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Fountain Square in Baku, Azerbaijan

Baku, Azerbaijan

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on May 14, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Baku, Azerbaijan: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What do I need to know before moving to Baku?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Baku, they said:

"Check out traffic patterns before you lease during rush hour -- it can take 2 hours to drive 5 kilometers at rush hour on a Friday evening when the wedding palaces are having their parties -- it isn't even possible to park and walk home because the traffic is so dysfunctional," explained one expat living in Baku, Azerbaijan.

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What should I bring when moving to Baku?

People living in Baku were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"Leave bicycles at home. Bring patio furniture, more clothing and shoes, dog food, cat food, and cat litter," commented one expat who made the move to Baku.

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What do expats in Baku appreciate most about the local culture?

If you live in Baku, newcomers to Baku would love to hear your answer to this question.


"The people are friendly and really excited when you try to learn their language. The food is delicious and if you eat like a local, it's crazy cheap to live here. There is a lot to see if you leave Baku and go to the regions, but you have to be adventurous," added another expat who made the move to Baku.

"Not much really. Baku has a delightful old city but again in there, you are leered at constantly," explained one expat living in Baku, Azerbaijan.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"The language is difficult and not many people outside of the tourist places on the Bulvar speak much English. Finding American food and specialty items is difficult. They also don't run clothes in large sizes, so I have to shop online," explained one expat living in Baku, Azerbaijan.

"Racism, superiority complex coupled with ignorance, a very disturbed religious zealotry that defies belief, constant yelling and arguments everywhere, corruption, unprofessional work environment. My first landlord broke into our apartment at 11PM because she felt she had the right to walk in whenever she wanted. Our next landlord wanted a full inspection every month. My current landlord calls my being here "letting me live at his house". There are no binding contracts even through an agent, and no concept of personal space or private property. Other than the main areas of the city which are kept immaculate, the "real" city is the world's largest trash can with no clean-up crew. I have never seen people tear up their own apartment building and neighborhoods like this, not even in the poorest countries of Africa or South America," said another expat in Baku.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Fountain Square in Baku, Azerbaijan

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