November 14, 2017

Things to do in Baku Azerbaijan

flame towers baku
Visited Baku in October 2017. Flew from Tbilisi to Baku, there is also a train/bus option. Due to lack of time I decided to fly. Since I was in Armenia and Azerbaijan relation with Armenia and history of War,over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Immigration was a concern, anyways I had an E-visa that I got on line. US passport holder need a Visa prior to entering Azerbaijan.

Airport and Immigration: was quick and easy, since I had a Armenian stamp on my passport they did ask me a few questions and I was in and out in 5 minutes. Found an ATM, withdrew cash and was out of the airport. in October 2017 1 USD = 1.69 AZN Azerbaijan Manat. Once outside, located a bus to take me to the City Center, the bus driver pointed me to a vending machine and told me to purchase a Baku card for 2 Manat and add 1.50 for fare to the city center. All done and in 10 minutes the bus was off to the city.

My hotel was right in the center of the old city Baku, near historic sites, A minutes walk from the Fountain square, and right in the middle of where all the locals hang out on the weekends, hundreds of them. 

After checking into my hotel and a hot shower later, I was off to see Baku by the night.




Nizami Statue by the fountain square on the way to icheri sheher, Nazami was a famous Azeri Poet.

Exploring Baku by night, I met up with the Free Walking Tour of Baku by the night and we were off to see the city by the night, interesting thing the tour guide said, 'Azerbaijan is where Europe ends and Asia begins'. So we walked quiet a bit and I could tell we were heading towards the flame towers. We reached a point where the guide asked if we should take the funicular or the stairs, we decided on the stairs. Holy Guacamole that was quiet a climb, once on top the views of the Baku Boulevard made up for the stairway to great views. On one side the Baku Boulevard and the flame towers on the other side.




On the way back we took the funicular, it was only 1 Manat. We passed by a bunch of small Canals and the guide said that was the Venice of Baku, now having been to Venice I could tell that was no where close to anything like Venice Italy.

The last main attraction we saw was the Maiden Tower, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. My guide told me the king kept his daughter there till she was 18 in the 15th century. There are all kinds of stories floating around why the tower was built.

Maiden Tower baku
Maiden Tower

The walk took over 2 hours and we went to a cafe afterwords, Coffee Moffie, what a cool cafe, with old Hollywood movie posters all over and a young friendly crowd. Spent an hour at the cafe and went back to hotel for a good night sleep. It was midnight, tipped the guide 10 Manat, free walking tour is not free, they work on tips.

Next day after breakfast at the hotel, I went for another free walking tour, same guide, different parts of the city. We met in front of Icheri Sheher Metro station, old city. We walked to the walled old city, as per my guide this was all desert, since Baku was on the way to the old Silk road, city officials taxed anyone passing though Baku to bring fertile soil and plants, centuries later today its lush green.

The tour took 3 plus hours, we went though the old Old town historic sites. From the happy house where marriages take place to a girls education school. From the early 1900's Azeris believed when you educate a man you educate one person, when you educate a woman you educate the whole family.

kissing fountainbaku

On the tour we also passed the kissing fountain where couple come to kiss, lots of people come there to propose. If marriage is on your mind head to the kissing fountain in Baku.

Ateshgah of Baku

Later that afternoon, I visited Ateshgah of Baku, fire temple. Its a Hindu temple and the writing on the stone were in Sanskrit and Punjabi. Now Azerbaijan is not a Hindu country,  the people that built the temple traveled thousands of miles on foot From India in the 15th century.

Ateshgah of Baku
Ateshgah of Baku

Fire Temple is half an hours drive from Baku, I paid the cab driver 15 USD for round trip. On the way back, the cab dropped me off at 28 Mall, and later that night I walked the streets of old city and ended up at fountain square.

From  Azerbaijan, I continued my travels to Almaty, Kazakhstan


2 Girls outside the Old City wall of Baku taking a selfie

A post shared by Arvin (@arvintravels) on



12 comments :

  1. Great post about Azerbaijan and really Baku. I know very little about this area even though my family is originally from Armenia I had no idea about the conflicts between the two. Seems like a very interesting town to walk around and I'm learning more about the historic Silk Road and all the areas that people would travel. I think the fire Hindu temple sounds awesome. Thank you for sharing and adding this to my bucket list

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    1. If you do go to Azerbaijan, whatever you do don't tell the immigration that your family is originally from Armenia, they might deny you entry. The immigration officer specifically asked me where my family is from. All the best on your travels and happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. I'm yet to visit Azerbaijan. Sounds like you chose a great hotel, so close to the sites and the fountain. Evening walking tours are great and the flame towers are so cool! Did they say why the king kept his daughter in the tower? I really want to know!

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    1. Baku was in the middle of the old Silk Route, the king wanted to protect his daughter from the Foreign visitors and a high enough tower seemed to be a good idea I guess. The Old silk Road from Europe to Asia did have its good and bad elements.

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  3. I've been on many free walking tours, but never at night. This looks like the perfect place for a night tour.

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  4. I've never been to Azerbaijan, "where Europe ends and Asia begins!" The flame towers and maiden tower look cool. And I'd love to visit the fire temple! Thanks for sharing your experiences. That cafe sounded neat too! :)

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  5. I have been thinking of visiting Azerbaijan because it is not too far from the UAE and we have a direct inexpensive flight to Baku. But although Baku looks pretty amazing from your post, I have heard that getting out of the city to explore the surroundings is a better idea because Azerbaijan is lovely. Maybe 2 days in Baku are enough, what do you think?

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  6. It's so interesting to read a post on Baku. It's nice that these countries are attracting more tourists. Baku by night looks awesome, I'll save this for when I visit!

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  7. I don't think I actually know anybody that's been to Azerbaijan before but I do know Baku is starting to be an up and coming city and starting to attract more tourists and reading this post I can see why, the flaming tours look pretty cool

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  8. I have to admit, Baku isn't somewhere that I'd really ever considered as a place to add to the bucket list - though mainly because I knew nothing about it! It looks like there's so much to do there though, so I will definitely have to reconsider x

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  9. Sounds like you covered a lot of ground! It sounds as though there are many intriguing places to see; Im especially curious about that tower. Poor daughter!

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