Kazakhstan 2019 Crime & Safety Report: Astana

The current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory at the date of this report's publication assesses Kazakhstan at Level 1, indicating travelers should exercise normal precautions.

Overall Crime and Safety Situation

The U.S. Embassy in Astana does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The American Citizens' Services unit (ACS) cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.

Review OSAC's Kazakhstan-specific webpage for proprietary analytic reports, Consular Messages, and contact information, some of which may be available only to private-sector representatives with an OSAC password.

Crime Threats

There is minimal risk from crime in Astana. The reported numbers of incidents in all categories of crime are statistically on par with or lower than an average city in the United States. Crime does not impede the operations of U.S. privat-sector organizations, including OSAC constituents. Petty theft, while not common, continues to be the most likely crime against foreigners. Pickpockets tend to frequent tourist sites, open-air markets, and heavily traveled public transportation, especially buses.

The U.S. Embassy has received reports about vehicle break-ins (smash-and-grabs). Other common crimes in Astana are purse snatching, residential burglary, theft, and robbery.

Drunken/disorderly behavior is commonplace, particularly in bars and nightclubs. Incidents involving assault, petty theft, robbery, driving mishaps, and violent verbal exchanges can often be traced to alcohol. The U.S. Embassy is aware of several incidents in which foreigners, including U.S. citizens, have been drugged, robbed, and physically assaulted at or while leaving popular bars and nightclubs in Astana. For more information, review OSAC's Report Shaken: The Don'ts of Alcohol Abroad.

Cybersecurity Issues

Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted. Reports of ATM skimmers are more prevalent, but fraud does not appear to be a widespread problem. For more information, review OSAC's Report, The Overseas Traveler's Guide to ATM Skimmers & Fraud.

Source: Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)