29.09.2014 - 30.09.2014 25 °C
You need a map in Baku.
If like us you rely on wifi, and you get there before the shops open in the morning so you can't buy a map, you're in trouble.
Baku is incredibly badly signposted.
From the train station, we had no idea how to get to the old city or the new shopping area or which direction anything was in - and nobody seemed able to help when we asked. One bakery just opening for the day kindly allowed us to use their wifi to get a vague orientation, but even then we quickly got lost again afterwards.
The place that seemed to get the most signpost was something called the 'Statistical Committee' - no idea what this is but clearly the Baku sign planners know its importance in Baku life because it gets signposts more than anywhere else we found.
So we walked for hours without knowing really where we were. We finally found a book shop that sold maps and that was our best purchase throughout our time in Azerbaijan...
The Old City is very beautiful and clearly Baku's main attraction (apart from the Statistical Committee, obviously). Don't miss the Old Baku Tea House for tea
Coffee is best at Baku Roasting Company - near the technical university. They roast the beans in Baku so always fresh.
We stayed at the same hotel as Pope John Paul II in the 1980s (and we were served at dinner by the waiter who personally served him too). Irshad Hotel staff also very helpful in organising taxi for us to Baku bus station for the coach to Lankeren next morning. Highly recommend this place