From exploring the 12th century fortifications of Old City to enjoying the sight of the world famous Flame Towers, these are just some of the best things to do in Baku. Azerbaijan’s capital, dubbed by Lonely Planet as “the architectural love child of Paris and Dubai”, is one of the fastest changing cities in the world. Dilapidated alleyways are now bustling with hipster cafes and international restaurants. The Flame Towers are a marvel of modern architecture. Millennials wander the streets dressed in the latest high-end fashion. At the centre of Baku lies the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounding this time capsule are stone mansions and luxury boutiques. The blend of the old and new works effortlessly. There are a lot of tourist attractions around the city. The city is rapidly expanding and you will find many things to do in Baku to keep yourself busy and entertained.
Old City or “Icharishahar”, is one of Azerbaijan’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s truly a unique, historical part of Azerbaijan and is located within the heart of Baku. he Old City is very clean and recently renovated. It’s a very beautiful and very artful town, surrounded by fortressed walls, adding to the character. Walk through its cobblestone streets, see and touch the stones of the ancient walls, zigzag through narrow corridors and admire the intricate art on the doors. The Old City of Baku has a lot to offer. The town has a lot of aged buildings, a palace complex, mosques and the iconic Maiden Tower.
CHECK OUT THE FLAME TOWERS
The Flame Towers are located on a hill overlooking Baku Bay and the Old City. It’s an iconic trio of buildings that transformed the image of the city from a forgotten place to modern day Baku. Not only does it transforms the city’s skyline, but it also pays respect to Baku’s history and predicts its strong future. The design of the towers was inspired by Azerbaijan’s historical past of fire worship amongst locals. The buildings are shaped in a form of a flame, and are completely covered with LED screens that present movements of a fire.
SEE THE BIBI HEYBAT MOSQUE
The Bibi Heybat Mosque is one of the most interesting things to do in Baku, and even non-Muslims will enjoy exploring this wonderful piece of architecture. The present day structure is from July, 1998, and is a recreation of the mosque that was built in the 13th century by Shirvanshah Farrukhzad II Ibn Ahsitan II.
DON’T MISS THE PALACE OF THE SHIRVANSHAHS
An important piece of Azerbaijani history is Shirvanhahs’ Palace, which was built in 15th century by the Shirvanshah kingdom. The Shirvanshahs were the rulers of Shirvan, the name of the land that now occupies modern-day Azerbaijan. Being the leaders, they of course had to build an epic palace to call home. Their Palace, alongside the Maiden Tower and the Old City, is bunched together in Baku’s UNESCO World Heritage listing.
ADMIRE THE ATESHGAH FIRE TEMPLE
Zoroastrianism and their belief in fire worship is a fascinating religion that can be found all over Asia, and their Temples of Eternal Fire are quite well known. In a small suburb of Baku, one of their temples still exists today and is one of most popular Baku tourist attractions. The temple in its present state was constructed around the 17th-18th centuries, and was built by the Baku-based Hindu community. The area is known for a unique natural phenomenon – burning natural gas outlets. That means that the underground gas coming up to the surface lights up as it makes contact with oxygen.