Top things to do

Top Choice Palace in Şəki

Xan Sarayı

This ornate 1762 palace building features vivid murals and dazzling coloured light streaming through şəbəkə (stained-glass) windows making it Şəki’s foremost ‘sight’ and one of the South Caucasus’ most iconic buildi…
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 original date of construction is the subject of much debate, thoug…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Şəki

Fazıl Labarynth

Over a dozen close-packed grave sites from the 2nd to 7th centuries BC have been excavated but left exactly as they were found with pots, talismen and the bones of sacrificed animals in situ. One can almost 'feel' t…
Top Choice Architecture in Baku

Heydar Әliyev Cultural Centre

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 Palace in Baku

Palace of the Shirvanshahs

This sandstone palace complex was the seat of northeastern Azerbaijan’s ruling dynasty during the Middle Ages. Mostly 15th century in essence, it was painstakingly (over)restored in 2003 with museum items added sinc…
Top Choice Piazza in Baku

Fountains Square

Endlessly popular with strollers, this leafy piazza forms Central Baku’s natural focus. The fountains for which it is named include one topped by shiny silvered spheres giving fish-eye reflections of the trees and s…
Top Choice Waterfront in Baku

Bulvar

Full of cafes, fountains and fairground rides, the central sweep of seafront park is eternally popular with families, amateur musicians and courting couples. Striking modernist buildings here include the Internation…
Top Choice Fusion in Baku

Mayak 13

If you liked Altay Sadikhzade's cartoon-esque work at MIM, you'll adore his eccentric Mayak 13 cafe designs. Marvelously absurd rope-tied abstracts represent ripped sails and intersperse a gamut of nautical bric-a-b…
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 ever-busy…
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 socio-political commentary. Even the cafe is inspired, set around a repurposed m…