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A weekend in Baku

18,386 bytes added, 15:48, 28 January 2013
The Weekend
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 BoluvarBulvar, and Fountain Square. 
To prepare for traveling in BakuCity center; bring some comfortable Comfortable shoes, western clothes are acceptable shorts, t-shirt and some sun-cream wouldn't go a miss. Read some articles online to get a feel for the cityand how to get about, but pants for men taxis are very easy to find and long dresses for women most drivers even though they don't speak English still have a rough idea, taxis within the City are recommended if cheap. Make sure you have your emergency numbers on you go also. ==Get in== ===By plane===[[Image:Icheri_sheher_Baku.jpg|thumb|320px|Fortress gate in Baku]] '''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 more remote regions such as /from [[GobustanMoscow]]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. Reading This monopoly drives up the book 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''Ali 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 Nino'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 good way 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 into to know your surroundings. Ask the moodHotel desk for a telephone to phone if you are lost. ===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.
==Get =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. ==Sleep== ===Budget=== * <sleep name="Baku Station Hotel" address="28 May Station" phone="" email="" fax="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Dorm bed 2.4AZN, single 6AZN, twin 3AZN" url="">Under renovation as of Oct 2009.</sleep> * <sleep name="Caspian Hostel" alt="" address="Asef Zeynalli 29" directions="Old Town, around the cnr from Meridian Hotel, above Thousand Camels Hostel" phone="+994 503778444" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Dorm bed 16AZN">Great location inthe Old Town. 2 dorm rooms and 1 private room.</sleep> * <sleep name="Hotel Velotrek" address="20 January Metro Station" directions="slightly hidden behind the Respublica Velotrek bicycle race course through a tall iron gate on the left hand side" phone="" email="" fax="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Single 15AZN, double 30AZN" url="">A few kilometers north of the centre, this budget hotel has clean rooms with TV, private bath and hot water in the mornings.</sleep> * <sleep name="Guest House Inn" alt="" address="Harbi St 17, Icheri Sheher" directions="Baki Soveti metro station" directions="" phone="+994 12 4371262" phoneextra="+994 55 6827714" url="" checkin="any time" checkout="at 12 p.m" price="Room with TV, fridge, private bathroom, hot water 60AZN per person" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="+994 12 4371263">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.</sleep> ===Mid-range===* <sleep name="Swan Hotel" alt="" address="Rostropovich 17" directions="" phone="+994 12 492 0508" url="" checkin="13:00" checkout="12:00" price="Double US$75" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="+994 12 4923601">Near Icheri Sheher Metro station.</sleep> * <sleep name="Araz Hotel" alt="" address="Y səfərov küç 30, Xatai/montino" directions="" phone="+994 12 490 5063" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="Double US$60" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">About a kilometer from the ferry port.</sleep> * <sleep name="Delfin Hotel" alt="" address="9th km of Sumgait Highway" directions="" phone="+994 012 406-64-00" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="+994 012 406-60-09">Situated 9 km out of town. Opportunity to play paintball (50 bullets for 10AZN).</sleep> * <sleep name="Consul Hotel" address="92c Hasan Aliyev St" phone="+994 12 498 6095" phoneextra="+994 12 465 1282" email="[email protected]" price="Twin 50AZN"> This is a hotel option in the Genclik district.</sleep> * <sleep name="Days Hotel Baku" alt="" address="Babek Prospect, 21/99" directions="" phone="+994 12 4967400" url="" checkin=3pm"" checkout=12am"" price="75-105AZN" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" 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.</sleep> * <sleep name="Diplomat Hotel" address="Suleyman Rahimov St, 185" phone="+994 012 596-11-27" email="[email protected]" fax="+994 012 596-11-28" checkin="" checkout="" price="Double 90AZN" url="">Located centrally. Credit cards accepted.</sleep> * <sleep name="Elite Hotel" alt="" address="Darnagul Settl., Neft Ave, 30/68" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="Noon" checkout="Noon" price="Double 85AZN" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">4 star business class hotel.</sleep> * <sleep name="Empire Hotel" alt="" address="Xaqani St 49" directions="" phone="+994 12 598 21 23" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="+994 125 98 21 29"></sleep> * <sleep name="Guesthouse Inn" alt="" address="Azadlig Pros. 16/21" directions="" phone="+994 50 626 2173" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="+994 125 98 21 29">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.</sleep> * <sleep name="Happy Inn Hotel" alt="" address="Abbas Sahhat 3" directions="" phone="+994 50 245 6490" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="+994 12 596 68 20">Located in the centre of Baku near the Medical University and the H. Aliyev Sport Center. 42 rooms.</sleep> * <sleep name="High Park Hotel" alt="" address="10 B Babek Ave" directions="" phone="+994 12 480 1215" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$100" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="+994 12 480 1216"></sleep> * <sleep name="Holiday Inn Baku Airport" address="Heydar Aliyev International Airport" directions="25-min drive from the city centre" phone="+994 12 437 4949" email="[email protected]" url="">Facilities include a kids stay and eat free program, internet access in all rooms, various restaurants, complimentary shuttle to downtown and a spa.</sleep> * <sleep name="Hotel Hale Kai" alt="" address="18 Mirza Ibrahimov St" directions="" phone="+994 12 596 50 56" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="130AZN" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="+994 12 596 50 58"">American boutique hotel, 24 all-suite rooms, free Wi-Fi throughout hotel, breakfast included.</sleep> * <sleep name="Park Inn" alt="" address="Azadlig Ave 1" directions="" phone="+994 12 490 6000" email="[email protected]" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="169AZN" lat="" long="" email="" 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.</sleep> * <sleep name="Rigs Hotel" alt="" address="27 Gadjibekov St" directions="" phone="+994 12 493 92 41" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="+994 493 85 28">24 rooms</sleep> * <sleep name="Atrium Hotel at the International Trade Center" alt="" address="Haydar Aliyev 95" directions="" phone="+994 50 5983398" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" >16 rooms</sleep> ===Splurge=== * <sleep name="12 Bulvar Inn Baku" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" 27="27" u="U" gadzhibekov="Gadzhibekov" str="Str"></sleep> * <sleep name="AF Hotel Aqua Park" address=", Novkhana, 1130/33" phone="+994 012 448-30-30" email="[email protected]" web="" fax="" checkin="Noon" checkout="Noon" price="From 80AZN for a standard double room up to 500AZN for a presidential" url=""> 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.</sleep> * <sleep name="Excelsior Hotel Baku" address="2 Heydar Aliyev Ave" phone="+994 12 496-8000" email="[email protected]" fax="+994 12 496-8008" checkin="" checkout="" price="The rate per night range from US$250-2,450, but will be converted to AZN at the hotel's rate" url="">With a 5 star rating, the Excelsior Hotel is one of the nicest hotels in Baku.</sleep> * <sleep name="Hyatt Regency Baku" alt="" address="1 Bakikhanov" directions="" phone="+994 12-496-1234" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="270-405AZN" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" 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.</sleep> * <sleep name="Park Hyatt Baku" address="1033 Izmir St" phone="+994 12 490 1234" email="[email protected]" url="">5-star hotel adjacent to a comprehensive Meeting & Conference Centre. Club lounge for free continental breakfast, evening cocktails and boardroom access.</sleep> * <sleep name="Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel" address="340 Nizami St" phone="+994 12 498-2402" email="sales.radissonsas[email protected]" fax="+994 12 497-2451" checkin="" checkout="" price="" url="">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.</sleep> ===Resorts=== * <sleep name="AF Hotel Aqua Park" address=", Novkhana, 1130/33" phone="+994 012 448-30-30" email="[email protected]" web="" fax="" checkin="Noon" checkout="Noon" price="From 80AZN for a standard double room up to 500AZN for a presidential" url=""> 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.</sleep> * <sleep name="Olimpik Hotel" address="Absheron d, Novxani Settlement" phone="+994 50 380 9999" email="[email protected]" web="" fax="+994 12 348 0175" checkin="" checkout="" price="" url="">a 4 star resort 20 km from Baku city centre and 2 km from the northern coast on the Caspian Sea at Absheron peninsula.</sleep> * <sleep name="Amburan Beach Club" address="Bilgah" phone="+994 12 453-86-85" email="[email protected]" web="" fax="+994 12 453-86-84" checkin="" checkout="" price="" url="">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 .</sleep> * <sleep name="Crescent Beach Hotel" alt="" address="Salyan Hwy, Shikhov" directions="" phone="+994 012 497-47-77" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" 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.</sleep>
==The Weekend==
*Check into lodging
*Eat lunch at Fountain Square (eg. doner kebab from . Their is a [[McDonalds]], Lebanese fast food(Doner Kebab etc..) and Sunset Cafe (Great Ice-Cream & Milkshakes) and walk around the square.*Walk towards Boulevard and walk along side the Caspian Sea and walk along take in the wonderful views.*Visit the boulevardPark Bulvar shopping center and Crystal Hall (Where they hosted Eurovision 2012) you may need to get a taxi.
*Go to the Old City and climb the Maiden's tower, and spend the rest of the afternoon walking through the narrow streets and visiting the Palace and old mosques.
*Have dinner in the Old City (Karvan Saray for Azeri food in a unique ambience, Sultan Inn rooftop or Meridien hotel rooftop restaurants for european/fusion with excellent views) or head back to the Fountain Square for greater variety of inexpensive cuisine.
*Alternatively, at Sahil metro exit, turn left and walk one block to Cafe Aroma for coffee/tea.
*Go to the Ateshgah Fire Temple via electric train (leaves 28 May station at 10:20) Alternatively, marshrutkas depart from Qara Qarayev or azizbeyov metro stations
*Return to 28 May station and eat a lunch of Georgian Western food at Georgian Homeand head to Adams Sports Bar (Indian food)- Amazing food cooked by Indian chefs with very friendly staff. Located: 29 Byul-Byul Ave.*Visit the Carpet Museum beside the Boulevard or Go see mud volcanoes and petrogyphs in Gobustan. Gobustan shopping around Nizami street there is about a 45 minute one-way taxi drive from Bakuexpensive shopping or local shops.*Eat If you want to splash out for dinner at Cafe Rendezvous visit CHiNAR (1, Shovket Alakbarova str) (Japanese, Western and other International foods)*In the evening, go to the opera at the national opera on Nizami street. Otherwise, go to the rooftop bar at Sultan Inn in the Old City for a drink bars around Fountain Square. The Garage, Tortuga, Shamrock and excellent views Shakespears (Great food).*A list of Western places to eat: - <eat name="Caviar" alt="" address="1025/30 Tbilisi Ave" directions="" phone="+994 012 490-70-90" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">International Cuisine. </eat> - <eat name="Corleone" alt="" address="40 Khagani St" directions="" phone="+994 012 498-82-46" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Italian Cuisine.</eat> - <eat name="Ego’s" alt="" address="19/13 Khagani St" directions="" phone="+994 012 493-11-01" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="8-15AZN">European Cuisine.</eat> - <eat name="Gazelli Evi" alt="" address="93 Nizami St" directions="" phone="+994 012 493-96-88" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="5-16AZN">International Cuisine.</eat> - <eat name="Dolce Vita" alt="" address="9 Aziz Aliyev St" directions="" phone="+994 012 492-75-72." email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Italian Restaurant.</eat> - <eat name="Grand Hotel Europe" alt="" address="1025/30 Tbilisi Ave" directions="" phone="+994 012 490-70-90" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">International Cuisine.</eat> - <eat name="Greasy Barney’s" alt="" address="G. Abbasov 72, Apt 1A" directions="" phone="+994 012 491-23-63" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Sandwich Shop.</eat> - <eat name="Le Mirage" alt="" address="34 Nizami St" directions="" phone="+994 050-622-05-90" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">European Cuisine. Nightclub.</eat> - <eat name=" Cafe City" alt="" address="Rashid Behbudov St" directions="St closest to the Maiden TowerL side of Park Bulvar, Caspian sea close to Sahil Bagi and Central Public Library" phone="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Mixed Cuisine Cafe.</eat> - <eat name="Le R Restaurant" alt="" address="123/6 Remontov St" directions="" phone="+994 012-437-21-80" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">European Cuisine.</eat> - <eat name="Mexicana" alt="" address="17 Z. Tagiyev St" directions="" phone="+994 012 498-90-96" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="6-14AZN"></eat> - <eat name="München" alt="" address="125 Nizami St" directions="" phone="+994 012 493-76-00" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">German cuisine. Large selection of draft beer.</eat> - <eat name="Nara" alt="" address="4 Aziz Aliyev St" directions="" phone="+994 012 497-12-55" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">French Cuisine.</eat> - <eat name="Park Inn's Glory" alt="" address="1 Azadlig Ave" directions="" phone="+994 012 490-00-01" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="8-18AZN">European Cuisine.</eat> - <eat name="Pauza" alt="" address="28 May St" directions="" phone="+994 012 493-70-03" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="5-15AZN">International Cuisine.</eat> - <eat name="Pizza Holiday" alt="" address="119 Lermontov Kuchasi" directions="Near Baku Soviet" phone="+994 012 497-37-72" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="5-15AZN">Pizza and the TV towerItalian Cuisine.</eat> - <eat name="Soho" alt="" address="6 R. Aliyarbekov St" directions="" phone="+994 050-319-38-19" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">International Cuisine.</eat> - <eat name="The Red Lion Inn" alt="" address="7 Mammadaliyev St" directions="" phone="+994 012 493-03-54" url="" hours="" price="6-16AZN" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">English Cuisine.</eat> - <eat name="Universal Club" alt="" address="16 Z. Tagiyev St" directions="" phone="+994 012 493-29-12" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">International Cuisine.</eat>
*Go to 20 January station and catch a mini-bus to the next destination
==Stay safe== *Carry your passport with you when out and about, but keep it in a safe place on your person. The reason you'll need it as the Police may stop random westerners for a passport check, nothing bad just keeping themselves busy I think. *Don't walk down poorly lit alleys yourself at night.
==Get out==
There are many options for leaving [[Baku]]:
*[[Qabala]]-nice quiet get away for the weekend, and stay at Qafqaz Riverside Hotel (with Quadbiking, Swimming pool and nearby Themepark Qabaland.*[[Lankaran]]-the gem of the south with unique food, culture, and sights.*[[Xachmaz]]-the biggest tourist destination in Azerbaijan.*[[Sheki]]-the city of the Sheki Khans and their unique palace notwithstanding the Albanian church in [[Kish]] village.
*[[Ganja]]-this is the second biggest city in Azerbaijan, home of the poet Nizami Ganjavi

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