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Baku

Photo © neillkylie

Travel Guide Europe Azerbaijan Baku

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Introduction

Baku, Azerbaijan's capital, and the largest city in the Caucasus, lies on Caspian Sea. During the Soviet era, it was a seaside vacation destination and popular for its spas. The picturesque Old City (icheri shekher), the new boomtown and the Soviet-built town make up Baku. The cobbled streets, narrow alleys and ancient buildings of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Old City are the undoubted highlight for visitors to Baku.

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Sights and Activities

  • The Old City is a must for any visitor to the city.
  • The Palace of the Shirvanshahs is the highlight of the Old City. Location: Old City. Cost: 2 AZN. Open: 10:00am–5:00pm daily.
  • The Maiden's Tower (Guz Qalasi) was built somewhere between the 7th and 12th century AD. It is a mystery what exactly its purpose was. Location: Old City. Cost: 0.5 AZN. Open 10:00am-7:00pm daily.

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Weather

Baku has warm summers and mild winters. Temperatures average around 31 °C from June to September and are still around 10 °C during the December to February winter period. Frost and snow are rare, but rain can fall in every month, though tends to be somewhat higher during October and November.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max6.6 °C6.3 °C9.8 °C16.4 °C22.1 °C27.3 °C30.6 °C29.7 °C25.6 °C19.6 °C13.5 °C9.7 °C
Avg Min2.1 °C2 °C4.2 °C9.4 °C14.9 °C19.7 °C22.2 °C22.9 °C19.4 °C13.6 °C8.8 °C4.8 °C
Rainfall21 mm20 mm21 mm18 mm18 mm8 mm2 mm6 mm15 mm25 mm30 mm26 mm
Rain Days665432122666

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Getting There

By Plane

Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD) is the busiest airport in the Caucasus and is located near Baku. It services flights primarily to destinations in Central Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe. Azerbaijan Airlines, the national airline, has its main hub here. Domestic destinations include Ganja and Nakhchivan City (exclave).

By Train

The only international train connection is the direct train between Baku and the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi. It stops on its route in a number of other places within the country.

By Bus

Buses travel to all major cities and towns in Azerbaijan as well as destinations further away including Tehran, Tblisi and Istanbul. Minibuses and shared taxis also ply the national routes from Baku.

By Boat

Ferries, both cargo and passenger, travel across the Caspian Sea from Baku to Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan and Aqtau in Kazakhstan. Services are erratic though, but the crossing to Turkmenistan is the most popular and reliable. Some ferries go to Russia as well, which is mostly used because as a foreigner, you can't travel overland between the two countries.
Theoretically, ferries also cross the Caspian Sea to Iran, but these are unreliable and infrequent, no schedules exist, they are not comfortable and it's slow. It is adventurous though!

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Caspian HostelAsef zeynalli 29 / 9HOSTEL83
Royal Sea View HostelAbilov street 45, (Near "SOS Child Village") Zig settlement,HOSTEL-
Tamadon Hostelno,32,teymur aliev,GanjlikHOSTEL-
Noah's Ark HotelOld city, Ilyas Efendiyev streetHOTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes in Azerbaijan are called "internet klubs" and they are found throughout Baku. Some coffee houses provide wireless internet, but they are quite rare in Baku. Recently public wi-fi service was implemented the central areas of the capital. Outside Baku, wifi access becomes more difficult but there's a growing number of places offering it.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Azerbaijan is: 994. To make an international call from Azerbaijan, the code is: 00

There are three mobile operators: Azercell, Bakcell, Nar Mobile, Azerfon-Vodafone. Azercell is the largest one. To dial an Azercell number you need to dial (050) or (051) and then the number. Only with Azercell can you talk in the metro(subway) in Baku. Nar Mobile is pretty cheap but doesn't work in some regions. For dialing Nar Mobile numbers you need to dial (070) and then the number. Azerfon-Vodafone is new operator have 3G. For dialing Azerfon-Vodafone numbers you need to dial (077) and then the number. Bakcell is ok. It works almost everywhere and is cheaper that Azercell. To dial a Bakcell number you need to dial (055) and then the number. The numbers have a 3 digit code (different for each operator) + 7 digits number.

Post

Azer Post offers services in the country. They are affordable and fairly reliable, yet not very fast. It takes at least a week to most European countries, but (much) more so further afield. Post offices in the capital are usually open from around 8:00-9:00am to late afternoon weekdays, but keep shorter hours in more rural areas. If you want to send a package overseas, use international companies like TNT, DHL, FedEx or UPS, as they are fast, reliable and fairly affordable as well.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 40.38344
  • Longitude: 49.893226

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This is version 15. Last edited at 9:36 on Feb 18, 15 by Utrecht. 29 articles link to this page.

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