Azerbaijan

Top Things to Do in Baku on a Weekend

Azerbaijan’s capital boasts with the mixture of modern and old architecture, making it an exciting city of the region to visit. Baku’s trendy buildings are ideally positioned among its century-old buildings and towers. Dozens of parks scattered across the city offer excellent relaxation time during your walks in the city. For a short weekend trip, the post provides various things to do in Baku.

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The crew

We started our day with an excellent coffee and some dessert at Gloria Jeans Coffee shop near the city center. The coffee shop offers a wide variety of beverages, a perfect place to unwind and enjoy the exploration of Baku’s everyday life. Afterward, we started wandering around the streets of the city and walked around 20 km during the day. After my trip to Asia, maps.me is my favorite offline map showing everything a person desires to visit.

How to get to Baku

Depending on where in the world you are living, it shouldn’t be a problem getting to Baku. Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport serves dozens of airline companies operating to and from Baku to all over the world.

Many travelers who are traveling to Georgia like to add Baku to their itinerary and vice versa. There are daily minibuses, marshrutkas,  going from Tbilisi to Baku from Ortachala Central Bus Station located at D. Gulia str. 1. The marshrutka runs every evening at 5, 6, 6:30, and 7 p.m. The ticket costs 30₾. The journey is a bit long though, around 7- 8 hours.

Things to do in Baku
Old Town

There’s also an overnight Tbilisi to Baku train that leaves in the evening from Tbilisi Railway Station. The train runs every day and departs at 8:35 p.m and you arrive in Baku at 8:50 a.m. according to the official website of Georgian Railway. For more detailed information on this train journey, read Emily’s post – Tbilisi to Baku by overnight train

Top Things to Do in Baku, Azerbaijan

Baku is very, very clean city, with buildings painted or constructed with similar beige color, which makes it look elegant and straightforward. Even though there is heavy traffic in the city, it still feels quiet during the day, while it becomes even more peaceful in the evenings. Very few locals tend to walk in the dark.

Azerbaijan’s capital tries to offer as much as possible to its visitors. However, the cultural and architectural sights are limited. Thus, there are plenty of museums and other landmarks to check out.

Icheri Sheher or Old Town

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One of the first things to do in Baku is to learn about its history. Baku’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and used to be the medieval capital of the Shirvan Shahs. Start with visiting the 12th century Maiden Tower, then continue your way towards the 15th century Palace of Shivan Shahs through narrow streets full of traditional carpet weavers and souvenir shops.

Things to do in baku
Photo Credit: Bahram Jamalov

The Maiden Tower is a museum now and shows the city’s development over the centuries. Each floor represents a milestone in Baku’s history.  From the top of the tower, you can enjoy the view over the Caspian Sea, old town, and the Boulevard.

  • Opening Hours: Everyday from 9 a.m to 6 p.m
  • Entrance Fee: Adults – 10 AZN, Students – 5 AZN, Guided Tour – 20 AZN

The Palace of Shirvan Shahs is a complex consisting of the main building, a small stone pavilion – Divanhane, mosque, tombs, remains of the bathhouse and a mausoleum. The two-story main building presents cultural jewels of the country preserved from the ancient times.

things to do in baku
Photo Credit: Dan Lundberg

Opening Hours: Everyday from 10 a.m to 6 p.m

Entrance Fee: Adults – 10 AZN, Students – 5 AZN

Miniature Literature Museum

Another cool thing to do in Baku is to visit the miniature books museum. It’s one of a kind in the world and represents a private collection of Zaria Salahova. She collected 6,500 books from 65 different countries.

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Tiny books at the museum

The museum was open to the public in 2002 and is free to enter. Together with famous literature masterpieces, the museum holds very rare editions as well. Here, you can find 17th century Quran, a book published in the 13th century by a descendant of Johannes Gutenberg and books so tiny that require a magnifying glass.

Flame Towers

The icon of Baku is its skyscraper trio with a height of 182 meters, making it the tallest building in the country. The towers represent Azerbaijan’s long history of fire worshipers.

things to do in baku
Photo Credit: Tamta Tchotchua

Those buildings have around 130 residential apartments on its 33 floors, a hotel with 250 rooms, and 61 serviced apartments. Additionally, it has offices of various organizations.

The facades of the towers are like screens using more than 10,000 LED lights to lit up after the sun sets. It shows a small display of fire and the national flag of Azerbaijan.

Baku Funicular

Opened in 1960 during the Soviet rule, Baku Funicular is the first and the only one in the country. It takes you from Neftchilar Avenue to Martyr’s Alley. It’s a fantastic spot to have panoramic views of Baku from here. And admire the Flame Towers up close from here.

Martyr’s Alley

One of the top things to do in Baku is to visit the Martyrs’ Alley and the Eternal Flame Memorial. Memorial honor more than 100 Azerbaijan demonstrators shot by Soviet army in the shocking Black January. The area before was a Muslim cemetery from WWI, but in past couple of years it transformed drastically into a Soviet amusement park.

things to do in baku
Photo Credit: Dan Lundberg

Bibi Heybat Mosque

Bibi Heybat Mosque, located a bit far from the historical and central touristic attractions, is an important mosque in Baku. What you see today, is a recreation of old mosque of the same name built by Shirvanshah in the 13th century. In 1936, Bolsheviks completely destroyed the mosque.

Azerbaijani Carpet Museum

Azerbaijan culture is known for its gorgeous carpets, therefore visiting the Carpet Museum would be on your list. Opened in 1967, it also is the world’s first of such museum.

The facade is quite unique. It represents a rolled carpet adorned with traditional motifs. When inside, you’ll learn more about the culture of carpet weaving and its different techniques used at different times. The museum has the biggest collection of Azerbaijani carpets.

  • Opening Hours: Tue-Fri: 10 a.m to 6 p.m; Weekends: 10 a.m to 8 p.m
  • Entrance Fee: Adults – 7AZN, Students – 3 AZN

Mini Venice

things to do in baku
Gondola ride at Mini Venice

The so-called ‘Little Venice’ is an artificial canal connecting several islands with beautiful arches. Gondolas and personal indeed look like the one you see in Venice. A 6-8 minute ride in a gondola is the perfect way to unwind for a bit and enjoy a warm sunlight.

  • Opening Hours: Everyday 10:30 a.m to 11:30 p.m
  • Entrance Fee: Adults – 4 AZN

Nizami Street

things to do in baku

Nizami Street is the most significant pedestrian street featuring different shopping and entertainment venues. Named after a local poet, the street is the main shopping district covering 3.5 km. As you walk along this long street, make sure to look at the architecture. You can find baroque, neo-renaissance, and neo-gothic buildings here.

And once here, don’t forget to check out Fountain Square. The area features several different fountains starting from Nizami Street to the walls of the old city.

Baku Boulevard

things to do in baku
Boulevard

A 3.5km long Baku Boulevard is one of the most popular places for both locals and city visitors. Walk along the promenade and enjoy the views of the Caspian Sea and the Flame Towers. The boulevard is also home to an amusement park, various cafes, bars, Baku Eye (the Ferris Wheel), National Flag Square, and many more interesting places.

Heydar Aliyev Center

This huge building with unique architecture of curved-style is home to a conference hall, a gallery, and a museum. Named after the third president of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, the museum showcases his work and life, along with the history of Azerbaijan.

things to do in baku
Photo Credit: Francisco Anzola
  • Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 11 a.m to 7 p.m
  • Entrance Fee: Adults – 15 AZN

Eat like a local

Azerbaijani cuisine is very similar to Turkish and Iranian. The vegetables and greens are seasonal, and the cuisine is quite meaty. The most famous meal here is a plov – a rice dish with saffron spice and other greens. Dried fruits and walnuts are most common in Azeri meals. Kebabs, shashlik, and lahmajun are also very common, along with other meals of the neighboring countries.

When looking for a place to eat like a local, search for least attractive and posh-looking venue. Those are the places that offer real authenticity of the city and its cuisine, with a friendly staff to help you out in tasting the essential meals of the country.


As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments down below, or connect with me on my social media channels. I will be happy to assist you as much as possible.

Happy Travels! 


Cheap and Free Things to do in Baku

Red Fedora Diary is bilingual quality travel resource that inspires people to get out there and see the world on a budget. The blog provides destination information, authentic travel stories and useful information to help everyone travel the world on a budget. Red Fedora Diary focuses on giving honest advice to its readers.

5 Comments

  • Eric || The Bucket List Project

    I am not going to lie. I know nothing of Baku or any part of Azerbaijan. However, I love learning about new places that are often off the grid to most Americans. I think Darcee would love to explore the Miniature Library and I would love the history museum in the old city tower.
    Love how modern mixes with the old. Definitely going to search out any of that Plov or kebabs when we go.

  • Louree

    Thank you for sharing about this lovely place that I was not familiar with! It looks like a beautiful place and I’m pretty sure I would love the food!!

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