In Azerbaijan, every tourist will feel like a dear guest. The point here is not only the magnificent hospitality of the locals, but also the incredibly beautiful decoration of the urban landscapes. The city of Baku shines with light during the day and sparkles with gold at night, the deserts surrounding it at night reflect the light of thousands of stars in the sky, and in remote villages of the Caucasus you can met Khan's palaces and deep blue lakes. This country is worth seeing with your own eyes!
Top 10 interesting places and activities:
To see the “golden” capital of Baku from all angles: the embankment, central streets, the observation deck of the Nagorny Park
Learn about the national traditions in the Baku Carpet Museum
Feel the charm of the Old City and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs
Visit the unique Palace of Shaki Khans, included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site (Shaki)
Feel the greatness of the national leader of the country in the Heydar Aliyev Park (Ganja)
Visit the large-scale Imamzadeh Mausoleum in Ganja
See the nature of Azerbaijan in the Gobustan and Absheron nature reserves
Contemplate the Greater Caucasus Mountains near Bazarduzu Mount
Learn traditional Azerbaijani crafts in the village of Lahic
Approximate costs (person/day):
Sights map of Azerbaijan
Travel around Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is a country with a very ancient and eventful history. Caucasian tribes of Albanians lived here BC and left a lot of artifacts that are now stored in the National Museum in Baku. In the Middle Ages, the local territory was controlled by the Arab Khalifat, which brought Islam to these lands and persisted until the beginning of the 11th century, when the weakening of the khalifat led to a national uprising and the creation of a new state under the rule of the Shirvanshah dynasty. One of the palaces, founded by the descendants of this dynasty, has been preserved to this day in the center of the Old City in Baku and receives tourists as a historical and architectural heritage.
At the beginning of the 13th century, the region was conquered by the Mongols, who retained their power over the local population until the collapse of the empire. In the 16th century, attempts to create a single state on the territory of the Caucasus turned out to be in vain because of the warlike Turks (Ottomans), who had been tormenting local tribes for 400 years. At the end of the 18th century, Russian troops invaded here during the war with Turkey, seizing the entire territory of modern Azerbaijan and controlling it until the collapse of the Russian Empire. In 1918, after the formation of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan as independent republics, separate territories of Azerbaijan (including Nagorno-Karabakh) inhabited by Armenians refused to submit to the power of the new country, which resulted in bloody battles that continued until the collapse of USSR, and then - during the armed conflict with Armenia - until 1994. This conflict has not been resolved to this day, by the way, there is no escalation of the conflict.
Today, Azerbaijan is a prosperous state of Western Asia, whose main income comes from oil deposits in the Caspian Sea and the nearby coast. Thanks to the strong policies of President Heydar Aliyev, the country ended military conflicts with Armenia and came to stable development and well-being. The current president, Ilham Aliyev, is the son and successor of his father who continues the policy of turning the country into a prosperous state, maintaining at the highest level the cult of patriotism and pride in the personification of his father.
Hospitable and kind people live in Azerbaijan, ready to share personal stories about life in the country. Despite the traditional for eastern countries, active trading and noisy temper, Azerbaijanis are characterized by restraint and a penchant for compromise. There are many policemen who control the calm order of life and are ready to help. By the way, most of the population (mostly young) speak English well, so that the language barrier does not arise here.
If you are going to travel around the country, get out to the ancient cities of Shaki and Ganja. The first is famous for the incredible beauty of the Shaki Khans Palace listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the second, being the second largest city in the country, is not inferior to Baku in beauty and national traits. The largest park and museum in the country is located here - a tribute to national leader Heydar Aliyev! It is best to travel around the country by train: thanks to government subsidies, their cost is extremely low (8 hours on the road ~ 5 EUR) and a convenient schedule allows you to save a lot on housing. Consider that the local population outside the capital does not live very richly, and therefore offers high prices for taxis or accommodation. Do not hesitate to bargain or look for more accommodating people, the price can quickly fall by 2-3 times!
In general, the country leaves a very positive impression. Although most of the country is represented by desert steppe landscapes, sparsely populated and inconvenient to move, it is more than worthwhile walks through the rich capital - Baku. It is a huge city, built of golden stone blocks, amazing by day and charming at night. A huge number of well-groomed parks and green spaces, free Wi-Fi throughout the city, punctual public transport and the cheap cost of everything make it a particularly attractive place for a small trip. This is a place where you can get acquainted with Eastern culture, while remaining within the framework of European values - respect for personal space, independence and freedom of religion. Here you can easily spend a whole week, and every day will be special. Here there is a passion for everyone: from a variety of restaurants with national food and amazing mosques to historical museums and art galleries. And if you are tired of culture or religion, you can go on a relaxed walk along the largest promenade on the Caspian coast - the Baku Boulevard.
I invite everyone to visit this city and enjoy the hospitable oriental flavor. And at the same time learn more about the republic, which was once part of the Soviet Union, and today is an independent and prosperous state.