A beautiful seaside promenade along the Caspian Sea, containing an amusement park, yacht club and historical monuments, and offering boat tours in the Bay of Baku
Standing on the southeast corner of Baku's Old City is the iconic Maiden's Tower – a unique structure shaped like a giant key. Its strong, tall walls, built in the 12th century, have survived the Mongol invasion and endless wars between the Ottoman, Persian and Russian empires.
Palace of the Shirvanshahs
The old Inner City's other major attraction is the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, built by the Shirvan Kings in the 15th century. This huge complex contains not only the main palace but the Divankhana (low courts), a minaret-topped masjid, a mausoleum and a bath house.
Boyuk Gala and Kichik Gala Streets
Two main streets dominate the old Inner City: Boyuk Gala (Major Castle) and Kichik Gala (Minor Castle). Running off these are countless narrow alleyways where it is easy to wander for hours.
Ateshgah (Temple of Fire)
Some of Baku's best attractions are outside the center. One interesting day trip is to Ateshgah (Temple of Fire), located in Surakhany, 12.5 miles northeast of Baku. It was built by Zoroastrian fire worshippers in the 17th century on the ruins of an ancient temple. As well as being a sacred destination for pilgrims from Iran and India, it symbolizes fire – a fitting monument for a city rich in oil and gas.
Yanar Dag (Fire Mountain)
For a demonstration of the power of Baku's gas reserves, visit Yanar Dag (Fire Mountain). Around 17 miles northwest of Baku, this is where natural gas flares up from the earth, reaching up to 10 feet in height. At night, the fiery gas can illuminate to 330 feet away.
Gobustan National Park
History buffs should travel 40 miles south of Baku to Gobustan National Park, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This mountainous area is famous for its petroglyphs and rock engravings dating back tens of thousands of years.
A variety of remarkable museums, including the Azerbaijan State Museum of Art, the Azerbaijan State Museum of History, and the National Carpet Museum.
Beach Parties & Clubs
Beach parties are for those who love blazing nights. Right on the shores of the Caspian sea are several hip clubs, including Club Sea Breeze. More exclusive venues for drinking and dancing include Hezz, Eleven, Pasifico and Chinar. Most of these venues stay open until the early hours.
If you want something quieter but just as stylish, try the Jazz Center, ART Garden, Beluga Restaurant and Bar or Chio Chio San. Here you'll find live music, attentive service and elegant interiors in which to while away the evening.
Expats and tourists tend to crowd into The Shakespeare, Brewery Pub, Finnegans Irish Pub and Adams. They're great places not just to enjoy a pint of beer, but to make new friends and connections. Many of these venues are open throughout the night and are clustered around Fountains Square.
Tea & Coffee
Baku nightlife is not all about late-night drinking and dancing. For tea and coffee lovers, it's worth visiting Kitchenette, Segafredo, Chocolate and Café Caramel. For a more genuine Azeri taste pop into a local "chaykhana" (teahouse) where you will be offered a choice of dozens of kinds of tea blended with herbs and spices. The tea is often served with sweet treats, fruit preserves and sugar. There are teahouses under many buildings in Baku city center.