Trans Eurasia travel

Your virtual guide to Eurasia! Let's travel together!

Baku at night


Once the sun goes down that when the Baku city truly dazzles. Baku is in the midst of a rather extensive and expensive beautification process. While a current visitor to town is likely to see fenced off parks and caravansaries and such as part of the project, the night time lighting will help one forget it. The majority of historical building in the city centre are targeted with upward flood lights. Normally, one might thing something like that a little tacky, if not completely tasteless. But for Baku, it works. Everything from Maiden's Tower to the Old City walls to museums to government buildings all get the electric treatment.

Probably the best way to see most of the better buildings would be to start at Azneft (next to the yacht club). From there it's past the old city and the Presidents office. Hang a left by iconic Philharmonic, on the corner of Istiglal street. Constructed in 1910, and funded by the oil baron Zeynalabdin Tagiyev, it's one of the most unique building in Baku (although it's a copy of a casino in Monte Carlo). Past that is Icherisherhar (formerly BakSoviet) metro station also lit up. Next along is the Baku City hall building. Built 100+ years ago with entirely imported architects, craftsmen and even materials, it could easily fit in with any building in central Europe. Various buildings line the street as you walk further along until you reach Azerbaijan Avenue (one of many streets with the same name). Here is the Ismayilla palace. Built around the same time as the other, the oil baron Nagiyev constructed it as a kind of memorial for his son who died of TB. Nearly destroyed in a 1918 fire, it was rebuilt with all the soviet symbolism including red star and a Azerbaijan CCP name across the top. All this brings you to one of the most photographed buildings in Baku, the Nizami Literature Museum. Adored with 6 statues of some of the most important writer and poets in Azerbaijani history.

There are plenty of other buildings to check out around the city, including Dom Soviet. Baku is a surprisingly safe city to walk around, even at night. But keep in mind that many of the buildings "turn off" fairly early. Some as early as 11 pm. So don't leave your "enlightened" stroll until too late. And for that killer photo overlooking the city, there's no better place than Martyr's Lane.