Instagrammed: The best of Azerbaijan

Scary confession: I took over two thousand photos in the one month that I spent in Azerbaijan — 600 of those were with my iPhone. Luckily I showed a bit more restraint when it came to my instagram feed. Below are a few of the best snaps from that month, depicting some of my favorite parts of Azerbaijan.

Baku Airport: The interior’s not much, but what a lovely airport to gaze upon from the outside. Seeing this building when you arrive in Azerbaijan for the first time is such a pleasant surprise, it almost eases the pain of having just forked out $160 for the visa.

Sunrises over the Caspian Sea: This was the view from my hotel room. Oil rigs and construction cranes aside, not a shabby sight to start the mornings.

Flame Towers: Baku is far more modern than I expected, and the Flame Towers are a giant, gleaming testament to that. Situated on a hill above the city, on a clear day you can see the rest of the city and the Caspian Sea reflected in its glassy exterior (I do not envy those window washers).

The Old City: My favorite part of Baku, I loved walking through the Old City — and appreciated that the vendors weren’t too pushy for a sale. Many sold cheap tourist souvenirs, but there were a few proper carpet shops with merchandise costing hundreds of euro (and even required official documentation that you had to show at customs).

Baku by night: Talk about a city of light. Baku came alive come dusk, and the nightly light show displayed on the Flame Towers was strangely mesmerizing. If you happened to be eating outside nearby, it was like having dinner with a show.

Kish: This Albanian monastery from the first century absolutely blew me away. I always thought it was an exaggeration when people said they felt an ‘overwhelming sense of peace’ in a certain place, but then I went to Kish. And it’s not an exaggeration after all — it’s a legitimately overwhelming and beautiful sensation.

Food, food, food: Obviously, I’ve written about this at length, but it had to be mentioned again. I love exploring a country’s cuisine and unsurprisingly, the best meals were the ones made fresh to order, and by people who obviously cared about their food.

Sunsets in the countryside: I only spent a weekend in the Azerbaijani countryside but it was three of the best days of my entire trip. So much about it took my breath away — including this dramatic stunner of a sunset on our first night in Gabala.

Follow me on Instagram at @expatedna

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Comments

  1. Wow, you’re right: when I hear Baku, I think of dusty roads, crumbling architecture–not huge, shiny, modern edifices!

  2. Wow, Kish looks like it’s from a fairy tale! I absolutely must go!

  3. Love the street shot with the carpet vendor!

  4. My favorites are the sunset and the shopfront in Baku. Wonderful!

  5. Along with the previous post on the people of Azerbaijan, you’ve given your readers a million and one reasons to visit the country! I admit that I’m much more curious (and more informed) about this little-known destination.

    PS. I love that picture of the carpet shop in Baku’s Old City!

  6. The airport is gorgeous! And I love the photo of the man sitting outside of the rug shop! Great pics. Thanks for sharing.
    Dena
    http://itsabouttakingthejourney.blogspot.de

  7. Excellent photos. I’ve wanted to go to Azerbaijan for awhile now. It just seems so unexplored and intriguing. Love the one of the Old City.

  8. Gorgeous look at a country that seems to be seriously underrated! Love that last one.

  9. Gorgeous photos! I especially love the one of the Old City. I first saw that area on an episode of the Amazing Race and have always wanted to go. And don’t feel bad about the number of photos you took – I snapped 3,000 in Thailand and I was just there for 3 weeks!

  10. Beautiful photos, Edna! Azerbaijan appears to combine the most picturesque aspects of modernity and tradition in a perfect way!

  11. Wonderful shots, Edna! Of course, I gravitate towards the food :-)

  12. Baku looks really stunning! One day I need to visit Caucuses. Your pics tempt me to book a flight right away… unfortunately for a student it is rather difficult, it’s not really the place where low-budget airlines go. Maybe in the future!

  13. Lovely photos–I am constantly impressed by the quality of those I take on my iPhone. I especially like the one of Flame Towers. Great work!

  14. Fantastic photos Edna. I really want to visit Azerbaijan (along with Georgia & Armenia) every since I saw a Globetrekker documentry on them years ago!

  15. I absolutely LOVE this post. I love that the location (Azerbaijan) is not a cliche travel destination which makes me naturally very curious to learn about it; I love how you captured moments in your pictures; and I love the brief yet informative descriptions. Awesome post girl!

  16. Usually, I do not much care for iphone pictures that are Instagramed. To me the filters just look too stylized and cheezy. But these are stunning! Especially the trippy one of the flame towers. And that sunset. . . oh my!

  17. Oooh, gorgeous! And thank you for putting it on the travel map for me. ;)

  18. What a well curated set of shots that really get to the heart of the place! I am loving all the contrasts you have documented. Thank you for sharing.

  19. One of the countries I’ve love to visit the most. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous shots!

  20. These are all great moments to capture. I love the city and Caspian Sea reflection from the Flame Towers. It’s so intriguing!

  21. Wow! Azerbaijan has changed so much since I visited 9 years ago…

  22. No one can judge any book by its cover. I thought that Baku is poor and full of dust. Your snaps made me wrong. 10/10 to your clicks. Azerbaijan is really surprizing.

  23. HI EVERYBODY)))) I’m from AZERBAIJAN! I read your positives feedback about my land! Thank you very much! AZERBAIJAN IS REALLY BEAUTIFUL LAND! And with rich culture and ancient history! We are waiting for your visits)))))

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