Tourist Attractions in Azerbaijanby Luz Prada | June 12, 2020
Azerbaijan is the largest state in the Caucasus, a region that lies between Western Asia and Eastern Europe. The region is world-known for its impressive mountain ranges such as the Greater Caucasus mountain range, considered to physically separate Europe and Asia.
The tourist attractions in Azerbaijan are many and diverse. Although traditionally exploited for its oil and natural resources, the region has so much more to offer as one of the places with the oldest history of the world, as well as an extremely diverse cultural heritage and spectacular nature.
If you are planning to visit Azerbaijan, you will need an Azerbaijan e-Visa. Visagov provides you with an easy and simple system to obtain it thanks to our simplified application form for Azerbaijan e-Visa that takes you only about 5 minuts to complete. The e-Visa enables you to visit Azerbaijan for up to 30 days by only applying online instead of visiting the embassy.
Which are the main cities in Azerbaijan?
A couple of days is enough to go all over Baku. Beyond the historic centre, you will pass through the Flame Towers, three skyscrapers in the shape of a flame that you reach by crossing a beautiful park; the Carpet Museum, a building shaped like a carpet; the Taza Pir Mosque; the futuristic Heydar Aliyev Center or Fountain Square and the rest of downtown's fashionable buildings. If you have time, the oil extractors by the sea or a visit to Yanar Dag, the Fire Temple of Ateshgah and Yasil Market are always interesting.
Although Baku is a spectacular city, the award for the most beautiful city in Azerbaijan goes to Besbarmaq, located north of the capital. The reason is because of its parks, gardens and nature reserves, including the Waterfall of Afruja and the Tengi canyon.
Shabran is in a strategic enclave and its origins go back to an element of protection so it should not be surprising that the highlights of the city are Gilgilchay and Ciraq Qala, two forts that have reached the 21st century on foot.
The city itself is not much, but it is the starting point to explore the villages of the Caucasus. From here you can leave for Xinaliq and its spectacular landscapes or Laza, two villages that can be seen in a day.
Another beautiful city of Azerbaijan, which will surprise you because it is almost hidden in the mountains. Its most recognisable symbol is that of the old houses covered with tiles, in addition to the Khan’s Palace. You also cannot overlook the hotel-caracasar, an architectural ensemble that gives you an incredible view in the background with wooded hills and the tops of the snow-capped mountains.
We stop in the second city of the country, Ganja, located about 360 kilometres west of Baku. Its most emblematic place is the Nizami Mausoleum, built between the 13th and 14th centuries, although it was rebuilt in 1990 following the traditional model. In its day it was the capital and had great commercial activity. There you can visit palaces like baths, madrasas and other buildings of the 12th and 13th century.
What is famous in Azerbaijan?
From its beautiful and modern capital, Baku, to its arid plains, beautiful coastline, and some of the highest mountain ranges in Europe, Azerbaijan is known as the land of fire and it offers an interesting mix of authenticity and adventure in a culturally charged territory, a perfect blend of the East and the West.
- Absheron National Park: A very popular tourist attraction in Azerbaijan, the Absheron National Park offers some of the aridest and impressive landscapes in the country. And if that wasn’t enough, it is also home to more than 50 species of animals, including some endangered ones.
- An historic coastal tourist attraction in Azerbaijan: Astara. All the way down south, by the border with Iran, there is one of the oldest towns in Azerbaijan. Astara is a beautiful coastal town surrounded by stunning landscapes. The Talysh mountains and the Hirkan National Park are two of the most popular and beautiful natural destinations in the area.
- Green tourist attractions in Quba: The northeast region of Azerbaijan is well-known for its green landscapes and culturally rich small villages. This is the perfect place to experience Azerbaijan’s culture at its best. The region has some of the oldest and highest rural villages in the country. Khinalug is a stunning 5,000-year-old town that offers what some may consider the best views of the mountain range and it is actually the most remote tourist attraction of Azerbaijan.
- Lake Goygol: 1,500 meters above sea level, this lake is located in the stunning Goygol National Park. Be prepared to witness a fairytale-like setting with crystal-clear waters that have inspired painters and artists in the country for centuries.
- The Caspian Sea: Considered the largest lake in the world, driving along the Azeri coast of the Caspian Sea is a calm and beautiful road trip experience. Small towns and traditional villages are bathed by the Caspian waters.
- Venture into the autonomic region the Republic of Artsakh, a territory that, although not internationally recognized, it’s perceived as an independent territory by Azerbaijan. Travelling to Artsakh is an interesting experience, the region is highly mountainous, and exploring its remote and arid landscapes is one of the main tourist attractions for travellers visiting Azerbaijan. The Alinja castle is one of the most visited attractions in Artsakh.
What is famous in Baku?
The capital of Azerbaijan is perhaps the perfect representation of the country’s essence. Baku offers a beautiful mix of history and architecture that goes back more than 800 years combined with modern skyscrapers and a truly cosmopolitan vibe.
Baku is the main tourist destination of Azerbaijan for two reasons. One, because it is the capital of this former Soviet republic and two, because it is a unique city in the world, a contrast between the Azeri tradition and futurism. That is the only way to explain how the historic centre, a World Heritage Site, coexists with ultramodern buildings. In this historical centre of Baku, you cannot miss the Maiden Tower, a symbol of the country (you will see it on its bank notes) and the Palace of the Shirvanshas who ruled between the 9th and 16th centuries.
- Walking around Baku’s old town, known as Icheri Seher, is a true delight. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site, Icheri Seher is a great maze of narrow stone streets connecting palaces, towers, city walls and mosques from the last three centuries. History is alive in Baku’s old town and walking its streets will make you feel it.
- Baku’s modern centre is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Azerbaijan. The impressive Flame Towers preside over the city skyline and have become an emblem praised by all Azeris, symbolizing the fire that characterizes an area with natural gas flares from the earth and also the mysticism of the divine.
- Gobustan National Park: Gobustan is one of the most popular national parks in Azerbaijan, and it’s no surprise! Its location, less than 2 hours from Baku, makes it accessible and easy to get to from the capital. The Park has some of the world’s oldest rock carvings and it is also home to some of the country’s most spectacular mud volcanoes such as the Gobustan volcano.
Is Azerbaijan safe for tourists?
Azerbaijan in the safest country in the Caucasus region. It is a democratic republic that was established in 1918 and, after being under the Soviet Union for 70 years, it became independent in 1991. The overall risk for tourists in Azerbaijan is considered to be low to medium on a global scale. Public transport, as well as taxis and roads, are considered very safe and they should not pose any problems for locals or tourists. However, paying attention is recommended in order not to be overcharged for being a tourist.
Pickpocketing and petty crimes are not uncommon, as in many major tourist destinations around the world. It is recommended to stay alert when transiting through packed places such as train stations or tourist attractions. Keeping your valuables safe at all times is recommended.
As for natural disasters, Azerbaijan being on mountainous terrain makes it prone to earthquakes, floods, landslides and climatic adversities. The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic affected Azerbaijan in a moderate way. A quarantine was established nationwide and the pandemic was successfully controlled in the country.
Is Azerbaijan worth visiting?
Despite not being the most popular tourist destination in Europe or Asia, Azerbaijan is an amazing country that has a lot to offer to visitors. Its diverse tourist attractions range from dense forests and dramatic landscapes to historical cities and cultural activities. And just in case that wasn’t enough, Azerbaijan is one of the most affordable countries in Eastern Europe and Western Asia, allowing overseas tourists to make the most out of their budget. Azerbaijan’s tourist industry offers the perfect mix of remoteness and modernization.