Azerbaijan is a stunning country. From Baku’s funky modern architecture to the pristine mountains of Nakhchivan, here are the best Azerbaijan photography locations and the thirteen spots that get my vote for the most Instagrammable places in Azerbaijan.
The Most Instagrammable Places in Azerbaijan & Best Azerbaijan Photography Spots
In no particular order…
Baku’s Modern Architecture
Baku’s UNESCO site might be hundreds of years old, but my favorite places to photograph in Baku are its modern architecture. From the Heydar Aliev center to the Flame Towers to Baku’s Instagrammable Hotels, there’s so much to see here! Give yourself lots of extra time to get these marvels from many different angles and locations. They also change significantly with the light.
This important Shiah pilgrimage location outside of Ganja is a marvel of Islamic architecture. Dress modestly, and ladies should wear a headscarf (given out at the door).
Take your time to explore the collonade and the many different views and angles inside. You may want to have a wide angle lens with you if your goal is to get it all in a vertical shot from inside the walls.
While most people think that the Biblical Mount Ararat is in Turkey, Azeris believe this important religious site is in Nakhchivan in Azerbaijan. This mountain is a gorgeous site standing straight up from the Nakhchivan landscape. Surrounded by green fields and red poppies, this is a part of Azerbaijan that few outsiders come to visit.
The Church of Kish
Claiming to be the oldest Christian church in the world, the Church of Kish is located in its namesake village just a few minutes outside of Sheki. Inside is a museum, and this place is very popular with tourists. For the best photos, go around the back to escape the tourists.
This beautiful mountain lake’s name translates as “the Blue Lake.” One of eight large mountain lakes in the area, Göygöl is the region’s most popular relaxation destination. You can visit as a day trip from Ganja.
Palace of the Sheki Khans
This highly popular tourist destination is a little hard to photograph (especially when there are crowds), and you can’t photograph inside. So if getting a shot of the entire building with no people in it is important to you, go early! My favorite shots are the details of the exterior, which are easier to get even when it is crowded.
Ateşgah (Ateshgah) of Baku
This Zoroastrian fire temple is an easy day trip from Baku. Come to learn about this ancient and often misunderstood religion, and stay for the beautiful architecture and flame photography.
One of the things I love about Azerbaijan is all of the opportunities to eat outside in nature. This is a restaurant by Lake Batabat, but there are many beautiful outdoor restaurants to enjoy your Azercay in the middle of a beautiful, leafy green setting.
Nicknamed “the Eye of God,” this beautiful lake in Nakhchivan has an island in the middle that floats and moves! You’ll find locals picnicking on the shores and in the surrounding fields, and miles of pristine, unadulterated nature to enjoy. Give yourself extra time on the journey to stop and photograph the lake from many different angles.
Vintage (and Modern) Ladas
For those traveling to Azerbaijan looking for Soviet history, you’ll be overjoyed at the sheer volume of Ladas driving the streets. While most are modern (Ladas continued to be built until 2012), you can also find vintage Soviet ones if you look hard enough. Nearly every taxi you hail outside of Baku will be in one, so buckle up!
Azerbaijan’s Beautiful Mosques
I love visiting beautiful mosques, and the mosques in Azerbaijan have beauty in abundance. This is from the Bibi-Heybat mosque in Baku, but there are also lovely ones all over the country.
Whether you travel to Gobustan for the UNESCO protected Petroglyphs or the enigmatic mud volcanoes, make sure you have your camera ready! To visit Gobustan, we rented a car in Baku, but you can also visit on a guided tour.
Heydar Aliev Boulevard
This beautiful boulevard is reminiscent of Paris or Bucharest, but, since its located on the outskirts of Ganja, it gets only a fraction of the tourists. Bring cash. If it’s a hot day, you’ll want to buy a refreshing drink from one of the many food stands here.
Headed to Azerbaijan? Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
Make sure you have an updated Travel Insurance Policy because things happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any hiking or outdoor activities in Azerbaijan.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance when participating in outdoor activities. Even in the cities, though, you’ll be happy when you’re able to replace your stuff if it’s lost or stolen.
More Azerbaijan Travel Resources
- What to Pack for Azerbaijan: an Azerbaijan Packing List for Women and Men
- 21 Things to Do in Ganja, Azerbaijan Plus Bonus Ganja Travel Guide
- What You Need to Know to Before Renting a Car in Baku, Azerbaijan
- How to Get an Azerbaijan Sim Card
- How to Get from Ganja to Sheki and Vice Versa
- How to Get from Sheki to Tbilisi and Vice Versa
More about Traveling the Caucasus
Many people who travel Azerbaijan combine it with a trip to Armenia and Georgia:
Armenia Travel Resources
- Armenia Packing List: Everything You Need to Pack for Armenia for Women and Men
- How to Get an Armenian Sim Card
- How to Visit Geghard Monastery
Georgia Travel Resources
- The Dry Bridge Market: the Funky Tbilisi Flea Market with History on Display
- How to Get from Sheki to Tbilisi and Vice Versa
- What to Pack for Georgia
- How to Buy a Sim Card in Georgia
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