Life in Azerbaijan: pros and cons, prices and architecture

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

What is it like to live in Azerbaijan? How much money does it take to live in Baku? Andrey spoke about his life in the capital of Azerbaijan — about the climate, salaries, prices, local residents and the intricacies of life in this country.

About the climate, architecture and unusual features

— My name is Andrey, I am 26 years old. I am a master of sports in powerlifting, sometimes I do coaching. I am interested in the topic of psychology and neuroscience.

I arrived in Azerbaijan in April 2023 and settled in Baku.

I like the warm climate and weather here — snow in Baku is rare, 1-5 days a year. There are also delicious vegetables and products in general in the country, which has a beneficial effect on immunity, of course. For example, I fell in love with ayran in Azerbaijan. It became a discovery for me that shawarma is washed down with it here, and not with soda. And this is a great combination, since ayran, unlike cola, soothes the stomach, and does not irritate.

Baku has great architecture. Especially the city plan (at least for tourists). It’s as if everything is specially arranged so that impressive views are created at every step. For me, Baku looks like Monaco, with the only difference that Monaco has a large concentration of money per square meter (because Monaco is much smaller). But houses and skyscrapers are very similar. In addition, both cities are located on the sea.

I also really like the presence of purple in Azerbaijan — in Baku has more of it than in other cities. People don’t often pay attention to this, but in fact, this color is rarely found in other places; and the fact that the subway is made in purple, as well as the lighting and signage of many companies, is quite cool and unusual.

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура


The disadvantage of life is strong winds.Stronger than in any city I’ve ever been to. Since Baku is a maritime city, the wind usually ranges from 7 to 12 meters per second here; there are days when the wind reaches 15 meters per second with gusts up to 24 (it is extremely difficult to walk along the street in this case). Of course, the winds do not cover the whole city at once. There may be gale force winds in one area, and calm winds a few kilometers away. The reason for the strong winds lies in the location of Baku: globally, the sea is located on three sides of the city, so nothing prevents the sea wind.

And another interesting feature is the Baku, relative to the middle lane, has few trees, and they are not very tall (maximum 12-15 meters). Greenery is also rare, but it is always very well maintained. This is expected and absolutely normal. Baku residents have even succeeded in taking care of greenery in their hot climate. However, it will catch the eye of the residents of the middle lane in any case.

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

About prices and standard of living

— Azerbaijan is a fairly rich country with oil revenues. There are a lot of small businesses and small shops here. 

Prices in Azerbaijan are quite high, but not for everything. For example, the products are not very expensive, except for imported ones (there is a noticeable difference). Here are some examples:

  • Local milk (1 liter) costs about 2.5 manats ($1.47), at a discount you can buy it for 1.7–1.8 manats (~$1). Imported milk will cost about 3.5–4 manats ($2-2.35).
  • Local pasta costs 90 kopecks per 500 grams (~$0.50), and Barilla pasta, for example, costs about 2 manats per 400 grams ($1.20).
  • Chicken (fillet) now costs an average of 7.5–9 manats ($4.40–5.30) per kilogram. Beef costs more — from 15 manats (~$9) per kilogram; if it is a special tenderloin — 19 manats per kg.
  • Eggs cost approximately 2-2.5 manats ($1.20—$1.47) per dozen. 
  • Sugar costs up to 2 manats per kilogram, and imported sugar costs about 6 manats per kilogram. 
  • Local cottage cheese can be bought for 7.5 manats ($4.40) per kilogram, while imported cheese costs about 6 to 8 manats for 300 grams. 
  • Cucumbers cost 4 manats per kilogram out of season, and about 60 kopecks in season (1 manat — 100 kopecks).
  • As for sweets, they are, in general, expensive here: snickers 75 grams costs 2 manats 20 kopecks ($1.30), Alpen Gold chocolate — 2 manats 40 kopecks, and nutella 350 grams costs 8 manats. That is, nutella is cheaper here than snickers. 
  • Berries, cherries and strawberries can be bought in season for 1.5-2.5 manats, and sometimes for 50-60 kopecks per kilogram. 
  • Grenades in the season cost 60 kopecks per kilogram ($ 0.35), and not in the season — up to 3.5 manats.
  • Shawarma (here it is most often called doner) not in the center will cost 2-2.30 manats. Ayran can cost from 50 kopecks to manat. In shopping malls or just in the center, the price can reach up to 4 manats for the same volume.

Transport is also inexpensive, even taking into account the recent rise in price — public transport will cost 0.4 manats.

But the equipment will cost much more. There are also fees for phone registration and the like. If you compare it with Moscow, then iPhones will be about $500 more expensive here than in Gorbushka.

The prices in the establishments are also quite high. For example: prices for shots in bars start from 15 manats* (almost $10).

The average salaries, according to locals, are about 500-700 manats ($300-$400) per month. Of course, salaries are different, as everywhere else: if you get a better job, you can count on 1000-1200 manats ($600-$700), and in the case of employment in large companies in good positions — for amounts up to 5000 manats (~ $ 3000).

It is noteworthy that in Azerbaijan the exchange rate is rigidly linked to the dollar: if in the UAE, for example, it fluctuates at auction, then here, when opening the chart, you immediately see a flat strip. That is, the exchange rate is always the same — it is convenient in terms of exchanging local currency for US dollars. 

* Manat is the national currency of Azerbaijan.

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

There are a lot of seals in Baku, almost like in Istanbul

— The prices for both the purchase of real estate and its rental are pleasantly surprising. Eg,you can rent a decent two-room apartment or a large one-bedroom apartment for about $ 300. But such options fly away very quickly — the ad can hang for literally several hours. So you need to keep your finger on the pulse. If you discard the desire to save a lot, then you can find an apartment quickly and in a good area.

In terms of everyday moments in Azerbaijan, as in any country, there are its own peculiarities: for example, here in houses there is more often a shower than a bathtub; everywhere (from apartments and establishments to street toilets) there is a hygienic shower; everywhere there are small switches unusual to the eye and hands. There is heating, but not everywhere. Since the region is hot, there are air conditioners everywhere.

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

About Azerbaijanis and the attitude of girls towards men

— Throughout Azerbaijan, they speak mainly the Azerbaijani language, and in Baku is in a dialect that is close to Turkish. They also speak Russian, but not everyone knows it. As for English, an even smaller number of people speak it.

Azerbaijan has a fairly traditional society. This is clearly expressed, for example, in the attitude of women towards men: it is noticeable that the male sex is treated more respectfully and even reverently here. There is also such a feature: there are bars that can only be entered by a couple — that is, if you are a man, you must have at least one girl with you. In bars with free entrance, in 90% of cases, you can find an exclusively male contingent.

The Azerbaijanis themselves are responsive, hospitable and open — they will help you in any situation, they constantly strive to treat you with something. But it is not necessary to abuse it.

In short, it is comfortable to live in Azerbaijan, at least based on my experience.

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

For reference — how to visit Azerbaijan and get a temporary registration

Visiting Azerbaijan requires several mandatory documents.

  • Firstly, it is a foreign passport. It must be valid for the entire trip.
  • Secondly, it is recommended to take out medical insurance in order to avoid unforeseen expenses. 
  • Thirdly, upon arrival at Baku needs to register within 14 days. This can be done at one of the ASAN centers, where the process takes about an hour. Among other options, you can apply to the migration service in Baku or one of its regional representative offices; this can also be done through the electronic services section on the migration portal; or send documents by e-mail .

Registration requires filling out an application form in Azerbaijani, copies of passport and visa pages. No fee is charged.

Registration is cancelled upon departure, so you will need to go through the procedure again upon return.

There are no restrictions on the number of entries into the country, you can return every 90 days.

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

The most frequently asked questions about life in Azerbaijan

Temporary registration in Azerbaijan is often made through the owner of the apartment you rent. He does it online for free. Also, citizens of most countries can apply to ASAN centers for this purpose — this service will cost about 6 manats. Registration is carried out within 14 days from the date of entry and requires filling out an application form, providing copies of your passport and visa.

No, Russian citizens can enter Azerbaijan without a visa. It is enough to have a passport valid for the entire trip.

Yes, having health insurance is recommended to avoid unplanned medical expenses. Insurance will cover possible treatment in case of illness or injury.

Baku has a moderately warm climate. It is hot in summer, and in winter the temperature does not drop below zero degrees. Strong winds often blow at a speed of 9-15 m/s.

The average salary in Azerbaijan, according to local residents, is 500-600 manats ($300-350). Food prices are quite low, but equipment and services are more expensive. Renting a home costs about $300 for a large one-room or standard two-room apartment.

To obtain permanent residence in Azerbaijan, it is necessary to continuously reside in the country for the last 2 years on the basis of a residence permit. You can get the latter on one of the following grounds: close kinship with an Azerbaijani citizen, investments in the economy from 500,000 manats, real estate in the amount of 100,000 manats, a bank deposit in the amount of 100,000 manats, high qualifications in certain fields, etc. The application for permanent residence is submitted in The State Migration Service 3 months before the expiration of the residence permit.

Permanent residence in Azerbaijan gives the right to permanently reside in the country, enter and leave without obtaining a visa during the validity period of permanent residence, as well as certifies identity and registration at the place of residence. Permanent residence is issued for 5 years and can be extended an unlimited number of times.


Жизнь в Азербайджане: плюсы и минусы, цены и архитектура

Yuliya Yanukovich Editor-in-Chief

I am responsible for the work of the editorial office. I write expert interviews and guides.


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