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Money and Shopping in Almaty

Money and Shopping in Almaty

If you know English and do not have a guide-interpreter in Almaty, then you can buy Pogulay, an indispensable guidebook to the city which is printed in English and Russian and sold at newsstands. It is priced at $3 US and covers all the attractions, including photos and descriptions. As of 1 February 2011, $1 equals about 147 tenge and 1 Euro is 200 tenge. As a comparison: a Snickers bar is 80 tenge; a can of Coke is 70 tenge; a cheese pizza at il Patio is about 1200 tenge; a cinema ticket for a movie is about 1000 tenge; a small trip about 10 minutes in length in a taxi - 300-400 tenge; cigarettes 50-150 tenge; vodka 500+ tenge, beer 500ml 120+ tenge, a litre of juice is around 150 tenge. Beef is 900-1500 tenge a kilo, pork 800 tenge a kilo, horse meat 1500 tenge a kilo. A loaf of bread is 40-70 tenge. A 2 bedroom modern apartment is about $1000 a month. Clothing is expensive unless buying knock-offs at Baraholka. Green Market is relatively expensive. Many of shopping centers and malls are scattered throughout the city.
  • On the Arbat street you will find 'Tsum' (stands for 'Centralniy Universalniy Magasin'). Every post-Soviet town has this department store. It's filled with hundreds of identical little counters selling electronic goods on the first floor, and souvenirs and clothes can be found on the second. There is a good selection of souvenirs.
  • The Green market, or 'Zelyoni Bazaar' in Russian, has fresh vegetables, dairy products, and meat, as well as a number of non-food household items. Fruit and vegetables are on the lower level. On the upper level you will find dried fruits, nuts, spices, honey and plants, as well as cheese and meat. The meat section includes horse sausages and is a bit challenging to the nose, so vegetarians beware.The prices increase seasonally, and unless you come from Tokyo or London, you will find it quite expensive, as opposed to your "usual" Asian market shopping experience.
  • Handmade carpets.
  • Felt goods. Handmade dolls, rugs, and slippers made with boiled lambswool and natural dyes.
  • Handcrafted metal jewelry, including a "tumar", which is a pendant that opens like a locket.
  • Handcrafted leather chess sets in a leather folding case with a board pattern stitched on. In most souvenir shops, and on ground floor of Silk Way (Zhybek Zholy and Furmanova).
  • One Saturday a month, there is an 'ad hoc' market on Ablai Khan across from the Tsum. Craftsmen from all over come and sell their wares. It's worth checking out.
  • In Almaty there is also a market place called Barakholka, which is 4 km long and 20 rows wide and can be seen easily it is a very busy place. You can find virtually anything there, and if the price isn't right, you can easily haggle with the merchants. Want to find a $300 winter coat for about $45? It's possible.
  • As the city continues to modernize, largest international brands continue to establish stores in the city.

  • The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about Almaty

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    Almaty Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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