48 Hours in Baku - Highlight Itinerary for Two Days
Baku, the modern capital of Azerbaijan, has fast become an alluring destination and is on the bucket list of most tourists who just can’t wait to explore the Land of Fire. Azerbaijan was relatively unknown in the landscape of tourism a couple of years before. However, today, the country and its capital enjoy the limelight when it comes to the most romantic locations in Europe.
Baku lies closer to the Inner City and is located at the historic core of the Azerbaijan culture. There is a lot to see and learn about the city with a rich history and culture. It is indeed amazing to see how the city evolved from a small, fortified settlement and how it has become a sprawling modern city today.
It is very easy to reach Baku, and there are advanced train services, international buses, and international flights to the city. Take advantage of several cheap flights to Baku that connect the Heydar Aliyev International Airport to other domestic and international flights and centers. Apart from those, there are regular rail connections with Baku from Russia, Ukraine and Moscow. International buses and taxis connect the city to different places.
If you just have about two days in Baku, go ahead and check out our 48 hours in Baku itinerary here!
Day 1 in Baku – Explore the older side of the city
On day 1 of two days in Baku, take a free walking tour of the Old City, and keep your camera ready as you will pass by several ruins of the thick fortifications and old hammam as you go.
This morning walking tour is the perfect introduction to your 48 hours in Baku and will and will help you understand the city and its culture. You can see and feel the Silk Road and Islamic influence in the culture, food, and traditions of Baku. Keep your eyes open for the varying architectural styles from European-style to the more mundane Soviet ones.
Start from Ichari Shahar and look at the European styles of architecture and historic walled enclosures. The narrow streets are lined with centuries-old mosques and palaces as well as contemporary art galleries.
Enjoy meals at the recommended cafés and restaurants and visit the traditional market stalls for some shopping. Stop at prominent historical buildings like the Maiden Tower, which is a large cylindrical structure that is located opposite to the old town. The 12th-century monument carries a spiral staircase and boasts of a museum within.
Later visit the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, which was the seat of former rulers and is UNESCO-listed today. The complex building of the Shirvanshahs Palace contains the burial-vaults, shah’s mosque with a minaret, and remnants of the bath-house.
As Baku Fortress Wall is a short distance from the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, do include it in your 48 hours in Baku itinerary. The picturesque Baku Fortress contains the Juma Mosque, which is an important place of worship for the city people. The old city walls with its numerous labyrinths have survived to our days and reflect the historical flavors of Baku.
Stop for lunch at a traditional Azerbaijani restaurant, Tendir, which is located in the Old City. Feast on the delicious local dishes seasoned with fresh herbs and spices and look at the photos of prime ministers adorning the walls of the Tendir restaurant.
After lunch, you can rest for some time, and why not get a massage at the Fairmont’s ESPA spa for complete relaxation? Once you have rested and are ready to go, check out Fire Temple that dates back to the early Zoroastrians and creates an eternal flame.
Today, the temple is a symbol of Baku and a historical monument of Azerbaijan. Most tours will take you to both the Fire Temple and the Burning Mountain.
In the evening, head to Baku Boulevard, and here you can enjoy a long stroll alongside the Caspian Sea on the long promenade. Immerse yourself in the beautiful environment and take a ride on the gondolas, when it starts to get dark. Look at those Flame Towers as they light up after dark!
End your first of two days in Baku with dinner is at the Fairmont Gold Lounge and pick from a wide variety of international cuisine. Admire the glorious sunset as you enjoy your drinks before heading back to your hotel.
Day 2 in Baku – Explore the modern side of the city
Keep the next day to see the fastest-changing side of the city that is now bustling with hipster cafes and high-end restaurants. Look at the millennials walking on the streets, dressed in the latest high-end fashion.
With lots of modern tourist attractions around the city, the city is sure to keep you busy and entertained throughout the remainder of your 48 hours in Baku.
Start your morning with a visit to the showroom of a young fashion designer of Baku, Menzer Hajiyeva, and enjoy her innovative breakfast of fresh cheeses and lavash bread. The experience will give you a welcoming introduction to the city and its fashion.
Spend the next day to experience Baku in its modernity. Snap a few photographs of the trio of skyscrapers, The Flame Towers that dominate the western skyline, and is a marvel of modern architecture. Do not miss how the skyscrapers have been designed to resemble flames.
You can’t spend 48 hours in Baku without wandering at least one of the many museums. Visit the Baku Museum of Miniature Books, the National Museum of History, and the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum.
The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum indeed looks delightful as it is shaped like a carpet. Carpet weaving is a part of the everyday life of Azerbaijanis and the most widespread folk art that is alive and thriving. These carpets carry a high historical as well as aesthetic importance and are seen to cover the floors and walls of homes and government buildings as well.
Take a metro that heads to Nariman Narimanov and visit the Heydar Aliyev Centre, which is well famous for its ultramodern architectural style. Heydar Aliyev Center is one of the most famous contemporary buildings of Baku and has been designed by the late Zaha Hadid. Admire the sinuous curves of the pure white structure of the building that creates a sense of open and fluid movement. Look at the flowing curved shapes of the building that are without angles. The building is a symbol of modernity and prosperous future of Baku.
There is a lot more to do in town to fill 48 hours in Baku, and you can stop at the Museum of Modern Art and enjoy a great lunch at the funky Pivnaya Apteka.
After lunch, you can make your way to the waterfront and feel the sun and wind on your face and skin. During the afternoon, visit Heydar Aliyev Park and Heydar Aliyev Palace and snap a few photos. This is where people gather to enjoy quality time outdoors and Soviet-style concerts. Continue towards the Fizuli Park and snap a few photos.
Later, spend some time in the city’s main shopping district, Nizami Street, that stretches for more than three kilometers. Head through Fountain Square and spend some time at the stylish cafés and restaurants that line the pedestrianized streets.
On your final evening in Baku, before or after dinner, you can take a one-hour Caspian Sea Cruise around the bay. This is a perfect way to end your 48 hours in Baku. Sit back and enjoy the cruise and admire the city’s beauty and its modern skyline as well as the light show. There could be no better way to spend the evening in Baku as you take the Sea cruise that lasts for about an hour. Get a different perspective of the sparkling city of Baku and its glowing Flame Towers.
The bottom line is that no matter how you plan your 48 hours in Baku itinerary, it is indeed an exciting city to visit, and you will come back with an extraordinary experience and some lifetime memories. As you take a walking tour in the Old City and walk on those narrow-cobbled streets, it feels like you are transported back in time. A tour of the modern city introduces you to modern times and some fantastic architecture in the city.
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