BAD-KUBE, Büşra Nur Tarhan | 20.06.2016
Bad-Kube, which means “The city of winds,” is said to be the definition that has given Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, its name. They say that the city, whose population is mostly made up of Azerbaijani Turks, developed rapidly after the 2000s in achieving its current appeal. Seeing Baku, we can’t overcome the feeling of it being like a European city. The well-kept streets and organized city reminds us of places further west. Baku, however, is a city worth seeing more than many European cities with both its modern and well-kept older buildings, and the fact that it was founded by the sea. It can be more expensive than most European cities as well. This is due to the fact that Baku is an important cultural and financial center famous for its oil and caviar.
You should start your Baku visit with the Old City/İçəri Şəhər district, which is the historical center of the city and is surrounded by city walls. But you must have breakfast first, and your hotel most probably will not be serving a traditional breakfast. For this reason you may want to go to Old Baku to have a nice Azerbaijani breakfast. If you would like to have breakfast in a different venue every day you stay in Baku, these are some of the places you might want to try: Mangal, Qazmaq, Tendir, Qala Divari. After having breakfast in of these venues, you are ready for the tourist trips within the Inner City.
The first of the historical structures worth seeing is the Maiden Tower/Qız Qalası which has become one of the most important symbols of the city. The tower, which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, is 29.5 meters high and was constructed during the 12th century. According to legend, the daughter of the Khan of Baku committed suicide by jumping from the tower because she was betrothed to someone she didn’t wish to marry, a legend which gave the tower its name. Don’t pass up the chance to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city from the top of the tower.
The Palace of the Shirvanshahs, which is also on UNESCO’s World Heritage List alongside the Inner City and the Maiden Tower, is another historical site worth seeing in the city. The palace, which dates back to the 15th century, is within a social complex and is seen as one of the most glorious examples of Asian stone architecture.
Another important place to visit in Baku is Martyrs’ Lane. Even though it is a bit of a distance from the center you can enjoy the trip on foot.
You must also walk around Targovi Square and Seaside Boulevard. For shopping, Nizami Avenue is the place to go (even if you don’t want to shop you should still walk this avenue) or malls such as Port Baku, Genclik Mall, and 28 Mall.
Some great venues that offer Azerbaijani cuisine that you may wish to sample are: Nakhchivan, Nar & Şarab, Sumax, Marivanna (also serves Russian cuisine), Şeki, Sultan Inn.
There are also many museums in Baku, and if you have the time you can visit some of those that interest you. Don’t forget to walk around the beautifully illuminated city in the evenings.