In Baku Soviet&Modern Pop-Culture Free Tour you explore social-cultural-leasure heart of downtown Baku labeled as “Tarqovı” (Nizami street) and learn about exquisite stories of love and hatred, rise and fall, happiness and tragedy, turmoil and tranquillity, contrast and harmony from confluent lives of oil barons, Soviet times and everyday people.
You will be guided to the social and cultural formation of Fountains Square (then Parapet), Nizami (then Torgovaya), and Khagani (Xəqani; then Molokanskaya) streets in Baku based on real-life stories, urban legends, and myths that have been developed through socialist Soviet and capitalist modern times. The tour ends with a free cup of black Azerbaijani tea at Coffee Moffie, a local coffee shop.
Explore downtown on 2.5 hours walking tour
Understand Soviet times and Pop-Culture in Baku
Hear about Urban legends and myths
Soak up atmosphere of popular culture
Empathize with love stories of Baku
Spot central pubs and cafes
Led by a local guide
Tour ends with a glass of local wine
The tour takes place EVERY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY. However, booking is REQUIRED.
This tour is entirely based on tips. How much you tip is completely up to you. You decide at the end of the tour how much you think it is worth, or what the amount is that guide deserves as an appreciation of services provided at the end.
At least four people are required to run the tour.
In this private walking tour, our guide walks you through streets of the historic core of Baku including Niyazi, Istiglaliyyet, and Mutuza Mukhtarov, Nizami and Khagani streets. Meanwhile, you discover the reflection of Baku’s past and hear about the oil barons of the first oil boom era and their quest for personal glory and fame. The tour offers an insider’s guide to the urban exploration of social, cultural, and political aspects of every-day life in Baku with the background of stories based on the real-life of oil barons from the late 19th and early 20th century as well as soviet and modern times.
The tour highlights how oil changed Baku as the new generation of the first era of the oil boom assumed their social responsibility for a change in an oriental conventional Muslim society. You will hear stories about Azerbaijan’s dilemma of East vs. West, oil barons’ hunger for personal glory and fame, the influence of Polish architects, and change and continuity through times under imperial Russia, Soviet and Independent Azerbaijan.
Baku Urban Wine Tasting is a private wine-tasting experience that allows you to walk and visit the best wine spots to enjoy Baku by evening. We hand-pick local wine bars for the best wine tasting experiences and delve into dynamic and young community places in downtown Baku. This tour is ideal for wine enthusiasts who like to spend a day out by diving into Baku’s Night Life.
All three places we visit are within easy walking distance and sit-in for wine tasting and a glass of your choice and paired snacks are available at every stop. Bring your friends for a great evening.
Explore Baku’s nightlife with a local guide
Taste upto 5 types of locally made wine
A glass of wine at each wine bar
Paired snacks (appetizers) at each wine bar
Insider’s Guide to Baku Dining
Small group experience (max 5 ppl)
WHAT TO EXPECT?
Meet your local guide in a central location, Fountains Square, in Baku. Then, your guide will take you to wine bars of Baku to taste various locally made wines, charcuterie, and wine tasting experiences. Meanwhile hear about Azerbaijani cuisine, food, and drinking culture. Also, interact with your sommelier and guide about Azerbaijani society in general. Taste three samples of local wines at each bar. Get served a glass of wine you choose. The wine tasting experience is also accompanied with bruschetta/charcuterie, the specialty of the wine bar visited. At the end of your experience, leave the central location with new insight into Azerbaijani culinary history, and tips for the rest of your trip.
Once was a small town (as large as the Old City) on the shore of the Caspian Sea, Baku is now the capital of Azerbaijan and the largest city in South Caucasus. Sometimes it’s been labelled as “New Dubai” or “the City Built by Oil”. Baku offers beautifully contrasting, perhaps, contradicting experiences stemming from the background of Oriental Medieval, Tsarist Russian, Soviet and Modern Independent periods. It’s also a peaceful home for diverse ethnic and religious groups.
Baku has a lot of space for incoming tourists and traveller even during peak months. But the issue is that they are mostly 4 or 5 star hotels in Baku which is not the first preference of middle class or budget travellers. However, there is a recent trend of budget hotels and hostels emerging every day in city centre. This allows travellers to find a decent place to stay for moderate prices. This ongoing tendency establishes hosting culture and friendly environment for tourist gradually. Therefore you should keep your expectation low when staying at those mid-range hotels and hostels
Azerbaijani cuisine is heavily typified by the ingredients of beef, lamb and pastry. But you can still enjoy fresh and light food varieties, too. Azerbaijani cuisine is not based on quick cookery. Foods that are uniquely Azerbaijani may take an hour to prepare, which would require you ordering food you want to eat in advance at the same time reserving a seat. To name some of national food that you’d like are pilaf, dolma, lavangi and of course kebabs:
Baku is also a cosmopolitan city and most of the restaurants and cafes in Baku downtown offer European and Asian cuisines along with Azerbaijani. If you cannot make you mind, always remember that there is McDonald’s right in the city centre or you may like eating in the world’s biggest KFC nearby the Central Train Station.
Despite the fact that Azerbaijan is Muslim majority country, alcohol consumption is allowed. And you can purchase any type of alcohol from markets. However Azerbaijan is one of the least alcohol consuming countries in Europe, it makes up to the-top-ten-list in Muslim World. Devaluation of the local currency hit the prices to cause inflation. But still the nightlife is not that expensive in Baku. Local beer, Khirdalan, costs around 2-3 AZN pub to pub. However, the prices will be around 4-6 AZN in those luxury places. You can find out pub and cafes with nice atmosphere and vibes in walking distance from city centre, Fountains Square. Əbdülkərim Əlizadə and Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev streets are famous for their English and Irish pubs. Islam Safarli street is becoming an alternative pub and cafe street recently. Those are not just new pub-and-cafe markets but also a new kind of culture emerging under roofs of those underground places.
No wonder like all tourists and traveller you also want to buy souvenir or gifts to take home for family and friends from Baku. But you might have difficulty to decide what to buy that reflects the best of local culture and tradition.
Also note that bargaining is an essential part of buying those souvenirs and gifts in shops of Baku. You should always remember that prices differ from shop to shop. Therefore you are better try couple of shops to get some sort of favourable deal if you are not good at bargaining.
Icherisheher (Old City) is full of those souvenir and gift shops and just wandering along the streets of the Old City will take you there randomly. Just couple of ideas for gifts and souvenirs:
It could be quite a struggle to involve in events taking place in Baku. The most important events that are observed with large masses and crowds are the New Year Eve and Novruz Holiday. Novruz Holiday is the one you would definitely want to attend if you are interested in local traditions, cultures and food. People start festivities of Novruz a month prior to actual date which is March 21. Besides, there are lot more parties, concerts and all other kind of events taking place throughout years Aside from these traditional events, Tallinn’s always busy. Parties and concerts are aplenty and the city has plenty of funky venues catering to the more alternative crowd.