Nur-Sultan is the capital city of Qazaqstan. It is located on the banks of the Ishim River in the north portion of Qazaqstan, within the Akmola Region, though administered separately from the region as a city with special status. The 2017 official estimate reported a population of 1,029,556 within the city limits, making it the second-largest city in Qazaqstan, behind Almaty.
Nur-Sultan became the capital city of Qazaqstan in 1997, and since then has developed economically into one of the most modernized cities in Central Asia. After Nur-Sultan became the capital of Qazaqstan, the city cardinally changed its shape. As the seat of the Government of Qazaqstan, Nur-Sultan is the site of the Parliament House, the Supreme Court, the Ak Orda Presidential Palace and numerous government departments and agencies. It is home to many futuristic buildings, hotels and skyscrapers. Nur-Sultan also has extensive healthcare, sports and education systems.
In 1999 Nur-Sultan was awarded with the medal and title of City of Peace by UNESCO.
The time offset from the UTC used by Nur-Sultan is 6 hours after UTC, or UTC+6:00. This is also used by most of Qazaqstan and Almaty.
Nur-Sultan has an continental climate with warm summers (featuring occasional brief rain showers) and cold, dry winters. Summer temperatures occasionally reach +35 °C (95 °F) while −30 to −35 °C (−22 to −31 °F) is not unusual between mid-December and early March. Typically, the city's river is frozen over between the second week of November and the beginning of April. Nur-Sultan has a well-deserved reputation among Kazakhs for its frequent high winds, the effects of which are felt particularly strongly on the fast-developing but relatively exposed Left Bank area of the city.
Overall, Nur-Sultan has a humid continental climate. The average annual temperature in Nur-Sultan is +3.5 °C (38.3 °F). January is the coldest month with an average temperature of −14.2 °C (6.4 °F). July is the hottest month with an average temperature of +20.7 °C (69.3 °F).
Public transport in Nur-Sultan consists of buses and share taxis. Over 720,000 people use public transport daily. There are over 40 bus lines served by more than 1000 vehicles, with over 3000 people working in the public transport sector. Just like buses, share taxis have their own predefined routes and work on a shared basis. There are nine share taxi routes in total. In 2011, Akimat of Nur-Sultan established a company to implement a series of changes and programmes in the metropolis known as the "New transport system of Nur-Sultan". As the part of these programmes, Bus rapid transit (BRT) lines are expected to start operating in Nur-Sultan in 2016. Nur-Sultan Light Metro is a proposed light rail system. Nur-Sultan also has air taxi service and the modern Nur-Sultan Bike bicycle-sharing system.
Nur-Sultan International Airport (IATA: TSE, ICAO: UACC), located 17 kilometres (11 mi) south-east of the city centre, is the main gateway for the city's domestic and international civilian air traffic. It is the second-busiest airport in Qazaqstan.
As of September 2017, the population of Nur-Sultan was 1,029,556; over double the 2002 population of 493,000. The ethnic makeup of the city's population as of September 4, 2014 was: Kazakh: 65.2%, Russian: 23.8%, Ukrainian: 2.9%, Tatar: 1.7%, German: 1.5%, Other: 4.9%
Islam is the predominant religion of the city. Other religions practiced in Nur-Sultan are Christianity (primarily Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholicism, and Protestantism), Judaism, and Buddhism.