Astana is located in central Kazakhstan on the Ishim River in a very flat, semi-desert steppe region which covers most of the country’s territory. The elevation of Astana is at 347 metres (1,138 ft) above sea level. Astana is in a spacious steppe landscape, in the transient area between the north of Kazakhstan and the extremely thinly settled national center, because of the river Ishim. The older boroughs lie north of the river, whilst the new boroughs are located south of the Ishim.
Climatically, Astana is the second coldest capital in the world (behind Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia), with temperatures of −35 °C (−31 °F) to −40 °C (−40 °F) common in the early winter. The new city is also known to regularly freeze for around six months every year. Overall, Astana has a humid continental climate, bordering on a semi-arid climate, with exceptionally cold winters and warm summers.
The average annual temperature in Astana is 1.8 °C (35.2 °F). January is the coldest month with an average temperature of −17.3 °C (1 °F). July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 20.2 °C (68 °F).