Guide to Baku

Introduction to Baku

Baku, one of the most beautiful world’s cities is located at the joint of Europe and Asia. The capital’s name itself is interpreted as a “wind blow”, “city of winds” or “hill”, “city on the hill”.

The port city of Baku, the cultural, industrial and political capital of Azerbaijan is located on the western Caspian seaside, on the bay shores of the same name in the southern part of the Absheron Peninsula, rich in its oil fields. Baku consists of 11 administrative districts and 5 townships.

Cultural Baku

Baku is the largest cultural center of Azerbaijan. It is the place where a national theatre, the first in Muslim East, lifted the curtain, the first opera was performed, the first Azerbaijan newspaper was published, the first Azerbaijan library was opened. Today Baku is known to have 30 museums, 7 theatres, 11 institutions of higher education, philharmonic, opera theatre, film studio, cinema theaters and libraries housed in the city’s most beautiful buildings having an interior decoration which is every bit as good as their interior cultural content.

Industrial Baku

Baku is the largest industrial center. It is the place of concentration of ancient oil fields, well-known Oil Stones, unique plant of deep-water foundations, high-capacity derrick barges, and modern drilling floating units. It is also famous for developed oil refineries, petrochemical, chemical, light, food, engineering branches of industry, oil equipment production, building materials, instrumentation, electrical engineering and radio electronics, shipbuilding. Baku is a large rail junction and port terminal in the Caspian Sea. Beginning from 1967 the Baku underground was put into operation in the capital.

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Climate and Weather

The climate of Azerbaijan is unique as it presents line of the Earth’s eleven climatic zones. Azerbaijan is situated on northern extremity of the subtropical zone in the south-eastern Caucasus. Its climatic diversity is caused by the complex geographical location and landscape and the proximity of the Caspian Sea. The climate varies considerably from east to west – in the western mountains, the weather is drier and more extreme. The eastern part of Azerbaijan, near the Caspian Sea, has relatively moderate climate.

Baku has a subtropical semi-arid climate with warm and dry summers, cool and occasionally wet winters, and strong winds all year long. However, unlike many other cities with this climate, Baku does not see extremely hot summers. This is largely because of its northerly latitude and the fact that it is located on a peninsula on the shore of the Caspian Sea. At the same time Baku is noted as a very windy city throughout the year, and gale-force winds, the cold northern wind khazri and the warm southern wind gilavar are typical here in all seasons. The daily temperature in July and August averages 26.4 °C (79.5 °F), and there is very little rainfall during the summer season. Winter is cool and occasionally wet, with the daily temperature averages 4.3 °C (39.7 °F). The average temperature in December varies 9.7 °C (49.5 °F).

Currency and Exchange

The Azerbaijani New Manat (AZN) is the currency of Azerbaijan. Banknotes in circulation are 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 manat. Coins in circulation are 1, 3, 5, 10, 20 and 50 qepiks. ATMs are common throughout Baku.

Most accept foreign credit cards (preferably Visa and Mastercard) and many allow withdrawals in both AZN and US dollars. Some exchanges open late into the evening while most banks close up by 4 pm. The import of foreign currencies must be declared and their export is limited to the amount declared upon arrival in the country.
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Public transportation in Baku

Public transportation (taxis, metro & buses) is available throughout the city.

Telephone Service

Roaming agreements are in place with most international phone companies. SIM cards can be purchased at local phone stores (ID required) and supermarkets.

Country Code: +994
City (Baku) Code: 12
Police Station: 102
Fire Station: 101
Medical Emergency: 103

Postal Service

Central Post Office
AZ1000, Baku, Sabail, Uzeyir Hajibayov,36
Phone: (+994 12) 498-80-00, (+994 12) 498-97-73, (+994 50) 351-61-52)
Fax: (+994 12) 598-43-91

Electricity Supply

The voltage is 220 V. and plugs are of a two-pin design, therefore an adaptor is necessary.

Drinking Water

It is not recommended to drink tap water. Bottles of mineral water are widely available in shops and hotels.

Smoking Regulations

It is against the law to smoke in public transportation and in most indoor facilities. Restaurants and bars, usually, offer smoking and non-smoking sections.

Time Zone

From 29 March to 25 October 2015, Baku is 5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +5, Azerbaijan Summer Time AZST).

From 25 October 2015 to 27 March 2016, Baku is 4 hours ahead (GMT +4, Azerbaijan Time AZT).

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