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City Guide : BakuLocated at the most west of the country along the Caspian Sea, Baku is the capital and the largest city of Azerbaijan. The capital is the scientific, cultural and industrial center of the country. Baku is placed on the southern part of Absheron Peninsula which comprises rich oil deposits. Petroleum is the basis of the city's economy and oil refining is the fundamental industry at the city. Once the capital was the significant location at the core of the routs crossing the historical Silk Road. Accordingly, Baku stands as one of the oldest East cities witnessing many civilizations throughout the history.
Tourist AttractionsBaku is composed of the harmony of ancient and modern. While the high-rise buildings of the city are the best reflections of the modernity at the city the Walled City of Baku harboring famous ancient attractions is the most impressive old face of Baku. Soviet, Islamic and European architectural styles dominate the cityscape.
The Walled City of Baku preserving most of its 12th century defensive walls is the ancient part of the city. Residing as a fortress along the Caspian Sea, the Inner City (Icheri Sheher) is home to over 50 monuments and historical architectures from different eras. The Palace of Shirvanshakhs, the Maiden Tower and Synyg Gala (The Broken Tower) are among the most famous and impressive monuments placed here. Built in the 15th century, the Palace of Shirvanshakhs is a splendid architecture for indicating Baku as the capital of the Shirvan Shahs in the history. Built inside the 12th century defensive walls of the city at the Icheri Sheher, the Maiden Tower is one of the most impressive monuments of Baku. Standing as a “Q” from the air, the tower is composed of two stages.
Ateshgah temple complex located 30 km to the north-east in Surakhani settlement is a worldwide famous fire temple. This temple was one of the significant visiting location for the Silk Road merchants.
Residing 70 km to the south of Baku, Gobustan is an area of the largest collection of rock carvings, tomb monuments, camps, settlement places, caves and the other rocky sites. This location has a world wide reputation for its rock carvings and paintings.
National Museum of Azerbaijan Literature founded in 1939 and State Carpet Museum at Icheri Sheher are the two of the fundamental museums of Baku.
Culture & EntertainmentBaku stands as the culture capital of Azerbaijan. The first opera of the country, the first national theater and the first Azerbaijan library was opened at the capital. Baku is home to many theaters, exhibitions, higher education institutions, libraries, art galleries, concert halls and cinema theaters.
Baku is the major theatrical center of the country. Russian Drama Theater, State National Drama Theater, State Theater of Musical Comedy, State Puppet Theater and Ibrus Theater are several theaters among the major theatrical centers of the city.
State Philharmonic Hall, State Opera and Ballet are placed at Baku. Baku Jazz Center, Heydar Aliyev Palace, Shakhriyar Baku Cultural Center and Grand Hall of Baku Music Academy are among the main concert venues at the city.
Absheron Art Gallery, Giz Galasy Gallery, Gala Art Gallery and Smirnova Art Gallery are several valuable art centers of Baku.
The capital is also home to significant cultural events. To mention one, the Annual Baku International Jazz Festival is the best reflection of the great jazz music accumulation at the city.
The city is equipped with a great range of entertainment opportunities. Baku is one of the unprecedented cities in the Middle Asia for its beaches along the Caspian Sea. Shikhovo beach is one of the magnificent sunny beaches. Primorsky Boulevard stretching kilometers along the sea and the promenade in Primorsky Park are the best places for walking along the picturesque views from the Caspian Sea. Fountain Square is the best place for a diversified nightlife fun. If you want to listen the traditional Azeri music you should pay a visit to the Old Town.
Food & DrinkStanding as an ancient city, Baku culinary culture is mainly based on the sophisticated traditional cuisine. However, the fast food culture is well developed and the world cuisine has a strong place within the city cuisine. Middle East, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, India and more cuisines are represented in the local cuisine via tasty flavours. Kebab houses, tea houses and street stalls are prevalent at the city. The genuine local restaurants are the places for the authentic shashlky, lyulya kabab and barbecued chicken. The city cuisine is popular for its long liver and vegetables.
Some palates of the traditional Azerbaijan cuisine;
Salads: Salad khazar, salad Azerbaijan, kuku of greens, fisindjan of beans, soyutma...
Soups: Pyty, dushbara, kyufta-bozbash, dovga, ovdukh...
Shashlyks:Choice shashlyk, lyulya-kebab, sturgeon shashlyk, djudja kebab...
Pilafs: pilaf with rousted vegetables, pilaf with milk, meyivya pilaf, toyug pilaf, shojud pilaf, chykhyrtma pilaf...
Desserts and sweets: sticky, pahlava, halva, shakerbura, shor gogal, mutaky...
ShoppingFountain Square situated at the hearth of Baku is the main and the best shopping location of the city. The square is home to a great deal of up market shops.
Nizami Street is the fundamental shopping strip of the city. This pedestrian mall harbors shops from every category. Banks, super markets, special sores, fashion outlets and more are placed at this street.
TsUM Department Store is the city's largest department store. Authentic carpets, electrical goods, gold products and more are found at this sore.
A great majority of the souvenir shops are gathered around the Old Town. Here, you can buy a great range of antiques and the other kinds of local souvenirs.
Daughter Of The Caspian
Situated on the Absheron Peninsula, which extends into the Caspian Sea at the far end of the Caucasus, Baku stands out immediately for its social and cultural similarities with Anatolia. Resemblances in almost every aspect of life from the traditional architecture to the cuisine, but most of all in the language, are instantly apparent. At the same time, beyond its historic monuments, as a rapidly growing modern city, Baku constitutes an authentic east-west synthesis.
“If it weren’t for the wind, summers would be extremely hot here,” say the Azeri people of Baku, which takes its name from ‘Bad-e Kube’, meaning ‘Wind-pounded City’ in Persian, And light or strong, the wind is always with us whenever we come to this city, where our first stop is Freedom (Azadlık) Square. The Sea Side Park that starts from this square in front of Government House and continues as far as the historic city center, and Neftchilar and Nizami Avenues parallel to it, could be termed the heartbeat of Baku. The seaside gateway to the historic center, known as the Inner City and included on the UNESCO world Cultural Heritage List, is the 12th century Maiden’s Castle. Both the historic center and the broad panorama of the gulf are visible from here. After seeing the 12th century Lezgi Mosque and 19th century Juma Mosque amidst the historic buildings converted into carpet shops, restaurants and boutique hotels in the Inner City, we can head up to the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. Exhibiting traces of Seljuk architectural style, this palace consists of several sections: the Divanhane or audience hall, Shah Mosque, the Sharq or East Gate, the Shirvanshah family mausoleum, and what remains of the Key Kubad Mosque and Palace Hamam. Baku is a city rich in museums, sculpture and monuments, and its most majestic sculpture is that of Nizami Ganjavi, who is known as the Azeri Mevlana. The National Museum of Azerbaijan Literature with statues of six writers and poets, including the Ottoman Fuzulî, on its facade, the Carpet Museum in the shape of a folded carpet, and the International Mugam Center of Traditional Azeri Music are a few of Baku’s must-see sights. And on Fakhri Khiyabani (Lane of Honor) near Shehidler Khiyabani (Martyrs’ Lane) atop a hill overlooking the gulf around which the city is situated lies the grave of the country’s second president, Heydar Aliyev, together with those of Azerbaijan’s artists and writers.
TRACES OF TURKS IN BAKU
Apart from Turks who either settle or come to work in Azerbaijan, which is paired with Turkey in the common expression, “One People Two States”, we also encounter the name ‘Turk’ first on Martyrs’ Lane and then on an obelisk erected for the Turks who lie buried here. An inscription on the Martyrs’ Mosque, built by the Turkish Religious Foundation immediately next to the graveyard, reads that it opened in 1996 and was a gift from the Anatolian Turks to their Azeri brothers. A statue of Ataturk stands in the park opposite the Turkish Embassy, and a large park and the boulevard running past it are also named for Ataturk.
Three itineraries can be recommended for the area around Baku. There is rock art dating back to the 12th century B.C.E. at Gobustan, 65 km southwest of the city and included on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. The Ateshgah, or Fire Temple, near Surakhani 30 km from Baku was built in the 17th century by the Indians. This sacred shrine, whose central temple and cells for monks and pilgrims have been renovated and opened to the public, is a museum today. Finally, at the mud volcano near Mahdabad 20 km north of Baku in the direction of Sumgayit, gas escaping from under the ground burns continuously as the name indicates. In short, Azerbaijan’s capital Baku is a city where you will always feel at home. This friendly and brotherly country is waiting to welcome you as its guest.
What to eat
The classic menu in meat-heavy Azeri cuisine consists of luleh (shish kofta) or shish kebab (on the bone) served with sliced fresh tomatoes and fresh basil or coriander leaves. Traditional dishes like Azeri pilaff and Levengi can only be sampled if you are invited to someone’s home.
What to buy
Of the two main red and black types of caviar, the black, produced from sturgeon, which the Azeris call Nehre and which lives in the Caspian, is preferred over the red, which is produced from salmon.
Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Baku-Istanbul flights daily. For information:
Ticket Sales Offices : Baku
|Address||2nd floor, Demirchi Tower, 37, Khojali ave.|
|Phone||+99412 404 10 51 Call Center : +99412 404 88 49|
|Fax||+99412 497 00 27|
Weekdays : 09:30 – 17:30
Saturday : Closed
Sunday : Closed
|Address||Heydar Aliyev International Airport|
|Phone||+99412 497 28 06 +99412 404 10 51 / Ext. 50056|
|Fax||+99412 498 92 69|
Baku : Airport Information
Heydar Aliyev Airport
Address : Heydar Aliyev International Airport 370109 Baku, Azerbaijan Phone : +994 12 972 792
Baku : Airport Map Information
- Mon 30°C
- Tue 26°C
- Wed 26°C
|Monetary Unit||:||Azerbaijani Manat|
|Phone Code||:||994 12|