Azerbaijan is an ex-Soviet Muslim country.

Physically, Azerbaijanis are a mixture between Iranians and Turks, but they wear a Russian cap. They speak both Azerbaijani (a Turkish dialect) and Russian. They drink tea in the same way as Iranians, using the same cups, pots and add the same extravagant amount of sugar.

They enjoy drinking it in Arab cafés, but do you know what the difference is?

They drink it alongside vodka! When you enter a café, they greet you with “Salam”. But when you have a vodka shot with them, they will exclaim “Nasdroviya!”.

They possess Middle Eastern cordiality but, at first, they may seem to have the seriousness of Russians. It’s hard to tell where you actually are: Soviet buildings, Arabic food, and Russian signs.

Check my travel guide to Azerbaijan

need to know for traveling in Azerbaijan

Quick facts

Capital: Baku

Population: 9.7 million (89th)

Languages: Azerbaijani (a Turkish dialect) and Russian

Area: 86,600km² (112th largest country)


You can now apply for an e-visa which is available through this portal.

It costs $23 and is valid for 30 days. It can take from a few minutes to up to 3 days to process.

This is the list of countries that are eligible for the e-visa:

Getting in

Baku is the main airport hub in the country, with many connections to Istanbul, Dubai, and EU destinations.

You can also cross from Georgia, Iran and even take a ferry to Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, the latter requiring a visa.

The Armenian border is closed.

Travel Insurance

For Azerbaijan, I recommend IATI Insurance: It has all types of plans, from families to backpackers

5% discount if booking here:

Best time to visit

Spring and autumn would be the best times to visit, when the weather is pleasant.

Summer can be a good time for trekking in the mountains.


The official currency is Azerbaijani Manat

1 USD = 1.70 AZN

You can find ATMs in Baku but outside of the capital, Azerbaijan is mostly a cash economy

Budget: starting at $30 a day for budget backpackers; $50 a day if you stay in a private room

The Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan

Azerbaijan text box category

Nakhchivan is an exclave of Azerbaijan nestled between Armenia, Turkey, and Iran, an isolated region barely visited by travelers, home to mausoleums and bizarre fortresses, certainly worth the trip.

You can enter Nakhchivan for either Iran or Turkey. Otherwise, you must fly in from Baku.

Top experiences in Azerbaijan

Visit incredible Baku

A futuristic city with awesome ancient sites. Read my Baku city guide.

Trekking in the Caucasian mountains

Some of the finest mountains in Europe.

Soviet villages around Ganja

Dashkashan is an old mining Soviet town.

Visit the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan

A really off the beaten track exclave with a distinct culture.

Check our 3-week Azerbaijan itinerary

tips for Azerbaijan


Azerbaijan is well-sorted for hostels, guest houses, and hotels, including plenty of 5-star hotels in Baku.

Excursions and day trips from Baku

For those short on time, there are many activities, tours, and excursions which you can do from Baku and book with just one click.


It’s very easy to move around the country on a marshrutka, the local minibus

There’s a train too but it’s only convenient for going into Georgia.