Baku holidays provide the perfect blend of old and new. Ancient streets and medieval towers nestle beside cutting-edge architecture and luxurious shopping malls – offering a captivating array of possibilities.
Soak up the city’s incredible sights, taking in breathtaking panoramic views across the skyline from the top of Upland Park, or along the seafront on Baku Boulevard.
Gaze in awe at the 15th-century Palace of the Shirvanshahs and marvel at the thoroughly modern ‘wave’ design of the Heydar Aliyev Centre.
You can immerse yourself in fascinating Azerbaijani culture at the national museums of art, literature and history, or use the city as a base for venturing out and discovering the true spirit of the ‘Land of Fire’.
Delve into the fascinating culture and attractions of Azerbaijan’s capital city. From historical streets to avant-garde architecture, there’s so much to see and do.
Iconic symbols of Baku, and stunning features of its impressive skyline, the spectacular Flame Towers are impossible to miss.
The towers’ shape reflects the nation’s affectionate nickname of the ‘Land of Fire’. Housing offices, apartments and the Hotel Fairmont Baku, they’re cloaked in LED screens that beam dramatic light shows visible from the farthest reaches of the city.
One moment the towers depict figures waving the national flag, the next they’re transformed into flickering flames licking the sky, before changing again into fluttering Azerbaijan flags.
Head here at night to see the towers in all their glory – Baku Boulevard and Martyrs' Lane provide good vantage points.
Today’s Baku is renowned for its state-of-the-art architecture and fast-growing skyline. However, nestled among the dazzling skyscrapers and gravity-defying structures you’ll discover the city’s historic roots.
Primarily dating from the 12th century, but with some areas thought to stretch back much further, the well-preserved cobbled streets and stone buildings of the Old City serve up a remarkable contrast to the surrounding metropolis.
Visit Baku Fortress, wander around the charming neighbourhood within the inner medieval walls, and uncover wonders such as Shirvanshah Palace and the 100-foot high Maiden Tower.
Away from the bright lights and busy streets of downtown Baku, Azerbaijan is a nation of rugged terrain and staggering natural beauty.
The Land of Fire is home to the greatest number of mud volcanoes in the world.
Created by natural eruptions of water and gas, watching them bubble up from the ground is a spectacular sight.
Guided day trips are available from Baku, with Gobustan National Park to the south-west being one of the most popular places to see them.
Baku’s prime location on the shores of the Caspian Sea means you’re never far from a stunning view.
Built in 1909, the popular Baku Boulevard is constantly growing, stretching further and further along the waterfront. It’s thought it could eventually extend to 16 miles or more.
The perfect spot to enjoy views of sea and city, it’s home to museums, malls and the giant Baku Ferris Wheel.
Enjoy a stroll along this charming promenade, ducking into galleries, eating in one of the restaurants, taking in the sculptures and wandering through ornate gardens. At one end you’ll even find a replica of the Venice canals.
As well as being home to museums and galleries showcasing the region’s history, along with both traditional and contemporary art, Baku has its fair share of quirky attractions that are well worth seeking out.
The medieval Maiden Tower contains a fascinating historical museum of its own, while the Museum of Miniature Books showcases tiny literary works that can only be read using a powerful magnifying glass. Find it in the inner city for a genuinely fun and unique experience.
The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, meanwhile, is famous not just for housing the world's largest collection of Azerbaijani carpets and rugs, but also for its clever architectural design. The building itself resembles an ornate roll of intricately patterned carpet.
Inside you’ll find a remarkable collection of rugs, carpets, ceramics and jewellery from across the nation and further afield.
Experience the traditional side of the capital by basing yourself close to the heart of the Old City for your holiday in Baku.
Boasting UNESCO World Heritage status, delve into its cobbled streets and enjoy tours of the fortress and palace.
Situated within easy walking distance, the Four Seasons Hotel Baku is perfect for honeymoons, with its sea views and on-site spa facilities.
Other options include the Premier Old Gates Hotel right by Maiden Tower, or the fabulous Citrus Boutique Hotel.
If you want to be close to the action, then consider staying around Nizami Street and Fountains Square.
Both areas are in the centre of downtown, perfectly positioned to reach all the main sights on foot.
Fountains Square is a charming public space with cafes and restaurants, while Nizami Street is a lively, pedestrianised shopping street. Malakhan Hotel is a great option here.
If spectacular views are just as important to you as seeing the main attractions, stay in the Baku Boulevard district – where you get the best of both worlds.
You’ll benefit from sea views and skyline vistas, while being within touching distance of Baku’s downtown and Old City. The Hilton Baku is an ideal place to stay for families.
The local currency in Baku is the Azerbaijan manat (AZN). Major credit cards can be used at many places around the city, but it’s a good idea to also carry some cash.
The official language of Baku is Azerbaijani. Many people will speak some English, especially in tourist areas.
Holidays celebrated in Baku include New Year’s Day (January 1 and 2), Victory Day (May 9) and the Spring Festival of ‘Novruz’ in March.
Getting around central Baku and its main attractions is generally possible on foot. For anything outside the city centre, however, you can use taxis, buses and metro services.
Azerbaijan is famous as the ‘Land of Fire’ – and its capital is the gateway to this exciting landscape.
If you’re planning to enjoy an active holiday in Baku, there are plenty of opportunities to visit the area’s mud volcanoes.
A trip to Yanar Dag should also be on your must-do list. Otherwise known as Fire Mountain, the gas emitted from this natural phenomenon – just a shot journey north of the city – means the mountainside has permanently lit flames, which draw visitors from far and wide.
While you’re there, be sure to visit the Ateshgah of Baku – a fire-worshipping temple and museum dedicated to Azerbaijan's fiery legacy.
Baku’s love of visual crafts and endeavour is evident in everything from it's sweeping skyline and award-winning buildings to the local artisans creating vivid designs on the city’s streets.
Visit Workshop Ali Shamsi, where the resident artist is renowned for his extraordinary creative flair. There are murals decorating the outside of his gallery and even nearby trees.
Baku is also a place where delicious food is always on the menu. Plov is a much-loved saffron rice dish made in a number of traditional ways depending on where you visit.
Be sure to also try rich lamb kebabs, delicious black tea and sticky, sweet Azerbaijani pakhlava.
Take a break from delving into mesmerising history and culture to indulge in a spot of retail therapy.
Head to Ganjlik Mall, one of Azerbaijan’s largest shopping centres. Browse big-name brands and designer stores, or enjoy local and international fine dining, a cinema, bowling alley and entertainment centre all under one roof. Given that this is Baku, the building itself is pretty spectacular too.
Away from the malls, the bustling Nizami Street is another prime shopping spot. For something more traditional, head to the carpet and souvenir sales in the Old City or enjoy the sights and colours of the wonderful Yaşil Bazar Green Market – a vibrant, friendly haven of fresh local produce.
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