Key Country Facts
The capital of Azerbaijan is Baku and approximately 10 million people living in this predominantly Islamic country. The official language is of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijani. Major exports of Azerbaijan include gas, oil, machinery, food, and cotton.
The largest cave in the country, Azikh Cave, is home to the first known constructed fireplace in human history!
Adventurers should be sure to visit the Old City in Baku, famous for its historic architecture such as The Palace of Shirvan Shahs and Maiden’s Tower. Outside of Baku, on the Absheron Peninsula, one must visit the Burning Mountain. This mountain is a rare natural site and burns year round due to natural gases escaping from the ground. Also of interest is Ganja, the country’s second largest city. Here one can see the Bottle House, a home built entirely of glass bottles. One can also visit the Tomb of Nizami, commemorating the life of the Persian poet of the same name.
- It is in the epicenter of the Asian trade routes. The Caspian Sea dominates the landscape and has a significant impact on the country’s temperate climate
- One of the gems of Central Asia
- Sleek city streets with amazing opportunities for shopping
Azerbaijan is a tourist’s paradise …. and this is a country where I would definitely return.
Here are the top things to do here:
- Visit the Old City
- Must Do: Go and see the Hieroglyphics
- Mud volcanoes
- See “The Flame”
- Zoroastrian Temple
- New football (soccer) stadium
Azerbaijan is located on the western shores of the Caspian sea (which is actually a large lake). 10 million people live here, 2 million of which are located in the capital city of Baku. It has been the center of many conflicts over the past 2,000 years, and has been important to the growth of Islamic culture. It became one of the Soviet republics in the 1920s, and declared its independence from the USSR in 1991.
Located in the heart of ancient cultures, Azerbaijan has been fought over and conquered on numerous occasions, including by Alexander the Great, the Romans, Genghis Khan, Russia and the USSR, just to name a few.
Azerbaijan = land of fire; Baku = city of wind
Since the 1850s, the oil industry has been the key industry in Azerbaijan. Alfred Nobel was one of the Azerbaijan oil magnates and used proceeds from his oil wealth to fund his esteemed prizes.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan declared its independence and has spared no expense to modernize the country.
Baku’s city streets are reminiscent of the finest cities in Europe, with wide thoroughfares, gardens, and statues. On swanky “Oil Workers’ Avenue” there are only the finest western shops including Bulgari, Tiffany, Dior etc.
Upscale western hotel chains include The Four Seasons (with a prime location downtown near the Old City), The Fairmont (simply amazing), and a new Trump Towers, which opened in 2016. I chose to stay in the middle of the Old City in The Sultan Inn, which offered huge and modern rooms, and fantastic service.