In Soviet times, Azerbaijan, located on the western coast of the Caspian lake, met tourists mostly from the USSR. For summer rest and vacations people chose the warm climate and the opportunity to sunbathe there. The main stream of tourists was concentrated in Baku (the capital) and its surroundings and Naftalan - SPA resort.
Today the country of Azerbaijan meets guests from all continents. The oldest heritage of this land has made it the museum itself. Each stone in old Baku keeps the old story and can share it with a visitor who come to this sunny land. Azerbaijan is an ancient country, so everywhere you will meet fortresses, palaces and mosques. The most famous of them are the Palace of Shirvanshahs, Maiden Tower, the Icheri Sheher castle. These unique counstructions are located in Baku, but there are monuments in Lenkoran, Gabala, Sheki, and other ancient cities which are not less interesting for all guests of the country than the listed above ones.
The swimming season on the Caspian beaches usually opens in late May and closes at the end of September.Beach lovers choose Baku, but it is better to live in the city of Sumgait, 30 km from the capital. The beaches are closer there.Nabran and Lankaran are also nice places to rest on the beach, but in Lankaran beaches are separated due to the Islamic laws. Those who want to relax and be treated, can choose Naftalan SPAs (50 km from Ganja), Istisu (Lenkoran), and salt caves of Nakhichevan.
Shopping is a very important attribute of tourism. Baku has many shopping centers. The main shopping street is Nizami, where mainly branded stores are located. During discount periods the prices in the stores are very cheap. To pick up the best souvenirs visit Sharg Bazary (Oriental Market) in Baku. There you can buy legendary carpets, ceramics and silk.
Travelling around this country try national food. Azerbaijani cuisine is old and diverse. Dairy, meat, products are combined with flour and vegetable. Spices are always used in eacg dish. Oriental sweets and dry fruit are very popular. They are served with hot tea. All food of this country is healthy. Azerbaijani national dishes are cooked in copper pots. Azerbaijan dishes cooked on copper pans are more delicious.
Azerbaijan is a country where most of people are muslims, however this is a tolerant country which respects a person first. Thus people of all beliefs feel they are welcomed in this land.