Airport market: Dodgy shopping
Airport market also known as Airport Tolkuchka is located near the Baku Bina Airport. It is absolutely huge and can take a whole day to get around it. Everything there is much cheaper than in town and you can always bargain on the prices. You can find just about anything there and sometimes the fake doesn't look any different than the brand name ;-) Do not count on public toilets but if get hungry, there are some small cafes where you can get a bite. The market has a very local feeling and can be fun to visit even if you're not planning to do any shopping.
What to buy: In Baku you can buy fur at a relatively good price. Leather is brought from Turkey and isn't that expensive either.
What to pay: You can spend very little or a lot. Depends what item you go for. Make sure to bargain for anything you buy even if it seems very cheap.
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Shopping for souvenirs
There are many souvenir shops around town but most of them are conveniently located near each other on Fountain Square and Nizami Street (a.k.a. Torgovaya). There are also many in the Old Town but they mostly sell carpets.
What to buy: To bring it as a souvenir from Azerbaijan you could buy a number of things... Mini carpets are always a nice gift or you could buy small daggers, swords, silver cup-holders, souvenir back-gamon, silk scarves, miniature dolls wearing national Azeri dresses or anything made from carpet material.
What to pay: Depending on what you are going to purchase the prices will vary. But nothing should be expensive. As a rule, negotiate before buying anything in any souvenir shop!
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Ramstore: First Shopping mall in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan Ramstore founded in 1996,Xatai, had to stop its services due to a fire damaged the building in June, 2001. After rebuilding and re-opening it, Xatai started to serve the public again in 2002. Azerbaijan Ramstore, in order to increase its market share, continued to open new stores in different formats between 1996 and 2000, and opened 2 new stores in capital Baku. Today, Ramstore QTSC, continues its operations with 3 stores which have 5216 sqm (m²) closed area in different parts of the city.
airport area: expencive or cheap?
You can find more original brands in tarkoy, but they are expensive, if you want cheaper you must go to airport market area, from outside of airport (nlocals said: "aaraaport")
There were very low price dresses and crafts that are often from china. You don’t forget that all shops will close in 5p.m because people must go to recreation!
What to buy: cristals and berets
Mum Market or Fountains Square
Mum (pronounced Tsoom) is an old university which has been converted into a department store and stocks EVERYTHING from gold to televisions. There are some good bargains to be had so get down there!
Also, Fountains Square is where all of Baku's shopping is done. It is awash with lots of local and foreign shops, selling clothes, phones, cd's/dvd's etc. There's even a McDonalds to refill when you get tired of all thats shopping!
What to buy: You should purchase a Matrioshka doll, traditional Russian and very well made. Also, pick up a souvenir carpet, as the carpets in Azerbaijan are renouned worldwide.
What to pay: Carpets - 5 Shirvan upwards. ($10 approx.)
Matrioska Dolls - 2 Shirvan ($4 approx.)
Among the many street markets, Taza Bazaar seems to be one of the largest and oldest. Almost everything from household goods to food is on sale here. Especially the sections with the colourful fruits and vegetables, nuts, herbs and oriental spices are well worth taking some photos.
Besides fresh fish from the Caspian Sea, also the famous Beluga caviar is said to be on offer at some market stalls.
The nearest metro station to visit Taza Bazaar is "Nizami". From here it is a good 15 minutes walk along the street Salatin Asgarova to get to the market. The main entrance is on the Samed Vurgun Street.
Address: Taza Bazaar, Samed Vurgun Street 73, Nasimi District, Baku
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Taza Bazaar: Caviar Paradise
Caviar (kuru) is one of the Azeri luxuries, and you can taste it not only canned but also fresh. There's some sturgeon farming but most caviar comes from the dwindling stocks of the Caspian sea.
In Baku the best place to find caviar is at the Taza bazaar, near the Circus. Beluga is rather rare in Baku - most production of Beluga is exported. Most caviar you find in Baku is Osetra and Sevruga. You should also be aware that most fresh caviar is fully authentic, but illegally poached.
Beware that you are only allowed to take 600 g of caviar out of the country. Customs inspectors are skilled at checking for contraband in x-rayed luggage at the airport.
What to buy: caviar
What to pay: Baku Beluga from Azerbaijan is considered the rarest caviar in the world. It sells for $175 per ounce on the Internet,
Kitsch souvenirs and accessories on sale in the streets. Remember to bargain, not only because items are over 100% overpriced, but it may be that you’ll buy something after all.
What to buy: An Azerbaijani hat/fes was enough for me :-)
Azeribaijani Brandy!: Buying a small souvenir
Pretty much anywhere
What to buy: Brandy from Azerbaijan was highly thought of in the old Soviet Union and can be picked up anywhere. Not bering much of a brandy drinker I will put it down as an acquired taste and leave it at that ;-) If you have the time and the space a carpet would be a much nicer gift!
What to pay: 10 euro but no doubt more or less depending on where you go
Souvenir Shop: Quality Azeri Souvenirs
There's a small souvenir shop on the street just south of Xagani, near the Pushkin intersection. It sells high quality handmade local crafts and paintings at reasonable prices. The staff is relaxed and friendly, and you should be able to bargain if you purchase more than one item. The quality is much better than we found elsewhere.
A wide variety of carpets, varying from traditional motives to new age global motives - see the "War in Afghanistan" carpet featuring grenades, tanks and other "symbols".
This one was 200 dollars :-)
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Dont forget to buy dryfruits
There are many open air bazaars, small markets, branded shops.
What to buy: In Bazaars & markets one can buy dryfuits like apricot, dates, saffron, almonds etc which is very cheap. You need to bargain for a good price any any shop except in the branded shops & the shops near fountain square.
Even one can get very good electronic itmes, souveniers etc. The most famous souvenier is Matryoshka. Also, the small carpets are very famous.
What to pay: Pay about 70-80 % of the price told by the seller. The final price depends on your negotiation skills!
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