I visited Baku for a few days in March, 2017, and it unexpectedly had a fun nightlife scene. In this blog post, I will share with you my experiences in Baku as well as provide travel and nightlife tips.
An Overview of Baku, Azerbaijan
Admittedly, I didn’t know anything about Azerbaijan before my trip. All I could do was point it on a map and tell you that Baku is the capital city.
Therefore, I am assuming that most of you reading this also don’t know much about Azerbaijan as a country, so I’d like to start off with a few basic facts.
Azerbaijan is a former Soviet country and gained independence in August 1991 during the collapse of the Soviet Union. The country is located in the Caucasus Region on the Caspian Sea, and shares borders with Russia, Iran, Georgia and Armenia.
The population of Azerbaijan is 9.7 million and the language is Azerbaijani (but most people speak Russian as a 2nd language).
The capital city of Baku is known as a “mini Dubai” in terms of freakishly stunning modern architecture, new wealth (oil money) and loads of tourist attractions. It’s the largest city in the Caucasus region and it lies at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and the Middle East — which means you’ll find a mixture of food, people and culture. The Old City of Baku dates back to the 7th Century and is blocked off by massive city walls (castles) that you can walk on.
Over the last decade or so, Baku has expanded tremendously with a number of skyscrapers, shopping malls, restaurants and hotels. Tourism in Baku is booming so much that it’s becoming a trend destination for many Europeans and Russians to get away for a weekend.
Breakdown of Baku Nightlife
The nightlife scene in Baku is underrated, and a lot more electric then you may think. There is something for everyone, whether you like to drink beer on a rooftop, listen to deep hours at a lounge, or rage all night in a night club. Here is a breakdown of what to expect from Baku’s nightlife scene.
Prices? Despite Azerbaijan being a relatively cheap country to travel in, the prices for drinks can be expensive in night clubs. Expect to pay around $8-10 for a beer/mixed drink in a night club, and about half of that price in a bar. With the exception of a few high-end nightclubs, most places in Baku don’t have cover charge.
Music Scene? Baku is pretty up to date when it comes to music tastes. There are many local DJs who spin a nice mix of popular dance music hits with groovy Azeri jams (Arabic style music). Deep house was the trendiest style of music being played at most venues that I went to.
Places to Go? Similar to the vibes of Dubai, you will find a large variety of swanky bars, high-class lounges and even more upscale night clubs in Baku. Many of the night clubs have beautiful Azeri dancers that will leave you in awe and make you never want to leave Baku. Smoking shisha is also a popular thing in Baku, so many places (mostly bars & lounges) will offer you one if you get a table.
Crowd? The crowd in Baku is diverse, and ranges from businessmen to locals Azeris to European/Russian tourists. I didn’t come across any other Americans on my trip, as the visa situation is still a bit tricky to get (you have to apply for an e-visa online and it costs $80). Overall, I found there to be a nice mix of locals and foreigners, with the majority of people being open and friendly to speak with.
Top Places to Party in Baku
Lastly, I will leave you with some of the top places to visit for a night on the town. I hope you enjoy!
Casual Bars – 7 Beers Bar, Belugu Bar, Black Jack
Fancy – ALZ Lounge Club, Eleven, 360 Bar
Clubs – Megapolis Club, Tower Club