Nakhchivan is separated from the rest of Azerbaijan by Armenia, with which Azerbaijan is still at war. The region is not a major tourist destination.
The best way to get to Nakhchivan is to fly from Baku to Jevlach airport, just outside the exclave's capital (airport code: EVL), Azal operates a shuttle service, heavily subsidized by the Azeri government. From Jevlach you can also fly to Moscow with Samara airlines. If you are arriving from Baku there is a passport check for foreigners. If you are foreign you will be asked of the purpose of your visit. Keep in mind that this is a very controlled state, journalists and those representing NGOs are not welcome with open arms.
Airfare prices are different for foreigners than those for Azeris. Flights can't be purchased on Azerbaijan Airlines' site. They are purchased at travel agents only.
- Nakchivan/Baku = 70 AZN (03/2011)
- Nakchivan/Ganja = 39 AZN (03/2011)
There are buses and taxis to the city, which is only 3km away.
The nearest airport with connections to Ankara is at Erzurum (ERZ), 250 kilometres west of Nakhchivan.
If you are travelling by land, you can also cross to and from Iran at the Julfa border point, the city on the other side is Jolfa (The other Azeri-Iranian border crossing is between Astara and .... Astara!). There are trains to Tabriz.
Local cabs can be hired on arrival but will likely inflate prices. If you are headed to Nakchivan, having a local receive you will smooth over any unplanned border hassles. Taxi rates are linked to fuel costs. In Nakchivan it's about .75 USD/liter.
- Nakchivan Taxi email can be contacted to arrange for a local taxi to pick you up at a border crossing or airport. Day trips can also be arranged. English is spoken.
The exclave has a short border with Turkey in Sədərək which allows an easy link to the city of Iğdır. There are several busses per day starting from or passing through Iğdır bus station (150 min pure driving time). Have in mind that the border is open only 10 hours a day and that border guards are very corrupt – and even corruption aside, the extensive security, customs and immigration checks on both sides are likely to last two hours or more.
The best way to get around is by cab. There is a fixed price system when you travel within the city. It costs 1-2 USD to travel between any two points within the city. If you want to travel outside of the city, you have to bargain with the cab drivers. The highest price you will be charged (traveling from Sederek to Ordubad) is no more than $50.
Momune khatun (in the city), Qizlar Bulagi (near momune khatun), Asebi keif (sacrificial grounds, believed to be holy by locals),
Qutab, dolma (naxcivanski dolma), bozartma, xash and many more.
Vine growing in Nakhchivan is an ancient tradition, in the Araz valley and foothills. Very hot summers and long warm autumn make it possible to grow such highly saccharine grapes as bayan-shiraz, tebrizi, shirazi. Wines such as "Nakhchivan" "Shahbuz", "Abrakunis", "Aznaburk" are of reasonable quality and very popular.
- Hotel Sahin (Nizami street, Nakhchivan City, 373630 )
- Hotel Tabriz (Azadliq avenue (near the old baths), Nakhchivan City, 373630) tel:255-56760 fax:255-56760.
- Hotel Tehran (Nakhchivan City, 373630)
- Hotel Togrud (4km South-East of the centre, Nakhchivan City, 373630)
- Hotel Ukraina (2 km South-East of the centre, Nakhchivan City, 373630), ☎ +994 36 545 53 83, fax: 255-55383.
Being an important trade center, with manifold connections to Iran and Turkey, Nakhichevan city is after Baku the most cosmopolitan city in Azerbaijan, and this is reflected also in the availability of accommodation.
Beware of officials when taking photographs. Rumor has it, even taking pictures in the direction of the Armenian border could get your camera confiscated.