Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan and it is that city where East and West blend beautifully. There, you will see glitzy Mercedes rush past stone mansions, grey Soviet apartment blocks sitting next to shiny glass towers and tree-lined streets lined with posh expat pups and teahouses. This enchanting combination makes Baku one of the area’s brightest gems.
Best Time to Visit
If you are planning a Travel to Azerbaijan then the best time to visit Azerbaijan is April to June and September to October. You can also participate in the Novruz Bayrami celebrations each March, which mark the Persian New Year.
Top Places to Visit in Baku
1. Old City
A UNESCO World Heritage site separated from the urban sprawl by stone walls dating from the 12th century. Over its long history, the Old City has been home to Zoroastrians, Arabs, Ottomans, Persians, Sassanians, Shirvants and Russians, and today it still retains many of the characteristics of the medieval town. The narrow streets form a labyrinth, snaking by tiny courtyards and congested buildings.
2. Maiden Tower
At the southeast corner of the Old City lies the Maiden Tower, whose foundation was laid in the 6th century BC. The eight-story tower was completed in the 12th century, when it was used as a fire temple or astronomical observatory.
3. Shirvanshah’s Palace
Constructed in the 15th century when Baku was made the capital. Although a Russian naval attack seriously damaged the building in the 18th century, it has been largely restored to its original glory. Visitors today can walk through the residential section of the palace, its mausoleum and the mosque of Key-Gubad. The complex rests on one of the highest points in the city, offering extraordinary views of Baku and the sea.
4. Martyr’s Lane
A sombre memorial to the locals killed in 1990 by the Red Army. A Turkish-style mosque and extensive gardens are open to the public, but the police are always nearby looking for vandals, especially since a controversial memorial to the British troops killed during the first World War opened nearby.
5. Latif Karimov Carpet and Applied Arts Museum
Housed in the former Lenin museum, the collection celebrates the tradition of Azerbaijani craftsmanship and contains more than 10,000 items. The most captivating are the colorful handwoven carpets, copper goods and jewelry dating back to the early Middle Ages.
6. Fountain Square
Where locals relax after a long work day and soak in the sun on the weekends. The square is lined with many boutiques, cafes and restaurants serving up both traditional dishes and international fusion cuisine. The nightlife is still evolving, but there are plenty of places to have an inexpensive but strong drink and dance until the sun comes up.