Is Azerbaijan Safe for Tourists? (2024)

Known as the land of fire, Azerbaijan will undoubtedly light a spark in your soul. This splendid country in Eurasia is also at the cusp of the European continent, so its culture is a combination of color and sophistication.

Filled with breathtaking scenery, multicultural history, divine cuisine, and awe-inspiring architecture, you’ll be enthralled by this underrated haven. It’s also blessed with some of the best cities to live in Europe.

This beautiful land has been plagued by conflict, so you may wonder if it’s safe for tourists. Rest assured by the time you get to the end of this guide, you’ll agree that whatever problems Azerbaijan may face, there’s no reason to cross it off your international travel list just yet. 

Why Visit Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan promises to captivate you with its brilliance. You’ll go from exploring the past in the UNESCO-designated Old City to being blown away by futuristic buildings like the Fire Towers and the Heydar Aliyev Center.

This beautiful land has a landscape as diverse as its history. From the Caspian Sea to the Caucasus Mountains, you’ll find so many different shades of beauty to delight your eyes.

Experience glorious hospitality at the hands of Azerbaijanis through their delectable cuisine, an explosion of flavor honed through centuries of multicultural influence. Join in on lively festivals, sacred local traditions, and culture. Through all this, you’ll remember Azerbaijan as a hidden gem in Asia.

Is Azerbaijan Dangerous?

Azerbaijan is generally considered safe. Despite its shortcomings, it has still ranked well in safety indexes. Its crime levels are lower than in some first-world countries, and the crimes that do occur are not centered around tourists. This is due to the government cracking down on foreigner-targeted crime to jumpstart the country’s tourism industry.

While there is the risk of seismic activity beneath these picturesque mountains, they tend to make very limited appearances. The precautions taken by authorities mean that you can go through your holiday barely thinking about it at all.

Dangerous Areas in Azerbaijan

Armenian Border Region

The Armenian border with Azerbaijan is marred by repeated conflict. This area has been a bone of contention for both Azerbaijanis and Armenians.

The unresolved dispute has deeply influenced the dynamics of the border, which see regular escalations. The confrontation that occurred in 2020 reshaped control. Since then there have been multiple cross border clashes and forays to try and push each other back.

Terrorism is something to be wary of, as it is beginning to occur more frequently but is still managed by authorities.

Nagorno-Karabakh Region

Nagorno-Karabakh was the focal point of the territorial confrontations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The region is still in a tense state, with recent flare-ups causing further disruptions between the two states.

Many countries have issued travel advisories for this region due to the unrest. It is illegal to go to this area without a permit, so you shouldn’t find yourself there, nor would you want to. Unmarked landmines are dotted around, and there is always the threat of terrorist attacks or spontaneous fighting.

Is It Safe to Live in Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan is definitely safe to live in, and its popularity is on the rise. Because Azerbaijani authorities are set on promoting the country as a tourist destination, they’re increasingly tough on crime.

Excellent protocols are in place to protect the people, both foreign and local, and they keep everyone peaceful. In addition, the police force is on the ball, and living conditions are much better than you’d expect.

While it has small-time issues and shortcomings, like many other countries, it is in the case of trying to put an end to criminal enterprises. The country has beautiful landscapes, friendly and helpful people, and so much to do it’ll make your head spin.

Safe Areas/Cities in Azerbaijan


The capital city of Baku is a sparkling mixture of history and modernism. The two sides blend together, telling an alluring story.

The Old City, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, is magnificent in its well-preserved architecture and the legends of old flowing through its cobbled alleys. Wandering this marvelous part of the city is one of the best things to do in Baku for tourists.

The city has also modernized at the speed of light, and its futuristic side is mesmerizing to behold. From the skyline to the sparkling lights and the fragrant cuisine, Baku has everything you need for an unforgettable visit.


Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, exudes charm and comfort. Settled along the rushing Ganja River, the city is a lush oasis. Parks, perfect tree-lined streets, and greenery make you forget you’re in a bustling metropolis.

Ganja’s warm people will draw you into their festivals and celebrations. The Nizami Ganjavi International Poetry Festival sees poets flock to the city from every corner of the world.

Ganja’s cultural heritage makes it stand out, with landmarks like Nizami Mausoleum, Sabzikar Cemetery, and Javad Khan Street. These sites feature the best of the country’s Islamic heritage with a touch of authentic Azerbaijani flair.


Mingachevir is a powerhouse, quite literally. Home to the massive Mingachevir Reservoir, the city is an essential source of hydroelectric power for the country. The power station on the Kur River has earned it the title “city of lights.” It is also a center for industry, known for fishing and being home to one of the largest salt mines in the world.

The architecture in the city is a must-see, with sights like Agsaray Fortress, Heydar Aliyev Park, and Sheki Khan’s Palace.

This gorgeous city is a tapestry of color, culture, and history. It is thought to have been located on the famed Silk Road. Bursting with historical sites, mosques, parks, and museums, Mingachevir has a whole bag of tricks.

Warnings & Dangers in Azerbaijan

In a region marked by historical conflict and geopolitical chess, achieving a balance becomes key to maintaining safety. Emphasis on preparedness, be it in the face of Mother Nature or human conflict, seems to be the buzzword for Azerbaijan.

Juggling internal issues like fraud and corruption and having to shield its citizens from the skirmishes it encounters with other countries, this independent nation has its hands full.

Travelers should be aware of government advisories on the state of security because things change in the blink of an eye. Knowledge of emergency procedures and guidelines will lead to your experience being safe and free of trouble.

Overall Travel Risk (5/10)

While Azerbaijan works to maintain its seemingly safe atmosphere, it does have its share of dangers. Crime rates are low but aren’t nonexistent. Pickpocketing and scams happen with increasing frequency. Violent crime is rare and almost never directed at foreigners.

Authorities wrestle with threats of terrorism and armed conflict, both fueled by regional instabilities and power plays. Even though a ceasefire is in place, tensions still drive a wedge between neighbors. Proactive diplomatic efforts and security programs seek to instill peace.

Mother Nature occasionally wreaks havoc on the land. Earthquakes, landslides, mudslides, and heavy rains all present a challenge—preparational measures on behalf of the government attempt to mitigate this.


The regional conflicts in the country have inspired threats of terrorism from neighboring countries. Attacks have been linked to political as well as ethnic triggers.

Incidents have been largely sporadic, and the government tries to squash terrorism through the use of intelligence, legislation, and law enforcement. Authorities remain vigilant, looking for signs of trouble in order to protect citizens and prevent attacks from happening.

In addition, diplomatic relations have focused on building bridges to ease the tension and prevent it from escalating further.

Armed conflict

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia has deeply affected the land for many years. In 2020, a military confrontation led to a ceasefire agreement in which Azerbaijan claimed territory, Nagorno-Karabakh among them.

This conflict has impacted regional stability and heavy damage. The efforts made towards better diplomatic relations between the two nations are still ongoing. Azerbaijan continues to extend the olive branch in order to resolve the historical and ethnic roots of the problem.

While the ceasefire is still in place, with problems erupting between the two countries, tensions do run high from time to time.


Natural Disasters

While earthquakes in Azerbaijan aren’t a regular issue, occasional seismic activity keeps authorities on their toes. The country is close to the meeting point of the Eurasian and Arabian tectonic plates and, as such, experiences occasional tremors and quakes.

Heavy rainfall sometimes results in landslides and mudslides in the mountainous areas. The fallout from these isn’t generally too damaging, but caution must be exercised.

Early warning systems, improvements in infrastructure, and weather monitoring mean that the government can stay on top of any natural disasters and reduce their impact on people.


The crime rate in Azerbaijan is relatively low compared to other countries. Various successful policies have been put in place to enhance public safety, and the government has stepped up its efforts to combat more worrying crimes like organized crime and corruption.

Police actively work to tackle petty criminals and con artists, especially in tourist hotspots. The authorities’ emphasis on boosting tourism means that tourist safety is taken seriously. These combined efforts have played a crucial role in lowering crime rates in Azerbaijan and creating a safe environment for all people, locals and tourists alike.

Tips for Staying Safe in Azerbaijan

Touring this mysterious country is the trip of a lifetime, but you don’t want to get on the back end of things. Here are five top tips to keep you safe:

  • Don’t talk about Armenia. Due to the longstanding feud between the two countries, locals may get their backs up at the mere mention of the place.
  • Stay woke. Not just in the political sense, keep an eye on your valuables in crowds.
  • Don’t take anything from strangers. This isn’t Wonderland; food and drinks offered to you can be spiked. While you’re at it, watch your own beverages as well.
  • Watch out on the roads. The roads are poorly maintained, and drivers can get a bit Evel Knievel. There are also pedestrians and livestock to look out for.
  • Be discreet. Keep the PDA for your hotel room, and LGBTQIA+ travelers may face discrimination because while same-sex relationships are legal, they’re largely frowned upon in Azerbaijan.

Is Azerbaijan Safe? | Frequently Asked Questions

What Language Is spoken in Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijani is the national language. The dialect is very similar to Turkish, so if you understand Turkish, you’ll be able to pick up the jist of local conversation.

Most people speak Azerbaijani, but there are a few minority languages like Tat, Avar, Talysh, Lezgian, and Russian. In fact, over 100,000 people speak Russian, so if you learn a few basic Russian phrases, getting around the country will be a lot easier. English is also spoken fairly widely.

Can I Drink Tap Water in Azerbaijan?

The tap water in many parts of Azerbaijan is a no-go. However, bottled and filtered water is readily available and is usually cheap. You can do your bit for the planet by carrying a filter bottle to reduce single-use plastic waste, though.

Remember that restaurants will give you tap water if you don’t ask for bottled, and ice is usually made from tap water as well.

Can I Wear Shorts in Azerbaijan?

You may be able to get away with shorts and mini skirts in Baku, but beyond that, you’ll likely get a few stares or side-eye glances. Even men aren’t encouraged to bare their legs here.

While Azerbaijan is a secular nation, its population is predominantly Muslim. This means most people are pretty conservative. So, just to be on the safe side, skip the shorts and strappy tops and cover up your knees and shoulders.

Is Azerbaijan Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Traveling through Azerbaijan on your own as a female could be one of the best things you’ve ever done. While it may seem risky, you really are quite safe. Women are treated with a lot of respect here.

Of course, you have to watch out for a few things. Keep your eyes peeled and your valuables snugly attached, and you should experience no problems. If you feel insecure, book a tour or make friends to go out with.

Tip: Check out this international traveler checklist to help you plan.

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