Azerbaijan travel guide

Azerbaijan Tourism | Azerbaijan Guide

You're Going to Love Azerbaijan

Located on the border of Eastern Europe and West Asia, Azerbaijan is a fusion of two different worlds. Evident signs still exist from the Soviet era and rural villages provide a glimpse into the lives of yesteryear. It has the most mud volcanoes out of any country on Earth as well as a dramatic coastline that flanks the Caspian Sea.

What to do in Azerbaijan

1. Marvel at Alinja Fortress

Scale the steps to the top of the mountain to discover an extravagant arrangement of historic walls that have been restored to their 12th-century origins.

2. Go Tile Spotting in Sheki

The gorgeous town is brimming with artistic flair and on the exterior of buildings, there are hand-painted tiles, stained glass, and Iranian mirrorwork.

3. Explore Gobustan National Park

The breathtaking reserve has many of Azerbaijan's mud volcanoes and offers a unique opportunity to bathe on top of the gas pockets. There are also ancient rock carvings visible, which date back to the prehistoric age.

4. Pay Your Respects at the Palace of the Shirvanshahs

Nestled within the Inner City of Baku, the monument contains a mosque, mausoleum, burial vaults, and bath house. The 15th-century building has sweeping views across the city and admission costs approximately 2 AZN (1.20 USD).

5. Photograph the Bottle House

Located in the western city of Ganja, this amusing attraction was constructed with more than 50,000 glass bottles and recreates the shape of a traditional house.

When to visit Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan in May
Estimated hotel price
$61
1 night at 3-star hotel
Azerbaijan in May
Estimated hotel price
$61
1 night at 3-star hotel

The winters can be bitterly cold, and heat strikes in the summer, making ideal travel periods between April and June or September to October. February and March are popular for skiers looking for the best conditions on the slopes.

How to Get to Azerbaijan

Entry Requirements

Travelers must obtain a 30-day e-visa online before arriving and pay a roughly 40 AZN (24 USD) fee. Citizens of some neighboring countries, such as Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Moldova, can enter without a visa. Visas are obtainable upon arrival for many Asian nationals from China, South Korea, Japan, and Malaysia.

Plane

Direct international flights are available to Heydar Aliyev Airport in Baku from destinations, which include Istanbul, New York, Moscow, London, Milan, Tel Aviv, Dubai, and Beijing. A one-way Economy fare with Azerbaijan Airlines from Paris costs approximately 570 AZN (335 USD).

Train

Overnight sleeper trains can be caught from Tbilisi in Georgia and Moscow in Russia. The train from Tbilisi takes about 10h and costs roughly 50 AZN (29 USD) for a 1st class cabin.

Car

A popular border crossing is from Rustavi in Georgia to Qazax, with shops and money exchange counters available. The Derbent-Baku border from Russia along the E119 highway is a major road and you should plan ahead as congestion delays are common.

Bus

It is possible to catch direct buses from multiple destinations across Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Georgia. The 7h 45m route from Derbent to Baku is serviced by several companies and tickets can be purchased for around 38 AZN (22 USD).

Boat

Ferry schedules are irregular, however, you can reach the port cities of Baku and Alat from Turkmenbashi and Aktau across the Caspian Sea.

Popular airlines serving Azerbaijan

United Airlines
Good (2,992 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,408 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,420 reviews)
Iberia
Good (977 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,335 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (1,112 reviews)
LOT
Good (362 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (855 reviews)
Cathay Pacific
Good (82 reviews)
Malaysia Airlines
Good (65 reviews)
Egypt Air
Good (128 reviews)
Aegean Airlines
Excellent (197 reviews)
Pegasus Airlines
Good (244 reviews)
Gulf Air
Good (58 reviews)
Oman Air
Good (6 reviews)
Air Serbia
Good (41 reviews)
Wizz Air
Good (429 reviews)
airBaltic
Good (52 reviews)
SriLankan Airlines
Good (11 reviews)
Kuwait Airways
Good (90 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Azerbaijan

Global hotel chains can be found in Baku, while cities just further north, such as Sumqayit and Bilgah, offer resort destinations that are more peaceful.

Where to stay in popular areas of Azerbaijan

Most booked hotels in Azerbaijan

Four Seasons Hotel Baku
Excellent (9.3, 315 reviews)
$360+
Winter Park Hotel Baku
Excellent (9.1, 1870 reviews)
$84+
Qafqaz Tufandag Mountain Resort Hotel
Excellent (8.8, 1913 reviews)
$124+
Fairmont Baku - Flame Towers
Excellent (8.7, 844 reviews)
$190+
Hilton Baku
Excellent (8.7, 658 reviews)
$171+
Qafqaz Riverside Resort Hotel
Excellent (8.6, 1454 reviews)
$80+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Azerbaijan

Public Transportation

Baku is the only city with a metro system, a 3-line network that runs from 6:00 am until 12:00 am. Trams and buses are also available across town with single fare tickets costing roughly 0.30 AZN (0.20 USD).

Trains

Many regional destinations, including Yevlax, Salyan, Sheki, and Shusha, can be reached on the state-owned railway network.

Bus

Regular services operate across the country and tickets can be purchased from the transport hubs, which are often near central markets known as bazaars. The trip from Baku to Sumqayit takes 1h 30m and is priced at about 2 AZN (1.20 USD).

Car

Many roads between cities are unpaved and rather narrow, making driving in Azerbaijan a dangerous pursuit.

Plane

Domestic flights are available between the cities of Ganja, Nakhchivan, and Baku with Azerbaijan Airlines. Economy fares usually cost around 55-70 AZN (32-41 USD).

The Cost of Living in Azerbaijan

A three-course meal can be enjoyed for roughly 20 AZN (12 USD), while groceries for a week cost about 25-30 AZN (14-17 USD). Credit cards are rarely accepted outside of hotels, while bargaining is commonplace in market stalls.

Popular cities in Azerbaijan