In the recently released “52 Places to Go in 2024” by The New York Times, Almaty, Kazakhstan, has secured the 25th position, nestled between the picturesque Lake Toba on Indonesia’s Sumatra island and Quito, Ecuador, where a new metro line offers a journey through five centuries of the city’s history.
Described as a city resembling a peaceful yet bustling rural town with a population of two million, Almaty is praised for its luxurious baths, kaleidoscopic cathedrals, and cutting-edge food. The underground metro, adorned with intricate tiles, and the Arasan baths, offering a range of bath pleasures like massage on marble slabs, cold bathing, and unbearably hot saunas, contribute to Almaty’s unique charm. The authors of the rating suggest taking a stroll along the green streets and enjoying the accordion tunes played by a mustachioed man in front of the Ascension Cathedral.
A standout feature highlighted by tourists is the “neo-madic” cuisine, focusing on flour, water, and meat in a hyper-modern form. The New York Times expert, Craig Maud, recommends Auyl and Tör restaurants for Kazakh dishes, Lanzhou for Chinese cuisine, and Sensilyo Coffee or JumpinGoat for excellent coffee. Visitors are encouraged to explore the vibrant Green Bazaar, showcasing a patchwork of fruits and nuts, and visit Platform A, a large food hall located inside a Soviet Art Nouveau building.
Topping the list of best places to travel in 2024 is the total solar eclipse on April 8, visible across North America from the rugged bays of Newfoundland to the beaches of Mexico. The list mentions celebrations in Mexico, Canada, and 13 U.S. states, including the Portal Eclipse festival in Mazatlán, a NASA broadcast from the Indianapolis Speedway, a race in Millinocket, Maine, and space programs on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.