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Baku

Azerbaijan’s capital Baku (or Bakı in Azeri) is the architectural love child of Paris and Dubai…albeit with plenty of Soviet genes floating half-hidden in the background. Few cities in the world are changing as quickly and nowhere else in the Caucasus do East and West blend as seamlessly or as chaotically. At its heart, the Unesco-listed İçəri Şəhər (Old City) lies within an exotically crenellated arc of fortress wall. Around this are gracefully illuminated stone mansions and pedestrianised tree-lined streets filled with exclusive boutiques. The second oil boom, which started around 2006, has turned the city into a crucible of architectural experimentation and some of the finest new buildings are jaw-dropping masterpieces. Meanwhile romantic couples canoodle their way around wooded parks and hold hands on the Caspian-front bulvar (promenade), where greens and opal blues make a mockery of Baku’s desert-ringed location.

Explore Baku

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