Guide Books for Azerbaijan
Guide Books for Azerbaijan Reviews
Dec 08, 2007
Like most travelers, I usually grabbed a travel guide from some local bookstore before heading out to wherever I am going. The problem when I was planning on moving to Azerbaijan was finding a decent travel book. When I told whatever clerk working at whatever mega-bookstore where I was going, the usual response was "Azer-bai-what?" Needless to say none of the bookstores in Vegas had what I was looking for.
When it comes to a guide to Azerbaijan, you are really looking at two books that are guided towards foreigners. While there are other books available, especially in the local bookstores of Baku, these often just have brief descriptions of the sites and some photos. They do not offer too much "inside" info.
Most travelers often go with something from the Lonely Planet series. While I have used LP books before, their book for Azerbaijan is very lacking. Instead of giving Azerbaijan its own book, the country is grouped along with Armenia and Georgia. If you are planning on visiting all three countries and the space in your bags is an issue, you might want to consider the LP book. On the other hand, having read parts of it, I found each author got caught in discussing politic too much and did not offer enough travel advise. Furthermore, the Azerbaijan section really did not give much detail about areas outside of Baku and their maps were very lacking.
In my humble and honest opinion, the best guide is from the smaller UK publisher, Trailblazer, and written by Mark Elliot. It is obvious after reading the book and having traveled this country that the author has spent plenty of time here. He really gives some great inside information as far as who to talk to see some sites that even some locals do not know about. In addition, which he does discuss the history of the country and politics, it does not fall into the arena of mud-slinging. While my copy is several years old, the maps are still very good for the growing metropolis which is Baku. As far as i am concerned this is THE travel guide for Azerbaijan, everything else will be a waste of your money.
Part of the An American in Azerbaijan travel blog
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