Travel Series: Azerbaijan December 30 2021

Note that recommendations on the Busty Girl Travel Series are based on my opinion. I paid for the trips with my own money and I was not given any compensation nor sponsorships.

In the fourth part of my Busty Girl Travel Series, I will give some insights into the only Muslim country in the Caucuses, Azerbaijan. I initially was going to travel to Georgia and Azerbaijan in early July. I had heard so many great things about Georgia and I wanted to subsequently travel to a nearby country. I watched some interesting travel vlogs about Azerbaijan so in June, I filled out the paper visa application and went to the Azerbaijan Embassy to drop it off. I was told by the Consul that no tourist visas were being issued due to Covid. He then offered me a seat and some refreshments, and we chatted about Azerbaijan. It was the most pleasant governmental experience I've ever had. He was so nice and hospitable that I vowed to visit Azerbaijan as soon as it opened for tourism. He also recommended an awesome local Azerbaijani restaurant. On a side note, when he said that Azerbaijan was closed, I racked my brain for nearby countries and mentioned Armenia. I noticed that every time I brought up Armenia, his expression changed slightly and I remembered that on the visa application, it asked if the applicant has been to the Nagorno-Karabakh region without official permission. I later discovered that Azerbaijan and Armenia are at war over territory and there are no land border crossings between the two countries.

Due to proximity, I decided to visit Armenia and Georgia. I was told that since I don't have an Armenian last name and a lot of Armenian stamps in my passport, I should have no issues getting a visa and successfully entering Azerbaijan. Luckily, when I was in Georgia, I met an American tourist who had just visited Azerbaijan and he informed me that the country had just opened for tourists.

Even though Azerbaijan is a Muslim country, it didn't feel Muslim other than the abundance of Mosques. I didn't see anyone wearing a burqa and I saw few women wearing hijabs. I did get looks of curiosity because it is not very diverse. I saw two African men while I was there. Both had immigrated to start businesses.

Azerbaijan is unique. It has oil money, so the infrastructure is good and the buildings are modern. The aesthetic is different from other countries in the Caucuses. It was part of the Soviet Union but remnants of that time are few compared to Georgia. Instead, I saw a lot of Turkish and Iranian influence. Overall, I liked Azerbaijan. It was a little more expensive than neighboring countries but it is unlike any country that I've traveled to and is definitely worth experiencing.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

U.S. citizens require a visa. E-visas are available.

Negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to arrival.

GROUND TRANSPORTATION

Bolt Taxi App

SIM CARD

Azercell (More expensive at the airport kiosk. It is cheaper in the city.)

SIGHTSEEING

Baku Old City
Palace of the Shirvanshahs
Heydar Aliyev Center
Qobustan Mud Volcano
Gobustan Rock Art
Yanar Dağ (Burning Mountain), due to natural gas depletions, the fire is much smaller than it used to be.
Ateshgah (Fire Temple)
Martyrs' Lane
Highland Park (best view of Baku)
National Carpet Museum
Heydar Mosque
Bibi-Heybat Mosque

Art Installation in front of Heydar Aliyev Center


Me at the Qobustan Mud Volcanos


National Carpet Museum

SHOPPING

Ali Shamsi Art Studio
Puer Tea Shop

Me in front of Ali Shamsi Art Studio

RESTAURANTS

Dolma Restaurant Fountain
Qaynana Restaurant
Marivanna Baku
 

PCR TEST

Buta Clinic