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(By bike)
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While there are no separate bike lanes on the streets, and cars and cyclists often share narrow streets of Baku, the city is very bike-friendly. While cycling on the street, be very careful watch out for other cyclists, always keep closer to foot-walk side of the street, and show other traffic where you are going (e.g., by holding out your hand) in order to avoid accidents and smoothen the traffic flow.
 
While there are no separate bike lanes on the streets, and cars and cyclists often share narrow streets of Baku, the city is very bike-friendly. While cycling on the street, be very careful watch out for other cyclists, always keep closer to foot-walk side of the street, and show other traffic where you are going (e.g., by holding out your hand) in order to avoid accidents and smoothen the traffic flow.
  
A pleasant way to cover a lot of ground is to rent a bicycle. Make sure to get a good lock (or two), and to use it. If you are looking for a city (road), mountain or trekking bicycle, 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, or by calling and ordering through +994705181800.  Bike costs about 10-20AZN per day (approximately, AZN 1 = €1, as of 2012).
+
A pleasant way to cover a lot of ground is to rent a bicycle. Make sure to get a good lock (or two), and to use it. If you are looking for a city (road), mountain or trekking bicycle, 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 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.
 
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.

Revision as of 21:17, 24 May 2012

Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan.

Baku at Night
World's first flame shaped towers under construction in Baku

Contents

Understand

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 2003 was 2,074,300.

Climate

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.

Get in

By plane

Fortress gate in Baku

Heydar Aliyev International Airport [1] (IATA: GYD) is situated 25 km (15 mi) from Baku city center. It is served by major airlines including Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, BMI, 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.

By train

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). However, it is important to note that the border between Russia and Azerbaijan is closed for non-CIS nationals for the forseeable future. So unless you're a resident of a former Soviet country then this journey is impossible.

Now, there are still ways of getting here by train for a westerner. There is an overnight sleeper from Tbilisi in neighboring Georgia leaving three times a week. Journey times is 17 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 then 3AZN which makes it cheaper then staying in an hostel.

By bus

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.

By minibus

Minbuses operate between Baku and Sheki (6 hr), Lankaran (5 hr), Xachmaz (3 hr), Saatli (5 hr), and Imishli (4 hr).

By ferry

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.

Get around

Map of the Baku Metro

By car

  • AVIS, +994 50 2230248, [2]. AVIS Rent a Car provides cars, SUV and 4WD. Airport pick up and delivery service is also available.

By taxi

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 center of Baku.
London cab in Baku
  • Baku Airport Transfer, (), [3]. 24 hours. Offers online booking and printed receipts/invoices for airport transfers between downtown and Heydar Aliyev International. English is spoken. 33AZN.
  • Royal Taxi, +994 051 880-2009 (), [4]. 24. Airport to city costs 15-25AZN depending on your destination in the city.

By bike

Baku is a great town to get around in by bicycle. Except for the up-town, the city, including old town (İçəri Şəhər) and down-town is fairly flat, and though there are some streets that are dangerous to ride, there is almost always a safe, fast route to your destination.

While there are no separate bike lanes on the streets, and cars and cyclists often share narrow streets of Baku, the city is very bike-friendly. While cycling on the street, be very careful watch out for other cyclists, always keep closer to foot-walk side of the street, and show other traffic where you are going (e.g., by holding out your hand) in order to avoid accidents and smoothen the traffic flow.

A pleasant way to cover a lot of ground is to rent a bicycle. Make sure to get a good lock (or two), and to use it. If you are looking for a city (road), mountain or trekking bicycle, 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 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.

By bus/minibus

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.

By metro

Baku metro

The metro goes 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.

There have been reports of people being arrested while taking photographs of the metro station.

By train

The Baku electric train runs through several parts of Baku and the surrounding area including Sumqait. 1AZN.

On foot

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.

Talk

English and Russian are spoken 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.

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.

See also:

See

Cultural sites

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-5PM. The medieval palace of the Shirvan Shahs is the highlight of the Old City and a must see for any tourist in Baku. 2AZN.
  • 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. 0.5AZN.

Absheron Peninsula

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 Marshrutka number 84 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)'
  • Yanar Dagh, (Take bus 147 from metro station Azadliq Prospekti to its final destination Yanar Dagh). 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.

Museums and galleries

  • Azeri National Costume Museum (Doll Museum), +994 (12)/ 493 66 85 (+994 (12)/ 493 05 01).
  • Taghiyev History Museum, Tagiyev St, 4, +994 (12)/ 493 36 48 (+994 (12)/ 498 52 11).
  • Latif Karimov Carpet and Applied Arts Museum, Neftchiler Ave, 123 A.
  • Home of Jafar Jabbarli, 44, S. Gutgashinli St, +994 (12)/ 43 84 350, [5].

Other sites

  • Baku Boulevard.
  • 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.
  • Dendro Park.
  • Oil Rocks. Tourist wanting to see the oil rock complex need to get previous authorization from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.
  • Magomayev Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall, 2, Istiglaliyyat St, +994 (12)/ 497 29 05 (+994 (12)/ 497 29 01). Built in 1912 and inspired by the Monte Carlo Casino. Houses the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra amongst others.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Itineraries

Do

  • Boat tours of Baku. Offered from the Baku Blvd. Lasts 40 minutes. 6AZN.
  • Go to Pantomima theatre. Offered from the Baku Blvd. Lasts 40 minutes. 6AZN.
  • National Opera and Ballet, Nizami St.
  • Aqua Park Baku,, Rashid Behbudov, 59, +994 12 447-03-03.
  • Baku Entertainment Center (Bakı Əyləncə Mərkəzi), Khatai District, F. Bayramov St, 1130/33, +994 012 490-22-22 (, 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.
  • 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. 1AZN and they offer two types of service, ''hise'' (skin peel) for 2AZN and massage for 4AZN.
  • Luna Amusement Park, +994 012 496-48-48. This is a small amusement park for kids and adults.
  • Baku Funicular Railroad. You can take this funicular train up to the Alley of the Marytrs. 0.2AZN.
  • 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.
  • The Spa at Park Hyatt Baku, Park Hyatt Baku Hotel, 1033 Izmir St, +994 12 490 1234 (), [6].
Ancient Market in Old City (Icheri Sheher)

Beaches

  • AF Beach Club, Novkhani, 994 12 448-30-30, [7]. 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.
  • Amburan Beach Club, Bilgah, +994 12 453-86-85 (, fax: +994 12 453-86-84), [8]. 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 .

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.

Festivals

  • Baku Jazz Festival, +994 012 437-55-33 (), [9]. 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.

Buy

  • Antiques from Old City (İçəri Şəhər)
  • Rugs
  • Apples from Quba
  • Tea and Talish Stockings from Lankaran
  • Halva from Sheki
  • Traditional dolls created by ladies' groups in Barda

ATMs

  • 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 [10] of their ATMs in Baku. Some of them have Euros and US Dollars available.

Eat

There are a great deal of restaurants in Baku.

Budget

This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget up to 10AZN
Mid-range 10-20AZN
Splurge 20AZN or more


  • Half Way Inn, 6, 28 May St, +994 012 598-09-05. International Cuisine 5-10AZN.
  • L’aparte, 51, Istigaliyyet St, +994 012 497-77-79. European and Azeri Cuisine 6-10AZN.
  • Lebanese, 12, Z. Taguyev St, +994 012 493-78-49. Lebanese Cuisine located on fountain square 4-8AZN.
  • Onassis, 3, Inshaatchilar Ave, +994 012 439-17-34. Greek and International Cuisine 2-7AZN.
  • U Dali, 5, M. Ibragimov St, +994 012 494-93-56. Georgian Cuisine 3-6AZN.

Mid-range

Azerbaijani/Turkish

  • Anadolu, Pushkin St 5 & Rasul Rza St 3/5, +994 012 498-87-58 (+994 012 498-804). Turkish/European Restaurant/Catering. 8-15AZN.
  • Bəh Bəh, 20 Shihaliyev St, +994 012 496-18-10.
  • Izmir Garden Restaurant, 5 Izmir St, +994 012 436-93-73 ().
  • Jennet Baghi, 82, Acad, Hasan Aliyeve St, +994 012 449-91-98.
  • Karvansara, 1 Gala St, Ichiri Sheher, +994 012 456-62-33.
  • Lido, Cnr of Nkhchivani St, +994 012 462-94-49. European and Azeri Cuisine.
  • Masal, Khagani St.
  • Mugam Club, 9 A. Rzayeva St, +994 012 492-40-85. European and Azeri Cuisine 10-15AZN.
  • Namli Kebab, (close to Russian Dramatic Theatre and Austin Hotel), +994 50 201-44-45. European and Azeri Cuisine 10-15AZN.
  • Respublika Luks, 24 Khagani St, +994 012 598-10-56. European and Azeri Cuisine 2-15AZN.
  • XVII esr, 215 B. Safaroglu St, +994 012 598-17-00. Club-Restaurant. 8-15AZN.

Former USSR

  • Dukhan, 81/13 Nizami St, +994 012 598-22-29. Georgian Cuisine.
  • Georgian Home, 215 Bashir Safaroglu St & 18 Mirza Irahimov St, +994 012 493-85-36 & +994 012 493-43-85 (). Georgian Cuisine.
  • Khutor, 9 M. Mukhtarov St, +994 012 437-22-23. Ukrainian Cuisine 8-15AZN.
  • Maksim, 4/3 Gala St (Old City), +994 012 492-20-45. Georgian Cuisine. 5-20AZN.
  • Rasputin, 9 A. Aliyev St, +994 050-355-57-71. Russian Cuisine. 5-20AZN.

Western

  • 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.
  • 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.

Asian

  • Buddha, 2 A.Z. Tagiyev St, +994 012 493-10-05. Fusion Cuisine. 6-12AZN.
  • Maharaja, 131 Akivsat Gykuyev St, +994 012 494-63-00. Indian Cuisine. 8-15AZN.
  • Taj Mahal, 18 Khagani St, +994 012 498-03-62. Indian Cuisine. 3-14AZN.

Splurge

  • Chinar, 1 Shovket Alekperova St, +994 012 492-08-88, [11]. Pan-Asian cuisine, modern tea house and late night cocktail bar. 20-70AZN.
  • House of Sultans, Icheri Sheher Boyuk Gala #20, +994 012 437-23-06. International and Azeri Cuisine.
  • Mezzo, Bakikhanov St (in Hyatt Hotel), +994 012 496-12-34. Mediterranean Cuisine. 20-70AZN.
  • Shanghai, 31 Rasul Rza St, +994 012 495-45-10. Chinese fare. 3-25AZN.
  • Terrace Garden, 20 Boyuk Gala (Icheri Sheher (Old Town)), +994 012 437-23-05 (ext 10). European and Azeri Cuisine. 7-26AZN.
  • The Brewery, 28 Istiglaliyyet St, +994 012 497-14-00. European Restaurant. 8-20AZN.
  • Toscana, 12 Basti Bagirova St, Kermur Plz, +994 012 436-80-47. Italian Cuisine. 4-20AZN.

Drink

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.

Cafés

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.
  • Azza Cafe, 1, I. Safarli St/Fountains Sq, +994 12 437 0111 (), [12]. 12-23.
  • Baku Roasting Company, (Near Ramstore in Elmlar). 9AM-9PM daily, except M. 2.5-7AZN.
  • Chocolate, 21, Boyukgala St/4 Mamedaliyev St, +994 012-492-35-26.
  • Cottage Café, (opposite Villa Petrolea), +994 012-497-48-30.
  • Gourmet Shop, 5, Mardanov Gardashlari St, +994 012-49-12-34.

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
  • Beluga Bar, Bakikhanov St (in Hyatt Hotel), +994 012-496-12-34.
  • Britannia Pub, Bakikhanov St (in Hyatt Hotel), +994 012-496-12-34.
  • Caspian Bar, 1025/30, Tbilisi Ave, +994 012-490-70-90.
  • The Corner Bar, 77, Nizami St (cnr of the R. Rza and Tolstoy Sts).
  • Finnegan’s, 4, A. Aliyev St, +994 012-498-98-57. Next to History Museum. Free wifi. Good beer prices and Happy Hour offers. Ridiculously expensive wine,however.
  • Golden Ridges Pub, 5, Mardanov Gardashlari St, +994 012-493-17-72.
  • Hampstead, 12, Basti Bagirova St, +994 012-436-79-81.
  • Park Inn's Victor’s Bar, 1, Azadlig St, +994 012-490-60-00.
  • Pub Viking, 49, Bul-bul St, +994 012-499-18-86.
  • Queen’s Head, 95, Neftchilar St, +994 050-368-77-33.
  • Tequila Junction, Next to ISR Plz, +994 012-498-43-32.
  • Tiger Bar, 19, Mamed Aliyv St, +994 012-598-41-21.
  • The Phoenix Bar, 10, Mammadaliyev St, +994 012-305-90-90.
  • Tj’s Pub, 9, Aliyarbekov St, +994 012-498-46-21.
  • Caledonia Bar, 38, Rasul Rza, +994 012-494-28-53 (), [14]. 9:30AM-late. Offers a familiar pub atmosphere with photos and memorabilia from Scotland. Screens for watching sporting events.

Nightclubs

  • 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.
  • Room 103, 103 Neftiçilər Prospekti, +994 012 92-65-03. An upscale cocktail bar with nightly live jazz.

Sleep

Budget

  • Baku Station Hotel, 28 May Station. Under renovation as of Oct 2009. Dorm bed 2.4AZN, single 6AZN, twin 3AZN.
  • 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.
  • 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. Single 15AZN, double 30AZN.
  • Guest House Inn, Harbi St 17, Icheri Sheher, +994 12 4371262 (+994 55 6827714, , 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.

Mid-range

  • Swan Hotel, Rostropovich 17, +994 12 492 0508 (, fax: +994 12 4923601), [15]. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:00. Near Icheri Sheher Metro station. Double US$75.
  • Araz Hotel, Y səfərov küç 30, Xatai/montino, +994 12 490 5063. About a kilometer from the ferry port. Double US$60.
  • Delfin Hotel, 9th km of Sumgait Highway, +994 012 406-64-00 (, fax: +994 012 406-60-09), [16]. Situated 9 km out of town. Opportunity to play paintball (50 bullets for 10AZN).
  • Consul Hotel, 92c Hasan Aliyev St, +994 12 498 6095 (+994 12 465 1282, ). This is a hotel option in the Genclik district. Twin 50AZN.
  • Days Hotel Baku, Babek Prospect, 21/99, +994 12 4967400 (, fax: +994 12 4967500), [17]. 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.
  • Diplomat Hotel, Suleyman Rahimov St, 185, +994 012 596-11-27 (, fax: +994 012 596-11-28), [18]. Located centrally. Credit cards accepted. Double 90AZN.
  • Elite Hotel, Darnagul Settl., Neft Ave, 30/68, [19]. checkin: Noon; checkout: Noon. 4 star business class hotel. Double 85AZN.
  • Guesthouse Inn, Azadlig Pros. 16/21, +994 50 626 2173 (, fax: +994 125 98 21 29), [21]. Located between the Oil Academy and the Landmark, the Guesthouse Inn should not be confused with the Guest House Inn in the old town. 4 Single and 5 Double rooms, all ensuite with air conditioning, fridge, satellite TV, internet access.
  • Happy Inn Hotel, Abbas Sahhat 3, +994 50 245 6490 (, fax: +994 12 596 68 20), [22]. Located in the centre of Baku near the Medical University and the H. Aliyev Sport Center. 42 rooms.
  • High Park Hotel, 10 B Babek Ave, +994 12 480 1215 (, fax: +994 12 480 1216), [23]. US$100.
  • Holiday Inn Baku Airport, Heydar Aliyev International Airport (25-min drive from the city centre), +994 12 437 4949 (), [24]. Facilities include a kids stay and eat free program, internet access in all rooms, various restaurants, complimentary shuttle to downtown and a spa.
  • Hotel Hale Kai, 18 Mirza Ibrahimov St, +994 12 596 50 56 (), [25]. American boutique hotel, 24 all-suite rooms, free Wi-Fi throughout hotel, breakfast included. 130AZN.
  • Park Inn, Azadlig Ave 1, +994 12 490 6000 (fax: +994 12 496 8900), [26]. 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.
  • Rigs Hotel, 27 Gadjibekov St, +994 12 493 92 41 (, fax: +994 493 85 28), [27]. 24 rooms

Splurge

  • 12 Bulvar Inn Baku.
  • AF Hotel Aqua Park, , Novkhana, 1130/33, +994 012 448-30-30 (), [28]. 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.
  • Excelsior Hotel Baku, 2 Heydar Aliyev Ave, +994 12 496-8000 (, fax: +994 12 496-8008), [29]. 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.
  • Hyatt Regency Baku, 1 Bakikhanov, +994 12-496-1234 (, fax: +994 12-496-1235), [30]. 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.
  • Park Hyatt Baku, 1033 Izmir St, +994 12 490 1234 (), [31]. 5-star hotel adjacent to a comprehensive Meeting & Conference Centre. Club lounge for free continental breakfast, evening cocktails and boardroom access.
  • Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel, 340 Nizami St, +994 12 498-2402 (, fax: +994 12 497-2451), [32]. An all-suite hotel located on the top floor of the ISR Plaza Business Centre with views over the old and new cities. Has a gym, sauna, indoor pool, lounge and business centre.

Resorts

  • AF Hotel Aqua Park, , Novkhana, 1130/33, +994 012 448-30-30 (), [33]. 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.
  • Olimpik Hotel, Absheron d, Novxani Settlement, +994 50 380 9999 (, fax: +994 12 348 0175), [34]. a 4 star resort 20 km from Baku city centre and 2 km from the northern coast on the Caspian Sea at Absheron peninsula.
  • Amburan Beach Club, Bilgah, +994 12 453-86-85 (, fax: +994 12 453-86-84), [35]. 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 .
  • Crescent Beach Hotel, Salyan Hwy, Shikhov, +994 012 497-47-77 (, 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.

Contact

Internet

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 implented the central areas. One "klub" with fast internet downtown is VIP, U.Bunyadzade 3. They also have a lot of games you can play.

Post office

Azerpost Office

Azerbaijan Post locations are dispersed throughout Baku. Mailing an international letter generally costs 0.8AZN.

AZAL

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 Naxcevan 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.

Stay safe

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.

Safety tips

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. Try to stay away from the outskirts.

Cope

Embassies

  • Gr-flag.png Greece, Kichic Gala 86-88, +994 12 492-01-19 (, fax: +994 12 492-48-35), [37].

Get out

  • 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.
  • Go and enjoy the oil baths of Naftalan.
  • 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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