Astana is a young and vibrant capital with a population of over 700 000 citizens. Astana gained a status of capital just 20 year ago. During this time the Left Bank (the city) was build from the scratch and features works of famous architects, like Kisho Kurokava and Norman Foster. The downtown area, especially Nurzhol Boulevard is considered to be a brand image of fast growing capital. The boulevard spans from Akorda, the Presidential Residence to marquee shaped Khan Shatyr shopping mall. From June to August the Nurzhol Boulevard is a place for ArtFest, a festival of contemporary Kazakhstani art with open air installations and performances. ArtFest is free and we highly recommend you to attend it.
Among headliner of the summer season in Astana is Cirque du Soleil, the Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s terracotta army exhibition in National Museum, Placido Domingo’s performance in Verdi’s “La Traviata” in Astana Opera concert hall and many others.