The world is full of surprises, and the Old City of Baku has its fair share. This ancient city in Azerbaijan brings the old world and new world together in several unexpected ways. If you are looking for a new place to visit on your next holiday, why not try Azerbaijan and our Baku packages.
These are some of the surprises you might see when you wander the streets of the Old City:
Palace of the Shirvanshahs
The Old City is filled with religious landmarks that will take your breath away. The Palace of the Shirvanshahs is one of them. This palace was the home of the ruling family in the Middle Ages, and it was a mosque. The palace has been restored and the main building has become a museum. Wander the gardens, take time to look at the inscriptions and stonework details, and imagine what life was like over 1000 years ago.
The Palace of the Shirvanshahs is the largest of the landmarks, but there are several others to see. The Maiden Tower will take you back to the mysterious days of the Zoroastrians. You can learn about the Dervish sect at the Takyeh that was built in the 1200s. And, the Muhammad Mosque with its ornate 1000-year-old stonework is inspirational.
The Back Alleys
If you enjoy wandering, the back alleys of the Old City offer unique sights. Private homes, shops, and parks are hidden in these winding walkways. When you wander the back alleys, you’ll get to wander through steep streets, up and down staircases, and past wrought iron gates and lamps. Stop in local shops, inhale the variety of smells, and touch the sandy walls. These back alleys bring the old days of Azerbaijani to life.
The Old City is loaded with shops that tantalize the senses. The colours, smells, textures, and flavours offered in these shops will make you want to buy everything within the walls. You could buy sweet pakhlava or colourful flat-weave rugs. Bring home tea, hats, or antiques. The Old City souvenir shops also feature memorabilia from Armenia, Georgia, and the old Soviet Union. If you stop at the right shops, you can see some of the classic Baku souvenirs like carpets and pakhlava being made.
Baku has several museums in the Old City. One of them is an oddity called The Museum of Miniature Books. And, it is home to just that, tiny books about big topics like dictionaries, Shakespeare plays, and the Quran. The museum is home to over 5000 miniature books. It is free to enter, but donations are accepted.
Other museums in the Old City are inside of houses. These are museums in famous Azerbaijani homes. There are a few in the Old City and they are within walking distance of each other. You can learn how people live in the Old City, and most have small entrance fees.