Top 10 things to do in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

A rich country, home to palaces of the Shahs, Zoroastrian fire temples, barren landscapes, and world-class forest and mountain hikes.

Azerbaijan is a country.

Azerbaijan (i/ˌæzərbaɪˈdʒɑːn/ AZ-ər-by-JAHN; Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan [ɑzærbɑjdʒɑn]), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Respublikası), is a contiguous transcontinental presidential republic in the Caucasus region, situated at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, while having a short border with Turkey in the northwest.

The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and has the distinction as the first Muslim-majority democratic and secular republic. It was also the first Muslim-majority country to have operas, theaters and modern universities.

The country was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920 as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence in October 1991, before the official dissolution of the USSR. Earlier, in September 1991, the disputed Armenian-majority Nagorno-Karabakh region re-affirmed its willingness to create a separate state as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Nagorno Karabakh Republic has not been diplomatically recognized by any other state. As such, the region, effectively independent since the beginning of the Nagorno Karabakh War in 1991, is largely considered de jure part of Azerbaijan until a final solution to its status is found through negotiations facilitated by the OSCE.

Azerbaijan is a unitary constitutional republic. The country is a member state of the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. It is one of the six independent Turkic-speaking states, being an active member of the Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY community. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations. It is one of the founding members of GUAM, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. A member of the United Nations since 1992, Azerbaijan was elected to membership in the newly established Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 May 2006 (the term of office began on 19 June 2006). Azerbaijan is also a member state of the Non-Aligned Movement, holds observer status in World Trade Organization and is a correspondent at the International Telecommunication Union.

The Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion, and all major political forces in the country are secularist, but the majority of people and some opposition movements adhere to Shia Islam. Azerbaijan has a high level of human development which ranks on par with most Eastern European countries. It has a high rate of economic development and literacy, as well as a low rate of unemployment. However, corruption in Azerbaijan is widespread, especially in the public service.

The National Assembly eliminated the presidential term limits in the controversial 2009 referendum. The ruling party, New Azerbaijan Party, has been accused of authoritarianism and human rights abuses.

Overall rating: 4.6
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Typical length of visit: 4 days

Top 10 things to do in Azerbaijan

Lankaran

Lankaran
Lankaran is a city in Azerbaijan, on the coast of the Caspian Sea, near the southern border with Iran. It has a population of 83,300 . It is next to, ...

Baku

Baku
Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. Baku is located 28 metres below ...

Quba

Quba
Quba is a city in and the capital of the Quba Rayon of Azerbaijan. It has a population of 38,100. The city’s suburb of Qırmızı Qəsəbə is the home of ...

Qabala

Qabala
Gabala , also known as Qabala, is the most ancient city of Azerbaijan and the capital of the Qabala Rayon. The municipality consists of the city of Gabala and the ...

Nabran

Nabran
Nabran is a popular resort and municipality in Khachmaz Rayon of Azerbaijan, close to the Russia-Azerbaijan border. It has a population of 1,313. The municipality consists of the villages of ...

Shaki, Azerbaijan

Shaki, Azerbaijan
Shaki is a city in northwestern Azerbaijan, in the rayon of the same name.Shaki is situated in northern Azerbaijan on the southern part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, 325 km ...

Nakhchivan

Nakhchivan
Nakhchivan or Nakhichivan may refer to:Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, an exclave of AzerbaijanNakhchivan , capital of the Nakhchivan Autonomous RepublicNakhchivan Airport, airport in Nakhchivan cityNakhichevan Khanate Nakhchivansky Uyezd, Russian Empire Nakhichevan ...

Ganja, Azerbaijan

Ganja, Azerbaijan
Ganja is Azerbaijan's second-largest city with a population of just over 1.000.000. It was named Elisabethpol in the Russian Empire period. The city regained its original name Ganja in 1920 ...

Absheron peninsula

Absheron peninsula
The Absheron peninsula, is a peninsula in Azerbaijan. It is host to Baku, the biggest and the most populous city of the country, and also the Baku metropolitan area, with ...

Lerik

Lerik
Lerik may refer to:Lerik Lerik, Azerbaijan ...

Shamakhi

Shamakhi
Şamaxı is a city in and the capital of the Shamakhi Rayon of Azerbaijan. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout ...

Qobustan, Baku

Qobustan, Baku
Qobustan is a settlement and municipality in Baku, Azerbaijan. It has a population of 14,470.Qobustan is best known for being the home to the famous rock petroglyphs and mud volcanoes.The ...

Qusar

Qusar
Qusar Rayon is an administrative unit in the northern part of Azerbaijan and its administrative center is Qusar city.The rayon borders upon Quba and Khachmaz rayons of the republic and ...

Mingachevir

Mingachevir
Mingachevir , is the fourth-largest city in Azerbaijan with a population of about 150,000. It is known as city of lights because of its hydroelectric power station on the Kur ...

Khachmaz

Khachmaz
Xaçmaz or Khachmaz may refer to:Khachmaz Rayon, AzerbaijanKhachmaz , AzerbaijanXaçmaz, Oghuz, Azerbaijan ...

Zaqatala

Zaqatala
Zaqatala may refer to:Zaqatala Rayon, a political subdivision in AzerbaijanZaqatala , the principal city in the rayon ...

Palace of the Shirvanshahs

Palace of the Shirvanshahs
Palace of the Shirvanshahs is the biggest monument of the Shirvan-Absheron branch of the Azerbaijan architecture, situated in the Inner City of Baku. The complex contains the main building of ...

Astara

Astara
Astara may refer to:Astara Astara, Iran, a city in Gilan Province, IranAstara, East Azerbaijan, a village in East Azerbaijan Province, IranAstara, AzerbaijanAstara CountyCentral District Astarachaysee also: Astana ...

Masallı

Masallı
Masallı is a city in and the capital of the Masally Rayon of Azerbaijan. ...

Maiden Tower

Maiden Tower
Maiden Tower may refer to:Maiden Tower , AzerbaijanMaiden's Tower, TurkeyMaiden Tower , Azerbaijan ...

Qakh

Qakh
Qakh , also Kakh or sometimes Gakh , is a raion in the north of Azerbaijan, on the border with Georgia.GeographyThe area of the region occupies 1,494 km2 ...

Heydar Aliyev Center

Heydar Aliyev Center
The Heydar Aliyev Center is a 619,000-square-foot building complex in Baku, Azerbaijan designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid and noted for its distinctive architecture and flowing, curved style that eschews ...

Ismailli District

Ismailli District
Ismailli is a rayon of Azerbaijan.HistoryIsmailli district was created with the center in the Ismailli village on November 21, 1931. Before the establishment of the district one ...

Azerbaijan Carpet Museum

Azerbaijan Carpet Museum
Azerbaijan Carpet Museum , , displays Azerbaijani carpets and rug items of various weaving techniques and materials from various periods. It is named after Latif Karimov and has the largest ...

Balakan District

Balakan District
Balakan is a rayon of northwestern Azerbaijan, located between Georgia and Russia. It borders Georgia to south and west and Dagestan of Russia to east and north. There is an ...

Bibi-Heybat Mosque

Bibi-Heybat Mosque
The Bibi-Heybat Mosque is a historical mosque in Baku, Azerbaijan. The existing structure, built in the 1990s, is a recreation of the mosque with the same name built in the ...

Nizami Museum of Azerbaijani Literature

Nizami Museum of Azerbaijani Literature
The National museum of Azerbaijan literature named after Nizami Ganjavi - was established in 1939, in Baku. It is located in the centre of the capital of Azerbaijan, not far ...

Sumqayit

Sumqayit
Sumgayit is one of the largest cities in Azerbaijan, located near the Caspian Sea, about 31 kilometres away from the capital, Baku. The city has a population of 308,700 , ...

Fountains Square, Baku

Fountains Square, Baku
Fountains Square is a public square in downtown Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. The square was previously called Parapet and is often referenced to by the same name now. The name ...

Qobustan

Qobustan
Qobustan may refer to the locations of:Gobustan Rayon, AzerbaijanQobustan, Absheron, AzerbaijanQobustan, Baku, AzerbaijanGobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, World Heritage Site by Qobustan, BakuThe term may also refer to the Gobustan ...

National Art Museum of Azerbaijan

National Art Museum of Azerbaijan
National Art Museum of Azerbaijan is the biggest art museum of Azerbaijan. It was founded in 1936 in Baku and in 1943 was named after Rustam Mustafayev, a prominent Azerbaijani ...

Ağcabədi

Ağcabədi
Ağcabədi is a city in and the capital of the Aghjabadi Rayon of Azerbaijan. It's situated in the central part of Republic of Azerbaijan.Notable nativesUzeyir Hajibeyov — ...

Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape

Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape
Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape covers three areas of a plateau of rocky boulders rising out of the semi-desert of central Azerbaijan, with an outstanding collection of more than 6,000 ...

Bay of Baku

Bay of Baku
Bay of Baku is a natural harbor of the Baku port and local yacht club, on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula and on the western shore of the ...

Tovuz

Tovuz
Tovuz may refer to:Berd, ArmeniaTovuz, ArmeniaTovuz , AzerbaijanTovuz, Azerbaijan ...

Absheron National Park

Absheron National Park
Absheron National Park — is a national park of Azerbaijan and was established on 8 February 2005 by the decree of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, on an area ...

Goychay

Goychay
Goychay may refer to:Goychay Rayon, AzerbaijanGoychay , Azerbaijan ...

Taza Pir Mosque

Taza Pir Mosque
Taza Pir Mosque is a mosque in Baku, Azerbaijan. Its construction began in 1905 and was finished by 1914. The idea for the mosque as well as its financing was ...

Bilgəh

Bilgəh
Bilgah a settlement and municipality in Baku, Azerbaijan that has become a part of Sabunchu District since 1937. It has a population of 8,402.HistoryBilgah is one of ...

Baku Museum of Modern Art

Baku Museum of Modern Art
Baku Museum of Modern Art is a museum of modern art located in Baku, Azerbaijan.HistoryThe museum was built at the initiative of the First Lady of Azerbaijan, ...

Shirvan

Shirvan
Shirvan , also spelled as Sharvān, Shirwan, Shervan, Sherwan and Šervān, is a historical region in the eastern Caucasus, known by this name in both Islamic and modern times. Today, ...

Baku TV Tower

Baku TV Tower
The Baku TV Tower , built in 1996, is a free standing concrete telecommunications tower in Baku, Azerbaijan. With a height of 310 metres , it is the tallest structure ...

Goygol

Goygol
"Khanlar" and "Xanlar" redirect here as former names for Goygol city and rayon; for the suburb of Baku, see Xanlar, Baku. Goygol, Göygöl or Goygöl may refer to:Goygol , a ...

Baku Museum of Miniature Books

Baku Museum of Miniature Books
Baku Museum of Miniature Books-is the only museum of miniature books in the world, settled in the old part of Baku, called Inner City. Its activity started on April 2, ...

Nardaran

Nardaran
Nardaran is a settlement and municipality on the Abşeron Peninsula in Baku, Azerbaijan. It has a population of 8,300.Located 25 kilometers northeast of central Baku, it is politically part of ...

Lake Boyukshor

Lake Boyukshor
Boyukshor , also spelled separately Boyuk Shor is the second largest lake of Azerbaijan and largest on Absheron Peninsula. It is located in the center of the Absheron peninsula, on ...

Hirkan National Park

Hirkan National Park
Hirkan National Park — is a national park of Azerbaijan. It was established by the decree of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, in an area in Lankaran Rayon and ...

Lökbatan

Lökbatan
Lökbatan is a settlement and municipality in Baku, Azerbaijan. It has a population of 33,245. The municipality consists of the settlements of Lökbatan, Şubanı, and Heybət.It is the location of ...

Salyan, Azerbaijan

Salyan, Azerbaijan
Salyan , is a city in and the seat of the Salyan Rayon of Azerbaijan. The city of Salyan is industrialized and known for processing caviar.HistoryThe city ...

Barda

Barda
Barda, or BARDA, may refer to:GeographyBarda District, a district in AzerbaijanBarda, Azerbaijan, a town in AzerbaijanBârda, a village in Malovăț Commune, Mehedinți County, RomaniaBarda, Russia, several rural ...

Yevlakh

Yevlakh
Yevlakh is a city in Azerbaijan, 265 km west of capital Baku. It is surrounded by, but administratively separate from, the rayon of the same name. The city forms a distinct ...

Xırdalan

Xırdalan
Xırdalan is a city and municipality in and the capital of the Absheron Rayon of Azerbaijan. It has a population of 32,576.In 29 November 2006, settlement gained city status after ...

Qazakh District

Qazakh District
Gazakh is a rayon of Azerbaijan. It has two exclaves inside Armenia, Yukhari Askipara and Barkhudarli, both of which came under Armenian control during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.HistoryIn ...

Imishli

Imishli
Imishli is a rayon of Azerbaijan. Imishli and neighboring Sabirabad rayon share Sarysu, the largest lake in Azerbaijan.In August 1930, Qaradonlu was organized on Mil-Mugan historical fields as a region. ...

Masazır

Masazır
Masazır is a village and municipality in the Absheron Rayon of Azerbaijan. It has a population of 3,247. ...

Agstafa District

Agstafa District
Aghstafa is a rayon in the northwestern Azerbaijan.OverviewAgstafa raion was created on 24 January 1939 as an independent administrative unit out of larger Qazakh region of Azerbaijan. ...

Aghjabadi District

Aghjabadi District
Aghjabadi is a rayon in central Azerbaijan with an administrative center in the town of Aghjabadi.History of the rayonAghjabadi rayon was established in 1930. In 1963 it ...

Shamkir District

Shamkir District
Shamkir is a rayon in Azerbaijan. It is located in the northwestern part of the Azerbaijan Republic. The rayon was previously called "Shamkhor" during the Soviet rule and was renamed ...

Hövsan

Hövsan
Hövsan is a municipality in Baku, Azerbaijan. It has a population of 38,257.Notable nativesMirzaagha Aliyev — actor, People's Artist of USSR . ...

Zabrat

Zabrat
Zabrat is a settlement and municipality in Baku, Azerbaijan. It has a population of 22,497. ...

Altyaghach National Park

Altyaghach National Park
Altyaghach National Park — is a national park of Azerbaijan. It was established by the decree of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, on an area of 11,035 hectares in ...

Pirallahi Island

Pirallahi Island
Pirallahi Island or Pirallakhi Island is an island in the Caspian Sea. The island is part of Azerbaijan, and is located right off the northeastern shore of the Apsheron Peninsula, ...

Hajigabul District

Hajigabul District
Hajigabul is a rayon of Azerbaijan.There are 31 populated areas. One of them is a city, 1 city-like settlement, 4 settlements and 25 villages.There are 15 administrative-territorial units, 5 medical ...

Baku

Baku
Baku (Azerbaijani: Bakı, IPA: [bɑˈcɯ]) is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. Baku is located ...

Lahıc

Lahıc
Lahıc may refer to:Lahıc, Goygol, AzerbaijanLahıc, Ismailli, AzerbaijanLahıc, Zaqatala, Azerbaijan ...

Pirqulu

Pirqulu
Pirquluoba is a village and municipality in the Khachmaz Rayon of Azerbaijan. It has a population of 2,841. The municipality consists of the villages of Pirquluoba, Qoçaqqazma, Yeni Sudur, and ...

nagorno karabakh

nagorno karabakh
Nagorno-Karabakh is a landlocked region in the South Caucasus, lying between Lower Karabakh and Zangezur and covering the southeastern range of the Lesser Caucasus mountains. The region is mostly mountainous ...

Stepanakert

Stepanakert
Stepanakert or Khankendi , originally called Vararakn , is the capital and the largest city of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a de facto independent republic. The city has a population of ...

Şəki

Şəki
Sheki is a city in northwestern Azerbaijan, in the rayon of the same name.Shaki is situated in northern Azerbaijan on the southern part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, 325 km ...