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The Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport was named after the third President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, in 2014. It is one of the six international gateways into the country. Formerly known as Bina International Airport, the airport is located 25km east from Baku downtown and has two operating runways. A base hub for Azerbaijan Airlines and Buta Airways, the airport is considered the largest and busiest of the Caucasian region. Transport to and from the airport into the city is by bus, taxi or car hire.
The largest city on the Caspian Sea and Caucasus region and the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku is a most beautiful place located on the western Caspian seaside, at the intersection of Asia and Europe. Its name interprets as “city of winds”, “city on the hill” or “wind blow”. The city consists of five townships and eleven administrative districts and is famous for its walled old city, and landmarks like the Flame Towers, Heydar Aliyev Centre, and the iconic stone Maiden Tower.
The city is home to numerous tourist attractions, and one place that could take hours to explore is the Old City. A UNESCO World Heritage Site that blends the old and the new within and outside its medieval walls. Here you will also find the Palace of the Shirvanshahs; described as "one of the pearls of Azerbaijan's architecture", it is a magnificent structure built by the Shirvanshahs in the 15th-century. There is much to keep one entertained in this continuously expanding city.
Take a ride up Baku funicular to see the Flame Towers. Three imposing modern buildings, which are a sight to behold. One is the Fairmont Hotel Baku, while the other two contain offices and residencies. The buildings have no observation deck and yet, the trip to see them is well worth it and makes for great selfies.
The funicular stops at Dağüstü Park, which has one of the best views of the city, and overlooks Baku bay. The towers are even lovelier to behold at night when they feature light decorations of faux flames.
The dishes in Baku are mostly meat based, and influenced by other regions like the Mediterranean, Turkey and Iran, which produced a range of dishes with very distinct and tasty flavours.
A few you could try include Dolma, which is rice mixed with cinnamon, fennel, mint and minced lamb, all wrapped in cabbage leaves. There is also an Azerbaijan favourite of saffron flavoured rice cooked with prunes, meat, onions, dried fruis, eggs and herbs, called Plov. There are however a multitude of recipes for this popular dish.
There is also Baliq, which is great for seafood lovers. Made usually out of sturgeon fish, grilled and served with a sour plum sauce. Not forgetting to pair your food with a healthy dose of Azerbaijan black tea.