Azerbaijan Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Baku tourist information, Azerbaijan food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Baku. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
Search for Schools:

Azerbaijan Travel Guide



Azerbaijan Visa & Embassy Info

Full country name: Republic of Azerbaijan
Area: 86,600 sq km
Population: 9,047,000
Capital City: Baku
Language: Azerbaijani (Azeri)
Religion: 95.4% Muslims, 2.8% Russian Orthodox
Government: Presidential republic
Time Zone: UTC (UTC+4), summer – DST (UTC+5)
Dialing Code: +994
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Currency: Azerbaijani Manat (AZN)*
Exchange rates (approximate, November 2011): £1 = 1.25 manat €1 = 1 manat (May 2012) US$1 = 0.786 *Keep in mind that import and export of manat is strictly forbidden.

Background information:
Azerbaijan is a nation with a majority of Muslim population. The country regained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh enclave (largely Armenian populated). Azerbaijan has lost 16% of its territory and must support some 571,000 internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict.

Geography:
Azerbaijan is situated in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. The three main physical features that dominate Azerbaijan are the Caspian Sea, whose shoreline forms a natural boundary to the east; the Greater Caucasus mountain range to the north; and the extensive flatlands at the country's center. The country is about the same size as Portugal or the state of Maine.

Climate:
The best time to visit lowland Azerbaijan is April to June, when skies are clear and the land is green. October is also lovely in Baku, with warm days and crisp nights, though much of the countryside is parched brown. Summers are usually unpleasantly hot in low-lying areas, with Baku unpleasantly humid. However, in the higher mountains July is the ideal trekking season, although you might still need a decent jacket at night.

Places to visit:

  • The Petroglyphs at Gobustan
  • Khinalug – scenic, remote mountain village once a center of Zoroastrianism
  • Mud volcanoes which spout up in over 300 locations nationwide
  • Caspian Hyrcanian forests
  • Tears of Kyapaz a string of seven idyllic mountain lakes

Food:
Kebabs, plovs and soups are the highlight dishes of the Azerbaijani cuisine. There are over 30 kinds of soup recipes including those prepared plainly form yogurt. One of the most reputed dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine, however, is plov from saffron-covered rice, served with various herbs and greens, a combination totally distinctive from Uzbek plovs. Other second courses include a wide variety of lamb, beef, chicken kebabs and shashlik. Dried fruits and walnuts are also commonly used in many local dishes.

Dangers & Warnings:
Apart from the sometimes-terrifying driving, Azerbaijan is generally a very safe country. Here you are more likely to encounter hospitality than crime. However, sometimes that hospitality is tempered with a certain intrusive inquisitiveness, which can become tiresome. Lone travelers should be warned as they are especially likely to raise questions in local minds. Police in small, out-of-the way places seem to imagine any outsider to be a potential spy.

Social Custom & Etiquette Breaches:

  • Do not put your feet up while sitting and try not to show the bottom of your feet to someone.
  • Pointing with your finger at someone, even discreetly is considered very insulting.
  • Touching someone without permission is considered extremely rude.
  • Tourists should not bear hug or back slap someone, especially in formal situations and occasions and with someone you just met or you do not know well enough.
  • Raising your voice or shouting in public should be avoided, especially on public transportation.
  • Swearing in public should be avoided even while talking among friends.

Emergency contact numbers:

  • Ambulance: 103
  • Fire: 101
  • Gas Emergency: 104
  • Speaking Clock: 106
  • Police: 102

Celebrate:

  • These are the nationally recognized holidays for people living in Azerbaijan
  • New Year (1-2 Jan)
  • Women’s Day (8 Mar)
  • Victory Day (9 May)
  • Republic Day (28 May)
  • Day of National Salvation of Azerbaijan People (15 Jun)
  • Day of Military Forces of Azerbaijan Republic (26 Jun)
  • State Sovereignty Day (18 Oct)
  • Constitution Day (12 Nov)
  • National Rebirth Day (17 Nov)
  • Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis (31 Dec)
  • Novruz Bayram – 5 days
  • Gurban Bayram (Day of Sacrifice) - 2 days
  • Ramazan Eid (Days after Ramadan fasting) 2-3 days
Sponsored Links
Traveler's Guide
Sponsored Links