Fly to Baku, Azerbaijan
Baku is ranked in the world top 10 destinations for night-life, and has recently held some major international competitions: Eurovision 2012 and the inaugural European Games of 2015, with the 2016 European Grand Prix and Euro 2020 also in the diary.
Yet at its heart it's an enigmatic metropolis with a 100,000-year history with many cultural points of interest. Unfortunately, rapid industrialisation has resulted in high levels of air pollution, and Baku is considered the world's dirtiest city.
Why visit Baku?
- Take in the heady old/new East-meets-West vibe with the Soviet buildings, exclusive boutiques, and gleaming skyscrapers, and join the local football fans as they cheer on F.C. Baku!
- Baku is the epicentre of a booming oil and gas industry, yet its Old Town is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site!
- There's culture aplenty with jazz clubs, theatres, operas, tea houses, and more.!
Baku doesn't get terribly cold- even in January, average temperatures are around 7 degrees Celsius. However, the Novruz holiday on 21 March is worth experiencing. The weather is July and August is the hottest, at around 30 degrees, while November is rainy.
Azerbaijani/Azeri is the official language of the country, although Russian is widely spoken too. In Baku, younger people speak good English and some also speak French and German.
- Former chess champion Garry Kasparov comes from Baku.
- The country is known as the "Land of Fire", but the origins of the name are a mystery.
- The name Baku comes from the Persian for "City of Winds"
Take in modern Baku from the comfort of a bar stool- 25 storeys up in the revolving Hilton Hotel bar. If you prefer your views a little more traditional, climb the 12th century Maiden's Tower in the celebrated Old City for a vista of the city's minaret towers and winding alleyways, and in the summer the beaches at the Caspian Sea are a big draw. Heydar Aliyev International is the country's major airport.
Expensive restaurants catering to the new elite offer everything from sushi to steaks, but for a taste of old Azerbaijan, try some of the delicious (and inexpensive) local delicacies from Teze Bazaar.
The main religion in Azerbaijan is Islam, although the society is quite secular. It's important to show respect in any religious buildings. While homosexuality is not illegal, LGBT people tend to keep a low profile, especially outside of Baku, as society isn't always accepting of non-traditional relationships.
The crime rate is quite low in Baku, but muggings sometimes occur around bars and clubs, so be vigilant. However, most visitors experience no trouble.
The information on this page is correct as of November 2015. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, Travelstart.com.ng takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.