Azerbaijan is a Muslim country. What attitude to the representatives of other confessions?
Azerbaijan is a Muslim country, but more than tolerant towards other religions, nationalities and cultures. Orthodox churches, Catholic church, parish and synagogues are operating in Baku city and in the regions of the country. On June 10, 2012 a monument to Roman Pontiff John Paul II was erected in Baku, in honor of celebrating the tenth anniversary of his visit to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has close cultural and humanitarian contacts with the Vatican, Moscow, Jerusalem, and is the author of a number of initiatives in the area of intercultural and interreligious dialogues, the organizer of the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue held here every two years with the participation of religious, cultural and political figures from all over the world as well as international organizations.
Can I be refused a visa, and why?
The reasons may be different. Most importantly, the consul should not suspect you at immigration intentions. You should have strong ties in the homeland, family, children, bank accounts, a good job, property. Also getting a visa to Azerbaijan is impossible if you have a visa to the self-proclaimed “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic”. Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan which is occupied by Armenian troops. Naturally, Azerbaijan sensitively perceives any cases of visiting by tourists Nagorno Karabakh illegally controlled by Armenia.
Also in the near future Azerbaijan will have a transition to an electronic system for issuing visas, making it easier for foreigners and stateless persons to enter the country: they do not have to come to the embassy and consulate, wait in queues. Forms of electronic forms and all the necessary information on the visa will be displayed on the websites of embassies and consulates of Azerbaijan.
If Azerbaijani hotels, shops, etc. receive dollars or euros?
Most companies do not accept dollars and euros, including restaurants and bars, as well as large stores. If you do not need a taxi, we recommend you to change money at your destination, as there is likely to be higher rate than at the airport. However, the difference is small. Therefore, if you are not going to change a large amount, you can safely do it at the airport.
I do not speak Azerbaijani language, is it a problem?
Azerbaijanis are very friendly, and so if they do not speak your language, they will find someone who can help you. In most tourist destinations, such as restaurants, hotels and resorts, it is easy to find someone who spoke in Russian or in English. If you need help in the street and you speak only in English, we recommend you to address to youth, as in Azerbaijan, the young people learn English and Russian languages, while adults better know Russian language.
Is it possible to visit Nagorno-Karabakh?
Due to the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, visit Nagorno Karabakh temporarily impossible. Persons visiting Karabakh through Armenia automatically become persona non grata in Azerbaijan and may be subject to deportation in case of arrival in our country, as the perpetrators of illegal entry into recognized territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
What is the average cost of living in Azerbaijan?
Average cost of living in Azerbaijan for foreign tourists by taking into account the accommodation, food, moderate sightseeing, entertainment and amusement places is about 120 USD per day.
What do the stars (number of stars) mean in a hotel?
One star – hotel ultra economy class with a minimum of services (daily maid service is not always included in it). All rooms are the same type. The cost of living in such hotels usually ranges from 20-50 AZN.
Two stars – low-budget hotel, and with the minimum of services, but with the obligatory daily housekeeping. One or two types of rooms. The cost of accommodation in this category ranges from 25-55 manats.
Three stars – middle-class hotel with a standard set of services: daily cleaning of rooms, bathroom, TV, mini-bar and refrigerator in every room, on site laundry facilities can be provided for guests, swimming pool, fitness centre, business centre, a hotel-provided place for breakfast. The existence of various types of rooms. The cost of accommodation in this category can range from 50 to 80 manats.
Four stars – high-class hotel offering all of the above services, and special ones (like spa, massage, multiple bars and restaurants, conference rooms). Prices of rooms in such hotels are usually much higher than average. Room rate may vary from 80 to 150 manats.
Five stars – luxury hotel. It differs with extensive set of additional services. The guest is given personal attention, all his wishes are taken into account. Prices for rooms in these hotels are rather high, as well as for additional services. Typically, in this category tend to get all the known global hotel brands and resorts. Despite the difference in systems under the “five star hotel” it has always meant a hotel with the highest level of service. The cost of living in a luxury hotel usually starts from 120 manats, and may be on average 200-400 manats depending on the class number.
Some hotels claim 6 or 7 stars, but it has not become a widespread practice and is more a marketing ploy.
It should be noted that some hotels arbitrary appropriate the stars. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to pay attention to existence of official state certificate of conformity by the hotel. As a rule, the plaque at the entrance of the hotel shows the number of stars and the name of certification authority – the official commission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
How many hours to get to Baku?
Of course it depends on the distance of your hometown. Approximate flight time from Moscow to Baku is about 2.5 hours, from London – 6.15 hours, from Rome – 4.20 hours, from Vienna – 4.15 hours, from Paris – 5.10 hours, from Istanbul – 2 50 hours, from Frankfurt 5.30 hours, from Dubai – 3 hours, from Beijing – 6.30 hours. For more information, visit the airlines flying to Azerbaijan.
The first time we go to Azerbaijan – whom to contact in case of problems during the holidays?
If you purchased the package tour involving service, you can contact the tour operator tracking of your trip. In addition, we recommend you to write down contact information of your embassy in Azerbaijan. We also recommend making copies of all your documents in order to be able to restore them in case of loss.
It is possible to obtain information by calling the Information Centre of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism: short number (+99412) 147, and Baku Tourism Information Centre: (+99412) 498-12-44.
Is it safe to drink tap water in the hotel?
No, it is not safe, because the tap water does not fully comply with all standards. Tap water should boil before drinking or use bottled water.
Is Azerbaijan a safe country?
The Republic of Azerbaijan continues to be one of the countries with the lowest crime rate. There is almost no street crime and walking the streets until 3 a.m here is everyday occurrence. However, it never hurts to take certain precautions that you would have received, for the first time visiting a new country or any major city in the world.