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Azerbaijan Travel Information

Azerbaijan Travel InformationThe official site for applying for Azerbaijan visas is temporarily suspended. For more information about coronavirus, see the entry Entry and Health.

Safety

Azerbaijan is considered a safe country to live in, with little crime and a high degree of political stability. Due to the oil business with a number of foreign companies involved, the country's authorities and population are well acquainted with and kindly directed to foreign visitors. As long as you take general precautions for travelers, security is good and better than in most western cities.

It is considered safe to travel around the country on your own. However, normal caution should be exercised. Women may experience some unwanted attention at night, but this is usually completely harmless. The use of pirate taxis can also lead to other types of undesirable situations, such as mild attempts at extortion. Many pirate taxi drivers in Baku know the city poorly and the driving skills vary widely.

The robbery of foreigners traveling outdoors at night may occur. Travelers should therefore always be with others and not use pirate taxis at night. Political demonstrations sometimes take place, especially in Baku, and clashes between police and protesters can occur. It is recommended to avoid areas where political demonstrations are taking place.

So far, Azerbaijan has been spared major terrorist acts, and the risk of terrorism is not high. In recent years, however, some terrorist plans have been uncovered by the country's authorities. The country has some smaller, but active, fundamentalist-Islamist environments. The authorities take the threat seriously and actively counter terrorism. However, terrorism affecting places where Western citizens travel cannot be ruled out. It is recommended that you take common precautions and be vigilant.

  • Countryaah: Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.

Azerbaijan drivers have a relaxed relationship with the rules, so the traffic picture appears more chaotic and more dangerous than in Norway. There is a different view of taking - and exposing - others to traffic risk than we are used to in Norway. Passages in particular can create dangerous situations.

In Baku, traffic is very tight during rush hour. In the center of the city there are some pedestrian streets, and the distances are relatively small, so you can easily get on foot. In the cities, pedestrians often have a shortage of pedestrians. However, it is strongly recommended to look these up and use them. Crossing streets beyond such can pose a great risk. Pedestrians should also note that sidewalks may be in poor condition and that open manhole covers are unmarked.

It often blows in Baku, and flying objects can be a danger on windy days. Baku is located in an area with major environmental damage. The landscape of the Absheron Peninsula is strongly characterized by years of environmental damage caused by the petrochemical industry and oil recovery. Today, the extent of the polluted industry is greatly reduced, which has been positive for the environment. In addition, the Azerbaijani authorities have initiated several environmental projects in collaboration with various international organizations and the oil industry.

The increasing private motoring in Baku, together with the relatively high age of part of the car park, also brings with it some pollution. There is a lot of wind in Baku and the air quality is therefore to live with. It can be quite a waste in many places due to inadequate renovation, but in the center it is well maintained and neat with fountains and flower beds. There is a wide and attractive boulevard facing the Caspian Sea.

Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea are located in a very active seismic zone. The last major earthquake (7.0 on Richter's scale) hit Baku in 2000. In recent years several major earthquakes have occurred in the north (Balakan, Zaqatala). In addition, large earthquakes are often noticed in the western parts of South Azerbaijan near Iran.

About. 14 percent of Azerbaijan's territory is occupied by Armenia. It includes almost all of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other regions. It is considered very risky to be in the disputed zone, where violations of the ceasefire may occur. There is mining danger along the border with Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Exchanges are constantly taking place on both sides, especially in the Tovuz and Gazakh region. Norwegians in Azerbaijan are urged to exercise caution in these districts and to follow local government instructions regarding personal safety. Traveling to the border area can involve risks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued official travel advice which advises against travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and the neighboring occupied areas.

The following general precautions are recommended for short or long stays in the country:

  • Use common sense
  • Follow UD's current travel advice at all times
  • Register at no
  • Please contact the Ankara Embassyif a crisis situation arises
  • Anyone visiting Azerbaijan should have comprehensive travel insurance
  • Listen to local advice and follow the local media
  • Always carry identification
  • Avoid large crowds such as political mass demonstrations and demonstrations as well as places where political demonstrations have been announced
  • Show caution in traffic, where many accidents occur
  • Travelers are strongly encouraged to have valid travel insurance

Entry

Please note that entry rules may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with the current entry rules for each country. Norwegian citizens need a visa for entry and residence in Azerbaijan. A visa cannot be obtained at a border crossing and must be arranged before entering the country.

Visa for easy entry: The Azerbaijani authorities have introduced a new electronic visa portal where they can apply for visas with a duration of up to 30 days. Unfortunately, there are several websites that offer visas at too high a price, and these will often be the first hits if you try to find the page through a search engine. It is therefore important to search through the official site evisa.gov.az. Due to covid-19, this page has been temporarily suspended. The price for a single visa was $ 23, but this may change.

Multi-entry visa: To issue a multi-entry visa, the Azerbaijan Embassy in Stockholm must be contacted well in advance of the planned entry date. Comet Consular Services in Oslo helps with the visa process.

Passport must be valid for up to three months after scheduled departure date. Upon entry/transit to Azerbaijan, the following valid documents are also accepted:

  • Emergency passports
  • Refugee travel document (green travel document)
  • Travel document for people staying on humanitarian grounds (blue travel document)

It is subject to change of entry rules at short notice. It is therefore recommended that the relevant country's authorities be contacted when planning a trip. Contact the Azerbaijani Embassy in Stockholm for more information.

Upon arrival in Azerbaijan, you must register with the migration authorities within fifteen days. If you do not register, you risk being fined on departure. More information and registration form can be found here.

The border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is completely closed. The border between Russia and Azerbaijan was previously closed to foreigners but is open to anyone with a valid visa. On the other hand, we note the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' official travel advice for the North Caucasus.

Health

Coronavirus (covid-19): Norwegian travelers should keep abreast of the spread of the coronavirus. Follow local media and local authorities' advice, guidance and instructions on how to deal with the situation in the country. See the Ministry of Health website (in local language). You can also follow them on Facebook.

You can call 103 if you think you have symptoms of the coronavirus and are located in Azerbaijan.

You can find more information and guidance from the Norwegian health authorities on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's answers to frequently asked questions about travel and coronavirus.

Admission to local hospitals is not recommended, but there are medical centers used by the international environment: SOS and MediClub. These are relatively expensive. The National Insurance Scheme does not cover health services for tourist stays, and it is therefore strongly recommended to purchase comprehensive travel insurance when traveling to Azerbaijan.

Baku has a large number of pharmacies that carry medicines, medicines, cosmetics, etc. Occasionally, the goods do not meet quality standards, and it is recommended to use western chains such as Deutsche Apotekhe. If travelers need specific medicines, it may be wise to bring these from Norway.

For entry into Azerbaijan, vaccination should be given to diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, poliomyelitis and hepatitis A. For more information on vaccinations, see the website of the Institute of Public Health.

Practical information

Norwegian citizens need a visa for entry and residence in Azerbaijan. A visa cannot be obtained at a border crossing and must be arranged before entering the country. On January 10, 2017, the Azerbaijani authorities introduced a new electronic visa application portal (does not work as of April 2020 due to covid-19) where one can apply for a visa with a duration of up to 30 days. A stay in Azerbaijan exceeding fifteen days requires registration with the migration authorities. Failure to do so will result in a fine of AZN 400 (approximately NOK 2400) per person upon departure. More information , as well as the registration form can be found here.

International country code for Azerbaijan is +994. GSM coverage is generally good, also in other countries. The time difference to Azerbaijan (GMT + 4 hours) is three hours in winter and two hours in summer. The voltage is 220 volts, but it is very unstable. For fine-sensitive electronic equipment such as stereo, PC etc. stabilizer and UPS are recommended. Emergency number: Fire 101, Police 102, Ambulance 103, International Telephone Office 107.

The currency unit in Azerbaijan is Manat (AZN). As of April 2020, the rate is 1 AZN = USD 0.59 and NOK 6.07). Visa, MasterCard and American Express can be used in banks and hotels, and in particular Visa can be used in some businesses in Baku. There are many ATMs in Baku where you can take out manatees. It is also possible to withdraw dollars, but sometimes the ATMs are empty for USD. In the regions there are fewer ATMs and you should bring cash. There are many exchange places where you can exchange USD and other currencies, but one should be aware that some of these can give a very unfavorable exchange rate.

Azerbaijan, which belongs to the Turkish language group and has about the same resemblance to Turkish as Norwegian has to Swedish, is official language. Azerbaijani is written in Latin, a slightly modified version of the alphabet used in Turkish. Russian is widely used in Baku, but is less prevalent in the regions. There are also a number of minority languages ​​in Azerbaijan. English, and to some extent German and French, is most commonly used where foreigners usually travel. There are some language schools in Baku that offer instruction in Azerbaijani and Russian.

The majority of the population are Shia Muslims, but they are relatively secularized by the time of Soviet rule. Only a few women wear hijab, and in Baku the dress code is western. In the countryside one sees a more conservative style: women in long skirts and skirts. Men wear long pants all year round, and shorts are considered inappropriate. The traditional gender role patterns in Azerbaijan are stronger than Scandinavians are used to. It is expected that the man opens the door for the woman, that he takes the bill at the restaurant, follows her home, etc. Likewise, the woman is expected to cook and keep the home in order.

The road network is relatively well developed around Baku, but in the regions the roads are poorer, and in the mountain areas and off the main roads it is recommended to use four-wheel drive. Public transport is very cheap but is of varying quality. In Baku there are bus and metro, as well as taxis. You can take trains to some regions. It is common for foreigners to use taxis, also for longer trips to the regions as it can be difficult to get an overview of timetables etc. for public transport. In Baku there are a large number of purple London taxis which in principle use a taximeter. However, it happens that they do not turn on the taximeter. If you use taxis without a taximeter, it is recommended to arrange a price in advance. Using apps like Taxify is popular and is just as safe as well as cheaper than traditional taxis.

In the summer it can get very hot with high humidity. The average temperature in July is 24 degrees. Winter can be chilly with sour wind. There is rarely snow and the temperature is not often below zero. The average temperature in January is 3 degrees. Otherwise, Baku has a dry, sunny climate. The annual rainfall is only about 200 mm with variations from 2-3 mm in July to 30 mm in November.

Opening hours: Banks 10 am-6pm. Public Offices 09.00-18.00. Stores 10.00-21.00. Shops are usually open Sundays and holidays.

Holidays are 1st and 2nd New Year's Day (January 1-2), Women's Day (March 8), Martyrs Day (January 20), Victory Day over Nazism (May 9), Republic Day (May 28), Day for the salvation of the Azerbaijani people (June 15), Military Day (June 26), Independence Day (October 18), National Flag Day (November 9), Constitution Day (November 12), National Resurrection Day (November 17), Azerbaijan's World Solidarity Day (December 31), Ramadan - Two Moving Holidays, Gurban - Two Moving Holidays, Novruz - Three Moving Holidays at Spring Equinox in March.


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