Important to know
Azerbaijan, located on the western edge of the Caspian Sea, sits at the crossroad between East and West, Asia and Europe. Azerbaijan is bordered by Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Armenia, and Iran with the Caspian Sea along its east coast. Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan as well as the largest city on the Caspian seashore and in the Caucasus region. Baku is located 28 meters below sea level, which makes it the lowest lying national capital in the world as well as the largest city in the world located below sea level. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, beside Baku Bay.
Time zone is GMT+4. Since 2016 the country does not use Daylight Saving Time, so while the time is 4hrs/3hrs ahead of the UK / Western Europe in winter, that changes to 3 hrs / 2hrs in March-October.
Baku has a semi-arid climate with warm and dry summers, occasionally wet winters, with an average year-round temperature of 14.2°C. Baku with its long hours of sunshine and dry, healthy, and favorable climate, is a vacation destination where visitors could along with their business meetings enjoy beaches and relax.
The official language is Azerbaijani, which is linguistically close to Turkish. The majority of the population is fluent in English, Russian, and Turkish.
Azerbaijan is a secular state that protects religious freedom. About 95% of the population is Muslim, though a recent survey suggests that only 21% of Azerbaijanis consider religious observance an important aspect of their lives.
The national currency is the Azerbaijani Manat, abbreviated as AZN. US Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, Russian Rubles, and Turkish Liras are accepted at all banks and exchange offices in Azerbaijan. For current exchange rates, please check website of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan at www.cbar.az
Azerbaijan has introduced a Tax-Free shopping service allowing foreign visitors a full or partial refund of Value-Added Tax (VAT) paid on the purchase of selected goods from shops displaying Tax-Free signage. The tax to be reclaimed can be refunded at the airport before departing from Azerbaijan. The buyer can choose to receive the VAT in cash or by transfer to their bank card. To be eligible for the Tax-Free benefit, the cost (including VAT) of purchased goods per e-tax invoice must not be less than 300 AZN and the purchases must be taken out of the country by air within 90 days from the purchase date.
In Baku, chip-and-pin credit cards are increasingly accepted at hotels, stores, cafes, and restaurants, but it’s always a good idea to ask beforehand. VISA, Master Card, and American Express are common cards in Baku, and you should have no problem finding ATMs that will also accept other cards.
Few cities in the world are as safe and hassle free as Baku. Petty crime is minimal, but it’s still worth following normal, common-sense safety awareness strategies that everyone would employ in their own home city.
The country code of Azerbaijan is 994. Fixed telephone network services on the territory of Azerbaijan are provided mainly by two major public telecommunication operators. There are three major mobile operators currently in Azerbaijan: Azercell, Bakcell, and Nar. These operators offer 2G, 3G, and 4G services. All three networks are widely available and reliable with shops located in major towns and cities where one can purchase a sim card or get assistance if needed. Most unlocked mobile phones can be used on roaming; however, network charges may apply.