One of Kazakhstan’s greatest attractions is a one of a kind shopping and entertainment center in it’s capital, Astana.
So before the creation of the internet, Facebook, Twitter, and even cell phones young people would meet at the local shopping center known as the mall. The shopping mall is not only a place to shop and buy stuff, but its a place to hang out and meet people.
In the United States, the most famous of malls is the Mall of America in Minnesota that is the second largest mall in North America. It is also the most visited mall in the world that has gained much fame. However, Kazakhstan is rivaling the Mall of America with its own version, that has some quite amazing aspects to it, called the Khan Shatyr.
The Khan Shatyr, translated into English “Royal Marquee,” was designed by world famous architect Norman Foster and is the shopping/entertainment center in Astana, Kazakhstan. Foster is famous for designing the Hearst Tower in New York City, Wembley Stadium in London, and most famously the 30 St. Mary Axe nicknamed “The Gherkin.” He also designed the Palace of Peace and Accord in Astana as well. The groundbreaking began on December 6th 2006 and was completed on July 5th 2010. Khan Shatyr is the largest tent in the world constructed of glass suspended by cables from the central spire composed of three steel legs. Not only is it a great architectural structure, it looks really cool at night.
Inside is some one a kind features that cannot be found in the world and reaches a new level of entertainment. The shopping mall boast many famous world, regional, and local brands. Some world brands include Gap, Zara, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Swarovski,Lacoste, Mango, and Aldo. There is even a hypermarket located in the mall so whatever you will be looking for, a store will definitely have it including what’s hot in fashion.
The shopping center even boasts many types of food and cuisine. Yes there are some staples in the shopping center like Cinnabon, Baskin Robbins, pizza places, coffee houses, and even a KFC but there are some unique places in the mall that are a bit different than in a typical American mall. There are three restaurants with meals ranging from American to European, Russian, Italian, and Japanese entrees. There is even a Krusty Krab in the food court named after the fictional restaurant Spongebob Sqaurepants works at. With all the variety and options, the food in Khan Shatyr is a crossroad of different flavors from surrounding cultures.
What tends to be the highlights of Khan Shatyr is the cinema, the Cosmodrom amusement park, and the Beach.
- The Star Cinema is state of the art showing the latest Hollywood movies and even Kazakhstan’s own feature films in 2D or 3D. The big draw is the theater makes you feel like a Hollywood star when you walk in and includes a VIP theater and one with just couches, perfect for a group of friends or even a date night.
- The Cosmodrom is the amusement park that includes a kids area with rides, a drop tower, log flume, monorail, billiard hall, and 3G: an Xbox 360 game lounge where you can play Xbox 360 games including the latest Kinect games. While the adults are shopping, there are plenty of activities for the kids and kids at heart.
- While these attractions are quite stunning, the main attraction of Khan Shatyr is the beach. Yes, there is an indoor beach in Astana and its at the Khan Shatyr. This beach, located on the top level, has waterslides, spas, beach volleyball courts, and of course a beach that has a wonderful pool.
An interesting part about the beach is the sand. The sand was flown in from the Maldives and is as white as the sands on tropical islands around the world. Of course the best part is the beach is open year round so when it is as cold as the Arctic outside and people are shivering, you can be in your swimsuit in a chair on the warm Sky Beach drinking your tropical beverage inside.
The Khan Shatyr is definitely something for Kazakhstan to boast about. It’s a beautiful piece of architecture by one of the best architects in the world along with being the tallest tent in the world.
Also it is a high-level shopping and entertainment center with great shopping, excellent cusine, a state of the art movie theatre, an amusement park, and a beach that cannot be found in any other mall in the world. To add, Khan Shatyr even hosts events such as fashion shows, cultural events, and even club nights with Kazakhstan’s top DJ’s.
The Khan Shatyr Shopping and Entertainment is definitely one of Astana and Kazakhstan’s greatest attractions to visit.
Travel tip shared by Rakhmet