Top 8 Beautiful Places In Azerbaijan

Top 8 Beautiful Places In Azerbaijan
Medina
Medina 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 8 min read

This vibrant transcontinental country does not cease to amaze me no matter how many times I visit its wonders and witness its natural beauty. Due to the many facets of Azerbaijan, it takes a little time to know where to start when planning a trip to this destination. Some parts of the country showcase traditional architecture with a fusion of European and Asian influences, while others exude modern elegance and luxury. The country is full of life, brimming with tourists and ex-pats, as well as locals living in cozy homes on narrow lanes. Whenever I visit my home country, Azerbaijan, I admire how the familiar nooks and corners of the well-known streets seem to change their appearance, letting me discover them all over again.

Tourists traveling to this country to explore its culture should definitely visit Old Town Baku. Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape is a stunning attraction that will impress history buffs. Nature lovers will also fall in love with the country by visiting picturesque spots such as Hirkan National Park.

To help you find out which attractions you must check out in the country, I have compiled a list of the top beautiful places in Azerbaijan that you absolutely should not miss!

1. Old Town Baku; Baku

Old Town Baku, or, as it’s called in Azerbaijani, “Icherisheher”, is the vibrant heart of Baku. It was in this walled area that the history of this city originated. Now, the place consists of endless narrow and quaint lanes. Interestingly, these lanes are still inhabited by the local population in old and authentic houses. If you wander through these streets, do not hesitate to investigate its nooks and corners - something interesting is waiting for you in every single nook!

Fun fact - in 2000, the Old Town was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites! However, that is certainly not the only reason why this is my favorite part of this city. I love to get lost in the narrow colorful streets because, even though I have been here dozens of times, I can still find something new every time.

For tourists, there are authentic shops with local products and souvenirs, numerous cafes and restaurants, as well as many architectural monuments to gaze at. Take your time and browse through antique shops - I often find beautiful old silver rings here.

Speaking of architectural monuments, it is worth noting that Maiden Tower, or Qiz Qalasi, is located in this neighborhood. It is one of the oldest monuments in Baku. The tower holds a lot of secrets, and archaeologists still do not know what the true purpose of this tower was. Inside, you can find a museum to gain deeper insights into the history of Azerbaijan. In addition, the top of the tower offers wonderful views of the city.

Another gem in the Old Town is Palace of the Shirvanshahs or Shirvanshahlar Sarayi, which echoes the origins of Baku. This palace dates back to the 15th century and is the residence of the Shirvanshahs. The two-level building comprises a tomb, a mosque, and a mausoleum. You will also find an underground well and a bathhouse here.

Baku: Old City Walking Tour

Duration: 4.0 hour

13 reviews

2. Maiden Tower; Baku

Maiden Tower
Source: Medina Rzayeva

Maiden’s Tower (locally known as Qiz Qalasi) is located in the Old Town of Baku and is one of the most important monuments in the city. Everyone who lives in or has visited the country talks about it and it is printed on postcards and magnets in local souvenir shops, but the exact history of its construction is still not known. I particularly enjoy the way this structure looks because of its non-standard shape and the beautiful landscape that surrounds it.

The tower was built on a ledge of a coastal cliff and is a cylinder-shaped structure made of local limestone. The date of its construction has not yet been determined. However, it’s believed to have been erected in the 12th century.

If you have time, I advise you to enter the tower, as now there is a museum with exhibits from the bygone era and other historical accessories inside it. You will also find a gift shop where you can purchase items to take home. If you want to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Baku, then you should climb to the top of this tower. I managed to enjoy the views of the city and the Caspian Sea from here. The ideal time to appreciate the beauty is during dusk when twilight sets in.

Maiden Tower

Address: Old City, Baku, Azerbaijan

Website: Maiden Tower

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 9 USD

3. Palace of the Shirvanshahs; Baku

This is one of the must-see attractions in Baku. As soon as you are in the Old Town, make sure to visit this majestic palace right away. It takes several hours to tour the whole palace. When I was there, I tried to explore every corner of this stunning palace, and three hours were not quite enough for me.

The palace complex includes tombs of deceased members of the Shirvanshah family, the Divankhana pavilion, the remains of an old mosque, a bathhouse, and a mausoleum of the court scientist. In 1964 the palace went under the protection of the state, and in 2000, it received the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entry fee for the palace is only 4 AZN (2.35 USD) and the whole tour costs 8 AZN (4.69 USD).

Palace of the Shirvanshahs

Address: 9R8M+CCX, Baku, Azerbaijan

Website: Palace of the Shirvanshahs

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 2 USD

4. Flame Towers; Baku

You will notice this attraction no matter where you are in Baku. This spectacular group of skyscrapers is certainly worth a visit. The glass structure featuring three towers is located on a hill and is also one of the tallest constructions in Baku. The best view of the towers is from Upland Park, located nearby. I prefer to come here on a pleasant day when there is no strong wind or scorching heat.

From Upland Park, the best time to observe these beauties for me is during twilight or at night, as it is at this time that the towers light up beautifully. On the glass body of the towers, you can often spot various meaningful images. These are usually flames or images of the flag of Azerbaijan, but on certain holidays you can also enjoy themed displays.

The towers also house residential complexes, offices, and Fairmont Hotel with around 300 rooms, in case you want to stay here. If you wish to experience a movie on IMAX right inside the towers, head to Park Cinema!

Flame Towers Baku

Address: 9R5G+QJV, Baku, Azerbaijan

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

5. Heydar Aliyev Center; Baku

Heydar Aliyev Center is one of the most atypical buildings when it comes to its facade and is famous all over the world. Every time I pass this building, I fail to stop taking pictures of it. The pristine white building opened in 2012 and is a notable cultural center in Baku. It was built on the orders of Ilham Aliyev, the current President of Azerbaijan, for his father and former President, Heydar Aliyev.

Created by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the center was awarded the “Design of the Year” award by London’s Design Museum. The extraordinary design seems too unique to be real and symbolizes the progressive nature of the city.

In addition to its impeccable construction, the center is also rich in content. There is a museum that features temporary and permanent exhibitions showcasing works by local artists such as Tahir Salakhov, as well as international artists such as Andy Warhol. If you are a lover of cars, do check out the car exhibits. A standard ticket for accessing the museum costs 15 AZN (8.80 USD), and the entry fee to the car exhibition is only 10 AZN (5.87 USD). Children below six years of age can enjoy free entry!

Heydar Aliyev Center

Address: 1 Heydar Aliyev Ave, Baku 1033, Azerbaijan

Website: Heydar Aliyev Center

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 11am - 7pm; Sat - Sun: 11am - 6pm (closed on Mon)

Price: From 6 USD (Free entry for children below six years)

6. Gobustan National Park; Gobustan

The historical and cultural reserve in Gobustan is the one closest to Baku, and besides, it is the place where the whole story began! This archaeological reserve located in the southern part of Azerbaijan is a huge flat area between the slope of the Greater Caucasus Range and the Caspian Sea. There are about 6,000 rock paintings here, which even I, after visiting this place multiple times, could not cover completely! The images talk about the life of the people who lived here and how they spend time hunting, as well as describe the animals that lived in this region at that time.

If you decide to come here, I will reveal to you the secret of one of the most interesting parts of this place. In Gobustan there are special stones called “gavaldash”, which consist of shell rocks, and if you knock on them, they make beautiful sounds. In fact, these rocks are used to make several musical instruments. In addition, you can also check out a mud volcano, a rare natural phenomenon. Fun fact - 45% of the world’s mud volcanoes are located in Azerbaijan!

Getting to Gobustan is quite easy. From one of the main metro stations of Baku, Sahil, take bus number 125 and go till 30 stops. After that, change to bus number 195, cross one more stop, and you will be there. The whole journey will take approximately two hours. If you’d rather travel in comfort by taxi, the journey will take you only an hour and cost about 35 AZN (20.53 USD).

Gobustan Rock Art & Mud Volcanoes Tour

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

36 reviews

7. Hirkan National Park; Lankaran

When in Azerbaijan, you must visit the city of Lankaran and the beautiful Hirkan National Park. Upon arrival, the first thing I did was go for a walk around the vast grounds to get acquainted with the local plants that are under protection, pick acorns, and enjoy the fresh air.

More than 150 species of plants grow here, including chestnut oak, ironwood, and Oriental hornbeam. Here, you might even get to meet a rare Persian leopard, and do not be surprised if a pheasant or a Caspian tit flies over you!

Be sure to visit Khanbulan Lake, a picturesque place ideal for hiking. If you are lucky, you can meet roe deer on the shore - but remember not to scare them away! If you don’t want to explore the area by yourself, you can opt for a guide for 35 AZN (20.53 USD) or join a tour for 17 AZN (10 USD).

Hirkan National Park

Address: FMFV+P43, Shua, Azerbaijan

Website: Hirkan National Park

Opening hours: 24 hours

Price: Free or from 10 USD

8. Sheki Khans' Palace; Sheki

From Baku, take a four-hour-and-a-half-hour drive to Sheki, one of the most historically significant cities in Azerbaijan, and make a plan to visit the Palace of Sheki Khans. This is a picture-perfect palace dating back to the 18th century that will leave an indelible impression in your heart. In my opinion, it is one of the important sights of Azerbaijan. If you, like me, appreciate old mosaic designs and intricate traditional artwork, then this place is for you.

The palace is the ancient residence of the Sheki Khans, which has now been converted into a museum, although retaining all of its old grandeur. You will find beautiful patterns, floral ornaments, murals, as well as frescoes depicting scenes from wars or birds and plants, both inside and outside the palace. The most amusing fact is that neither nails nor any kind of glue were used in the construction of this palace!

Sheki Khans' Palace

Address: Gakh, Shaki-Shirvan, Azerbaijan

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 3 USD

Explore the beauty of Azerbaijan

Even though most of the country’s development and notable attractions are concentrated in its capital, Baku, you can find beautiful places to visit even in the other smaller cities. If you have enough time, explore the different cities of the country to discover its various facets, not only in terms of attractions but also in terms of natural beauty and local culture.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Being from Azerbaijan and residing in Poland, Medina is a freelance copywriter. Having visited 17 countries, she found herself sharing her experience and feelings with those who also share her...Read more

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