Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan, which will plunge into the atmosphere of a rapidly developing east. Not long ago, it was an old fortress with winding streets, and now it is a real industrial and dynamic city with skyscrapers and office buildings. This place, every time, surprises with a combination of tradition and modernity. Being in Baku, it is impossible not to feel the hospitality of the Caucasus and the scorching summer sun, from which one cannot hide. The capital really has a traveler, offering many variations for your leisure time. These are beaches and mountains, as well as numerous monuments of antiquity, such as fortresses, mosques, and palaces. The official language of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijani. It is spoken by 98% of the population. It is used in all areas of the country.
Now let’s see when is it better to visit and what things to do in Baku.
When is it better to go to Baku?
For me, the ideal season for Baku is spring. In the spring it is not as hot as in summer, because the temperature in July-August can reach +40 ° C., But local people have long been accustomed to and calm about this. Thanks to the Caspian Sea here you can feel great and spend the whole day on the beach. Winter in Baku, of course, is warmer, but this is not the right season.
Baku in summer
Baku in the summer is a real hot city in the East. Tourists from many countries, especially from the post-Soviet space, come here to relax on the Caspian Sea. In June, the thermometer is kept at +20 ° С. Naturally, in the summer, tourists will find an abundance of fruit and various celebrations. Every day there are lots of parties and noisy entertainment on the coast.
Baku in the fall
In Baku, the velvet season continues in autumn. From September to October, you can safely go here and feel absolutely comfortable. The sea is still warm, but the air is not autumn at all. The average air temperature is about +25 ° С in September, and +18 ° С in October. In October and November, there are, of course, fewer tourists. I would advise you to go to Baku in September.
Baku in spring
Spring is a favorite season for a trip to Baku. Maybe the sea has not warmed up yet, so to swim (if it is March, April) but everything around is already blooming. The mainstream of tourists comes here in May when the beach season is already open, and the thermometer shows +20 ° С. It is very comfortable to walk along the old streets and not to close from the scorching sun.
Baku in winter
Winter is not a season for Baku. Almost nothing happens here. Excursions and tourist entertainment are practically not in demand. It is wet and windy outside.
Major attractions. What to see in Baku?
Baku is a very picturesque and beautiful city on the shores of the Caspian Sea. It is also a place where you can spend a few days watching the sights and still have something to see. The main tourist places are located in the center or on the dam. The centuries-old buildings here quietly coexist with modern glass skyscrapers. And around the city are majestic mountains, which only add picturesque surroundings to this Caucasian city. Walking through the streets of the old city, You really want to touch every building, because they look incredibly attractive.
Top 5 things to do in Baku
Palace of the Shirvanshahs.
This palace complex, as it seems to me, is the true heritage of medieval Azerbaijan, and in fact, is the former residence of the rulers of Shirvan. The landmark is located in the old part of the city, on top of Baku Hill and includes the Palace, bath, tomb, etc.
It is believed that this tower appeared in Baku before the arrival of Islam there. In the 12th century, it became part of the old city.
Icheri Sheher (Old Town).
The fortress of Icheri Sheher is a real guide to the old world. Walking through the streets of the old town, you feel that you are in a fairy tale. It seems to me that a lamp with gin was about to fall out from somewhere and would begin to fulfill my desires. By the way, many people know this place because of the “Diamond Hand,” since the film was shot here. Icheri Sheher is the heart of the city because it was from here that Baku began its birth.
The flaming turret is a symbol of the new city.
From the moment they appeared, Baku began to be associated with the European East: dynamic and modern.
Heydar Aliyev Center.
This cultural center is also a new project and was built in 2012, designed by the legendary architect Zahi Hadid. Inside are conference rooms, offices, restaurants, and expositions.
The beaches. Which is better, and what things to do in Baku Beaches?
AF Beach Club, Novkhani.
This complex has 5 swimming pools, snack bars, restaurants with cooks from Azerbaijan and Europe, a nightclub, a game room, Wi-Fi, water sports, beach volleyball, beach soccer, entertainment, and a professional animation team.
Khazar Golden Beach, Mardakan.
These beaches are among the cleanest, including clean water. There are quite a lot of people on the beach, and the entrance costs 10 AZN.
The rest of the beaches, I do not advise, because in two (Sahil and Shikhovo) for several years found E. coli, while others are still very little equipped.
Museums. What is worth visiting in Baku
Azerbaijan carpet museum.
It is impossible to pass by this museum while in Azerbaijan. Especially with the advent of all the jokes and memes that are now at the expense of carpets. Here you officially feel in the house of the carpet. The exposition is often updated, and the collection travels to different countries. Tour with audio guide costs 5 USD.
- The museum of Azerbaijani literature is located in the center of the city close to the fountain square. The exhibits of the museum are old manuscripts, diaries, newspapers, autographs of writers, as well as illustrations. Admission: 5 USD.
Museum of Contemporary Art Baku.
Why do I recommend visiting this museum? Yes, because it reflects the art of the new Baku. Everyone is used to thinking that Baku is an ancient oriental city, with a rich Islamic history. This is, of course, true, but the most important thing is that the city is developing and now and more and more traditions are receding into the background, and new trends are coming to the fore. The museum presents both paintings and sculptures. I really like that the exhibition mostly goes beyond the boundaries of the exhibition halls and goes with us to the cafe, library, and shop. Admission: 2.5 USD for adults, 2 USD for students and schoolchildren, for preschoolers – free entry.
Parks in Baku
Heydar Aliyev Square.
One of the main parks of the country. At the end of the square stands a statue of Heydar Aliyev.
Probably one of the oldest in Baku. Inside are benches, around flowers, trees, and fountains. Located in the center of the city.
Huseyn Javid Park is located near the Academy of Sciences.
This is my favorite of the oases in Baku, since I really love the work of Javid. The park has many fountains, trees, and also a monument to Huseyn Javid.
What things to do in Baku in 1 day?
- If you have a day in Baku, then you can start exploring its sights with a visit to the Bibi Eybat mosque. The mosque is made in the best traditions of Islam and is located on the shores of the Caspian Sea. It is wonderful.
- Next, we go to the carpet museum of Azerbaijan. We arrive there by taxi in 10 minutes or by bus number 6 in half an hour.
- Then at midnight, we are going to Icheri Sheher. From the carpet museum to it you can walk literally in 10-15 minutes. On the inspection of the old city will take about 3 hours.
- Inside you must definitely climb the Maiden’s Tower, walk along the winding streets and visit the majestic Palace of the Shirvanshahs.
- Further, at 15 o’clock, it is better to stop for lunch and in one of the restaurants of the old town try Azerbaijan dolma or pilaf.
- Then, at 4 pm, we go to the Heydar Aliyev Center. You can get there by taxi in 15 minutes, or by bus number 5 in 25-30 minutes. Be sure to go around the building from all sides, since in addition to internal exhibitions, the center has an attractive shape.
- At 18 o’clock, when the sun is no longer so scorching, we go for a walk along the seaside boulevard. Here you can dine in one of the cafes on the dam, dance with street musicians and just have a good time.
- Closer to the sunset, we reach the fiery towers. To them from the seaside boulevard we reach the bus number 18 for 20 minutes. Sunset is very beautifully reflected in the windows of the towers, and the business center looks impressive in the light of the lights.