places to visit in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, a transcontinental country situated at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With a rich history dating back centuries, this fascinating nation boasts a plethora of places to visit that showcase its cultural heritage and natural beauty. From the charming streets of Baku, the capital city, to the mystical landscapes of the Gobustan National Park, there is something for every traveler in Azerbaijan.

Baku, known for its modern skyline dotted with skyscrapers, holds a prestigious position as the country’s cultural and economic center. However, many are unaware that beneath the bustling metropolis lies the ancient city of Icherisheher, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Step back in time as you wander through the narrow, maze-like streets and explore the historical architecture of this medieval gem. With ancient mosques, palaces, and hammams at every turn, Icherisheher transports visitors to a bygone era.

Beyond Baku, Azerbaijan is home to an array of natural wonders that will leave outdoor enthusiasts in awe. One such marvel is the Gobustan National Park, renowned for its abundant petroglyphs. These prehistoric rock carvings, depicting everything from hunting scenes to ritual dances, provide a glimpse into the lives of our ancestors. Explore the park’s rugged terrain and be captivated by the mystical atmosphere that surrounds these ancient artworks.

For adventure seekers, a trip to the stunning landscapes of Sheki is a must. Situated in the foothills of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, Sheki offers a picturesque escape from the bustling cities. Marvel at the magnificent Sheki Khan’s Palace, adorned with intricate frescoes and stained glass windows, and gain insight into the region’s royal past. As you explore the surrounding villages and untouched nature, it becomes clear why Sheki is often referred to as the “Pearl of Azerbaijan.”

If you’re craving a beach getaway, look no further than the Absheron Peninsula. This coastal area boasts beautiful stretches of sandy beaches along the Caspian Sea. For an added touch of luxury, pay a visit to the iconic Flame Towers. These towering skyscrapers adorn the Baku skyline and are renowned for their mesmerizing light shows that illuminate the city at night. Immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife and experience the fusion of tradition and modernity that defines Azerbaijan.

As you embark on your journey through Azerbaijan, you’ll discover a country brimming with history, beauty, and cultural diversity. Whether you choose to explore the ancient streets of Baku or venture into the enchanting landscapes, this nation offers a travel experience like no other. Let Azerbaijan captivate your senses and reveal its hidden treasures that have been safeguarded for centuries.

places to visit in Azerbaijan

Looking for the best places to visit in Azerbaijan? Discover the hidden gems and must-see attractions!

When it comes to exploring Azerbaijan, this incredible country offers a multitude of unforgettable destinations. From the bustling streets of Baku to the stunning landscapes of Gobustan National Park, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are a history buff, nature lover, or simply seeking a unique cultural experience, Azerbaijan has it all!

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the top places to visit in Azerbaijan, providing detailed insights into each location’s historical significance, natural beauty, and cultural heritage. Join us as we uncover the wonders of the ancient city of Sheki, hike through the breathtaking Caucasus Mountains, and immerse ourselves in the vibrant atmosphere of Nizami Street. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through Azerbaijan’s most captivating destinations!


Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, is a must-visit destination for any traveler. With its stunning blend of modern architecture and historic landmarks, Baku offers a unique experience. One of the top attractions in Baku is the UNESCO-listed Old City, also known as Icherisheher. This ancient walled city is home to numerous historical buildings, including the iconic Maiden Tower and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs.

In addition to its historical sites, Baku also boasts impressive modern architecture. The Flame Towers, with their unique shape and LED lighting displays, are a captivating sight to behold. Visitors can also explore the Heydar Aliyev Center, designed by the renowned architect Zaha Hadid, which showcases contemporary art and exhibits.

Baku is also a vibrant cultural hub, with a wide range of museums, theaters, and galleries. The State Museum of Azerbaijan Carpet and Applied Arts, for example, showcases traditional Azerbaijani carpet weaving techniques. The Azerbaijan National Museum of Art is another must-visit, housing an extensive collection of local and international artwork.

For those looking to immerse themselves in local traditions and flavors, Baku offers a vibrant culinary scene. From delicious street food to high-end dining options, visitors can indulge in a variety of Azerbaijani dishes, such as plov (rice pilaf), dolma (stuffed grape leaves), and qutab (stuffed pancakes).

Baku provides endless opportunities for relaxation and entertainment as well. The city offers beautiful waterfront promenades, bustling shopping districts, and a lively nightlife scene. Visitors can also take a boat ride on the Caspian Sea or enjoy a picnic in one of the city’s numerous parks.

Gobustan National Park

Located just outside of Baku, Gobustan National Park is a fascinating archaeological and geological site. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its rock carvings, also known as petroglyphs, which date back to the Stone Age. These ancient carvings provide a unique glimpse into the prehistoric life of the region.

In addition to the petroglyphs, Gobustan National Park offers stunning landscapes, including mud volcanoes and natural gas vents. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the park’s rugged terrain and learn about its geological history.

Gobustan National Park is also home to ancient burial mounds and settlements, further adding to its historical significance. The park’s museum provides in-depth information about the region’s archaeological findings and the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan.


Nestled in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, Sheki is a charming town known for its rich history and cultural heritage. One of the top attractions in Sheki is the exquisite Sheki Khan’s Palace. This 18th-century palace showcases traditional Azerbaijani architecture and is adorned with beautiful frescoes and stained glass windows.

In addition to the palace, Sheki is famous for its unique craftsmanship. The town is renowned for its intricate woodcarving, silk production, and traditional Azerbaijani sweets such as pakhlava and halva. Visitors can explore workshops and galleries to witness these traditional crafts being practiced.

Sheki is also surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. The nearby Sheki Khanate’s Palace and the picturesque Kish village offer breathtaking views of the mountains and lush green valleys.


Ganja, the second-largest city in Azerbaijan, is a cultural and historical hub. The city’s main attraction is the Ganja Fortress, which dates back to the 12th century. This fortress played a significant role in the region’s history and offers panoramic views of the city.

Ganja is also home to numerous museums and historic landmarks. The Nizami Ganjavi Mausoleum, dedicated to the famous Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi, is a popular site for literary enthusiasts. The Bottle House, made entirely out of glass bottles, is another unique attraction worth visiting.

The city of Ganja also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, showcasing traditional Azerbaijani music, dance, and cuisine. Visitors can experience the vibrant cultural scene of the city through these festive gatherings.


Azerbaijan offers a diverse range of attractions for travelers, with cities like Baku, Sheki, and Ganja providing unique experiences. Whether it’s exploring historical sites, enjoying cultural events, or indulging in local cuisine, there is something for everyone. With its rich history and breathtaking landscapes, Azerbaijan is truly a gem in the Caucasus region.

According to recent statistics, tourism in Azerbaijan has been steadily growing, with an increase of 15% in international arrivals in the past year alone. This highlights the country’s rising popularity as a tourist destination, especially with its diverse array of places to visit in Azerbaijan.

Frequently Asked Questions – Places to Visit in Azerbaijan

1. What are the must-visit places in Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan has numerous places worth visiting, including:

  • Baku Old City
  • Maiden Tower
  • Yanar Dag
  • Gobustan National Park
  • Sheki
  • Quba
  • Shahdag Mountain Resort
  • Heydar Aliyev Center
  • Ateshgah Fire Temple
  • Palace of the Shirvanshahs

2. What is the best time to visit Azerbaijan?

The best time to visit Azerbaijan is during the months of April to June and September to October, when the weather is mild and pleasant. It is advised to avoid the extreme temperatures and crowded tourist areas during the peak summer months of July and August.

3. Are there any UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • Icherisheher (Baku Old City)
  • Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape
  • Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace

4. How can I get around Azerbaijan?

In Azerbaijan, you can get around using various modes of transportation such as:

  • Taxis
  • Metro (in Baku)
  • Buses
  • Trains
  • Shared Minibuses (marshrutkas)

5. Is it safe to travel to Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan is generally a safe country to travel to. However, it is always advisable to take normal precautions like taking care of your belongings, being aware of your surroundings, and following any local advisories or guidelines.

6. Are there any visa requirements for visiting Azerbaijan?

Yes, most visitors to Azerbaijan require a visa. However, citizens of several countries are eligible for visa-free travel or can obtain a visa on arrival. It is recommended to check the visa requirements for your specific nationality and purpose of visit.

7. What is the currency used in Azerbaijan?

The currency used in Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani Manat (AZN).

8. Are English speakers common in Azerbaijan?

While Azerbaijani is the official language, English is becoming increasingly common, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants. However, it is useful to carry a phrasebook or translation app for basic communication.

9. What are some traditional Azerbaijani dishes to try?

When in Azerbaijan, you must try traditional dishes like:

  • Plov (Azerbaijani Pilaf)
  • Dolma (Stuffed Vegetable Rolls)
  • Dushbara (Azerbaijani Dumplings)
  • Qutab (Savory Pancakes)
  • Baklava (Sweet Pastry)

10. Are there any natural attractions in Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan boasts several natural attractions, including:

  • Gobustan National Park
  • Yanar Dag (Burning Mountain)
  • Caspian Sea
  • Shahdag Mountain Range
  • Lahij (Historic Village)


In conclusion, Azerbaijan offers a plethora of captivating destinations that are sure to leave visitors in awe. Baku, the capital city, stands out as a vibrant hub of culture and history, with its well-preserved ancient sites such as the iconic Maiden Tower and the magnificent Palace of the Shirvanshahs. Additionally, the UNESCO-listed Old City of Baku takes visitors on a journey through time, showcasing narrow winding streets, charming courtyards, and majestic landmarks.

Beyond the capital, Azerbaijan boasts remarkable natural wonders like the picturesque Gobustan National Park, where visitors can explore ancient rock formations and witness prehistoric petroglyphs. The mesmerizing mountains of the Caucasus region, including the stunning Shahdag and Sheki, offer breathtaking landscapes for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Furthermore, the ancient city of Shusha invites travelers to delve into Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage, with its rich history, distinctive architecture, and traditional music.

Whether wandering through the bustling streets of Baku, marveling at the country’s natural wonders, or immersing oneself in the vibrant culture of historical cities, Azerbaijan promises an unforgettable experience. With its diverse attractions and warm hospitality, this country has something to offer every visitor, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking both cultural and natural wonders.

general backpacking information about the country