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Baku is the capital as well as the largest city of Azerbaijan. It is known across the globe for being the lowest lying national capital, located 28 meters below sea level. You will find this amazing city lying on the shores of Caspian Sea, precisely on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, alongside the Bay of Baku. It is surrounded by mountains of the Caucasus, which adds more charm to its beauty.
Baku is a city that has a medieval heart but is surrounded by contemporary infrastructure. This means that though the city has welcomed modernization, its cultural and medieval heritage is safe and sound. It is interesting to note that the old city of Baku has been marked as a UNESCO world heritage site.
10 Best Things To Do In Baku
If you are planning to visit Baku, here are the top 10 things to do in Baku:
1. Visit the Most Astonishing Flame Towers
The people of Baku used to worship fire. The flame tower is a set of three buildings shaped as flames and covered with LED screen which display fire movements. Located on a hilltop, this tower is a symbol of Baku’s mythological history. The tower is so huge that can be seen on Baku’s skyline from almost any part of the city.
2. Experience Royalty Of Shirvanshahs
If you love historical sites, then this is a must visit place for you. The Shrivanshahs’ palace is a UNESCO World Heritage and according to history, the palace was the home of the Shrivanshah’s, the rulers of Azerbaijan (who were called Shrivan during that era).
The sandstone complex is situated inside the Old City, right behind the fortress walls that were built by the same kingdom in the 12th century, when Baku became the capital.
The art of medieval Islamic civilisation has been greatly inspired from the architecture of the Old City. The Palace consists of a palace building, two mosques, East Gate (Murad’s Gate), the mausoleum of King Khalilullah buried with his mother and sons, bath house (“hammam”) and Sufi scientist and philosopher Sayid Yahya Bakuvi’s mausoleum.
3. Watch Bubbling Mud Volcanoes At the Gobustan National Park
The Gobustan National park in Baku has around 300 bubbling mud volcanoes. This makes around 30% of the entire volcanoes in the world.
Thousands of tourists from all across the globe are attracted to this destination to see these sprawling field speckled with bubbling mud volcanoes, anthropological sites and sizzling lakes. Now you have another mesmerizing reason to visit the city of Baku. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Gobustan National museum to learn all about Mesolithic period.
4. Watch Sunset From Maiden Tower
Being situated in the Old City, the Maiden Tower holds an important place in the history of Baku. It was the part of the walls of the Baku city which used to protect it from any foreign invasions.
This tower was also built by the Shrivanshahs. The locals call this tower as Giz Galasi which means the virgin tower as it was impossible to penetrate this tower. Among the top 10 things to do in Baku is watching sunset from the top of this tower.
5. Explore the architecture of Bibi Heybat Mosque
Known for its architectural beauty, the mosque was originally built in the 13th century by Shirvanshah Farrukhzad II Ibn Ahsitan II. What stands there presently is a mosque restored in the year 1998. This is because Stalin destroyed it completely in the year 1936.
The three domed structure of the mosque follows the traditional iron shape of the old mosque and two minarets. The domes of the mosque are decorated with turquoise and green mirrors which are bordered with gilded inscriptions from the Holy Qur’an.
6. Enjoy Baku’ Ravishing Nightlife
The city is not only for history lovers but also has a lot for the party heads. Baku has a very cheerful night club environment, which is loved for the millennials. OTTO club is the first night club of Baku, which still works and receives lots of love and appreciation from the guests. What makes the club distinctive is its live music which goes on till morning and almost every day there is a live performance from a band or a DJ. Don’t forget to enjoy visiting OTTO club in Baku!
7. Entertain Yourself At Dalga Beach Aquapark Resort
Dalga Beach Aquapark Resort is the modern beach recreation and entertainment centre. It is located 37 km away from the city centre in Mardakan settlement of Baku.
The place has various types of water entertainment and activities including Parachute, Scooters, Play Board, Sea Bob, Banana, Mable, Fly-Fish and Ringo. Who would want to miss so much adventure? You also have 10 swimming pools, 5 restaurants, 7 bars, 6 different water slides, kids club, pools for water sports, places for day-time games, VIP pool and other places, night club, various sunbeds to enjoy. This means it has something for everyone who visits the place. Tempting!
8. Shop From Local Baku Markets
Baku has a variety of local markets which serve almost everything. From spices to clothes and from meat to carpets, you’ll get everything. You will enjoy strolling the local markets in Baku, which range from sprawling bazaars to obscure flea markets and stalls selling mementos for tourists.
Along the side of the street, you will find fresh fruits, vegetables, snacks, and clothes. Baku’s two famous markets include Taza Bazaar and Yasil Bazaar. Best things to buy as a tourist are the local spices, carpets, handicrafts and clothes, which are traditional to the city.
Suggested Read: 7 Best National Parks In Azerbaijan To Witness Its Wildlife
9. Spend Evenings In the Nizami Street
One of the main streets in Baku is the Nizami Street. Its locals love as they come here to do shopping in fancy shops, to dine in fast food and finally take a walk around in the promenade. Photographers would find this street magical due to the livelihood it has. There are quite many things to attract everyone on this street and so it is among the best things to do in Baku.
10. Explore Culture Through Azerbaijan Carpet Museum
Carpet weaving occupies a special place in Azerbaijan’s history and nearby Central Asia. The most widespread folk art is carpet weaving and was a part of everyday life of Azerbaijanis and turned into a national symbol.
These carpets have a high aesthetic and historic importance in the lives of the locals so they’re also used to cover the walls and floors of homes, nomads’ tents, mosques and government buildings as well. The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum was set up in 1967 to highlight the art of carpet weaving and its role in the history of Baku. You will find over 10,000 objects such as ceramics, metal works, and jewellery dating from the Bronze Age etc.
The primary use of the museum is for research, keeping and displaying carpets and carpet items, as well as applied art works.
So now that you know what all things to do in Baku, you must make up your mind for a trip to Azerbaijan. You’ll find the place so mesmerising and you might fall short of time but the city’s stories will not end. The city’s aesthetics will impress you and the rich culture would be a unique thing to explore while in Baku.
Frequently Asked Questions About 10 Things To Do In Baku
Q. What is the best time to visit Baku?
A. Baku experiences a plain climate all year round. It usually has warm summers and mild winters. The months from October to December are the wettest of the year. You can visit Baku as per your plans and preference. If you travel during June-September months, you will have summers and for November-March months, you will enjoy winters in Baku.
Q. Is Baku expensive to visit?
A. No, not at all! Visiting the major tourist attractions in Baku has an average cost, which is affordable. Coming to travel expenses, if you use public transport, you can save a lot of money. Private hires and guides are the only places that will make your visit and stay in Baku expensive.
Q. How many days are ideal to explore the whole of Baku?
A. Baku is the largest city of Azerbaijan and there is a lot to do in this glitzy, grand, and bizarre city. Spending a couple of days in Azerbaijan’s capital is something you will cherish for a long time. Minimum 3 days and a maximum of 7 days are ideal to explore the whole of Baku. You can choose to extend your stay as per your wish.
Q. Which is the nearest major airport to reach Baku?
A. The nearest major airport to Baku, Azerbaijan is Heydar Aliyev International Airport. It is located at a distance of 21 km from the center of Baku, Azerbaijan. People from southern countries can also fly to Lankaran International Airport, which is 250 km away from Baku. From the airport, they can hire a car and drive to their destination.
Q. What can tourists buy in Baku as a memorable souvenir?
A. The best thing to buy in Baku is a smaller carpet as an example of carpet weaving, which is traditional to Baku. For gifts, a set of tea glasses known as Armudu, which are pear-shaped (to keep tea hot and fragrant for a long time) are great. Also, you can buy a jar of Azerbaijani jam, which is made from local fruits and berries.
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