Solo Travel in Azerbaijan

Solo Travel in Azerbaijan

Types of Girl about the Globes – Skiing GatG, Sightseeing GatG, History GatG

Solo travel in Azerbaijan is as comfortable as you want it to be. That's why we've given it 3 out of 5 stars. Instead of finding your way around the country by bus traveling by yourself, there are tours which operate from Baku, the capital city, showing you the best of beautiful Azerbaijan.

If you can’t speak Azerbaijani or Russian you may prefer to take the tours depending on how adventurous you want to be. I used the local buses to get around which was an adventure but I was also able to see and learn more from combining this way with tours. 

Azerbaijan feels more like the Middle East than an Asian country with a culture that is similar to Turkey. Azerbaijanis are very hospitable and similar to the Turkish culture, they like to drink tea. Don't be surprised if a family invites you to sample their jam tea and home-made cuisine.

The country is relatively safe. Just be careful with your belongings as you would anywhere else and don’t walk around at night.

Don’t venture into Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory which is in conflict with Armenia and occupied by Armenian troops. You may want to avoid asking about the conflict which resulted in a loss of land for Azerbaijan and hundreds killed. Many are still internally displaced by the conflict.

Below is our Azerbaijan travel guide on how to travel solo in Azerbaijan including places to see in Azerbaijan, the best cities to visit in Azerbaijan, where to stay, what to do in Azerbaijan, which tour company to use and Azerbaijan travel. Find out how to get from the airports and what to do in each place.

All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article for your Azerbaijan visit. 

Contents

Solo Travel in Azerbaijan

Mountains in Azerbaijan

Places To Visit in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan may not be a country that you’ve ever heard of, let alone considered travelling to. Located in Asia on the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan was once part of the former Soviet republic. Located in the southern Caucasus Mountains, the country borders Russia, Georgia, Iran, and Armenia.

It is often overlooked by visitors to Georgia but this oil-rich country known as “The Land of Fire” has redefined itself since its Soviet days and is now a fascinating country to visit. If you’ve ever wanted to see mud volcanoes, cave drawings and futuristic buildings, take a trip to Azerbaijan.

* Click here to discover all activities and things to do in Azerbaijan

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

Fountains Square, Baku

Baku

The capital Baku is the lowest lying national capital in the world being located below sea level. From Baku you can easily reach most of the country’s main attractions and the best thing about visiting an emerging destination is that you don’t get the crowds of tourists.

Baku seems to be the most modern place in the country and something that Baku definitely knows how to do is architecture. This cool city is a unique blend of old and new modern designs, many of which are futuristic with their own unique style.

Baku’s most famous buildings have to be the Flame Towers: three skyscrapers designed as giant flames – a symbol of the country. And an iconic image. These towers are visible from Baku’s Old City where you can take the iconic photographic image of the old and the new Baku.

Things to do in Baku

The award-winning Heydar Aliyev Centre

Places To Visit in Baku Azerbaijan

The most beautiful city in Azerbaijan has to be the capital city in Azerbaijan, and Baku solo travel is really safe. See the curvy award-winning Heydar Aliyev Centre and learn more about the history and cultural heritage of the country. From costumes and weaving processes to the country’s musical instruments, this is one of the best tourist places in Azerbaijan. 

Another of the Baku things to do is to see the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum which also needs to be on your Baku itinerary. Seeing a building designed as a giant rolled-up carpet is definitely up there in the Baku Azerbaijan points of interest. You don't even need to go inside. 

Baku’s Old City is a gorgeous walled city, and one of those beautiful places truly deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage status. As well as shops and restaurants, things to do in old city Baku is wander around the 15th century masterpiece that is Shirvanshahs' Palace. Inside is a blend of Arabic, Persian and Ottoman architecture.

Climb the steps of the Maiden Tower for a great view of the Old Town before visiting the museum of Baku’s evolution inside.

From the Old Baku City you can stroll along the Baku boulevard and watch the city’s skyline as it lights up after dusk. Chess is one of the popular outdoor activities here so don’t be surprised if you see men playing on giant chess boards near the promenade. Opposite, in front of the Government House is Freedom Square (Azadliq Square), which was renamed after the fall of the Soviet Union. Before the year 1991, it was known as Lenin Square. 

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

The Maiden Tower in the Old City

Other Baku Attractions

Fountains Square is one of my favourite areas and best places to visit in Baku. This public square is aptly named because of its many fountains. It’s a safe area to walk around at night. There are a number of restaurants from international brands to Indians and of course the local food.

You may even hear some live music coming from one of the bars when you’re there. If you prefer some company at night, join a Baku Lights night tour to see the city at it’s illuminated best. The Bibi-Heybat Mosque is a spiritual centre within the Azerbaijan city. This historical mosque is one of the major monuments of Islamic architecture.

Something unique that Azerbaijan has is Yanar Dag. This small hillside of fire 25 kms from Baku is a burning mountain of natural gas which continues to blaze. Unless you want to get a taxi there and back I highly recommend to take a tour. 

But this isn't the only reason that Azerbaijan is called ‘The Land of Fire.' the Ateshgah Fire Temple is another fiery sight to see. This temple – which looks like tiny castles – is located in a suburb of Baku, and is one of the country's religious sites. People from the country used to worship fire and the shrine was built on top of a natural flame. 

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

Ateshgah, the Fire Temple

Step outside of the city and you’ll see the real Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has some breathtaking scenery especially in the Guba region. Remote villages such as Khinalig and Griz are perfect for the Eco GatG who can learn more about the ethnic minorities who live in these villages. This area is ideal for hiking too and you can find hiking and ecotourism tours here.

History and nature GatGs will love Gobustan National Park. A historic and UNESCO site of thousands of rock carvings (petroglyphs). The onsite museum provides history about this open-ai museum.

From here you can see another of the country’s natural spots, the mud volcanoes, one of the best places to visit in Azerbaijan, and definitely the coolest place in Azerbaijan. It honestly feels as though you have landed on another planet with the bubbling mud surrounding you.

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

Inside Juma Mosque in Shamakhi

If you only see one mosque in the country, make it Juma Mosque in Shamakhi. The intrinsic interior of this mosque is just beautiful. A ninety minute drive from here brings you to the Seven Beauties Waterfall (known as Yeddi Gozel Waterfall). Although there are seven waterfalls here only two of them are accessible).

If you are an adrenalin GatG then Azerbaijan is ideal for rock climbing. Five Finger Mountain (Besh Barmag Mountain) is popular with rock climbers but if you prefer to stand on flat ground, you can just pay a visit to this holy mountain in the Siazan District instead. Guba has a very cool ice cave to explore.

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

The bubbling mud volcanoes

Ganja is in the west of the country and is the second largest of the Azerbaijan cities. If you are travelling to or from Georgia it’s worth a quick stop to see the archaeological site with old fort ruins otherwise it’s a long journey from Baku.

From Ganja it is an hour’s drive to Goygol National Park and one of the best sites in the west of Azerbaijan. Lake Goygol (also known as “Blue Lake”) is at the foot of Mount Kapaz. This area is really untouched with just a few teahouses to rest your weary self in after hours of hiking.

If you are on a budget just do a day trip here from Ganja where the accommodation is cheaper. Even the journey to get here offers dramatic views.

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

Skiing in Gabala

Azerbaijan was on the path of the old Silk Road, from China to Europe. The country exported its carpets, spices and silk fabrics along this famous route with great success. Sheki is one of these former Silk Road cities.

Here, at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of the country is where you can still see the traditional silk and handicraft traditions. Don’t forget to visit the Sheki Fortress too.

Azerbaijan produces it’s own wine and you can visit a winery in Ismayilli for an insight into its wine-making methods (as well as tasting some of course).

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

Gobustan National Park

If you are a skiing GatG head to the snowy hills of Qabala. Once the ancient capital of Caucasian Albania, Gabala is the country’s most ancient city. Nowadays it is one of Azerbaijan’s most popular ski resorts and one of the best places to visit in Azerbaijan during winter months.

Even if you don’t ski, you can still take the teleferic (the cable car) to experience this stunning scenery for yourself. Apparently this is the longest teleferic in the world! Skiing only lasts from mid-December to February.

Other places to visit in Azerbaijan are: Nakchivan – an important biblical destination which can be reached by air from Baku. Ivanovka – a centre of Russian culture with some of the country’s best honey, and the Absheron Peninsula where you'll find locals frequenting at the city’s beach. Visit Azerbaijan for unique landscapes, futuristic buildings and plenty of culture. It's all about Azerbaijan.

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

Hotels in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has many hotels including four and five star hotels in Baku if you prefer to travel in comfort. You can rent an apartment if self-catering is more your style. If you are on a budget, there is budget accommodation such as guest houses as well as hostels.

Sheki has the design hotels, resorts and spas as well as budget hotels, guest houses and hostels. You can find hostels, villas and hotels in Ganja: the west of the country. In the foothills of the Greater Caucasus you can stay in resorts and guest houses too.

In local villages such as Xinaliq and Vandam you can stay in a Bed&Breakfast, guesthouses, villas or family homes. They even have a five star hotel in Xinaliq. Gabala has cottages and villas to stay in. Qusar has a mix of guest houses, apartments, cottages, resorts, villas and hotels. You can find any type of accommodation here depending on what you prefer.

Airbnb connects you to staying with locals whether you choose to just book a room or a whole apartment. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link. Due to the boom in Azerbaijan tourism it is better to book ahead to ensure that you have a room to stay in.

All accommodation below has been recommended by solo female travellers. For all other accommodation, such as cheap hotels in Baku city centre, a 3 star hotel Azerbaijan or top hotels in Azerbaijan, click the link below for booking Azerbaijan.

* To book, check prices or availability for all accommodation in Azerbaijan

Baku – Sahil Hostel & Hotel

This Baku city hostel is really solo friendly. It’s in a great place and only a few minute walk from the gorgeous Fountain Square with bars, restaurants, and cafes. If you like running the boulevard is nearby too, as well as the metro. The dorm rooms are large and you have your own personal space with a curtain for your bed, as well as big lockers for your things. If you visit in the hotter months there is air conditioning.

The Baku hostel and hotel is sociable and is one of the friendly hotels. It is easy to meet other guests, and kept clean with a great atmosphere. You don’t have to worry about arriving late as there is a 24 hour front desk, and they can arrange an airport shuttle for you too. They also serve breakfast for an additional cost.

Choose from a bed in a 6, 8 or 10 bed mixed dormitory room. There is a 6 bed female-only dorm room as well as a double room with a balcony.

  • Prices from £5 per night for a bed in a 10 bed mixed dorm
  • To book, check prices or availability for Sahil Hostel & Hotel

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

Baku – Winter Park Hotel

If you prefer more comfort on your trip, the Winter Park Hotel is a 4 star Baku hotel in a great location just 500 metres away from Fountains Square. There’s a lovely park to relax in by the hotel and a gym if you want to work out (you may need to check when women can use it though). Reception is open 24 hours and the staff can’t do enough for you.

You can hire bikes to get around the city and they offer car hire too. The rooms in the property come with some comfy slippers, a bathrobe and a hairdryer so you can really unwind in your room. There’s also cable TV for some entertainment at night. Choose from a standard or deluxe double room or upgrade to a superior king room if you are feeling really flush.

  • Prices start from £80 for a standard double room
  • To book, check prices or availability for Winter Park Hotel

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

Ganja – Grand Qafqaz Hostel

There’s a reason that this hostel is called ‘Grand’ because it literally is. Located in Ganja, the hostel is decorated in a distinct style. There’s a restaurant and a cafe and you may even meet others in the communal lounge and bar. Some of the rooms come with climate control, a desk and a TV.

There’s an ATM in case you need to take some cash out, a currency exchange and also a 24 hour desk in case you arrive late. This hostel is great value for money and they also provide breakfast at an additional cost. Choose from a bed in a dormitory room with a shared bathroom or a double room.

  • Prices from £9 for a bed in a dormitory room
  • To book, check prices or availability for Grand Qafqaz Hostel

Sheki – Marxal Resort & Spa

The Marxal Resort & Spa is one of the Azerbaijan hotels 5-star and it offers  everything that you would expect from fantastic spa hotels. There’s a gym to work out in as well as an outdoor pool and sauna for when you need to relax, plus free WiFi throughout and free parking too. 

Reception is open 24 hours which is ideal if you are arriving late at night. A continental breakfast is included too. The resort is in a quiet area surrounded by nature. It is perfect if you are looking for an escape in the Caucasus Mountains. You may even find yourself in the villa next to the waterfall. Choose from a standard or deluxe double room (or twin), a suite or a villa.

  • Prices from £70 per night for a standard double room
  • To book, check prices or availability for Marxal Resort & Spa

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

Tours To Azerbaijan

Intrepid Travel – If you feel more comfortable in a group for either part of your Azerbaijan vacation or the whole duration, consider joining a tour to Azerbaijan. Intrepid Travel is a responsible tour company that travels to Azerbaijan. Over 50% of people using their trips are solo travellers and they are a fantastic company if you are looking for a small group tour. 

You share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room. They offer tours to Georgia and Azerbaijan that start from a 10 or 20 day Highlights of Azerbaijan and Georgia tour to an epic 80 day Xi'an to Istanbul tour. Read our Intrepid Travel Reviews

* Click here for the full itineraries, prices, and start dates

Tes Tour – Tes Tour is a local tour operator offering tours all over Azerbaijan with a local Azerbaijan guide. In additional to their Baku city tours, they also offer Baku tours at night and private tours Azerbaijan. Their day trips from Baku can be full days and take up to 12 hours long depending on the destinations you are travelling to. 

They use minibuses for their tours and take you to restaurants where you can sample the local cuisine for lunch (lunch is not included). I have personally used these tours to travel Baku Azerbaijan and I like the fact that the tours run frequently because of their popularity.

* Click here for the itineraries, prices, and dates

Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated experiences and day tours in the best Azerbaijan tourist places. Choose from a day tour to Gobustan and Absheron, a full-day city tour of Baku with an Azerbaijani lunch, or a Gabala and Shamakhi nature and food tour. There are several Baku trips to choose from and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online.

* Check all Get Your Guide tours and prices here

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

Travelling in Azerbaijan

When you travel Azerbaijan, Baku has a few transport options. You can walk around the capital but make sure that you use the underpasses as crossing the roads can be a bit dangerous. The city has a metro with signs in both Azerbaijani and English. The metro runs from 06:00 to 24:00 with trains running every few minutes. 

The buses in Baku are modern and clean. You need to buy a card at the machines at the bus stops and load it with money to use on the bus. This isn’t that easy though so ask a local to help you. The station outside of the city will take you onto places such as Gobastan National Park. These buses are more rickety and not the modern ones that you find in the city. You pay the driver onboard.

From Baku you can hire a car for your own Azerbaijan road trip, to see the sights outside of the city. The roads are a mix of paved and gravel roads so you may prefer to take public transport if you don’t feel comfortable driving on poor infrastructure especially in the rain. There is also a train system which takes you from Baku to Georgia. The train doesn't run that regularly so you do need to plan ahead. To get across the country from Baku to Sheki you can take the train to Shaki, changing in Yevlah to Shaki then take a a private taxi. 

Travelling outside of Baku you'll find minibuses which connect most of the cities (they are called marshrutkas). You pay your fare on the bus. Check with the driver where you need to get off too. 

Taxi drivers don’t really speak English so unless you know some phrases of Azerbaijani or Russian it’s an adventure to take one. Agree the price upfront to avoid any confusion. You may prefer to download a taxi app instead.

Azerbaijan Itinerary

When you are visiting Azerbaijan, you can easily spend 5 days in Baku and doing day trips from the capital. To see the best of Azerbaijan, a 1 week trip to 8 days is ideal. Below are examples of an Azerbaijan travel itinerary to help you plan your Azerbaijan trips.

7 Day Itinerary Azerbaijan – Baku (5 nights) Three days exploring the city, the museums and the Old City. Day four – day trip to the Fire Temple and Burning Mountain. Day five – Gobustan and the mud volcanoes. Ganga (2 nights).

8 Days in Azerbaijan – Baku (4 nights), Ganja (2 nights), Sheki (2 nights).

Best Time to Visit Azerbaijan

If you visit Azerbaijan in the winter months expect snow and lots of it in the mountain regions. Even in March it may be difficult to navigate some of the mountain passes and remote villages due to bad weather.

Azerbaijan can get hot during the summer months. Although Baku is known as being a windy city you may prefer to travel to the country during April to June or September/October, the best time to travel to Azerbaijan.

This chart shows the average maximum day temperatures for Baku (from January to December).

Solo travel in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Airports

Azerbaijan has several international airports as well as domestic airports. Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku is the main airport. There is also Ganja Airport, Lankaran Airport, Nakhchivan Airport and Qabala International Airport.

Baku Airport – Taxis operate from the main entrance of Heydar Aliyev International Airport and cost approximately £8 to the city. The Aero Express bus takes 30 minutes from the airport to 28 May station: the main train and bus terminal in the city.

This is the cheapest option at just £1 for a single ticket. Paying in cash isn’t possible on the bus as you need to purchase a BakuCard from one of the BakuCard Terminals before you board. Check timetables and payments here

Ganja Airport – Taxis cost approx £5 from the airport and take 10 minutes into the city.

Lankaran Airport – Taxis take 20 minutes from the airport to Lankaran and cost £3.

Use Rome2Rio to help plan your journeys. 

Feel more confident with someone waiting for you at the airport when you pre-book a transfer with Hoppa, a reliable and safe service for solo females.

Travelling Onwards (check visas before you travel)

To Armenia

Although Azerbaijan borders Armenia, it is not possible to cross the border due to the conflict. Flying from Azerbaijan to Armenia isn’t direct. You generally have to stop in Russia meaning that the flight can take up to 10 hours.

Instead travel back to Tbilisi in Georgia and either take the overnight train from Tbilisi Central Railway Station to Yerevan or the minivan which departs from the same station every 2 hours from 9am in the morning. Just ask for “Erevan” outside the station and a local will point you to the bus.

To Georgia

Overnight trains run from Baku to Tbilisi. These are old Soviet trains and are definitely an adventure. If you buy a second class ticket the carriages have 4 bunks and come with a mattress, sheets and a pillow.

The train stops at each border so you don’t even need to disembark. Trains depart Baku at 21.59 and arrive into Tbilisi at 10.39 the next morning. Choose a second or first class sleeper if you can. Prices cost approx £17.00 for a second class ticket. Check here for more info.

Where can I go from here?

Georgia –  1 hour 10 mins

Turkey – 3 hours (to Istanbul)

Russia – 3 hours 5 mins

Frequently Asked Questions About Azerbaijan

  • Can I drink the water? Yes.
  • How much for tipping in Azerbaijan? A service charge is usually added to your bill.
  • Fixed price or barter? Fixed price.
  • Any ATMs? Yes in both the large and smaller cities.
  • Which side of the road do they drive? The right-hand side.
  • Good for vegetarians? They make fantastic lentil soup and tomato salads but apart from that vegetarian dishes can be hard to find as the typical cuisine is meat and kebabs.
  • Any seven wonders of the world? No but the mud volcanoes are definitely a wonder.

Map of Azerbaijan

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