Apps the Foreigners NEED to Survive in Kazakhstan That’s hello in Kazakh for anybody who’s thinking about moving to Kazakhstan. Maybe that’s why you clicked on this video because today I’m going to talk about some applications that have been very, very helpful living in Kazakhstan as a foreigner and also
locals use these apps too. So let’s just get straight into it. The first app I want to talk about is two-GIS or double GIS. I’m actually not sure how to say it, and people say different things. Basically this is the app’s logo. So two GIS, double GIS, what matters is the content.
So basically 2GIS or double GIS is like Google Maps but better for Kazakhstan. So if you use google maps it might work in other countries, and it works to an extent here but 2GIS is much more updated. Like, all of the restaurants are there. People write reviews for restaurants or different locations. Restaurants also put their menus up sometimes or link their phone number and instagram to that.
So it’s a way to see all of the restaurants and establishments that are open. They have open and close times as well. Additionally it can tell you the route to walk, by bus, or driving to get there. To be honest I didn’t use it for the first year, and then finally my co-worker was like, “you really need to get 2GIS.” And I was like, “okay…”
And then I was like, “why didn’t I get it before?!?” And what’s great is that the user interface can be in English, so that’s helpful. I mean sometimes the restaurants will show up in Russian. Usually you can look at everything in English, so if you are new to Kazakhstan and you don’t know Russian or Kazakh yet, and you maybe can’t read the alphabet, it would be easy for you to use this app.
And the second app I want to recommend I started using from, like, the very first few days I was here is Yandex Go. Yandex Go/Taxi is like Uber for those who are in North America. So it’s a taxi or driver application. The user interface is also all in english if you choose it to be so, and you can order cars, you can order multiple cars, you can decide the luxury that you want just like with any other taxi app. Additionally you can link your card or pay cash, so you make that option.
I always pay in card because sometimes the taxi drivers don’t have change and they want you to go into a store to get change, so I always pay with card. And one thing that I love about this app is that you can choose to turn off calls. So there’s an option where it says like ‘oh please don’t call me’ because sometimes taxi drivers will call you to tell you like “hey I’m here,” or “where are you?”
But if you turn that option on, where you don’t want to be called, they’ll be notified and they won’t call you. And the service is also pretty good let’s say something weird happened with your ride or there was an incorrect payment or something, you can contact Yandexand they usually help you get that money back or whatever you need, which is super nice and great, so I use Yandex Taxi all the time.
Definitely 10 out of 10 recommend. The third app is also a must-have in Kazakhstan and that’s WhatsApp. So people around the world may already know what WhatsApp is, but if you don’t, it’s a messaging app just like you would text message somebody. Well there’s an app for it, and it relies on the internet to send messages. So in other countries you might see WeChat, or Line, Kakaotalk, those type of things.
Here WhatsApp currently is the biggest messaging app, and everybody uses it including businesses, so you need to download WhatsApp in order to basically text anybody. Of course you can call people regular on the phone but nobody here uses actual text messaging. They always use WhatsApp. This fourth recommendation is for people who are in Astana/Nur-Sultan, and it’s Astra Bus.
And this is the bus app for the city of Astana. The city of Almaty has an app called ‘City Bus Almaty’, but I can’t give any review of it because I’ve never used it before. You can look it up though. But I’m going to be talking about Astra Bus. So Astra Bus shows you all possible buses, their routes, and where buses currently are, which is such a lifesaver. So you can choose any route and see in
live time where the buses are. You can also choose a bus stop, and the bus stop will show all of the buses that are coming and the approximate arrival times. My next recommendation is not something that is exclusive to Kazakhstan but I recommend that you download the banking app for your bank.
So whether that be a bank that’s in Kazakhstan or a bank that’s abroad you should download a banking app, because whenever you’re living abroad you may need to transfer money from the tenge here to USA or the Euro or anything, and you can do that on an app. Additionally, you can transfer money easily this way.
But I definitely recommend that you get a banking app whenever you come to live abroad so that you can check your finances. Sometimes when you’re living abroad you can lose track of money or because of the currency you get confused, and it’s good to have your banking app on your phone with you just in case you need to check things or transfer money. And I thought this video was
going very well until I was editing and realized I left out a really important app which is Google Translate. Now, many people use Google Translate on their web browser on their phone, but I really recommend downloading the app because you can take a photo of something and watch it translate it for you in real time. So you if you can’t write something and you want to see what it means very quickly, Apps the Foreigners NEED to Survive in Kazakhstan
like at a store, you can just take a photo or scan it and see the translation, which is very helpful. Now the last set of apps I’ll recommend is not a particular one but three. So that is Glovo, Wolt, and Yandex Eats, and those are all food delivery apps. Now I’ve chosen those three because the user interface is in English. Now there’s also other apps like Chocofood or some other ones that have
Russian interfaces, so I’m not I’m not recommending them in this video, however you are free to try them out. But Glovo, Yandex Eats, and Wolt all have an English user (inter)face even though the food will all be written in Russian. You can look at photos. So a lot of restaurants will have the photos which will help you choose.
Now if you come here already knowing Russian, already knowing Kazakh, then basically why are you watching this video?Because all the things I’m recommending you’ll be able to use with ease. You might already even know about them before this video. One of the issues is that usually the delivery people will call you and they will not call you in English and their English may be at level zero or they may be able to say some things, so it’s a really a mixed bag there.
Now I’m not saying that’s bad. If you come to a foreign country, you should definitely, you know, try to learn one of the languages. If you come to Kazakhstan, I encourage you to learn Russian or Kazakh but just as a foreigner especially if you come here first just beware that in the food ordering system they probably will call you, and they will not be calling you in English. Apps the Foreigners NEED to Survive in Kazakhstan
Now I also have some notable mentions. Ones that I wouldn’t recommend that you must have, but i would recommend them just a little bit lower than the other ones I’ve previously said. The first one is Instagram. Now you might already have Instagram, and I don’t know how it is in your country, but Instagram is such a icon here, and it’s used for business. Like I said on 2GIS
they have their Instagram accounts linked for restaurants and other businesses, so you can look at restaurants menus, their location, their working hours, and sometimes the food pictures, or even the setting. You know, what their establishment looks like on Instagram. And additionally there are a lot of Instagram-only businesses. And I don’t mean they’re on the shop page of Instagram.
They literally are a business run through an Instagram account. And once you’ve been in Kazakhstan long enough, you’ll see them advertised. And at least from my Instagram experience they’re usually food, sweets, or some type of beauty products. I’m not saying you have to download Instagram if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like social media. You don’t have to, but if you have Instagram Apps the Foreigners NEED to Survive in Kazakhstan
already, you’ll notice that it’s also an e-commerce location. And don’t be afraid to contact those businesses through Instagram. I’ve actually contacted restaurants through Instagram, and they usually respond. So Instagram is also a place to find services and goods. Moving on to transportation, InDriver is another app that I would recommend after Yandex, and the reason
I don’t yet recommend it higher is because people call you and you have to set up everything not in English. However, if you would like to travel inter-city and you can have somebody help you set that up through InDriver or you just like to practice your Russian or Kazakh through that or basically use whatsapp to talk to people, you can do it. So I would recommend it for inter-city travel between two cities because basically you have to advertise where you’re going
and how much you’re going to pay for each person, and then someone will call you. Or you look up advertisements and you call them. So I would suggest it for that inter-city travel because you can kind of bargain or negotiate, but if it’s inner-city, inside the city, then you can just use YandexTaxi or Uber to do that with a set price.
Now of course there are many more apps that are unique to Kazakhstan or that you could use in Kazakhstan, but I just wanted to mention a few here that you could really use as a foreigner coming to Kazakhstan or even as a local living in Kazakhstan using English, I guess. If you know of any other apps that would be useful for foreigners or useful for you that have an easy user interface, feel free
to put those in the comments below. But hopefully, this video has helped you see some apps that will really help you as a foreigner coming to Kazakhstan or foreigner living in Kazakhstan. Thank you for watching this video. I hope you enjoyed it, and I’ll see you at the next one. Bye-bye
Apps the Foreigners NEED to Survive in Kazakhstan