A quirky getaway from the UAE.
Baku has been a sudden wanderlust trip that morphed into a ‘why have I not done this before’ emotion.
From the skies, Baku looks like a sleepy city. However, touch down and you are swirled in to the bustle.
I highly recommend to pick a hotel close to the city or the city center, perhaps near Nizam Street, that many tourist sights are at a walking distance and is also easier to explore the city with just casual strolls. Temperatures low as 5 degree Celsius in early December, wrap yourself up and start exploring.
The iconic Flame Towers are a sure shot yes on the tourist check-list. Click a few postcard shots here and then head to one of the towers which is a Fairmont hotel. You can warm your hands to a nice cuppa on their third floor cafe with some good views. In the same vicinity of the Flame Towers, have a stroll through the Martyr’s Lane and at the end of the way you have a massive monument with an eternal flame and gorgeous views of Baku and the Caspian Sea.
My favourite reason for walking around the city is their Baklava stores. Freshly made and displayed for your picking, this is something I could not resist. Drop by any store, buy a few to munch on while you walk. When done, pop into another store to try a few more new flavours!
Baku has a few familiar flavours that I have picked up during my visit to Yeravan. Though politically not the best of friends, these two countries share a border and some interesting drinks. Their talent in making me fall for their pomegranate wine is phenomenal. This particular wine is a bit sour in Baku than in Yeravan- but I love both (souvenir alert!).
As you walk through Baku, you will notice that there are cozy little restaurants at the basement level from the street. These are the places you would want to go to try out some captivating flavours. One place that beats this norm is Şirvanşahlar Müze Restoran. This is a must go to place which has all of Azerbaijan experience wrapped into one evening. This centuries old hammam has been turned into a rustic restaurant with many rooms and floors that engages its guests with traditional entertainment of musicians and dancers while you dine to authentic dishes. Ninja Tip: Make an advance booking for the top floor where the dancers are performing.
Another spot to mark off your list to experience the culture of the place is the Old City Wall. There are stalls and street performances behind these walls that showoff Baku from a few decades ago. Handicraft stalls and traditional food made in authentic style decorate the bygone architecture of the entire area.
This accessible destination from UAE is definitely an experience to have if you are looking for a quick change in scene and a short holiday with no holes in the pocket. Baku you have been lovely! Thank you.