Baku City Panorama Market - Baku, Azerbaijan

Essential Baku

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

The following is just a suggested daily touring schedule. You will have complete control over your daily schedule and may change your plans at any time by simply telling your guide. Your time in Baku is yours to enjoy as you like!

For custom luxury travel and tours to Baku and Azerbaijan, please contact one of our travel experts.

Download a PDF itinerary here.

ITINERARY

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Please contact Exeter International for specific pricing and availability. 

Day 1
Arrival | Baku Old Town Carpet Store - Baku, Azerbaijan

Upon arrival in Baku, your driver and guide will be waiting for you just outside of baggage claim and customs to transfer you to your hotel. You will be staying in one of the most beautiful hotels in Europe, the stunning Four Seasons Hotel Baku, perfectly located at the edge of Old Town and directly on the Caspian Sea.

Baku is a city of huge contrasts; minarets have been superseded by the iconic architectural landmark of The Flame Towers. While Old Baku had a reputation of a city blighted by oil extraction, it has recently been transformed into a 21st Century capital with seaside promenades and extraordinary architecture by such luminaries as Zaha Hadid and Sir Norman Foster. This is a city, indeed country, reborn with oil wealth that for the first time is being spent at home.

After taking some time to freshen up and unpack you will meet your guide in the hotel lobby and set off for an orientation walk through the Old Town. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town is one of the oldest continuously inhabited parts in the region. Archaeological digs have revealed Bronze Age burial chambers, dating back 1,500 years.

This is the most popular area of the city, a maze of alleys, winding streets and caravanserais sometimes called the ‘Acropolis of Baku.’ You’ll see carpet shops and cafes and you shouldn’t miss a stop into a tea house to sample hot lavash bread pulled straight from the clay oven.

Continue on to the Walled City of Baku and the Shirvanshah’s Palace. The walls are well preserved and date from the 12th century whilst the Palace was built in the 15th century. While many of the treasures that were once the pride of Baku were taken by the Ottomans to Istanbul, you can still feel the history of the palace when wandering from the residential areas to the baths, through the mosque and beyond. Here in Old Town, you’ll also see the Maiden Tower, hear its sad history, and if still open for the day, climb to the top for a wonderful panoramic view.

Exeter Services: Airport Transfer; Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel: Four Seasons Baku

Day 2
Baku | Baku Qobustan - Baku, Azerbaijan

This morning, your guide and driver will take you outside the city center to Gobustan, approximately 60 minutes away. Gobustan is an open-air museum overflowing with Neolithic rock drawings. There are over 4,000 inscriptions that date back 12,000 years. New to Gobustan is a state-of-the-art, interactive museum that brings to life the era that created these extraordinary drawings. On your way back to Baku, you can stop to see some 2,000-year old Latin graffiti, left by Caesar’s troops!

Later, your guide will take you to the Baku Carpet Museum which boasts one of the greatest carpet collections in the world. The collection is so vast that only 10% was previously displayed initsformerhome. ThisuniquemuseumwasrecentlybuiltinthecenterofthecitybyanAustrian architect who designed the building to resemble a rolled carpet! It’s an impressive institution that tells the fascinating history of carpet making in this region.

Afterwards, enjoy a private visit to the former house of the Nobel family. Ludwig, Robert and Emmanuel Nobel moved from St. Petersburg to Baku in the 1870s, originally to develop business in lumber. The first industrial output of oil in the world was in Baku in 1848 – five years before Pennsylvania. TheNobelbrothersendedupintheoilbusinessandtheybecamethecatalystfor the Russian tsar to decree that the development of oil was no longer a monopoly, and so the first oil boom started. Following your tour, you will enjoy a decadent caviar and champagne tasting in the lovely gardens outside.

Early this evening, you may enjoy a boat tour in Baku’s perfect harbor and take in the city from another perspective. Please note the boat ride is optional and not included in program cost.

Exeter Services: Private Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Four Seasons Baku

Day 3
Baku -Yanar Dag - Baku | Baku -Yanar Dag - Baku Zaha Hadid Building - Baku, Azerbaijan

This morning you will experience some local color and flavor with an early visit to the Bazaar (market) to see the famous Baku tomatoes, citrus and nuts, sold as they have been for centuries by local traders.

You will then continue to the fascinating eternal burning hill, Yanar Dag that is fueled by natural gas escaping from the rocks and earth. This area, 30 minutes from Baku, has been endlessly burning for five decades, flames sprouting straight from the earth. The Ateshgah Temple, a 15- minute drive away is a must see. Also known as the Temple of the Fire Worshippers, this has been a center of worship for thousands of years and is one of the finest preserved temples of its kind.

The temple is built on the site of a natural gas vent believed to have been sacred to the Zoroastrians since the 6th Century. The area is so saturated with natural gas and oil that flames spontaneously erupt from the ground – hence the country’s other name, Odlar Yurdu, or “Land of Fires”, and the name of the temple, which means “Home of Fire”.

You will then return to the city center to visit a top Baku highlight. Zaha Hadid, the world-famous architect and Pritzker Architecture Prize winner, saved one of her greatest triumphs for Baku in the Aliyev Cultural Center. Stunning inside and out, this building houses temporary exhibitions as well as a museum dedicated to Heydar Aliyev, the founder and first president of modern day Azerbaijan.

The remainder of the day will be at your leisure.

Exeter Services: Private Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Four Seasons Baku

Day 4
Baku | Baku Baku Museum - Baku, Azerbaijan

This morning you will meet your guide and driver in your hotel lobby and travel to the Azerbaijan Art Museum, housed in the Rothschild family mansion in the city center. This fine collection is particularly famous for its Russian paintings, including works by Aivazovsky, Repin, and Kandinsky.

Next, your guide will take you to the History Museum of Azerbaijan. This incredible museum is located inside one of Baku’s most beautiful orientalist mansions: the Taghiyev Mansion.

Following your tour, and a break for lunch payable locally, you will travel just outside the city center to Fireland Winery. Here you will enjoy a fascinating tour of this unique winery followed by a delicious wine tasting coupled with local cheese boards. You will then be returned to your hotel where you have the remainder of your day at leisure.

Exeter Services: Private Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Four Seasons Baku

Day 5
Departure | Baku

This morning you will check out of your hotel and meet your driver in the hotel lobby. Together you will travel to the nearby airport where you will catch your onward flight.

Exeter Services: Airport Transfer

Hotel: None

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