15 Top Cities of Azerbaijan - Best travel and holiday destinations
Updated 8 Apr, 2020
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Azerbaijan is a large former Soviet country that spans over Asia and Europe that is growing fast as a tourism center.
The varied landscapes from the coastal Caspian Sea to the high Caucasus Mountains are home to some brilliant tourist spots in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan has some of the world's best travel destinations and cities; read along to find the inspiration for your next trip.
Baku - most developed city in Azerbaijan
Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea coastline that is known as the architectural child of Paris.
Top things to do in Baku –
- Round over the city’s Maiden Tower, a 12th century tower and the most prominent landmark in the city.
- Wander the old city of Baku where you can adore the traditional walls and architecture of the country.
- View a number of historic carpets and Azeri artifacts in the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum.
- Wonder at unique Flame Towers depicting the glorious fire culture of Azerbaijan .
- Know about the deep 15th century history of the Palace of Shirvanshahs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Baku.
- Enjoy fine dining and vibrant shopping in the Fountain Square.
- Cherish the wonderful seaside views while strolling the Milli Park promenade.
Popular food to try in Baku consists of Qutab, kebabs, palov, Dolma, Pakhlava, Saj, Lavash Turshu, nuts, Piti, Dushbara, tea and Azerbaijani breakfast.
Best time to visit Baku is during May, June and July when the weather is mild.
How to reach Baku? Book a flight to Heydar Aliyev International Airport to get access to Baku.
Gabala - snow capital of Azerbaijan
Gabala is an ancient city in Azerbaijan located in the region of Qabala that has a history of more than two thousand years.
Top things to do in Gabala –
- Go for skiing and winter sports in the mountain resort of Tufandag, the largest ski resort in Azerbaijan.
- Attend the annual music festival making Gabala the town of music.
- Travel over the Gabala City New Mosque, a scenic landmark in the town .
- Take a cable car ride and relish the majestic mountainous landscape of the city.
- Enjoy thrilling rides in Gardaland Amusement Park.
- End your trip after visiting Nohur Lake to gaze at the lush Caucasus Mountains.
Best time to visit Gabala is from January to March for skiing activities.
How to reach Gabala? Book a flight to the Gabala International Airport to get access to the town.
Sheki - cultural capital of Azerbaijan
Shaki is a small city in Azerbaijan located in the northwestern part of the country that is famous as the land of spices and silk road.
Top things to do in Sheki –
- Walk on the beautiful narrow medieval streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Visit the Palace of Sheki Khan, an Iranian style palace built by Hassan Khan in 1797.
- Come across the picturesque village of Kis where you will find the Church of Kish amidst the valley of Caucasus.
- Notice the middle aged Gelersen Gorersen Fortress situated between forested areas of town.
- Learn about the Azerbaijani architecture in Shakikhanov’s Palace.
- Complete your trip after visiting the Three Saints Church on the riverfront.
Popular food to try in Sheki includes Sheki Halwa, Sheki Piti, traditional Azerbaijani dishes and tea.
Best time to visit Sheki is during April, May, June, September, October and November.
How to reach Sheki? Take a taxi or bus from the major cities of Azerbaijan ro reach the town.
Ganja - top backpacking destination in Azerbaijan
Ganja is the second largest city of Azerbaijan located in the western part of the country known for its mosques and cultural landmarks.
Top things to do in Ganja –
- Visit the Imamzadeh Mausoleum, a magnificent mosque with vibrant walls, entrances and monuments.
- Round over the Nizami Mausoleum dedicated to the poet, Nizami Ganjavi situated in a corner of the town.
- Progress to the 16th century Shah Abbas Mosque.
- Visit the Tomb of Javed Khan in the square of Shah Abbas.
- End your trip after visiting the Bottle House of Ganja, an unusual residence made from bottles.
Popular food to try in Ganja comprises Nazik, Goy Katasi, Dovga, Ganja Harvasi, Yarpaq Dolmasi and many local specialties.
Best time to visit Ganja is from late June to early September.
How to reach Ganja? The city is easily accessible by booking a flight to Ganja International Airport.
Naftalan - oil resort of Azerbaijan
Naftalan is a scenic city in the valleys of lesser Caucasus Mountains that is well known across the country for its oil product.
Top things to do in Naftalan –
- Learn about the healing properties of the magic oil of ‘Naftalan’ that is said to cure arthritis, skin diseases and 70 conditions.
- Get a therapeutic bath, also known as balneo treatment in town’s 1000 bed Therapeutic Centers.
- Know the rich history of the oil springs related to Marco Polo and Germans.
Naftalan is considered as the only place in the world where the spa is given not water but oil.
Best time to visit Naftalan is from late April to early June or from mid September to early November.
How to reach Naftalan? Take a taxi or bus from the city of Ganja to reach the town.
Bilgah - top beach destination in Azerbaijan
Bilgah is a coastal municipality in Azerbaijan located north to the capital city of Baku on the coast of Caspian Sea.
Top things to do in Bilgah –
- Roam on the long golden sandy beaches of the town.
- Enjoy with your family in Amburan Beach Club, a beachfront lively club with a swimming pool.
- Dine in various restaurants located near the beaches.
- Head to the Nardaran Fortress that was built in 1301 by Mahmood Ibn Sa’ad.
Best time to visit Bilgah is from March to May or from September to November.
How to reach Bilgah? Take a bus from the city of Baku to reach the town.
Quba - top family travel destination in Azerbaijan
Quba is a large city in the Quba region of the country located in the northeastern part of Shahdag Mountains.
Top things to do in Quba –
- Start your journey from the Quba Genocide Memorial Complex dedicated to the memory of victims of March days.
- Meander the beautiful stepped Nizami Park and take a rest under shades of its chestnut trees.
- Move to the Sakina Khanim Mosque dedicated to the town’s famous widow scientist.
- Explore its famous carpets, delicious sweets and
- Go for a picnic in the cool mountains during summer or skiing in the winters.
- Discover Red Town, one of the world's last surviving Shtetl with the town's own culture.
Popular food to try in Quba comprises Shish kebab, soups and many more traditional Azerbaijani dishes.
Best time to visit Quba is during the months of May, July, August and September.
How to reach Quba? Take a bus, taxi or car from the city of Baku to reach the town.
Gobustan National Park - top solo travel destination in Azerbaijan
Gobustan National Park is a large mountainous area in Azerbaijan located southwest to the city of Baku famous for the petroglyphs and mud volcanoes.
Top things to do in Gobustan National Park –
- Locate more than 6000 rock carvings depicting the animals, boats, ritual dances and battle pieces.
- Locate more than 300 mud volcanoes of this UNESCO World Heritage Site that are said to have medicinal properties.
- Come across the unconventional Gaval Dash, a stone with an extraordinary structure in Gobustan.
- Find a large number of animal species like deer, bulls, goats and horses.
- Know more about the history of national parks in the Gobustan National Park Museum.
Best time to visit Gobustan National Park is during the months of March, April and October.
How to reach Gobustan National Park? Take a taxi or bus from the city of Baku to reach the national park.
Goygol - top nature’s lover destination in Azerbaijan
Goygol is a serene natural lake in Azerbaijan known as the pearl of Azerbaijani nature located at the foot of Murovdag Mountain.
Top things to do in Lake Goygol –
- Admire the spectacular green breathtaking views around this pristine natural resort.
- Hike up to Mount Kapaz where you witness the broken rock of the mountain that resulted in formation of the lake.
- Detect large biodiversity of animal species like bear, deer, fox, rabbit, lynx, partridge, Caspian snow cock, horse, vulture etc.
- Go for a trekking adventure with a number of challenging trails.
- Take some mesmerizing shots of the mountainous lake Goygol and lake Moralgol.
Best time to visit Goygol is from early June to early September.
How to reach Goygol? Take a bus or car from the city of Ganja to reach the Goygol lake.
Yanar Dag - most popular destination in Azerbaijan
Yanar Dag is a mysterious natural fire located in the hillside of Absheron district that is a prominent tourist spot in Azerbaijan.
Top things to do in Yanar Dag –
- Learn about the mysterious formation of the Yanar Dag, the reason why Azerbaijan is called the Land of Fire.
- Get to know about Zoroastrianism, a mystic faith that appeared here around 2000 years ago.
- Move to the nearby teahouse go get a perfect view of this 10 meter long flame.
- End your trip after taking some alluring photographs of this auspicious fire hillside.
Best time to visit Yanar Dag is from April to June or from September to November.
How to reach Yanar Dag? Take a bus or taxi from the capital city, Baku located just 25 km away from the city.
Shamakhi - top romantic destination in Azerbaijan
Shamakhi is a large city in Azerbaijan that is perfect for a romantic trip to explore the town's cultural heritage.
Top things to do in Shamakhi –
- Travel over the magnificent Juma Mosque, an Islamic style architectural monument in Shamakhi.
- Progress to the Yeddi Gumbaz Mausoleum where you can find the remains of an 18th century mosque.
- Adore spectacular views of the countryside with your partner in Gulustan Castle.
- Marvel the limestone fortress of Galeyi Beygurt located around 20 km away from the city centre.
- Visit the House Museum of Mirza Alakbar Sabir dedicated to a famous Azerbaijani poet.
Popular food to try in Shamakhi consists of traditional Azerbaijani dishes with pastries and tea.
Best time to visit Shamakhi is from early July to mid August.
How to reach Shamakhi? Take a bus from the cities of Shaki, Gabala and Baku to reach Shamakhi.
Shusha - most offbeat destination in Azerbaijan
Shusha is a picturesque town in Azerbaijan that is great for an unconventional holiday due to its disputed location in the Nagorno Karabakh region.
Top things to do in Shusha –
- Relish the royal Ghazanchetsots Cathedral standing high in the town’s landscape.
- Come across the Shusha Fortress containing the logo of the town in Armenian language.
- Step up to the Kanach Zham Church, a church in Shusha known for its green domes.
- Get adventurous while exploring the rough landscape of Hunot State Natural Reserve.
- Pass the historic Ganja Gate, one of four entrances to the Shusha Fortress.
- Take breathtaking views of the town from the Ashaghi Govhar Agha Mosque.
Best time to visit Shusha is from mid June to early October.
How to reach Shusha? Take a bus from the city of Goris to reach Shusha.
Stepanakert - most beautiful city in Azerbaijan
Stepanakert is a wonderful city in Azerbaijan located in the Artsakh region of Azerbaijan.
Top things to do in Stepanakert –
- Meander the lovely streets of Stepanakert flanked by many medieval style buildings and houses.
- Round over the landmark of We Are All Mountains, the sculptures of a man and woman that is a symbol of Stepanakert.
- Take a look at the Yeghishe Arakyal Monastery, a church with Armenian style.
- Walk on the Renaissance Square where you can see the iconic building of the National Assembly.
- Shop food items, clothes and electronic items in a number of friendly local markets of Stepanakert.
- Come upon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Museum.
Popular food to try in Stepanakert includes salads, pizzas, soups with the traditional food.
Best time to visit Stepanakert is from April till October.
How to reach Stepanakert? Take a bus from the city of Yerevan to reach the city.
You will also need a visa in order to get access to this disputed region of Azerbaijan.
Ismayilli - top mountain destination in Azerbaijan
Ismayilli is a cozy mountainous town in Azerbaijan located in the Greater Caucasus Mountains in the northern part of the country .
Top things to do in Ismayilli –
- Get lost in the rich rolling farmlands and colorful deciduous forests of the Caucasus in town.
- Tour the crenellated stone fortress of the town with a number of semicircular towers.
- Move to the mountainous village of Lahij known for the hand beaten copper work.
- Visit the old Russian style village of Ivanovka with many sunflower fields located near the town.
- Do adventures like trekking, climbing and hiking on the challenging slopes of Caucasus Mountains.
Best time to visit Ismayilli is during September and October when summer heat fades away.
How to reach Ismayilli? Take a bus from the city of Baku to reach the Ismayilli region.
Nabran - summer capital of Azerbaijan
Nabran is a small resort town in Azerbaijan located at the coast of Caspian Sea that gets lively with recreational activities during summer.
Top things to do in Nabran –
- Night out in Nabran’s all night clubs where you can enjoy drinks, DJ, music, dance.
- Fall in love with the lovely sunrise view over the Caspian Sea.
- Soak up the sun in its many long beaches with some of the clearest waters in Azerbaijan.
- Ease yourself with the availability of lux hotels, boarding houses and private cottages.
- Take your little kids to various entertainment centers of the resort.
- Get sporty while enjoying many activities in Aqua Park and Sports Complex.
Best time to visit Nabran is dying May, June and July during summer months.
How to reach Nabran? Take a train, bus, car or taxi from the city of Baku to reach the resort.