Don’t know how to spend your break in Baku? Just follow the instructions!
Today we are here to tell you how to spend time in Baku in this guest post by ZION Hostel team, one of the coolest hostels in the city: local tips and tricks from the ones who live (and love) the city to its fullest every day!
Capital of the beautiful Azerbaijan, Baku is traditionally known as the City of Winds, where the slighlty colder winds from the Caspian Sea meet a warmer breeze coming from the mainland.
Here you will find a cristal clear sea with soft sand, along with kind and sympathetic people, and most importantly, a peculiar mixture of antiquity and novelty: the city ancient history mixes perfectly with the newest trends of the contemporary world, making Baku one of the most cosmopolitan and fascinanting city of the East.
Baku: what to expect
Baku is a city with a very mild climate, where the winter is warm and the summer hot. The locals are very fond of the sea in the summer so if you plan on spending your summer months here, it's impossible not to visit the beach! In winter, you are unlikely to build a snowman, and if you do try, let's just say that it will not be the best snowman in your life!
Local people are very kind and will definitely help you out with advice and more. Additionally, they are very fond of tea, which is an inalienable tradition in Azerbaijan, so make sure, having visited this country, to try the local sorts of teas.
Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall, Baku
Prices in Azerbaijan are not high but actually very affordable, and most importantly, you can always find fresh and tasty fruits and vegetables that are grown on the territory of the country.
To travel around the city use the metro or buses, which only cost 0,20 AZN. The Metro, by the way, consists of only four lines so you can't get lost! The main thing: do not forget to buy a special transportation card, which is available in all vending machines at bus stops or inside the metro, the cost of which is 2 AZN.
It is time of adventure in Baku!
Start your walk along the main street of Baku, called “Torqovaya”, which is full of local and foreign residents, a range of colors and emotions that always have a sunny mood. All the most touristic places are located close to this spot, so, if you are right here, you are following the right path!
Torqovaya street, Baku
Well, there is no Baku without the Old City, the brightest part of the capital. Here you can stroll through the small old streets, get lost in them, try to find your way back, talk heart to heart with the locals and play football with the courtyard boys.
Old City, Baku
A must if The Palace of Shirvanshahs, dating back to the 15th century, demonstrating all the history and traditions of Baku. At the moment the Palace is used as a museum, the entrance to which is 2 AZN. Here you will find plenty of luxury rooms, bath houses and wonderful exhibits.
On the central streets of the old town, there are many small local shops with national clothes, decorations, old postcards and other trinkets which you have to visit for sure to buy some memorable stuff.
The Maiden Tower, known as Qiz Qalasi, Baku
Not far from these places there is also Maiden Tower, the place full of legends, which are known by every self-respecting local resident. Try to ask people and you will see for yourself! Paying 8 AZN, you can climb up it and enjoy the view of the city and someinteresting exhibits.
Time should be dedicated to carpets, seeing as Azerbaijan has been famous for its carpet making since ancient times. All kinds of carpets can be found both on the streets of the Old City, but it's inside the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum that you'll find the best examples of precious carpets.
Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, Baku
Here you will see how the process of carpet weaving has changed during a time and what patterns and abstractions are characteristic of certain periods of Azerbaijan. Different exhibits will amaze you with their colorful and original content. Inside the museum there is also a shop where you can purchase various carpets. The entrance fee is 7 AZN for adults, 3 AZN for schoolchildren and students and a free pass for children under 6 years.
Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku
You cannot miss another cultural, but no less beautiful part of Baku - Heydar Aliyev Center, built in 2006. The project was designed by the most talented architect Zaha Hadid and includes a museum and an exhibition hall. All the details of the history of Azerbaijan you will undoubtedly find here.
Well, it is now time to move on to the Key Part of Baku - the Caspian Sea. Take a stroll along the waterfront, inhale the scent of the sea, sit in a shady corner and enjoy the local nature! You can also ride on a boat which is right on the boulevard.
In order to visit the beaches of Baku you will have to drive a little from the city center, because that’s the exact place where you can see all the beauty of nature in Baku. You can use buses or taxis, but be sure you chose the right place to go! Don’t worry! We will help you!
Want a quiet cozy beach, with soft sand and warm water? Then you should visit Bilgah or Mardakan, where beaches are calm and clean. For lovers of noisier beaches with a lot of restaurants, we advise to go to Novkhani. In case you are interested in beach parties, we're always waiting for you on the NOIZ beach where every weekend there is DJ's performance, dancing and sunrises.
Let's find a place to stay!
In the heart of the capital of Azerbaijan, there is ZION Hostel, surrounded by traditional streets of Baku. Here, guests and the hostel team, become one big family with one main goal - environmental protection. Plunging into the atmosphere of a virgin nature, you will want to stay here forever.
ZION Hostel, Hall
ZION provides you with not only comfortable accommodation, but also brightens up your time in Baku filling it with new colors, knowledge and wonderful acquaintances. Ask us why? That is all because ZION Hostel has its own rooftop, where various events are held! Cinema evenings, with the most atmospheric and beautiful masterpieces of cinema world, musical evenings with local and foreign DJs and music bands, master-classes and many other interesting things await you here, so that you can relax and feel the culture of Azerbaijan.
ZION hostel, rooftop
By the way, all the best sightseeing spots, as well as restaurants, cafes and bars are within walking distance from the hostel, and if you suddenly want to find even more places for entertainment, you won't need to waste much time. In addition, there are a lot of artists' studios and other wonderful creative people and friends of the Zion Hostel’s team right next to the ZION hostel, who will gladly share their knowledge and become you guides.
ZION hostel, Quatro room
Did you know that right at the entrance to the ZION hostel the local musician plays on the national instrument, a tar, filling the whole space with beautiful sounds?
Evening is the time for rest!
When the evening arrives, you have too many options to spend it in a perfect way. You can both stay in the hostel and enjoy the privilege of attending an event for free or go to the main street to join any other event.
In the first case you will be offered a cozy place on the rooftop, treated with branded sangria, local wine or your favorite tea surrounded by pleasant company and cozy conversations. In case you want to sit in local cafes, right in the city center, you can find bars and pubs with performances of local musicians, and various restaurants with an abundance of local and foreign cuisine, coffee houses and many tasty and interesting things.
ZION Hostel, shared rooms
Would you like to try the local cuisine? Then you definitely need to visit the restaurant with a classic Azeri name “Firuze”, located right in the center of the Fontains Square. Here you will find a wide assortment of dishes along with beautiful interiors in the Azerbaijani motives and excellent service.
For fans of bars and pubs, we have reserved a place with delicious cocktails and fine DJ performances on one of the streets leading to the square. “Hashtag Bar” is definitely a favorite place for the modern youth and tourists to drink and chill.
Flame Towers, the three highest skyscrapers in Baku
Well, of course, there is no Baku without the delicious Azerbaijani wine. We have the place for you with the most atmospheric of spirits in the city, which is called “Kefli” and where you can find wine to your taste from a local varieties of grapes. We are sure that you will stay there for quite a while!
Clubs occupy a separate place in the life of local ravers, and you definitely have to visit “Barrel Playground”, which is an open-air club, only open in summer period and the city's favorite techno-club, “Synthetic”.