11 Reasons Why You'll Fall in Love With Azerbaijan's People

Local men in one of the villages in Azerbaijan
Local men in one of the villages in Azerbaijan | © Adam Jones/Flickr
Sam Bedford

Few outside of the Caucasus know anything about Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijan people. Visiting tourists tend to be overwhelmed with the excellent hospitality, deep-rooted cultural traditions and the friendliness of the locals. Check out our 11 reasons why you’ll love the people of Azerbaijan.

Friendliness and welcoming nature

Locals tend to be warm and helpful towards tourists. Ask someone for help, and they’re likely to be approachable and happy to give you advice. Nothing is ever too much for the typical Azeri, especially with the younger generations.

Take the chance to get to know some of the friendly locals

A secular Islamic nation

The world’s best hospitality

Hospitality in the Caucasus is second to none. Hosts welcome guests into their homes and offer endless cups of Azerbaijani tea while serving jam and other condiments. The roots of the hospitality date back centuries. Former rulers were renowned for providing the very best for visiting dignitaries. Nothing sums up Azerbaijani generosity more than the ancient saying which translates to something like this: ‘Let the houses which do not welcome guests collapse’.

Guests are often served with endless tea with sweets

A traditional yet modern society

Despite the modern appearance of Baku, the locals remain deeply attached to their traditions. Throughout the centuries different groups and cultures influenced Azerbaijan. Some remain deeply engrained today. Various folk beliefs, Azeri hospitality and national festivals still play an essential role in society. Families tend to be close and the younger generations take care of the elderly.

The cultured Azeri

The Azerbaijan people have always been cultured. Endless medieval poets and writers including the great Nizami Ganjavi hail from Azerbaijan. Head to Baku’s Nizami Museum and see six life-size statues of historical, literary geniuses proudly standing outside. The Russian Empire and the Soviet Union placed a lot of emphasis on high culture too.

Statues of famous poets line the exteriors of Literature Museum in Baku

The way they respect women

In 1918, Azerbaijan became the first Islamic country to give women the vote. In perspective, the United States granted suffrage in 1920 and the United Kingdom in 1928. Today, women hold high positions in government and while they do follow traditional gender roles they have a high level of respect. Men often hold doors open, give up their seats and insist on paying. Women dress in fashionable clothes and few wear a traditional headscarf.

The music

Fans of the Eurovision might be aware of Azerbaijan’s music scene. The catchy numbers often rate high in the competition and make the charts around Europe. The music styles combine elements of folk and modern pop with the traditional. Meykhana, a type of folk-rap, and Mugham, a form with Persian roots, are genres to check out. Rather than blasting contemporary music, many Azerbaijanis prefer to listen to traditional music.

Sociable locals

In local traditions, it’s more important to enjoy time with friends than to meet deadlines. If someone has a meeting at noon but finds themselves still chatting and sipping coffee, they arrive 30 minutes late. The Azerbaijan people are close to each other and making friends is easy. Sit in a restaurant and see groups laughing and talking for hours. Head along Baku Boulevard or Nizami Street when the sun goes down and see families walking and enjoying time together.

Families love to stroll along Baku Boulevard

Azerbaijan feels safe

Walk around the streets of Azerbaijan at any time of the day or night, and it feels safe. Crime rates and the perceived level of crime are much lower than in the West. While pickpockets and scammers do exist, locals and tourists feel safe throughout the country. Families with young children play along Baku Boulevard until late at night, and vendors in the markets typically won’t try to scam tourists. Visitors feel both welcome and safe at all times of the day and night.

During the summer, locals fill the promenade until the late hours

An Azeri is always polite

Expect long and warm greetings, good manners and endless pleasantries. When an Azeri asks how you and your family are, they often genuinely want to know. Visit someone’s home and have tea and food offered immediately. Despite the apparent public aloofness, the Azerbaijan people are polite.

The special blend of cultures and traditions

Historically and culturally, Azerbaijan has strong influences from Persia and Russia. Secularism means all religions from Shia Islamic to Orthodox Christianity and Judaism are welcome. Different regions boast different traditions and micro-cultures. And modern-day Azerbaijanis look towards to the West. The ancient and traditional juxtapose with the contemporary. Persian, Russian and European influences combine.

Novrus is a traditional celebration of dance and music cultures in Azerbaijan

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article