The top souvenir to bring back from Azerbaijan is undoubtedly a
traditional carpet, either woolen or silk. Most are in the sumptuous
Persian style, although some are rather plainer and more ethnic. There
are seven main centres of carpet manufacture: Baku, Shirvan, Guba,
Tabriz, Karabakh, Genca and Gazakh. Each region had its own
technology, typical patterns and colours.
If you are in the market for one of these beauties, a visit to the
Carpet Museum on Baku’s Boulevard is recommended to get an idea of the
range of styles and colours. Then it’s on to one of the carpet shops
in Icheri Sheher, the Old Town. You may be able to haggle about the
price over glasses of chai, but the days when you could pick up a
bargain are long gone. However, you will return home with a stunning
work of art.
Traditional earthenware pottery and ceramics in Oriental blue shades
can be found throughout the country. Caviar from the Caspian Sea is no
longer the bargain that it once was; pollution and over-fishing mean
that the mighty sturgeon which produces these sought-after eggs is now
rare. However, it is still approximately half the price of tins in the
In Baku, a trip to the Taza bazaar is recommended; it is where locals
shop for the freshest fruit and vegetables. If you are the market for
a chicken, granny will wring its neck, pluck and draw it before your
eyes. There are also plenty of reasonably-priced handicrafts. Unlike
many Oriental bazaars it is a friendly place with no aggressive
In the north, Sheki’s strategic location on the Silk Road has endowed
it with centuries of silk-making expertise. The town’s silk factory
has a shop attached; both quality and prices are high. Tourist shops
also sell silk items; scarves make colourful and highly portable
Any carpet or artefact more than 30 years old is subject to an export
tax and must be certified for export by the Ministry of Culture. Even
new carpets require a ‘passport’. Items purchased at tourist shops
should already be duly certified and the shop owner should be able to
help you with any paperwork. Goods sold at markets or by private
individuals may be more problematic.
Nightlife in Azerbaijan
Nightlife in Baku can be quiet or frenetic - take your pick. There are
plenty of glitzy clubs (with prices to match) where you can dance
until dawn. The names and locations change with dizzying speed. Dress
to impress – in this town you can never wear too much bling.
The downtown area around Fountains Square is where many of the most
popular bars and pubs are located. As the names suggest, places like
O’Malley’s, the Clansman and the Shakespeare, are lively ex-pat
Many bars are in the basement and incredibly hot and smoky. The
cafe-bars on the Boulevard are a quieter and classier alternative.
Azeri bars are quite simple and serve mainly beer and Russian vodka.
The top hotels have their own niche bars and nightclubs and there are
a handful of jazz clubs downtown. Baku is a safe city to walk around,
even by night.
If your taste inclines more towards classical productions, catch a
performance at the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater.
The art nouveau-style building is magnificent and tickets are not
expensive. The Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall holds regular
Outside Baku it is more a case of making your own entertainment. Bars
are rare outside hotels and country Azeris love to sit and talk well
into the night over endless pots of tea.
Azerbaijan Travel & Tourism
& Culture of Azerbaijan
& Geography of Azerbaijan
to See & Do in Azerbaijan
& Nightlife in Azerbaijan
& Drinks of Azerbaijan
& Visa Requirements for Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan Visa Information
Azerbaijan Satellite View & Map
Star Holidays will soon launch Azerbaijan Tour Packages,
Contact us for inquiries.