ADD TO LISTBaki (also known as Baku) is Azerbaijan's capital, it's largest city and the largest port. It is also one of the oldest cities in the east, yet one of the most cosmopolitan. Various locations, including the Walled City of Baku, Shirvansha's Palace and the Maiden Tower are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Baki is divided into İçəri Şəhər (the ancient city), the Soviet built city, and the newest part of the city.
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Can anyone recomend a nice cheap hotel in Baku? Thanks a lot!
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Travel Tips from people who've been to Baki
Baku, or Baki, is perhaps among the fastest changing cities ... just as Azerbaijan is among the fastest growing economies ... thanks to the oil industry that has suddenly boomed there... and this kind of both adds to and subtracts from the charm of this quaint, relatively less-explored, former Russian region on the Caspian... the city has loads to offer and Azeri life is an entreating mix of Russain and Iranian influences... Baku is also one of the last frontiers on the Silk Route before Europe... to get a feel of this go to the Karavan Sarai restaurant... not just for a good (though somewhat touristy) meal over live Azeri music, housed in an amazing place that used to be a stop for travellers on the Silk Route of old, but also just to see the place ... ask one of the waiters to show you around the many caverns and rooms of the Karavan Sarai... places to tie up camels, horse stables, reception rooms, the royal room and so on... then go to the Caravan Jazz Club just a couple of streets ahead...good local bands play there though it can be a little empty at times...must-see sights include the nearby Maiden Tower (do climb to the top for superb views of Baku), the Carpet Street (full of traditional carpet sellers who will, no matter what you do, manage to get you into their shops for a look around...no harm in that either), and the Shah's Palace (befriend a local to show you around)...for a more modern taste of Baku, head to the Fountain Square full of lively streets, shops, restaurants and fountains of course... there, don't miss the impressive literary museum, the Nizami Museum (was under renovation last year), named after Azerbaijan's most famous poet, Nizam Ganjavi (his huge statue is in the gardens in front of the museum and, at the back of the museum building, there is a lovely bookshop to browse through)...the streets leading out of Fountain Square have several historical sights too and tons of shops... walk around... but the best place to walk in Baku is along its lively sea-front....very central and full of people and stalls... sit there at one of the sea-side eateries for a pint of Azeri beer...for aerial views of Baku, you can take a funicular (nearby too, just ask) meant for the purpose but this too was not working last year, so we took the stairs instead ... several flights of stairs in the open that afford you spectacular views of Baku at each level ... and once you have seen enough of Baku, take a cab (or share one with co-travellers) to the Astegah or Fire Temple of the ancient Farsis located somewhat outside the town (well worth the trip...the fire still burns there, and you will recognise associations with India if you have seen any Parsi culture in Mumbai)... for accommodation, Baku has good high-end hotels (catering largely to oil businessman flooding into Baku now) but limited (and rather grubby) mid-range and budget stuff, so if you are not averse to the idea, try the very first hostel to open in Baku called the 1000 Camels... it has two parts...one a bit cramped but very centrally located, in the lane right next to the Meridian Hotel, opposite Baku's sea-side, and the other in Vesteels, slightly more spacious but a few metros away...but the small size and basic facilities of the hostel are more than made up by its exceptionally helpful and friendly owners, Samir, his wife Aida, and Qurban and their staff... they were amazing... not only did they help out in myriad ways on stay, transport and sights ... but they played interpretor for me to get coach tickets to Iran and even dropped me to the right coach station ... beware, if you are going to Iran on the coach... there are two coach stations and buses operate on specified days of the week from the two ... they are both called Iran Garage (they look like garages too with no signposts or anything) so make sure you go to the right one...but before you go to Iran (or to neighbouring Georgia as many do)... do take in Baku ... its an interesting city with good sights and a different feel (its got a bit of nightlife too in the form of lounges and clubs, and the jazz club I mentioned of course)... the metro is easy to navigate, cabs are plenty and many nationalities can get a visa at the airport on arrival ...
Great mix of 19th century "Paris of the Caspian" and Arabic architecture surrounded by some of the worst soviet arichture I've seen. The center of town and the old silk road city is not to be missed. Unbelievable culture and food can be found here. The quay is nice but you can smell the oil from the off-shore rigs. Mostly a muslim country but very liberal. Sultan Inn is a great place to stay. Also, check out the vision for the future of this fast-growing oil-rich city:
In the old part of the cuty, there is an ancient "caravanseray": a place where travelers of the 14th century used to get rest and food for them and their camels. You can still have a feeling of the ambiance. Food is extraordinary. It's worth booking one of the small rooms for a group a 10-15 persons.
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