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30 Amazing (and Unusual) Things to Do in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is the buzzing holiday destination that visitors and thrill-seekers cannot get enough of. Get ready for a rare blend of Arabic and Mediterranean cultures, and see the ever-evolving city of Baku (it’s capital). Explore the country’s natural treasures, palaces, bazaars and modern nightlife. There is something incredible for everyone in Azerbaijan. Here, we uncover the top 30 things to do during a holiday in Azerbaijan.

30 Amazing Things To Do in Azerbaijan

1) Start off With the Iconic Flame Towers

things to do in Azerbaijan -- Visit the Flaming Towers in Baku

Kick start your vacation with the best thing to do in Azerbaijan- visit the Flame Towers in Baku. This trio of skyscrapers represents modern-day Azerbaijan. The blue-tinted windows are mesmerizing to see in the day time. While the structure turns into a giant display at night with bold projections of flames and the Azerbaijan flag. The place is a must-visit especially if you admire a great display of art and architecture.

Recommended For: Seeing the integral landmark

Location: Baku

Average Price: Free

Timings: At Night, if you want to see the magical flaming effect of the towers.

Pro tip: Get the best view from a distance. The Flame Towers are occupied by offices, residences and the Fairmont Baku Hotel.


2) Photograph the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center

‘Majestic’ is the only word that can do justice to this amazing sight. Designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid, your itinerary of things to do in Baku, Azerbaijan, is just not complete without a visit to the Heydar Aliyev Center. The curved structure and the sharp angles are unique and house an auditorium, gallery hall and museum.

Recommended For: Cultural Centre and the famous landmark tours

Location: Baku

Average Price: $10 USD

Timings:

11a.m – 6 p.m (Mon – Fri)

11 a.m. – 5 p.m (Sat and Sun)

Pro tip: Do visit the museum to explore Azerbaijan artifacts and special exhibits.


3) Visit the Past in Icheri Sheher

Take a visit into the past of this country by adding Icheri Sheher to your list of top ten things to do in Azerbaijan. The inner city is home to heritage with thousands of years of Baku’s history on display. The rugged limestone buildings are beautiful and winding roads give a surreal feel earning this neighborhood a spot on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List.

Recommended For: Exploring Baku’s historic center

Location: Baku

Pro tip: Visit the market square to see a wide range of art and souvenir stalls.


4) Witness the Beauty of the Maiden Tower

Looking for things to do in Azerbaijan with your family? A pivotal historical monument, the Maiden Tower has earned its spot on local Azeri currency notes and the official letterhead. It’s also known to the subject of many local poems and plays. Climb your way to the roof for an unforgettable view of the alleys of old Baku, Baku Bay, and the Baku Boulevard.

Recommended For: Exploring a world-famous landmark

Location: Baku

Average Price: $8 USD

Timings:  9 a.m – 6 p.m Daily

Pro tip: There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in this neighborhood to enjoy the vibes.


5) Embrace the Spirit of Baku at Fountain Square

There’s no shortage of things to do in Azerbaijan in winter. The Fountain Square is a busy public square in downtown Baku with beautiful fountains, eateries, bars and a general feel-good ambiance. The art, statues and lively atmosphere make it a great family-friendly spot to build some happy memories. You must visit this place if you would love a few selfies in the heart of the city.

Recommended For: A peaceful and Instagram-worthy evening

Location: Baku

Pro tip: Don’t miss the bronze statue of the lady that is known to truly epitomize Baku.


6) Feel Royal at the Palace of the Shirvanshahs

If you ask any local for ideas on what to do in Baku, Azerbaijan, you’ll definitely hear about the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. This amazing 15th-century palace is sheer delight for tourists. From the exquisite artifacts to the throne room to its enchanting feel, it has rightfully earned a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List of historical monuments.

Recommended For: Visiting a beautifully restored palace 

Location: Baku

Price: $9 USD

Timings: 10 a.m- 6 p.m Daily

Pro tip: Buy the audio guide for a thorough tour of the palace and its history.


7) See the Legendary Bibi-Heybat Mosque

The Bibi-Heybat Mosque is an absolute gem in Baku, Azerbaijan. This shrine is located at the entrance of the city and has been rebuilt after destruction. You can look forward to breathtaking Islamic architecture, inscriptions and picture-perfect views of the Caspian sea. You can also visit it for participating in the prayer ceremony.

Recommended For: One of the most visited sights

Location: Baku

Price: Depends on the tour operator

Timings: Open 24 hours a day

Pro tip: The mosque is locally known as the Fatima al Zahra mosque.


8) Get Fascinated by the Baku Museum of Miniature Books

The largest collection of miniature books in the world is in Baku. This is one of the best things to do in Azerbaijan for literature lovers. Gear up for an interesting museum experience unlike any other. Certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, the tradition of Persian miniature painting traces back several centuries in this region.

Recommended For: Speciality Museum fans

Location: Baku

Price: Free Entry

Timings:

Closed Monday and Thursday

Other days: 11 a.m – 5 p.m.

Pro tip: Located in the old town, there’s no way you’ll miss this intriguing destination.


9) Head Over to the Ateshgah – Fire Temple

This famous temple built over a natural gas vent attracts visitors from all around the world. One of the most powerful contenders to take the spot of best things to do in Azerbaijan, you’ll get to know the rich history behind this holy place of Zoroastrians- the fire-worshippers here.

Recommended For: Famous ancient ruin and temple

Location: Suburb of Surakhany

Price: $2.5 USD

Timings: 10 a.m- 6 p.m Daily

Pro tip: Opt for a tour guide to learn about the ancient Zoroastrian religion.


10) Treat Your Taste Buds to Delicious Azeri Cuisine

Let’s switch gears and focus on what not to do in Azerbaijan- the simple answer is neglecting the local cuisine! Feast on irresistible delicacies such as Lyulya Kebab. Taste the heavenly plov or pilaf with saffron flavored rice garnished with herbs and prepared with meat and vegetables. If you have a sweet tooths, then do not forget to try Azerbaijan’s famous halva.

Recommended For: Food enthusiasts 

Location: All over Azerbaijan

Pro tip: The recipe for Azerbaijani halwa is a heavily guarded secret exclusive to the mountainous region of Sheki. Unlock it if you can!


11) Take-Home Some Azerbaijan Jam

Not just any ordinary jam, this is the one to go to during the winter season in Azerbaijan. Keep warm in Azerbaijan in winter with yummy helpings of this local specialty. Served with tea at all Azeri homes, the wonderful combination of fruits, walnuts and fragrant flower petals make every bite an experience of a lifetime.

Recommended For: Food enthusiasts

Location: All over Azerbaijan

Price: Varies

Pro tip: Don’t eat the jam. Place a piece in your mouth and drink tea through it.


12) Take a Morning Stroll at the Baku Boulevard

A holiday in Baku, Azerbaijan, means endless fun moments for you and your family. Grab a coffee, get a snack from the local snack carts, and head out for a relaxing stroll at the Baku Boulevard. Equally beautiful during day and night time, this is a spot you can’t miss for some leisurely fun. 

Recommended For: Brilliant pictures and the Caspian Sea breeze

Location: Baku

Timings: Open 24 hours

Pro tip: Rent a bike for $3 USD and get adventurous.


13) Take a Ride on the Ferris Wheel: Baku Eye

Ask anyone and you would know that one of the best things to do in Azerbaijan is experiencing the Baku Eye. This giant Ferris wheel is your gateway to remarkable city views. The modern cabins are comfortable and air-conditioned and offer unparalleled panoramic views. Do not try it if you are afraid of heights. The wheel is a must-visit for everyone else visiting the country.

Recommended For: Outstanding sightseeing and family-friendly entertainment

Location: Baku

Price: $3 USD

Timings: 12 p.m- 10.30 p.m Daily

Pro tip: Go at night time to see the whole city of Baku lit up like fire.


14) Witness Winter Wonderland in Gabala

When scouting amazing experiences, things to do in Gabala are worth a mention. The Tufandag Mountain Resort is great for a romantic retreat, and the snow in Azerbaijan makes all outdoor activities even more fun. Whether you choose to ski, sled, or just play outdoors, visiting in December is a perfect time.

Recommended For: Beautiful winter landscape for nature and sports lovers

Location: Gabala

Pricing: About $12 USD for a cable car ride

Timings: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m Daily

Pro tip: The cable car ride is great to see brilliant views of the Caucasus mountains.


15) Make An Exciting Stop at Gabalaland

Disclaimer: This Image has been taken from ootlah.com

Fun things to do Azerbaijan aren’t limited to Baku. While in Gabala, do check out Gabalaland. This amusement park has activities for all age groups surrounded by wonderful nature and fresh air. Their restaurant is known for its great food and the seafood, in particular, is known to be delicious.

Recommended For: Seafood lovers and Entertainment

Location: Gabala

Pricing: $1 USD for adults, Free for kids.

Timings: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m Daily

Pro tip: Visit the gift shop to stock up on souvenirs for friends.


16) Feel Bliss at the Seven Beauties Waterfall 

When in Gabala, you can’t do justice to things to do here without heading to the Seven Beauties (Yeddi Gozal) Waterfall. Named after the 7 mountain roads that you need to pass to reach the waterfall, this magical sight that flows from the highest peaks of the mighty Caucasus Mountains is one you’ll never forget.

Recommended For: Seeing the famous mountainous waterfall

Location: Gabala

Pricing: Depends on tour operator

Pro tip: The steep stairs can be a challenging climb, especially with kids.


17) See Carpet Weaving in Quba

If you’re a fan of art and crafts, then the carpet making workshops in Azerbaijan are a top suggestion for things to do in Quba, Azerbaijan. A fun experience to check off your list,  see storytelling come to life with intricate handmade designs made from the softest sheep’s wool.

Recommended For: Learning about the Azeri carpet weaving culture

Location: Quba

Pricing: Varies

Pro tip: Invest in a small prayer mat if you’re on a tight budget.


18) Visit Quba’s Impressive Juma Mosque

Quba, Azerbaijan, is home to a pivotal mosque dating back to the 19th century. This mosque is unique in appearance with a distinct medieval period architecture that resembles an octagon. Don’t be fooled by the small exterior. It is in fact very spacious inside.

Recommended For: Seeing the province’s unique mosque architecture

Location: Quba

Pro tip: Do step inside to see the large hall with its massive 16-meter diameter dome.


19) Observe the Extraordinary Settlement in the Red Village

Before departing from here, add the Red Village to your things to do in Quba, Azerbaijan. Also known as Red Town, this is the largest mountain Jewish settlement outside of the USA and Israel. Abundant with heritage and individuality that shows the sense of community here is inspiring.

Recommended For: Admiring the harmony across all faiths in Azerbaijan

Location: Quba

Pricing: Depends on the tour operator

Pro tip: Visit a synagogue to learn more about the settlement.


20) Treasured Memories at the Restored Sheki Fortress

A holiday in Azerbaijan is not complete without seeing the Sheki Fortress, a great landmark and sightseeing destination in Sheki. The Sheki Fortress is located in a heavenly mountainous area and was built during the reign of the first Sheki Khan Haji Chalabi. Do not forget to buy souvenirs here.

Recommended For: Visiting a well-preserved fort guarding the Palace of Shaki Khans

Location: Sheki

Pricing: Depends on the tour operator

Pro tip: Visit the restaurant for a nice meal or ethnographic museum to see their collection.


21) Unwind at a Hammam in Sheki

Fun things to do in Sheki, Azerbaijan always bring up a visit to the Hammam. A traditional and relaxing spa-like experience, this is where you can rest and rejuvenate. Built over a hundred years ago, the flawless architecture and stone domes heat the room quickly so you can feel squeaky clean in no time.

Recommended For: A local wellness experience

Location: Sheki

Pricing: Depends on the tour operator

Timings:

10:00 a.m – 5 p.m Daily

For Women: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday

For Men: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

Pro tip: Take a shower before and after visiting the Hammam.


22) Get Mesmerized by Grand Palace of Shaki Khans

Azerbaijan is home to many outstanding sights, but the Palace of Shaki Khans is a class apart. Located at the foot of the Caucasus mountains, this summer residence offers the most spellbinding work of french stained glass, Russian wood, ottoman ceramics, and detailed mirror work.

Recommended For: Seeing the remains of the magnificent Shaki kingdom

Location: Sheki

Pricing: Depends on tour operator

Timings: 10 a.m- 6 p.m Daily

Pro tip: Don’t rush through the rooms. The artwork on every wall is a treat for the eyes.


23) Seek Enlightenment at the Nizami Museum of Azerbaijani Literature

Known as one of the most artistic buildings, visit this powerful museum for one of the most enlightening experiences in Azerbaijan. Located next to Fountain Square in Baku, this is a place for you to learn about various writers, history, and see rare manuscripts.

Recommended For: A great lesson on Baku’s literature and art

Location: Baku

Pricing: About $6 USD

Timings: 11 a.m- 5 p.m Daily

Pro tip: Rest outside in the pristine courtyard with terraced pools and fountains.


24) Get Your Heart Racing at the Baku City Circuit

With all the contemporary developments going on, fun things to do in Baku now includes hosting the Formula 1 Race. The venue right next to the Caspian Sea attracts fans from all over the world, and the tickets are very reasonable during race season.

Recommended For: Formula 1 and racing enthusiasts

Location: Baku

Pricing: Starting at $60 USD

Pro tip: Research the various seating stands beforehand to ensure the best views of the race.


25) Observe Mud Volcanoes & Petroglyphs at the Gobustan National Park

Venture off the beaten path during your vacation, and add mud volcanoes and 6000 years old Petroglyphs to your roster of things to do in Azerbaijan with your family. Get up close with rock engravings and primitive culture, and see the UNESCO world heritage site with relics, mud volcanoes, and gas-stones.

Recommended For: Witnessing remains from prehistoric and medieval days

Location: Gobustan

Pricing: Varies based on the tour operator

Pro tip: Hire a driver. The drive to the Gobustan National Park is extremely scenic (yet bumpy).


26) Appreciate the Tea Culture in Baku

This country loves its tea and if you do too, then you are in haven here. Sipping on a steaming cup of this refreshing beverage is a non-negotiable part of things to do in Azerbaijan in winter. Fall in love with the fragrant drink served in the special  “Armudu” glasses.

Recommended For: Enjoying warm tea in cold weather

Pricing: Started at $0.5 USD

Pro tip: In addition to jam, tea is served with “cherez”- a blend of nuts and dried fruits.


27) Dance to the Tunes at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall

If you’re a fan of wonderful music and uplifting tunes, make your way to the Philharmonia for a fabulous musical performance. Once a casino, this landmark now broadcasts music during the day and is known for its flawless architecture that makes a wonderful backdrop for pictures.

Recommended For: Seeing Azerbaijan’s main concert hall 

Pricing: Varies

Pro tip: Pack a picnic and relax in the gardens to enjoy the enchanting musical tunes.


28) Get Inspired by the Modern Crystal Hall

The Crystal Hall is ideal for creative inspiration and an absolutely surreal destination for you to see in Azerbaijan. If you are a techno-art lover, then this place is a must-visit for you. An indoor arena built-in 2012, the Eurovision song festival was held here apart from many other famous concerts and sports events.

Recommended For: Seeing exemplary architectural brilliance

Pro tip: Entry is not allowed unless you’re attending an event. You can visit the place from a distance for the best view.


29) Explore the One of Its Kind Quirky Azerbaijan Carpet Museum

The architecture of this intriguing Azerbaijan Carpet Museum is straight out of the future. Shaped like a rolled-up rug, the inside of the museum has all the varieties of the rugs and carpets found in Azerbaijan, making it a really fun experience to embark on. During your trip, this is where beauty and art combine into one unique experience.

Recommended For: Visiting a specialty carpet museum

Location: Baku

Pricing: Almost $4.5 USD

Timings:

10 a.m – 6 p.m other days

Monday Closed.

Pro tip: Remember to take a picture with the flying carpet- a carpet on a see-through floor!


30) Get Friendly with the Local Kittens

You may not have expected to see this on the list, but one of the unusual things to do in Baku involves getting friendly with the adorable local kitties. These kittens are well-fed and happy cats who just want a head scratch and the lovely warmth of the city’s sun.

Recommended For: Cat lovers and feline-friendly tourists

Location: All over Baku

Pro tip: Give them some love and they’ll generously reciprocate, we promise!

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