Top things to do in Baku

Top Choice Architecture in Baku

Heydar Aliyev Center

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…
Top Choice Historic Building in Baku

Maiden’s Tower

This tapering 29m stone tower is Baku’s foremost historical icon, with rooftop views surveying Baku Bay and the Old City. Possibly millennia old, its construction date is the subject of much debate, though much of t…
Top Choice Gallery in Baku

Yarat Contemporary Art Centre

Yarat means 'create', a spirit that's in ample evidence in this centre's many thought-provoking installations that don't shy away from sociopolitical commentary. Even the cafe is inspired, set around a repurposed me…
Top Choice Architecture in Baku

Flame Towers

Completed in 2012, this trio of sinuous blue-glass skyscrapers forms contemporary Baku's architectural signature. The three towers range from 28 to 33 storeys – so huge that they're most impressive seen from a consi…
Top Choice French in Baku

Paris Bistro

It's hard to believe you're more than a few metres from the Champs-Élysées in this perfectly pitched French masterpiece. It hits all the right Parisian notes down to the plane trees which curve out from an appealing…
Top Choice Azerbaijani in Baku

Şirvanşah Muzey-Restoran

On an unassuming backstreet, this enticing place started life as a 19th-century bathhouse but is now a veritable ethnographic museum of handicrafts and knick-knacks that's sometimes used as a film set. Reliable Azer…
Top Choice Steak in Baku

Paul’s

It's inconspicuous, comfortably unpretentious and the menu is short. But if you want perfectly cooked, top-quality steak, this German-Austrian yard-garden can't be bettered. Pork shashlik, Bratwurst and Thüringer sa…
Top Choice Bar in Baku

Old School Cafe

Old School is a wonderfully off-beat hang-out for intellectual young Bakuvians. The sign is a typewriter and the interior decked with clocks, cameras and old school chairs – hence the name. Although there are occasi…
Top Choice Wine Bar in Baku

Kefli Local Wine & Snacks

Kefli can take you on a full oenological tour of Azerbaijan with a book-thick menu of bottled vintages organised by grape (or pomegranate) type, and some 20 options available by the glass.
Top Choice Palace in Baku

Palace of the Shirvanshahs

This splendid confection of sandstone walls and domes was the seat of northeastern Azerbaijan’s ruling dynasty during the Middle Ages. Mostly 15th century, it was painstakingly (over)restored in 2003 with artefacts …