Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Baku

Absheron Peninsula
Scattered across the Absheron Peninsula are dozens of traditional Bakuvian villages worth checking out; rent a car and stop by a couple one lazy afternoon.
Ali & Nino Café
Ali & Nino Café is named after a pair of famous star-crossed lovers in Azeri literature; the book theme carries throughout with a bookshop in the basement and a selection of light bites to snack on while you get stuck between musty pages.
ALZ Club
Dark and moody décor-wise basement-based ALZ Club serves up expertly-mixed cocktails and shishas to a cool crowd of club kids.
Anatolia
As one of Baku's newest openings the Anatolia the kind of interiors and amenities to please even the most demanding hedonist.
Around Old City
Fashionistas will love the boutiques dotted around Old City.
Atropat
Famed for its larger-than-most rooms the Atropat offers sumptuous styling and sharp service to boot.
Austin
As one of Baku's best urban sanctuaries the Austin Hotel offers 31 rooms of chic calm in the heart of the city - yet you can hear a penny drop in the foyer.
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.
Azza Fyujin
The sky really is the limit for Azza Fyujin which crowns the ISR Plaza building and offers awe-inspiring Asian fusion 17 fabulous floors up.
Bah Bah
We're not quite sure how to pronounce upside-down e's but that doesn't stop us from loving the authentic Azeri atmosphere at Bah-Bah; live music nights are particularly boisterous.
Bakhchasaray Guest House
While its name may have you tongue-tied The Bakhchasaray is a period property brimming with charm and offers peace and quiet in the heart of the Old City.
Baku Roasting Company
You wouldn't expect a café run by teachers to be much cop but the Baku Roasting Company exceeds all expectations with bloody brilliant coffee and a bustling atmosphere.
Baleva
Offering a handful of rooms just off a cobbled square in the Old City Baleva is a clean comfortable place to catch 40 winks.
Beaches
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.
Boat Trips
Boutique Palace
Expect all the opulence of an Orient Express carriage at the Boutique Palace with ever-so tasteful décor and a smarty clientele to match.
Brothers Carpets
Threadbare carpets are a thing of the past at Brothers Carpets which specialisies in repairing and restoring your rugs to their former glory.
Café Balizza
Café Ballizza is all about fabulousness and fashion with lashings of style and a crowd of chic dressed-to-kill ladies-who-lunch.
Café Mozart
Every city needs a 24-hour café - to refuel after and before hangovers - and Café Mozart is Baku's.
Caravansera
Step back in time at Caravansera; age-old interiors and an ancient atmosphere make for an authentic Azeri ambeince.
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.
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.
Chocolate Café
With five properties in its portfolio The Chocolate Café chain is picking up pace; the Husein Javid Ave branch is our personal favourite with a disco-style downstairs setting.
Crown
While it may not be the crowning glory of Baku's hotel scene the Crown is nevertheless a comfortable place to hanker down for those in need of 40 winks.
Dalida Café
Shopping mall cafés don't usually make the grade when it comes to Hg2's much-loved guides but Dalida Café is different with one of the best terraces to have a cuppa on in Baku.
Dondurma
Those with sweet teeth will lap up the goodies on offer at Dondurma Café with ice-cream crepes and coffee galore.
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.
Fairmont Baku
The Fairmont Baku's vistas overlook the historic district of the city as well as the Caspian Sea. Inside the 318-room hotel, it’s all plush burgundies and dark tones, with an on-site contemporary art collection helping to set the stylish agenda
Fantasia
Be brave and submit to some vigorous scrubbing and rubbing, Azeri-style...
Finnegans
Get a bit of Irish in you at Finnegans Baku's signature Irish bar. What city doesn't have one?
Firuza
Authentic Azeri fare can be had at Firuza where a mind-bogglingly confusing menu awaits; that said the staff are more than happy to explain each and every dish on offer.
Georgian Home
If Lewis Carroll had made a foray into interior design then Georgian Home would probably have been the result; and with an eclectic menu to match eclectic interiors it's not hard to see why its reservation book is fit-to-bursting on any given day.
Gobustan
Gobustan is famed for its petroglyphs; seek and ye shall find.
Grand Hotel Europe
The Grand Hotel Europe is not a patch on the glittering glory of its heyday but rumour has it that it's been sold with a major refurb planned for the future. One can only hope.
Green Open Air Theatre
Now open again after 10 years is the Green Theatre the perfect performance space for the balmy summer months.
Gunay Riding Club
Mount a towering steed and gallop off into the Bakuvian sunset - or something like that.
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.
Hajinski Mansion
Having been painstakingly restored to its former glory the Hajinsky Mansion is like looking through the keyhole into Baku's glory days.
Hale Kai Resort
Whether you want to climb a rockface, tear down a dirt track on atwo-wheeler or catch and cook your own dinner, the Hale Kai Mountain Resort has all youradrenaline-pumping activities wrapped up.

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