Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan, and is twinned with the European cities of Naples in Italy, Sarajevo in Bosnia and Izmir in Turkey. Baku is famous for its unique soviet-era floating island located in the middle of the Caspian Sea, which is the oldest offshore oil city in the world.
The city is considered the perfect blend of the historic and the contemporary. Be sure to visit the UNESCO-protected medieval walled Old City, which is home to the vast Royal Complex, the Palace of Shirvanshahs as well as the iconic stone Maiden Tower. If a modern atmosphere is more your scene, the city also hosts a multitude of vibrant arts and cultural activities. The Baku Museum of Modern Art and Azerbaijan State Museum of History are the two largest collections of modern art and history in the country. There is also a wide range of theatres in the city showcasing a range of talents, including an opera and ballet theatre, drama theatre and a theatre of musical comedy, to name a few. You will also find contemporary landmarks such as the Flame Towers (3 skyscrapers covered with LED screens), Crystall Hall arena and the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, designed by Dame Zaha Hadid – the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport is located around 20 kilometres north-east of Baku city. The Baku airport is served by a few major airlines such as Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL), Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways, as well as few smaller airlines. A bus service connects the airport and the city with stops at Koroglu metro station and 28 May metro station, it runs every 30 minutes between 6am and 10pm and every 60 minutes during night time. Tickets must be purchased before getting inside the bus from ticket machines located at the exit of the airport terminal.
Old City Baku
The Old City is the historical centre of Baku. It is the most ancient part of Baku, dating back as far as the 7th century, the Inner City is surrounded by walls which are still standing today. While wandering throughout the Old City, you will find medieval monuments such as the Maiden Tower, the Multani Caravanseri and the Gasim bey Bath.
The Fire Temple of Ateshgah
The Baku Ateshgah, also known as the "Fire Temple of Baku" is a religious temple which was used as a Hindu and Zoroastrian place of worship. The fire temple of Ateshgah was a philosophical pilgrimage landmark for Zoroastrians.
The Flame Towers are inspired by Baku’s history of fire worship. They consist of three flame-shaped towers, one of which is considered the tallest skyscraper in the country which stands at 182 m (597 ft). The flame towers are completely covered with LED screens that display the movement of a fire visible from the farthest points of the city.
Gobustan National Park
This National Park is officially known as Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape. The site features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials dating back from the Ice Age and Upper Palaeolithic era. The area is also home to ancient carvings, relics and mud volcanoes.
Palace of the Shirvanshahs
The Palace of the Shirvanshahs is a 15th-century palace described by the UNESCO as "one of the pearls of Azerbaijan's architecture". The large complex contains the main building of the palace, the burial vaults, the Shah's mosque, a mausoleum, a reservoir and the remnants of a bath house.
Another key aspect of Azerbaijani culture is food! Traditional cuisine is a delicious fusion of Middle Eastern and Eastern European flavours, and national favourites such as plov, dolma, baliq and bastirma are important parts of Azerbaijani culture, deeply rooted in the history and traditions of the country.
Temperatures in Baku during June are hot, with the average daily temperatures around 28°C, so we would recommend bringing plenty of sun protection with you, as the majority of the circuit is uncovered. Due to its location on the Caspian Sea, Baku is renowned for its harsh winds, which is shown in its nickname 'The City of Winds'.
Although June is a dry month in Baku, there is always a small chance of rainfall, therefore we recommend to bring waterproof clothing to ensure you are adequately prepared!
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