Azerbaijan is a country with an area of 86,600 km2 in the southern Caucasus with an access to the Caspian Sea, formed in 1989 with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Total length of the land border is 2032 km and it borders with Russia, Georgia, Iran and Armenia, whose territory holds an enclave Nakhchivan which borders with Iran.
It has 9 million inhabitants, the capital city is Baku where more than 2 million people live. War skirmishes have been going with Armenia since the independence, and the borders with this country are also closed.
The highest mountain peak is Djuza-Bazar (4,480 m), and the longest river is Kura (1,510 km), which mostly flows through the country. In the ethnic composition there are 82 percent Azerbaijanis who arranged their government as a multiparty republic with one legislative house, along with 7 percent of Russians, 5 percent Armenian and 6 percent other people who live there.
Major revenue sources are oil, natural gas and iron, as well as tobacco, cotton, grapes and fish. Oil deposits have increased foreign investment and economic development, but the gross national product is still quite low, $ 4,601 per capita, according to data from 2005, but unemployment is just over 1 percent.
The capital Baku was named the “Paris of the East ‘, due to the unique combination of Eastern and Western architecture, and it has an internationally recognized and valued historical and cultural heritage. The old town (ICER šeher) is very impressive with its historic buildings, and also very interesting are the modern buildings, and airports. You should definitely see a fortress with Širvanšah palace and Maidens tower, which are under the protection of UNESCO.
Naftalan city is known for its spa baths in water with oil.
Khinalug is a remote mountain village, which was once the center of zoroastrianism.
Suze Kyapaza is a name for an array of seven idyllic mountain lakes near the mountain Kyapaz and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Official language: Azeri
Religion: Shiite Muslim (96 percent)
Currency: 1 manat = 100 Gopika
Climate: continental mountain
Time difference: +4 / +5 hours regarding to Croatia
How to travel: by plane via Moscow or Istanbul’s main airport to Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku.
When to travel: from April to June.
Diseases and Prevention: Vaccination is not necessary. Before the trip get more details from the web site of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Visa: required, it would be best to talk with the Azerbaijani Embassy in Vienna.
Hotels: accommodation in hostels in Baku are relatively cheap, but hotels are quite expensive: Ambassador Hotel Baku 3-stars (137 euros), Excelsior Hotel Baku 4-star hotel (223 euros), and the exception is the AF Hotel-Aqua Park Hotel a four-star hotel (69 euros).
Restaurants: Among the best known restaurants is Bibi, in Baku they serve the best Central Eastern cuisine, and in L’Apart eastern European cuisine, and specialties closer to the Turkish kitchen are offered in restaurant Gənclik Kafes in Nakhchivan.
It is recommended to drink only bottled water and eat only in verified restaurants
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