Astana is the new capital of Kazakhstan. Formerly known as Zelinograd, in 1997 it replaced Almaty as the new capital city. In 1998 it was renamed to Astana, which means 'the capital' in Kazakh language. Astana is located in the north of Kazakhstan, in the plains about 500km south of the Russian Federation. It's a planned city, where new modern buildings are constantly being added. In this respect, Astana is a bit like Dubai, although the two cities are quite different. The highlights of Astana are its modern architecture, its monuments and special buildings and the nice parks, which make it a very photogenic place. Astana has about 850000 inhabitants and is the second largest city in Kazakhstan.