As the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku is the scientific, industrial, and cultural centre of the country, but if that doesn’t impress you, Lonely Planet named it in its list of the world’s top ten party cities. Got your attention? This is on my hitlist for early next year, along with Armenia and Georgia 🙂
Azerbaijan may not be at the forefront of your mind when picturing your dream holiday, but Baku is somewhere you just have to visit. If you think it hasn’t got sights to delight history lovers, it’s Inner City – or Old City – was awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, and the rest of the city holds equally enthralling spectacles. So whether you go for the diverse sights or the wild nights, read on to find out what should be on your to-do list when you’ve laid down your luggage at your hotel in Baku.
1) Any tourist must visit the medieval Palace of the Shirvan Shahs in Old Town – it could well be the highlight of your trip. Get an eyeful off the impressive city walls while you’re there, too.
2)Would you believe that a mountain could burn for a thousand years? Well, Yanar Dagh, on the Absheron Peninsula has been continuously aflame for a millennium, and the natural gas vents mean fire burns even when it’s raining
3) If shopping is your bag, you need to visit Nizami Street (formerly Torgovaya Street, for the sake of asking for directions) which is a huge pedestrian street filled with stores of all descriptions, along with great places to eat and people-watch.
4) If you’re interested in architecture, the Baku TV Tower and the Flame Towers complex which dominate the city’s skyline are both must-visits. You’ll enjoy unrivalled views of Baku and its surroundings, and visitors to the TV Tower can enjoy a bite to eat 175m skyward.
5) When night draws in, there’s only one thing to do – party! As Azerbaijan 24 notes, many clubs in Baku are open until dawn. X-Site, Le Chevalier at Grand Hotel Europe and Zagulba Disco Club are just a few of the many worth checking out.