Baku

The largest city in the world below sea level.

Baku, Azerbaijan's ancient capital, is known for its rich history, oil refineries, and vibrant cultural scene.

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Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, stretches along the Caspian Sea with a unique blend of ancient and modern architecture. The city's historical core, Icherisheher, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, preserving age-old buildings like the Maiden Tower and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. Meanwhile, ambitious developments like the Flame Towers reflect Baku's oil wealth and contemporary vision. The city also serves as a cultural center, housing museums like the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum and the National Art Museum of Azerbaijan.

Traditional Azerbaijani Cuisine

A journey through Baku's culinary scene is as rich as the city's culture. Dining in Baku offers an opportunity to taste traditional Azerbaijani dishes such as plov, a saffron-seasoned rice dish often served with fragrant herbs and meat, and kebabs, a staple with a variety of meats marinated and grilled to perfection. Make sure to visit restaurants like ┼×irvan┼čah Muzey Restoran for authentic local dishes and a historical ambiance, or Sehrli Tendir for their freshly baked tandir bread.

Museums and Art Galleries

For those interested in diving into Azerbaijan's history and art, Baku has several museums and galleries. The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum showcases the country's art of carpet weaving with an impressive collection of Azerbaijani carpets and rugs, some dating back centuries. Another must-visit is the National Art Museum of Azerbaijan, which houses over 15,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, providing a glimpse into regional artistic traditions.

Historical Landmarks and Architecture

Within the confines of Icherisheher, also known as the Old City, visitors will encounter the Maiden Tower and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. The Maiden Tower, dating back to at least the 12th century, offers panoramic views of Baku from its top. The Palace of the Shirvanshahs is a 15th-century gem that was the former residence of the Shirvan dynasty, complete with intricately carved stone work and majestic courtyards.

Unique Local Festivals and Cultural Events

Baku's calendar is dotted with cultural events that celebrate Azerbaijani traditions. The Novruz Bayram is an ancient festival marking the Persian New Year and the arrival of spring, with street performances, traditional music, and an abundance of food. Another key event is the Baku International Jazz Festival, attracting jazz enthusiasts from all over the world.

Nature and Outdoor Activities

Outside Baku's bustling streets lies Gobustan National Park, known for its rock engravings dating back thousands of years. It is also home to the mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan, a natural spectacle worth visiting. For a day trip, take a drive to the Yanar Dag to witness a hillside that has been continuously ablaze for decades due to natural gas seeping through the soil.

Daily Life and Atmosphere

Walking through Baku's various neighborhoods gives you a feel for the city's diverse atmosphere. The Nizami Street area is lively with shoppers during the day and comes alive at night with cafes and restaurants. For a quieter experience, visit the parks and gardens such as Upland Park, which offers stunning views of Baku's skyline.

Public Transportation and Ease of Navigation

Baku has an efficient public transport system comprising buses, metros, and taxis. The Baku Metro is particularly convenient for visitors with its straightforward routes connecting key parts of the city. To traverse longer distances or reach attractions outside the city center, reliable taxi services are available and can be hailed on the street or booked via smartphone apps.

Average temperatures during the day in Baku.

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