#Innsider’s guide to Baku
With a wonderful mix of ancient and modern buildings, Baku lays claim to being of the most beautiful cities in the world. The capital of Azerbaijan offers something for everyone, great restaurants, bars, cultural sights and if you need to relax you can head to the beaches on the Caspian Sea. Read on to discover our top-tips for your visit to the ‘City of Wind’.
Get your bearings
Visit Maiden’s Tower in the Old Town to get your bearings, standing high above the city this World Heritage site gives a stunning bird’s eye view of the city. The Tower also boasts a museum devoted to the history of Baku, open 11:00 – 19:00, Monday – Saturday.
The tower is thousands of years old, subsequently the only way to the top is using good old fashioned man power. Bring your best footwear and be ready for the high winds at the top, make sure you bring your camera to take in the spectacular views; just don’t drop it!
In 2007 work began on building the biggest buildings in Baku. Known as the Flame Towers, this 190m high development features three towers, housing apartments and offices. Azerbaijan is known as the Land of Fire and the towers are a reflection of this. You won’t be able to miss them at night as the facades of the towers are brought to life using over 10,000 LEDs to dominate the skyline. All this was achieved for the cool price of $350million.
Meet a legendary super spy
Super-spy Richard Sorge was born in Baku on October 4th 1985, he is renowned for his undercover exploits during the Second World War; famously helping to warn the USSR of the planned German invasion. Inside the Richard Sorge Park you will find an impressive sculpture dedicated to Sorge’s memory, including a carving of the spy’s famous piercing eyes. An unusual sight, and one well worth the photo opportunity.
Get wrapped up in carpets
Established in 1967, the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum has the largest collection of Azerbaijani carpets in the world. Producing carpets is one of the country’s oldest crafts and has been perfected over the centuries, Azerbaijani carpets were proclaimed “a masterpiece of intangible heritage” by UNESCO in 2010. Artefacts in the museum date back to the 14th century and Bronze Age. They might even inspire your next home renovation!
The rocks of Gobustan are a short journey out of Baku, but the 60km journey will bring you to a staggering site encompassing over 60,000 mountain carvings. Another UNESCO heritage site, the carvings here serve as a timeline to the area, showing that the country has had civilised life for at least 126,000 years. The oldest carvings can be dated back to 14 millennia BC!
A place to stay
Park Inn by Radisson Azerbaijan Baku is walking distance from Baku’s business district and major shopping outlets and just a 25 minute drive from Heydar Aliyev International Airport. The hotel offers great views of the Caspian Sea as well as a great place to dine in our Glory Restaurant. If you fancy a trip to the city if wind, click here for booking information – http://www.parkinn.com/hotel-baku
What are your favourite tips for seeing the best of Baku? Share your #innsider tips on Twitter @parkinn to help others when planning a visit!