Travel in Azerbaijan – How to Get There and What to See

Should you travel to Baku? Azerbaijan visa policy. What to see in Azerbaijan?

The long months of lockdown have awakened a craving for open spaces in everyone. Avid travelers are having a particularly difficult time now. This is why we want to provide inspiration for future, more mindful trips to beautiful places. We all know that wanderlust knows no borders, even if they are closed.

The city to which we'll virtually travel today used to be called Eastern Paris in the last century; today, its skyscrapers elicit a comparison to Dubai.

Baku is a city where Europe and Asia coexist in perfect accord. Modern architecture is harmoniously combined with medieval buildings. At the same time, Baku is still a city of the East, with a special mysterious ambiance.

Should I go to Baku on vacation? Yes, most definitely! Go to the bustling bazaar to buy a hand-woven carpet in the morning, then stroll through the old town, admire the futuristic buildings and go shopping in elite malls in the evening and at the end of the day enjoy a drink at an ultra-trendy bar.

Do I need a visa to Azerbaijan?

Citizens of Russia, Georgia, the Republic of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Mongolia do not need a visa to Azerbaijan. The entry of these citizens into Azerbaijan requires a valid foreign passport only.

If you are not a citizen of these countries, go to the ASAN Visa website and apply for an e-visa Azerbaijan in 3 steps: apply, pay and download the e-visa that will be sent to you by mail.

Life hack - how to save money upon arrival in Baku, without falling victim to the charm of Baku taxi drivers in London-style cabs at the airport exit.

There are 4 options:

1. H1 express bus - a budget option that will get you to the city center. The final stop is the May 28 Railway Station. Take public transportation or a taxi to get from there to your hotel. The fare is 1.30 manats. Payment can only be made by BakuCard (BakuCard), which must be purchased and replenished for one or several trips in special terminals at the airport exit.

2. Taxi. The initial price is set at 25 AZN (≈$15), but you can easily bargain it down to 20 AZN (≈$12). An Uber taxi can get you to the city center even cheaper – for about 15 AZN (≈$9).

3. Individual transfer is the most comfortable way to get from the airport to the city. Price: $22 and up depending on the class of the car. The current prices are available on the official website of Kiwitaxi international transfers.

4. Car rental. For those who love freedom of movement. Price: $30/day and up (depends on the number of days and car class). The current prices can be viewed on the EconomyBookings website (reasonable choice and reasonable prices) or Rentalcars.

Must-see places to visit in Baku
To feel and understand the city's soul, go straight to its heart - the Old City of Icheri Sheher. An ancient residential area surrounded by a reinforced fortress wall that conceals neat streets, beautiful houses and cultural monuments. That's exactly where our apart-hotel is located!
The Maiden Tower is one of the main symbols of Baku, located in the old town center, which can be found in every single Baku travel guide. This legendary building is now a museum equipped with an observation deck with a panoramic view of the city. The ticket price is 8 manats (≈$5).
Baku can definitely be called a city of fountains. They grace parks and squares, and their coolness is especially delightful on hot summer days.
Fountain Square Baku is the center of the fountain cluster and the most popular place in Baku. There are indeed many fountains here, both classical and avant-garde, i.e., shaped as six steel balls on a wide pedestal. Or a flowing oval fountain that splashes water into the open mouths of miniature hippos. Water cascades also descend from the bowl of the largest fountain in the square – snap great pictures that exemplify the modern image of Baku as you relax in unique chair sculptures.

Flame Towers. Baku's most recognizable architectural landmark today is the three huge skyscrapers shaped as tongues of flame, located high on a hill that towers over the city. In the evenings, you can watch the stunning animated illumination on the buildings. It's best visible from the promenade on the embankment – really amazing, just don't take your eyes off it!

These grandiose buildings are home to apartments, hotels, offices and an IMAX cinema.
Whether you are fascinated by Malevich's Black Square or think that all decent art ended with the Impressionists, it's time for you to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art in Baku. The museum is open to new trends and experiments and gives you a chance to learn about the extraordinary works of Azerbaijani artists. The museum collection includes works of great European masters - Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall.
The museum itself is designed in an avant-garde style with walk-through halls and sloping walls that create a multi-dimensional perspective view of the paintings. The ticket costs 10 manats (≈$6).
Buy or not buy - that is the question. It will haunt you throughout your visit to Baku. The variety of gifts that you can buy in the city of winds is incredible, and you can really find anything here for a very reasonable price. These can be gifts with a national flair from the pavilions in the old city, or luxury items from famous brands in the open spaces of the Port Baku Mall. For more shopping in Baku, take a walk along Nefchilar Avenue with its elite boutiques such as Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana and many others.

PORT BAKU MALL At Neftchilar Avenue
But these aren't the only locations in the city that are worth a visit. We recommend visiting the 28 Mall at the May 28 metro station and the Ganjlik Mall at the Ganjlik metro station. Big spenders come here in search of exclusive branded clothing and accessories, while budget-conscious buyers enjoy the excellent selection of mid-range stores. In addition to clothing stores, there are several jewelry and perfume shops.
Don't forget to drop by some trendy party at night. If you are in Baku in the summer, be sure to visit the Barrel Playground. It's a youth creative space for music, cinema and art, where you can enjoy electronic music, delicious cocktails and the company of remarkable Baku youth.

If you're on a stroll through the old city and would like to explore bars in Azerbaijan, a good choice would be the Barfly Social Club – an atmospheric place themed after Charles Bukowski's alter ego - Henry Chinaski, with incredible music and reasonable prices.

Summing up, we can say that Baku is a city of hospitable people, delicious food and wine, enchanting evenings and cultural values.