Terminal Drop-Off Charge

From 1 November 2021, a £5 charge will apply for vehicles dropping off passengers at the designated drop-off zones, located directly outside the terminals. Discounts and exemptions will apply. Free drop-off will be available at the Long Stay car parks.

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Changes to entering the UK using EU ID cards

From 1 October 2021, most EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to use a valid passport to travel to the UK. ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document to enter the UK, though some exemptions will apply. 

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  • Overview

    Known as the 'Land of Fire', Azerbaijan lies between Asia and Europe and is a delightful mesh of contrasts, where east meets west, and bold modern architecture stands along side the UNESCO old town.

    Wellness tourists in particular will relish a chance to try the country's unique medicinal oil, Naftalan. Considered an effective treatment for arthritis, psoriasis and rheumatism, the remedy lures many to Naftalan town, which has special spas and treatment centres where patients sit up to their necks in baths of the rare substance. Visitors to Azerbaijan can also choose from more than 1,000 mineral springs located throughout the country.

    The capital, Baku, is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the Caucasus region, and is Azerbaijan's cultural, economic, political, and scientific centre. Situated on the Caspian Sea, it is about 5,500 years old. History lovers can see some wonderfully preserved relics, ancient mosques, cities, oases, fortresses and palaces. They can also visit the ancient fire-worshipper temple complex, Ateshgah, and walk the natural gas-fuelled Yanar Dag (Fire Mountain), which is one of many impressive eternal fires on the Absheron Peninsula. Travellers who'd prefer a luxury experience of high-end hotels and exclusive boutiques should head for the boulevards of downtown Baku.

    The mountainous northern hinterland is a treat as well. These lofty peaks are dotted with beautiful lakes, and have a population of bears, wolves and leopards, along with nomadic shepherds.

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Baku has a semi-arid climate with warm, dry summers and cool winters. The city is located in the most arid part of Azerbaijan, where precipitation is less than eight inches (203mm) per year. Even in winter (December to February), when Baku experiences the majority of its rain, precipitation levels are relatively low.

    Strong gale-force winds are possible throughout the year, which is why Baku is known as 'The City of Winds'. These winds are the reason Baku experiences fierce snowstorms during the winter months.

    Average high temperatures during summer (June to August) reach 87°F (31°C), with the Khazri winds providing a much-needed cooling effect. In winter, average temperatures drop to around 39°F (4°C), with temperatures on the coast dipping below freezing.

    Nine out of the 11 existing climate zones are present in Azerbaijan, although most of the country is dry semi-arid steppe. Generally speaking, summers are hot and winters are mild and wet, with snow in the mountains. Average temperatures range from 41°F (5°C) in the mountainous regions to 81°F (27°C) in the lowlands in summer, and 14°F (-10°C) to 37°F (3°C) in winter. The best time to travel for warm and dry weather is between April and October, but mountainous areas are best visited in the summer months of July and August. Baku is very hot and humid in the summer. Late spring and early summer, between April and June, are the best time to visit Azerbaijan, as the weather is warm and the flowers are in bloom.

    Heydar Aliyev International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated about 13 miles (21km) from Baku.
    Time: GMT +4
    Transfer Between Terminals: It is possible to walk between terminals.
    Getting to the city: Aero Express buses service the city centre and official taxis are available outside the airport building. Visitors should be aware of drivers within the arrivals hall who are unlicensed and charge more. Hotel courtesy cars can be arranged for a fee.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies are available.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available at the airport.
    Facilities: Services include ATMs and currency exchange, shops and restaurants, business-class lounges, a prayer room, a spa and beauty lounge, a barber shop and sleeping pods.
    Parking Parking is available at the airport.
    Website: www.airport.az/

    The official currency is the Azerbaijani Manat (AZN), which is divided into 100 qapik. Major hotels, supermarkets and restaurants in Baku usually accept credit cards, and Euros, British pounds and US dollars are easily exchanged. ATMs can be found in most major cities and towns.


    Azerbaijani, or Azeri, is the official language. Turkish and Russian are widely spoken; few people speak English.


    Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round, two-pin attachment plugs and Schuko plugs are in use.

    Entry Requirements:

    US nationals: US nationals require a valid passport and a visa.

    UK nationals: UK nationals require a valid passport and a visa.

    CA nationals: Canadians require a valid passport and a visa.

    AU nationals: Australians require a valid passport and a visa.

    ZA nationals: South Africans require a valid passport and a visa.

    IR nationals: Irish nationals require a valid passport and a visa.

    NZ nationals: New Zealand nationals require a valid passport and a visa.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    A valid passport and a visa are required for travel to Azerbaijan. To obtain any type of visa, visitors must present a letter of invitation from a contact in Azerbaijan, such as an employer or educational institution. If neither option is possible, visitors should have a travel agency in Azerbaijan submit an invitation letter. E-visas can be obtained before departure and it is recommended that passports be valid for six months after departure from this or any holiday destination.

    Travel Health:

    No vaccinations are required for entry to Azerbaijan, but travellers should ensure that all routine vaccinations are up to date. Vaccinations for hepatitis A and hepatitis B are recommended for all travellers. Most health facilities are state-owned and equipment and staff training often fall short of Western standards. Outside of the capital, medical care and supplies may be difficult to come by and serious medical problems will require air evacuation to another country; comprehensive medical insurance is advised.


    Service charges are usually included in bills and tipping is not compulsory. However, taxi-drivers, waiters and hotel staff are commonly given some small change.

    Safety Information:

    The crime rate is relatively low, but muggings do occur in central Baku, particularly at night. Political gatherings and demonstrations should be avoided as these have become violent in the past. Unlicensed taxis should be avoided. Corruption is widespread. The area around Nagorno-Karabakh has long been the subject of dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia and most foreign governments advise against travel to the region due to ongoing outbreaks of violence, despite the ceasefire.

    Local Customs:

    Most of the country is Muslim and visitors should respect religious customs, particularly during the month of Ramadan, when eating, drinking, and smoking during daylight hours should be discreet as it is forbidden by the Muslim culture.

    Travellers should dress modestly, especially when visiting mosques or religious shrines. More specifically, women should cover arms and legs, and men should not wear shorts, even in summer.

    Although homosexuality is legal in Azerbaijan, public displays of affection will cause offence, especially outside the capital. Foreign nationals are routinely subject to police checks and it is advisable to carry identification at all times.


    Personal contact and relationship-building is critical in Azerbaijan, which means that meetings are more effective than long-distance communication. It is common to exchange business cards in meetings, and these should be in Russian or English and have an Azeri translation on the reverse.

    The language of business is Azeri or Russian, and translators will be required for those who don't speak either language. Azeris tend to be polite and visitors should be aware that a 'yes' might actually mean 'no'.

    Culturally, there is a strong emphasis on not causing 'loss of face' publically. Azeris should not be rushed into making a business decision. Gender roles are traditional and businesswomen might be met with scepticism.


    The international dialling code for Azerbaijan is +994. Roaming charges are high and it is best to buy a local SIM card. WiFi is available is many hotels and cafes in Baku, but internet freedom is poor, and there are many infrastructural challenges such as low quality connections.

    Duty Free:

    Travellers older than 18 may bring 600 cigarettes, 3 litres of alcohol, 10kg of food products and goods up to the value of US$1,500 without paying customs duty. Banned items include weapons, narcotics and material encouraging terrorism or violence. Permission must be granted by the government before cultural artefacts, such as antique carpets, are exported from the country.

    Useful Contacts:

    Official tourism website: www.azerbaijan.travel

    Azerbaijan Embassies:

    Azerbaijan Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 337 3500.

    Azerbaijan Embassy, London, United Kingdom (also responsible for Ireland): +44 20 7938 3412.

    Azerbaijan Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 288 0497.

    Azerbaijan Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 2 6290 5600.

    Azerbaijan Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 346 1018.

    Foreign Embassies in Azerbaijan :

    United States Embassy, Baku: +994 12 488 3300.

    British Embassy, Baku: +994 (12) 437 7878.

    Canadian Embassy, Ankara, Turkey (also responsible for Azerbaijan): +90 312 409 2700.

    Australian Embassy, Ankara, Turkey (also responsible for Azerbaijan): +90 312 459 9500.

    South African Embassy, Ankara, Turkey (also responsible for Azerbaijan): +90 312 405 6861.

    Irish Embassy, Ankara, Turkey (also responsible for Azerbaijan): +90 312 459 1000.

    Azerbaijan Emergency Numbers : 101 (Fire), 102 (Police), 103 (Ambulance).

    The Baku Metro is one of many options for getting around and consists of more than 20 stations scattered throughout the city. Baku's electric trains, buses and minibuses are also good transport options, as they serve several locales and surrounding areas. Taxis in Baku are similar to London's black cabs in style; Bolt and Uber are available. Travellers who want to hire a car will find that many car rental companies have offices at the airport. Road conditions and signage are of a good standard in the city, though foreign drivers sometimes struggle to deal with the erratic behaviour of local road users.