15 Amazing Places to Visit in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2024

Baku Places to Visit

Baku Quick Look

Best Baku Tours:

1. Full Day City Tour
2. Sightseeing Tour
3. Gobustan and Abscheron

Baku Accommodation

1. Sahil Hostel
2. Sweet Garden Hotel
3. West Inn Hotel


Baku Car Hire

Discover Cars

Looking for things to do in Baku? In this article, we will discover some of the best places to visit in Baku, the shining capital of Azerbaijan. I visited Baku on my way travelling overland from London to China.

Baku, also known as the city of winds, is the capital city of the Republic of Azerbaijan; a small but wealthy country in the Caucasus and a stop on the old Silk Road. I stayed with an old friend from Baku and had an incredible time checking out the Baku famous places.

The city lies at the bottom of the Absheron peninsula on the Caspian Sea (which is actually an inland lake). The city is unique in that lies 28 metres below sea level, making it the lowest capital city anywhere in the world.

Boring stuff: I have visited each of the places I recommend and give you my honest opinion, warts and all. All photos are my own unless otherwise stated and may not be reproduced without permission. Affiliate links may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.


The Best Places to Visit in Baku

Below you’ll find some of the best places to visit in Baku from the gorgeous old town to the palace of Shirvan Shahs and flame towers. These Baku attractions include historical places of interest, museums, groovy cafes and a lot more.

1. Baku Old Town (One of the Best Places to Visit in Baku)

Places to Visit in Baku
Baku Old Town

Baku is famed for its charming old town which became a UNESCO site in 2000 and is definitely one of the best places to visit in Baku. The cobbled streets are set within medieval-style walls protecting the area from the traffic and hustle of the rest of Baku.

The old town (or old city) is the beating heart of Baku. Lose yourself in the narrow winding alleyways and cobbled streets to explore this enchanted area. The medieval stone walls separate the old town from more modern Baku. One of the best Baku places to visit!

I spent days exploring this charming part of the city and enjoyed exploring the old alleyways, city walls and many interesting shops, restaurants and cafes. The old city is definitely one of the best places to see in Baku for first-time visitors.

The best way to see the old town and learn all about its history is to take a walking tour. Click here to find out more.

Address: Click here for directions.
Opening Hours: 24/7
Ticket Price: Free


2. Stroll Along Baku Boulevard

Baku Eye Ferris Wheel
Baku Eye Ferris Wheel

Stretching along the picturesque Caspian Sea coast, Baku Boulevard is a vibrant and lively promenade that offers a delightful escape from the bustling city centre and is one of the best places to visit in Baku.

With its lush green parks, palm-lined walkways, and captivating views of the sea, the boulevard provides a perfect setting for leisurely walks, picnics, or simply unwinding amidst nature.

The boulevard is adorned with numerous attractions and entertainment options, including amusement parks, outdoor cafes, restaurants, and cultural venues.

Visitors can rent bicycles or rollerblades to explore the promenade, take a relaxing boat ride, or enjoy the colorful displays of the Baku Eye Ferris Wheel.

Address: 92 Neftchilar Ave, Baku, Azerbaijan. Click here for directions.
Opening Hours: 24/7
Ticket Price: Free


3. See the Palace of Shirvanshahs (One of the Best Baku Attractions)

The Palace of the Shirvanshahs
The Palace of the Shirvanshahs

The UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the Palace of the Shirvan Shahs is a 15th-century palace complex that is considered one of the pearls of Azerbaijan. Within the palace, the stone walls are lined with ancient tapestries and carpets.

With its intricate stone carvings, ornate archways, and beautifully adorned interiors, the palace offers a captivating glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Shirvanshahs. The palace is one of the best Baku places to visit for lovers of history and architecture.

This majestic complex consists of various structures interconnected by courtyards, including the main palace, a mosque, a bathhouse, a mausoleum, and a burial vault. You can visit the palace on this walking tour. Click here to book.

Address: 9R8M+CCX, Baku, Azerbaijan. Click here for directions.
Opening Hours: 10am to 7pm, Mon-Thu, 10am to 6pm, Fri-Sun
Ticket Price: 10 Manat ($6.00)
Website: icherisheher.gov.az


4. Climb Maiden Tower (One of the Best Baku Tourist Attractions)

Places to see in Baku - Maiden Tower
Places to see in Baku – Maiden Tower

The Maiden Tower, also known as Guz Qalasi, is a 12th Century tower in the centre of the old town and one of the top Baku tourist attractions. You can climb the tower for stunning views across the city and out to the Caspian.

Inside there is a museum with artifacts and displays chronicling the history of the tower and associated legends. This was one of my favourite things to do in Baku for the amazing views.

Address: Qız Qalası, Bakı, Azerbaijan. Click here for directions.
Opening Hours: 10am to 6pm, Mon-Sun
Ticket Price: 10 Manat ($6.00)


5. See the Ancient Market at Bazar Square

Mosaics in the Market
Mosaics in the Market

Just next to the entrance of the Maiden’s Tower is an excellently preserved market square dating back to medieval times. The main square is surrounded by an arched walkway overlooking various archaeological finds.

This archaeological site is deemed by some to be the place where Jesus’ disciple Bartholemew was skinned alive and beheaded! This Baku attraction is easily combined with a visit to Maiden Tower and the ticket price covers both attractions!

Address: Qız Qalası, Bakı, Azerbaijan. Click here for directions.
Opening Hours: 10am to 6pm, Mon-Sun
Ticket Price: 10 Manat ($6)


6. Azerbaijan Carpet Museum

National Carpet Museum of Azerbaijan
National Carpet Museum of Azerbaijan

The National Carpet Museum of Azerbaijan is home to the largest collection of Azeri carpets in the world. The architecture of the museum resembles a folded carpet which is worthy of an Instagram shot if you are not interested in the contents of the museum itself!

Address: 28 Mikayıl Hüseynov Prospekti, Baku 1000, Azerbaijan. Click here for directions.
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 18:00 Tues – Fri, 10:00 to 20:00 Sat & Sun
Ticket Price: 7 Manat ($4.10)


7. Shop at Yashil Bazaar

Bazaar
Bazaar

Yashil Bazaar is a bustling and vibrant market that immerses visitors in the rich flavors and vibrant colors of Azerbaijani culture. This lively marketplace is a treasure trove of sights, sounds, and aromas, offering a diverse array of fresh produce, aromatic spices, traditional sweets, and local handicrafts.

As you wander through the aisles, you’ll encounter friendly vendors showcasing their wares, ready to engage in lively bargaining and share their knowledge about the products on offer.

Yashil Bazaar is not only a place to shop but also an opportunity to connect with the local community, sample authentic Azerbaijani cuisine, and gain insight into the everyday life and culinary traditions of the city. This is definitely one of the Baku places to visit to get a feel for the culture.

Address: 9VP3+4PC, Khatai Ave, Baku, Azerbaijan. Click here for directions.
Opening Hours: 8am to 9pm, Mon-Sun
Ticket Price: Free


8. Visit National Flag Square

The 150-acre National Flag Square is home to what was, up until 2011, the tallest flagpole in the world measuring 162 metres (531 feet).

The flagpole entered the Guinness Book of World Records, however Tajikistan then claimed the title shortly afterward. Azerbaijan’s effort is still in the top three tallest flagpoles in the world!

Address: Flag Square, Baku, Azerbaijan. Click here for directions.
Opening Hours: 24/7
Ticket Price: Free


9. Ride the Baku Funicular

Baku’s funicular railway was constructed in 1960 and stretches from Neftchilar Avenue to Martyrs Lane. Riding up the 455m track takes just four minutes and is a fun way to see the city. Trains depart every ten minutes.

Address: Bahram Gur on Neftchilar Avenue and Martyrs Lane. Click here for directions.
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 22:00 daily
Ticket Price: 1 Manat ($0.60)
Website: Baku Funicular


10. See the Flame Towers

Baku Flame Towers
Baku Flame Towers

Wherever you are in the city, you can feel the presence of Baku’s imposing three glass skyscrapers that are shaped like flames. At night the towers even light up to resemble the gas natural gas flames that have burned in this land for centuries and which have contributed to the city’s wealth.

The tallest of the towers is 33 floors and the buildings contain an assortment of apartment complexes, hotels, a shopping centre and restaurants. You can book a stay in the towers on Booking.com.

Address: Mehdi Huseyn Street 1A, Sabayil, AZ1006 Baku, Azerbaijan. Click here for directions.
Opening Hours: 9am to 8pm, Mon-Sun
Ticket Price: Free


11. Visit the Heydar Aliyev Centre

Baku Attractions - The Heydar Aliyev Centre
Baku Attractions – The Heydar Aliyev Centre

The Heydar Aliyev Centre stands as an architectural masterpiece captivating visitors with its bold and futuristic design. Designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the center is a symbol of modernity and cultural significance.

Its fluid curves and smooth surfaces create a sense of movement and harmony, while the gleaming white exterior seamlessly merges with the surrounding landscape. Inside, the center houses a variety of facilities, including exhibition halls, a museum, a conference center, and a concert hall, hosting a wide range of artistic and cultural events.

The Heydar Aliyev Center not only showcases Azerbaijan’s commitment to contemporary architecture but also serves as a vibrant hub for artistic expression and intellectual discourse, making it a must-visit Baku destination for locals and tourists alike.

Address: 1 Heydar Aliyev Ave, Baku 1033, Azerbaijan. Click here for directions.
Opening Hours: 11am to 7pm, Tue-Fri, 11am to 6pm, Fri-Sat
Ticket Price: Free
Website: heydaraliyevcenter.az


12. Discover Baku’s Art Scene

Baku has a thriving art scene with many small galleries dotted throughout the Old City.

Some of the more interesting galleries include:

  • Yay Gallery, Kicik Qala 5
  • Ali Samsir’s Studio, Kicik Qala Kuc 84


Places to Visit Near Baku

13. Yanar Dag Fire Mountain (One of the Best Places to Visit Near Baku)

Yanar Dag
Yanar Dag

Fire Mountain, aka Yanar Dag is a burning hillside on the Absheron Peninsula outside Baku. The flame has been burning for thousands of years due to natural gas deposits in the area. Read my complete guide to Yanar Dag for more information. One of the best places to visit in Baku!

How to get to Yanar Dag: Take bus 217 from Koroglu Metro to the last stop. The journey time is approx 40 minutes.

Opening Hours: 09:00 to 18:00
Ticket Price: 3 Manat ($1.75)
More Information: Guide to Yanar Dag


14. Visit the Caspian Beaches

Beach at Absheron Peninsula
Bilgah Beach on the Absheron Peninsula

The Absheron Peninsula is home to some wonderful beaches on the Caspian Sea. A short drive from the city, Bilgeh is a great place to cool off in the summer and less crowded than the often polluted beaches nearer to the city centre.

Address: Bilgeh, Absheron Peninsula, Baku, Azerbaijan. Take bus 185 from Koroglu Metro.


15. Gobustan Mud Vulcanos

Gobustan National Park
Gobustan National Park

Gobustan is a captivating UNESCO World Heritage Site located just outside of Baku and offers a mesmerizing journey through time. This ancient landscape is renowned for its remarkable collection of rock art, with over 6,000 rock engravings and petroglyphs scattered across the rugged terrain.

Dating back thousands of years, these artistic expressions depict scenes of hunting, wildlife, rituals, and daily life of the prehistoric inhabitants of the region. Beyond the rock art, Gobustan boasts breathtaking natural beauty, with rolling hills, canyons, and mud volcanoes dotting the landscape.

Exploring Gobustan allows visitors to not only connect with the rich cultural heritage of Azerbaijan but also to marvel at the raw and untouched natural wonders that have endured through the ages.


Where to Stay in Baku

Accommodation in Baku is surprisingly cheap given that it’s an oil-rich city. There are plenty of budget options from backpacker hostels up to 5-star hotels and resorts.

Budget

Sahil Hostel: This popular backpacker hostel is located just 100 metres from Baku Boulevard and has access to a metro station close by. It’s also the only hostel in Baku with a balcony overlooking the Formula 1 circuit. Dorms and private rooms are available. Click here to check prices.

Mid-range

Sweet Garden Hotel: This 3-star hotel is located in the heart of the old city just a few steps from the Palace of Shirvanshahs. Rooms are tastefully decorated to a modern standard and come with a private bathroom, Wi-Fi and TV. Click here to book.

Luxury

West Inn Hotel and Restaurant: This 5-star hotel close to the Caspian has an onsite restaurant, terrace, and bar. Rooms come with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and complimentary toiletries. Click here for more info.


Food and Drink in Baku

Azerbaijani Cuisine
Azerbaijani Cuisine

One of the best things to do in Baku is to enjoy the delicious and fresh local cuisine. You don’t have to go far in Baku to find an incredible array of cafes and restaurants.

The cuisine is influenced by nearby countries such as Turkey, Iran and Central Asia, with dishes such as plov and kebab. Rice is the staple and lamb is the preferred meat. You will also find a lot of fish given the proximity to the Caspian Sea.

Some local dishes to try:

  • Dolma – minced lamb and rice wrapped in cabbage or vine leaves.
  • Dovga – yoghurt with rice, chickpeas and herbs
  • Kebab – chunks of grilled meat, usually lamb.
  • Plov – safron-infused rice with meat and vegetables.

Weather – Best Time to Visit

Baku weather is temperate with hot summers and cool winters. Due to its proximity to the nearby Caspian Sea, it can be a windy city.

In summer the temperature averages 30c with little rain, making it a perfect destination for holidaymakers.

Spring and autumn are cool with rainy showers.

Winters are cool with the temperature rarely dropping below 1 or 2 degrees Celcius.


Getting Around

The old city is easily walkable, and there is an excellent subway network. Hiring a car is another great way to get around and will give you more freedom to explore. Our partners at Discover Cars have some great rates for Baku car hire. Click here to check the price.

How to get to Baku

Flights

Baku is served by Heydar Aliyev International Airport which has direct flights to and from Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and the USA. Trip.com has some great deals on flights to Azerbaijan. Click here to check the prices.

Trains

From Tbilisi, Georgia

There is a daily overnight train that departs Tbilisi at 20:35 and arrives in Baku at 08:50. The train stops for approximately 2 hours at the border at around 21:30. Ensure your Azeri Visa is valid for the day you will cross (I made the mistake of putting the arrival date on my application, but they let me through).

  • 1st Class (2 berth cabin) = 84 GEL ($30)
  • 2nd Class (4 berth cabin) = 52 GEL ($18)
  • 3rd Class (open carriage) = 35 GEL ($12)

You can purchase tickets at Tbilisi Railway Station. I was able to buy a ticket on the day of departure, but it’s always best to buy one a few days in advance if you can.

More Info: Tbilisi to Baku Train

From Moscow, Russia:

It seems there used to be a train from Moscow to Baku but it’s not possible to find tickets or a timetable online which could indicate there is no longer a service. Check at the station in Moscow, and if anyone has done this trip recently I would love to hear the details in the comments or by email.

Ferry (freighter ships)

There are sailings to Baku Port from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. There are no schedules and it takes some perseverance to secure a ticket and make the crossing, but it’s an adventure I would certainly recommend if you have the time.

From Aktau, Kazakhstan:

There is a weekly (or longer) sailing between Aktau in Kazakhstan and Baku. This route should only be attempted by seasoned travellers who have plenty of spare time. Aktau is very, very far from anywhere and takes many days to reach from Almaty or Nur-Sultan.

From Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan

There are two new cargo ships that also have a large passenger lounge ($100 for a seat) and cabins ($170 for a bed). The Bagtyyar and Berkarer travel between Baku and Turkmenbashi each week. Buying the tickets for Baku to Turkmenbashi was easy enough but I haven’t done this journey in reverse.


Visas for Azerbaijan

Citizens of 95 countries can apply for a single-entry Azerbaijan E-Visa valid for 30 days.

Apply for the E-visa online using the official Azerbaijan government website. The VISA costs $23 and takes 3 days to be emailed.

Baku Sightseeing FAQs

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the things to see in Baku:

Is Baku a good tourist destination?

Baku is an excellent tourist destination with lots of fun things to see and do. Wander around the charming old town, climb Maiden Tower and haggle for bargains at the Bazaar.

What are the top attractions to visit in Baku?

The top attractions in Baku include the Palace of Shirvanshahs, Maiden Tower, the F12 track and the Caspian Sea beaches. Other points of interest include Baku Boulevard, the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum and Yanar Dag.

What is Baku famous for?

Baku is famous for its oil wealth, its three flame towers, and its historic old town. Parts of the city were also used as a set location for the James Bond film The World is Not Enough.

Is Baku an expensive city?

Baku is surprisingly cheap with hostels for under $10 per night and hotel rooms for around $50. Food is inexpensive, as are museum tickets and transport, making it a great destination for budget-savvy travellers.

How to spend 3 days in Baku?

With three days to spend in Baku spend your first day exploring the old town including the Palace of Shirvanshahs, Maiden Tower and the city walls. Spend days two and three exploring the Caspian beaches, Fire Mountain and Gobustan National Park.

Conclusion

So, what are you waiting for? There are plenty of amazing places to see in Baku from the ancient old town to the beautiful beaches and fiery hillsides!

Check out my other articles about Azerbaijan:

Dunhuang, Gobi Desert, China

About the author:

Steve Rohan is a writer from Essex, England. He has traveled to over 60 countries, lived in Armenia, China and Hong Kong, and is now living the digital nomad life on the road.

Steve prefers “slow travel” and has covered much of the world by train, bus and boat. He has been interviewed multiple times by the BBC and recently featured in the documentary Scariest Places in the World. See the About page for more info.

Where I am now: Yerevan, Armenia 🇦🇲

2 thoughts on “15 Amazing Places to Visit in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2024

  1. Michael Howard says:

    Thanks Steve for your Baku info. Arrived today early morning sleep then explored the old town. I now know what to do day 2 and 3 . Thank you.

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