Kami is a travel blogger from Poland who has recently visited Azerbaijan and shared her impressions in the article for her blog headlined 50 PICTURES THAT WILL INSPIRE YOU TO VISIT BAKU, AZERBAIJAN. "After visiting Tbilisi, Georgia and Yerevan, Armenia numerous times I finally managed to visit Baku, Azerbaijan too. But unlike other Caucasus capital, I didn’t really know what to expect from visiting Baku. Since I wasn’t 100% sure I will be let into the country (I blame all the Armenian stamps in my passport) I bothered to research only a few major things to do in Baku. I had no Azerbaijan itinerary planned (which is very unusual for me in a new place) and all in all my trip to Azerbaijan was rather spontaneous. All I saw before my trip were a few random Baku pictures. It turned out only for good. Azerbaijan enchanted me and Baku was nothing I expected, it was so much better!" the girl reported.
Baku was first mentioned in the 2nd century and already in the 8th century the city was the capital of the realm of the Shirvanshahs. In 1509 it was incorporated into the Persian state, ruled by the Safavid dynasty.After the Russian-Persian war at the beginning of the 19th century, Baku fell under the Russian rule. In the mid-1800s the oil drilling started in the area, shaping the future of the city. Very quickly Baku and surroundings became the most important oil producers in the world. By the beginning of the 20th century the population of the city grew rapidly, even faster than London’s or New York’s. After being part of the Soviet Union, in 1991 Azerbaijan regained its independence with Baku as the capital city.
I spent only one day in Baku but that was enough to fell under the city’s spell. The capital of Azerbaijan is where the tradition and modern architecture mingle, creating one of a kind place. To achieve this new kind of capital many of the buildings from the Soviet times had to be demolished but the final effect is really impressive. If you are short on time, like I was, there are a few things to see in Baku you can’t miss.
Be sure to visit the walled old town, wander around the narrow streets and maybe get lost in the maze of winding lanes. Once you are in the neighborhood go up to the top of Maiden Tower for some nice views of the old town and beyond. You can see here a very clear contrast between the old part of the city and the modern Flame Towers – the symbol of the new Baku.
There is a really nice part of the city close to the old town, at the Fountains Square and surrounding streets. This area is much more lively than the older part of the city, with numerous restaurants and shops.
From near the old town, you can take the funicular up to near the Flame Towers and see the city from another perspective. Keep in mind the funicular doesn’t work on Mondays, which is exactly when I was there. But even if you have to walk up it’s worth all the effort as the view from up there is really lovely, with the Caspian Sea and the city in front of you. You can also admire Flame Towers from the close.
The Caspian Sea promenade is a perfect place to stroll around, watch the life goes by and see some more examples of modern architecture in Baku, such as Baku Crystal Hall or the Carpet Museum. This area is especially nice in the evening, when it’s busy with people.
Be sure to take the metro (which is really beautiful anyway) to Heydar Aliyev Centre – the real masterpiece of modern architecture, designed by the famous Zaha Hadid. The building is incredible through and through! It is possible to visit it inside too but again, not on Mondays when I was in Baku.
If you still have time there are two spectacular mosques you should visit – Bibi-Heybat Mosque and Heydar Mosque, however they are both a bit outside of the center (although easily reachable by metro).
Baku is one of the most picturesque cities I’ve been to, offering a wide variety of themes. Even if you are an amateur photographer, like me, I’m sure you will find your Baku pictures very rewarding.
Below are some tips for the best Baku photos.