Lying on the shores of Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, is a unique place to visit. Here modern and old architecture perfectly blends with each other, peaceful environment creates the feeling of safety, and plenty of recreational areas give the laid-back vibe.
The city is very, very clean. The majority of the buildings are of beige color, which makes it look elegant and somewhat luxurious. Despite heavy traffic, the city feels quiet during the day; and becomes more silent in the evenings. The streets are almost deserted.
The country’s oil wealth is also easily noticeable via yet-raising number of new skyscrapers and luxurious clothing brands aligned next to each other. In terms of the sightseeing Baku tries it’s best to offer various attractions to its visitors, but architectural and cultural landmarks are somewhat limited. Most of the sights can be seen within a day, making Baku an ideal weekend destination.
1.Hike Up the Maidan Tower
Maidan Tower is a historical icon of Baku. A 29 meter stone tower, is possible a millennia old; the exact date of construction is unknown, but what you see today should be from 12th century. Today the interior showcases the variations of the towers purpose with multimedia installations. Steep and narrow staircase leads towards the top of the tower with panoramic views over the Capsian Sea, Boulevard and the Old Town itself.
2. Visit the Palace of Shirvanshahs
The cobblestone lane of the Old Town leads to the 15th-century granite palace complex, where country’s ruling dynasty sat during the Middle Ages. The area features small stone pavilion, tombs, mosque, a mausoleum and the remains of the bath house. The main building displays cultural jewels preserved from the ancient times.
3. Stroll Down the streets of Icheri Sheher
Walking around Baku’s old town is a great way to see how medieval architecture blends with modern mansions, overcrowded apartments and hotels. Meander without a direction through the zigzagy streets to feel as if nothing had changed in centuries.
The small alleys are very photogenic. Here wooden balconies hang over the sidewalks, historic buildings have been converted into cafes and souvenir stalls align on the main street.
4. Shop Memorabilia
Usually buying souvenirs in the city center is a no-go. But, Baku was an exception, or at least it seemed so. Similar to Turkey, Bargaining here is a must, especially when you plan on buying more than one item. In my case you are traveling with your friends, shop at the same stall to get a fair deal.
5. Explore Tiny Books
Baku has one of a kind museum right below the Palace. The 6,500 books exhibited at Miniature Literature Museum is a private collection of Zaria Salahova, who collected in 65 various countries. Among literature classics, you will find unique editions such as 17th century Quran, books so tiny that it’s hard to see without a magnifying glass and a piece published by a descendant of Johannes Gutenberg in the 13th century.
6. Walk in the Most Expensive Street
Nizami Street, named after the poet, is the biggest pedestrian street full of different shopping and entertainment venues. Due to the upscale brand shops and most of the embassies located here, Nizami is believed to be one of the most expensive streets in the world.
7. Feel Like in Venice
‘Little Venice’ is a human-made canal uniting several islands with beautiful arches. Gondolas and personal’s costumes honestly resemble Venice at its best. The ride takes approximately 6-8 minutes and is the perfect way to loosen up and enjoy a warm sun.
8. Wander through the Boulevard
Even though the Boulevard is only 3 km long, it seems massive. With numerous cafes, fairground rides and fountains, it is one of the most popular placesamong any age group. One of the most remarkable modern buildings here are, the Baku Business Centre, the International Muğam Centre and the Park Bulvar Mall. The evening breeze might be quite cold depending on when you plan to visit, but make sure to have at least light cardigan.
9. Admire the Flame Towers
Relatively new addition to Baku’s architectural scene, the 190-meter blue-glass skyscrapers are an impressive masterpiece. They are so high that one can easily spot them from the distance and another district of the city. The facades of each building have massive display screens to showcase the light show of fire, water and national flag.
Make sure to check out all of these places when you visit. Save this list for later: