You Would NEVER Guess – A Windy City Where East Meets West

Baku Boulevard… hugs the breezy seafront

Constructed in the beginning of 20th Century the Baku Boulevard is one of the most modern western features of the city. This wide stretch of side path is flocked with people from all around the world. Visitors frequent the kiosks and small sea facing cafeterias along the Sunset Boulevard of the city. This sidewalk is so breezy that the wind whirls through the hail locks even while jogging and cycling. It is popular amongst Couples who visit here to celebrate their anniversary on cable cars along the boulevard. Playground and other entertainment are also available here, in case you have a kid or two in the tow!

Old City Baku… the hub of culture, history, and tradition

This spot ranks first in World heritage sites under the UNESCO. Explore the cinematic streets of the Old Baku City that is abundant with age-old architectural buildings that are being redesigned. The old city is essentially the home of palaces like that of the Shrivanshahs and Maiden Tower. You can hire a guide to trace your ancient trail to the depths of the city.

Yanar Dag… the land of fire

The legend goes that this gas vent was mistakenly lit by a shepherd who had been smoking. The inception of the 20th century has seen the natural gas reserves being deeply drilled that led to the extinguishing of most of the same. However, amidst all the sleeping gas flame reserves, Yanar Dag is the only one that is still awake. Its rarity makes the tourists crowd this spot. It is also famed as the Fire Mountain.

Azerbaijan Carpet Museum… storehouse of the finest carpets

This Museum site is situated at the very center of Azerbaijan and should be listed in top Things to do in Baku if you are planning to visit. The showcasing of the world’s best carpet and rug collection will surely have its magnetic effect on you. The visitors walk along the polished halls that are filled with vibrant colored carpets depicting the evolution of the city’s history. And the museum building itself is a site- its in the shape of a rolled white and gold carpet, absolutely impossible to miss!

Bibi-Heybat Mosque… the favorite of Alexander Dumas

Built by the famous Shirvanshah Farrukhzad II Ibn Ahsitan II, the mosque of Bibi-Heybat is truly a marvel that will leave you gawking! This beautiful mosque had appealed to Alexandre Dumas to an extent that he nicknamed it as the mosque of Fatima. Resurrected after the destruction, the newly built mosque is today’s spiritual epicenter for all the Muslim natives of the country. Can you imagine, that it was rebuilt based on the testimonials descriptions of travelers and the available pictures?!

Flame Towers… the iconic skyscrapers

These towers are the most important symbols and landmark of Baku. This modern feature is located on a hilltop with the view of both the Baku Bay and the Old City of Baku. The new flame-like structures saw completion only in 2012. It is highly influenced by the fire worship practice that has been famous in Azerbaijan from the ancient times. The view of the towers is absolutely stunning with its transparent bluish tinge complementing the sky itself. If you are planning on a king size vacation you can also arrange your stay in the Fairmont Baku Hotel inside the Flame Towers.

Fountains Square… the throbbing heart of Baku Downtown

The Fountain Square is extremely popular amongst visitor all around the globe for its vivacious entertainment culture. This spot is sure to give you a fun packed experience with all the lip-smacking food of the local cafes, gourmet restaurants. You can also take away souvenirs for loved ones back at home. This plaza is lined with luscious green trees and beautiful fountains that run throughout the Fountain Square. Finding the city’s pulse is a cake walk for any traveler since it’s centrally located. Do not miss it in the night, when the fountains are illuminated giving a surreal feel and effect to this place.

Maiden Tower… the iconic building

Similar to the Old City of Baku, the Maiden Tower has also been listed by the UNESCO as one of the world heritage sites. Giz Galasi, the famous local wall city of Baku is home to this iconic architectural structure. Posing as the most differentiating feature jutting out at the clear skyline, Maiden Tower is crowded frequently with travelers. The top of the tower gives an exquisite view of the Sea and insight into ancient times of Baku.

Martyr’s Lane… a memorial to Azerbaijan heroes

It has been built as a token of respect to the civilians that died for their country during the independence movement of Azerbaijan. It was built over the burial ground that is home to around 15000 heroes. The lane sides are adorned with walls made of marble that bears the martyr’s name engraved in gold. An ever lit flame rises from the middle of the memorial signifying the remembrance of the gone by Heroes. Many citizens and visitor pass by to pay their homage.

Palace of Shrivanshahs… the nostalgic trail

The Palace of Shivanshahs breathes of the ancient times of the 1400’s. This palace gives its visitors ample scope to get an in-depth idea about the cultural and architectural roots. It is segregated into 5 sections. The colossal network of white, is breathtaking site and a splendid part of Azerbaijan’s history.

This was the tour of Baku and we were quite surprised that the city itself had so much to offer- architectural splendors and marvelous city vibe. This time of the year is probably the best time to make it to Baku, as the summers are departing and chilly winters are still a while away.

How To Reach

By Air: Baku is well connected and has Heydar Aliyev International Airport which is 16 miles (25 km) away from the city center. Almost all major airlines service this airport.

By Rail: Russia and Ukraine have rail connections with Baku. The trip takes about three nights and is advisable if you have time!

By Road: Baku is connected by road to many international destinations like Turkey and Iran.

Where to Stay

Baku has many options when it comes to accommodation. Simply type Baku in the nice little hotel search box given here and unlock Baku Accommodation!

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A Full and Comprehensive Information Guide Relating to Palma, Mallorca, Spain

Palma De Mallorca is the capital city of Majorca (Mallorca), the largest of the Balearic Islands.

Palma de Mallorca has beauty & charm all of its own. When approaching the city from the Port, walking or driving, the Cathedral (La Seu) is instantly recognisable, an immense sandstone building of magnificent architectural design (French Gothic) with a huge stained glass window which contains 1236 pieces of stained glass. At night Palma Catherdral is beautifully lit. This is well worth a visit. There are also many other historic venues, Bellver Castle, La Lonja, Majorca Museum, La Palau de Almundaina to name a few, the 10th century Arab Baths ruins are also to be found in the Historic area (see below for prices & opening times).

The Port & Marina stretch the entire length of the city and this is a complete maze of small boats, large yachts and even Cruise Ships. In recent years Palma has proved to be a very popular destination for Cruise Ships of all sizes to dock for a day or two. The number of major Cruise Ships which visited Majorca between January and November 2010 was 500 which broke all previous records. In fact 1.5 million visitors are expected in 2011. This has greatly increased tourism in Palma itself. Along the Port road there are many restaurants and bars as well as popular night-clubs such as Titos. Other nightclubs include Pacha, Garito Club, Jahfarai, L’Havanna to name a few. See other nightspots around Mallorca.

In Palma you will also find the very famous Spanish department stores of El Corte Ingles. There are two, both in the city, the largest is on the Avenida Alexandre Rossello and the other on the street Avenida Jaime (Jaume) III, just along from C&A, yes the store which disappeared in Britain many years ago is still operational in Palma de Mallorca! You will also find stores such as Cartier, Boss, Zara & H&M. See our comprehensive shopping guide to Mallorca

Why not wander into the many ancient sidestreets which stretch from the Plaza de Espana, the train station, down to Avenida Jaime (Jaume) III. Within these quaint little streets are many bars, cafes, designer boutiques, a little something for everyone. If you are hungry, we recommend lunch at one of the many menu-del-dia cafes or restaurants where you can have a two or three course lunch with wine, water/lemonade for a very small price (10-15 euros) or enjoy dinner, we guarantee you will be spoiled for choices of where to eat.

Car Hire is easily available at the airport or from the resorts.

If are staying for more than one day in Palma Majorca we recommend a visit to Portixol. You can reach this by foot along the coastal promenade from Palma or take a short taxi trip. This is a little haven, found on the west side as you are approaching Palma city from the airport by car. This original fishing port (El Molinar) has great charm and character of its own, restaurants and bars and a strip with stylish restaurants serving various cuisine from Japanese to Italian food.

If you are unlucky enough to visit Palma in bad weather, visit Porto Pi, a beautiful indoor shopping-mall full of shops, cafes and bars (but mostly shops!!).. Also Carrefour is on the lower ground level. This is a huge hypermarket which sells almost everything you could think of at very reasonable prices.

Try the bar Maritimo on the Paseo Maritimo (frontline), near La Lonja for a coffee or traditional tapas, they also have menu del dia.

Palma is a wonderful city with natural beauty and charm and amazing architecture. A delight to visit and return to time after time.

Sightseeing Bus

Palma City Sightseeing Bus – is an inexpensive 16 stop bus jump on and off. Start point Plaza Reina, ends Avenida Jaume III. Current cost June 2011 Adult 15.00 child/oap/student 7.50. The buses run every 20 mins, in Summer start from 0930 until 2200 reducing to 2000 in Winter. Commentary in numerous languages.

Historic Centre of Palma

Cathedral – La Seu (Palma’s crowning glory!)

The entry price is 4 euros, children & residents are free

Opening Times

June – September Monday-Friday 1000-1800 Saturday 1000-1400

November – March Monday-Friday 1000-1500 Saturday 1000-1400

April, May & October Monday-Friday 1000-1700 Saturday 1000-1400

Closed Sundays

Palma’s most distinctive landmark with amazing architiecture (Gothic).

Interior hall was designed by Gaudi

Palace de L’Almundaina

to the west of La Seu (looking at Cathedral from sea)

Calle Palau Reial

Residence of the Royals of Mallorca

The price is 3.20 euros

Opening Times 1000-1400 1600-2000 (Winter 1000-1315)

Free to all european citizens on Wednesdays

La Lonja

This building in the historic centre to the west of La Seu (looking at the Cathedral from the sea), and can be seen from the Paseo Maritimi. At present this is used for art exhibits, a beautiful masterpiece of gothic architecture.

Normally only open for exhibitions.

Iglesia de Santa Eulalia/San Francisco

Two churches located close to each other just to the east of La Seu (looking at the Cathedral from the sea), Santa Eulalia mallorca’s oldest church and San Francisco, a truly beautiful church, well worth a visit. The Plaza de Cort, a beautiful 17th century building is beside the churches (town hall).

Opening Times (Summer) 0800-1230 & 1730-2030

Arab Baths

These date back to Muslim domination in Mallorca

Calle de Can Serra

(east – looking at the Cathedral from the sea)

The price is 2 euros

Opening Times 0900-1900 (1800 in winter)

Castel De Bellver (Bellver Castle)

Calle Camilo Jose Cela (City suburb El Terreno)

the price is 2.50 euros, 1.00 euros children under 16

Considered to be one of the three jewels of Palma architecture along with La Seu & La Llonja.

This castle is located in the outer edge of Palma’s historic area. You can walk but it is very long, approx 1km, you could take a taxi or a No.3 Bus from Placa Rei Joan Carles.

Paseo de Borne (One of Palma’s ancient streets)

This is one of the busiest ancient streets in Palma, a tree lined promenade with stone Sphinxes at either end.(near to Plaza de Reina)

You can enjoy wandering through some of the many ancient streets of Palma from here stretching to the Plaza de Espana (train station)

You will find a huge variety of bars & restaurants in this area, you will be spoiled for choice!

Excursions around Palma by boat

You can arrange many day trips from Palma by boat, here are a few:

You can take a short boat trip (1hr) in the Bay of Palma de Mallorca, see more than 4,000 yachts. Buy tickets from the ticket office at the port (harbour). The price is 10.00 euros adults/children and this operatoes hourly March – October (Monday-Saturday).

You can also sail in a Catamaran from Palma to San Jordi 1000-1530 May – October (most days of the week) price 48 euros (children over 3 half price), lunch included 00 34 971 456 182

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