In Медеу: If you’re up for a day trip from Almaty, go ice skating at Medeu (also spelled Medeo). You’ll literally be skating on top of the world since this speed skating rink is the highest in the world. You can rent ice skates right at the rink, and there are vending machines, cafes and restaurants to keep you warm and well fed. It’s a short 25 minute drive from downtown Almaty.
If you still have energy after you skate, take a hike up the [long] staircase over the Medeu Dam. The views are worth the climb! To begin, just take a right out of the parking lot at the bottom of the ice rink and start walking up the main road. On your way up, you’ll walk underneath the gondola that goes up to Shymbulak Ski Resort. And, if you’re too tired to walk back down, just sit on the snow and slide down!