Fire and rescue services
Call 112 for the emergency hotline.
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Exercise normal safety precautions in Azerbaijan.
Higher levels apply in some parts of the country.
Exercise normal safety precautions in Azerbaijan overall.
Use common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.
Do not travel to Armenia-Azerbaijan border areas or Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding military-occupied areas.
Do not travel to:
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent. Police sometimes use force to break up demonstrations.
To stay safe during periods of unrest:
Regular armed clashes occur:
We can only give limited consular help to Australians in these areas.
Conflicts have caused several deaths and injuries in both conflict zones. Unmarked landmines are also present.
Rebel forces occupy part of Azerbaijan territory in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.
A ceasefire has been in place since 1994 but violent clashes still occur. In April 2016, 100s died in an outbreak of violence.
It's illegal to enter Nagorno-Karabakh without a permit from local authorities.
Violent crime is rare in Azerbaijan.
Be careful walking after dark, including near hotels and in residential areas.
Watch out for drink and food spiking. This can occur in bars and nightclubs in Baku. You're at higher risk of theft if you get drugged.
Never accept food or drinks from strangers or new acquaintances. Never leave food or drinks unattended.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, can happen. Take care at outdoor markets and on public transport, including the Baku Metro.
Travellers and expats have reported thieves posing as police officers who demand money. Ask to follow the police officer to the nearest station to pay the fine.
Avoid using unofficial taxis. Ask your hotel to arrange one, or go to an official taxi rank.
Use ATMs in controlled areas, such as banks, shops and shopping centres. Avoid ATMs that open onto the street, especially at night.
While there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Azerbaijan, they can still happen.
To stay safe:
be aware in places know to be possible targets
report suspicious activities or items to police
check the media for new threats
take official warnings seriously
follow the instructions of local authorities
If there is an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe to do so.
Earthquakes can happen in Azerbaijan.
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Azerbaijan. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a letter from your doctor stating:
Malaria is a risk in the southern lowland areas of Azerbaijan. The risk is higher in summer from June to August.
To protect yourself from disease:
Azerbaijan is currently experiencing an outbreak of measles. Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date before you travel.
HIV/AIDS is common. Take precautions if you engage in activities that may expose you to the virus.
Foodborne, waterborne and other infectious diseases are common. These include:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Private hospitals in Baku are similar to those in Australia.
Services in government hospitals and in other areas of the country are often limited. Shortages of basic medical supplies are common.
Doctors and hospitals will usually need up-front payment before treatment.
If you become ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe. They can include long prison sentences and heavy fines.
Always carry a copy of your passport and visa. Routine police checks in public and tourist spots are common.
If you don't show a valid travel document when asked, you could be fined or jailed.
In Azerbaijan, it's illegal to:
Export rules apply to religious objects, carpets, artworks and caviar. Check with local authorities before you export any items.
If you're suspected of a crime, you may have to stay in Azerbaijan while your case is investigated.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Azerbaijan doesn't recognise dual nationality.
If you're a dual citizen, this limits the consular services we can give if you're arrested or detained.
Always travel on your Australian passport.
Azerbaijan citizens may need to do military service. If you're an Australian-Azerbaijani dual national, get advice on your service obligations from the embassy or consulate of Azerbaijan. Do this well before you travel.
The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan will be from late April to late May in 2020. Many people in Azerbaijan will observe this. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.
Avoid eating, drinking and smoking in front of people who are fasting.
Dress standards can be conservative outside of Baku. Public displays of affection may not be welcome. Dress conservatively. Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Same-sex relationships are legal, but not widely accepted.
Intolerance, discrimination and violence towards LGBTI people happens in Azerbaijan. Avoid public displays of affection.
You need a visa to visit Azerbaijan.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Azerbaijan for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
You can apply for an electronic visa (e-visa) for single entry, 30-day stays. Do this online through Azerbaijan's State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations. Allow at least 3 business days for processing.
Make sure your passport is valid for at least 3 months from the expiry date of the e-visa.
You can apply to extend or renew your visa through Azerbaijan's State Migration Service. Keep a copy of your passport and existing visa while your application is processed. The Ministry of Interior Police may ask to see your documents at any time. See Local laws
If you plan to stay in Azerbaijan for over 15 days, you must register with local police. Do this within 15 days of arrival. If you don't, you'll be fined.
You may not be able to leave Azerbaijan until you pay the fine and get an exit permit from the State Migration Service.
If your passport has visas or stamps from Nagorno-Karabakh, you could be refused entry into Azerbaijan.
Travel restrictions may apply to Australians planning to travel overland from Azerbaijan to neighbouring countries.
Check the nearest embassy or consulate of Azerbaijan for any travel restrictions. You'll also need to check the rules of neighbouring countries.
Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you’re just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport’s expiry date before you travel. If you’re not sure it’ll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Azerbaijan's currency is the Azerbaijani Manat (AZN).
Declare any amount of foreign currency on arrival. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
You can export up to $US10,000 without documentation. Contact the embassy or consulate of Azerbaijan for details.
Azerbaijan is a cash-based economy. You'll need to pay in local currency for most goods and services.
US dollars and euros are common. You can change notes in good condition for local currency.
Credit cards are becoming more common in major cities. They may not be accepted in smaller restaurants and stores.
Traveller's cheques aren't often accepted, except in major hotels, some restaurants and banks.
ATMs are available in major cities.
You can drive in Azerbaijan with a current Australian driver's licence.
You may also need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for your travel and car insurance. Check with your insurer and car provider before you drive.
Driving in Azerbaijan can be dangerous. Common dangers include:
Right-hand drive cars are illegal in Azerbaijan.
It's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol reading above 0%.
Before you drive in Azerbaijan:
Look out for pedestrians, livestock and farm equipment when you drive, particularly in rural areas.
Use registered taxis and authorised limousines. It's best to get your hotel to arrange a taxi for you.
Avoid flagging down taxis in the street.
If you need a taxi when away from your hotel, use an official taxi rank.
Sit in the back seat rather than the front.
Public transport can be overcrowded, especially buses. It may not meet Australian safety standards.
Take care of your belongings because petty crime occurs.
The Baku Metro is fairly good, with basic safety equipment and procedures. Metro signs are in Azerbaijani.
To reduce your risks if you travel by overland train:
Before you travel on Azerbaijan's domestic airlines, be aware that:
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Azerbaijan's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 112 for the emergency hotline.
For English-speaking staff, call 590 9966.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your service provider with complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy in Azerbaijan. For consular help, contact the Australian Embassy in Turkey.
MNG Building, 7th Floor
88 Uĝur Mumcu Caddesi
Phone: +90 312 459 9500
Fax: +90 312 446 4827
Facebook: Australia in Turkey
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
Limited consular assistance (not including notarial services or the issue of Australian passports) is available from the British Embassy in Baku.
45 Khagani Street
Phone: (+994 12) 437 7878
Fax: (+994 12) 497 7434
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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