If you always wanted to try out an exotic flight destination for a cheap price, you can now fly from Budapest, Hungary to Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan for only 97 EUR return!
The cheap tickets can be booked on Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air, which operates the Budapest (BUD) to Nur-Sultan (TSE) route on a weekly base (Sundays) in winter. In the spring season (from 1st April onward), the airline adds an additional service on Wednesday.
Flight prices for a return start at 32,480 HUF (97 EUR) depending on departure date. It is also possible to book a one-way journey, with Budapest to Nur-Sultan starting at 14,590 HUF (44 EUR) one-way. One-way journeys starting in Kazakhstan seem to be slightly more expensive.
Do note that these cheap prices are only available for members of the Wizz Air discount club. If you are not a member, you pay 10 EUR more for a one-way flight or have to add 20 EUR more to the ticket price for a return flight. As is usually the case on low-cost airlines, the basic fare only allows you to take a small bag on board. If you want to take a trolley on board of the plane or want to check luggage, you have to manually add this during the booking process for an extra fee.
To book the tickets, it is best to do so directly with Wizz Air and not through any third-party website.
What is the Wizz Air discount club?
Members of the Wizz Air discount club are entitled to a Guaranteed discount of 10 EUR discount on each (one-way) flight for all Wizz Air flights costing at least 19.99 EUR. The same discount is included for maximum one travel companion. If you purchase group membership, the discount applies for up to five people. Wizz Air club members also profit from a 5 EUR discount on checked baggage purchased online.
As a standard membership costs 39.99 EUR per year, it means that you get the costs out of it if you buy at least two Wizz Air return tickets (or four one-way tickets) each year. A group membership valid for bookings of up to five people costs 79.99 EUR per year. Check this link if you want to read more about the Wizz Air discount club.
Kazakhstan is an up-and-coming travel destination and is well-worth exploring. Especially nature lovers will appreciate the beauty of the Kazakh steppes and mountain ranges. EU nationals do not need a visa for Kazakhstan.
Nur-Sultan (formally known under the names of Astana and Akmola) is the capital of Kazakhstan and the starting point of your Kazakh adventure. It is a modern, planned city full of curious architecture such as high-rise towers and even buildings shaped as pyramids. Located in the middle of a barren steppe, it is best avoided in the midst of winter and summer due to the extreme temperatures (freezing cold in winter, scorching hot in summer).
Of more interest to travellers is the old capital of Almaty, which is still the largest and most important city of the country. The leafy city has a lovely mountain backdrop, traditional Russian architecture and some nice parks. It is a great base to explore the nearby Zailiyskiy Alatau Mountains which has peaks of up to 4,973 m (16,316 ft) high.
A bit further away are the Tian Shan and Altai mountain ranges, which are even more awe-inspiring and wild with peaks of up to 7,010 m (23,000 ft) high.
Equally worth visiting are the gorgeous desert landscapes of Kazakhstan. Perhaps best of all is the Charyn Canyon, Kazakhstan’s version of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The sole difference is perhaps that here you will be one of the only handful of tourists visiting!
Transport in Kazakhstan
The two biggest airlines of Kazakhstan are Air Astana and SCAT. Domestic flights can be easily booked on both airlines with prices starting at 30-50 EUR for a one-way flight. From these two, Air Astana has by far the best safety record, service and reliability (on par with any European airline).
Even though there is an extensive bus service in the country and renting a car or even chartering a taxi for a day is cheap, long distances are better travelled by train. Between Nur-Sultan and Almaty you can opt for a Spanish-built Talgo high speed overnight train, or for a sleeper on a more rickety Russian train. There are also good rail connections with neighbouring Russia, China and Uzbekistan if you want to make a longer adventure out of it.
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