By Stella Tessa
The capital city of Azerbaijan, Baku, is a special place that offers the ideal fusion of tradition and modernity. This city, one of the world's lowest capital cities, lies 28 meters below sea level and draws tourists with its scenic Caspian Sea coastline. For tourists looking for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, Baku is a must-visit location thanks to its distinctive appeal and variety of attractions.
Are you planning a trip and looking for the best places to visit in Baku? In this guide, we'll take you through a comprehensive guide to traveling to Baku for all travelers, from natural wonders to cultural attractions.
Best Places to Visit in Baku
The magnificent nature, history, stunning landscapes, and hospitality of Azerbaijan have made it a popular destination for travelers in recent years. The nation of Fire is governed by Baku, sometimes referred to as "Windy City." In addition to its rich history and central location on the ancient Silk Road, the Baku region draws tourists with its cutting-edge construction. The following is a list of the top 10 places to visit in Baku.
Old City (Icherisheher)
Old City (Icherisheher), Baku
The Old City, also known as Icherisheher, is the historic heart of Baku and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you'll find narrow alleys, ancient mosques, and the iconic Maiden Tower. You can also visit the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, a 15th-century palace complex that includes a mosque, a bathhouse, and a mausoleum.
The Flame Towers are one of Baku's most iconic landmarks and for a good reason. These three towers, which are shaped like flames, light up at night and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. You can also visit the Flame Towers Plaza, which includes shops, restaurants, and a cinema.
Flame Towers buildings - Baku's most iconic landmarks
Heydar Aliyev Center
The acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid created the Heydar Aliyev Center as a cultural hub. Its distinctive architecture is breathtaking, and it houses a concert hall, an art gallery, and a museum.
Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku
Everyone who is interested in Azerbaijani culture should visit the Carpet Museum. Here, you may see some of the most exquisite carpets in the entire world and learn about the history of carpet making in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan Carpet Museum
Baku Boulevard is a seaside promenade that stretches for almost 3 miles along the Caspian Sea. You can enjoy a stroll, rent a bike, or take a ride on the Ferris wheel. You'll also find restaurants, cafes, and amusement parks along the way.
Yanar Dag (Fire Mountain)
A natural wonder near Baku is called Yanar Dag, which also stands for Fire Mountain. The eternal flame that has been glowing here for generations is caused by natural gas that seeps out of the ground and ignites.
Ateshgah Fire Temple
The Ateshgah Fire Temple is another must-visit for anyone interested in Azerbaijan's history and culture. This ancient temple was once a place of worship for Zoroastrians, who believed that fire was a manifestation of God.
Ateshgah Fire Temple near Baku, Azerbaijan
Gobustan National Park
Gobustan National Park is home to some of the most ancient rock art in the world, dating back as far as 40,000 years. Here, you can see depictions of animals, people, and even boats carved into the rocks.
More than half of the mud volcanoes in the globe may be found in Azerbaijan, many of which are closest to Baku. These amazing natural phenomena release gas and muck into the air, resulting in a bizarre scene that is unmatched anywhere else on Earth.
Active Mud Volcanoes in Gobustan Desert, Azerbaijan
The Bibi-Heybat Mosque is a beautiful mosque located on the outskirts of Baku. It was destroyed by the Soviets in the 1930s but was rebuilt in the 1990s and is now one of the city's most popular attractions.
Things To Do In Baku
Aside from seeing these top 10 places to visit in Baku has a plethora of other activities to delight visitors. Here are a few suggestions, like the following:
- Take a cooking class and learn how to make Azerbaijani dishes like plov (rice pilaf) and dolma (stuffed grape leaves).
- Visit the local bazaars and sample some of the delicious fruits, nuts, and spices sold there.
- Attend a performance at the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater.
- Take a day trip to the nearby town of Qobustan and visit the Qobustan Petroglyph Reserve, which is home to even more ancient rock art.
Tips for Your Baku Trip
Baku is a fascinating travel destination
Here are a few tips to help make your Baku trip as enjoyable as possible:
- Dress appropriately: Baku can get quite hot in the summer, so be sure to wear light and breathable clothing. However, keep in mind that Azerbaijan is a predominantly Muslim country, and conservative dress is expected in certain areas. If you plan on visiting religious sites, it's best to cover your shoulders and wear long pants or skirts.
- Use public transportation: Baku has an extensive network of buses, metro trains, and taxis that are affordable and easy to use. The metro system is particularly convenient, as it covers most of the city and is very cheap (only 20 qepiks per ride). However, be aware that rush hour can get very crowded, so plan accordingly.
- Try local cuisine: Azerbaijani cuisine is rich and diverse, with influences from Persian, Turkish, and Russian cuisine. Be sure to try local dishes like dolma (stuffed grape leaves), plov (rice pilaf with meat and vegetables), and kebab (grilled meat skewers). You can find these dishes at traditional restaurants called "meykhana" or at street food stalls.
- Learn basic Azerbaijani phrases: While many people in Baku speak English, it's always appreciated when travelers make an effort to learn basic Azerbaijani phrases. Some useful phrases to know include "salam" (hello), "sag ol" (thank you), and "xosh gəldiniz" (welcome).
- Currency: The official currency of Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani Manat (AZN). It is recommended to exchange currency at official exchange offices or banks to avoid scams. Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops in Baku.
- Entry Requirements: Citizens of certain countries are exempt from this requirement. However, most travelers require a visa to enter Azerbaijan. It is best to check with the Azerbaijani embassy or consulate in your home country for specific entry requirements. Additionally, it is important to ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Azerbaijan.
Baku is a fascinating travel destination that offers a unique blend of ancient history and modern innovation. However, before planning your trip, it is important to be aware of the entry requirements and visa regulations. Use online resources like the Azerbaijan Immigration Services website to ensure a smooth journey in many ways.
One of the main benefits of using the Azerbaijan Immigration Services website is the convenience it offers. You can apply for your visa from anywhere in the world, at any time of day or night. You simply fill out the online application form, send us your documents, and pay the fee. The website also provides useful information about the visa application process, including the required documents and processing times.
Another benefit of using the Azerbaijan Immigration Services website is the speed of the application process. In many cases, you can receive your visa within just a few days. This is much faster than the traditional visa application process, which can take weeks or even months.
Besides, when traveling overseas, purchasing travel insurance is essential to protect yourself against any unforeseen events. Travel insurance can provide coverage for a wide range of unexpected situations, such as lost or stolen luggage, flight cancellations, medical emergencies, and accidents. It is recommended that you purchase travel insurance when traveling to Baku to ensure that you are protected during your trip.
So, apply for your visa and travel health insurance today and embark on an exciting journey to explore the best places to visit in Baku, Azerbaijan!