Baku is the beautiful capital of Azerbaijan. I arrived in this city on 26th March 2017 and stayed there for a few days. Azerbaijan is located on the popular crossroads of Europe and Asia, and the region is also called Caucasus. Azerbaijan has land borders with Iran, Georgia, Turkey, Russia and Armenia. I traveled to Baku from Tbilisi Georgia by road using public transport.
Flights to/from Baku
Azerbaijan Airline is the national Airline of Azerbaijan, and I have many experiences with them, it’s a great Airline with smooth flights. If you are traveling within the Caucasus region or from Turkey then you can use Azerbaijan Airline, and from outside that region, you can use Qatar Airways, FlyDubai and many other airlines which operate flights to/from Hyder Aliyvo Airport in Baku.
Azerbaijan has recently started a fast, secure and affordable online evisa system which allows 94 countries’ citizens to apply for evisa online and within 3 days, the visa is issued. I also used that facility to get my visa, and I have written the whole procedure of Azerbiajan Evisa in this blog post.
Accommodation & Food in Baku
Baku city is quite expensive in terms of accommodation if we compare it to Tbilisi and Istanbul, especially in the summer season from April to September, the hotel room prices are between $50 to $100 per night, while if you stay in a hostel then it’ll be around $15 to $30 per night in the summer season. In other seasons October to March, it’ll be much more less. Furthermore, AirBNB can give you more cheaper options if you want to stay with someone in private.
I personally use Agoda.com for booking hotels online and most of the times I get discounted deals. (there is an affiliate link attached to the above link).
Food in Azerbaijan is affordable and available. You can find almost every cuisine in Baku. From fast food to traditional Arabic restaurants and Italian restaurants. You’ll find all kind of food. And the price of food is similar to near by countries such as Turkey, Armenia and Georgia.
Transportation in Baku
Transportation is easily accessible in the city through metro train, buses and taxis. The taxi service is world class and not expensive, it’s cheaper than Turkey and Georgia. You can go to any place in the Downtown Baku for as little as $3 USD. If you talk to a Taxi driver, he’ll agree to $20-$30 to give a tour of the whole city. as I did it myself for $25.
Best Place to Stay in Baku?
From my experience, I’ll suggest to find a place in the downtown area of Baku, particularly near Fountain Square or Nizaami Street. From this area, you can explore most of the downtown easily and by walking. Even the Baku Bay (beach side) is just walking distance from Fountain Square. The Old Baku City is also located within that area.
Places of Interest in Baku
During my three days stay in Baku, I visited a few places which I’ll recommend to everyone visiting Baku, and I’ll also suggest the places I didn’t visit but I think those shouldn’t be missed too.
1) Downtown Baku
As I earlier mentioned, downtown Baku is the place to stay and explore what Baku really is, most of the attractions and sightseeing are located within downtown. Fountain square, Nizaami street are the best places to explore here.
2) Old Baku City
Old Baku City is a beautiful traditional place in Baku which will show you the earlier version of Baku city. Right now, Baku has become a modern developed city, but if you go to Old City then you’ll know how it looked like back then.
3) Heydar Aliyev Center
This place just surprised me, it’s very beautiful and unique place in Baku. The outside view of the Heydar Aliyev Center is more beautiful and stunning than the inside view. However, inside the museum you’ll find little Azerbaijan and the culture of Azerbaijan in shape of Statues. The “I Love Baku” big sign is another beautiful thing there.
4) Baku Bay
Just a few minutes walk from Fountain Square, the Baku Bay is the beach in Baku city, it’s a clean place with green garden along the beach. there is also a long track for walking and jogging if you are fond of it.
5) Panorama View of Baku
It’ll take a few minutes for Taxi to take you to the Panorama view of Baku which is basically a top mountain with modern building dominating the area. You’ll see many attractions there including but not limited to a historical mosque, waterfalls and the best view of Baku city from top. You should not miss this.
Important Note: Most people in Baku don’t speak English, so while asking a question from someone in Baku, first ask whether he/she speaks English or not? 😀
Also watch my Baku travel vlog below to see things in action.