Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan. In this article, the main theme of our discussion will be where to visit? What to eat? And how to travel during your stay.
It is important to share some information about Baku so that travelers can make a better decision for travel. First, you have to look at the map of Baku and locate the important places such as airport food resorts etc. In Baku, there is an Old City where almost 80 % of the tourist’s attractions are either around or near it. For instance Maiden Tower, Shrivenham Palace, flame towers, Nizami Street, Carpet museum, Baku Boulevard. The basic reason for sharing this information is that you should try to get your accommodation near this area.
The first thing would obviously be that you reach Baku and most probably you would be reached by air. Flight fares are different in various countries, sometimes some airlines offer a promotion to specific location make sure you check them all before booking your flight.
After reaching Baku you should get your communications aid that is SIM. At the airport, a SIM costs about 25 AZN but around the city, it is around 5-10 AZN. You will decide for yourself, which SIM do you want to buy.
Normally a trip has three main components. Transportation, Accommodation, and food. Before digging deep into these components, first, you have to check what Azeri people have to say about you (country, culture etc). this will make you feel more welcomed over there as you will get their opinion first hand.
Talking about accommodation, there are many websites that offer you flats and apartments online before you even reach your destination. I suggest you use Airbnb if you aren’t already. And if you don’t use Airbnb, I’d let you know the tentative hotel prices in Baku.
- Budget hotels (45-65$)
- Mid-tier hotels (75-100$)
- Luxurious hotels (125-300$)
In this range, you will get hotels in Baku. You can also find hostels in price range 10-25 $. You can check yourself, the accommodation that is best for you. But the most important part of your accommodation selection process is the location is good. I recommend you to get a place in or around the Old City in Baku.
Let’s talk about transportation now, google maps would prove to be your most reliable friend in Baku. Normally, google maps is used to get directly to a specific place but not many people know that gives you complete guidance for using public transport too. For example, if you want to go from Icherisheher to Yanardag, google maps will give you four different option to reach there. The four options are by car, by public transport, by foot or by uber. In the by car option, it will tell you the distance and time required along with traffic solution. In public transport option, it tells you the possible routes along with their name and cost. And when you select the route, it gives you complete details like how much to walk before getting into the metro or bus and after how many stops t=you have to get off from the bus or metro. And also how to get to the second bus or bus station. The third option that is by walk or foot, gives you the distance and time required. Uber option gives you the tentative Uber price for your destination and upon selecting this option you are directed to the Uber App.
Baku’s public transport system is quite efficient, metros and buses take you almost everywhere. If you want to use a Taxi that is quite convenient as well you find taxis everywhere. For shorter distances, the taxis normally charge 5 AZN. If you have a longer distance to cover, then make sure to negotiate the price beforehand or use the taxis which has a meter or you can use Uber too. In my opinion, the best way to explore a city is by foot.
Now we are left with food, you can find awesome food in Baku. But this food is different from many other cultures, hence you have to try and decide yourself if you like it or not. The general prices of food are
- Street vendors (1.5-3 $)
- Fast food chains (7-10 $)
- Restaurants (15-45 $)
Also, one thing more than I recommend you, while your stay in Baku, is to try Azeri traditional breakfast and the best place to try it is ‘Sehrli Tender”. In addition to this, you must try Pilaf and Lahmacun.
Let me give you advice about Baku’s weather, don’t underestimate its weather. It is quite cold (in winters of course). So pack your bags according to the weather. Check the weather beforehand and pack clothes accordingly. If it is written 8-10 degree Celsius then pack properly, gloves and scarf is a must to carry. Other you might catch a cold or get flu.
Places to Visit
- Baku Boulevard walking through Baku Boulevard which stretches along a south-facing bay on the Caspian Sea. it traditionally starts at freedom square continuing to the Old City and beyond.
- Highland Park
- Flame towers
- Old Baku city tour is the most ancient part of Baku. The old city of Baku, including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower. Became the first location in Azerbaijan, to be classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.
- Palace of the Shirvanshahs
- Maiden tower
- Nizami street
- Ride of Baku Ferris Wheel the wheel is 60 meters tall has 30 cabins, each holding eight people. It makes a complete turn in 30 to 40 minutes.
- Heydar Aliyev Centre a 57,500 meters square building complex in Baku, Azerbaijan designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid.
- Bibi Heybat Mosque historical mosque in Baku Azerbaijan. The existing structure, built in the 1990s is a recreation of the mosque with the same name built in the 13th century by Shrivenham Farrukhzad.
- Ateshgah (fire worshippers temple) based on Persian and Indian inscriptions, the temple was used as a Hindu and Zoroastrian place or worship. Atash is the Persian word for Fire.
- Fire mountain- Yanardag a mountain on Absheron peninsula, 25km from North of Baku literally the word ‘yanardag’ means ‘blazing mountain’. Blazing bodies of flame dance on the stones and floor.
This was a brief summary of the travel guide for Baku. You will explore more and more once you get there.
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