Located on the banks of the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, Baku is home to over two million people. While relatively safe, there are certain things travelers should keep in mind.
Baku Warnings and Dangers
The capital of Azerbaijan, Baku makes a great gateway to the entire region of Caucus. However, like many other cities in the process of development, Baku also has problems that the traveler may need to confront while staying here.
One of the biggest problems that many travelers may find when in the Baku area is the local way of driving. Many Baku drivers tend to drive very fast, which can make crossing the street as a pedestrian dangerous. While the local culture tends to place a premium on relaxation, the same is not true of drivers who are often in a huge hurry. Be very careful when behind the wheel or on foot here: Strolling the streets puts you close to motorcyclists and speedy vehicles. Only cross where there are traffic signals indicating it is safe to do so. Even then, keep a close eye on the road.
Pay Attention to Local Regulations
If you are planning to stay more than 72 hours you must have an Ovir registration to remain in the country. You will have register within 72 hours of entering the country, and again if you travel around Azerbaijan. Keep your valid visa with you at all times as you may be asked for it by the local police. Hotels may take car of the Ovir registration for you, but if you are staying in a private home you’ll likely have to register yourself. Avoid talking about ongoing local political conflicts, which can make you a target of questioning by the police or government.
Prices in Baku are always open to negotiation. If you think something is too high, haggle. It’s often expected or you may wind up paying far too much for something. You can also negotiate with services like taxis. If possible, stick to taxis that only have blue license plates, especially at night.
Many locals recommend foreigners traveling here also stick to bottled water as the local water can be contaminated. Beggars are common here and may accost you walk or when you are visiting a local attraction. Be aware that if you give one person money, many others may follow also asking for cash as well.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings or dangers in Baku.
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