Baku is a colorful city, which successfully combines the charm of ancient antiquity with a modern look. Whether you arrived at a ski resort or a picturesque beach, you will undoubtedly be surprised by the luxurious nature and the European level of service. Having rented a car, drive around the main attractions of the city and its environs, and then go to the local market to buy a traditional oriental rug. Azerbaijanis are famous for their hospitality, so do not hesitate to ask for a visit to the local grandmother and try national home-made dishes. At the end of your journey, be sure to climb the Maiden’s Tower, take the Baku Acropolis by storm and visit the Ateshgah temple fire-worshipers complex.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport - download the scheme
IATA code: GYD
Location: 25 km from Baku
Official website: http://www.airport.az/
Information: +994 12 497 27 27
The following companies provide car rental services at Baku Airport: Hertz, Avis, Aznur Rent-a-car. Rental car rental desks are located in the arrivals area. There are two parking zones near the airport.
Having rented a car, go to the old part of the city to look at the “Icheri Sheher”. This is a historical reserve, which was one of the first included in the UNESCO heritage list. The history of this place dates back to the Bronze Age, and in the 1st century AD there was already a port city. Each building here is a landmark that is of historical value. Ancient houses, baths, mosques, sheds once served numerous trading caravans that passed through the city. Today there are no luxurious interiors that amaze the eye, however, there is a skillful masonry and an organic combination of cubic and round shapes, which can be admired endlessly.
Flaming towers symbolize the inhabitants of Baku, in whose soul a burning flame rages. Towers are ultramodern buildings that are visible from anywhere in the city. Inside is the trendy Fairmont Baku at the Flame Towers hotel, living and office space. You can admire the attraction from the street, in the bar on the top floors of the Hilton Hotel or in the Sky Opera Club. A particularly bewitching view opens in the dark when the LED screens on the facade of the towers are constantly broadcasting the movement of fire.
Heydar Aliyev prospekti, 1 http://heydaraliyevcenter.az/#main
The Heydar Aliyev Center is a cultural center, the architectural performance of which in 2014 was recognized as the best in the world. Today it houses the Museum to them. Heydar Aliyev, congress center, exhibition halls, administrative offices, restaurants. Unique exhibits are stored in the exhibition halls: old copies of the Koran, Torah, Bible, models of 45 historical and architectural sights from different regions of the country, musical instruments, traditional Azerbaijani carpets, rock paintings from Gobustan.
Mikayil, 28 Yehya Huseynov
When traveling in a rental car in Baku, look at the Carpet Museum, which is considered the embodiment of the spiritual world, philosophy of life, and the intellect of the people. The museum's collection is represented by more than 14,000 exhibits, in which you can see jewelry made of gold, silver, bronze, ceramic dishes, embroidery designs, national costumes. The pearls of the museum collection are the carpet “Hila Afshan” (XVIII century) and a fragment of the carpet of the Tabriz school “Ovchulug” (XVII century). The museum also has a training center where you can learn about the main schools of carpet weaving, the history of carpet and weaving technology.
Fans of the avant-garde and figurative trends in art will enjoy spending time at the Museum of Modern Art. The main principle is the lack of strictly defined frames in the expositions. The visitors are presented with innovative works by Azerbaijani artists of the 1960s and 1970s, paintings by great contemporary masters, including Chagall, Dali, Picasso. In addition, the Metropolis Gallery presents unique works that can be purchased.
50 kilometers from Baku is a unique reserve, famous for mud volcanoes and cave paintings. The tour begins with volcanoes. This is a spectacular place where mud is mixed with oil and water, and low hills stick out from the gray-beige cracked earth, and from time to time they make characteristic sounds. After watching an exotic sight, you can go to the cave paintings, which in this area number more than 6,000. Some of them date back to the period of the primitive era, others to the Middle Ages. The plot of the drawings tells about the totemic and magical representations of people, about their economic life.
In the town of Surahani, which is 30 kilometers from the capital, there is the Ateshgah temple complex, known for a unique natural phenomenon. Here, the gas, breaking out, comes into contact with oxygen and ignites. This is called burning natural gas outlets. Rent a car and go to a place of real Azerbaijani exotic built by the Hindu community at the end of the 17th century. Long before the appearance of the fundamental structure, Zoroastrian fire-worshipers who came to this area to worship the shrine settled here. The adoption of Islam made adjustments: a small temple was destroyed. At the beginning of the 15th century, the activity of the shrine began to revive, and after decades, an altar and a massive building appeared here. After numerous historical events, periods of prohibitions and restoration of activities, the temple is again open for tourists, but with a small correction. The lights that once attracted fire-worshipers so much are now artificial.
“Gala” is a historical and ethnographic open-air museum, founded in 2008. During the tour, you will see ancient dwellings (portable tents made of animal skins), more modern stone buildings, a market, a thresher, an old forge, a bakery. The peculiarity of the museum is that everything can be touched, go inside, take pictures on the background of unique exhibits. It is interesting that historians here discovered traces of the existence of the first settlements that arose on this territory at least 5,000 years ago.
In the resort village of Mardakan, which is famous for its picturesque landscapes and ancient castles, the Tuba Shahi mosque is located. It was built in the 15th century, however, some adjacent buildings date from an earlier period. The shrine is named after the woman who ordered the construction. This religious building is deprived of rich decoration, however, it is of value to Azerbaijan. During the visit, you can enjoy the expressiveness of the interior, the excellent ratio of volumes and the incredible atmosphere of the mosque.
If you are a lover of historical monuments, renting a car, go to the city of Sharban, which once was part of the ancient Derbent defensive system. The system of walls and defensive structures between the ridges of the Greater Caucasus and the coast of the Caspian Sea, which protected the territory of Azerbaijan during the Middle Ages, was preserved here. Of particular interest is the Beshbarmag fortress (III-V century), the Tsyrag-Kala fortress (V century), the Gilgilchay fortress (VII century). These attractions will not leave anyone indifferent, and the numerous excavation sites nearby - even more so.
674 Azadliq Square
For an unforgettable experience and delicious breakfast, head to the Zest Lifestyle Cafe. The institution works from 6 in the morning, so it doesn’t matter what your plans for the day are; here you can eat heartily at a convenient time and go to explore the sights. A huge amount of light, a stylish interior create a cozy atmosphere. The menu offers Mediterranean cuisine, there are also dishes for vegetarians and gluten-free dishes. Great staff and delicious food will set an excellent mood for the whole day.
Zarifa Aliyeva St http://parisbistro.az/az/about
Want to be in Paris, walking around Baku? Take a look at Paris Bistro Baku. This is a colorful establishment with a stylish interior and a unique atmosphere. A wide range allows you to choose your favorite dishes made from fresh ingredients in compliance with technology. Even on the busiest days, the waiters will make sure that your order is prepared as quickly as possible, and the service is at a high level.
Jumeirah Bilgah Beach Hotel 94 Gelebe Str
Perhaps one of the most memorable places in Baku is Yuukai Restaurant. This is an oriental restaurant located on the top floor of the Jumeirah Hotel. The first thing that impresses is a stylish interior, in which everything is thought out to the smallest detail and panoramic windows from which overlook the sea. Each dish is prepared simply, with the addition of zest from the chef. Qualified personnel will be able to give not only recommendations on the menu, but will also notice and correct any trifles that can spoil the impression of a meal. By the way, for rental cars equipped with convenient parking.
Bakikhanov Str. 2 http://www.scalini.az/
Scalini Italian Restaurant - Italian restaurant, which in addition to the main menu presents gluten-free dishes. The two-level room is decorated in soft light colors, the interior looks simple but elegant. Here you can try traditional dishes prepared according to the best recipes. The wine list deserves special attention, which is carefully selected by the manager in Italian wine shops.
Rafieva Str. 25A http://www.shah.az/
Shah - a restaurant of traditional Azerbaijani cuisine with an authentic interior. An unforgettable atmosphere plunges into the heyday of Azerbaijan, which fell on the 15th century. Often, the owner of the institution personally meets guests and while they are waiting for an order, conducts a tour of the restaurant and tells fascinating stories. Attitude to visitors, food quality and choice of dishes - all this impresses and makes you fall in love with the institution.
Mehdi Hüseyn Str. 1A
+994 12 565 48 48 http://www.fairmont.com/baku/ double room - from € 156
Fairmont Baku is an elite hotel whose rooms offer unforgettable views of the Flaming Towers. It offers a fitness center, spa, pool. Couples are offered babysitting services, and for business trips, a conference room with the latest technology is equipped. In the restaurant at the hotel you can have a hearty and tasty meal at any time. If you plan to rent a car, you can use the free parking.
Khagani Rustamov st.
+994 12 404 14 70 http://www.qafqazhotel.com/qafqaz-baku-sport-city-hotel double room - from € 70
The main advantage of Qafqaz Baku Sport Hotel is its convenient location. It is located next to the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center and the Tezepir Mosque. On the 18th floor there is a restaurant where you can eat, admiring the views from the window, on the 17th floor there is a bar where you can spend an evening in good company with a glass of wine. In the morning you can work out in the fitness center, then go explore the city, and in the evening relax in the spa.
Hasan Aliyev Street 9C
+994 12 496 92 57 http://www.newbakuhotel.com/ double room - from € 42
A great option for budget accommodation in Baku is New Baku Hotel. The rooms are spacious and there is a wide selection of rooms for every taste and budget. Rich and varied breakfasts are organized in a buffet format. A few kilometers away is the city center, which, if desired, can be reached on foot, sightseeing along the way. The hotel is suitable for both family living and for a business trip.
Khatai ave. 39
+994 12 496 92 57 http://ayf-palacehotel.com/index.html double room - from € 50
Palace Hotel Baku is a small cozy hotel located in the center of Baku. There is a leisure center where you can play billiards or tennis, work out in the gym, and visit one of the restaurants to choose from. In the business center it will be possible not only to rent a conference room, but also to use other necessary services, for example, photocopy or translation service. Car rental guests can use the free parking.
Haydar Aliyev Ave. 2
+994 12 496 80 00 http://www.excelsiorhotelbaku.az/ double room - from € 73
Excelsior Hotel Baku is an elite hotel located near the cultural center of Aliyev. It offers guests a spa, fitness center, room-service, pool, free parking, tennis court. The competent staff will ensure that you have the most positive experience of your stay at the hotel. Using the special offers you can save a lot by booking your favorite room.
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© Anastasiia Voloshina, 2016