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About Shymkent

Shymkent, capital of the South Kazakhstan Region, is the country’s 3rd most populated city after Almaty and Astana. Located in the Sayram Su River valley, next to the Uzbekistan border, Shymkent is one of the country’s cities with high economic and cultural value. It was recently uncovered that Shymkent is the oldest settlement in Kazakhstan; with its establishment dating back 2,200 years. The city’s widely known history dates back to the 12th century as it was build as a caravanserai. In time, the expanding settlements around this caravanserai created Shymkent.

Historically the city was used as an accommodation center for the Silk Road. The city was located at an important crossroads on the Turkestan – Siberia Railway; Shymkent is one of the industrially developed cities in the country. The city has oil, lead, and zinc processing plants and pharmaceuticals, cement, textiles, leather, and food production activities have a strong presence in the local economy. Shymkent has a 6 km long children’s railway. The line provides transportation between various attractions like the zoo, arboretum, parks, and hippodrome.

Main sights in the city include Park Abaya, Park Ken-Baba, Russian Drama Theater, Puppet Theater, Afghan War Memorial, Al Farabi Mausoleum, History Museum, and Spartak. Shymkent’s location makes exploring ancient cities in the region very convenient. The city has a cold and temperate climate. The Shymkent International Airport is located 13.2 km northwest of the city. 

Transportation to Shymkent City Center from Airport

Shymkent, also known as Chimkent, is at the center of South Kazakhstan, one of the most populous regions of Kazakhstan. Situated on the junction of Turkestan-Siberia Railway, Shymkent is located 690 km west of Almaty and 120 km north of Tashkent. The city, with a population of approximately 855 thousand, was established on Sayram River Valley. Shymkent, Kazakhstan's third largest city, has a history of about 8 hundred years.

Located in the south of the country, Shymkent is a cultural, commercial, industrial and tourism center. Although Shymkent is a small and underpopulated city, it is an important location where transportation networks intersect thanks to the distance between the city and nearby tourist destinations. Railway transportation is also very popular in Shymkent. The city also has connections with important cities such as Baku, Yerevan and Tbilisi.

In order to go to the city from Shymkent International Airport which is approximately 11 km to the city center, you need to go to the area where you can get on a car, bus or taxi. These vehicles are located at the exit of the terminal. Or you can rent your own car from one of the companies located in the terminal and go to the city center in about 10-15 minutes.


Fundamentally, the whole intracity and intercity transportation network of Shymkent is performed through the Shymkent railway station. The railway networks of Shymkent, Kazakhstan's third largest city, are linked to many cities of Kazakhstan. The train station, located 1.5 km from the city center, is in Kabanbay Batyr. From the airport, you can get to the train station, Sportivnaya, directly by bus.


Shymkent central bus station is located in Samal. At the same time there is the second biggest bus station in Ayna. Bus route 12 offers service between Shymkent Airport and the city center.

Apart from this, if you want to go to Almaty from Shymkent by bus, you should know that the travel will last about 12 hours. These buses depart from Avtovokzal Samal. Every half an hour there are buses to many parts of the city from Avtovokzal Samal which is located 4 km north of the city center.


Shymkent marshrutka routes are almost the same as the buses. These two means of transportation are the most important public transportation vehicles in the city. There is also no big difference in terms of the fares. From Samal, where the central bus station is located, there are marshrutka services to many parts of the city. To get to the city from Shymkent Airport, you can use the marshrutkas waiting outside the terminal. According to the fares of 2013 ticket price is 50 Tenge.


If you get on a taxi to go to the city center from Shymkent Airport, you need to pay approximately 21-25 TL for the travel. This travel of 10.8 kilometers lasts approximately 11-12 minutes. If you make a reservation by getting in contact with Avto-kz Taxi, which is the most popular taxi company in Shymkent, your taxi will pick you up at the airport.

Car Rental

We recommend you to evaluate renting a car as your last option if your visit will be short and you will spend your time only in the center of Shymkent. Because the city has a small surface area, you can prefer other alternatives instead of renting a car. If you have rented your car from the airport and want to get to the city center, you can use the highway M-32.

Last Updated: 11 Jun 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Wingie offer the cheapest flights to Shymkent?

Wingie directly gathers and compares instant data of all airlines that have flights from your preferred departure point to your Shymkent destination. You can see all Shymkent flights together for the date you are looking for and choose the most suitable flight ticket.

To which airport are the flights to Shymkent arranged?

Shymkent flights are organized to Shymkent Intl. Airport.

Which airlines have direct flights to Shymkent from which cities?

Scat Airlines organizes direct flights to Shymkent from Almaty.

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