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Azerbaijan

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About Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, which is a former Soviet Republic is a nation surrounded by the Caspian Sea on one side and the Caucasus Mountains on the other side. With an amazing landscape, numerous World heritage sites declared by UNESCO and beautiful Muslim Mosques, this place is a hub of culture and blessed with the wonders of Mother Nature. With its capital being a walled city, this place has some of the best architectural and historic monuments which will leave you stunned with their natural beauty.

There are numerous hiking trails and routes frequented by tourists from all over the world. So if you are a trekking enthusiast, the place is indeed a heaven for you. If you are interested in art and culture, this place is loaded with interesting things for you and even if you are the kind of person who does not want to do anything but chill and relax, there are beaches for you to pamper you with a calm atmosphere. Hence, Azerbaijan is a holiday destination which has something in place for each and every type of tourist.

The kind of options available in this country are very wide and you can plan your trip and sight-seeing destinations according to your choice and preferences and no matter what you plan, you are sure to enjoy this trip to the fullest.

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Azerbaijan FAQ's

Which are the best places to visit in Azerbaijan?

Ganja City- Ganja City is one of the best places to visit in Azerbaijan. It is the second-largest city located in the western part of the country. It has a rich history that dates back to 2,500 years ago, with influences from Persian, Russian, and Ottoman civilisations.

On your visit to the city, you must witness the Nizami Mausoleum that honours the famous poet Nizami Ganjavi. Another unique attraction of the city is the Bottle House, which is made entirely of glass bottles. If you are an adventure lover, you can have a fun-filled day at the Heydar Aliyev Park with your friends and family.

Sheki- Sheki is an ancient city in Azerbaijan that is filled with history and culture. It was an important stop on the Silk Road, connecting many trade routes. One of the main attractions in the city is the Khan’s Palace, which is famous for its beautiful stained glass windows and detailed wood carvings.

You can also enjoy the amazing views of the city and its surroundings from the Sheki Fortress nearby. In the village of Kish, you can visit the primitive Albanian Church that dates back to the 1st century AD. If you want to explore the trade history of the place, you can visit the Sheki Caravanserai.

Baku- Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan and is the largest city in the country, located at the meeting point of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is an old city with both modern skyscrapers and historic buildings. The Baku Flame Towers are famous landmarks that light up the skyline of the entire city.

Moreover, the Old City called Icherisheher, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with ancient sites like the Maiden Tower and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. Baku also houses stunning attractions like the Seaside Boulevard and the Heydar Aliyev Center, which are known for their unique modern architecture.

Shamakhi- Located about 120 kilometres northwest of Baku, Shamakhi is one of the oldest cities in Azerbaijan dating back to the 1st to 2nd century AD. This city is renowned for its rich history and gorgeous landscapes. One of the main attractions of the city is the Juma Mosque, which is the first mosque in Azerbaijan built in the 8th century.

Nature lovers can explore the highest peak in the country, Mount Bazarduzu, where you can hike with your friends and family. You can also enjoy the thermal springs in Shamakhi by relaxing in its mineral-rich waters, or take a tour of the wineries around the city.

What are the best things to do in Azerbaijan?

Explore the Fire Temple of Baku- If you are interested in ancient history and mystical legends, visiting the Fire Temple of Baku is one of the best things to do in Azerbaijan. Built over 2,000 years ago, this temple was a place of worship for the Zoroastrians.

According to legends, this temple was built over a natural gas vent that would ignite to create impressive flames. Although the flames are no longer there, the temple remains an amazing site to explore. You can gain insights about the old traditions and history of the country at this unique place.

Go for a dip in the Mud Volcanoes- Taking a dip in the Mud Volcanoes is a unique thing to do in Azerbaijan. These are not typical volcanoes with fire and lava. Instead, they are ground vents that release a mixture of water, mud, and gases.

There are over 400 of them in Azerbaijan, out of which some can shoot up mud as high as 700 meters, which is almost as tall as the Burj Khalifa. The mud in these volcanoes comprises of minerals and offers a fun and therapeutic experience for all travellers. 

Taste the regional cuisine of Azerbaijan- Food lovers can enjoy the local cuisine of the region on their visit to Azerbaijan. You can start with the national dish of plov, which is a flavourful rice dish prepared with lamb, chicken, or beef. Saffron is used to cook the rice in this dish, and then it is topped off with crispy fried onions. The next dish that you must try is dolma, which is made from minced meat, rice, onions, and herbs, and then stuffed and sealed in grape leaves.

It is advisable to try their Qutabs, which are thin wraps filled with minced meat and herbs, and sometimes cheese. You can also try teh popular dessert of baklava, made with layers of phyllo dough and chopped nuts, with honey syrup on the top.

Unwind yourself at the Caspian Sea- Unwinding at the Caspian Sea is a fantastic experience you can have in Azerbaijan. It is the largest lake in the world which offers a serene escape from city life. With its sun-kissed beaches and stunning natural surroundings, the Caspian Sea is the perfect place for relaxation.

It is a popular summer destination where you can indulge in water sports, boat rides, and yacht excursions. You will also find many beach resorts, hotels, and wellness centres along the shoreline here. Visiting the Caspian Sea is a great way to rejuvenate yourself and enhance your trip to Azerbaijan.

How do I reach Azerbaijan?

Boarding a flight is the best way to reach Azerbaijan from India. There are around 20 direct flights from Delhi in India to Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Azerbaijan. You can also opt for connecting flights from major Indian cities like Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Cochin to Baku in Azerbaijan.

Some of the popular airlines that operate on this route are Emirates, Gulf Air, Jet Airways, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. These flights offer layovers in cities like Dubai, Istanbul, or Bahrain. It will take you around 5 to 28 hours to cover an aerial distance of about 3,522 kilometres.

What is the best time to visit Azerbaijan?

Although Azerbaijan is an all-year-round tourist destination, the best time to visit the country is from March to May and September to October. During this time, the place enjoys the spring and autumn seasons, respectively, with temperatures fluctuating between 12 and 20 degrees Celsius.

It is an ideal time to see the blooming wildflowers in Shirvan National Park and Hirkan National Park during the spring season. On the other hand, you can attend the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in the autumn season.

What currency is used in Azerbaijan?

The official currency used in Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani Manat, which is abbreviated as AZN. It is further divided into 100 qapiks. 1 AZN equals around 49 INR in India. Additionally, here you can find major hotels, supermarkets, and restaurants that often accept credit cards. You can also easily exchange Euros, British pounds, and US dollars or withdraw cash from the ATMs in most major cities and towns of this country. 

Is a visa required for Azerbaijan?

Yes, a visa is required to travel from India to Azerbaijan. You can apply for one from the Azerbaijan embassy or consulate in India. Alternatively, you can also apply for it online through the official government portal. After submitting the essential documents and the fee of INR 2,272 per person, it takes around 15 working days for the application to process. Once the visa is approved, it remains valid for around 90 days and you can stay in the country for a maximum of 30 days.

What are some famous streets in Azerbaijan?

Nizami Street, Baku- Nizami Street is a bustling area in the city centre of Baku in Azerbaijan. Named after the famous Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi, it is like the Broadway of New York or the Arbat of Moscow. At night, the street becomes even more attractive, with beautiful chandeliers lighting up the area.

The pedestrian-only part of Nizami Street, called Torgovaya, is full of shops of big brands, restaurants, and cafes. The decorative sculptures and illuminated fountains here add to the charm of the place. You can also take a pleasant walk in the peaceful surroundings of Nizami Street while exploring the diverse array of outlets and looking for souvenirs.

Fountain Square, Baku- Fountain Square is another famous street in Baku. This street is well-known for its beautiful fountains, surrounded by vibrant shops, cafes, and restaurants. Both locals and tourists gather around this street to soak up the lively atmosphere and relax by the water.

The square often hosts events, street performances, and festivals like New Year's and National Celebrations, that add to the energetic vibe of the place. It is the perfect place to experience the culture of the city, do some shopping, taste local food, or just watch the world go by amid the lively downtown scene of Baku.

Javad Khan Street, Sheki- Javad Khan Street offers a glimpse into the fascinating blend of history and modern life in Sheki. Named after the last Khan of Ganja, Javad Khan, it is one of the longest and most central streets of the city. This street is renowned for its beautiful red brick buildings, some of which have been standing there for centuries.

You will find historical landmarks like the house of the Khasmammadov brothers and the workshop of the Singer brothers. Moreover, you can take a stroll along this lively street, explore the shops, cafes, and traditional tea houses, and enjoy some delicious Ganja baklava along the way.

Tbilisi Avenue, Baku- Tbilisi Avenue in Baku, Azerbaijan, is a major road in the north of the city. It starts at the crossroads of Bakikhanov and Jaffar Jabbarly streets and ends at 20 January Circle beside the 20 January metro station. This street played an important role in the history of the country when the army tanks of the Soviet Army rolled through it in 1990, resulting in the massacre of several hundred civilians.

Some of the popular buildings and iconic monuments that you will find along the avenue include the Ministry of Transport of the Azerbaijan Republic and the Monument to Mehdi Huseynzade.

Is there a dress code to follow in Azerbaijan?

No, there is no official dress code in Azerbaijan. However, it is advisable to dress modestly, especially in religious places. In Baku, women often wear Western clothes, while men can wear shorts in summer. On the other hand, men in shorts outside Baku might attract unwanted attention. Generally, women can consider avoiding shorts, short skirts, tight or revealing clothes, topless or sleeveless tops.

What are the best ways to travel in and around Azerbaijan?

Bus- Buses are the cheapest way to travel in and around Azerbaijan. Some of the renowned bus travel companies operating in the country are Baku Taxi Company and 189 Taxi. These buses operate from Heydar Aliyev International Airport to the city centre and back. 

Taxi- Taxis are another convenient mode of transportation in Azerbaijan. You can use the BakuCard to pay for these taxis for round transfers. Uber and Bolt are some of the other popular options for hiring taxis in the country. 

Train- Direct train services are available in cities like Sheki, Ganja, and Gabala in Azerbaijan. You can choose between express or overnight sleeper trains to travel around the country.

Azerbaijan Reviews

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Mickita Hablani
Reviewed: 19 Jun 2024
5.0/5
I had a great time. I loved the entire Itinerary except the trip to Gabala with overnight stay. We could have gone and come back. Rest everything was well managed. The driver especially was very humble and helpful.
review-img
Mickita Hablani
Reviewed: 19 Jun 2024
5.0/5
The entire experience was wonderful and beyond exepectatuons except I think that wait time between the flights could have been shorter.

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