Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Baku

Dondurma
Those with sweet teeth will lap up the goodies on offer at Dondurma Café with ice-cream crepes and coffee galore.
The Lounge
We've never seen someone's living room look quite as plush as Lounge - all velvet drapes and polished wooden tables - but it still tries to recreate homely look.
Beyrut
As you'd expect from a restaurant named after Lebanon's capital city Beyrut offers lipsmackingly good Lebanese cuisine to a predominantly Azeri clientele.
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Azerbaijan Rugby Federation
Ball sports aren't necessarily Baku's thing but that doesn't stop the ex-pats from getting together to form a team. Watch and learn.
Young Spectators’ Theatre
More than a cultural must-see the Young Spectator's Theatre is an architectural wonder; a marvel of modern design.
Shirvanshah’s Palace
With awe-inspiring architecture at every turn it can be hard to know where to look inside Shirvanshah's Palace; so take your time and be sure to designate a significant chunk of your schedule to soaking up this colossal cultural must-see.
Puppet Theatre
Puppetry may be a thing of yesteryear in the West but in Baku it's still a much-loved tradition that pulls the crowds; watch the best show in Baku at the Puppet Theatre.
Opera & Ballet Theatre
Currently undergoing a mammoth refurb the Opera and Ballet Theatre remains one of the most beautiful buildings in Baku. While you can't check out a performance at present you can stand and stare at its wonder.
Museum of Miniature Books
Baku wouldn't be Baku without a weird sight or three; the Museum of Miniature Books is exactly that with thousands upon thousands of - you guessed it - miniature books to lay your eyes upon.
Museum of Literature
While its stash of manusripts is undeniably impressive it is the façade of the Museum of Literature that really has our mouths agape in wonder; simply stunning.
International Mugham Centre
Celebrating Azeri Mugham - a traditional style of folk music - the International Mugham Centre isn't just a cultural masterpiece but an architectural one too.
Heydar Aliyev Palace
As Baku's best live music venue you'd expect the Heydar Aliyev Palace to boast an impressive events calendar; and it does with the likes of Kelly Rowland having played alongside George Benson in 2009.
Hajinski Mansion
Having been painstakingly restored to its former glory the Hajinsky Mansion is like looking through the keyhole into Baku's glory days.
Gyz Galasy Gallery
With a focus on 20th-century painting and sculpture The Gyz Galasy Gallery may not warrant a whole day out but is certainly worth an hour or two of your precious time.
Filarmonia
Classic music lovers rejoice; indoor and outdoor performances of the best kind are put on right here. Impressive stuff indeed.
Carpet Museum
We all like the feeling of something soft underfoot which is where the Carpet Museum comes in handy; home to thousands of carpet you'll find all kinds of prints and patterns here.
Bibi Heybat Mosque
If you're looking for Facebook photos call off the search; the Bibi Heybat Mosque will have more comments on your profile page than any drunken party snap could ever generate.
Baku State Circus
Roll up roll up! The circus has come to town; enjoy all its carnivalesque goings-on right here.
Twins Lounge
Like two extreme siblings the Twins Lounge can be laid-back or raucous depending on the crowd; but whatever the mood you're guaranteed moody interiors and well-mixed drinks.
Studio 2
Studio 54 may indeed have more weight behind its name but karaoke bar Studio 2 is still worth a visit - if not for the sound-proofing curtains alone.
Pride Lounge
Proving that karaoke doesn't only take place in Benidorm Pride Lounge is Baku's primary sing-along destination; whether it's Celine or Mariah you're after you're sure to find it here.
Oscar Club
Old-school glamour is the order of the day at Oscar Club with a distinct 1940s Hollywood style that carries through from its décor right through to its mostly-jazz music policy.
Living Room 2
Sitting on the site of former gay club Le Mirage Living Room 2 caters as much to the gay crowd as it does straight with boudoir-style interiors and a tempting cocktail list.
Khalifa
Khalifa is like an Aladdin's cave of wonders with Arabic-style décor and dancers to match; just don't ask them to rub your magic lamp.
Jazz Centre
Jazz is like Marmite - you either love or hate it. If your personal preference is the former then head to the Jazz Centre for some of the best jazz in town.
Infiniti
To Infiniti and beyond as they say; packed with Bakuvian man-eaters it's practically impossible for a foreign man to leave Inifini without a luscious lady in tow. Whether you want her or not.
Face Club
The cream of Baku's club-based crop is Face; here you'll find the glam interiors and glitzy crowd expected at any capital's coolest club.
Crossroads
Crossroads is about as crazy as Britney's debut movie; but here it's all about hard rock Azeri students and mean bouncers.
Chinar
As Baku's most-anticipated new club opening Chinar has a lot to live up to. Thankfully it does with opulent interiors fabulous food and an impressive sound and lighting system.
Metkarting
If you like your go-karting with a side of disco then Metkarting is the perfect place to tear up the track.
Chevalier
Le Chevalier goes for a medieval motif with knights in armour at every turn and a dark basement setting; just be sure not to get off your head otherwise you may lose it.
Black Jack
It may have been open for 13 years - most of them lucky - but Black Jack is still going strong with strong drinks and even stronger bouncers.
Vitamin Bar
Punishing yourself on the treadmill can drain you of essential vitamins and minerals which is where the Vitamin Bar at the Landmark Hotel steps in; attached to its Health Club it will have any gym bun feeling fabulous again.
The Gourmet Shop
No hotel is complete with a fabulous foodie shop and the Gourmet Shop is such an establishment at the Hyatt Regency.
Schaorma No. 1
Open-air terraces are hard to find in the centre of town but Schaorma No 1 is such an establishment; enjoy an authentic sundowner in the form of an ayran.
Pizza Holiday
However high-end your culinary tastes nothing beats a good pizza; and when a pepperoni-laden Italian staple backons there's nowhere better than Pizza Holiday to satisfy your cheesy cravings.
La Vita
Yummy mummies love La Vita for it's seen and be seen atsmophere with people-watching opportunities galore and a heavy menu brimming with piled-high plates of pasta.
Tortuga Pirate Bar
Those looking for a pirate-themed pub can call off the search; Tortuga Pirate Bar has all your piratey needs met with Disney-esque interiors and a fun-hungry crowd.

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