Antiquity, futurism and adventure: points of attraction of Azerbaijan

Antiquity, futurism and adventure: points of attraction of Azerbaijan

Antiquity, futurism and adventure: points of attraction of Azerbaijan Alisa Kurbanova

    Antiquity, futurism and adventure: points of attraction of Azerbaijan

    Whatever you want from travel: educational excursions, shopping, adventures, luxury holidays – you will find it here.

    Azerbaijan is at the crossroads of Eastern and Western cultures. Whatever you want from travel – educational excursions, adventures, luxury holidays – you will find it here. Curious “Subtleties” heard that Baku, colorful in an oriental way and modern in a western way, will satisfy any tourist requests. We decided to personally explore the Azerbaijani capital and its environs to make sure of this.

    What to see

    It is worth starting to explore Baku from the Old City, or Icheri Sheher, an ancient quarter surrounded by a fortress wall. It was here that the future capital of Azerbaijan was born. Mosques, caravanserais, hammams, stone houses – local beauties fascinate. And yet, in this exotic Russian tourist will catch vaguely familiar features, because on the streets of Icheri-Sheher once fell, breaking his arm, Semyon Semenych Gorbunkov, and Kesha furiously shouted: “Shiort, beat it!”. In addition to the “Diamond Arm”, “Don't be afraid, I'm with you!”, “Amphibian Man” and other cult Soviet films were filmed in the Old City.

    When visiting Icheri Sheher, one cannot ignore the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, where the ancient rulers of Shirvan once lived, and the Maiden Tower, the history of which is associated with dark but beautiful legends. You should also definitely visit Ali Shamsi, an Azerbaijani artist. You can study the exterior and paintings of his studio for hours, as well as communicate with Ali himself, an incredibly interesting and sincere person.1/1

    Another point of attraction in Baku is the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, designed by the famous Zaha Hadid. Here you will be introduced to the life history and political path of the cult president of the country. Among other expositions of the center, “Masterpieces of Azerbaijan” are especially interesting, where cultural and historical heritage sites are presented. Some exhibits involve interactive interaction: for example, traditional instruments can be not only seen, but also heard.

    The mini-Azerbaijan hall displays models of the most famous sights of the country. The exposition of dolls is also worth attention, many of which, by the way, are created by Russian masters.1/1

    Where to go

    After seeing the main sights of Baku in 2-3 days, you can go explore the surroundings. Gobustan, located 65 km from the capital, is a real open-air reserve. It is famous for its rock paintings created during the Mesolithic period and revealing the features of the life and culture of ancient people. Some of the discovered 6,000 drawings can be seen directly in the reserve, but most are available for study in the museum. Here you will also find out what the ancient inhabitants of these places looked like and what items they used to survive and ensure minimal comfort.

    An equally impressive place is Yanardag, an ever-flaming hill. This natural fire has been burning since antiquity and is not going to go out. Flames erupt relentlessly due to an underground natural gas leak that cannot be extinguished with water. Yanardag looks especially impressive before sunset. For those who want to properly enjoy the spectacle, there is an amphitheater with comfortable seats. 1/1

    In Azerbaijan, you will find not only unusual sights, but also unexpected meetings: visiting ancient Shamakhi, look at the alpaca farm of the original inhabitants of the Andes. In the Azerbaijani valley, they live no worse than in the South American mountains: animals roam freely around the territory and casually chew grass. By the way, alpacas have three sections of the stomach, so they chew constantly. Animals willingly allow themselves to be stroked, but remember that females are less friendly than males: they may spit.

    Where to rest

    Every year the number of hotels of high “star” is growing in Azerbaijan. Bilgah Beach Hotel (off. site) is located near Baku, on the first coastline of the Caspian Sea. It offers all the pleasures of a five-star hotel: rooms with sea views, an aqua park, swimming pools, a large private beach, 7 catering establishments and spa treatments. By the way, the territory of the hotel is ideal for holding festive photo shoots: a magnificent view opens from any place.1/1

    An equally worthy option is Sea Breeze Resort (off. site), which can be reached from Baku in half an hour. This is an autonomous complex, where there is everything you need, and not only for relaxation: convenience stores, a medical center, a kindergarten, a delivery service, etc. The local Anti-Aging Center deserves special attention: both medical and spa procedures are available here. using the most modern equipment.1/1

    The advantage of Intercontinental Baku (off. site) is its location: it is close to attractions such as the Maiden Tower, Fountain Square and the Museum of Azerbaijani Literature. It offers a spa, swimming pool, tennis court, etc. A 15-minute walk is the embankment, where it is so nice to take a walk in the evening.

    Where to eat

    Azerbaijani cuisine is a separate art form. It is unlikely that you will have enough 10 days of rest to try everything, but at least it is worth trying. We offer a selection of establishments of different price categories, where national dishes are amazingly prepared.

    Qala divari is located in the Old City, so a magnificent view from the window is guaranteed. A place where it is nice to have a bite, hiding from the heat, and have a hearty dinner. Specialties are dushbara (soup with small dumplings) and saj.

    Menu and interior Pendir & Chorek is immersed in an oriental atmosphere, guests are entertained by live music. This open-air restaurant is ideal for dining with friends.

    Abqora is located in the village of Meysari, famous for its vineyards. Here you can try the entire Meysari wine list and choose your favorite.1/1

    La Quzu is another pearl of the Old City, delighting with national dishes, and author's cuisine, and unique oriental sweets.

    Traditional Azerbaijani cuisine is famous primarily for meat dishes, but local chefs also do an excellent job with fish. Proof of this is Derya Fish, which serves excellent grilled fish.

    Restaurant Mugam club is located in the building of the caravanserai of the 12th century, protected by UNESCO. Unforgettable interior, live folk music, great food, attentive waiters – and all this at very reasonable prices.

    In the restaurant-museum Shirvanshah, visitors seem to be transported to centuries-old Baku: national costumes, works of art and household items are exhibited here. But no pathos: a meal in such conditions becomes not too solemn, but, on the contrary, very sincere.

    What to bring

    After buying souvenirs in the Old City, don't forget to visit Yashyl ​​Bazaar, where the head is spinning from fruit and vegetable variety and spicy aromas of spices. The sellers here are smiling and playful, you can and should bargain. The minimum program is loose Azerbaijani tea, a set of spices and, of course, ripe pomegranates.

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