Azerbaijan travel info


Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round, two-pin attachment plugs and Schuko plugs are in use.


Azerbaijani, or Azeri, is the official language. Turkish and Russian are widely spoken; few people speak English.


The official currency is the Azerbaijani Manat (AZN), which is divided into 100 qapik. Major hotels, supermarkets and restaurants in Baku usually accept credit cards, and Euros, British pounds and US dollars are easily exchanged. ATMs can be found in most major cities and towns.


Service charges are usually included in bills and tipping is not compulsory. However, taxi-drivers, waiters and hotel staff are commonly given some small change.


No vaccinations are required for entry to Azerbaijan, but travellers should ensure that all routine vaccinations are up to date. Vaccinations for hepatitis A and hepatitis B are recommended for all travellers. Most health facilities are state-owned and equipment and staff training often fall short of Western standards. Outside of the capital, medical care and supplies may be difficult to come by and serious medical problems will require air evacuation to another country; comprehensive medical insurance is advised.


The crime rate is relatively low, but muggings do occur in central Baku, particularly at night. Political gatherings and demonstrations should be avoided as these have become violent in the past. Unlicensed taxis should be avoided. Corruption is widespread. The area around Nagorno-Karabakh has long been the subject of dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia and most foreign governments advise against travel to the region due to ongoing outbreaks of violence, despite the ceasefire.

Local customs

Most of the country is Muslim and visitors should respect religious customs, particularly during the month of Ramadan, when eating, drinking, and smoking during daylight hours should be discreet as it is forbidden by the Muslim culture.

Travellers should dress modestly, especially when visiting mosques or religious shrines. More specifically, women should cover arms and legs, and men should not wear shorts, even in summer.

Although homosexuality is legal in Azerbaijan, public displays of affection will cause offence, especially outside the capital. Foreign nationals are routinely subject to police checks and it is advisable to carry identification at all times.

Doing business

Personal contact and relationship-building is critical in Azerbaijan, which means that meetings are more effective than long-distance communication. It is common to exchange business cards in meetings, and these should be in Russian or English and have an Azeri translation on the reverse.

The language of business is Azeri or Russian, and translators will be required for those who don't speak either language. Azeris tend to be polite and visitors should be aware that a 'yes' might actually mean 'no'.

Culturally, there is a strong emphasis on not causing 'loss of face' publically. Azeris should not be rushed into making a business decision. Gender roles are traditional and businesswomen might be met with scepticism.

Duty free

Travellers older than 18 may bring 600 cigarettes, 3 litres of alcohol, 10kg of food products and goods up to the value of US$1,500 without paying customs duty. Banned items include weapons, narcotics and material encouraging terrorism or violence. Permission must be granted by the government before cultural artefacts, such as antique carpets, are exported from the country.


The international dialling code for Azerbaijan is +994. Roaming charges are high and it is best to buy a local SIM card. WiFi is available is many hotels and cafes in Baku, but internet freedom is poor, and there are many infrastructural challenges such as low quality connections.

Passport & Visa

A valid passport and a visa are required for travel to Azerbaijan. To obtain any type of visa, visitors must present a letter of invitation from a contact in Azerbaijan, such as an employer or educational institution. If neither option is possible, visitors should have a travel agency in Azerbaijan submit an invitation letter. E-visas can be obtained before departure and it is recommended that passports be valid for six months after departure from this or any holiday destination.

Entry requirements

US nationals require a valid passport and a visa.

UK nationals require a valid passport and a visa.

Canadians require a valid passport and a visa.

Australians require a valid passport and a visa.

South Africans require a valid passport and a visa.

Irish nationals require a valid passport and a visa.

New Zealand nationals require a valid passport and a visa.

Useful contacts

Official tourism website:

101 (Fire), 102 (Police), 103 (Ambulance).

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Azerbaijan Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 337 3500.

Azerbaijan Embassy, London, United Kingdom (also responsible for Ireland): +44 20 7938 3412.

Azerbaijan Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 288 0497.

Azerbaijan Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 2 6290 5600.

Azerbaijan Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 346 1018.

Embassies / consulates in Azerbaijan

United States Embassy, Baku: +994 12 488 3300.

British Embassy, Baku: +994 (12) 437 7878.

Canadian Embassy, Ankara, Turkey (also responsible for Azerbaijan): +90 312 409 2700.

Australian Embassy, Ankara, Turkey (also responsible for Azerbaijan): +90 312 459 9500.

South African Embassy, Ankara, Turkey (also responsible for Azerbaijan): +90 312 405 6861.

Irish Embassy, Ankara, Turkey (also responsible for Azerbaijan): +90 312 459 1000.