Baku

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Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan.

Understand[edit]

Baku, also known as Baky or Bakı, is the largest city in the Caucasus and the capital of Azerbaijan. Baku is on the coast of the Caspian Sea on the southern tip of the Absheron Peninsula. There are three major divisions in Baku: İçəri Şəhər (the ancient city), the Soviet built city, and the newest part of the city. The population as of January 2003 was 2,074,300.

The city of Baku is located on the hot and dusty Absheron peninsula. The center of Baku is a patch of green in a largely brown area because of the many liters of water that is piped to the city every day. The city has a metro, a well developed bus and mini bus network, and a large area for walking including the Inner Walled City, The Boluvar, and Fountain Square.

Reading the book Ali and Nino is a good way to get into the mood.

Climate[edit]

A curious fact about Baku is that its average year-round temperature (14.2°C/57.6°F) matches the average temperature of the entire landmass of the earth to within a tenth of degree. Summers are hot and humid, winters cool, wet and breezy. However, seasonal temperature excursions are less than in many continental regions at this latitude (about 40 degrees north) owing to the presence of the Caspian Sea.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  •    Heydar Aliyev International Airport (IATA: GYD former Bina International Airport, Azerbaijani: Heydər Əliyev adına beynəlxalq hava limanı), Khazar, Absheron peninsula (Xəzər, Abşeron yarımadası) (25 km (15 mi) from Baku city center),  +994 12 497 2727. It is served by major airlines including Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, BMI, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways, and a whole host of smaller airlines. The least expensive way to get between Baku and Europe is via Aeroflot, with inexpensive flights to/from Moscow daily. Air Baltic also offers flights with good prices from/via Riga. - This is the Hub for Azerbaijan Airlines, Silk Way Airlines and Turan Air

Getting From/To Airport[edit]

Bus N16 runs between the airport and Samed Vurgun Park, in the heart of Baku. The trip costs 1AZN and takes approximately 40–60 min. Service runs every 30 minutes beginning from early in the morning until late night. The bus leaves outside the airport building, across the parking area. The service terminates at    Samed Vurgun's Parkon the 28 May Street. . - Minibus 135 runs between the airport traffic circle (15-min walk from the airport) and the 28 May Metro Station. The journey takes an hour and costs 0.40AZN. - By Taxi: Getting a smooth ride from the airport to town can be a hassle. The lowest price you can get for a taxi to the center should be around 15 Manat (old Lada, unmarked taxi). Be aware that there is one single taxi company that is allowed to officially do business at the airport. This monopoly drives up the price to nearly 50 Manat and many times it leaves you with no other options, especially when arriving at late hours. Police occasionally force out all cab drivers trying to do business on the fringes of the airport, leaving you stuck with a high fare. Taxis don't have meters so you must negotiate in advance. If you are not finding a reasonable price, go out of the airport, past the taxi stand, and ask the cabbies in the far end of the parking lot. Be cautious since the majority of Baku cabs are unmarked. Don't let the cab driver renegotiate the price with you. It is a common trick to ask for much more on arrival to your destination. You are not obligated to pay what they demand. - For 5 Manat you can take a cab from the airport to Metro Azizbeyov. From there it's four to six stations to the city center - but only from 6AM until midnight.

Baku railway station

By train[edit]

  •    Baku railway station (Bakı Dəmiryol Stansiyası), Nasimi (M '28 May' 50 m). - Overnight trains are available from Russia and Ukraine on a regular basis. Moscow (60 h) has departures three times a week, there is also a once-weekly train leaving Saint Petersburg (70 h) on Sundays. Other cities with less frequent connections include Novosibirsk (80 h) and Yekaterinburg (75 h). Kiev (68 h) has a service leaving every Saturday, with carriges added from several other cities. Also, on some occasions there is a direct train from the Belarusian city of Brest (81 h) which also stops in Minsk (76 h). However, it is important to note that the border between Russia and Azerbaijan is closed for non-CIS nationals for the foreseeable future. So unless you're a resident of a former Soviet country then this journey is impossible. - Now, there are still ways of getting here by train for a westerner. There is an overnight sleeper from Tbilisi in neighboring Georgia leaving daily. Journey times is 17 hours. The train makes stop-over in Ganja. A journey in second class from Tbilisi will set you back 63 laris. In summer (15/06-01/10) the schedules are: Tbilisi 16:30 Baku 09:20, 62.63 GEL 2nd class/Baku 20:30 Tbilisi 10:45, 29.45 AZN 2nd class, daily service. Domestic trains are very cheap, most journeys cost less than 10 AZN which makes it cheaper then staying in an hostel.

By bus[edit]

  •    Baku International Bus Terminal (Bakı Beynəlxalq Avtovağzalı), Sumgait highway (M:'Avtovağzal' 200m),  012 499 7038fax: 012 499 7102. The Terminal was opened officially on 12 February 2009. The complex handles up to 950 bus movements every day across domestic and international routes, serving around 20,000 passengers. The terminal has four floors served by 14 escalators and 10 lifts. It also features a 93-bed hotel, 700-space car park, shopping mall of 800 shops, 500-seat canteen, bank, medical center, postal office, and waiting and VIP rooms. There is also a station supervisor`s office and bus drivers` rest room facilities. - Buses also operate from destinations in Iran, Turkey and from Tbilisi. - Buses run between Baku and Lankaran (departs: 11:50AM, 3PM, 4PM, 5PM), Sheki (hourly, 4AZN, 7-hr trip). A common rule of thumb for bus rates in Azerbaijan seems to be about 1AZN per hour ride. Example: Agstafa is about 7 or 8 hours away from Baku. About 8AZN. Intercity routes and tariffs

By minibus[edit]

Minbuses operate between Baku and Sheki (6 hr), Lankaran (5 hr), Xachmaz (3 hr), Saatli (5 hr), and Imishli (4 hr).

Baku International Sea Port

By ferry[edit]

  •    Baku International Sea Trade Port (Sea terminal, Daniz Vagzal, Bakı Beynəlxalq Dəniz Ticarət Limanı), Neftchiler Avenue (in the Bay of Baku),  +994 12 447 7314. The port consists of the Main Cargo Terminal, Dubendy Oil Terminal, Ferry Terminal, and Passenger Terminal (Tel:+994 12 493 1963). - Ferries operate between Baku and Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, (Irregularly, approximately every 7–10 days), and Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan (steerage bed, US$50, 2-day trip, bring food). - Make sure you have appropriate visas before embarking, if necessary.

Get around[edit]

Map of the Baku Metro

By car[edit]

  •    AVISHuseyn Javid Ave (M: 'Elmlar Akademiyasi'),  +994 50 2230248fax: +994 12 4975553, e-mail: . AVIS Rent a Car provides cars, SUV and 4WD. Airport pick up and delivery service is also available.

By taxi[edit]

Taxi in Baku

London taxi cabs have been recently introduced in Baku, and travel fees are 0.70AZN per km.A taxi costs 4-10AZN for trips within the center of Baku. It's important to agree on the price of the fare before beginning the trip or you can expect to be asked to pay far more than you should.

By bike[edit]

Baku is a great town to get around in by bicycle. Except for the up-town, the city, including old town (İçəri Şəhər) and down-town is fairly flat, and though there are some streets that are dangerous to ride, there is almost always a safe, fast route to your destination.

While there are no separate bike lanes on the streets, and cars and cyclists often share narrow streets of Baku, the city is very bike-friendly. While cycling on the street, be very careful watch out for other cyclists, always keep closer to foot-walk side of the street, and show other traffic where you are going (e.g., by holding out your hand) in order to avoid accidents and smoothen the traffic flow.

  • MyBikeAsef Zeynalli Street, Ichari Shahar. is a bicycle rental shop. Make sure to get a good lock (or two), and to use it.-If you want to know the best routes, you should get a copy of the beautifully designed Baku by Bike plan, which is available at all bike rental points of MyBike. - A passport or identity card must be shown and a refundable deposit is required. While this service is quite convenient, be sure to bring ID or passport and contact information, including hotel phone number, to speed up the paperwork. 10-20AZN per day (approximately, AZN 1 = €1, as of 2012).

By bus/minibus[edit]

Baku City Tour bus

Buses and minibuses cost 0.20AZN per person and can take you to almost any place within Baku. Destinations are usually posted on the front and the right side of the bus.

By metro[edit]

The metro goes many places throughout Baku and it costs only 0.20AZN. It is the least expensive way to get around Baku besides walking. Ask a cashier or attendant. You must obtain a Bakı Metropiliten Kart (2AZN refundable deposit) and load it like a normal metro pass. More than one person may use the same card. Alternatively, you can use a Azerbaycan Sosial Kartı like the ones on some Azerbaijani ATM cards. The metro workers will be more than happy to help if spoken to in either Azeri or Russian, and some may understand English.

Be careful when transferring trains at the transfer stations (28 May and Jafar Jabbarli Cəfər Cabbarlı) as the signage is not easy to spot.

There have been reports of people being arrested while taking photographs of the metro station.

By train[edit]

The Baku electric train runs through several parts of Baku and the surrounding area including Sumqait. 1AZN.

On foot[edit]

It is possible to get around Fountain Square, the Boulevard, and the old city by foot, but the entire city cannot be covered on foot.

Talk[edit]

  •    Chiraq bookstoreIstiqlaliyyat 47, (Zərgərpalan, Улица Истиглалият) (near M: İçəri Şəhər (Old City)). Phrase books, maps and guides can be found here.

English and Russian are spoken in many places throughout Baku, but it wise to still either bring an Azeri phrase book and/or brush up on your Azeri/Turkish/Russian before arriving. However, about 80% of population at least understands Russian, and about half the people under the age of 35 will speak at least a little English. - English is well catered for in most shops, restaurants and bars as a result of 15+ years of expats from the oil industry. Very easy to make yourself understood with little local language skills.

See also:

See[edit]

Old Town (Icheri Sheher)[edit]

There are a number of interesting sites within Baku's walled fortress, the Old City (a UNESCO World Heritage site), which can all be seen on foot in one day:

The Divankhana Pishtaq in the Palace of the Shirvan Shahs
  •    The Palace of the Shirvan Shahs (Shirvanshahs' Palace; Azerbaijani: Şirvanşahlar sarayı, Russian: Дворец Ширваншахов), Sabayil (Metro Icherisheher 200m),  +994 12) 492-1073fax: +994 12 437-1246, e-mail: . daily 10.00-19.00 (April-October), 10:00-18:00 (November-March). The medieval palace of the Shirvan Shahs is the highlight of the Old City and a must see for any tourist in Baku. The complex contains the main building of the palace, Divanhane, the burial-vaults, the shah's mosque with a minaret, Seyid Yahya Bakuvi's mausoleum, a portal in the east - Murad's gate, a reservoir and the remnants of the bath-house. - The main building of the complex was started in 1411 by Shirvanshah Sheykh Ibrahim I. The two-storey building of the palace numbers about 50 different dimensions and outlines of the constructions connected with 3 narrow winding staircases. The big lancet portal directly leads from the courtyard to the second floor, into a high octahedral lodging covered with a cupola. A small, also an octagonal vestibule, located behind it, connects it with the rest of the lodgings in the palace. - Divankhana is a small stone pavilion. It is situated inside a small courtyard surrounded by a gallery-arcade on three sides. The Divankhana pavilion consists of an octahedral hall covered with a stone cupola both inside and outside. The well-proportioned high portal of the main entrance is decorated with an ornament and Arabic inscription. The ornament pictures the interlacing fig and vine leaves. The portal is also decorated with two medallions inside of which there are inscriptions in Kufic Arabic. - The Mausoleum of the Shirvanshahs is of a rectangular shape and crowned with a hexahedral cupola which is decorated from outside with multi-radial stars. The inscription on the entrance doorway indicates the purpose of the building, "Khalilullah I, the greatest Soltan, Great Shirvanshah, the namesake of the divine prophet, the defender of the religion ordered to construct this light burial-vault for his mother and son in 839" (1435–1436). On two drop-shaped medallions in the flannel parts of the portal there are inscriptions with the architect's name - Memar Ali (architect Ali). - The Palace Mosque (1430s) is situated in the lower court of the complex. The laconicism of its prismatic volumes, completed with two slightly pointed cupolas, is shaded by a well-proportioned vertical line of the minaret rising above in the north-eastern corner of the building. There are 2 chapels for prayers in the mosque: a hall of a large size for men and a hall of a small size for women, also a couple of small subsidiary rooms. There is an inscription laid under the stalactite belt of the minaret which reads, "The greatest Soltan Khalilullah I ordered to build this minaret. May Allah exalt the days of his governing and reign. The year of 845" (1441–1442). - Seyid Yahya Bakuvi's Mausoleum is situated in the southern part of the complex. Seyid Yahya Bakuvi was a royal scholar in the court of Shirvanshah Khalilullah. The Mausoleum is of an octahedral shape and covered with an octahedral marquee. It consists of ground and underground parts. The upper part of the Mausoleum served to perform the cult rites, and the lower one housed the sepulchral vault. There are three small lancet windows with a stone bar - shabaka on the southern, eastern and western verges of the Mausoleum. - The Shirvanshahs' Palace complex also includes the portal of Eastern Gates, the so-called "Sultan Murad's Gate" (1585). It was built within the walls of the citadel rather later than all the other constructions of the complex during Ottoman occupation of 1585-1603rd century. The gates were named by them in honor of Sultan Murad III. - The Palace Bath-house is situated on the lowest terrace of the complex. It was discovered in 1939 and dates to 17th century. The archaeological excavations exposed a big bath-house consisting of 26 rooms. On the basis of the surviving remains of the walls of the bath-house one can say that its rooms used to be covered with cupolas and the light penetrated through the openings in the cupolas. The bath-house was semi-underground for keeping the heat in winter and the cool in summer. Adults 2 AZN, children 0.20 AKN, 2 AZN to take photos.
Saray mosque, Palace of Shirvanshahs
    • Saray mosque (Palatial mosque, Shahs-khans mosque, Azerbaijani: Saray məscidi, Russian: Дворцовая мечеть). - Plan of the mosque is rectangular. There is a small hall, small prayer room for women and serving rooms. The northern portal, rotated to a burial vault of Shirvanshahs is more solemn than the eastern one. The latter, which was coming down to underground exit, was intended for habitants of the palace. - Interior. Two tier windowed prayer room is covered with cupola with spherical sails. Mihrab is located in the southern end of the palace. Cupola area over one a tier women prayer room ceding to cupola of the hall with its dimensions and replacing its outlines. Aperture of the mosque’s portal is clearly described on severe background of prismatic volume, ended with two cupolas with slightly sharpening calottes. - Minaret. Trunk of the minaret is surrounded by an inscription, a ligature of which has a date of 845 (1441/42). Details of sherefe’s stalactites are subtly modeled.
Maiden Tower
  •    Maiden's Tower (Giz Qalasi, Девичья башня), Qüllə (Metro Icherisheher 500m East). Daily 10AM–7PM. This mysterious and eccentric tower was built somewhere between the 7th and 12th centuries and may have served as a fire beacon, defensive fortification, astronomical observatory, or Zoroastrian temple. - The tower, which is Baku's most distinguished landmark, described as the "most majestic and mysterious monument of Baku, the Gyz Galasy", built on solid rock foundation, demonstrates right on the coast line, a fusion of Arabic, Persian and Ottoman influences. It was constructed alongside a natural oil well. It is a cylindrical eight story structure that rises to a height of 29.5 m with a base diameter of 16.5 m. The internal space available in the tower is said to be adequate to accommodate 200 people. A long solid projection to the main tower faces east, which is oriented towards sunrise pointing to the equinoxes, which has led to the conclusion that it was built as an astronomical tower; while the buttress faces east, the door access to the tower faces southeast. Each floor of the tower has a shallow vaulted roof, "a stone cupola" that has a central opening. The thickness of the walls varies from 5 m at the base tapering cylindrically to 3.2–4.2 m at the top floors. All floors are connected by staircase which abuts the circular wall and are lighted by narrow windows or niches which flare inward. The structure built in stone masonry exhibits varying finished surfaces, which is inlaid with local grey limestone. The alternate courses of stone laid in gypsum plaster gives a black and white banded effect. The northwestern part of the tower retains the original surface finish. There is also a beak-like projection, a buttress, curved in shape, made in masonry. The earliest stonework has square corners. - A detailed examination of the construction features of the tower by archaeologists suggests that the stone masonry, both on its interior and exterior surfaces, is diamond shaped and is seen at the top as well as at the bottom of the tower wall. The diamond shaped cut seen as a decorative feature, particularly on the outer face of the west side wall, is ornate at the top and plain at the bottom of the wall; a subtle feature noted throughout the tower suggests that it was built as one monolith unit at one period. However, the recent renovations are stated to be crude. - Water Well: Another notable structure seen in the tower is a water well of 0.7 m diameter, which is 21 m deep (its depth is up to the aquifer) that has been discovered at the second floor of the tower. It has an entrance also at the ground level which was discovered by Archaeologist Abbas Islamov during a recent study of the tower. This well has been interpreted as rainwater harvesting structure and the water is said to be clean and fresh (though close to the sea). The ceramic pipe (30 cm in diameter) plumbing seen running down from the niches of the tower into the well was meant as a supply source. Since the ancient plumbing system is said to be in its original form, it needs to be cleaned and its layout ascertained by further studies to describe the drainage network that was originally built as part of the tower. The ceramics of the plumbing system and the silt deposited in them could also help to fix the age of the tower by using thermo-luminescence technique. - Also seen in the tower, between the 2nd floor and the 7th floor, is a gutter of semicircular shape at every floor. It is made of ceramic pipes fitted one above another and joined by lime mortar. The pipes are presumably produced with the potter's wheel technique. They are 20–25 cm in diameter with 2.2 cm thick walls and each segment is 40–45 cm long. Similar gutters are seen from the ground floor up to the foundation level but with the four cornered ceramic pipes of 22 cm× 18 cm size, which run outside through the wall. 0.5AZN.
  • Synyg Gala Minaret. 11th century.
  • Fortress walls and towers. Built in 11th–12th centuries
  •    Bukhara Caravanserai (Бухарский караван-сарай) (over the trade highway of Icherisheher). in late 15th century
  •    Multani Caravanserai (Караван-сарай Мултани) (opposite to the Bukhаrа cаravаnsаrаy).
  •    Hajji Gayyib bathhouse (Баня Гаджи Гаиба) (- Opposite the Maiden Tower.). Built in 15th century. - Intake portal of the bathhouse is rectangular shaped. Whole complex of the bathhouse is divided into 3 groups: dressing-room, changing room and a bathing area. The dressing and changing rooms have octagonal halls, surrounded by small rooms. Vaults and domes have various figured outlines and were implemented thoroughly. There is a pool with warm and cold water in the centre of the hall. Floors are covered with stone plates. Heating is promoted by ceramic pipes or channels under the floors of the rooms. Warm air, produced by water heating circulates along these channels.
  •    Agha Mikayil bathhouse (Hacı Аğа Mikаyıl Hamami, Баня Ага-Микаила), Kichik Gala street 16?.
  •    Small Caravansaray (Khan’s caravansaray” (KİÇİK kаrvаnsаrаy, “Хаn kаrvаnsаrаyı”, Ханский караван-сарай), Asef Zeynally St. built in 1500's.
  •    Molla Ahmad’s mosque (Molla Əhməd məscidi, Мечеть Молла Ахмеда). built in 1290's.
  •    Myrzhy Ahmad’s mosque (Мечеть Мирзы Ахмеда) (South from Molla Ahmad’s mosque).
  • Two-Storeyed Caravansaray. constructed in 17th century.
  •    Hadji Bani (Hajji) mosque (Hacı Bani məscidi, Мечеть Гаджи Бани) (near the Palace of the Shirvanshahs). This is constructed by architect Hadji Bani in the 16th century.
  •    “Chin” mosque (True mosque, Çin məscidi, Чин мечеть) (near the Palace of the Shirvanshahs). constructed in 1375.
  •    Gasim-bek bath (Gasimbey bath, “Shirin” (Sweet) Bathhouse, Баня Гасым-бека), Kichik Gala street (Near the Salyan door (gate)). constructed in 17th century near the Salyan door (gate).
  •    Gasim-bek Caravanserai (Караван-сарай Касым-бека), Asef Zeynali (SW corner of district).
  •    Madrasah-mosque (Мечеть-медресе), A.Zeynalli street. The chapel constructed in the 15th century in the yard of Jame mosque
  •    Seyed Yahya mosque (Seyid Yahya Murtuza mosque, Мечеть Сеид Яхья), Asef Zeynally Street ~16 (South part of the Old City, on the medieval commercial caravan road). constructed in the early 17th
  •    Jame mosque and minaret remains (Emir Sharaf-ad-din Mahmud mosque and minaret, Mosque Cum, Джума мечеть, Azerbaijani: Cümə məscidi), Kiçik Qala. Founded in 1309-10. The mosque was repeatedly reconstructed during its existence period. A new Friday Mosque was constructed in the place of old mosque in means of Baku merchant Haji Shikhlali Dadashov, in 1899. It was constructed in place of old Friday Mosque and it is considered that it was appeared in that place, where a temple of zoroastrians located. A minaret, constructed in 1437, adjoins Friday Mosque.
  •    Bazaar Square (Базарная площадь).
  •    Baba Kukhy Baku mosque (Мечеть Баба Кухи Бакуви) (at the Maiden Tower).
  •    Cell-madrasa (Келья-медресе) (North from Madrasah-mosque 50m).
  •    Gileyli mosque (Гилейли мечеть). built in 1309, rebuilt 1800's
  •    Lezgi mosque (Лезги мечеть, Ləzgi Məscidi), Asef Zeynally Street.
  •    Portal of a residential building (Портал жилого дома), Böyük Qala.
  •    Sultan oglu Sultan Sheikh Ibrahim mosque (Sheikh Ibrahim mosque, Мечеть Шейха Ибрагима) (Loc.: over the commercial highway changing own direction for reaching the Salyan gate). built in 1415-16.
  •    Salyan Gates and Shemakha Gates (Шемахинские ворота) (Northeast).
  •    Muhammad Mosque (Siniggala Mosque, Мечеть Мухаммада) (West 60m from Cuma Mosque). This is the mosque built in the 11th century in Icheri Sheher, Baku. The mosque is also known as Siniggala, for the name of its minaret – Siniggala (“damaged tower”). The mosque acquired its second name in 1723, when military squadron of Russian army, consisting of 15 warships and led by Admiral Matyushkin approached the city from seaside and demanded its surrender. Russian warships began to bomb the city after refusal. One of the shells hit in the minaret of Muhammad Mosque and damaged it. At that time blew stormy wind and took the Russian ships away to the sea. Population of the city interpreted it as a divine scourge sent to the occupants. From that time till the middle of the 19th century minaret of the mosque wasn’t reconstructed and was the symbol of persistence and courage of defendants of the tower. - It is the first building in Azerbaijan, which is related to Islam and dated for its architectural ligature. - According to Arabic inscription which was saved in front of doorway of northern wall of the mosque, it was built by ustad-rais Muhammad the son of Abu Bakr in 471 of Hijra (1078/79). It means that the architect was not only a master-ustad, but also a rais-head of artificers’ corporation. - A Minaret adjoins new mosque, which was constructed on the basis of the older one’s plan. Trunk of the minaret is strong and slightly thinning. It is constructed from carefully drafted stone. Coarse and flat stalactites of tabling retain sherefe – muezzin’s balcony enclosed by stone plates. A ribbed dome completes the trunk of minaret. Narrow winding stairs are winded within the trunk. Ligature with Koranic inscription was traced under the tabling with archaic kufi alphabet.
  •    Beyler Mosque (Мечеть Бейлер) (East 100m from Palace).
  •    Haji Eybata Mosque (Мечеть Гаджи Ейбата), Kichik Qala, dönge 8.
  •    Khan's house (Ханский дом) (Northeast part).
  • Ashur mosque. built in 1169.
  • Khidir mosque. built in 1300's.
  • Khanlarov mosque. built in the late 19th century.
  •    Tetragonal tower (Donjon bastion, Донжон башни). located in northern mid part of the fortress wall.
  •    Underground constructions, water reservoir (Подземный ход) (Entrance near to the “Icherisheher” subway station).
  • Takiya (Tekkiye) (looks south, at the Maiden Tower). A chapel for dervishes constructed in the13th century.

Out of Old Town[edit]

  •    Mosque of the Martyrs (Turkish Mosque, Azerbaijani: Şəhidlər məscidi), Izzat Nabiyev (Funicular - Shahidlar Khiyabani garden). This is a mosque, near the Martyrs' Lane. The mosque was built in the beginning of 1990s with assistance of the Turkish government. The mosque currently is used as an official residence of religious attaché of the Turkish embassy. Opened in 2009. The 154th ayah from Al-Baqara chapter of Quran is written on the façade of the mosque in Arabic and Turkish: “Do not say “Dead!” about those, who died for the sake of Allah. No, they are alive! But you do not feel.”
  •    Taza Pir Mosque (Tazapir, Teze Pir, Teze-Pir, Tezepir), 7 Mirzə Fətəli Axundzadə. This is a mosque with two minarets. Its construction began in 1905 and was finished by 1914. The idea for the mosque as well as its financing was provided by an Azeri philanthropist, a female, Nabat Khanum Ashurbeyov (Ashurbeyli) - Architecture. Interior of the mosque has an area of 1400 square meters and decorated with ornaments of painting schools of Azerbaijan plus with samples from eastern ornaments. The height of the dome and a half meters. The mihrab and dome of the mosque made of marble, while decorative elements of the mosque, the tops of minarets and labels are made of gold. - The dome, on which 6 times written La ilaha ilallah from Muslim proclamation of faith or Shahada, made from Qızılqaya (Gyzylgaya) stone.
  •    Tuba Shahi Mosque (Azerbaijani: Tuba-Şahi məscidi), Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev Street (Mardakan (Mərdəkan) township). built in 1481.
  •    Quadrangular castleHaji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev Street off (Next to Tuba Shahi Mosque). This was built in 1187. The rectangular fortress is 22 m high. Its 76-step tower has two drinking water and 60 food wells. There is a circular tower 500 m away, is known as a “round fortress”. It is also called the “Six fortress” after Sheikh Abu Said Abulkheir. It is 12 m high. The Arabic inscriptions on it suggest that it was built by architect Abdulmajid Masud in 1232.
  •    Saint Gregory the Illuminator's Church (Azerbaijani: Bakı Erməni Kilsəsi, Armenian: Սուրբ Գրիգոր Լուսաւորիչի Եկեղեցի – Surp Grigor Lusavorichi Yekeghetsi), Street Nizami (ул. Низами) (in downtown At the Fountain Square - M 'Sahil' 400m East). no longer open to the public.. built in 1887. - Now a government building
  •    Holy Myrrhbearers Cathedral (Russian: Кафедральный Собор Святых Жён-Мироносиц; Azeri: Müqəddəs Mürdaşıyan Zənənlər Başkilsəsi), Street Azizbekova or Ilyas Efendiyev Street?, (ул.Ш.Азизбекова), 205 (M '28 May'),  +99412 440-4352, e-mail: . is a Russian Orthodox cathedral. Founded in 1909.
  •    Former Church of the Saviour (German: Erlöserkirche, German Kapellhaus, Azeri:Xilaskar Kilsəsi), Dilara Aliyeva and 28 May Street (ул. 28 Мая) cnr (Metro '28 May'). Built in German donation. This was a Lutheran church, opened in 1899. Now it is a concert hall. The Gothic style church features a portal crowned with a decorated pediment. In 1898, a 213 kg gilded cross was raised atop the church. In early 1899 a bell and an organ were installed.
  •    Church of Michael the Archangel (Russian: Михайло-Архангельский храм; Azerbaijani: Mixayil Arxangel kilsəsi; Flotskaya, Church of the Fleet), Zargarpalan street (Zərgərpalan, Заргярпалан), 38 (in central - Between M 'Nizami' & M 'Icherisheher'),  +99 412 497-3596. This is a Russian Orthodox church. Founded in 1850.
  •    Church of the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception (Azerbaijani: Müqəddəs Bakirə Məryəm kilsəsi, Russian: Церковь Непорочного Зачатия Пресвятой Девы Марии), İzzət Oruczadə küç. ? (Next to AMAY Shopping Center - Metro 'Khatai' 500 m). This is a Roman Catholic church. Built in 2006.

Museums and galleries[edit]

  •    National Art Museum of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Milli İncəsənət Muzeyi), 31, Istiglaliyat st +994 12 923 931. Tu-Su 10:00–18:00. The museum consists of two buildings standing next to each other. The museum's total collection includes over 15,000 artworks. There are over 3,000 items in 60 rooms on permanent display. Seven of the rooms in the first building feature European art, and ten rooms feature Russian art. European art includes works of Italian, French, Dutch/Flemish, German and Polish painters. - The second edifice built in 1885 houses Eastern art, represented particularly by Persian, Turkish, Chinese and Japanese art. Russian art is encompassed notably by paintings of different painters. There are also restored samples of Russian avant-garde. The museum also holds easel and book miniatures of 17th-19th centuries, lacquered miniatures of 18th-19th centuries and collection of sherbet spoons, made from mulberry tree.
  •    National Museum of History of Azerbaijan (Taghiyev History Museum, Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Tarix Muzeyi, Russian: Музей истории Азербайджана), 4 Hadji Zeynal Abdin Taghiyev str., (M: Sahil),  +994 12 493 2387fax: +994 12 498 52 11, e-mail: . M-Sa 11:00-18:00, First Monday of every month closed (– cleanup day). The building of the Museum was built in 1893–1902. The Italian Renaissance-style mansion is immense and takes up an entire city block. There are four floors in some parts of the building. It was designed by Polish architect Józef Gosławski. On the second floor of Taghiyev's residence, side by side there are two major ballrooms. One is based on Oriental designs (Mauritanian) style and the other, on Occidental design. The Oriental Room has enormous plate glass windows, gilded arches, highly ornamental walls, ceilings and chandeliers. The lines in the Occidental Room are more perpendicular to each other – rectangular. The museum has more than 2000 exhibits and includes the following departments:Modern history, Ethnography, Ancient and medieval history of Azerbaijan, Scientific excursion, Fund of Numismatics, Art design group. 5 Manats.
  • Azeri National Costume Museum (Doll Museum) +994 12 493 6685.
  • Latif Karimov Carpet and Applied Arts MuseumNeftchiler Ave, 123 A.
  • Home of Jafar Jabbarli44, S. Gutgashinli St +994 12 43 84350.
  •    Heydar Aliyev Center (Heydər Əliyev Mərkəzi, Центр Гейдара Алиева), Heydər Əliyev prospekti (M Ganjlik 700m West),  +994 12 505 60 04, e-mail: . This is a 619,000-square-foot building complex in Baku, Azerbaijan designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid and noted for its distinctive architecture and flowing, curved style that eschews sharp angles. The Heydar Aliyev Center represents a fluid form which emerges by the folding of the landscape’s natural topography and by the wrapping of individual functions of the Center. All functions of the Center, together with entrances, are represented by folds in a single continuous surface. This fluid form gives an opportunity to connect the various cultural spaces whilst at the same time, providing each element of the Center with its own identity and privacy. As it folds inside, the skin erodes away to become an element of the interior landscape of the Center. - The Center houses a conference hall (auditorium), a gallery hall and a museum. - Exhibitions: “Life, Death, and Beauty” On June 21, 2013, the Center held the opening of the exhibition of works by American artist Andy Warhol titled “Life, Death, and Beauty” supervised by Gianni Mercurio, dated for the 85th anniversary of the artist. The exhibition, taking place first ever in Azerbaijan, displayed over hundred works by the artist, including featurettes by Warhol. There were shown photos of the author, portraits of the world film, music, and fashion stars, as well as other world-renowned works, with "Flowers" "Camouflage", “The Last Supper”, “Male Hands Praying”, “Electric Chair”, etc. - “At the turn of the century”: This is a personal exhibition of the People's Artist of Azerbaijan, vice- president of the Russian Academy of Arts Tahir Salakhov titled “At the turn of the century”. He is recognized as one of the founders of the “severe style” in painting. The exhibition featured over 100 works by the artist, created at different times, and his works on the carpets. There are portraits of Heydar Aliyev, the composer Gara Garayev and Dmitri Shostakovich, the musician Mstislav Rostropovich, the works “Aidan”, “Morning. Absheron”,”Koroglu”, Absheron triptych – “Atyashgyah”, “The Caspian today”, “Maiden Tower”, and other well-known works of the people’s artist.

Other sites[edit]

  • Baku Boulevard.
  • Fountain Sq (Fəvvarələr meydanı, Parapet sq) (Near the Old City). This is a pedestrian street along the center of Baku that has many shopping, dining, and sitting places. The Fountain Sq is a public square in downtown. The square is a public gathering place, especially after business hours and during the weekend. It is an attractive tourist destination with many boutiques, restaurants, shops, hotels and passage. The city authorities hold many public festivals, shows and celebrations here.
  • Nizami (Torgovaya) St (Azerbaijani: Nizami küçəsi) (metro station Sahil toward south, and metro station '28 May' toward north). This is a large pedestrian and shopping street in downtown Baku, named after famed classical poet Nizami Ganjavi. Nizami Street is home to various outlets, from banks to fashion stores and is one of the most expensive streets in the world. The street also accommodates the embassies. - Buildings mostly from late 19th-early 20th century, 1950s-1970s and a modern period. Most of the buildings, constructed in the first level, were constructed in “neo-renaissance”, “neo-gothic”, “baroque” and “neoclassicism” styles as other buildings of the city constructed in that period. “Neo-Moorish” style also dominates, in which architects attempted to use elements of national architecture in its construction. Houses are dressed with limestone – aglay. - Famous houses: No.20 The building of Caspian—Black Sea Oil and Trade Society (built in 1898-1899); No.30 The building of Central Universal Magazine. - No.34 "Nargiz" shopping center - No.38 Central Library - No.38 St. Gregory the Illuminator's Church (built in 1869), - No.48 Musa Naghiyev's house, built in 1911 - No. 50 Neoclassical apartments of Tagiyev brothers, built in 1912 - No.58 Residential house, constructed by architect I.V.Edel, in 1902. - No.64 Lev Landau house, built in 1911 - No.66 Oilmen's house built in 1956 by Mikayil Huseynov - No.67 "ISR Plaza" office center - No.69 International Bank of Azerbaijan - No.72 Azerbaijan State Theater of Young Spectators, built 1965 - No.74 National Library of Azerbaijan, opened in 1923 - No.75 Haji Rajabli House, built in 1896 - No.76 Azerbaijan State Song Theater named after Rashid Behbudov. - No.79 Murtuza Mukhtarov House, built in 1896. - No.85 Nasimi Park - No.87 State Committee on Capital Issues - No.90 Former mill - No.93 Musa Naghiyev house, built in 1911 - No.95 Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, built in 1911 - No.96 Office center "Landmark" - No.103 residential house, built in 1952 - No.115 Russian Imperial Technical Society, erected in 1899 - No.117 Azerbaijan State Oil Academy
  • Dendro Park.
  • Oil Rocks. Tourist wanting to see the oil rock complex need to get previous authorization from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.
  •    National Flag Square (Azerbaijani: Dövlət Bayrağı Meydanı). This is a large city square
  •    Alley of Honor (Azerbaijani: Fəxri Xiyaban, Honorary Alley), Parlament Prospekti. This is a public cemetery and memorial in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Alley includes burials of famed Azerbaijanis and Azerbaijan-affiliated expatriates, including several Presidents, scientists and artists. There are 242 burials in total.
  •    Martyrs' Lane (Alley of Martyrs or Şəhidlər Xiyabanı (transliterated to Shehidler Khiyabani)), İzzət Nəbiyev street. formerly The Kirov Park, is a cemetery and memorial in Baku, dedicated to those killed by the Soviet Army during Black January and later to those killed in Nagorno-Karabakh War.
  •    International Mugham Center of Azerbaijan (Beynəlxalq Muğam Mərkəzi, Международный центр мугама), Baku Boulevard (Neftçilər Prospekti, просп. Нефтяников) (Funicular 'Shovkat Alakbarova'). This is the center of Azerbaijani arts and music aimed to promote, preserve and popularize specific genre of Azerbaijani music Mugam. - The center covers 7,500 m² and has 3 stories. The design of the building was based on elements and shapes of Tar, Azerbaijani musical instrument used in performing Mugham. The concert hall fits 350 people. The center also has a club, restaurant, study halls and record studios.
  • Magomayev Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall2, Istiglaliyyat St +994 (12)/ 497 29 05. Built in 1912 and inspired by the Monte Carlo Casino. Houses the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra among others.
  •    Palace of Happiness (Azerbaijani: Səadət Sarayı, Palace of Marriage former Mukhtarov Palace), Sabail Raion, Istiglaliyyat St. 4 (Metro Nariman Narimanov (Nəriman Nərimanov) 600m N). This is a historic building in the center of Baku, Azerbaijan, built in Neo-Gothic style in 1912. - The building was built by an Azerbaijani Oil Baron Murtuza Mukhtarov for his wife Lisa. The designer was the Polish architect Józef Plośko. After the Sovietization in 1920 the building was given to the Club of Liberated Turkic Women, after which it functioned as Shirvanshahs Museum. During the existence of Azerbaijan SSR, the palace functioned as the Palace of Marriage Registrations. On 2 August 2001, by a resolution issued by the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan, the building was listed as real estate of historic and state importance and was to be protected as a monument of Azerbaijani culture. The street lying on the right side of the building carries the name of Murtuza Mukhtarov.
  •    Gulustan Palace (Azerbaijani: Gülüstan sarayı, Gulustan Wedding Palace Complex), 1 Istiglaliyyat Street, (M: Icherisheher). The Complex during the Soviet era is the main state convention center of the Azerbaijani government. From here overlooking the whole city of Baku and Baku Bay. The palace serves as an official facility for governmental and non-governmental organizations holding various types of formal events. It is notable for having hosted such important events as the Contract of the Century and other significant oil and gas contracts, signing of TRACECA project, the wedding of Leyla Aliyeva, the daughter of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, international and state conferences, etc.
  •    Ismailiyya building (İsmailiyye palace, Azerbaijani: İsmailiyyə Sarayı), Istiglaliyyat Street, (M: Icherisheher). This is a historical building that currently serves as the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. - The palace was constructed in 1913, for the Muslim Charity Society by Józef Plośko at the expense of the millionaire Musa Naghiyev in commemoration of his deceased son Ismayil, and was named Ismailiyya after him. The building was constructed in the Venetian Gothic style.
  •    Baku TV Tower (Azerbaijani: Televiziya Qülləsi, Телевышка), Sabail district (Bus to 'Abbasqulu Abbaszadə'). Built in 1996, is a free standing concrete telecommunications tower in Baku. With a height of 310 m, it is the tallest structure in Azerbaijan and the tallest reinforced concrete building in Caucasus. The tower has become one of the most prominent trademarks of Baku. - A rotating restaurant on the 62nd floor (175 m) of Azeri TV Tower was opened in 2008
  •    Flame Towers (Ismailiyya Bldg, Azerbaijani: Alov Qüllələri), Mehdi Huseyn Street (Next to Parliament - Take the 'Funicular' or bus to 'Milli Məclis'). This is the tallest skyscraper in Baku, Azerbaijan with a height of 190 m (620 ft). The buildings consist of apartments, a hotel and office blocks. The estimated cost of Flame Towers is around USD $ 350 million. Construction began in 2007, with completion in 2012. - The facades of the three Flame Towers are turned into gigantic display screens with the use of more than 10,000 high-power LED luminaires, supplied by the Osram subsidiary Traxon Technologies and Vetas Electric Lighting.
  •    Bibi-Heybat Mosque (Azerbaijani: Bibiheybət məscidi)), Salyan Highway (Salyan şossesi) (5km South). This is a historical mosque in Baku, Azerbaijan. The existing structure, built in the 1990s, is a recreation of the mosque with the same name built in the 13th century by Shirvanshah Farrukhzad II Ibn Ahsitan II, which was completely destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1936. - The Bibi-Heybat Mosque includes the tomb of Ukeyma Khanum (a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad), and today is the spiritual center for the Muslims of the region and one of the major monuments of Islamic architecture in Azerbaijan. - It's locally known as "the mosque of Fatima" - The old mosque was situated in the southern part of the tomb, while there was a 20 meter high minaret in the west part of the mosque. Later a crypt and two niches were added to the mosque to the south of the minaret. On the niches there were inscriptions containing the name of Fatali Khan, whose tombstone marble slab is now in the Azerbaijan State Museum of History. - From 1305 to 1313, Mahmud Ibn Saad built the mosque's minarets. The top of the thread and stalactites, raised by a small pillar, surmounted by a semicircular dome of Rebrov. Railing minarets were patterned with stone grill. Graphic studies showed that the height of the minaret was about 22 m. - The rich interior of the complex has been decorated with ornaments. The inside of mosque included an oblong rectangular room with a lancet arch. Under the dome, there were chandelier-candlestick (shamdan), and a hook on which it hung was surrounded by stained glass. - On the north side of the minaret and the mosque immediately adjoining the tomb, there was an inscription which was discovered by Johannes Albrecht Bernhard Dorn. From the inscription it was clear that this mausoleum was built in 1619 and interred here by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Bin Abid, who died the next day after work. - The modern restored mosque is a classic example of the Shirvan architectural school. The mosque has three domes, which have kept the traditional corrugated galvanised iron shape of the old mosque and two minarets. The domes are decorated with the green and turquoise mirrors, which are bordered with gilded inscriptions from Qur'an. Men's praying room is located on the south side of the complex, while women - on the north side. Between them is the mausoleum. - The builders used local varieties of limestone such as Gulbaht. On the inside the walls of marble carvings with calligraphic inscriptions such as muhaggah, Suls, Jami-Suls, Kufic, kufi-shatrandzh, musalsag, sofa and tugra. Also widely used such ornamental compositions as islimi, shukyufa, Bandy-Rumi, zendzhiri Selcuk (Seljuk chain), Shamsi, Jafari and Achma-yumma.
  • AF MALLis located in the heart of the city just off the Torgovaya on Samed Vurgun St 34 +994 12 5965506. This brand new mall has many trendy shops, summer lounge with tropic garden and pool on rooftop opening by the end of 2011.
  • Park Bulvar Shopping MallAlong the boulevard, right across Park Inn Hotel. This brand new mall has many trendy shops, a cinema, a planetarium, a bowling alley and many cozy cafes. There are many famous fast food chains located there, such as KFC and Sbarro.

Absheron Peninsula[edit]

Outside the city, on the Absheron Peninsula, there are several interesting sites that are easy to reach via taxi or public transportation. Moreover, the scenery along your route is itself a fascinatingly ugly sight to be seen, a desert wasteland with white salt flats and natural oil pools seeping up to the surface.

  •    Atashgah Fire Temple (Take marshrutka 191 from Qara Qarayev metro station, or marshrutka 184 from Nariman Narimanov or Koroglu metro stations. Look out for Suraxani - abandoned? - suburban train station as the spot to get off. From Suraxani station walk about 100m and you can arrive at the temple). 9am-6pm. Adults 2 AZN, children 0.20 AZN, students 0.40 AZN, 2 AZN to take photos.
  •    Yanar Dagh (Yanar Dağ, Burning Hillside) (Take bus 147 from metro station Azadliq Prospekti to its final destination Yanar Dagh). Yanar Dagh is a mountain that has been continuously on fire for one thousand years. The natural gas vents ensure that hot flames roar out of the sides of this hill even when it rains. Flames jet out into the air 3m from a thin, porous sandstone layer. Adults 2 AZN, children 0.20 AZN, parking 1 AZN.

Itineraries[edit]

Do[edit]

In the evening, go to the opera at the national opera on Nizami street. Otherwise, go to the rooftop bar at Sultan Inn in the Old City for a drink and excellent views of the Maiden Tower, Caspian sea and the TV tower.

  • Boat tours of Baku. Offered from the Baku Blvd. Lasts 40 minutes. 6AZN.
  • Go to Pantomima theatre. Offered from the Baku Blvd. Lasts 40 minutes. 6AZN.
  • National Opera and BalletNizami St.
  • Aqua Park Baku,Rashid Behbudov, 59 +994 12 447-03-03.
  • Baku Entertainment Center (Bakı Əyləncə Mərkəzi), Khatai District, F. Bayramov St, 1130/33 +994 012 490-22-22fax: +994 012 490-22-05, e-mail: . Baku Entertainment center has been around for more than half a decade. It has a shopping center, bowling alley certified by AMF, health club, conference venue with a capacity of 350 people, and various restaurants and clubs.
  • Hamam Mehellesi. Public Baths (Hamamlar). This is the oldest public bath in Baku located near the Icharishahar metro station, inside the walls of the old city. There are men's and women's days at this public bath, Mondays and Fridays are for women, the rest of the days are for men. Hamam Mehellesi is in the Old Town. From the station, enter the gate to the old city, turn right and go down the street. The hamam will be a few blocks down, on the left side of the street, you will see a note on one of the walls "hamam mehellesi" and a little further - the bath's domes - this will be the place. 1AZN and they offer two types of service, hise (skin peel) for 2AZN and massage for 4AZN.
  • Luna Amusement Park +994 012 496-48-48. This is a small amusement park for kids and adults.
  • Baku Funicular Railroad. You can take this funicular train up to the Alley of the Marytrs. 0.2AZN.
  • Teze Bey Hamami. Public Baths (Hamamlar). This public bath is in the old town and is a male only hamam. They have different types of baths (Finnish, Turkish, etc), so it may be a bit pricier than the other public baths in Baku.

Beaches[edit]

  • AF Beach ClubNovkhani +994 12 448-30-30. This complex has 5 swimming pools, fast food, restaurant with cooks from Azerbaijan and Europe, Disco, Game Hall, Wi-Fi, Water Sports, Beach Volley, Beach Football, Entertainments, Professional Animation Team . 80-600.
  • Amburan Beach ClubBilgah +994 12 453-86-85fax: +994 12 453-86-84, e-mail: . This complex has a 3 swimming pool, fast food outlets, restaurant with cooks from Azerbaijan and Europe, Disco, Game Hall, Wi-Fi, Water Sports, Beach Volley, Beach Football, Entertainments, Professional Animation Team .

There are a couple of beaches including Shikhov Beach, but they are polluted by sewage and industrial waste. Outside the city, however, there are a few very nice sandy beaches on the Caspian. In particular Bilgəh and Amburan beaches, on the north coast of the Absheron Peninsula are great spots to cool off from heat.

Festivals[edit]

  • Baku Jazz Festival +994 012 437-55-33, e-mail: . Organised by famous saxophonist and Baku resident Rain Sultanov to showcase Azerbaijan's love of Jazz which grew during the Soviet era when it was banned by the authorities. Features acts from around the world, the annual festival lasts for a week, and will run from 7-14 Jun (in 2007). Tickets can be purchased from Baku Jazz Center, 19 Rashid Behbudov St or by phone.

Buy[edit]

A small bazar in downtown Baku
  • Antiques from Old City (İçəri Şəhər)
  • Rugs
  • Apples from Quba
  • Tea and Talish Stockings from Lankaran
  • Halva from Sheki
  • Traditional dolls created by ladies' groups in Barda

ATMs[edit]

  • Bankomats (ATMs) are available all around the city, mainly in downtown and metro stations exits. If you have a cell phone with either a Bakcell or Azercell sim card, you can recharge your account balance using various ATMs. The International Bank of Azerbaijan has a list [1] of their ATMs in Baku. Some of them have Euros and US Dollars available.

Eat[edit]

There are a great deal of restaurants in Baku.

Budget[edit]

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget up to 10AZN
Mid-range 10-20AZN
Splurge 20AZN or more
  •    Half Way Inn6, 28 May St (Bus 2, 61, 85, 88, 90, 95 to Milli Bank),  +994 012 5980905. International Cuisine 5-10AZN.
  •    L’aparte51, Istigaliyyet St (ул. Истиглалият) (M Icherisheher SW 0.4km),  +994 012 497-77-79. European and Azeri Cuisine 6-10AZN.
  •    Lebanese12, Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev Street (M 'Sahil' 0.5km West),  +994 012 4937849. Lebanese Cuisine located on fountain square 4-8AZN.
  •    Onassis3, Inshaatchilar Ave ( İnşaatçılar prospekti) (Near to 'Huseyn Cavid Park' - M 'Elmlar Akademiyasi'),  +994 012 4391734. Greek and International Cuisine 2-7AZN.
  •    U Dali5, Mirza Ibrahimov Street (Bus to 'Şahmat məktəbi' or M 'Nizami' 0.6km N),  +994 012 4949356. Georgian Cuisine 3-6AZN.
  • Lavas/Fasali (Right outside Icherisheher metro, on the left). Two take-away places, one next to the other, run by the same people. Do a wide range of usual Azeri/Turkish take-away food - but good quality, very popular with the locals, expect to queue! 3 AZN for a kebab/pancake which will completely fill you up.

Mid-range[edit]

Azerbaijani/Turkish[edit]

Former USSR[edit]

  • Dukhan81/13 Nizami St +994 012 598-22-29. Georgian Cuisine.
  • Georgian Home215 Bashir Safaroglu St & 18 Mirza Irahimov St +994 012 493-85-36 & +994 012 493-43-85, e-mail: . Georgian Cuisine.
  • Khutor9 M. Mukhtarov St +994 012 437-22-23. Ukrainian Cuisine 8-15AZN.
  • Maksim4/3 Gala St (Old City),  +994 012 492-20-45. Georgian Cuisine. 5-20AZN.
  • Rasputin9 A. Aliyev St +994 050-355-57-71. Russian Cuisine. 5-20AZN.

Western[edit]

Sultan Inn rooftop or Meridien hotel rooftop restaurants for European/fusion with excellent views) or head back to the Fountain Square for greater variety of inexpensive cuisine.

  • Dolce Vita9 Aziz Aliyev St +994 012 492-75-72.. Italian Restaurant.
  • Grand Hotel Europe1025/30 Tbilisi Ave +994 012 490-70-90, e-mail: . International Cuisine.
  • Greasy Barney’sG. Abbasov 72, Apt 1A +994 012 491-23-63. Sandwich Shop.
  • Le Mirage34 Nizami St +994 050-622-05-90. European Cuisine. Nightclub.
  • Cafe CityRashid Behbudov St (St closest to the L side of Park Bulvar, close to Sahil Bagi and Central Public Library). Mixed Cuisine Cafe.
  • Le R Restaurant123/6 Remontov St +994 012-437-21-80. European Cuisine.
  • Mexicana17 Z. Tagiyev St +994 012 498-90-96. 6-14AZN.
  • München125 Nizami St +994 012 493-76-00. German cuisine. Large selection of draft beer.
  • Nara4 Aziz Aliyev St +994 012 497-12-55. French Cuisine.

Asian[edit]

Splurge[edit]

  • Chinar1 Shovket Alekperova St +994 012 492-08-88. Pan-Asian cuisine, modern tea house and late night cocktail bar. 20-70AZN.
  • House of SultansIcheri Sheher Boyuk Gala #20 +994 012 437-23-06. International and Azeri Cuisine.
  • MezzoBakikhanov St (in Hyatt Hotel),  +994 012 496-12-34. Mediterranean Cuisine. 20-70AZN.
  • Terrace Garden20 Boyuk Gala (Icheri Sheher (Old Town)),  +994 012 437-23-05 (ext 10). European and Azeri Cuisine. 7-26AZN.
  • The Brewery28 Istiglaliyyet St +994 012 497-14-00. European Restaurant, in a vaulted basement setting: also a brew pub, with European-style beers. 8-20AZN.
  • Toscana12 Basti Bagirova St, Kermur Plz +994 012 436-80-47. Italian Cuisine. 4-20AZN.

Drink[edit]

A Cultural Note

Although tea houses (çay xanalar) in Baku usually allow Western women to enter, in the regions, it is often forbidden for females to enter such establishments. Women drinking in Baku is a la mode, but it is taboo for women in the regions of Azerbaijan to consume alcohol.

Tea Houses (Çayxanalar)[edit]

There are many outdoor tea houses (çayxanalar) that serve tea and sweets to people in their own individual nooks. Going to them can be a great way to get a sense of the local culture. If you are adventurous, try challenging a local Bakuvian to a game of backgammon (nard) or dominoes.

Cafés[edit]

There is a good selection of cafés dispersed throughout Baku. Expect to pay Western prices for your coffee.

  • Baku Roasting Company (Near Ramstore in Elmlar). 9AM-9PM daily, except M. 2.5-7AZN.

Bars and pubs[edit]

Although tea houses (çay xanalar) (found throughout Azerbaijan) serve local beer (piva) - draft at 50 qapick/glass or bottles at 70 qapick/bottle or vodka (araq) at 2AZN/bottle, for anything exotic (e.g. tequila, gin, or rum), you will have to go to a normal bar or hotel and pay Western prices there.

  • Adam's Sports Bar6 Alizade St Bonny: +994 50-346-0433. it closed, go to castle if you want a sports bar
  • The Corner Bar77, Nizami St (cnr of the R. Rza and Tolstoy Sts).
  • Finnegan’s4, A. Aliyev St +994 012-498-98-57. Next to History Museum. Free wifi. Good beer prices and Happy Hour offers. Ridiculously expensive wine,however.

Nightclubs[edit]

  • Caravan Jazz Club4 Aliyev St +994 012 97-11-39. You might not expect it, but Baku has a great jazz tradition of its own and this is the place to go. No entrance fee and has a free, western-style toilet.
  • Room 103103 Neftiçilər Prospekti +994 012 92-65-03. An upscale cocktail bar with nightly live jazz.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  •    Baku Station Hotel28 May Station?. Under renovation as of Oct 2009. Dorm bed 2.4AZN, single 6AZN, twin 3AZN.
  •    Caspian HostelAsef Zeynalli 29 (Old Town, around the cnr from Meridian Hotel, above Thousand Camels Hostel),  +994 503778444. Great location in the Old Town. 2 dorm rooms and 1 private room. Dorm bed 16AZN.
  •    Guest House InnHarbci St? 17, Icheri Sheher (Baki Soveti metro station),  +994 12 4371262fax: +994 12 4371263. Check-in: any time, check-out: at 12PM. This hotel is situated in the center of Old Town in a calm area, 10 minutes on foot to the nearest metro station, very friendly staff. Room with TV, fridge, private bathroom, hot water 60AZN per person.
  •    Hotel Velotrek (slightly hidden behind the Respublica Velotrek bicycle race course through a tall iron gate on the left hand side. 20 January Metro Station). A few kilometers north of the centre, this budget hotel has clean rooms with TV, private bath and hot water in the mornings. Single 15AZN, double 30AZN.

Mid-range[edit]

  •    Araz Hotel(Y səfərov küç, Сафарова Юсифа) 30, Xatai/montino (From Baku Railway Station 0.5km East),  +994 12 490 5063. About a kilometre from the ferry port. Dbl US$60.
  • Atrium Hotel at the International Trade CenterHaydar Aliyev 95 +994 50 5983398, e-mail: . 16 rooms
  • Altstadt HotelMammedyarov str. 3/2A, Icheri Sheher, AZ1001, Baku (Exit at Icheri Sheher metro, enter the Old Town, walk uphill to the left - and ask. Or use new technology!),  +99412 492 64 02, e-mail: . A "better" two-star hotel, with buffet breakfast, spotless private facilities, A/C, Wi-Fi, colour TV. Offers excursions, helps with visas if necessary. Run by the very friendly Mr. Elmin (Beatles fan) who is always happy to give info and help guests. 50 AZN for double/twin.
  •    Consul Hotel92c Hasan Aliyev St (From Metro 'Ganjlik' West 1.2km),  +994 12 498 6095, e-mail: . This is a hotel option in the Genclik district. Twin 50AZN~64$.
  • Elite HotelDarnagul Settl., Neft Ave, 30/68. Check-in: Noon, check-out: Noon. 4 star business class hotel. Double 85AZN.
  • Guesthouse InnAzadlig Pros. 16/21 +994 50 626 2173fax: +994 125 98 21 29, e-mail: . Located between the Oil Academy and the Landmark, the Guesthouse Inn should not be confused with the Guest House Inn in the old town. 4 Single and 5 Double rooms, all ensuite with air conditioning, fridge, satellite TV, internet access.
  • Holiday Inn Baku AirportHeydar Aliyev International Airport (25-min drive from the city centre),  +994 12 437 4949, e-mail: . Facilities include a kids stay and eat free program, internet access in all rooms, various restaurants, complimentary shuttle to downtown and a spa.
  • Park InnAzadlig Ave 1 +994 12 490 6000fax: +994 12 496 8900, e-mail: . Fully-equipped business centre, restaurant, bar and coffee shop, five modern conference rooms and an elegant ballroom with a large foyer. Also offers Wi-Fi in all guest rooms, gift shop, free airport shuttle, 24 hour room service, workout room, open parking facilities, 24 hour concierge. 169AZN.

Splurge[edit]

  • AF Hotel Aqua ParkNovkhana, 1130/33 +994 012 448-30-30, e-mail: . Check-in: Noon, check-out: Noon. AF Hotel is officially the largest hotel and resort in the Caucasus. This complex houses pools, saunas, salons, water slides, entertainment center, and hotel facilities. From 80AZN for a standard double room up to 500AZN for a presidential.
  • Amburan Beach ClubBilgah +994 12 453-86-85fax: +994 12 453-86-84, e-mail: . This complex has a 3 swimming pool, fasfood outlets, restaurant with cooks from Azerbaijan and Europe, Disco, Game Hall, Wi-Fi Internet, Water Sports, Beach Volley, Beach Football, Entertainments, Professional Animation Team .
  • 12 Bulvar Inn Baku.
  • Crescent Beach HotelSalyan Hwy, Shikhov +994 012 497-47-77fax: +994 012 497-47-80, e-mail: . This complex has an indoor and outdoor pool, beach front, bar, and tourism services. High-speed Wi-Fi zone covering 10 hotel buildings, Hotel yard, restaurant, bars and beach. Please contact Hotel reception.
  • Hyatt Regency Baku1 Bakikhanov +994 12-496-1234fax: +994 12-496-1235, e-mail: . Services include: high-speed internet access, chauffeur-driven limousine rental, hotel shops, Wi-Fi, business center, The Grill, Gourmet Shop, Beluga Bar, Club Oasis Fitness Center, swimming pools, tennis courts, squash courts, ballroom, 10 meeting rooms, 2 boardrooms, and pre-function and social function space. 270-405AZN.

Connect[edit]

Internet[edit]

Internet cafes in Azerbaijan are called "internet klubs" and they are found throughout Baku. Some coffee houses provide wireless internet, but they are quite rare in Baku. Recently public wi-fi service was implemented the central areas. One "klub" with fast internet downtown is VIP, U.Bunyadzade 3. They also have a lot of games you can play.

Post office[edit]

Azerpost Office

Azerbaijan Post locations are dispersed throughout Baku. Mailing an international letter generally costs 0.8AZN.

AZAL[edit]

As Azal seems to be in a permanent state of flux as to where their offices are located, pop into a travel agent and ask about tickets very carefully before buying anything. In some cases, like Naxcevan or last-minute flights, you WILL ABSOLUTELY have to go this every-moving central office during a few random opening times in order to get your tickets processed. One travel agent who can guide you buy phone is reachable at +994 55 4201220 or +99412 5551320 or 5981619.

Stay safe[edit]

Baku is considered a safe city, nevertheless common sense is useful as in all other big cities. Homeless people do not harass or attack people and are very safe to be around. The biggest problem in Baku is driving. Many drivers do not obey rules and speed.

Western clothes are acceptable for the city, but pants for men and long dresses for women are recommended if you go to more remote regions such as Gobustan.

Emergency contact numbers[edit]

  • Ambulance: 103
  • Fire: 101
  • Gas Emergency 104
  • Speaking Clock 106
  • Police: 102

You must speak in Azeri, Turkish or Russian to communicate your needs. It would be a good idea to memorize key phrases before coming to Azerbaijan - see the Talk section for phrasebooks.

Safety tips[edit]

The roads can be treacherous at night due to unseen potholes and dimly lit cars. Most areas in and near the downtown are mostly safe. Try to stay away from the outskirts.

Cope[edit]

Embassies[edit]

Go next[edit]

Mud Volcanoes at Gobustan State Reserve
  • A ferry departs daily from Baku across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan. This ferry has become somewhat of a sleeper hit with backpackers on the Silk Road, but is very uncomfortable and should only be taken by adventure-seekers.
  • A ferry depart irregularly to Aktau in Kazakhstan (every 7–10 days maybe). Docks are located 2 km to the west of the old town. It is difficult to get tickets!
  • Sheki, which is a 7 hour bus ride to the north, is a beautiful city in the Caucasus mountains with lots to see and do.
  • Buses take international travelers onwards from Baku to Iran and Georgia.
  • The Baku Airport is one of the few in the world offering flights to Nakhchivan and travelers heading that way should book a flight from here.
  • Go and enjoy the oil baths of Naftalan.
  • Relax by the Caspian in Nabran, Azerbaijan's biggest tourist destination for international travelers and a coastal city close to Xachmaz.
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