Whether you’re a pretty young thing or a businessman celebrating a deal, Almaty’s nightclub scene has something to offer.
Larger and more established than the scene in Astana, Almaty has already learned how to get its groove on and welcomes you to join.
So if your Ipod includes a rotating mix of international DJs, head over to Da Freak nightclub which attracts top talent from the UK, Germany and Russia. Looking for a warehouse party? Try Gas where you’ll find a London-style industrial steel and brick space pulsing with progressive house until early morning.
If you prefer your clubs a bit more laid back, Almaty offers Cuba where the live Cuban music is as tasty as the mojitos.
Another unique part of the nightclub scene is long legs. Go-Go dancers are part of the landscape here and clubs will include a show at some point in the night. So if you walk in and see scantily clad women dancing on the bar, just tell your girlfriend it’s part of the culture.
Another thing to keep in mind is that like any major city – the top nightclubs discriminate based on age and appearance. The posher the nightclub, the more difficult it is to get past the velvet rope. So if you’re not a pretty young thing, bring one.
And be prepared to pay a cover comparable to other major cities — $20 plus.
But once inside, it’s definitely a good time. World class cocktails, top DJ talent, private VIP rooms and dance floors full of locals happy to be young and free.
This club’s dark wood and rattan motif, iconic black and white photos and live Cuban music will place you squarely in the center of Castro’s island. Give it a few minutes and you’ll be itching for a shot of rum and a quality Cubano.
Check the DJ list as this place attracts top talent from the UK, Russia and Germany. The main hall features techno with a smaller, upstairs red room offering mellower electro house. There’s no harsh dress code, but you won’t make the cut in sports clothes.
Esperanza is another of Almaty’s top nightclubs. House, dance, rap, rock and R&B are regularly on offer. Plus the place cuts down on rowdiness by requiring men to be at least 25 years old to enter. Women must be at least 18.
It’s not exactly hip, but it is interesting. The Metro nightclub is located in a larger entertainment complex and is designed to look like a medieval cavern which you reach by crossing a drawbridge. The rest of the complex offers a go-cart track, bowling, billiards and a restaurant.
When the other nightclubs have shut down, this place keeps pulsing. Most is open until 9 a.m. on weekends and offers retro music from the 1980s and 1990s. You can also shoot pool if you tire of grooving to George Michael.
You can’t miss with Petroleum. It’s the oldest and best known club in the city and offers a reliable mix of pop, disco and techno. It’s in the same complex as the Gas nightclub.
Rai is generally considered Almaty’s most popular nightclub. Reliable house music fills its unique mirrored and black-and-white-walled interior. VIP cabins are also available for those who are just so over the crowd.
You get your drinks at a central bar and chill on couches edging the room as Tornado alternates between pop, hip-hop and R&B. Tornado is part of the Assorti restaurant chain.