Baku Backpacking Trip

    Baku Backpacking Trip

    Apr 25, 2024

    If you ask a random bystander on the street what they know about Azerbaijan, you'll probably receive a blank look in return. What is Azerbaijan? While most travelers have been oblivious to this little country in the Caucasus for years, Azerbaijan is suddenly receiving more attention than ever as tourists and digital nomads begin to take notice of its northern neighbor, Georgia.

    Azerbaijan, also referred to as the "Land of Oil and Fire," has gained significant profits from oil drilling by utilizing its special geological terrain, but this newfound richness is not the only factor in the country's nickname. Natural gas deposits are hidden beneath the parched desert environment, erupting in the unlikeliest of locations with a never-ending fire. You are likely to experience a memory-making trip to Azerbaijan, complete with iconic Flame Towers in Baku trip and naturally occurring flaming blazes on the mountains.

    Although Azerbaijan is said to provide some truly uncommon and unique encounters, most travelers do not include it on their wish lists. This is the allure of backpacking Azerbaijan: it's the ideal location for any hipster-oriented traveler hoping to see something amazing before it is "cool." Little known and much less visited.

    Planning a trip to a place you don't know much about can be a little challenging, but fear not, my friends—this backpacking guide to Azerbaijan has all the essential information you need, from where to go to how to propose to charming mountain town shepherds or gorgeous Baku ladies. And, above all, how you can do it all within a budget!

    Why Visit Azerbaijan for a Backpacking Trip?

    Yes, Azerbaijan is indeed off the beaten path. Let's look at all the other fantastic reasons to visit the Land of Fire and set aside your hipster points for a while.

    Azerbaijan is situated in an intriguing rift between continents and civilizations, to start with. The Caucasus area, which includes Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, is best defined as existing on the boundary between two worlds: the contemporary and the traditional, Europe and Asia, and the West and the East. 

    The culture alone is not what makes this place special. The peculiar natural phenomena in the nation are the ones that are most fascinating. Azerbaijan carries the largest number of mud volcanoes in the world, massive reserves of natural subterranean gas that produces unique, naturally occurring flames, and even oil that is rumored to have therapeutic properties.

    Many tourists will only stay in Baku and depart. Okay, provided you have a plan of action. But Baku is merely a (misrepresentative) portion of a nation that boasts a wealth of beach resorts on the Caspian Sea, verdant woods, and mountain treks. The ancient cities and sleepy mountain villages outside of the city, where you'll discover a very different culture, don't reflect Baku's oil wealth. It's just surreal!

    When is the best time to visit Azerbaijan?

    The spring and fall months of April through June, September, and October are the best times of year to visit Baku. April and May bring good weather, with an average of 15°C to 25°C, little rainfall, and blossoming scenery. June is a great month for outdoor activities and tourism because of its mild weather and longer daylight hours. In comparison to the busiest summer months, September and October provide pleasant weather with temperatures between 20°C and 28°C and less tourists. These times of year combine good weather, few tourists, and interesting activities in Baku. With its greater temperatures and large people, summer (July and August) is Baku's busiest travel season. Baku's off-season, with unpredictable weather, lasts from March to April during the winter.

    Places to Visit in Azerbaijan for all the Crazy Backpackers!

    Are you having trouble deciding which tourist destinations in Azerbaijan are the best? Look no further, Ta-dah!

    • Without a doubt, Baku's Old Town, or Icheri Sheher, is the top tourist destination in the area. This area is home to several interesting locations, including Mohammed Mosque, The Maiden Tower, and the Palace of Shirvanshahs.
    • Skippity skips from the Old Town down to the waterfront park-promenade in the direction of Mini-Venice, the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, and the Azerbaijan State Museum of Art (sure, you can hire boats, but it's not really worth it). Plan your stroll for when the sun sets, just as it's becoming dark and you may enjoy a stunning view of Baku from the top of Martyr's Alley Park.
    • You'll also receive first-hand access to the nightly light display at The Flame Towers, a trio of skyscrapers that were constructed in 2012 that are actual representations of the Land of Fire. Each night, when darkness falls, the facades of the towers, which are entirely covered in LED screens, come to life in a spectacular light show.
    • The Heydar Aliyev Center is located a little outside the center. This sleek, white conference center, the epitome of Baku's contemporary design, alternates between inside and outdoor display spaces. Furthermore, it's situated in the heart of a nice park that's popular with the locals!
    • If you're determined to see everything in Baku, the distances might be very vast; however, the city offers a fantastic network of buses and metros.

    Discovering Hidden Paths in Azerbaijan

    One of the nicest things about backpacking through the Caucasus is discovering things off the beaten route. And in Azerbaijan, it's not difficult at all—consider how rarely the nation is visited; just picture the amazing opportunities that exist outside the "popular" tourist spots.

    Hikers who are itching to truly wander off the main path have no shortage of options. Mountains may be found wherever there isn't sand, and Azerbaijan boasts a large number of unexplored national parks and lake regions. The sole drawback? Adventure in Azerbaijan is supposed to be a genuine one, even if trails are sometimes poorly marked—that is, not indicated at all—even on internet maps. The fact that wild camping is entirely legal is an added bonus. Backpackers, cheer!

    Then there is Nakhchivan, an autonomous area that is isolated and a part of Azerbaijan even though it has no boundary with the rest of the nation. Visit salt mines, secluded national parks, and the Noah Mausoleum here; all inside a fairly self-sufficient economy sandwiched between Soviet-era structures and Islamic monuments. Slightly more accessible than Baku and frequented by a small number of travelers, Nakhchivan is one of the most unique attractions in Azerbaijan.

    Homestays for Backpackers in Azerbaijan

    Good news for those on a tight budget: traveling to Azerbaijan is really cheap to do. This also includes choices for lodging for backpackers!

    As a trustworthy backpacking destination, Azerbaijan is still developing, thus there aren't many and they're fairly basic lodging alternatives. Baku still mainly lacks the type of sleek, contemporary boutique traveler hostels that are the standard. Low-cost hostels and guest houses have the aesthetically pleasing look of a granny who decided to convert her old house into a hotel at the last minute while preserving all of the original décor. However, this somehow adds to the charm of backpacking across Azerbaijan.

    This is only a basic statement; it doesn't mean that the alternatives are always poor. Like most places, you'll find standard hostels with simple beds, functional wifi, friendly staff, and kitchens.


    To sum up, I have had the most incredible backpacking experience in Baku! Every moment has been full of surprise and excitement, from strolling around the Old City's historic streets to taking in the contemporary skyline along the Caspian Sea. The people's kindness and generosity, the delicious food, and the diverse cultural fabric that the city is made of have all really impacted me.

    I am extremely grateful for the amazing experiences and memories I made as I think back on my trip through this energetic city. I can honestly say that Baku has captivated my mind and motivated me to welcome new experiences with open arms. Whether exploring the historical sites or getting lost in the labyrinth of little lanes, Baku provides a personalized memory for each one of its visitors. Baku is one of the safest places for male as well as female travelers.  

    So, if you're considering a backpacking trip to Baku, I wholeheartedly encourage you to go for it! Take in all that this charming city has to offer—its rich history, its contemporary elegance, and its enchantment. You will create lifelong memories here, I promise you.

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