Exterior of Heydar Aliyev center (designed by Zaha Hadid) at night.

©Ana Flašker/Alamy Stock Photo

Heydar Aliyev Center

Top choice in Baku

Vast and jaw-droppingly original, this Zaha Hadid building is a majestic statement of fluid 21st-century architecture forming abstract waves and peaks that seem to melt together. The real delight is simply pondering and photographing the extraordinary exterior from ever-changing angles. The interior is impressive, too, and hosts concerts and several exhibition spaces. Arguably the best part of the permanent collection is 'Treasures of Azerbaijan', which walks you through the nation's cultural highlights.

Buses 1 and 2 stop near the building's southeastern flank, bus 5 passes a block to the north of the main entrance, near its western corner.

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