Baku – Must-See Sights in Azerbaijan’s Capital
Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is a rapidly evolving city with once rundown alleyways now filled with international restaurants and contemporary cafes. Not to mention all the modern architectural projects popping up, one of the most famous of which is the Flame Towers.
Though the city may be heading towards a more modern vibe, plenty of Baku’s old-world charm still remains. Both new and old attractions are dotted around the city in plenty and we’re here to give you a rundown of some of the most popular ones.
Baku Old City
The famous Old City of Baku is a grand testament to the culture, tradition and history of the nation and its magnificent aura draws in visitors from all over the world. It was the ever UNESCO World Heritage Site declared in Azerbaijan.
Home to the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and the Palace of the Maiden Tower, the Old City definitely lives up to its name in both the city’s design and state. That old-timey atmosphere brings a wonderful charm to the whole place that makes exploring its streets a highly enjoyable experience. Through the palaces, alleyways, souvenir shops, n museums, you can go around on your own, taking in the sights as you find them or, if you prefer a more structured experience, hire a guide for a more efficient adventure.
If seeing the dancing flames isn’t enough, there’s also a teahouse nearby from where you can observe the flames with a warm drink in hand.
Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum
Located at the heart of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum is a popular attraction that houses one of the most extensive carpet and rug collections in the world. The walls of the museum are lined with vibrant tapestries that showcase the weaving techniques and materials used throughout the nation’s s history.
Since 2014, this unique attraction has been conducting its operations out of a renovated home where about 10,000 items are on display, including more than just carpets. The grandest display you can witness at the museum is, undoubtedly, the 600 or so carpet collection from the Shusha Museum of History. This collection comes from a city that was destroyed by Armenian troops in the early 1990s. This is a one-of-a-kind experience that you should definitely give a shot.
Azerbaijan is known as the “Land of Fire”, and if you want to know why, then you definitely need to visit Yanar Dag. While there existed many natural gas flames in the nation’s past, extensive drilling has wiped out most of them. However, Yanar Dag, the Fire Mountain, still burns to this day, attracting visitors like moths to a flame.
The local legends tell tales of a shepherd, who in 1958, accidentally ignited the natural gas vents on the mountain while smoking a cigarette. This created a 10-metre wall of fire that squirmed its way up the hillside.
Built back in 2012, these three towers were inspired by the practice of fire worship that used to take place in ancient Azerbaijan. Despite their relatively young age, the Flame Towers have already become an iconic part of Baku’s cityscape. They sit atop a hill and overlook the Old City centre and Baku Bay.
Take a trip to these towers during the day and you’ll find some impressive blue-tinted reflective constructions but visiting them once the sun has set and you’ll find a truly sensational sight, the towers’ surface donned in the colours of fire, water or the national flag by over 10,000 LED lights. The inside of these towers consists mostly of residences and offices though the famous Fairmont Baku Hotel is also stationed here.