Almaty, formerly known as Alma-Ata and Verny, is the largest city in Kazakhstan. The city used to be the former capital of the country, until 1997 when it moved to Astana. Being a financial and cultural center of Central Asia, Almaty boasts moderately-sized tourist and expatriate communities and it is a hustling and bustling place to be.
The word Almaty literally means ''city of apple trees'', and because of its relatively mild climate, it has a wide range of apple trees. It is a wonderful gateway to this undiscovered and distinctive country. Kazakh people are very kind and welcoming, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the hospitality.