Difference between revisions of "A weekend in Baku"
Revision as of 15:44, 28 January 2013
The city of Baku is located on the hot and dusty Absheron peninsula. The center of Baku is a patch of green in a largely brown area because of the many liters of water that is piped to the city every day. The city has a metro, a well developed bus and mini bus network, and a large area for walking including the Inner Walled City, The Bulvar, and Fountain Square.
To prepare for traveling in Baku City center; Comfortable shoes, shorts, t-shirt and some sun-cream wouldn't go a miss. Read some articles online to get a feel for the city and how to get about, taxis are very easy to find and most drivers even though they don't speak English still have a rough idea, taxis within the City are cheap. Make sure you have your emergency numbers on you also.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport  (IATA: GYD) is situated 25 km (15 mi) from Baku city center. It is served by major airlines including Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways, and a whole host of smaller airlines. The least expensive way 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.
Bus N16 runs between the airport and Samed Vurgun Park, in the heart of Baku. The trip costs 1AZN 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. The lowest price you can get for a taxi to the center should be around 15 Manat (old Lada, unmarked taxi). Be aware that there is one single taxi company that is allowed to officially do business at the airport. This monopoly drives up the price to nearly 50 Manat and many times it leaves you with no other options, especially when arriving at late hours. Police occasionally force out all cab drivers trying to do business on the fringes of the airport, leaving you stuck with a high fare. Taxis don't have meters so you must negotiate in advance. If you are not finding 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 Azizbeyov. From there it's four to six stations to the city center - but only from 6AM until midnight. Unpack your things in your apartment or hotel, have a wonder about your hotel and get to know your surroundings. Ask the Hotel desk for a telephone to phone if you are lost.
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.
The phone number of the sea terminal (Daniz Vagzal) is 994 12 447 7314.
Make sure you have appropriate visas before embarking, if necessary.
- Caviar, 1025/30 Tbilisi Ave, ☎ +994 012 490-70-90. International Cuisine.
- Corleone, 40 Khagani St, ☎ +994 012 498-82-46. Italian Cuisine.
- Ego’s, 19/13 Khagani St, ☎ +994 012 493-11-01. European Cuisine. 8-15AZN.
- Gazelli Evi, 93 Nizami St, ☎ +994 012 493-96-88. International Cuisine. 5-16AZN.
- Dolce Vita, 9 Aziz Aliyev St, ☎ +994 012 492-75-72.. Italian Restaurant.
- Grand Hotel Europe, 1025/30 Tbilisi Ave, ☎ +994 012 490-70-90 (firstname.lastname@example.org). International Cuisine.
- Greasy Barney’s, G. Abbasov 72, Apt 1A, ☎ +994 012 491-23-63. Sandwich Shop.
- Le Mirage, 34 Nizami St, ☎ +994 050-622-05-90. European Cuisine. Nightclub.
- 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.
- Le R Restaurant, 123/6 Remontov St, ☎ +994 012-437-21-80. European Cuisine.
- Mexicana, 17 Z. Tagiyev St, ☎ +994 012 498-90-96. 6-14AZN.
- München, 125 Nizami St, ☎ +994 012 493-76-00. German cuisine. Large selection of draft beer.
- Nara, 4 Aziz Aliyev St, ☎ +994 012 497-12-55. French Cuisine.
- Park Inn's Glory, 1 Azadlig Ave, ☎ +994 012 490-00-01. European Cuisine. 8-18AZN.
- Pauza, 28 May St, ☎ +994 012 493-70-03. International Cuisine. 5-15AZN.
- Pizza Holiday, 119 Lermontov Kuchasi (Near Baku Soviet), ☎ +994 012 497-37-72. Pizza and Italian Cuisine. 5-15AZN.
- Soho, 6 R. Aliyarbekov St, ☎ +994 050-319-38-19. International Cuisine.
- The Red Lion Inn, 7 Mammadaliyev St, ☎ +994 012 493-03-54. English Cuisine. 6-16AZN.
- Universal Club, 16 Z. Tagiyev St, ☎ +994 012 493-29-12. International Cuisine.
There are many options for leaving Baku: