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 theatric 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.
Трактиръ Медведь (Traktir Medved) - Bear Tavern +7 721 251 8920. 30 Abdirov St. This upscale Russian tavern serves a wide range of Russian, Ukrainian, and Slavic cuisine. They have a good drink menu and is a good spot for dinner. Traktir Medved is tucked back in an alley off of Abdirov and has a great Где Где Караганде (Where, Where is Karaganda? - a popular Soviet phrase) outside of the restaurant. Уйгурская кухня (Uygurskaya Kukhnya) - Uighur Kitchen. Corner of Bukhar-Zhirau and Lugovaya St. A low-key family restaurant located on the main avenue of Karaganda, Bukhar-Zhirau Ave., Uighur Kitchen is a small restaurant pass the bazaar district headed toward Yugo-Vostok. A cheap cafe with authentic Uighur lagman and soup. A must for spicy Central Asian/Chinese food for a very reasonable local price.
Дэвачан (Cafe Devachan) +7 721 232 0437. 22 Abdirov St. A great outdoor shashlyk and beer garden on one of the main streets on Karaganda. A great people watching spot with a mongal grill and barbecue pit in a tree covered canopy.
Тихий омут (Tihiy Omit) - The Silent Whirlpool. +7(7212)33-03-48, 20 Abdirov St. A casual, small, western-style cocktail bar in the heart of Karaganda. Tihiy Omit is a low-lit, locally owned, and a great spot to seek out local culture with a progressive vibe. Its a small bar with a good local beer selection and the best cocktails in the city.
Line Brew Karaganda +7 721 256 3180. 24 Mira Blvd. A larger chain restaurant and beer bar that has a German theme. Serves a good selection of pilsners and lagers, has a good German food. Medium - Expensive prices for a good dinner or happy hour.
Studio 13 +7 707 613 1313. 29 Lobody St. A popular night club spot with house, techno, and modern music located behind Victory Park. Expect a cover charge and expensive drinks with two dance floors, bottle service, fog machines, and florescent lighting. A popular place on weekends where the party doesn't start until 22:00/23:00.
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.
Гостиница Караганда (Hotel Karaganda), +7 721 242 5005. 66 Bukhar Zhirau. A good Soviet hotel in the center of the city with comfortable, modern accommodations that is easily accessible to any point in the city. Has a great bar and restaurant on the main floor where most of the staff speaks English.
Эдем (Hotel Edem) +7 721 291 0894. 32 Erzhanov St. In walking distance from the vokzal (train station) and 45 kvartal (45th Block bus station), Edem has very modern amenities and one of the best mid-range hotels to stay at in Karaganda. Easily accessible to the center of the city and very European in its design.
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.
"Avalon" historico-geographical society (49, Bukhar-Zhyrau Ave., office 209, Kazakhstan business-centre) where you can take free tourist maps and guidebooks (usually available in Russian, English and Kazakh) of Central Kazakhstan, city of Karaganda, Kyzylarai, Uytau and Bayanaul mountains, Northern Aral Sea, etc. You can also receive here any other information concerning travels in Kazakhstan. This NGO supports foreign expeditions in their trips in Kazakhstan as well.