Sumqayit (otherwise spelt Sumgait) is the third biggest city in Azerbaijan and is uniquely very ‘new’. Contrary to Baku’s history dating to ancient times, the city of Sumqayit as we know today didn’t actually exist until the 1950’s.
It was more or less a small town until the USSR decided to transform it into an industry hub, founding it in 1949. They built factories and many apartment buildings for the workers of those factories. Workers from all over the country quickly moved in here to establish secure jobs for supporting their families.
The growth hasn’t stopped- what used to be a humble coastline of sand and a few shops is now a completely bricked pathway lined with ornate lamps and green tree canopies. Currently there’s continuing construction to revamp the coast into a destination beach city that could be easily accessed by train from Baku.
Why you’d visit:
The allure of visiting Sumgayit is definitely 2.5km long (1.5 mile) coastal park, Göyərçin (Juh-yair-sin). Here you’ll find plenty of greenery and pretty paved paths stretching along the Caspian Sea, with a more laid back environment than Baku. There’s many restaurants, tea shops, Turkish ice cream stands, and even a couple different areas with rides for the kids.
For this reason, Sumgayit is definitely a great option for a day trip if you are staying in Baku and wishing to see what another city is like.
How to get there:
If you are staying in Baku, it is very easy to get to Sumgayit via train. In the morning and evening there are trains that run approximately every 20-35 minutes with Sumgayit as its final destination. The ride, about 35 min, costs approximately $1 USD each way and tickets can be swiftly purchased by card at the handful of ticket machines. *Remember to keep your ticket with you, as you will need it to exit the station once you’ve reached your final destination!* This Baku <—> Sumgayit train is a super nice and double-decker train that is very comfortable and clean.
Once you arrive in Sumgayit, you are free to take a bus- though we reccomend taking a taxi since taxis are so affordable here and it will ensure you get to the right place. Expect this to be about 4 manat, so about $2.5USD. Ask to go to Göyərçin (Juh-yair-sin) Park. Göyərçin translates to dove, which is the symbol of Sumgayit. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see a big abstract statue of a peace dove: