Baku (Azeri: Bakı) is the capital of Azerbaijan and is the largest city in the Caucasus. Baku's Old Town has UNESCO World Heritage status. Many cultures and architectural styles mix in Baku, in particular Turkish-Islamic elements meet strong Western European and Russian-Eastern European influences.
Baku is on the coast of the Caspian Sea on the southern coast of the Absheron Peninsula. There are three major divisions in Baku: İçəri Şəhər (the Old Town), the Soviet-built city, and the newest part of the city. The population in 2020 was 2.3 million.
The city of Baku is on the semi-arid 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 daily to the city. The city has a metro, a well-developed bus and minibus 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.
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 variations are less than in many continental regions at this latitude (about 40 degrees north) owing to the presence of the Caspian Sea.
- 1 Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD IATA 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), ☏ . It is served by major airlines including Aeroflot, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways, and many smaller airlines. The least expensive way to get to Baku from Europe is via Aeroflot, with inexpensive flights from Moscow daily. Air Baltic also offers flights with good prices from Riga. This is the hub for Azerbaijan Airlines & Silk Way Airlines.
Getting there and away:
- By bus – T1 Airport Express runs between the airport and the railway station (the bus waits across the street from the station) with an intermediate stop at Koroglu metro station. The ride costs 1.30 manat, payable by BakiKart (the same one used in the metro). The bus runs every 30 minutes. Additionally, N16 runs between the airport and Samed Vurgun Park, in the heart of Baku. The trip costs 1 manat 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 2 Samed Vurgun's Park on 28 May Street.
- By minibus – No. 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 0.40 manat.
- 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). Only one taxi company is permitted to 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 at 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 4–6 stations to the city center, but only 06:00–00:00.
- 3 Baku railway station (Bakı Dəmiryol Stansiyası), Nasimi (M '28 May' 50 m). Departure point for all international and overnight connections, as well as the local train to Sumqayit. Buying a train ticket happens the old-fashioned way with separate windows for buying a ticket and paying for it. But don't worry, most station staff understand English and are willing to help.
Domestic trains are very cheap, and most journeys cost less than 10 manat, making them cheaper than staying in a hostel.
- Tbilisi – As of 2023, this seems to be on hold since COVID.
- Moscow – The journey takes 51 hr and departs once a week, and there are also connections from Rostov and Kharkiv. Trains running through Russia are operated by Russian Railways, schedule and tickets are available at rzd.ru.
- Kyiv – Despite the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the rail link between Baku and Kyiv seems active. Once a week a train does the 60-hr journey.
- Ankara – The long-delayed rail link between Georgia and Turkey opened in 2017 for freight only. As of June 2023, the passenger services via Tbilisi are yet to start, with no announced date.
|Departure (UTC offset)||Arrival (UTC offset)||3rd class (platskart, seat)||2nd class (kupe, bed)||1st class (SV, bed)||comments|
|Tbilisi 20:35 (UTC +4)||Baku 08:50 (UTC +4)||33 lari as of Sep 2017||50 lari||86 lari||daily; cannot be bought online,|
only on-spot at Tbilisi central station
|Baku 20:40 (UTC +4)||Tbilisi 08:55 (UTC +4)||23 manat as of Mar 2019||33 manat||56 manat||daily; buy tickets online|
|Baku 03:25 (UTC +4)||Rostov 09:09 (UTC +3)||twice per week|
|Baku 01:35 (UTC +4)||Moscow 03:22 (UTC +3)||weekly|
|Baku 01:35 (UTC +4)||Kyiv 11:34 (UTC +3)||158.93 manat (till Valuyki)||223.86 manat (till Valuyki)||Saturdays; online tickets just until Valuyki (Russia) available|
|Kyiv 14:50 (UTC +3)||Baku 04:10 (UTC +4)||3416.49 грн (€122 as of Aug 2019)||Mondays; buy tickets online[dead link]|
- 4 Baku International Bus Terminal (20th January Terminal / Bakı Beynəlxalq Avtovağzalı), Sumgait highway (M:'Avtovağzal' 200 m), ☏ , fax: . 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, post office, and waiting and VIP rooms.
Buses also operate from destinations in Iran, Turkey and Tbilisi.
From specific destionations:
- Agstafa – 7-8 hr, 8 manat
- Sheki – hourly from 06:30-18:00, 6 hr, 6-9 manat
- Lankaran – 4 connections per day, 5-6 hr, 5 manat
- Khachmaz – 3 hr, 3 manat
- Saatli – 5 hr
- Imishli – 4 hr
- Ismailli – hourly in the morning and afternoon, 6.20 manat
- Tbilisi – Take a marshrutka for 4 lari from Station Square to "Tsiteli Khidi" (the border, Red Bridge). Then catch a marshrutka or bus from the other side to Baku for 12 manat. The entire journey takes about 9 hr.
- See also: Ferries in the Caspian Sea
- 5 Baku International Sea Trade Port (Sea terminal, Daniz Vagzal, Bakı Beynəlxalq Dəniz Ticarət Limanı), Neftchiler Avenue (in the Bay of Baku), ☏ , (Passenger Terminal). The port consists of the Main Cargo Terminal, Dubendy Oil Terminal, Ferry Terminal, and Passenger Terminal. 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.
There are pedestrian alleys and streets around the Fountain Square, the seafront, and the old town. You can walk to other places, too, but you might have to cross busy streets since there aren't always pedestrian tunnels available. The zebra crossings work with an "I'm feeling lucky" principle and aren't usually exactly safe, especially at night. At night, use your phone screen (not your flashlight) to indicate to the approaching cars that you are crossing the street, and follow other people.
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.
- MyBike, Asef Zeynalli Street, Ichari Shahar. 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. 10-20 manat per day.
Buses and minibuses cost 0.30 manat 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.
Newer buses (the red ones) only accept electronic cash in the form of metro cards, available at any metro station. Some larger bus stations have machines to top-up cards, but not to buy new ones.
There are some buses which cost 0.35 manat, e.g. the one to Bibi Heybət Mosque in the south. This makes charging disposable electronic cards a challenge: if you buy the single use tickets, they might not be sufficient if you just load them with 0.40 manat, thinking of going forth and back once.
The metro goes many places throughout Baku and it costs only 0.30 manat. It is the least expensive way to get around Baku besides walking. Ask a cashier or attendant. You must obtain a Bakı Metropiliten Kart (2 manat refundable deposit) and load it like a normal metro pass. You can also buy a limited card (0.2 manat) with 1, 2, 3, or 4 trips (the last one costing 1 manat). 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.
You can buy a metro card at the metro station and some bus stops from a ticket machine. You can change the language of the machine to English.
It runs from 06:00 until 24:00 and gets very crowded in rush hours.
Be careful when transferring trains at the transfer stations (28 May and Jafar Jabbarli Cəfər Cabbarlı) as the signage is difficult to spot.
There have been reports of people being arrested while taking photographs of the metro station. There are clear signage on the stations which prohibits taking photos, on the outside it is ok.
The Avtovaghzal metro station is worth seeing from the outside as it is a giant glass pyramid.
The Baku electric train runs through several parts of Baku and the surrounding area including Sumqait. 1 manat.
The Baku funicular is a great way of getting to the Viewpoint and Flame Towers. It is not too expensive.
London taxi cabs have been introduced in Baku, and travel fees are 0.70 manat per km. Other vehicles however also are available. A taxi costs 4-10 manat for trips within the center of Baku. It's important to agree on the price of the fare before beginning the trip or you may be overcharged.
Most taxi drivers simply double the price for tourists. So, halving it while negotiating and doing the walk-away trick, should reveal the genuine price. Doubling a price is seemingly much easier than tripling it. Otherwise, just use Bolt (a taxi app for your mobile) as indicator or/and negotiator.
Going out of Baku with a taxi, rely on Google Maps and direct the driver. Many driver seem to know just one way in and out to sights outside of Baku, but not efficient ways between them.
- Baku Airport Transfer, [email protected]. 24 hours. Offers online booking and printed receipts/invoices for airport transfers between downtown and Heydar Aliyev International. English is spoken. 33 manat.
- 189, ☏ 189. Call 189 from an Azeri phone, ask for English language, wait for a moment and then you can arrange a pickup point destination and get a fair price. Wait for 5-10 min. Get notified by SMS after calling and when your cab arrived including the licence plate, destination and price. Very easy. Also works after midnight when public transport stops.
By rental car
- 6 AVIS, Huseyn Javid Ave (M: 'Elmlar Akademiyasi'), ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. Avis Rent a Car provides cars, SUV and 4WD. Airport pick up and delivery service is also available.
- Aznur Car Rental, ☏ (Rufat). The local rental service, reliable and friendly. From 60 manat per day for a Mini including full cover (cheaper during weekends).
- 7 Naniko Rent a Car, 45 Samad Vurgun, ☏ , [email protected]. They have a wide range of rental cars available at Baku. Airport transfers & low rates. From US$15/day.
Many good deals are available with the usual reservation websites. Just beware of hidden extra fees (of the website itself) for insurance you do not really need.
Note that Baku und Azerbaijan in general have many automated speed cameras, and it is not uncommon to get a ticket—which will be sent via SMS directly to the car owner. So, don't be surprised when you have to pay a little extra when returning the car. Locals say 60 manat for a weekend trip is not uncommon.
Old Town (Icheri Sheher)
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:
- 1 The Palace of the Shirvan Shahs (Shirvanshahs' Palace; Azerbaijani: Şirvanşahlar sarayı, Russian: Дворец Ширваншахов), Sabayil (Metro Icherisheher 200 m), ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. Daily: Apr-Oct 10:00-19:00, Nov-Mar 10:00-18:00. 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. Foreigners 10 manat, locals 2 manat, 2 manat to take photos.
- 2 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's 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 the 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.
- 3 Maiden's Tower (Giz Qalasi, Девичья башня), Qüllə (Metro Icherisheher 500 m east). Daily 10:00-19:00. 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 a 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. Unfortunately, there is no good view from the top, because it is barred by a glass wall, keeping your distance from the edge. Foreigners 15 manat, locals 2 manat.
- Fortress walls and towers. Built in 11th–12th centuries.
- 4 Bukhara Caravanserai (Бухарский караван-сарай) (over the trade highway of Icherisheher). in late 15th century
- 5 Multani Caravanserai (Караван-сарай Мултани) (opposite to the Bukhara caravansaray).
- 6 Hajji Gayyib bathhouse (Баня Гаджи Гаиба) (opposite the Maiden Tower). Built in 15th century. Intake portal of the bathhouse is rectangular-shaped. The bathhouse complex 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 provided by ceramic pipes or channels under the floors of the rooms. Warm air, produced by water heating circulates along these channels.
- 7 Agha Mikayil bathhouse (Hacı Ağa Mikayıl Hamami, Баня Ага-Микаила), Kichik Gala street 16?.
- 8 Small Caravansaray (Khan’s caravansaray” (KİÇİK karvansaray, “Xan karvansarayı”, Ханский караван-сарай), Asef Zeynally St. Built in 1500s.
- 9 Molla Ahmad’s mosque (Molla Əhməd məscidi, Мечеть Молла Ахмеда). Built in 1290s.
- 10 Myrzhy Ahmad’s mosque (Мечеть Мирзы Ахмеда) (South from Molla Ahmad’s mosque).
- 11 Two-Storeyed Caravansaray. Constructed in 17th century.
- 12 Hadji Bani (Hajji) mosque (Hacı Bani məscidi, Мечеть Гаджи Бани) (near the Palace of the Shirvanshahs). This was constructed by the architect Hadji Bani in the 16th century.
- 13 “Chin” mosque (True mosque, Çin məscidi, Чин мечеть) (near the Palace of the Shirvanshahs). Constructed in 1375.
- 14 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).
- 15 Gasim-bek Caravanserai (Караван-сарай Касым-бека), Asef Zeynali (SW corner of district).
- 16 Madrasah-mosque (Мечеть-медресе), A.Zeynalli street. The chapel constructed in the 15th century in the yard of Jame mosque
- 17 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 century.
- 18 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. A new Friday Mosque was constructed on the old mosque's site, with the support of the Baku merchant Haji Shikhlali Dadashov, in 1899. A Zoroastrian temple was located on the site of the two mosques. A minaret, constructed in 1437, adjoins Friday Mosque.
- 19 Bazaar Square (Базарная площадь).
- 20 Baba Kukhy Baku mosque (Мечеть Баба Кухи Бакуви) (at the Maiden Tower).
- 21 Cell-madrasa (Келья-медресе) (north from Madrasah-mosque 50 m).
- 22 Gileyli mosque (Гилейли мечеть). built in 1309, rebuilt 1800s
- 23 Lezgi mosque / Ashur Mosque (Лезги мечеть, Ləzgi Məscidi), Asef Zeynally Street.
- 24 Portal of a residential building (Портал жилого дома), Böyük Qala.
- 25 Sultan oglu Sultan Sheikh Ibrahim mosque (Sheikh Ibrahim mosque, Мечеть Шейха Ибрагима) (over the commercial highway changing own direction for reaching the Salyan gate). Built in 1415-16.
- 26 Salyan Gates and Shemakha Gates (Шемахинские ворота) (northeast).
- 27 Muhammad Mosque (Siniggala Mosque, Мечеть Мухаммада) (west 60 m from Cuma Mosque). This mosque was 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 a squadron of the Russian army, consisting of 15 warships and led by Admiral Matyushkin, approached the city and demanded its surrender. Russian warships began to bomb the city after its refusal. One of the shells hit the minaret of Muhammad Mosque and damaged it. But a stormy wind blew the Russian ships further out to sea. Baku's citizens interpreted it as a divine scourge sent to the occupants. From that time till the mid-19th century, the minaret of the mosque wasn't reconstructed and symbolized the persistence and courage of the defenders. - 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 the 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. The trunk of the minaret is strong and slightly thinning. It is constructed from carefully drafted stone. Coarse and flat stalactites of tabling retain the sherefe – the muezzin's balcony enclosed by stone plates. A ribbed dome completes the trunk of minaret. Narrow, winding stairs are inside the trunk. Ligature with Koranic inscription was traced under the tabling with the archaic Kufi alphabet.
- 28 Beyler Mosque (Мечеть Бейлер) (East 100 m from Palace).
- 29 Haji Eybata Mosque (Мечеть Гаджи Ейбата), Kichik Qala, dönge 8.
- 30 Khan's house (Ханский дом) (Northeast part).
- 31 Khidir mosque. Built in the 1300s.
- 32 Khanlarov mosque (Khanlar mosque). Built in the late 19th century.
- 33 Tetragonal tower (Donjon bastion, Донжон башни). In the northern mid-part of the fortress wall.
- 34 Underground constructions, water reservoir (Подземный ход) (Entrance near the "Icherisheher" subway station).
- 35 Takiya (Tekkiye) (looks south, at the Maiden Tower). A chapel for dervishes constructed in the 13th century.
- 36 S. Gregory Armenian Church (S. Grigor Luysavorich Yekeghetsi) (At the corner of Nizami St. and Mirza Ibrahimov Street, next to Fountain Square.). This Armenian Church was built in 1887. The church closed in 1990, when the Armenian population was banished. The building is now used as a presidential library.
Out of Old Town
- 37 Mosque of the Martyrs (Turkish Mosque, Azerbaijani: Şəhidlər məscidi), Izzat Nabiyev (Funicular - Shahidlar Khiyabani garden). This is a mosque, near the Martyrs' Lane. It was built in the beginning of 1990s with assistance of the Turkish government. The mosque is used as an official residence of the religious attaché of the Turkish embassy. It 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."
- 38 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. The interior of the mosque has an area of 1,400 m² and is decorated with ornaments of painting schools of Azerbaijan and with samples from eastern ornaments. The height of the dome and a half meters. The mihrab and dome of the mosque are 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 the Muslim proclamation of faith or Shahada, made from Qızılqaya (Gyzylgaya) stone.
- 39 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' 400 m east). no longer open to the public.. Built in 1887. Now a government building.
- 40 Holy Myrrhbearers Cathedral / Russian Orthodox Church (Russian: Кафедральный Собор Святых Жён-Мироносиц; Azeri: Müqəddəs Mürdaşıyan Zənənlər Başkilsəsi) (close to Hyatt Regency Hotel), ☏ , [email protected]. This Russian Orthodox cathedral was founded in 1909. Hit by a Russian missile in 1990, it was reconstructed and reopened in 2001. It holds a shrine of the apostle St. Bartholomew.
- 41 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 with a 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.
- 42 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'), ☏ . This is a Russian Orthodox church. It was founded in 1850.
- 43 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 Catholic church. It was built in 2006.
Museums and galleries
- 44 National Art Museum of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Milli İncəsənət Muzeyi), 31, Istiglaliyat st, ☏ . Tu-Su 10:00–18:00. The museum consists of two adjacent buildings. The museum's 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 of mulberry wood.
- 45 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), ☏ , , fax: , [email protected]. M-Sa 11:00-18:00, first Monday of every month closed (– cleanup day). The museum was built in 1893–1902. The Italian Renaissance-style mansion is immense and occupies 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 Western 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 2,000 exhibits and includes the following departments: Modern history, Ethnography, Ancient and medieval history of Azerbaijan, Scientific excursion, Fund of Numismatics, Art design group. 10 manat.
- 46 Azerbaijan Carpet Museum (State Museum of Azerbaijan Carpet and Applied Art), Bakı ş., Mikayıl Useynov pr-ti, 28, ☏ . Tu-F 10:00-18:00, Sa Su 10:00-20:00. The museum hosts a wide range of carpets, both old and new. It moved to its current location in 2014 (on the waterfront). The building itself is shaped as a carpet. 7 manat.
- 47 Heydar Aliyev Center (Heydər Əliyev Mərkəzi, Центр Гейдара Алиева), Heydər Əliyev prospekti (M Ganjlik 700 m West), ☏ , [email protected]. This is a 64,103 m² building complex 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 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.
- 48 Stone Museum. An old factory transformed into a stone exhibition, with samples and replicas from Gobustan and other stone carvings in the region. Free English-speaking guide. Free.
- 49 Art exhibition (on the waterfront, going south past the Carpet Museum). On a reformed old factory, two free art exhibitions in two adjacent buildings. Free English-speaking guide. Free.
- 50 Baku Boulevard (Dənizkənarı Milli Park). Seaside promenade with museums, parks, cafes, restaurants, and other attractions.
- 51 Fountain Square (Fəvvarələr meydanı, Parapet sq) (near the Old City). This is a downtown pedestrian street in the center of Baku lined with shops, hotels and restaurants. It is a public gathering place, especially after business hours and during the weekend. It hosts public festivals, shows and celebrations.
- 52 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 the 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 are mostly from the 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 neoclassical styles. Neo-Moorish style is also present, 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
- 53 Oil Rocks (100 km east of Baku off the tip of the Absheron Peninsula). Neft Daşları began operations in 1949, thus becoming the first offshore oil platform in the world. Later, using the intentionally sunk ships as its foundation, an artificial archipelago has grown around it, interconnected by an extensive network of bridges and supporting a full-sized town inhabited by about 2,000 people. It's possible to visit the oil rock complex, but you should get a permit from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.
- 54 National Flag Square (Azerbaijani: Dövlət Bayrağı Meydanı). A large city square.
- 55 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.
- 56 Martyrs' Lane (Alley of Martyrs or Şəhidlər Xiyabanı (transliterated to Shehidler Khiyabani)), İzzət Nəbiyev street. Formerly the Kirov Park, it's a cemetery and memorial in Baku, dedicated to those killed by the Soviet Army during Black January and to those killed later in the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
- 57 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 dedicated to promote, preserve and popularize the Azerbaijani music genre Mugam. The center covers 7,500 m² and has 3 stories. The design of the building was based on elements and shapes of Tar, an Azerbaijani musical instrument used in performing Mugham. The concert hall has a capacity of 350 people. The center also has a club, restaurant, study halls and record studios.
- 58 Magomayev Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall, 2, Istiglaliyyat St, ☏ . Built in 1912 and inspired by the Monte Carlo Casino. Houses the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra among others.
- 59 Palace of Happiness (Azerbaijani: Səadət Sarayı, Palace of Marriage former Mukhtarov Palace), Sabail Raion, Istiglaliyyat St. 4 (Metro Nariman Narimanov (Nəriman Nərimanov) 600 m 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 Sovietization in 1920 the building was given to the Club of Liberated Turkic Women, after which it functioned as the 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 is named Murtuza Mukhtarov.
- 60 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 city of Baku and Baku Bay. The palace hosts formal events of governmental and non-governmental organizations. 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.
- 61 Ismailiyya building (İsmailiyye palace, Azerbaijani: İsmailiyyə Sarayı), Istiglaliyyat Street, (M: Icherisheher). This is a historical building 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, funded by millionaire Musa Naghiyev in commemoration of his deceased son Ismayil, and was named Ismailiyya after him. The building was constructed in Venetian Gothic style.
- 62 Baku TV Tower (Azerbaijani: Televiziya Qülləsi, Телевышка), Sabail district (Bus to 'Abbasqulu Abbaszadə'). Built in 1996, is a free-standing concrete telecommunications tower. With a height of 310 m, it is the tallest structure in Azerbaijan and the tallest reinforced concrete building in Caucasus. The tower is one of the most prominent hallmarks of Baku. - A rotating restaurant on the 62nd floor (175 m) of Azeri TV Tower was opened in 2008. Friendly staff. 20 manat.
- 63 Flame Towers (Ismailiyya Bldg, Azerbaijani: Alov Qüllələri), Mehdi Huseyn Street (next to Parliament - Take the 'Funicular' or bus to 'Milli Məclis'). These are the tallest skyscrapers in Baku, Azerbaijan with a height of 190 m (620 ft). They consist of apartments, a hotel and office blocks. The estimated cost of Flame Towers was around US$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. Definitely worth seeing from the old town.
- 64 Oil Pump Fields (Take bus 125 (e.g. near the Azneft dairəsi roundabout south of the old town) for 0.35 manat, you need a Baki Card.). The famous oil pump fields from the opening scene of the James Bond picture The World is Not Enough.
- 65 Bibi-Heybat Mosque (Azerbaijani: Bibiheybət məscidi)), Salyan Highway (Salyan şossesi) (5 km south. Take bus 125 (e.g. near the Azneft dairəsi roundabout south of the old town) for 0.35 manat, you need a Baki Card.). This is a historical mosque built in the 1990s, and 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. Western women can enter, when wearing a veil. Free.
- 66 Philharmonic Fountain Park (Near the Icherisheher metro station.). A charming park with fountains and kiosks you can pass through when going to the boulevard from the Metro.
Outside the city, on the Absheron Peninsula, there are several interesting sites, like Yanar Dag (the burning mountain) and the Atashgah Fire Temple (with roots to ancient Indian migration), for a day or evening trip that are easy to reach via taxi or public transportation. Moreover, the scenery along your route is a fascinatingly ugly desert wasteland with white salt flats and natural oil seeping into pools on the surface.
In addition, the Baku Region is famous for its active mud volcanoes that might also be reached within a day. The 67 Mud Volcano which is supposed to be 15 km north of Baku city centre according to several online maps. It's a mud volcano but without any active mud vents, but instead the waste of the neighbouring communities. However, it provides for a quite apocalyptic photo scenery.
See Baku Region for all the details.
In the evening, go to 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. 6 manat.
- 1 Pantomima theatre (Pantomima Teatrı), 49 Azadliq Ave, ☏ . Offered from the Baku Blvd. Lasts 40 minutes. 6 manat.
- 2 National Opera and Ballet (Opera Və Balet Teatrı), 95 Nizami St, ☏ .
- 3 Baku Funicular Railroad. Runs from the square on Neftchilar Avenue up to the Alley of the Marytrs. 1 manat.
- 4 Aqua Park Baku, Rashid Behbudov, 59, ☏ . US$19 for ages 7 and up.
- 5 Baku Entertainment Center (Bakı Əyləncə Mərkəzi), Khatai District, F. Bayramov St, 1130/33, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. Baku Entertainment center has been around for more than half a decade. It has a shopping center, bowling alley certified by the AMF, health club, conference venue with a capacity of 350 people, and various restaurants and clubs.
- 6 Mini-Venice. 10:30-23:30. A charming little complex of man-made waterways accessible on a boat. There are also some restaurants in the immediate proximity. The ticket booth is 10-15 meters to the right when coming from the north. It is cheap but the signage to the ticket booth is lacking.
- Football. The men's national team play soccer at Tofiq Bahramov Stadium, capacity 31,000. Five clubs in the city play in the Premier League, Azerbaijan's top tier.
- 7 Azersun stadium. Qarabağ FK. Capacity 5,800.
- 8 ASK Arena (Inter Arena, Shafa stadium). Keşla FK (formerly Inter Baku). Capacity 8,200.
- 9 Bakcell Arena (Eighth Kilometer District Stadium). Neftçi. Capacity 11,000.
- Zira Olympic sports complex. Zira FK
- Asco Arena. Sabail FK.
- 10 Tofiq Bahramov Republican Stadium (1 km north of city centre, metro Ganjlik). As the previous stadia are small by European standards, big club games may transfer to this stadium. E.g. a host venue for the Euro 2020 tournament.
- 11 Baku Olympic Stadium. This also hosts big games, such as the 2019 UEFA Europa League Finals.
- Baku City Circuit (Motor racing). F1: 2024: 13-15 Sep. A 6 km on-street motor-racing circuit along the shore used for Formula One and other events.
- Hamam Mehellesi (Public Baths (Hamamlar)) (Hamam Mehellesi is in the Old Town. From the station, enter the old city through the gate, turn right and go down the street. The hamam is 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 is the oldest public bath in Baku, located near the Icharishahar metro station, inside the old city. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for women, the rest of the days are only for men. 1 manat and they offer two types of service, hise (skin peel) for 2 manat, and massage for 4 manat.
- 12 Aga Mikayil Bath House (XVIII century hamami), Icheri sheher, Kichik Gala 3/16, ☏ , . Daily 09:00-23:00, Women only: M F. Sauna and pools, nice ambiance. 10 manat, plus massage 10 manat.
- 13 Naftalan Bath (close to Kempinski Hotel). Naftalan, a city close to Ganja, is famous for oil baths. However you can also get an oil treatment in Baku, with imported Naftalan oil. It's like a small hospital and not very recreational. However it's great fun and positively strange to dip for 15 min into hot crude oil. Decide for yourself whether this is safe and healthy. 20 manat for medical checkup, 20 manat for one oil bath.
- 14 The Spa at Park Hyatt Baku, Park Hyatt Baku Hotel, 1033 Izmir St, ☏ , [email protected].
- 15 Teze Bey Hamami (Taze Bey Bath). Public baths (hamamlar). This men-only public bath is in the old town and offers Finnish and Turkish baths, etc., so it may be a bit pricier than its competitors.
There are a couple of beaches including Shikhov Beach, but they are polluted by sewage and industrial waste. On the northern side of the peninsula are the much nicer Bilgəh and Amburan beaches, on the north coast of the Absheron Peninsula are great spots to cool off from heat. Further afield are the beaches and resorts of Northeastern Azerbaijan.
- AF Beach Club, Novkhani, ☏ . This complex has 5 swimming pools, fast food, a restaurant with cooks from Azerbaijan and Europe, a disco, a game hall, Wi-Fi, water sports, beach volley, beach football, entertainment, and a professional animation team. 80-600 manat.
- Amburan Beach Club, Bilgah, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. This complex has a 3 swimming pools, fast food outlets, a restaurant with cooks from Azerbaijan and Europe, a disco, a game hall, Wi-Fi, water sports, beach volley, beach football, entertainment, and a professional animation team.
- Baku Jazz Festival, ☏ , [email protected]. Organised by the 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 June. Tickets can be purchased from Baku Jazz Center, 19 Rashid Behbudov St or by phone..
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[dead link] of their ATMs in Baku. Some of them have euros and US dollars available. It is advisable to withdraw in US dollars and change it to AZN in an exchange house, which usually gives a far better rate.
- Antiques from Old City (İçəri Şəhər)
- Apples from Quba
- Tea and Talish stockings from Lankaran
- Halva from Sheki
- Traditional dolls created by ladies' groups in Barda
- Mega Memi. A chain for second-hand clothes, which has a few outlets around Baku, offering a good range of second-hand clothes at fairly low prices (1.5-manat scarf, 5-manat shirt, etc.).
- 1 Chiraq bookstore, Istiqlaliyyat 47, (Zərgərpalan, Улица Истиглалият) (near M: İçəri Şəhər (Old City)). Phrasebooks, maps and guides can be found here.
- Taza Bazaar (On Samad Vurgun street near the state circus). A huge famous food and spice market. Nonetheless, very much a market for the locals rather than tourists. Haggle to your heart's content (best to know a couple of phrases in Russian for this one).
- Sabunchu Flea Market (Take the red line metro to Nefchilar, and from there catch the no. 40 bus to Sabunchu. Stay on the bus until you see an indoor food market; the main flea market is through this on the left). A huge flea market next to some oil fields, seems to be mainly Azerbaijani families selling off old stuff from their homes. Some great finds to be had but it does take a while to sift through all the mounds of odd clothing and random bits of scrap metal. Women visiting alone should be more cautious than in central Baku, foreigners attract attention here and being followed isn't unheard of.
- AF MALL, in the heart of the city just off the Torgovaya on Samed Vurgun St 34, ☏ . This mall has many trendy shops, a summer lounge with a tropical garden and a rooftop pool.
- Park Bulvar Shopping Mall, Along the boulevard, right across Park Inn Hotel. This mall has many trendy shops, a cinema, a planetarium, a bowling alley and many cozy cafes. There are many famous fast food chains, including KFC and Sbarro.
There are many restaurants in Baku and kebab shops can be found easily for a quick meal.
|This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:|
|Budget||up to 10 manat|
|Splurge||20 manat or more|
In the city centre
- 1 Half Way Inn, 6, 28 May St (Bus 2, 61, 85, 88, 90, 95 to Milli Bank), ☏ . International cuisine. 5-10 manat.
- 2 Nergiz Restaurant, Fountain Square, 9 Tərlan.
- 3 Bizim Ev Restaurant & Cafe, 7 Khagani Street.
- 4 Doner House, 16/21 Azadliq Ave.
Around the historic city centre
- 5 Lavas Bistro / Fasali Cafe (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 manat for a kebab/pancake which will completely fill you up.
- 6 Lezzet Taste Shop, Ahmad Javad St.
- Anadolu, Pushkin St 5 & Rasul Rza St 3/5, ☏ , . Turkish/European restaurant. 8-15 manat.
- 7 Firuze Restaurant, 14 Tarlan Aliyarbeyov, ☏ , . 12:00-01:00. Serves excellent, very filling Piti. .
- Tonqal Restoranı, 82, Acad, Hasan Aliyeve St, ☏ . The various meat dishes include kebabs and organ-meat-based delicacies.
- Lido, Cnr of Nkhchivani St, ☏ . European and Azeri cuisine.
- Masal, 29/44 Mahammad Hadi Rd, ☏ . Kebabs, or, if you prefer, flatbreads and pizza.
- Mugam Club, 9 A. Rzayeva St, ☏ . European and Azeri cuisine. 10-15 manat.
- Namli Kebab, Mardanov Brothers st., 3 (close to Russian Dramatic Theatre and Austin Hotel), ☏ . Turkish and Azeri cuisine. 10-15 manat.
- Suna ile, 9 A. Aliyev St, ☏ . A popular sandwich and wine bistro bar
- 8 U Dali, 5, Mirza Ibrahimov Street (Bus to 'Şahmat məktəbi' or M 'Nizami' 0.6km N), ☏ . Georgian cuisine. 3-6 manat.
Sultan Inn rooftop or Meridien hotel rooftop restaurants for European/fusion with excellent views or head back to the Fountain Square for a greater variety of inexpensive cuisine.
- Gazelli Cafe, 93 Nizami St, ☏ . European cafe that does up some stylish and tasteful plates. 5-16 manat.
- Dolce Vita, 19 Aziz Aliyev St, ☏ . Italian restaurant. Offerings include a duck or meatball salad.
- Grand Hotel Europe, 20 Tbilisi avenue, ☏ . International cuisine.
- Cafe City Sahil, 8 Rashid Behbudov St (St closest to the L side of Park Bulvar, close to Sahil Bagi and Central Public Library), ☏ . Mixed cuisine cafe.
- Mexicana Baku, Terlan Eliyarbeyov 12, ☏ . Tacos and Mexican cuisine 6-14 manat.
- Park Inn's Glory Restaurant, 1 Azadlig Ave, ☏ . Views of the skyline and perhaps the Caspian Sea are paired with European cuisine. 8-18 manat.
- Pizza Holiday, 119 Lermontov Kuchasi (Near Baku Soviet), ☏ . An Azeri pizza and Italian-cuisine chain 5-15 manat.
- Paris Bistro, 1/4 Zarifa Aliyeva street, ☏ , [email protected]. 24 hr. French cuisine 6-19 manat.
- Buddha Bar Baku, Azadliq Square, JW Marriott Absheron 3rd floor, ☏ . Fusion Cuisine, everything is done up with quite a bit of class at this Marriott venue.
- Maharaja, 6 Abdulkarim Ali-Zadeh St, ☏ . Indian and Pakistani food, with the possibility of a buffet.
- Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant, 4 Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev St, ☏ . Similar to other one, with buffet at times.
- Chinar, 1 Shovket Alekperova St, ☏ . Pan-Asian cuisine, modern tea house and late night cocktail bar.
- Mezzo, 6 Izmir St (in Hyatt Hotel), ☏ . Italian wine and cuisine in a dining room overlooking the hotel's garden.
- Terrace Garden, 20 Boyuk Gala (atop Sultan Inn Boutique Hotel), ☏ . Another opportunity to feast your eyes on the Baku scene while you dine on European and Azeri cuisine.
A cultural note
Although tea houses (çay xanalar) in Baku usually allow Western women to enter, in rural areas, 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 rural Azerbaijan to consume alcohol.
Tea houses (Çayxanalar)
There are many outdoor tea houses (çayxanalar) serving tea and sweets that offer a sense of the local culture. If you are adventurous, try challenging a local Bakuvian to a game of backgammon (nard) or dominoes.
There is a good selection of cafés throughout Baku. Expect to pay Western prices for your coffee.
- Aroma Cafe, 18, U. Hajibayov St, ☏ .
- Azza Cafe, 1, I. Safarli St/Fountains Sq, ☏ , [email protected]. 12-23. They bake cakes aside from doing coffee.
- Baku Roasting Company, Alasgar Alakbarov Street, 12 (Near Ramstore in Elmlar), ☏ . Tu-Su 09:00-21:00. Here you can get a nice roast and maybe an egg burrito type of thing as well. 2.5-7 manat.
- Chocolates Cafe Baku, Yusif Mammadaliyev str. 4, ☏ . Not just coffee and chocolatey desserts, but sandwiches too.
Bars and pubs
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 2 manat/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.
- The Lounge & Bar, 6 Izmir St (in Hyatt Hotel), ☏ . A distinguished place to have a drink
- Caspian Bar, 20 Tbilisi Avenue (inside the Grand Hotel Europe), ☏ .
- Finnegan’s, 8 Abdulkarim Ali-Zadeh St, ☏ . Next to History Museum. Free wifi. Good beer prices and Happy Hour offers. Ridiculously expensive wine, however. It doesn't serve Guinness. April 2016.
- 360 Bar, 1B Azadlig Avenue (in the Hilton Baku), ☏ . Here you can have a refreshment from atop the Hilton hotel tower, or, if you prefer to stay more grounded, there is also the Sugar Lounge below offering tea, baklava and vodka.
- Victor's Bar, 1, Azadlig St (in the Park Inn by Radisson Baku Hotel), ☏ . Classy cocktails
- The Phoenix Bar, 10, Mammadaliyev St, ☏ . Lots of booze on hand here.
- Hops Pub Baku, 24 Tarlan Aliyarbeyov St, ☏ . Good for socializing and a game of snooker or pool.
- Caledonia Bar, 20 Qachaq Nabi, ☏ , [email protected]. 09:30-late. Offers a familiar pub atmosphere with photos and memorabilia from Scotland. Screens for watching sporting events.
- 1 Otto Club, Tarlan Aliyarbekov st., 3B (close to Fountain Square), ☏ . Club for dancing on the weekend. Make sure to arrive after midnight if you don't want to be alone. Expect electro and dance music from a DJ as you would expect in European countries
- 1 Caspian Hostel, Asef Zeynalli 29 (Old Town, around the corner from Meridian Hotel, above Thousand Camels Hostel), ☏ . Great location in the Old Town. 2 dorm rooms and 1 private room. Dorm bed 16 manat.
- 2 Guest House Inn, Harbci St? 17, Icheri Sheher (Baki Soveti metro station), ☏ , , fax: . Check-in: any time, check-out: 12:00. This hotel is 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 60 manat per person.
- 3 Atropat Old City Hotel Baku, 11-13-79 Magomayev Str. (walk through the hallway from the boulevard, take the stairs to the right up, and the apartment is right at the other end of the open terrace), ☏ .
- 4 Cheeky Carabao Backpackers Hostel, 171 Tolstoy Street 1st floor. (next to Face Studio, it's easy to miss as the outside of the building is under construction and the sign keeps getting stolen), ☏ . Well located upbeat hostel with Ping pong, Wii, movies on the projector, and more. Very clean has kitchen, dorms, privates, laundry service. Dorms sleep 8.
- Altstadt Hotel, Mammedyarov str. 3/2A (Ilyas Efendiyev str.3/2A), Icheri Sheher (exit at Icheri Sheher metro, enter the Old Town, walk uphill to the left), ☏ , [email protected]. A "better" two-star hotel, with buffet breakfast, spotless private facilities, A/C, Wi-Fi, 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 manat for double/twin.
- 5 Consul Hotel, 92c Hasan Aliyev St (From Metro 'Ganjlik' West 1.2km), ☏ , , [email protected]. This is a hotel option in the Genclik district. Twin 50 manat.
- Days Hotel Baku, Babek Prospect, 21/99, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. 15 minutes' drive from the Heydar Aliyev International Airport and 10 minutes from the city center. 102 rooms with Wi-fi Internet access, one international restaurant, one lounge-bar and two conference rooms. 75-105 manat.
- Diplomat Hotel, Suleyman Rahimov St, 185, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. Centrally located. Credit cards accepted. Double 90 manat.
- Empire Hotel, Xaqani St 49, ☏ , , fax: , [email protected].
- Holiday Inn Baku Airport, Heydar Aliyev International Airport (25-min drive from the city centre), ☏ , [email protected]. Facilities include a kids stay and eat free program, Internet access in all rooms, various restaurants, complimentary shuttle to downtown and a spa.
- Park Inn by Radisson Baku Hotel, Azadlig Ave 1, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. 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. 169 manat.
- Rigs Hotel, 63 d Uzeyir Hajibeyov, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. 24 rooms
- AF Hotel Aqua Park, Novkhana, 1130/33, ☏ , [email protected]. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. There have been complaints with this hotel – please check online reviews.
AF Hotel is the largest hotel and resort in the Caucasus. This complex houses pools, saunas, salons, water slides, an entertainment center, and hotel facilities. From 80 manat for a standard double room up to 500 manat for a presidential.
- Amburan Beach Club, Bilgah, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. This complex has a 3 swimming pool, fast food outlets, a restaurant with cooks from Azerbaijan and Europe, a disco, a game hall, Wi-Fi Internet, water sports, beach volley, beach football, entertainment, and a professional animation team.
- 12 Bulvar Inn Baku.
- Crescent Beach Hotel, Salyan Hwy, Shikhov, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. This complex has an indoor and outdoor pool, beach front, bar, and tourism services. High-speed Wi-Fi zone covering 10 hotel buildings, the hotel yard, restaurant, bars and beach. Please contact hotel reception.
- Excelsior Hotel Baku, 2 Heydar Aliyev Ave, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. With a 5-star rating, the Excelsior Hotel is one of the nicest hotels in Baku. The rate per night range from US$250-2,450, but will be converted to manat at the hotel's rate.
- Hyatt Regency Baku, 1 Bakikhanov, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. Services include high-speed Internet access, chauffeur-driven limousine rental, hotel shops, Wi-Fi, a business center, The Grill, Gourmet Shop, Beluga Bar, Club Oasis Fitness Center, swimming pools, tennis courts, squash courts, a ballroom, 10 meeting rooms, 2 boardrooms, and pre-function and social function space. 270-405 manat.
- Park Hyatt Baku, 1033 Izmir St, ☏ , [email protected]. 5-star hotel adjacent to a comprehensive meeting & conference centre. Club lounge for free continental breakfast, evening cocktails and boardroom access.
Many cafés in Baku now have free WiFi. In general, Internet cafes in Azerbaijan are called "internet klubs" and they are found throughout Baku. Public WiFi service is available in central areas and attractions, providing easy connection.
Azerbaijan Post locations are dispersed throughout Baku. Mailing an international letter generally costs 0.8 manat.
AZAL (Azerbaijan Airlines)
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 the ever-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.
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 safe to be around. The biggest problem in Baku is driving. Many drivers do not obey rules and speed.
The security is rather high, with regular security checks at some attractions and metro stations. The metro has police guarding both ends of the escalators.
Since the Karabakh conflict re-ignited in September 2020, security has been further tightened.
Emergency contact numbers
- 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. The police are friendly and try to be helpful. Be nice and understanding and don't get frustrated if you don't understand each other immediately. Write down your phone's IMEI code in case it gets lost so it is easier for the police to find.
The roads can be treacherous at night due to unseen potholes and dimly lit cars. Most areas in and near the downtown are safe. There are some underpasses under particularly busy roads (some with escalators), and some zebra crossings and traffic lights. Watch out for traffic police if otherwise crossing a busy road, they may try to fine you 20 manat for a traffic offence (even though the locals do it constantly).
Many details can also be found here: https://www.embassypages.com/azerbaijan
- Bulgaria, Oktay Kerimov str. 34, ☏ , , fax: , [email protected].
- China, 67 Khagani St, ☏ , (24-hr), fax: , [email protected].
- 1 Georgia, Narimanov raion, Yashar Huseynov St. 13-15, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. 09:00-18:00.
- Greece, Kichic Gala 86-88, ☏ , fax: , [email protected].
- Romania, Blv. Hasan Aliev nr. 125 A (Narimanov), ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. M-F 9:00-18:00.
- Turkey, Samed Vurgun str. 134, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. M-F 9:00-18:30.
- 2 United Kingdom, 45 Khagani Street (Əfzələddin Xaqani) (Metro 'Sahil'), ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. M-F 09:00-17:00.
- 3 United States, 111 Azadlig Ave, ☏ , fax: , [email protected].
- Nabran – Relax by the Caspian on the beach or in a resort. Azerbaijan's biggest tourist destination for international travellers and a coastal city close to Xachmaz.
- Quba – Its urban suburb is home to the largest Azerbaijani Jewish community in the mountains and is considered one of the largest Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union.
- Khinalug (Xinaliq) – A scenic, remote and ancient mountain village, and the mountain of the same name nearby. Once a centre of Zoroastrianism; today the few inhabitants are an ethnic isolate believed to be descendants of the Caucasus Albanians (unrelated to modern-day Albanians of Albania).
- Sheki – A 7-hour bus ride to the northwest. A beautiful city in the Caucasus mountains with much to see and do. It has one of the largest densities of cultural resources and monuments that span 2,700 years of Azerbaijani history.
- Lahich – A cozy and remote highland village, on the way to Sheki. Famous for its copper work.
- Shamakhi – The former capital of the medieval state of Shirvan. Famous for its traditional dancers, Şamaxı dancers, and its impressive mosque. An ancient history and once one of the key cities along the Silk Road.
- Naftalan – A well-known petroleum spa resort, the centre of medical tourism in Azerbaijan. Go and enjoy the oil baths.
- Ganja – One of the oldest cities in the Caucasus.
- Nakhchivan (region) – 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.
- Georgia – There are direct buses and trains into Tbilisi from Baku.
- Iran – Buses take international travellers onwards from Baku there.
- Turkmenistan – A ferry departs daily from Baku across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenbashi. This ferry has become something of a sleeper hit with backpackers on the Silk Road, but is very uncomfortable and should only be taken by adventure-seekers.
- Kazakhstan – A similar ferry (often the Merkury-1 or the Professor Gul) leaves from "Baku International Port" in Alat, 60 km south of Baku (the ferry previously left from Baku harbour proper until late 2018). The cabins are basic but clean and (fairly good) food is served on board, three square meals a day. It takes approximately 30 hours, and arrives at the port of Kuryk in Kazakhstan (be warned! The port is in the middle of nowhere and the cabbies there are hustlers. Best to try to hitchhike a truck out of the port, many of the drivers are friendly Ukrainians, to avoid US$30 or more for a taxi). US$70 4-person cabin, US$80 2-person. Cars, motorbikes and bicycles also taken.