Azerbaijan is 1 of these emerging destinations that vacationers are lastly beginning to learn.
Till 1991, it was portion of the Soviet Union, and ever because it became independent, travelers have increasingly began to check out this lesser-recognized nation. The quantity of foreign guests has practically tripled in the final decade, to nearly 3 million in 2018.
Whilst the sightseeing hot spots may well not be effectively recognized, there are lots of items to see and do in Azerbaijan. The capital, Baku, has exclusive architecture, like lots of Parisian-style buildings from the 19th century. It is also property to some quite futuristic constructions funded by the country’s oil wealth, such as the 3 Flame Towers, which are covered in LED screens that show dancing flames.
Outdoors of Baku, you can see mud volcanoes, check out 40,000-year-old rock paintings at Gobustan, or head to the hills to hike in the Caucasus Mountains.
But is Azerbaijan secure?
On the complete, Azerbaijan is quite secure. Considering the fact that the nation is ruled by a strongman who desires quite substantially to improve tourism to the nation, crimes against guests are practically unheard of.
Since, if an individual is caught committing a crime against a tourist, the punishments will be pretty extreme. Most crimes are ordinarily modest and involve taking benefit of men and women in crowded areas, exactly where perpetrators are significantly less probably to get caught.
With that stated, there are a handful of items to bear in mind and a couple of areas to steer clear of. The suggestions beneath will aid make your expertise in Azerbaijan secure and enjoyable.
eight Security Ideas for Azerbaijan
1. Keep conscious of your belongings – Petty theft and pickpocketing are uncommon right here as the government (which is a dictatorship) punishes thieves pretty harshly. Nonetheless, petty theft does occur from time to time in busy outside markets in Azerbaijan, as effectively as on the Baku metro and other public transport. Be additional conscious of your belongings when you are in crowded areas and do not flaunt something costly.
two. Appear out for drink-connected scams – There have been some reports of travelers becoming robbed following possessing their drinks spiked, specifically in Western-style nightclubs and bars in Baku. Do not take meals or drink from strangers or men and women you have just met, and constantly hold an eye on drinks you have ordered.
There are also reports of scams targeting males at bars when females ask a foreign man to obtain her drinks. She ends up leaving him with a quite higher bar tab, and if he’s unable to spend, a group of males may well use physical force to insist.
three. Do not insult the ruling Aliyev family members – The president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, who took more than from his father Heydar in 2003, and his family members, are not to be mocked or spoken about badly.
He has won 5 elections with about 80% of the vote, but there’s lots of proof that he and his New Azerbaijan Celebration are accountable for widespread corruption and a lack of democratic procedure, along with jailing men and women who have criticized the family members or the government. Play it secure and steer clear of speaking politics although you are right here.
four. Do not go close to or speak about Armenia – Stay clear of the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan, exactly where sporadic armed clashes nonetheless take spot. In unique, do not go close to the Nagorno-Karabakh area, which is a disputed location exactly where armed conflict is widespread. There are land mines in these regions as effectively, a different superior cause to steer clear.
The safest point is merely not to mention Armenia at all. There’s an ongoing, bitter conflict among the two nations, and Azerbaijanis can get angry if you attempt to speak about Armenia.
If you are of Armenian descent — for instance, if you have an Armenian surname — this may well trigger difficulties for you in Azerbaijan so be ready.
five. Be cautious on the roads – Numerous of the roads in Azerbaijan are in poor situation, and drivers frequently speed. You also want to watch out for men and women on foot and livestock in rural Azerbaijan.
If you can steer clear of it, do not drive at evening — there is ordinarily tiny or no lighting on the roads and there are a lot of potholes and bumps that can trigger a undesirable accident if you cannot see them coming.
On the plus side, the blood alcohol limit right here is zero so there is no tolerance for drinking and driving (which implies you are significantly less probably to encounter drunk drivers right here). If driving, make confident you adhere to this law to the letter.
Road security is probably going to be your largest concern right here, so constantly be added cautious when driving or close to busy roads.
six. Refuse to spend bribes – There’s pretty a culture of bribery and corruption in Azerbaijan, so you may well locate oneself in a scenario exactly where you are asked to spend a bribe. Even though it can really feel hard, it is OK to refuse to spend, and ordinarily, that will be the finish of it.
Numerous Azerbaijanis are embarrassed by the extent of corruption and bribery and will do their ideal to hide it from foreign vacationers. Regrettably, there is a minority who will nonetheless demand bribes — at times even officials.
7. Appear out for fake police – It is pretty a widespread scam to come across criminals dressed as police officers. In their disguise, they will target foreigners and attempt to situation you a fake site visitors infringement or demand you spend a fine for photographing in the street.
If in doubt, ask them to take you to a police station. Hopefully, they will then agree to leave you alone.
eight. Invest in travel insurance coverage – Every single time you travel, you must make confident you have an suitable level of travel insurance coverage. You under no circumstances know what may well go incorrect! Hopefully, absolutely nothing will occur to you although you are exploring Azerbaijan, but you will be definitely grateful you have travel insurance coverage if you are involved in a vehicle accident, develop into the victim of theft, or get sick and locate oneself in an emergency scenario.
We advise Globe Nomads for travelers beneath 70, although Insure My Trip is the ideal selection for travelers more than 70.
For additional data on tarvel insurance coverage, verify out these posts:
- What Does Travel Insurance coverage Essentially Cover?
- The 7 Greatest Travel Firms in 2019
- How to Invest in the Greatest Travel Insurance coverage
FAQ on Azerbaijan Security
To aid you strategy your trip, right here are answers to the most often asked queries we get about security in Azerbaijan:
How secure is Baku for vacationers?
Thanks to revenue from oil and gas, Baku is a contemporary capital city with decent public transport and is frequently secure. There are some dangers of petty theft in crowds or bars, and vacationers can be a target of drink spiking and other scams (see above) in Western-style bars and nightclubs. Be added vigilant on a evening out.
Possibly the most unsafe portion of becoming in Baku is the site visitors. Numerous Azerbaijanis drive quite rapidly and devoid of substantially regard for the guidelines of the road. If you are a pedestrian, be wary of cars when you are close to a road and particularly when you are crossing. When in doubt, adhere to the lead of the locals.
Is it secure to drive in Azerbaijan?
Driving in Baku can be difficult: pretty a lot of site visitors, rapidly drivers, and pedestrians who do not spend substantially consideration.
Nevertheless, it is likely additional unsafe to drive in rural locations, each mainly because of the poor driving requirements and the low high quality of the highways. The road situations are specifically undesirable outdoors the cities, and driving at evening is particularly unsafe, as the roads are poorly lit, or not lit at all.
Is Azerbaijan secure for females traveling alone?
In basic, Azerbaijan is secure for all men and women traveling solo, but some females have reported incidents of undesirable male consideration although walking alone and taking taxis. If going out at evening, make confident you have an individual to accompany you just to be secure.
Right here are a handful of beneficial posts on security written by our solo female travel authorities:
- How to Keep Protected as a Solo Female Traveler
- eight Myths About Solo Female Travel Debunked
- 10 Prevalent Inquiries About Solo Female Travel
- Females Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Travel Alone
Is the drinking water secure in Azerbaijan?
The tap water in Azerbaijan must be boiled just before drinking to make confident that it is free of charge of contaminents. Boil the water for at least 1 minute to make confident it is clean.
Whilst you can also obtain bottled water right here, I’d just bringing a reusable water bottle and a Lifestraw or SteriPen. They can purify your water although also minimizing your environmental effect.
From the contrasts of 19th-century architecture with the envelope-pushing contemporary buildings of Baku to the scenic vistas of the sparsely-populated towns and villages, you will locate lots of items to see and do in Azerbaijan.
Just be confident to use widespread sense by avoiding speaking about sensitive subjects (such as the war with Armenia) when you are speaking to locals. Be conscious of the possible for petty theft and scams hold an eye out and your valuables out of sight. Do that, and you will be just fine.
On the complete, Azerbaijan is secure to check out and tourism numbers are increasing for a superior cause. Devote some time seeing Azerbaijan now, although it is nonetheless not crowded with vacationers — you will not regret it!
Book Your Trip to Azerbaijan: Logistical Ideas and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Uncover a low cost flight by employing Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favourite search engines mainly because they search internet websites and airlines about the globe so you constantly know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to remain elsewhere, use Booking.com as they regularly return the least expensive prices for guesthouses and low cost hotels. I use them all the time. My favourite areas to remain in Azerbaijan are:
- Sahil Hostel (Baku) – This hostel is clean, spacious, and effectively maintained. It won Hostelworld’s 2019 award for ideal hostel in the city.
- Old Ganja Hostel (Ganja) – Whilst thos hostel itself is rather no frills, the employees right here are unbelievable and go above and beyond to guarantee you have a wonderful time in Ganja.
- Lahij Guesthouse (Lahij) – With free of charge Wi-Fi, wonderful views, and a charming and rustic interior, this hoestl is a superior selection for any individual searching for a additional exclusive remain in Lahij.
Do not Overlook Travel Insurance coverage
Travel insurance coverage will guard you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It is complete protection in case something goes incorrect. I under no circumstances go on a trip devoid of it as I’ve had to use it lots of instances in the previous. I’ve been employing Globe Nomads for ten years. My favourite providers that offer you the ideal service and worth are:
- Globe Nomads (for every person beneath 70)
- Insure My Trip (for these more than 70)
Hunting for the ideal providers to save funds with?
Verify out my resource web page for the ideal providers to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save funds when I travel – and I believe will aid you as well!gho
Want Additional Info on Azerbaijan?
Be confident to check out our robust location guide on Azerbaijan for even additional arranging suggestions!