' as the local Kazakh's call it. Check out the back room where there is an excellent picture of some 3D cats. Superb toilet facilities. Check out the budgie who can make coffee percolator sounds.

  • Ararat, on a side road opposite Philharmonia on Dostyk Avenue

Small cosy cafe, food decent and some of the cheapest beer in town. Toilet facilities available.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Bastion Abulchar Khan Avenue

Brick medieval castle with a big sword outside. Downstairs sunken toilet facilities. Good food and plenty of dancing. Very popular get there early if you want a table. DJ sings with his girlfriend underneath a tableaux of spears and shields.

  • Gay Fox Abulchar Khan Avenue

Can't miss it near Zhiguli bus stop, look for the bamboo screen and red umbrellas. Many stuffed animals including a giant hare and a fox. Waitress very good and tells you which of the dishes on the menu are available tonight. Very popular.

  • Vinograd Abulchar Khan Avenue

Good steaks and California style salmon. Nice tents to sit in during the summer. Waterfalls and rockeries with occasional gnomes. A little expensive but worth it if you work nearby.

  • Pizza Hot Dostyk Avenue

Best pizza in town. In the summer there is a large outdoor area with water features and statues of nymphs. There is a small menagerie of giant rabbits which tends to grow throughout the summer as these things do, for children to admire. Dancing outside too in the summer. Next to the Cathedral look for the wooden gazebos. Indoor toilet facilities superior if you can find them as they are attached to the upstairs nightclub.

  • Slobodan Dostyk Avenue

Russian restaurant excellent food and decor. Big fish in a tank and Russian cottage furniture upstairs. Downstairs is nostalgic for Soviet days with statues of Lenin, posters and a strategically placed machine gun as you go down the stairs.

  • Ukrainian Country Kitchen 78 Nakharezhnaya Street

On the ring road next to the Chagala River. Has farmhouse decor and waitresses dressed as Ukrainian farmers. Signpost outside tells you the distance to Kiev and Odessa.

Splurge[edit]

  • Kamelot, 195 Dostyk Avenue

Built like a castle on the inside with bear skins and stuffed animals as well as swords, shields spears etc. Medieval style furniture and waitresses. Has a fantastic menu including 'golden balls' 'golden haired poultry maid's kindness' as well as a myriad of other strangely titled dishes. Once you have deciphered what you have ordered the food is good.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The Golden Cat, Opposite Cum Cum; Dostyk Avenue

A small and smokey venue in in the City Centre. An average menu and a decent selection of drinks. If you attend on a weekend evening, you can enjoy the sweet, chilled pleasure of saxophone jazz. Check out the che-chill and the excellent toilet facilities.

  • AB Pub, opposite Atrium, Dina Nurpeisova Street

Microbrewery producing German style beers. Has a beer menu as well as a food menu! Food very good, especially shared plates of meat and sausages. In the Summer has an outside area where 'Meatmaster Utralsk' Shashlik is some of the best available. Friendly staff. Excellent overall! toilet facilities better than the above. Canadians frequent on Saturday afternoons watching the football. The home-brewed German and Czech style beers are excellent, a cut above the average pint.

  • Prague Nights, third floor of Galactica cinema and shopping complex, Eurasia Avenue

Another microbrewery producing Czech style beer. Although it is in a modern centre it is designed to look like a pub in old Prague. Excellent menu and singing and dancing at weekends.

  • Vox Country Pub, Mametovaya

Live bands on Saturdays, good beer and dancing. Excellent steaks - closed at present

  • Elis Pub, Dina Nurisova Street

Cafeteria upstairs and Pub downstairs. In the pub there are pictures of random American and British imagery and often live music in the evening.Small cover charge in place at night (approx. 500t) though this is common in nightspots and this is a small fee compared to many other places in town. Choice of beers and food can be sketchy in availability but overall a decent little venue and the large booths are great if there is a group of you. Free Wi-fi

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

Sayakhat Hotel is in the very center close to the Rai (The Heaven) night club.

Hotel Oral (Ural) is quite cheap and services are seeing some improvement lately. Close to Atrium shopping center, next to the bazaar and many bars and cafes. 4000 per room without bathroomm but with a sink (creapy shower in the basement).

There is also an even cheaper hotel close to Hotel Oral but quite creapy. If you count your tenge, you can go there. 3000 per room and no shower nor sink.

Mid-range[edit]

Pushkin Hotel Dostyk Avenue, located in the historical building close to Ural River bank and Uralsk University main building. Good restaurant and very cozy rooms. [2]

Chagala Hotel Uralsk Temir Masin Street. Good food, in-house bar and comfortable accommodation. [3]

Aidana is a new hotel complex which offers quality accommodation at a low price. Located in front of city's indoor skating ring. [4]

Contact[edit]

Free Wi-Fi spots available in the domestic airport terminal, Atrium shopping center and City Park. There are few internet cafes scattered around the city; try Kazakhtelecom in the city center.

Consulates:[edit]

  • Ru-flag.png Russian Federation, Mukhit Street 78, Uralsk, Kazakhstan, (7112) 51-16-26 (, fax: (7112) 54-54-04), [5]. Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 18:00 (For visa application, only monday, tuesday, thursday and friday between 9:30 and 13:30.).  edit
  • It-flag.png Italy, Honorary Vice-Consulate, AB2 Building, Czech Camp, Aksai 418440, Kazakhstan, (571) 22-22-262 (, fax: (571) 22-22-667), [6].  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Uralsk is a very safe city.

Cope[edit]

Get out[edit]

  • Lake Shalkar

Nice day trip, no buildings but some yurts you can stay in in the summer. Salty lake with some beaches and with birdwatching opportunities

  • Aksai

Capital of the local gas field. Lots of expats mostly British and Italian working on the gasfields mostly live in a compound here. there are pubs and pizza places reflecting the expats who live here. Many of the people arriving at Uralsk airport are heading this direction.

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