Popular cities in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, located in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, is known for its rich history and culture. One of the main draws for visitors to this country are its popular cities, which offer a vibrant mix of ancient architecture, modern attractions, and warm hospitality. From the cosmopolitan Baku to the historic Sheki and the picturesque Ganja, each city has its own unique charm.

Baku, the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, is a bustling metropolis that seamlessly blends old and new. The city’s skyline is dominated by modern skyscrapers, such as the iconic Flame Towers, while its historic center, known as the Icherisheher, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This walled city within Baku dates back to the 12th century and is a treasure trove of ornate mosques, palaces, and caravanserais. With its vibrant nightlife, delicious cuisine, and cultural festivals, Baku has become a major tourist destination in recent years.

Situated in the foothills of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, Sheki is a city renowned for its rich architectural heritage. The ancient Silk Road once passed through this historic city, leaving behind a legacy of stunning landmarks. Sheki’s most famous attraction is the Palace of the Sheki Khans, a magnificent 18th-century residence adorned with exquisite frescoes and stained glass windows. The city is also known for its traditional crafts, including silk production and glass blowing. Today, Sheki is a popular destination for those seeking a glimpse into the country’s past.

Ganja, the second-largest city in Azerbaijan, has a history that dates back over 2,500 years. It was once a prominent center of the medieval Islamic world and is home to several architectural masterpieces. The most notable landmark in Ganja is the iconic Shah Abbas Mosque, an impressive structure with intricate tilework and a soaring minaret. The city is also known for its vibrant music and arts scene, hosting numerous festivals throughout the year. Ganja’s lush parks and gardens, coupled with its warm hospitality, make it an appealing destination for nature lovers and cultural enthusiasts alike.

While each of these popular cities in Azerbaijan has its own distinct character, they all share a common thread – a rich heritage deeply rooted in history. Whether exploring Baku’s modern skyline, walking through the centuries-old streets of Sheki, or immersing oneself in Ganja’s vibrant arts scene, visitors to Azerbaijan are sure to be captivated by the country’s culture and charm. So why not embark on a journey to these alluring cities and experience the magic for yourself?

cities in Azerbaijan

What are the most popular cities in Azerbaijan?

Discover the vibrant cities of Azerbaijan that are attracting travelers from all around the world. From the historic streets of Baku, the capital city, to the charming architecture of Sheki, this article delves into the appeal of the most popular cities in Azerbaijan. Explore their cultural heritage, picturesque landscapes, and unique experiences that make these cities must-visit destinations. Continue reading to learn more about the fascinating cities awaiting your exploration in Azerbaijan.

Popular cities in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, located in the South Caucasus region, is home to a number of diverse and vibrant cities. From bustling capital cities to charming historical towns, each city offers unique attractions and experiences. Here, we delve into some of the most popular cities in Azerbaijan.


Baku, the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, is undoubtedly the country’s most popular city. Situated on the shores of the Caspian Sea, Baku is a blend of rich history, modern architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. The city is filled with stunning landmarks, such as the iconic Flame Towers and the UNESCO-listed Walled City of Baku, also known as the Old City.

Baku also boasts a flourishing arts and entertainment scene, with numerous museums, theaters, and music venues. Visitors can explore the city’s vibrant street art, wander through its charming neighborhoods, and indulge in delicious Azerbaijani cuisine. Baku is also famous for its lively nightlife, with an array of stylish bars and clubs to choose from.


Situated in the western part of Azerbaijan, Ganja is the country’s second-largest city and a popular destination for both locals and tourists. It is known for its historic significance, as well as its beautiful landscapes. Ganja has a rich architectural heritage, with attractions such as the Shah Abbas Mosque, the Nizami Mausoleum, and the Ganja Gates.

The city is also surrounded by natural beauty, including the Goy-Gol Lake and the Shahdagh National Park, which offer opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing. Ganja is also famous for its annual flower festival, where the whole city is adorned with vibrant flowers.


Located in the picturesque foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, Sheki is a charming city known for its stunning architecture and rich history. The city’s most famous landmark is the magnificent Sheki Khan’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its intricate stained glass windows and exquisite frescoes.

In addition to the palace, Sheki is home to a number of historical sites, including the Caravanserai, which once served as a trading post along the Silk Road. The city’s old town is a maze of narrow winding streets, traditional houses, and quaint shops selling local crafts and delicacies.


Located just north of Baku, Sumgayit is one of Azerbaijan’s largest industrial cities. While it may not be as popular among tourists as Baku or Ganja, Sumgayit offers a glimpse into the country’s industrial development. The city is known for its petrochemical plants and oil refineries, which play a vital role in Azerbaijan’s economy.

Despite its industrial nature, Sumgayit also has some attractions worth exploring. These include the dazzling Sumgayit Boulevard, lined with parks, fountains, and recreational activities, as well as the Sumgayit Olympic Sports Complex, which hosted several events during the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games.

In conclusion, Azerbaijan is home to a variety of popular cities, each with its own unique charm and attractions. From the bustling streets of Baku to the historic landmarks of Ganja and the architectural wonders of Sheki, there is something for every traveler in Azerbaijan.

Statistic: According to the World Bank, Azerbaijan received over 2.7 million international tourists in 2019, with Baku being the most visited city.

Popular cities in Azerbaijan FAQ

1. What are some popular cities to visit in Azerbaijan?

– Baku

– Ganja

– Sheki

– Gabala

– Nakhchivan

– Lankaran

– Goychay

– Sumqayit

– Mingachevir

– Quba

2. What can I expect in Baku?

In Baku, you can expect a vibrant city with a mix of modern architecture and historic buildings. The city offers a lively nightlife, delicious cuisine, and interesting cultural attractions such as the UNESCO-listed Old City and the Flame Towers.

3. Is Ganja worth visiting?

Yes, Ganja is worth visiting for its rich history, beautiful parks, and notable landmarks like the Ganja Gate and Bottle House. The city also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year.

4. What attractions are there in Sheki?

Sheki is known for its impressive Sheki Khan’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other attractions include the Sheki Fortress, local craft shops, and the picturesque Sheki Bazaar.

5. What is special about Gabala?

Gabala is known for its natural beauty, including the stunning Gabala Lake and the Tufandag Mountain Resort. The city also offers amusement parks, historical sites like the Nohur Lake, and outdoor activities like hiking and skiing.

6. What can I explore in Nakhchivan?

In Nakhchivan, you can explore attractions such as the ancient city of Ordubad, the Alinja Fortress, and the Khan Palace. The city also boasts beautiful landscapes and hot springs.

7. What makes Lankaran a popular destination?

Lankaran is popular for its stunning coastline and beaches along the Caspian Sea. The city is also known for its tea plantations, citrus farms, and the beautiful Lankaran Fortress.

8. What is the significance of Goychay?

Goychay is famous for its pomegranates, and the city even hosts an annual Pomegranate Festival. Visitors can enjoy local pomegranate products, explore the city’s parks and gardens, and learn about the region’s agricultural heritage.

9. What can I see in Sumqayit?

In Sumqayit, you can see attractions such as the Sumqayit Beach, the city’s modern architecture, and the nearby Shuvalan Waterfall. The city also offers various recreational activities, including water sports.

10. What are the highlights of Quba?

The highlights of Quba include the famous Juma Mosque, the Tengealti Gorge with its beautiful waterfall, and the picturesque village of Khinalug, located in the mountains nearby. Quba is also renowned for its carpet-making traditions.


Baku, Ganja, and Sumgait are the three most popular cities in Azerbaijan. Baku, the capital, is a stunning blend of old and new, with its rich history and modern architecture. The city offers a variety of attractions, such as the historic old town, the iconic Flame Towers, and the beautiful Baku Boulevard. Ganja, the second-largest city, is known for its vibrant cultural scene and historical landmarks, like the stunning Ganja Gate. It also has impressive recreational areas, including the Lake Goygol and the Shahdag National Park. Sumgait, on the other hand, is a rapidly growing industrial city with a fascinating mix of urban development and natural beauty. The city offers activities like hiking in the nearby mountains and exploring the picturesque Mardakan Castle.

Overall, these cities provide visitors with a unique experience of Azerbaijan’s rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and modern developments. Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or nature, these cities offer something for everyone. From exploring ancient palaces to enjoying the vibrant nightlife, there are countless opportunities to immerse yourself in the Azerbaijani culture. With their warm and welcoming communities, awe-inspiring sights, and a wide range of amenities, Baku, Ganja, and Sumgait should be on every traveler’s list when visiting Azerbaijan.

Read more about backpacking in Azerbaijan