Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, sits on the Caspian Sea, bridging the gap between Eastern Europe and West Asia. The medieval walled city, once a Persian capital, is home to the spectacular 15th-century Palace of the Shirvanshahs. However, the modern skyscrapers that fill the skyline remind you that this is a vibrant modern city, too.
Once part of the Soviet Union, Baku is now a thriving, dynamic and creative city. The oil boom in the 19th century has seen it grow from strength to strength. In recognition, it was appointed to host the Eurovision contest and more recently the Grand Prix of Europe.
Baku is changing quickly and is a perfect blend between the West and the East. Visitors can feast their eyes on the illuminated architecturally-rich buildings and pedestrianised streets packed with shops and boutiques. Today many modern towers have replaced the old apartment blocks, bringing a fresh, new look to the city. The city has a population of around 2.2 million and is welcoming more and more visitors every year.