Road Conditions and Safety: The information below is provided for general reference only.
- The number of fatalities from traffic accidents is high and continues to rise each year. Driving in Baku is dangerous.
- Reckless driving is very common. Many drivers do not pay attention to traffic regulations, signals, lane markings, pedestrians, or other drivers. Drivers often travel at extremely high speeds, and accidents are frequent and often serious.
- Older sections of the roadway system are poorly constructed and poorly lit. Many rural roads are largely unpaved. Driving hazards, such as open manholes, debris, and potholes are common in Baku.
- Unfinished road sections may be extremely dangerous due to lack of proper construction and hazard signage.
- Watch out for pedestrians. Pedestrians routinely disregard vehicles, crosswalks, signs and signals, and in general act carelessly.
Traffic Laws: Routine traffic stops are common. If you are driving, keep all required documents with you, including passport or local registration documents, driver?s license, vehicle registration documents, and proof of insurance.
- The Baku metro system is an inexpensive option for transportation. Security cameras provide excellent coverage of all metro platforms throughout the system. There are police units at each metro station, and bag checks may be carried out at the entrance to each station.
- Because safety and licensing standards do not match those, found in the United States, U.S. Embassy personnel are not authorized to use public buses.
- For safety, we recommend using only marked taxis if you choose to take one.
- Public transportation throughout the rest of the country remains overcrowded and poorly-maintained.
See our road safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Azerbaijan?s State Civil Aviation Administration as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Azerbaijan should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website (select ?broadcast warnings?). The State Maritime Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan can be accessed at http://www.ardda.gov.az/en
International SOS operates one medical clinic in Baku that provides adequate 24-hour care for minor medical problems and limited emergencies. We do not advise undergoing surgery in Azerbaijan unless it is for a life-and-death emergency. Bring adequate amounts of prescription medicine in its original packaging, along with your doctor?s prescription for the duration of your visit, as pharmacies often do not carry all brands or doses.
- We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare is not valid overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
- We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Embassy of Azerbaijan to ensure that medication is legal in Azerbaijan.. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor?s prescription.
The following diseases are prevalent:
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Local laws and Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Your U.S. passport will not prevent you from being arrested or prosecuted.
Arrest Notifications: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
- There are often delays in consular notification.
- You can be legally detained in jail for up to three months during an investigation.
- It is illegal to take photographs of military installations and equipment. Police may stop you even if you take photographs of non-military sites, like oil fields, buildings, and public squares. Cooperate with the police.
Special Circumstances: Azerbaijan has mandatory military service for male citizens ages 18 to 35. If Azerbaijan considers you a citizen, you could face fines or arrest if you have not completed your military service. Dual citizens may renounce their Azerbaijani citizenship at any Azerbaijani Embassy or Consulate.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report ? see country reports
- Human Rights Report ? see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals are not specifically protected by antidiscrimination laws. Societal intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity remain a problem in Azerbaijan. It is not illegal to organize LGBT events, but societal intolerance generally prevents LGBT events. LGBTI individuals have reported that employers sometimes find other reasons to fire LGBTI employees due to their sexual orientation. One of the main concerns for the local LGBTI community is the perceived failure of law enforcement agencies to act on violations of LGBTI individuals? rights and indifference to investigating crimes committed against the LGBTI community in Azerbaijan. The Department of State?s most recent Human Rights Report documents incidents of police brutality against individuals based on sexual orientation and noted that authorities did not investigate or punish those responsible.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States.
- No laws require access to public or other buildings, information, or communications for persons with disabilities.
- Accessibility for those with disabilities is very limited throughout the country, including stores, sidewalks, road crossings, most tourist spots, and public transportation.
- Many older buildings, including buildings visited by tourists, do not have elevators or facilities to accommodate handicap access.
- Other than in major international hotels in Baku, there are few handicap-accessible toilets.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Safety and Security
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
Avoid demonstrations and riots, which police have previously suppressed with force.
The Nagorno-Karabakh Area and Conflict:
- The U.S. Government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Nagorno-Karabakh.
- Casualties continue to occur in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Avoid travel near the line of contact between the conflicting parties as well as the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. Despite the declaration of a cessation in hostilities, intermittent gunfire and use of heavy weaponry and land mines continues. Land mines seriously injure several people each year near the conflict zone.
- U.S. citizens of Armenian descent may encounter anti-Armenian sentiments in Azerbaijan.
Exercise caution in the region of Nardaran, located approximately 28 miles (45 km) from Baku on the Absheron Peninsula. Nardaran is culturally conservative and has been the site of several anti-United States and anti-Israel protests. It has also been the subject of government raids, which have sometimes resulted in violence.
Crime: Crime is relatively low. The majority of reported crimes involve burglary, assault, or petty crime such as pickpocketing.
- Be careful in areas that attract large crowds or are very isolated. Criminals have targeted foreigners walking alone, late at night, or under the influence of alcohol.
- Some women have reported incidents of unwanted male attention while walking alone and taking taxis. Sexual assault may be underreported due to cultural stigma.
- Financial scams are increasingly common. While the majority involves internet dating, there are reports of scams related to fraudulent real estate deals, licensing requirements, and travel advertisements.
- There are reports of increased credit and bank card fraud, such as credit card skimming.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victim of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy Report crimes to the local police by dialing 102 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (+994 12) 488 3300. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim?s compensation programs in the United States
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Local resources for victims of domestic violence include shelters, medical assistance, and legal aid. Victims may contact the State Committee for Family, Women, and Children Affairs by telephone at +994 12 498 00 92 or email@example.com for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in Baku. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of Baku and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage
Entry exit Requirementsh
You need a passport and a visa to enter Azerbaijan. Acquire a visa that covers the dates of your trip before you go. Visit the Embassy of Azerbaijan?s website for the most current visa information.
- Electronic visas (E-Visas) are available through the ?ASAN Visa? system. This system can be accessed online at https://evisa.gov.az/en/
- An E-Visa is typically issued within 3 (three) working days of the online application, and is valid for 30 days. The E-Visa fee is $20 USD paid electronically via the system. Once approved, the E-Visa is sent to the applicant via email. Travelers must print this information and present it to border security officials on arrival in Azerbaijan.
- You must register with the State Migration Service (SMS) within 15 calendar days of arrival if your intended period of stay is more than 15 days. Visit the State Migration Service website for the most current registration information.
- Residency applications by people with health issues, including HIV/AIDS, are reviewed by the State Migration Service and approved on a case-by-case basis. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Azerbaijan before you travel.
- Law enforcement officials have at times detained individuals from Armenia or with Armenian surnames for questioning or denied them entry into the country.
- Please be aware that traveling to the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding territories via Armenia could make you ineligible to travel to Azerbaijan in the future.
Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to, and foreign residents of, Azerbaijan. Medical tests are required for those applying for temporary or permanent residence permits and must be performed at designated clinics in Azerbaijan.
For immunization information, please visit the Traveler?s Health page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
See the Department of State?s Fact Sheet on Azerbaijan for information on U.S.?Azerbaijan relations.