16 Fun Facts About Azerbaijan That’ll Make You Visit

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Not often visited by tourists, Azerbaijan is a great place off the beaten path to explore unique food, natural wonders, and stunning architecture.

In this country situated between the gorgeous Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea, you can find a rich cultural heritage inspired by its location along the Silk Road.

These 16 fun facts are sure to make you want to visit the land of fire!

1. A Country of Eternal Fire

When natural gas constantly seeps up through the earth, it doesn’t take much to start an epic fire. Enter Yanar Dag, the hillside that’s been on fire for over 4,000 years.

This is the reason that Azerbaijan is known as the land of fire. From the Azerbaijan flag to the Temple of Fire, fire is represented everywhere as a source of national pride.

2. Lowest Capital City on Earth

At 28 meters below sea level, Baku is the lowest capital city on earth. Once a major hub along the Silk Road, Baku is now a gorgeous city marrying new technology with old-school charm.

Baku city

While this city is best explored on foot, part of Baku is accessible by Gondola and is reminiscent of Venice with water-filled streets. Locals even refer to it as “Little Venice”.

3. Savory Pancakes are the National Dish

Bring on the pancakes.

Azerbaijan restaurants almost always have their national dish kutabi on the menu. These pillowy pancakes are filled with a mixture of meat, veggies, and herbs and are always delicious.

Don’t forget to order jam-sweetened tea to drink with it! That’s right – jam is the sweetener of choice here rather than sugar.

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4. A City on Stilts

Azerbaijan is home to an abandoned oil rig that has morphed into a city.

One of the most fascinating and unique places to visit, this city built on stilts is genuinely one of a kind. One can almost forget that the architectural bones of this place originally served as the world’s oldest floating oil rig.

Visitors can find a bakery, hostels, and restaurants to explore in Neft Daşları.

5. 400 Mud Volcanoes

There are more mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan than anywhere on the planet. Most are located near Baku which makes it an easy day trip.

A mud volcano in Azerbaijan

The best views are undoubtedly in Gobustan. Most of these mud volcanoes aren’t huge (less than 10 kilometers wide) but the bubbling, erupting mud is a sight to behold!

Don’t worry about getting burned, most of the mud isn’t hot like lava. Your nose may be offended by gaseous emissions though.

6. Azerbaijan First Muslim Country to Allow a Theater

This Muslim country was the first to allow a theater to be built and operas to be performed in 1873.

Performances are still held to this day and National Theater day is officially celebrated on March 10th each year!

7. A Carpet Museum Looks Like A Rolled-Up Carpet

In a land of bizarre and really cool architecture, the Carpet Museum in Azerbaijan is a place worth exploring. The exterior looks like a rolled-up rug and the interior is filled with some of the most colorful and exquisite hand-made carpets.

The carpet museum in Azerbaijan

Occasionally, weavers will hold live demonstrations, and the skill with which they practice their craft is awe-inspiring.

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8. They Have a Miniature Book Museum

I’m a fan of miniature anything – to me, miniaturizing something just ramps up the appeal.

For book lovers, Azerbaijan has a miniature book museum where thousands of diminutive books reside. Classic books have been miniaturized as well as contemporary novels.

The oldest miniature book is the Quran, which dates back to the 17th century.

Don’t forget your magnifying glass!

9. The Headquarters of World Arm Wrestling

Baku is home to the World Arm Wrestling Federation headquarters. Members from over 60 countries gather in Azerbaijan to compete every year.

Ironically, no Azerbaijan has ever won!

10. A Great Place for Birdwatching

Swans, flamingos, and pelicans are just some of the birds commonly seen in Azerbaijan.

Over 365 species have been spotted here, thanks to the variations in climate ranging from subtropical to alpine.

11. Home to Two of the Best Chess Players

Two of the best chess players in the world call Azerbaijan home, Garry Kasparov and Teymur Rajabov.

Garry Kasparov was the number one player in the world from 1985 to 1993.

Teymur Rajabov was the first person to win the World Chess Cup and bring it home to Azerbaijan in October of 2019.

Chess continues to be one of the most important and popular sports in Azerbaijan.

12. Abundance of Mineral Water

The land of fire and home to the burning mountain has an aquatic side!

A spring water stream in the countryside of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is home to Istisu, Sirab, and Badamly, which are natural mineral water sources.

There are reportedly over 1000 untapped mineral and thermal water deposits in the country!

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13. National Animal is the Karabakh Horse

The Karabakh horse is considered rare as it has been used excessively in breeding other horses and populations have dwindled due to political conflict with neighboring nations.

It originated in Azerbaijan and is a mountain steppe horse that has high endurance, incredible intelligence, athleticism, and agility.

14. Home to the Last Soviet Style Kolkhoz

A nod toward the Soviet Union’s occupation, the village of Ivanovka is still functioning as a Russian-inspired socialized agricultural farm. The land is government owned and peasants from many local families belong to the collective and continue to work the land.

Ivanovka is referred to as “Little Russia” and roughly 3100 people still live there. They produce honey, cheese, and other products that are sold to nearby cities.

15. 6,000 Early Rock Engravings

Azerbaijan is home to the Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape.

This area is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to thousands of engravings and rocks that are over 40,000 years old. The site is also home to settlements, burials, and the remains of inhabited caves left over from the end of the last Ice Age.

16. The Largest KFC Restaurant in the World

Baku, Azerbaijan has the largest KFC in the world. It is located inside a former train station and has seating for 300 people.

The world's largest KFC restaurant located in downtown Azerbaijan

For an American restaurant chain that has thousands of franchises worldwide, it’s hard to not be impressed!


Christina loves to travel and recently moved from America to Austria to experience everything Europe has to offer. Her passion for travel is rivaled only by her love of writing. Armed with her English degree, she funds her travels writing for several websites including MyCountryFacts!

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