It's hard to define the must-see places in the city because everyone usually has their different and specific interests which define the "must." Anyway, there are some locations in Baku which had become symbols of the city and which simply can't be missed.
Baku Old CityBaku Old City is the historical inner core of the capital, which is also the oldest part of it. Researchers still argue about its age. It's widely accepted that the city dates back to the 12th century, yet some people claim that some of its oldest buildings date back as far as the 7th century. The Old City of Baku is the first location in Azerbaijan to be named as a part of the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A few years later, after a destructive earthquake, the place is also on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Flame TowersFairmont Baku is a part of the iconic Flame Towers complex - one of the most memorable and beautiful landmarks in the city. The guests of the hotel can enjoy a marvelous view and a full 5-star rated service.
Philharmonic Fountain ParkThe beautiful garden of the Filarmonical hall is one of the must-visits in Baku, especially for people who'd fancy a little quiet and green oasis in the heart of the city. The area is designed and built in a classical baroque style, with a delightful fountain and it's quite neat to the walls of the Old historical City. In some evenings the visitors of the park can enjoy some live classical music by the direct open-air performances from local and foreign world-class classical musicians. Another interesting fact about the park is that it's home for a lot of parrots which fly around freely and bring a colorful and exotic taste to the atmosphere.
Heydar MosqueHeydar Mosque is a spectacular and impressive worshiping place for Muslims, built back between 2012 and 2014 by Ilham Aliyev. Regardless of their personal religious beliefs, every visitor of Azerbaijan would fancy the beauty of the building, which itself consists of four 95 meters high minarets and a 55 meters high central dome. The facade is embellished with some unique stones, and the sides of the domes are precisely decorated with certain passages from the Koran.
Martyrs' LaneMartyrs' Lane, also called the Alley of Martyrs', previously known as the Kirov Park is a memorial cemetery, dedicated to all the people killed by the Soviet Army during a catastropih event, known as the January Massacre. This was a mass murder of civilian population of Baku, which happened in 1990 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union as an attempt to suppress the Azerbaijani independence movement. The place is the final home of another group of victims - those from the Nagorno-Karabakh War, which was an ethnic and territorial conflict between Armenians and Azeris. An estimated number of 15,000 people are buried in the cemetery park. Thousands of people visit the place daily to pay their respect for the fighters for independence and for the innocent victims of the monstrous events.
Maiden TowerThe Maiden Tower is a 12th-century monument, situated in the heart of the Old City of Baku. Since 2001 it is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, also listed as Heritage in danger, after a destructive earthquake which happened in the recent years. The Tower also hosts a Museum, which displays artifacts, representing the history of Baku's Old City during the ages. This is actually a place of numerous myths and unsolved mystery, which has inspired a lot of the Azeris' folk tales and different pieces of art. The main unanswered question is about the character and purpose of the building. One of the most popular legends says that back in Zoroastrian times it was the home of a virgin girl, who saved Baku's people from slavery.
Ateshgah - Fire TempleAteshgah, also known as the Temple of Eternal fire is a unique place - both naturally and historically. In ancient times this was a Holy Place for the Zoroastrians who used to worship fire, and that's why this eternal and indistinguishable fire was remarkably valuable and symbolic for them. But how exactly is that possible? The "eternal fire" is a natural phenomenon, which is actually the burning of natural gas from the earth crust. When the fire comes out on the surface of the earth and meets the oxygen, it lits up. The Temple of Eternal fire consists of a lot of such burning little holes. Anyway, the natural fire stopped burning sometime during the 19th century due to some movement in the Earth surface. Nowadays the Temple is lit by artificial fires which resemble what it once was.
Palace of the ShirvanshahsThe Palace of the Shirvanshahs is one of the architectural treasures in the Old historical City of Baku. This is a 15th-century Medieval residence, which was once built by the Shirvanshahs - the ruler family of the (long gone) state of Shirvan. As a historical monument, the Palace is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and is boldly described as "the pearl" of the country's architecture. The place is open for visitors all around the year, it offers guided tours in different languages and has an entrance fee of about 5$.
Taza Pir MosqueTaza Pir is the name of an old and beautiful mosque in Baku, built between 1904 and 1914. The history of the place begins sometime back in the 14th century when it was a tomb and belonged to the Islamic saint Abu Seyid Abdulla. The building suffered destruction and recreation numerous times until it finally became what it is today in 1914.
Some of its architectural features marked the beginning of an entirely new stage in both the architectural landscape of Baku and the character of the country's religious buildings.