Astana is the capital city of Kazakhstan. It is located on the banks of Ishim River in the north portion of Kazakhstan, within the Akmola Region, though administered separately from the region as a city with special status. The 2017 census reported a population of 1,006,574 within the city limits, making it the second-largest city in Kazakhstan, behind Almaty.
The country’s new capital has risen fast from the northern steppe and is already a showpiece for 21st-century Kazakhstan. Astana (Астана) is scheduled to go on rising and spreading into a city of over 1 million people by 2030. Its skyline grows more fantastical by the year as landmark buildings, many of them by leading international architects, sprout along the wide boulevards in a variety of Asian, Western, Soviet and wacky futuristic styles.