baku skyline at night showing skyscrapers against a bright sunset

Baku Holidays

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Bold and magnificent Baku

Baku holidays provide the perfect blend of old and new. Ancient streets and medieval towers nestle beside cutting-edge architecture and luxurious shopping malls, offering a captivating array of possibilities.

Soak up the city’s incredible sights, taking in breathtaking panoramic views across the skyline from the top of Upland Park, or along the seafront on Baku Boulevard.

Gaze in awe at the 15th-century Palace of the Shirvanshahs and marvel at the thoroughly modern ‘wave’ design of the Heydar Aliyev Centre.

You can immerse yourself in fascinating Azerbaijani culture at the national museums of art, literature and history, or use the city as a base for venturing out and discovering the true spirit of the ‘Land of Fire’.

shirvan shakirs palace inner city baku azerbaijan

Things to do in Baku

Delve into the fascinating culture and attractions of Azerbaijan’s capital city. From historical streets to avant-garde architecture, there’s so much to see and do. 

view of baku from the river with the flame towers in the background

Take in a light show at the Flame Towers

Iconic symbols of Baku, and stunning features of its impressive skyline, the spectacular Flame Towers are impossible to miss.

The towers’ shape reflects the nation’s affectionate nickname of the ‘Land of Fire’. They’re cloaked in LED screens that beam dramatic light shows that are visible from the farthest reaches of the city.

One moment the towers depict figures waving the national flag, the next they’re transformed into flickering flames licking the sky, before changing again into fluttering Azerbaijan flags.

Head here at night to see the towers in all their glory – Baku Boulevard and Martyrs' Lane provide good vantage points.

Where to stay in Baku

Old City

Experience the traditional side of the capital by basing yourself close to the heart of the Old City for your holiday in Baku.

Boasting UNESCO World Heritage status, delve into its cobbled streets and enjoy tours of the fortress and palace.

Situated within easy walking distance, the Four Seasons Hotel Baku is perfect for honeymoons, with its sea views and on-site spa facilities.

Other options include the Premier Old Gates Hotel right by Maiden Tower, or the fabulous Citrus Boutique Hotel.

old town baku archeology display azerbaijan
nizami street baku azerbaijan

Nizami Street and Fountains Square

If you want to be close to the action, then consider staying around Nizami Street and Fountains Square.

Both areas are in the centre of downtown, perfectly positioned to reach all the main sights on foot.

Fountains Square is a charming public space with cafes and restaurants, while Nizami Street is a lively, pedestrianised shopping street. Malakhan Hotel is a great option here.

Baku Boulevard

If spectacular views are just as important to you as seeing the main attractions, stay in the Baku Boulevard district – where you get the best of both worlds.

You’ll benefit from sea views and skyline vistas, while being within touching distance of Baku’s downtown and Old City. The Hilton Baku is an ideal place to stay for families. 

baku boulevard caspian sea
baku bay lit up night

All you need to know about Baku

Local currency

The local currency in Baku is the Azerbaijan manat (AZN). Major credit cards can be used at many places around the city, but it’s a good idea to also carry some cash. 

Languages spoken

The official language of Baku is Azerbaijani. Many people will speak some English, especially in tourist areas. 

Public holidays

Holidays celebrated in Baku include New Year’s Day (1 and 2 January), Victory Day (9 May) and the Spring Festival of ‘Novruz’ in March. 

Getting around

Getting around central Baku and its main attractions is generally possible on foot. For anything outside the city centre, however, you can use taxis, buses and metro services.

More about Baku

The Land of Fire

Azerbaijan is famous as the ‘Land of Fire’ – and its capital is the gateway to this exciting landscape. 

If you’re planning to enjoy an active holiday in Baku, there are plenty of opportunities to visit the area’s mud volcanoes. 

A trip to Yanar Dag should also be on your must-do list. Otherwise known as Fire Mountain, the gas emitted from this natural phenomenon – just a short journey north of the city – means the mountainside has permanently lit flames, which draw visitors from far and wide.

While you’re there, be sure to visit the Ateshgah of Baku – a fire-worshipping temple and museum dedicated to Azerbaijan's fiery legacy.

yanar dag burning mountain baku azerbaijan
museum of azeri literature baku

Culture and cuisine

Baku’s love of visual crafts and endeavour is evident in everything from its sweeping skyline and award-winning buildings to the local artisans creating vivid designs on the city’s streets. 

Visit Workshop Ali Shamsi, where the resident artist is renowned for his extraordinary creative flair. There are murals decorating the outside of his gallery and even nearby trees. 

Baku is also a place where delicious food is always on the menu. Plov is a much-loved saffron rice dish made in a number of traditional ways depending on where you visit.

Be sure to also try rich lamb kebabs, delicious black tea and sticky, sweet Azerbaijani pakhlava. 

Shopping in Baku

Take a break from delving into mesmerising history and culture to indulge in a spot of retail therapy. 

Head to Ganjlik Mall, one of Azerbaijan’s largest shopping centres. Browse big-name brands and designer stores, or enjoy local and international fine dining, a cinema, bowling alley and entertainment centre all under one roof. Given that this is Baku, the building itself is pretty spectacular too. 

Away from the malls, the bustling Nizami Street is another prime shopping spot. For something more traditional, head to the carpet and souvenir sales in the Old City or enjoy the sights and colours of the wonderful Yaşil Bazar Green Market – a vibrant, friendly haven of fresh local produce.

antique carpets for sale streets of baku azerbaijan
panorama of baku from winter park

Why we love Baku

“Baku is a city that’s both contemporary and historical – and always full of surprises. There’s so much to see and do, from ancient buildings in the Old City to strolls along the boulevard and gazing at the incredible Flame Towers.”

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