Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan.
European Games 2015
Between 12 - 28 June 2015 the first edition of the European Games will be held in Baku.
Baku, also known as Baky or Bakı, is the largest city in the Caucasus and the capital of Azerbaijan. Baku is on the coast of the Caspian Sea on the southern tip of the Absheron Peninsula. There are three major divisions in Baku: İçəri Şəhər (the ancient city), the Soviet built city, and the newest part of the city. The population as of January 2012 was 2 137,200.
World's first flame shaped towers under construction in Baku
A curious fact about Baku is that its average year-round temperature (14.2°C/57.6°F)) matches the average temperature of the entire landmass of the earth to within a tenth of degree. Summers are hot and humid, winters cool, wet and breezy. However, seasonal temperature excursions are less than in many continental regions at this latitude (about 40 degrees north) owing to the presence of the Caspian Sea.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport  (IATA: GYD) is situated 25 km (15 mi) from Baku city centre. It is served by major airlines including Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL), British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways, and a whole host of smaller airlines. One of the least expensive ways to get between Baku and Europe is via Aeroflot, with inexpensive flights to/from Moscow daily. Air Baltic also offers flights with good prices from/via Riga; Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines has flights from Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport, however these are code-shared with Azeri flag-carrier Azal, and start from around $130 one-way. WizzAir offers a low-cost option from Budapest to Baku (from 39EUR one-way) - this was stopped in March 2015, but fortunately resumed again in March 2016..
Be aware a new terminal is about to be completed at the airport towards the end of 2014, and some flights already depart/arrive there (Azal in particular). The old and new terminals are very close though and easily walkable with luggage, so it shouldn't be a major problem.
Minibus 116 runs between the airport and Samed Vurgun Park, in the heart of Baku. The trip costs 0.40 AZN and takes over an hour.
Minibus 135 runs between the airport traffic circle (15-min walk from the airport) and the 28 May Metro Station. The journey takes an hour and costs 0.40AZN.
Getting a smooth ride from the airport to town can be a hassle. As of June 2016, the lowest price you can get for a taxi to the centre is 15-20 Manat but be prepared from them to ask for up to 60 Manat. Be aware that there is one single taxi company that is allowed to officially do business at the airport. Police occasionally force out all cab drivers trying to do business on the fringes of the airport, leaving you stuck with a high fare. Some taxis (purple ones) have meters but don't use them so you must negotiate in advance. If you cannot find a reasonable price, go out of the airport, past the taxi stand, and ask the cabbies in the far end of the parking lot. Be cautious since the majority of Baku cabs are unmarked. Don't let the cab driver renegotiate the price with you. It is a common trick to ask for much more on arrival to your destination. You are not obligated to pay what they demand.
For 5 Manat you can take a cab from the airport to Metro Koroglu (former Azizbeyov). From there it's four to six stations to the city centre - but only from 6AM until midnight.
Overnight trains are avalible from Russia and Ukraine on a regular basis. Moscow (60 h) has departures three times a week, there is also a once-weekly train leaving Saint Petersburg (70 h) on Sundays. Other cities with less frequent connections include Novosibirsk (80 h) and Yekaterinburg (75 h). Kiev (68 h) has a service leaving every Saturday, with carriges added from several other cities. Also, on some occasions there is a direct train from the Belarusian city of Brest (81 h) which also stops in Minsk (76 h).
There is an overnight sleeper from Tbilisi in neighboring Georgia leaving daily. Journey times is 14 hours. The train makes stop-overs in Lankaran, Sheki, Xachmaz and Ganja. A journey in second class from Tbilisi will set you back 58 laris.
Domestic trains are very cheap, most journeys cost less than 3AZN which makes it cheaper then staying in an hostel.
Buses run between Baku and Lankaran (departs: 11:50AM, 3PM, 4PM, 5PM), Sheki (hourly, 4AZN, 7-hr trip). International buses also operate from destinations in Iran, Turkey and from Tbilisi. A common rule of thumb for bus rates in Azerbaijan seems to be about 1AZN per hour ride. Example: Agstafa is about 7 or 8 hours away from Baku. About 8AZN.
Minbuses operate between Baku and Sheki (6 hr), Lankaran (5 hr), Xachmaz (3 hr), Saatli (5 hr), and Imishli (4 hr).
The phone number of the sea terminal (Daniz Vagzal) is 994 12 447 7314.
Ferries operate between Baku and Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, (Irregularly, approximately every 7-10 days), and Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan (steerage bed, US$50, 2-day trip, bring food).
Make sure you have appropriate visas before embarking, if necessary.
Road traffic in Baku is quite heavy and the style of driving is a bit aggressive for both private and public service.
Rent a car offices:
- AVIS, ☎ +994 50 2230248, . AVIS Rent a Car provides cars, SUV and 4WD. Airport pick up and delivery service is also available. edit
London taxi cabs have been recently introduced in Baku, and travel fees are 0.70AZN per km.A taxi costs 4-10AZN for trips within the centre of Baku, and to the airport cost 14AZN on the meter - albeit at 6am with little traffic. You are anyway suggested to agree or double-check the price for the service before getting on the car. Uber is also operating in Baku and has some of the lowest prices.
- Baku Airport Transfer, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 24 hours. Offers online booking and printed receipts/invoices for airport transfers between downtown and Heydar Aliyev International. English is spoken. 33AZN. edit
- Royal Taxi, ☎ +994 051 880-2009 (email@example.com), . 24. Airport to city costs 15-25AZN depending on your destination in the city. edit
A great way to cover a lot of ground is to use a bicycle. But because of its lunatic car drivers and the chaotic traffic, Baku is not really a great town to get around in by bicycle. Except for the up-town, the city, including old town (İçəri Şəhər) and downtown is almost dead flat, and though there are some streets that are safe to ride, there is almost always a chaotic and dangerous amount of traffic on the road.
There are no separate bike lanes on the streets, no way of using the sidewalk with super high gutters (10"+) curbed in stone and no pram or stroller ramps so the streets are not designed for rolling objects. So cars and cyclists are forced to share the streets of Baku. The city centre is considered not to be bike-friendly and the locals strongly advise against it. The traffic over the past few years has become seriously chaotic and congested with hostile, incompetent and completely inconsiderate drivers. There were more than 285 deaths and 1185 injuries recorded last year (2012) just for pedestrian crossings. The actual figure for deaths is estimated to be closer to 1000+. The reason for this ridiculously high figure can be seen on any street in Baku. Its been estimated that more than 40% of drivers have never actually sat and passed their drivers licence test, but simply just 'acquired' one.
While cycling on the street is not recommended, except for the clinically insane, the Boulevard on the other hand offers an amazing place to stretch out. The new area of the Seaside Boulevard was opened in May 2012 and extends from the 'Baku Sports Palace' (Bakı İdman Sarayı) to the 'National Flag Square'. There is a car park near the Sports Palace and is the perfect starting point. The length of the new boulevard is approximately 5kms. There are wide open terraces to explore all the way up to the flag with lovely restaurants, pubs and lounge-cafe's all along the way. This is soon to be extended in the other direction once the new Holiday Inn is completed on the foreshore and this will provide up to 10kms of scenic and traffic-free biking. Bike and pedal car rental is available on the Boulevard at a cost of 3AZN for 2hrs and 1AZN per hour after that. Pedal cars cost slightly more.
While Baku is a safe place, make sure to get a good lock (or two), and to use it if you intend to stop. If you are looking for a road, mountain or trekking bike, then there is a bicycle rental shop at the city centre called MyBike (Address: Asef Zeynalli Street, Ichari Shahar). If you want to know the best routes, you should get a copy of the beautifully designed 'Baku by Bike' plan, which is available at all bike rental points of MyBike. Bike rental costs about 10-20AZN per day (approximately, AZN 1 = €1, as of 2012).
A passport or identity card must be shown and a refundable deposit is required. While this service is quite convenient, be sure to bring ID or passport and contact information, including hotel phone number, to speed up the paperwork.
There are a lot of English and American ex-pats here in Baku so Mountain Biking is popular and there are some great rides to be had further out of town in the foothills. While these will test your ability on the other hand they will provide a stunning view of Baku city and the Caspian.
There are a number of 'clubs' or organised rides along the boulevard and into the hills. The bike shops can provide more details.
While different to back home, bike riding in Baku can be one of the most rewarding past times ever.
Buses and minibuses cost 0.20AZN per person and can take you to almost any place within Baku. Destinations are usually posted on the front and the right side of the bus. The website http://www.niim.az/en/bus-info shows the route and current location of every bus on an interactive map.
Unfortunately buses are not handicap-friendly, if you are on a wheelchair or you are limited in walking, you will find impossible or very difficult, to get on a bus due to the high steps to get on board.
The style of driving for the bus drivers is very aggressive, sudden breaking or accelerations may occur, you are suggested to hang safely once on board.
The metro goes to many places throughout Baku and it costs only 0.20AZN. It is the least expensive way to get around Baku besides walking. Ask a cashier or attendant. You must obtain a Bakı Metropiliten Kart (2AZN refundable deposit) and load it like a normal metro pass. Alternatively, you can use a Azerbaycan Sosial Kartı like the ones on some Azerbaijani ATM cards. The metro workers will be more than happy to help if spoken to in either Azeri or Russian, and some may understand English.
Be careful when transferring trains at the transfer stations (28 May and Jafar Jabbarli) as the signage is not easy to spot, the final destination of the train is on a display on each platform. At the exchange stations a display in the aisle will show the final destination of the upcoming trains, in such stations there is no need to move to another level to change the metro line. At the transfer stations, on the same platform, usually they alternate runs for the different lines so, there is one train for the red line after one run of the green one and so on.
During peak hours, the metro can be really crowded so it might be common that you cannot get into the train and wait for the next two or three runs before you can. You are suggested to plan your travel keeping in mind that you could be delayed due to this issue.
There have been reports of people being arrested while taking photographs of the metro station.
The stations are not handicap-friendly, if you are on a wheelchair or if you are limited in walking, bear in mind that there are no elevators to get to the platforms and the road-level is connected only by escalators.
When entering in any station the metro staff will check your bags with a metal detector, you are requested to cooperate if they need to check the bag content.
Queues are not well respected, either if you are getting off or on the train, it is frequent to see travelers just got in to stop right in front of the exit, rather than moving aside or, those arriving at the platform, quickly jump into the train with no regard for the people already waiting there.
Step aside or wait in the aisle if you're not going to catch the upcoming train.
While into the train, seats are for women of any age and seniors, men are usually keen in offering their seat to them when they spot someone standing.
Due to the crowding of the metro you will be frequently bumped and pushed, especially at a station if you are near the exit, no one is going to make his/her excuses and they are not expecting yours when pushing others.
The Baku electric train runs through several parts of Baku and the surrounding area including Sumqait. 1AZN.
It is possible to get around Fountain Square, the Boulevard, and the old city by foot, but the entire city cannot be covered on foot.
The Azeri government recognises its traffic problems and hazards for pedestrians in Baku and has built an extensive network of underground pedestrian walkways to ensure pedestrians do not attempt to cross the roads. Numerous deaths and near misses have been recorded of people attempting to cross the road without using the underground walkways. They are everywhere in the city, especially near the Boulevard and look like subway entrances often with escalators, stairs and pram or stroller ramps. It is highly recommended you locate them and use them.
According to roadworks and ongoing building renovations, you may find that the sidewalk is suddenly interrupted with no choice than going back and find an alternate route.
English and Russian are understood in many places throughout Baku, but it wise to still either bring an Azeri phrase book and/or brush up on your Azeri/Turkish/Russian before arriving. However, about 80% of population at least understands Russian, and about half the people under the age of 35 will speak at least a little English. Turkish is mutually intelligible with Azerbaijani, so people will likely understand you as long as you stick to simple words and speak slowly, although it may be a little bit harder for Turkish speakers to understand Azerbaijani than the other way around.
English is well catered for in most shops, restaurants and bars as a result of 15+ years of expats from the oil industry. Very easy to make yourself understood with little local language skills.
Old Town (Icheri Sheher)
There are a number of interesting sites within Baku's walled fortress, the Old City (a UNESCO World Heritage site), which can all be seen on foot in one day:
The Divankhana Pishtaq in the Palace of the Shirvan Shahs
Guz Qalasi (The Maiden's Tower) a UNESCO World Heritage site
- The Palace of the Shirvan Shahs. Daily 10AM-6PM. The medieval palace of the Shirvan Shahs is the highlight of the Old City and a must see for any tourist in Baku. 2 AZN to take photos. Guided tours available in different languages for 6 AZN. 2 AZN. edit
- Maiden's Tower (Giz Qalasi). Daily 10AM–7PM. This mysterious and eccentric tower was built somewhere between the 7th and 12th centuries and may have served as a fire beacon, defensive fortification, astronomical observatory, or Zoroastrian temple. 2 AZN. edit
Outside the city, on the Absheron Peninsula, there are several interesting sites that are easy to reach via taxi or public transportation. Moreover, the scenery along your route is itself a fascinatingly ugly sight to be seen, a desert wasteland with white salt flats and natural oil pools seeping up to the surface.
- Atashgah Fire Temple. You can take the Baku Electric train from the Baku train station to Suraxani station for 10 qapik. (No train service any longer.) Simply walk through the station to the outdoor platforms where a schedule is posted. You can also take Marshrutka 191 from Qara Qarayev metro station or bus number 184 from Azizbeyov metro station. You can pay on board or buy a ticket from a kiosk on the platform. From Suraxani station walk about 100 m (330 ft) and you can arrive at the temple. Children 0.20AZN, student 0.40AZN, adult 2AZN. If you want to take pictures it costs 2AZN in addition to admission. (40.415485,50.008504) edit'
- Yanar Dagh, (Take bus 217 from Koroglu metro station. The last stop is Yanar Dagh(March 2014)). Yanar Dagh is a mountain that has been continuously on fire for one thousand years. The natural gas vents ensure that hot flames roar out of the sides of this hill even when it rains. 2AZN. edit
- Qala, (Take bus 101 or 150 from Koroglu metro station. Leave the bus when you see a new build fortress tower(~30Min) Walk down the street for 1km(April 2014)). Qala has an open air Archeological and Ethnographic Museum. You can also find some camels, sheep and rabbits in the Museum. Next to it is a new build fortress from which you have a nice view of the city. 6AZN. edit
- Artem Island, (Take bus 150 from Koroglu metro station. Goes directly to Artem Island (April 2014)). Artem Island was the first place for oil exploration in Azerbaijan. The island is not the most beautiful but worth a day trip. Hike up the light house and walk over to the island and enjoy the southern tip first before you go of wandering around Artem city. In the side streets you can find several tea houses, shops and other places. edit
Museums and galleries
- Azeri National Costume Museum (Doll Museum), ☎ +994 (12)/ 493 66 85 (). edit
- Taghiyev History Museum, Tagiyev St, 4, ☎ +994 (12)/ 493 36 48 (). edit
- Latif Karimov Carpet and Applied Arts Museum, Neftchiler Ave, 123 A. edit
- Home of Jafar Jabbarli, 44, S. Gutgashinli St, ☎ +994 (12)/ 43 84 350, . edit
- Nizami (Torgovaya) St and Fountain Sq, (Near the Old City). This is a pedestrian street along the center of Baku that has many shopping, dining, and sitting places. edit
- Oil Rocks. Tourist wanting to see the oil rock complex need to get previous authorization from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan. edit
- Magomayev Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall, 2, Istiglaliyyat St, ☎ +994 (12)/ 497 29 05 (). Built in 1912 and inspired by the Monte Carlo Casino. Houses the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra amongst others. edit
- AF MALL, is located in the heart of the city just off the Torgovaya on Samed Vurgun St 34, ☎ +994 12 5965506. This brand new mall has many trendy shops, summer lounge with tropic garden and pool on rooftop opening by the end of 2011. edit
- Park Bulvar Shopping Mall, Along the boulevard, right across Park Inn Hotel. This brand new mall has many trendy shops, a cinema, a planetarium, a bowling alley and many cozy cafes. There are many famous fast food chains located there, such as KFC and Sbarro. edit
- Boat tours of Baku. Offered from the Baku Blvd. Lasts 40 minutes. 6AZN. edit
- Go to Pantomima theatre. Offered from the Baku Blvd. Lasts 40 minutes. 6AZN. edit
- National Opera and Ballet, Nizami St. edit
- Aqua Park Baku,, Rashid Behbudov, 59, ☎ +994 12 447-03-03. edit
- Baku Entertainment Center (Bakı Əyləncə Mərkəzi), Khatai District, F. Bayramov St, 1130/33, ☎ +994 012 490-22-22 (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, fax: +994 012 490-22-05). Baku Entertainment center has been around for more than half a decade. It has a shopping center, bowling alley certified by AMF, health club, conference venue with a capacity of 350 people, and various restaurants and clubs. edit
- Hamam Mehellesi. Public Baths (Hamamlar). This is the oldest public bath in Baku located near the Icharishahar metro station, inside the walls of the old city. There are men's and women's days at this public bath, Mondays and Fridays are for women, the rest of the days are for men. Hamam Mehellesi is in the Old Town. From the station, enter the gate to the old city, turn right and go down the street. The hamam will be a few blocks down, on the left side of the street, you will see a note on one of the walls "hamam mehellesi" and a little further - the bath's domes - this will be the place. 10AZN and they offer two types of service, ''hise'' (skin peel) for 10AZN and massage for 10AZN. Azeri tea 1AZN. edit
- Luna Amusement Park, ☎ +994 012 496-48-48. This is a small amusement park for kids and adults. edit
- Baku Funicular Railroad. You can take this funicular train up to the Alley of the Marytrs. it's free. edit
- Teze Bey Hamami. Public Baths (Hamamlar). This public bath is in the old town and is a male only hamam. They have different types of baths (Finnish, Turkish, etc), so it may be a bit pricier than the other public baths in Baku. edit
Ancient Market in Old City (Icheri Sheher)
- AF Beach Club, Novkhani, ☎ 994 12 448-30-30, . This complex has 5 swimming pools, fast food, restaurant with cooks from Azerbaijan and Europe, Disco, Game Hall, Wi-Fi, Water Sports, Beach Volley, Beach Football, Entertainments, Professional Animation Team . 80-600. edit
- Amburan Beach Club, Bilgah, ☎ +994 12 453-86-85 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +994 12 453-86-84), . This complex has a 3 swimming pool, fast food outlets, restaurant with cooks from Azerbaijan and Europe, Disco, Game Hall, Wi-Fi, Water Sports, Beach Volley, Beach Football, Entertainments, Professional Animation Team . edit
There are a couple of beaches including Shikhov Beach, but they are polluted by sewage and industrial waste. Outside the city, however, there are a few very nice sandy beaches on the Caspian. In particular Bilgəh and Amburan beaches, on the north coast of the Absheron Peninsula are great spots to cool off from heat.
- Baku Jazz Festival, ☎ +994 012 437-55-33 (email@example.com), . Organised by famous saxophonist and Baku resident Rain Sultanov to showcase Azerbaijan's love of Jazz which grew during the Soviet era when it was banned by the authorities. Features acts from around the world, the annual festival lasts for a week, and will run from 7-14 Jun (in 2007). Tickets can be purchased from Baku Jazz Center, 19 Rashid Behbudov St or by phone. edit
- Antiques from Old City (İçəri Şəhər)
- Apples from Quba
- Tea and lemon from Lankaran
- Halva from Sheki
- Traditional dolls created by ladies' groups in Barda
- Traditional breads from Ganja
- Bankomats (ATMs) are available all around the city, mainly in downtown and metro stations exits. If you have a cell phone with either a Bakcell or Azercell sim card, you can recharge your account balance using various ATMs. The International Bank of Azerbaijan has a list  of their ATMs in Baku. Some of them have Euros and US Dollars available.
There are a great deal of restaurants in Baku.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
|| up to 10AZN
|| 20AZN or more
- Half Way Inn, 6, 28 May St, ☎ +994 012 598-09-05. International Cuisine 5-10AZN. edit
- L’aparte, 51, Istigaliyyet St, ☎ +994 012 497-77-79. European and Azeri Cuisine 6-10AZN. edit
- Lebanese, 12, Z. Taguyev St, ☎ +994 012 493-78-49. Lebanese Cuisine located on fountain square 4-8AZN. edit
- Onassis, 3, Inshaatchilar Ave, ☎ +994 012 439-17-34. Greek and International Cuisine 2-7AZN. edit
- U Dali, 5, M. Ibragimov St, ☎ +994 012 494-93-56. Georgian Cuisine 3-6AZN. edit
- Anadolu, Pushkin St 5 & Rasul Rza St 3/5, ☎ +994 012 498-87-58 (). Turkish/European Restaurant/Catering. 8-15AZN. edit
- Bəh Bəh, 20 Shihaliyev St, ☎ +994 012 496-18-10. edit
- Jennet Baghi, 82, Acad, Hasan Aliyeve St, ☎ +994 012 449-91-98. edit
- Karvansara, 1 Gala St, Ichiri Sheher, ☎ +994 012 456-62-33. edit
- Lido, Cnr of Nkhchivani St, ☎ +994 012 462-94-49. European and Azeri Cuisine. edit
- Mugam Club, 9 A. Rzayeva St, ☎ +994 012 492-40-85. European and Azeri Cuisine 10-15AZN. edit
- Namli Kebab, (close to Russian Dramatic Theatre and Austin Hotel), ☎ +994 50 201-44-45. European and Azeri Cuisine 25-35AZN. edit
- Respublika Luks, 24 Khagani St, ☎ +994 012 598-10-56. European and Azeri Cuisine 2-15AZN. edit
- XVII esr, 215 B. Safaroglu St, ☎ +994 012 598-17-00. Club-Restaurant. 8-15AZN. edit
- Dukhan, 81/13 Nizami St, ☎ +994 012 598-22-29. Georgian Cuisine. edit
- Georgian Home, 215 Bashir Safaroglu St & 18 Mirza Irahimov St, ☎ +994 012 493-85-36 & +994 012 493-43-85 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Georgian Cuisine. edit
- Khutor, 9 M. Mukhtarov St, ☎ +994 012 437-22-23. Ukrainian Cuisine 8-15AZN. edit
- Maksim, 4/3 Gala St (Old City), ☎ +994 012 492-20-45. Georgian Cuisine. 5-20AZN. edit
- Rasputin, 9 A. Aliyev St, ☎ +994 050-355-57-71. Russian Cuisine. 5-20AZN. edit
- Caviar, 1025/30 Tbilisi Ave, ☎ +994 012 490-70-90. International Cuisine. edit
- Corleone, 40 Khagani St, ☎ +994 012 498-82-46. Italian Cuisine. edit
- Ego’s, 19/13 Khagani St, ☎ +994 012 493-11-01. European Cuisine. 8-15AZN. edit
- Gazelli Evi, 93 Nizami St, ☎ +994 012 493-96-88. International Cuisine. 5-16AZN. edit
- Dolce Vita, 9 Aziz Aliyev St, ☎ +994 012 492-75-72.. Italian Restaurant. edit
- Greasy Barney’s, G. Abbasov 72, Apt 1A, ☎ +994 012 491-23-63. Sandwich Shop. edit
- Le Mirage, 34 Nizami St, ☎ +994 050-622-05-90. European Cuisine. Nightclub. edit
- Cafe City, Rashid Behbudov St (St closest to the L side of Park Bulvar, close to Sahil Bagi and Central Public Library). Mixed Cuisine Cafe. edit
- Le R Restaurant, 123/6 Remontov St, ☎ +994 012-437-21-80. European Cuisine. edit
- Mexicana, 17 Z. Tagiyev St, ☎ +994 012 498-90-96. 6-14AZN. edit
- München, 125 Nizami St, ☎ +994 012 493-76-00. German cuisine. Large selection of draft beer. edit
- Nara, 4 Aziz Aliyev St, ☎ +994 012 497-12-55. French Cuisine. edit
- Park Inn's Glory, 1 Azadlig Ave, ☎ +994 012 490-00-01. European Cuisine. 8-18AZN. edit
- Pauza, 28 May St, ☎ +994 012 493-70-03. International Cuisine. 5-15AZN. edit
- Pizza Holiday, 119 Lermontov Kuchasi (Near Baku Soviet), ☎ +994 012 497-37-72. Pizza and Italian Cuisine. 5-15AZN. edit
- Soho, 6 R. Aliyarbekov St, ☎ +994 050-319-38-19. International Cuisine. edit
- The Red Lion Inn, 7 Mammadaliyev St, ☎ +994 012 493-03-54. English Cuisine. 6-16AZN. edit
- Universal Club, 16 Z. Tagiyev St, ☎ +994 012 493-29-12. International Cuisine. edit
- Buddha, 2 A.Z. Tagiyev St, ☎ +994 012 493-10-05. Fusion Cuisine. 6-12AZN. edit
- Maharaja, 131 Akivsat Gykuyev St, ☎ +994 012 494-63-00. Indian Cuisine. 8-15AZN. edit
- Taj Mahal, 18 Khagani St, ☎ +994 012 498-03-62. Indian Cuisine. 3-14AZN. edit
- Chinar, 1 Shovket Alekperova St, ☎ +994 012 492-08-88, . Pan-Asian cuisine, modern tea house and late night cocktail bar. 20-70AZN. edit
- House of Sultans, Icheri Sheher Boyuk Gala #20, ☎ +994 012 437-23-06. International and Azeri Cuisine. edit
- Mezzo, Bakikhanov St (in Hyatt Hotel), ☎ +994 012 496-12-34. Mediterranean Cuisine. 20-70AZN. edit
- Shanghai, 31 Rasul Rza St, ☎ +994 012 495-45-10. Chinese fare. 3-25AZN. edit
- Terrace Garden, 20 Boyuk Gala (Icheri Sheher (Old Town)), ☎ +994 012 437-23-05 (ext 10). European and Azeri Cuisine. 7-26AZN. edit
- The Brewery, 28 Istiglaliyyet St, ☎ +994 012 497-14-00. European Restaurant. 8-20AZN. edit
- Toscana, 12 Basti Bagirova St, Kermur Plz, ☎ +994 012 436-80-47. Italian Cuisine. 4-20AZN. edit
A Cultural Note
Although tea houses (çay xanalar) in Baku usually allow Western women to enter, in the regions, it is often forbidden for females to enter such establishments. Women drinking in Baku is a la mode, but it is taboo for women in the regions of Azerbaijan to consume alcohol.
Tea Houses (Çayxanalar)
There are many outdoor tea houses (çayxanalar) that serve tea and sweets to people in their own individual nooks. Going to them can be a great way to get a sense of the local culture. If you are adventurous, try challenging a local Bakuvian to a game of backgammon (nard) or dominoes.
There is a good selection of cafés dispersed throughout Baku. Expect to pay Western prices for your coffee.
- Aroma Cafe, 18, U. Hajibayov St, ☎ +994 012-598-07-07. edit
- Baku Roasting Company, (Near Ramstore in Elmlar). 9AM-9PM daily, except M. 2.5-7AZN. edit
- Chocolate, 21, Boyukgala St/4 Mamedaliyev St, ☎ +994 012-492-35-26. edit
- Cottage Café, (opposite Villa Petrolea), ☎ +994 012-497-48-30. edit
- Gourmet Shop, 5, Mardanov Gardashlari St, ☎ +994 012-49-12-34. edit
Bars and pubs
Although tea houses (çay xanalar) (found throughout Azerbaijan) serve local beer (piva) - draft at 50 qapick/glass or bottles at 70 qapick/bottle or vodka (araq) at 2AZN/bottle, for anything exotic (e.g. tequila, gin, or rum), you will have to go to a normal bar or hotel and pay Western prices there.
- Adam's Sports Bar, 6 Alizade St, ☎ Bonny: +994 50-346-0433. it closed, go to castle if you want a sports bar edit
- Beluga Bar, Bakikhanov St (in Hyatt Hotel), ☎ +994 012-496-12-34. edit
- Britannia Pub, Bakikhanov St (in Hyatt Hotel), ☎ +994 012-496-12-34. edit
- Caspian Bar, 1025/30, Tbilisi Ave, ☎ +994 012-490-70-90. edit
- The Corner Bar, 77, Nizami St (cnr of the R. Rza and Tolstoy Sts). edit
- Finnegan’s, 4, A. Alizadeh St, ☎ +994 012-498-65-64. Next to History Museum. Free wifi. Biggest choice of beer in town, including Irish & English,Bavarian stouts,ales, porters & lagers. Good beer prices and Happy Hour offers. Specials prices every day. Nurenberg sausages, Fresh Caspian shrimps, Choice of Pies, Fish & chips.Live Music Wed & Sat nights. edit
- Golden Ridges Pub, 5, Mardanov Gardashlari St, ☎ +994 012-493-17-72. edit
- Hampstead, 12, Basti Bagirova St, ☎ +994 012-436-79-81. edit
- Park Inn's Victor’s Bar, 1, Azadlig St, ☎ +994 012-490-60-00. edit
- Pub Viking, 49, Bul-bul St, ☎ +994 012-499-18-86. edit
- Queen’s Head, 95, Neftchilar St, ☎ +994 050-368-77-33. edit
- Tequila Junction, Next to ISR Plz, ☎ +994 012-498-43-32. edit
- Tiger Bar, 19, Mamed Aliyv St, ☎ +994 012-598-41-21. edit
- The Phoenix Bar, 10, Mammadaliyev St, ☎ +994 012-305-90-90. edit
- Tj’s Pub, 9, Aliyarbekov St, ☎ +994 012-498-46-21. edit
- Caledonia Bar, 38, Rasul Rza, ☎ +994 012-494-28-53 (dave@Caledoniabar.Com), . 9:30AM-late. Offers a familiar pub atmosphere with photos and memorabilia from Scotland. Screens for watching sporting events. edit
- Caravan Jazz Club, 4 Aliyev St, ☎ +994 012 97-11-39. You might not expect it, but Baku has a great jazz tradition of its own and this is the place to go. No entrance fee and has a free, western-style toilet. Updated as of October 2013, this is no longer located at 4 Aliyev St and has moved to another unknown location in Baku edit
- Room 103, 103 Neftiçilər Prospekti, ☎ +994 012 92-65-03. An upscale cocktail bar with nightly live jazz. edit
^* Baku Jazz Center, 19 Rasid Behbudov St (Close to 28 May station), ☎ 4936196. Located in a very dark open hall with live music after 9pm. Be aware that the over inflated prices listed on menus here are increased further when in comes time to settle the bill. A 6AZN pot of tea soon becomes 10AZN with the excuse that they are using 'old' menus. Best avoided unless you enjoy being ripped off Cover for live music 3AZN. edit
- Baku Station Hostel, 28 May Station (baku airport). checkin: 23/6; checkout: 24/6. Under renovation as of Oct 2009. Dorm bed 2.4AZN, single 6AZN, twin 3AZN. edit
- Caspian Hostel, Asef Zeynalli 29 (Old Town, around the cnr from Meridian Hotel, above Thousand Camels Hostel), ☎ +994 503778444. Great location in the Old Town. 2 dorm rooms and 1 private room. Dorm bed 16AZN. edit
- Hotel Velotrek, 20 January Metro Station (slightly hidden behind the Respublica Velotrek bicycle race course through a tall iron gate on the left hand side). A few kilometers north of the centre, this budget hotel has clean rooms with TV, private bath and hot water in the mornings. (Not existing any more as of July 2013) Single 15AZN, double 30AZN. edit
- Guest House Inn, Harbi St 17, Icheri Sheher, ☎ +994 12 4371262 (, email@example.com, fax: +994 12 4371263). checkin: any time; checkout: at 12 p.m. This hotel is situated in the center of Old Town in calm area, 10 minutes on foot to the nearest metro station, very friendly staff. Room with TV, fridge, private bathroom, hot water 60AZN per person. edit
- Baku Old City Hostel, AZ1000 Vali Mamedov street 24 (U Icheri Sheher) Baku, ☎ +994 124 927 943 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Located in the heart of the Old City, UNESCO heritage site, there is this cozy hostel, a collaboration of two friends and colleagues. Their fascinating and original history is reflected in the design of this hostel, located in a strategic place for tourism. A 5 minute walk to the metro station, close to bus stops to/from everywhere, next to the modern city (Nizami street, Fountains square) where stands the Museum of Literature and in the middle of the Old Town, a few steps from the Friday mosque(Cümə Məscidi) and the Maiden Tower(Qız Qalası). Add one of the lowest price for a bed in the capital of Azerbaijan (18 AZN per person), season it with a good breakfast included and the opportunity to probably speak your language with the polyglot staff and...voilà...this is the perfect choice to spend some pleasant days in Baku!
- Ramada Hotel & Suites Baku, Mammad Araz Street 76, Narimanov district, Baku AZ1069, Azerbaijan, ☎ 994-12-5647700 (email@example.com, fax: 994-12-5646700), . Located in the Narimanov district and minutes away from the city center of Baku. edit
- Swan Hotel, Rostropovich 17, ☎ +994 12 492 0508 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +994 12 4923601), . checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:00. Near Icheri Sheher Metro station. Double US$75. edit
- Araz Hotel, Y səfərov küç 30, Xatai/montino, ☎ +994 12 490 5063. About a kilometer from the ferry port. Double US$60. edit
- Delfin Hotel, 9th km of Sumgait Highway, ☎ +994 012 406-64-00 (email@example.com, fax: +994 012 406-60-09), . Situated 9 km out of town. Opportunity to play paintball (50 bullets for 10AZN). edit
- Consul Hotel, 92c Hasan Aliyev St, ☎ +994 12 498 6095 (, firstname.lastname@example.org). This is a hotel option in the Genclik district. Twin 50AZN. edit
- Days Hotel Baku, Babek Prospect, 21/99, ☎ +994 12 4967400 (email@example.com, fax: +994 12 4967500), . 15 minutes’ drive from the Heydar Aliyev International Airport and 10 minutes from the city center. 102 rooms with WIFI internet access, one international restaurant, one lounge-bar and two conference rooms. 75-105AZN. edit
- Diplomat Hotel, Suleyman Rahimov St, 185, ☎ +994 012 596-11-27 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +994 012 596-11-28), . Located centrally. Credit cards accepted. Double 90AZN. edit
- Elite Hotel, Darnagul Settl., Neft Ave, 30/68, . checkin: Noon; checkout: Noon. 4 star business class hotel. Double 85AZN. edit
- Guesthouse Inn & Hostel, Azadlig Pros. 16/21 (City Center), ☎ +994 12 493 4167 (email@example.com, fax: +994 125 98 21 29), . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Located between the Oil Academy and the Landmark, the Guesthouse Inn should not be confused with the Guest House Inn in the old town. 1 Single room,7 Double rooms,1 Triple room,1 Dorm. All ensuite with air conditioning, fridge, satellite TV, internet access. 25-50AZN. edit
- Happy Inn Hotel, Abbas Sahhat 3, ☎ +994 50 245 6490 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +994 12 596 68 20), . Located in the centre of Baku near the Medical University and the H. Aliyev Sport Center. 42 rooms. edit
- Holiday Inn Baku Airport, Heydar Aliyev International Airport (25-min drive from the city centre), ☎ +994 12 437 4949 (email@example.com), . Facilities include a kids stay and eat free program, internet access in all rooms, various restaurants, complimentary shuttle to downtown and a spa. edit
- Hotel Hale Kai, 18 Mirza Ibrahimov St, ☎ +994 12 596 50 56 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . American boutique hotel, 24 all-suite rooms, free Wi-Fi throughout hotel, breakfast included. 130AZN. edit
- Park Inn, Neftiçilər Prospekti, ☎ +994 12 490 6000 (fax: +994 12 496 8900), . Fully-equipped business centre, restaurant, bar and coffee shop, five modern conference rooms and an elegant ballroom with a large foyer. Also offers Wi-Fi in all guest rooms, gift shop, free airport shuttle, 24 hour room service, workout room, open parking facilities, 24 hour concierge. 169AZN. edit
- Amber Hotel, 29, Jafar Jabbarli str., Baku, Azerbaijan, ☎ +994 594 01 45 (email@example.com), . Centrally-located 4 star boutique hotel edit
- New Baku Hotel, 9C. Hasan Aliyev str., ☎ +994 12 44973 38/80 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Fully-equipped 48 rooms, restaurant, bar and coffee shop, two modern conference rooms. Also offers Wi-Fi in all guest rooms, airport shuttle, 24 hour room service, tour guide, open parking facilities, laundry and dry cleaning, private electronic safe, 24 hour reception. 80AZN. edit
- AF Hotel Aqua Park, , Novkhana, 1130/33, ☎ +994 012 448-30-30 (email@example.com), . checkin: Noon; checkout: Noon. AF Hotel is officially the largest hotel and resort in the Caucasus. This complex houses pools, saunas, salons, water slides, entertainment center, and hotel facilities. From 80AZN for a standard double room up to 500AZN for a presidential. edit
- Excelsior Hotel Baku, 2 Heydar Aliyev Ave, ☎ +994 12 496-8000 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +994 12 496-8008), . With a 5 star rating, the Excelsior Hotel is one of the nicest hotels in Baku. The rate per night range from US$250-2,450, but will be converted to AZN at the hotel's rate. edit
- Hyatt Regency Baku, 1 Bakikhanov, ☎ +994 12-496-1234 (email@example.com, fax: +994 12-496-1235), . Services include: high-speed internet access, chauffeur-driven limousine rental, hotel shops, Wi-Fi, business center, The Grill, Gourmet Shop, Beluga Bar, Club Oasis Fitness Center, swimming pools, tennis courts, squash courts, ballroom, 10 meeting rooms, 2 boardrooms, and pre-function and social function space. 270-405AZN. edit
- Park Hyatt Baku, 1033 Izmir St, ☎ +994 12 490 1234 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 5-star hotel adjacent to a comprehensive Meeting & Conference Centre. Club lounge for free continental breakfast, evening cocktails and boardroom access. edit
- AF Hotel Aqua Park, , Novkhana, 1130/33, ☎ +994 012 448-30-30 (email@example.com), . checkin: Noon; checkout: Noon. AF Hotel is officially the largest hotel and resort in the Caucasus. This complex houses pools, saunas, salons, water slides, entertainment center, and hotel facilities. From 80AZN for a standard double room up to 500AZN for a presidential. edit
- Olimpik Hotel, Absheron d, Novxani Settlement, ☎ +994 50 380 9999 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +994 12 348 0175), . a 4 star resort 20 km from Baku city centre and 2 km from the northern coast on the Caspian Sea at Absheron peninsula. edit
- Amburan Beach Club, Bilgah, ☎ +994 12 453-86-85 (email@example.com, fax: +994 12 453-86-84), . This complex has a 3 swimming pool, fasfood outlets, restaurant with cooks from Azerbaijan and Europe, Disco, Game Hall, Wi-Fi Internet, Water Sports, Beach Volley, Beach Football, Entertainments, Professional Animation Team . edit
- Crescent Beach Hotel, Salyan Hwy, Shikhov, ☎ +994 012 497-47-77 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +994 012 497-47-80). This complex has an indoor and outdoor pool, beach front, bar, and tourism services. High-speed Wi-Fi zone covering 10 hotel buildings, Hotel yard, restaurant, bars and beach. Please contact Hotel reception. edit
Internet cafes in Azerbaijan are called "internet klubs" and they are found throughout Baku. Some coffee houses provide wireless internet, but they are quite rare in Baku. Recently public wi-fi service was implemented the central areas. One "klub" with fast internet downtown is VIP, U.Bunyadzade 3. They also have a lot of games you can play.
Azerbaijan Post locations are dispersed throughout Baku. Mailing an international letter generally costs 0.8AZN.
As Azal seems to be in a permanent state of flux as to where their offices are located, pop into a travel agent and ask about tickets very carefully before buying anything. In some cases, like Nakhchivan or last-minute flights, you WILL ABSOLUTELY have to go this every-moving central office during a few random opening times in order to get your tickets processed. One travel agent who can guide you buy phone is reachable at +994 55 4201220 or +99412 5551320 or 5981619.
Baku is considered a safe city, nevertheless common sense is useful as in all other big cities. Homeless people do not harass or attack people and are very safe to be around. The biggest problem in Baku is driving. Many drivers do not obey rules and speed.
Emergency contact numbers
- Ambulance: 103
- Fire: 101
- Gas Emergency 104
- Speaking Clock 106
- Police: 102
You must speak in Azeri, Turkish or Russian to communicate your needs. It would be a good idea to memorize key phrases before coming to Azerbaijan - see the Talk section for phrasebooks.
The roads can be treacherous at night due to unseen potholes and dimly lit cars. Most areas in and near the downtown are mostly safe. There are some underpasses under particularly busy roads (some with escalators), and some zebra crossings and traffic lights. Watch out for traffic police if otherwise crossing a busy road, they may try to fine you 20AZN for a traffic offence (even though the locals do it constantly.)
Try to stay away from the outskirts.
Crossing the street
Be aware that it is illegal according to Azerbaijani law to cross the street if there is an underpass. Police will give you a fine!
- The Petroglyphs of Gobustan are nearby to the South, and date back as far as the 12th century BCE. The invading armies of Alexander the Great and Trajan also left some interesting grafitti.
- A ferry departs daily from Baku across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan. This ferry has become somewhat of a sleeper hit with backpackers on the Silk Road, but is very uncomfortable and should only be taken by adventure-seekers.
- A ferry depart irregularly to Aktau in Kazakhstan (every 7-10 days maybe). Docks are located 2 km to the west of the old town. It is difficult to get tickets!
- Sheki, which is a 7 hour bus ride to the north, is a beautiful city in the Caucasus mountains with lots to see and do.
- Buses take international travelers onwards from Baku to Iran and Georgia.
- The Baku Airport is one of the few in the world offering flights to Nakhchivan and travelers heading that way should book a flight from here.
- Relax by the Caspian in Nabran, Azerbaijan's biggest tourist destination for international travelers and a coastal city close to Xachmaz.
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