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Holidays in Azerbaijan

Understanding Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan 1 2 is a former Soviet republic in the Caucasus and variously considered part of Europe or Asia The country lies on the Caspian Sea between Russia and Iran and is bordered to the west by Georgia and Armenia The somewhat autonomous exclave of Nakhchivan lies between Armenia & Iran with a short border with Turkey Azerbaijan regained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991

The Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, which is part of Azerbaijan, was the subject of a war with Armenia that has left it a de facto independent republic, which is not internationally recognized, ironically including Armenia which "supports" it Azerbaijan has lost 13% of its territory and must support some 800,000 refugees and internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh enclave Occupied by the local Armenian troops to this day, this conflict has not officially ended with minor skirmishes frequent, and is a major source of contention among Azerbaijanis

The majority of the population over 90% is composed of Azeris, who share a culture very similar to Turkey History, with Russian and Persian influence, has left the Azeris of Azerbaijan and Iran with some moderate differences Minorities in Azerbaijan include Lezghins, Russians, Avars, Turks, Tatars, Ukrainians, & Georgians Most inhabitants are Shia Muslim, although a long history of European and Russian colonialism has left many with very liberal, laisez-faire attitudes towards Islam and the country is staunchly secular The government is a kleptocracy of the benevolent Aliyev family and their allies although, while opposition is often sacked or imprisoned, it is not as severe an authoritarian government as you'll find in Turkmenistan, Iran or the Russian Caucasus Following independence in 1991, Azerbaijan has allowed western companies to develop its neglected, but extensive, oil fields and has seen oil production skyrocket especially since the mid-2000s Despite this and related investments, most of the new-found wealth remains in the hands of a small number of people and the city of Baku While Baku is full of new construction and a growing middle class, much of the country remains poor, rural agrarians and merchants Corruption is ubiquitous compared with neighboring Georgia and Armenia


These are the nationally recognized holidays for people living in Azerbaijan

  • New Year January 1-2
  • Women’s Day March 8
  • Victory Day May 9
  • Republic Day May 28
  • Day of National Salvation of Azerbaijan People June 15
  • Day of Military Forces of Azerbaijan Republic June 26
  • State Sovereignty Day October 18
  • Constitution Day November 12
  • National Rebirth Day November 17
  • Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis December 31
  • Novruz Bayram – five days
  • Gurban Bayram Day of Sacrifice - two days
  • Ramazan Eid Days after Ramadan fasting2-3 days


Azerbaijan is known for having nine of the 11 existing ecological zones Much of the country is temperate year-round Nation-wide the average temperature for the year is 14-15C The Caucasus Mountains protect the country from the Arctic air masses that affect Russia in winter while the Caspian Sea shields it from the hot, dry air of Central Asia in the summer Temperatures in the winter are mild 0-15C at lower altitudes and along the coast and drops moderately as you head inland and drastically as you head into the mountains -20C is possible in the Caucasus Mountains Summers range from warm to hot20-40C throughout most of the country, although breezes off the Caspian make life pleasant along the coast Nakhchivan is quite different, high and arid, summers here can easily surpass 40C while winter nights often drop below -20Cin fact the country's extreme minimum and maximum -33C & 46C were both recorded in southern Nakhchivan!

Snow is rare in Baku and along the coast in general while common inland and copious in the mountains, where many villages may be cut off during the winter The southern forests are the wettest part of the country, with plenty of rain in late autumn and early spring The western central coast is fairly dry Lankaran receives the most annual precipitation 1600-1800mm while the region around Baku averages 600mm Baku is very breezy, much like Chicago or Wellington, most of the year


Large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi Kura-Araks Lowland much of it below sea level with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi Karabakh Upland in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi Apsheron Peninsula that juts into Caspian Sea

Elevation extremes 
lowest point 
Caspian Sea -27 m
highest point 
Bazarduzu Dagi 4,466 m
Environment - current issues 
Local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi Apsheron Peninsula including Baku and Sumqayit and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, soil, and water pollution; soil pollution results from oil spills, from the use of DDT as a pesticide, and from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton


Electricity is supplied at 220V 50Hz Outlets are the European standard CEE-7/7 "Schukostecker" or "Schuko" or the compatible, but non-grounded, CEE-7/16 "Europlug" types Generally speaking, US and Canadian travelers should pack an adapter for these outlets if they plan to use North American electrical equipment in Azerbaijan

Additionally, some older buildings may be still equipped with Soviet-era outlets The Soviet GOST-7396 standard was very similar to the current European CEE-7/7 "Schuko plug", but the pins were of a 40 mm diameter, while the Schuko features 48 mm pins As such, the pins of a Schuko may be too large to fit into a Soviet-era outlet, although the smaller Europlug will still fit Although the Soviet-era outlets have largely been phased out, travelers who are particularly concerned with having the ability to plug in at all times may consider packing an adapter for the Soviet-era outlets too, just in case

Also, make sure to bring your own automated voltage adapter because the electricity in Azerbaijan short circuits and "jumps" a lot and many items may get shocked if you don't bring the adapter

Talking in Azerbaijan

Azeri is the official language This is a Turkic language, closely related to Turkish itself However, English is spoken in some places frequented by Westerners Most people speak Russian which is now declining and slowly being replaced by English, especially in the capital city, Baku

What to do in Azerbaijan

  • Visit Maiden Tower
  • Try to attend an Azerbaijani Wedding

Buying stuff in Azerbaijan

Currency: New Azerbaijani manat Yeni Manat

Currency code: AZN

Exchange rates approximate, jul-aug 2009:

  • €1 = 11438 manat
  • US$1 = 0804 manat

For more rates please visit web page of Central Bank of Azerbaijan Republic4

Keep in mind that import and export of manat is strictly forbidden

Economy - overview: Azerbaijan's number one export is oil Azerbaijan's oil production declined through 1997 but has registered an increase every year since Negotiation of production-sharing arrangements PSAs with foreign firms, which have thus far committed $60 billion to oilfield development, should generate the funds needed to spur future industrial development Oil production under the first of these PSAs, with the Azerbaijan International Operating Company, began in November 1997 Azerbaijan shares all the formidable problems of the former Soviet republics in making the transition from a command to a market economy, but its considerable energy resources brighten its long-term prospects Baku has only recently begun making progress on economic reform, and old economic ties and structures are slowly being replaced An obstacle to economic progress, including stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector, is the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region Trade with Russia and the other former Soviet republics is declining in importance while trade is building with Turkey and the nations of Europe Long-term prospects will depend on world oil prices, the location of new pipelines in the region and Azerbaijan's ability to manage its oil wealth

Food and eating in Azerbaijan

Cabbage, grape leaves, and eggplant wrapped meat kelem, yarpaq, badimjan - dolmasi, kabab kebab, rice with chicken and other stuff plov - It is said that plov is the king of Azerbaijani cuisine, gutabs and meatballs kufta are some of the specialties of Azerbaijan

Bread is a staple, and is quite revered by the people of Azerbaijan Insulting or refusing to eat bread with a meal if uninterested, at least a small corner is nearly equivalent to insulting the Koran

Georgian food, in particular kajpuri a cheese-filled bread, along with some Russian staples borsh have become throughout Azerbaijan Other cuisines such as Turkish, Western & fast food, along with Asian food can be found in Baku

Drinking in Azerbaijan

Some local drinks include ayran a yogurt drink based on sour milk and sherbet made from rose petals or saffron There are also different sorts of quite decent wines produced from local grapes and a wide array of mineral waters from natural springs In some areas of Azerbaijan the markets offer lemonades limonat/dushes made from pears, antibiotics and green tea

Accommodation in Azerbaijan

There is a good selection of hotels in Baku, including many Western chains, but options elsewhere in the country are limited Prices for the hotels start from $60 and higher Rental apartments might be a good choice as they are cheaper than hotels and sometimes are even more comfortable

Working in Azerbaijan

There is a great deal of work to be done in Azerbaijan from teaching and NGO work to work in the oil and tourism sectors

Cities in Azerbaijan

agdam  agdas  agstafa  agsu  alunitdag  aran  artyom  astara  badamdar  baku  basqal  buzovna  ceyranbatan  corat  culfa  goranboy  goycay  gurgan  hadrut  haftoni  horadiz  hovsan  imisli  istisu  kijaba  kirovskiy  korgoz  lerik  lokbatan  mastaga  mincivan  mugan  naftalan  nardaran  neftcala  ordubad  pushkino  puta  qabaqcol  qala  qaracala  qaracuxur  qarayeri  qax  qazanbulaq  qazax  qobu  qobustan  qovlar  quba  qusar  quscu  ramana  sabirabad  sabuncu  sahbuz  salyan  samur  saray  sollar  sonqar  suraabad  susa  tovuz  turkan  turyancay  ucar  vurgun  xacmaz  xanlar  xudat  yevlax  zabrat  zaqatala  

What do you think about Azerbaijan?

How expensive is Azerbaijan?
(1 AZN = 0 USD)
Meal in inexpensive restaurant7.85 AZN
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)27 AZN
McDonalds meal7.75 AZN
Local beer (0.5 draft)2.21 AZN
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 3.31 AZN
Cappuccino2.76 AZN
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)0.64 AZN
Water (0.33 bottle)0.23 AZN
Milk (1l)1.31 AZN
Fresh bread (500g)0.39 AZN
White Rice (1kg)1.62 AZN
Eggs (12) 1.77 AZN
Local Cheese (1kg) 5.21 AZN
Chicken Breast (1kg) 5.01 AZN
Apples (1kg) 2.08 AZN
Oranges (1kg) 2.19 AZN
Tomato (1kg) 2.76 AZN
Potato (1kg) 0.95 AZN
Lettuce (1 head) 0.62 AZN
Water (1.5l)0.82 AZN
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 6.86 AZN
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)1.15 AZN
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 2.57 AZN
Cigarettes2.21 AZN
One way local bus ticket0.19 AZN
Monthly pass for bus16.62 AZN
Taxi start0.97 AZN
Taxi 1km0.69 AZN
Taxi 1hour waiting5.71 AZN
Gasoline (1 liter) 0.68 AZN
Utilities for a "normal" apartment91.22 AZN
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 27.75 AZN
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 569.56 AZN
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 251.13 AZN
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 677.53 AZN, your travel companion

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