Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, located on the western coast of the Caspian Sea. The city is an important cultural, political, and economic centre in Azerbaijan. A visit to Baku is a journey back in time. The city is home to beautiful old mosques, churches, and palaces. It also boasts some of the best shopping, from traditional bazaars to modern malls. We list the ten best things to do in Baku to discover its rich history, diverse architecture, and vibrant cultural scene.
Things To Do In Baku – Top 10
Explore the Old City (Icheri Sheher)
This historic walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to many ancient buildings and monuments. Stroll through the narrow alleys and admire the architecture, visit the museums, and enjoy the views of the Caspian Sea. The Old City is a maze of narrow streets and alleys, lined with ancient buildings and monuments, including the Maiden Tower, the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, and the Juma Mosque. Visiting the Old City is among the top things to do in Baku to imbibe the city’s history.
Location: 9R8M+GX4, Baku 1000, Azerbaijan
Breathtaking Flame Towers
The Flame Towers, 620 ft tall, are a group of three iconic skyscrapers symbolic of modern Baku. It is one of the best things to see in Baku. The tower’s LED screens display a spectacular flame effect at night. You can get a great view of the towers from several different spots across the city, but the best is from Baku Boulevard. Visitors can also take an elevator to the observation deck of the Flame Towers for a spectacular view of Baku. Alternatively, the Flame Towers also have a restaurant and bar, offering a unique experience.
Location: 9R5G+QJV, Bakı, Azerbaijan
Wander around Baku Boulevard
This seaside promenade is a popular attraction for locals and visitors to relax and enjoy the sea views. Stroll along the boardwalk, rent a bike or a scooter, or enjoy picnicking in one of the parks. Catch a bite at the numerous restaurants and bars, such as MAYAK Restaurant’s seaside terrace offering international cuisine. Or enjoy the many entertainment venues for fun with live music. You can also take a boat ride to explore the coast or join one of the many beach activities. Plus, enjoy the stunning views of the Caspian Sea.
Location: 92 Neftchiler Avenue, Baku, Azerbaijan
Admire the Heydar Aliyev Center
This futuristic building includes a museum, exhibition halls, and a concert hall. It is worth visiting to see the architecture and numerous interesting exhibits on Azerbaijani culture and history. It is a cultural centre designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid. The centre is a unique example of modern architecture and stands out in the city skyline. This iconic building in Azerbaijan is an architectural masterpiece featuring a unique curved structure that blends seamlessly into the surrounding landscape.
Location: 1 Heydar Aliyev Avenue, Baku 1033
Relish Azerbaijani Cuisine
Azerbaijani cuisine features Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Mediterranean flavours. Savour some of the local specialities, such as plov (rice pilaf with meat and vegetables), dolma (stuffed vegetables), and kebab (grilled meat). There are many restaurants in Baku where you can try Azerbaijani food, but for an authentic experience, visit one of the local markets and try some street food. It is often cheaper and more flavourful than restaurant food, and you can get a true sense of the local culture. Be sure to try some of the local drinks, such as mulberry or cherry juice, as well.
Top Restaurants To Try: Malacannes | White City Restaurant & Bar | Pasifico Lounge & Dining | Dining on Nizami Street and more
Visit the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum
The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum (Azərbaycan Xalça Muzeyi) dedicates itself to Azerbaijani carpets and carpet weaving. The museum collection includes more than 14,000 exhibits, including Azerbaijani carpets, embroidery, national clothes, jewellery, and other items related to Azerbaijani culture and history. The building is also noteworthy, designed as a rolled-up carpet. The modern building was opened in 2014, replacing the original building, built in 1967. Among the best things to do in Azerbaijan is to learn about the art of carpet weaving here.
Location: Mikayil Useynov, 28 The Seaside Boulevard, Baku 1001 Azerbaijan.
Don’t Miss The Palace of the Shirvanshahs
The Palace of the Shirvanshahs is a UNESCO Heritage Site in the Old City of Baku, Azerbaijan. It was built in the 15th century by the Shirvanshahs dynasty, who ruled over the region. The complex includes a 52-room Dwelling house, Divan Khana, Seyid Yahya Bakuvi Tomb, ruins of Key Gubad Mosque, Palace bath, the Eastern Portal and more. It is an example of medieval Islamic architecture in the region featuring intricate stonework, ornate carvings, and colourful tile mosaics. It is a testament to Azerbaijan’s rich cultural heritage. Visiting here is among the popular things to do in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Location: Zamkovskaya Side-street, 76 Icherisheher, Baku 1000 Azerbaijan.
Discover the Maiden Tower
Climbing eight floors of the iconic Maiden Tower is among the top crazy things to do in Baku. It is also known as Giz Galasi, a historic tower in the Old City of Baku. Enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding area from the top of the Maiden Tower. It offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the city skyline and the surrounding mountains from the top. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and preservation efforts are ongoing to ensure it remains intact for future generations. Visitors can explore the tower’s interior, which houses a museum showcasing the history and culture of Azerbaijan. The museum features exhibits on the tower’s construction and artefacts from the ancient city of Baku.
Location: Old City, Baku, Azerbaijan
Watch the ‘Burning Mountain’
Yanar Dag known as the “Burning Mountain,” is a natural gas fire on the Absheron Peninsula. The flames from Yanar Dag jet out from a thin, porous sandstone layer and have been burning continuously for several decades, if not centuries. The natural gas is believed to have been ignited by a shepherd’s cigarette many years ago and has been burning ever since. The flames can reach up to three meters in height and be seen from miles away, making it a popular tourist attraction in the area. The site also has religious significance and is a place of pilgrimage for Zoroastrians, who consider fire a symbol of their faith.
Location: Absheron Peninsula, Azerbaijan
Family Time at Highland Park
Adding Highland Park to the itinerary is among the best things to do in Baku with family. The park is an excellent spot to enjoy the city’s sights and sounds. There are also plenty of activities for kids, such as a petting zoo, playgrounds, and a mini golf course. It is a great way to spend a day and make lasting memories with the family. The park also offers numerous activities – horseback riding, boating, and walking trails. It covers an area of over 50 acres and offers lush green spaces, walking trails, and stunning views of the Caspian Sea. It is a perfect spot for a picnic or a peaceful stroll, known as ‘Viewing Square’.
Location: 9R5H+4G3, Baku, Azerbaijan