Yes, Azerbaijan is as safe as many countries in the EU.
I notice many times on Quora.com that people ask this question. Considering the geolocation of the country, and relatively little information written, it is understandable. Let’s look at a few facts about why Azerbaijan is a safe country to visit:
There is no ongoing war in Azerbaijan.
The last major war ended in 1994 between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Since the war there have not been any major events in Azerbaijan, especially places far from the border between two countries. Occasionally, there is gunfire between these two countries in a specific occupied territory that tourists would never stumble on, which do not last more than a few hours. As long as you do not go to the border with Armenia, especially the southwest region, then you are totally safe. (If you are traveling to both countries as part of your trip, trains between the countries always go through Tblisi, Georgia) Other borders with neighbor countries- Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Iran- are absolutely safe.
Around 3 million tourists visited in 2018
You are not alone. According to the official report, in 2018 3 million people traveled Azerbaijan. This number is increasing each year since the government is rapidly investing in tourism and easing travel from approved countries. Now eVisas can be obtained for the majority of countries and are received within 3 hours to 3 days online from applying. Read how to apply for an e-visa article for more information. There are many hotels, increasing number of hostels, and so on.
According to the USA Travel Board, it is as safe as Germany, Italy
If you visit U.S. Passports & International Travel and check the safety and security map, Azerbaijan is categorized as the same level as most other European countries such as Germany, Italy, France, and Spain. On top of that, you will notice bars filling in the color- this indicates that the areas of any concern for conflict is in a very specific part of the country. This is referring to the land conflict with Armenia, where again you will not accidentally find yourself!
Any extremism is taken seriously by the government
The Azerbaijani government is very serious about religious or any kinds of extremism. It closely monitors any indications for it and freely acts upon preventing it. The country is very open to the peaceful practice of any kind of religion. Therefore, you can see not only mosques but also churches, synagogues across the country.
A secular country
Azerbaijan is considered to be the most secular country in the Muslim world. Women have the same rights as men- people are free to wear whatever they want and alcoholic drinks are part of traditional ceremonies and daily life. There is at times some subtle conservatism relating to gender roles, but these are more slowly revealed for someone living here and it doesn’t affect experiences for tourists. As Azerbaijan was part of USSR for a long time, practicing religion was limited due to oppression. Eventually, people became less religious. Most people in Azerbaijan are culturally-religious.
Azerbaijan, especially Baku, is safe to walk around the city most times of the day. In the summer months, you will actually find that nighttime is the most busiest time of day with families out and about because of the cooler weather. If you a female- generally is it very safe to walk around, though in smaller non-busy streets it isn’t as common for women to be walking alone which might bring some attention. To feel comfortable, we recommend staying at a hotel or hostel directly on the main square where there are almost always many people around. Crime levels in Azerbaijan towards foreigners are very low- though the occasional mugging could occur late around Western bars for example. Just keep general precaution as you would anywhere. Remember, do not do drugs, it is illegal and it can get you into serious problems.
Most importantly, have FUN and take lots of pictures!
Thanks for reading,
—Go Travel Azerbaijan Team