After my last trip to Singapore and Malaysia, I was fully drowned into my work and regular activities. I started focusing on digital content creation apart from my fulltime job which was quite fun. Time passed by, then slowly I started feeling the need for a next getaway, then need became a must, well that’s it, my fingers started googling for the next travel destination.
The plan was a short getaway, somewhere cold and greenish, as the summer has already started in Dubai. (my second home where I work). Since I was busy with my work, I did not want to spend much time on planning my travel, and I wanted someone good enough to plan it for me. The best choice was Holiday Factory, one of the best travel company in UAE. They literally did everything for me for a very reasonable price.
But why I chose Azerbaijan? Have you ever heard of Baku? – Not yet found on the Tourist map
Azerbaijan is a country located in the southern part of the Caucasus, at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe. It shares a border with Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and a little bit of Turkey.
Due to its particular geographic location, Azerbaijan is a country that overlaps both Eastern Europe and Western Asia, so expect a clash of east meets west and you will find a lot to enjoy with a deep and intriguing history. For this reason, in my opinion, it is the most interesting Caucasian country.
What is the best time to Visit Azerbaijan?
The best time to visit Azerbaijan is April to June and September to October, which will let you avoid the 40°C summers and subzero winters – particularly in the mountains.
VISA, TRANSPORT AND HOTEL BOOKING – DO YOUR OWN OR HIRE SOMEONE TO GET IT DONE FOR YOU
You could do this on your own, and most experienced travelers do these on their own, but you need to do your research a bit more, sometimes you end up spending more time and money. In my case, I booked one of the best Travel Agent in UAE Holiday Factory, as I did not worry much about Hotel booking, Airfare and the boring stuff.
Holiday Factory booked my Transportations, Hotels and arranged the entire tour. I only had to explore and capture all the beautiful memories as much as I can.
Here is the link to Holiday Factory offers page.
Special Mention: The best travel guides I’v met.
The travel company also have the tour packages (exclusive from the holiday package), so I bought those tour packages from them. Then only I happen to meet Jamil and Taleh (we call him Talal). Two friendly, patient and super supportive guys. Franky Taleh was the one to take my photos as I was traveling alone and I was only taking fronfies (opposite of selfies). Special thanks to Jamil and Taleh.
How to get around in Baku, Azerbaijan?
There are many ways of transportation, to travel around the city and outside the city, the convenient way is to get an Uber taxi, which was cheaper than normal Taxi. And they have Metros, Busses also you can rent a car for your travels.
To travel around the city an Uber ride would cost from 3 Manat to 20 Manat.
What to eat and Where? Good food gives you good mood.
Baku is famous for Kabab and Sweets, it tastes good, is relatively healthy, kitchens are clean and it’s cheap. For that price, you won’t find better food in any country (I guess).
The best place to eat food in Baku, Azerbaijan
I have spent only three days in the country and I did not have much free time to explore the other part of the city nor the country. But I was lucky that I had the chance to taste some amazing foods in Baku. I recommend these places to try out.
Do not forget to try these foods
Lentil soup – which is a starter for lunch, The soup is equally tasty as a vegetarian dish or made with chicken stock.
izgara toyuq – Dinner meal with chicken and rice, tastes amazing.
Katmer – A desert which I spent an hour to taste bit by bit.
Kebab, Dovga (soup), Qutab
The nicest people in the Caucasus
How friendly the people of a certain country are is a subjective topic that depends on your personal experience. I haven’t been to Georgia. I’m not saying that Georgian people aren’t nice, but I had a better experience in Azerbaijan. Mostly, Azerbaijanis don’t speak English, but they always strived to help and understand what I try to say.
The way they speak English or Azerbaijani sounds so nice. I am sure you will agree with me when you travel there.
Best places to visit in Baku, Azerbaijan – from cityscapes to mountains
There are hillside towns that hide ancient mosques and minarets, as well as some of the most impressive modern architecture in the world in the form of the Flame Towers in Baku, so whatever your agenda and time restrictions, Azerbaijan has much to offer visitors. Here some of the best places you can cover in a short period.
Baku city tour – a mix of the old walled city of Icheri Seher, and skyscrapers
Never miss out to explore the city, they call it city central. Baku is the capital and commercial hub of Azerbaijan. You can visit Icheri Seher, Maiden Tower, Shirvanshah Palace and State Museum of Azerbaijan.
If you are foody or want to be a travel foody, visit Fountain Square formerly Nijam Street, where you will encounter every type of flavors of foods.
Tour Cost: 30USD (Approximately)
Quba mountain tour – a long ride with green and fresh air, never miss it
Quba is a city in and the capital of the Quba Rayon of Azerbaijan. The city lies on the north-eastern slopes of Shahdag mountain. You will encounter some amazing spots along your way, never miss to stop by and get some awesome pictures. You can visit Besbarmaq (five fingers mountain), Cenlibel lake, Mestdergah waterfall, Qecresh forest on your travel.
Tour Cost: 35USD (Approximately)
Qobustan Eternal fire tour – journey to the land of fire
Qobustan is best known for being the home to the famous rock petroglyphs and mud volcanoes. The area has been settled since the 8th millennium BC. You will visit Atesgah temple, Atesgah restaurant, Yanardag (burning mountain).
Tour Cost: 35USD (Approximately)
Other activities you can do in Baku, Azerbaijan
Do you know Formula1 is hosted in Azerbaijan every year, and they close the whole city for the race?, apart from F1, there are many other activities you could do on your visit, some in winter and some in other seasons. Such as
- Horse riding
- Hiking (Siyezen)
- Snows ports – Ski (Qabala, Shahdal)