Safety and security
The political situation in Azerbaijan is reasonably stable but there can be occasional outbreaks of social unrest. Demonstrations occasionally take place, mainly in Baku. Opposition rallies are usually heavily policed and there has been violence on occasions. Keep well away from any large gatherings.
We advise against all travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and the military occupied area surrounding it. This area is the subject of a continuing dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia and although a cease-fire has been in place since 1994 there are regular reports of exchanges of gunfire across the Line of Contact. Some areas may be heavily land mined.
You should not attempt to enter or leave Azerbaijan via the land borders with Russia (i.e. Dagestan) as these are closed to foreign nationals.
Anyone who has visited Nagorno-Karabakh without the permission of the Azerbaijani authorities will be refused entry to Azerbaijan.
Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational.
Although the threat from terrorism in Azerbaijan is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreign nationals such as international hotels, restaurants and pubs. Take sensible precautions and be vigilant.
Crime rates are relatively low in Azerbaijan but occasional muggings do take place, particularly around the western bars and clubs and near dimly lit entrances of private apartments. You should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Azerbaijan, report it to the local police immediately. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Ankara if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Azerbaijan, you should take care, especially if driving at night. Driving conditions are stressful and often confusing and the standard of driving is poor with many traffic accidents. Roads tend to be badly lit and of poor quality and many cars are poorly maintained. If you want to drive, bring your international driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you are allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Be aware, most old taxis do not have seat belts.
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:18:12 BST