In the last century it was called eastern Paris, but today, at the sight of the Baku skyscrapers, Dubai comes to mind more and more often – besides the source of wealth for both the first and the second has been and remains oil.
Baku, however, manages to quickly acquire a modern look, without losing the charm of the ancient city, carefully preserving the legacy of antiquity. Here, modern architecture is harmoniously combined with medieval buildings. At the same time, Baku is still an eastern city, with an inherent flavor of the mysterious East. Here you can go to the bustling bazaar early in the morning and buy a hand-woven carpet, and in the evening you can go to admire the futuristic Tower of Flame skyscrapers. Or, having tasted the atmosphere of traditional Azerbaijani dishes in a relaxing atmosphere, end the day by skipping a glass or two in the trendy Bentley’s bar at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Baku tour to districts
The most expensive part of the city, both for living and tourism, is its center, which partially covers Narimanov, Nasimi and Sabail districts. The cheapest housing, shops, and cafes should be found on the outskirts of Baku.
Beach lovers should better choose the Khazar and Karadag districts. The latter stretches along a narrow strip along the Caspian coast.
Also, Garadagh attracts the attention of tourists with many interesting sights, among which is the archaeological reserve Gobustan with its famous rock art. Another interesting from tourist facilities part of the city – the village of Binagadi, located in the same area. Here you can see the Kareki mud volcano and the paleontological monument – a graveyard of flora and fauna of the 4th period.
In the Khazar district is another unique natural landmark. More than 7 square meters. Its Absheron National Park occupies a kilometer of its area, in the open spaces of which you can find gazelle, marsh moon, jackal, mute swan, and other rare animals and birds.
In Sabailsky district tourists are attracted by the architecture of ancient oriental buildings – the city of Icheri-Shekher, the Juma mosque, the Haji Gaiba bathhouse, and other old buildings, as well as the modern Kempinski Hotel Badamdar water park with steam baths, massage, and hammam.
Baku is a developed modern capital, and it is easy to get from one part of the city to another. Those who need to get there quickly and comfortably should take a taxi. The fare in the city center starts from 5 AZN.
For those who are not in a hurry, there is an excellent way to combine business with pleasure – a bicycle. There is no standard rental network in Baku, so transport will need to be returned to where it was taken. The rental hour will cost only 2 AZN per day – 25 AZN.
Baku Tour to Beaches
Baku is surrounded by dozens of villages located at a distance of 10-15 km and together with the city making up the Baku agglomeration. Most of them are located in the Caspian Sea coastal zone (Bilgah, Mardakan, Novkhany, etc.) and have their private sanatoriums, spas, boarding houses, and beautiful well-maintained beaches.
Due to its unique geographical position, there are practically no pebbly beaches on the Caspian Sea. The entire length of the Baku coast approaches to the water covers clean fine sand. Descent into the sea is shallow, to get to a greater depth, sometimes you need to move away from the coast for a decent distance.
In some areas, for example, near the village of Zagulba, the sandy beach turns into a rocky seabed.
The most visited beaches while Baku tour are located in Novkhani – “Barbados Beach,” “Crescent Beach,” “Sahil Beach,” and “Palm Beach.” Most of them are with developed infrastructure – there are changing cabins, sunbeds, and umbrellas, plastic tables and chairs, storage rooms, shower, and toilet. The beaches are owned by individuals – the owners of hotels, hotels, and boarding houses. Some people are charged a fixed admission fee (usually within the limits of 15-40 AZN), which also includes the use of all the benefits of civilization. On others, you will have to pay for umbrellas, sunbeds, and parking. On the coast, there is coarse sand mixed with the coquina, and the seafloor is sometimes covered with algae.
Hotels in Baku
There are not only many places for Baku tour where a tired traveler can arrange a halt. Moreover, the rooms and service of many hotels are surprisingly high quality. In addition to quite budget options, in the capital, you can find a comfortable hotel for very reasonable money.
The most economical choice is hostels. They are both in the central part of the city and on the outskirts of Greater Baku. Choosing a similar placement option, you need to think about your safety because strangers are sleeping in the same room. You should not leave money and valuables in a prominent place. Ideally, it is better not to show that you have them.
The cost of double rooms in hotels starts from 40 AZN. For such an amount, you can stay close to the center, with free Wi-Fi, parking, and the possibility to move in with pets. There are also more expensive, five-star hotels. Prices range from 100 to 1000 AZN (in the latter case, you will be offered to move into the famous Burning Towers). Also, in the city “lit up” a couple of “Hyatt” and “Radisson SAS.”
Cafes and restaurants in Baku
It is impossible Baku tour without tasting the famous Azerbaijani dishes, the recipes of which are handed down from generation to generation. Across the city is full of inexpensive cafes, offering its guests all sorts of kebabs and the famous “Kutaby” – pita bread with various fillings. Snack at such establishments is possible for 5-10 AZN. In the old town, there are several small restaurants, interesting not only for the local traditional cuisine but also for the authentic atmosphere. It is traced in the interiors and the attitude of the staff towards the visitors – genuine oriental hospitality. Lunch will cost 10-20 AZN.
For 8-12 AZN you can have a tasty breakfast in one of the European-style cafes. In the menu – pancakes, croissants and bacon and eggs. If you need a snack on the run, feel free to go to the kiosk with shawarma, donuts and other pastries. Cooked here quickly, tasty and at the same time keep the workplace clean. Turkish shawarma from local merchants is even more delicious than the Turks themselves.
In the restaurants of national cuisine, you can try unusual dishes and plunge into the atmosphere of oriental hospitality.
The city has several respectable bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. The average price tag in them is much higher than in other institutions of the city, the cost of dinner starts from 40-60 AZN. However, for a luxurious interior, European service, skillful decoration of dishes and a great view of the city and the sea, you can pay.
Entertainment and Attractions in Baku
Conventionally, all the attractions of the city can be divided into three parts: the Old City, buildings built during the Soviet period, and modern Baku.
The old part of the city is a historical and architectural reserve, often called the “Baku Acropolis” – Ichery-Sheher. It was here that the history of Baku began – the first settlements appeared before our era. The Maiden Tower is considered to be the most exciting sight and a real symbol of the city. In ancient times it was the central citadel of the fortress, today it attracts tourists with a majestic view and legends associated with it. Here is the pearl of Azerbaijani architecture – the Palace of Shirvanshahs. It represents a whole complex of buildings that were once used for their intended purpose by the rulers of Shirvan, from baths and mosques to tombs. You can get to the ancient city through the famous Shamakhi Gate.
Also, in reserve, there are more than 10 mosques and several baths, which are real works of oriental art.
70 km south of Baku – the largest in the CIS cluster of rock paintings Gobustan. Their age is about 10 thousand years. Plots – documentary evidence of the way of life of people who lived here and once disappeared in these places species of animals.
Soviet architecture in Baku is represented by the architect Bayev’s Sabunchu Station, the Government House, which is exceptionally beautiful at night when lights are turned on, as well as by several museums, libraries, clubs, and residential buildings. Despite the monumentality characteristic of the Soviet era, the eastern features are also seen in the appearance of the buildings, especially in the soft forms of the station, resembling the fairy-tale Palace of the Shah.
The modern city attracts tourists with beautiful parks and unique sculptures that depict people doing their work – a girl with an umbrella and a cell phone, a violinist and a woman with a mirror, who fixes her makeup.
Another new attraction is the Flaming Towers, which were completed in 2012.
At 30 km northeast of Baku lies the village of Surakhani with the temple complex of fire worshipers Ateshgah. Most of the buildings appeared here in the early 18th century, although the temple itself and the altar of fire were built much earlier. In ancient times, the complex was a place of pilgrimage for followers of the oldest religion; today, tourists from all over the world come to see these ancient walls and touch the secrets and mysteries of the past while Baku tour.