Cheap Flights to Baku
- Area City : 3.125km² (1.207 sq mi)
- Area Codes : +994 12
- Currency : Azerbaijani New Manat (AZN)
- Population City : 3,202,300 (2012)
- Official Language : Azerbaijani or Azeri
- Time Zone : AZT (UTC+4)
- Airport : Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD)
‘GYD’ is one of six international airports that serve the country. It’s located 20km from the capital Baku and linked by two highways. Travellers can travel by bus, hired vehicle or taxi to reach the city.
The ‘Express Buses’ operate 24 hours every half hour with bus stops in front of Terminals 1 and 2 exits. A ‘BakiKART’ smart card or ‘one-time’ travel ticket can be purchased from ticket machines in both terminals. Buses are comfortable with air-conditioning and enough space for luggage and take 30 minutes to the last stop. Car rentals available at ‘GYD’ are ‘Aznur’ and ‘Hertz’. Taxis are metered, spacious, clean and with well-trained drivers. The rank is located at the exits of Terminals 1 and 2. Only take licensed taxis belonging to ‘Baku Taxi’ company. Payment can be made in cash or with your credit card.
From Cape Town International Airport, travellers can fly with one plus stops to Baku with the following airlines:
- Emirates, Azerbaijan (via Dubai) 13h 50m+
- British, Qatar (via Johannesburg, Doha) 15h 30m+
- South African Airways (via Johannesburg) 15h 45m+
- Turkish (via Istanbul) 16h 50m+
Additional airlines touching down at ‘GYD’ include:
- Air Cairo
- air astana
- Iraqi airways
- Wizz Air
Reasons to Visit Baku:
- Capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, Baku is located on the western shores of the Caspian Sea and lies 28m below sea level making it the lowest lying national capital on the globe. The city is the industrial, scientific and cultural hub of the country and in the top ten world destinations for inner-city nightlife. The city’s name ‘Baku’ stems from the Persian name ‘Bād-kube’ meaning ‘wind-pounded city’ and is nicknamed ‘City of Winds’. ‘Shirvanshah’s Palace’, the ‘Maiden Tower’ and the ‘Inner City of Baku’ were listed as ‘UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ in 2000. Signs of human settlement go back to the Stone Age and from the Bronze Age, rock carvings were discovered close to Bayil. Archaeological excavations have exposed numerous prehistoric settlements, statues, temples and other remnants including Roman inscriptions on a rock from 84 to 96 AD, one of the earliest written evidences of the city.
- Baku is an ancient city with castles, palaces, parks, gardens, some spectacularly designed modern skyscrapers, shopping malls, state theatres, museums, world renowned hotel chains and more.
- The city has eateries offering delicious local dishes, seafood, steak, sushi, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Indian cuisines. For an evening of fine dining in elegant surroundings located at 674 Azadlig Square ‘OroNero Bar & Ristorante Restaurant’ serves Italian, European and seafood dishes. For Azerbaijani and vegetarian dishes ‘Sumakh Restaurant’ in Khojali Avenue has a warm cosy atmosphere. For great inexpensive meals, located at 5 Pushkin Street ‘Anadolu’ offers fast food, European and Turkish meals. ‘Araz Café’ at 1 Islam Seferli set in lush surroundings is a bar, café and dishes up Eastern European meals. Highly rated at 8 M.RNsulzadN kuc ‘Dolma Restaurant’ offers local, Eastern European and Italian meals with excellent service and good value for money. For nights out there are lively bars, pubs and nightclubs that go on until dawn.
- Accommodation comprises hotels, plenty of B&Bs and Inns, Holiday Rentals, Speciality Lodgings and hostels that include ‘Baku Old City Hostel’, ‘Caspian Hostel’ and others.
When to Visit Baku:
Because of Baku’s proximity to the Caspian Sea, there’s always a sea breeze. Summers are hot and humid reaching temperatures of between 34 and 37°C. October is pleasant with warm days and crisp nights and for mountain trekking July is idea.
Places to Visit:
- The ‘Palace of the Shirvanshahs’ built during the 16th century is described by ‘UNESCO’ as ‘one of the pearls of Azerbaijan’s architecture’ and located in Baku’s ‘Old City’ as is ‘Haji Gayib’s’ bathhouse and the 12th century ‘Maiden Tower’ monument with its height of 29.5m.
- The popular attraction ‘Yanar Dag’ is a continuously burning fire that was witnessed by Marco Polo.
- The public ‘Fountains Square’ is a favourite for meandering and people watching.
- The ‘Central Botanical Garden’ is ideal for pure tranquillity from the city noise.
- ‘Sabayil Castle’ with tales and legends and also referred to the ‘Atlantis of the Caspian Sea’ is situated 350m from shore and under water. The small ‘Zorge Park’s’ main attraction is a monument with enormous eyes.
- The small town of ‘Little Venice’ was built in 1960 and in 2012 expanded to 10,000m². It has a number of small islands and two large ones connected by decorative stone bridges. Most pleasant is taking a gondola along the channels with lovely clean water and stopping for a local tasty meal at one of numerous restaurants on the islands.
- The ‘National Art Museum of Azerbaijan’ is the largest in the country founded in 1936. ‘Nizami Museum of Azerbaijani Literature’ opened in 1850 and was established in 1939. Other museums include the ‘Baku Museum of Modern Art’, ‘Baku Museum of Miniature Books’, ‘National Museum of History of Azerbaijani’, ‘Azerbaijan Carpet Museum’, the ‘Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’ that covers Azerbaijan history from the Stone Age until the late Middle Ages, the ‘Museum Centre’, the H.Z. Taghiyev History Museum’
- For a day on the beach, ‘Aqua Park Shikhov’ located in Shikhov is one of the city’s most popular beach resorts.
- The historical ‘Bibi-Heybat Mosque’ is a recreation of a mosque built in the 13th century and there’s also the ‘Taza Pir Mosque’.
- ‘Baku Zoo’ is the country’s oldest zoo that opened in 1928 with over 1,000 animals and more than 160 species.
‘BakiKart’, a prepaid card system was started in 2015 that offers a plastic card that can be reused and a throwaway paper one consisting of four rides. They can be purchased at specific bus stops and metro stations for use on the Metro and new buses.
The Metro links the ‘Old City’ and a number of suburban stations, some with bus connections to reach other towns.
Most taxis waiting on streets are not metered but the London-style cabs are with reasonable kilometre tariffs.
Visitors can hire vehicles in the city from ‘Avis’, ‘Aznur’, ‘RentExpress Rent a Car Baku’ and others.