Baku is the bustling capital of Azerbaijan and the biggest city in the Caucasus. Located on the shores of the Caspian Sea and the edge of the Absheron Peninsula, the city is subdivided into an ancient part: a Soviet-built city and a new area. The city enjoys hot and humid summers and cool winters and is often likened architecturally to Paris and Dubai with a slight Soviet influence. Baku is enjoying rapid change with East meeting West, making it an ideal spot for visitors from all over the world. The Old Town is at the heart of the city and is surrounded by a fortress wall. In the background are prosperous stone mansions and pedestrianised streets lined with trees and brimming with chic boutiques. Over the last 10 years, new tower blocks have sprung up to replace the old Soviet buildings and many of these are stunning to behold. The city is also well off for wooded parks and promenades where visitors can enjoy a stroll. In the Old Town, the Palace of the Shirvan Shahs and Maiden's Tower are must-see places. During the year, visitors can enjoy annual events such as the International Jazz Festival, the International Auto Show and World Food Azerbaijan.
Things to Do
Azerbaijan's capital Baku has enough to do to make visitors want to spend a good amount of time there, with its captivating historic heritage, sights, landmarks and outdoor spaces.
Stroll through the Old Town
The Old Town features a mix of medieval palaces next to modern mansions, compact apartments and high-end hotels. Twisty streets house many quaint restaurants, historic buildings and souvenir shops for visitors to enjoy.
Climb the Maiden Tower
The Maiden Tower dates back to the 12th century and is architecturally simple, but the rooftop outlook is unmissable, including the city's parks and buildings and giving all-round panoramic views.
Explore the Taghiyev History Museum
This museum is close to Fountain Square and houses a large collection of national historic objects. The museum building is a lovely attraction too, with elegantly decorated rooms that hark back to the wealthy residents who lived there in bygone times.
Calendar of Events
Azerbaijan celebrates many festivals during the year, and May is one of the main festival months with religious and national events making up the colourful programme in Baku.
International Jazz Festival. The Azerbaijanis love Jazz and every year in October the International Jazz Festival rings out across the city, with many concerts taking place as groups, bands and musicians join to celebrate jazz.
Azerbaijan International Auto Show. Motor enthusiasts will love this automobile exhibition held every year in May. As Azerbaijan imports many cars, this exhibition attracts much interest with numerous cars, trucks, buses and motorbikes as well as equipment and parts.
International Film Festival. The International Film Festival dates back to 1991 and is an annual Baku event. Film-makers, photographers and writers converge on this festival, which features over 30 international films, animations, music videos, documentaries and screenplays.