Baku

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Azerbaijan

Baku Reviews

Apurva_N Apurva_N
55 reviews
At the edge of the Silk Route Sep 22, 2013
Baku, or Baki, is 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 Russian 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, 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)...
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wandafromtexas says:
oooooooooh..how I wish I had met up with you when I went there about 3 yrs ago! it was pretty boring on my own,tho I did couchsurf with a nice guy from Turkey...but he was always work.. Thanks ,maybe I'll give it another try! Wanda
Posted on: Sep 22, 2013
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