With two days to spend in the Azerbaijani capital, you’ll have time to explore the city’s juxtaposition of old and new, sample some traditional cuisine, and head out into the countryside to find out why Azerbaijan is called the Land of Fire. Here are some suggestions for how to spend two days in Baku.
Day 1: Around Town
Morning: Get oriented this morning with a walking tour of Baku, beginning with a seaside stroll along Baku Boulevard. Tours of the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, often include stops at points of interest such as the Maiden Tower, Palace of the Shirvanshahs, the old city walls, and the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum.
Afternoon: This afternoon, spend some time exploring your particular interests in the city. Relax in a traditional hammam (bathhouse), learn about Azerbaijani wines during a guided tasting at a local winery, or dive into the city’s history with a guided visit to the National History Museum or the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center.
Night: There’s no better time to see Baku’s juxtaposition of old and new than at night, when its ultramodern skyscrapers, such as the Flame Towers, are illuminated. During a night tour, you’ll see the city in a different light while riding on the Baku Eye Ferris wheel or taking the funicular to the top of a hill with the whole city laid out before you.
Day 2: Land of Fire
Morning: A trip to Azerbaijan wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Yanar Dag, the country’s natural “eternal flame,” which has been burning continuously for centuries. Trips to this natural wonder often include a visit to the nearby Zoroastrian Temple of Ateshgah, where you can learn more about this fire-centric religion.
Afternoon: Continue your explorations of the Azerbaijani countryside with an afternoon visit to Gobustan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s home to ancient rock carvings, active mud volcanoes, and a petroglyph museum filled with artifacts from the Mesolithic period.
Night: Back in Baku, treat your tastebuds to an evening of traditional Azerbaijani cuisine. Sample a variety of local dishes, including herbed meats and rice, during a walking food tour of the Old City, or join a local family in their home for a meal cooked by grandma. No matter which option you choose, you’ll discover the multicultural roots of this distinctive cuisine.