Backpacking in Sheki, Azerbaijan: Top 5 Things to See and Do

sheki azerbaijan top 5

My top 5 things to see and do when backpacking in Sheki, Azerbaijan.

You’ll pinch yourself when you get to a place like Sheki (Seki/Shaki), just to check it’s really happening. You’re in a city you’ve never heard of. No backpackers anywhere and you have a completely cool city all to yourself!! Sheki does a good job to promote Azerbaijan to the world. While backpacking in Sheki ‘s charming streets, you might want to check out my top 5 things to see and do…

sheki azerbaijan

Great views of Sheki in Azerbaijan.

1. The New Town

It’s nice to understand modern Sheki and compare and contrast it to the old quarter. Plush banks, a pretty square, state of the art buildings and even posh hotels all crop up here now in a city which is still not even touristy, in any way. Wander around the New Town and stop off for a cup of tea in the square.

seki azerbaijan new town

Azerbaijan Flags in Sheki’s New Town.

2. The Old Town

Now you get to see the mix that Sheki offers. Ancient walls, poky streets and a lack of commercial brand names allow you to see a glimpse of what this place might have been like. Or what for many locals is still the normal life. So many local people still say hello to every tourist that walks by!

backpacking in azerbaijan seki old town

Backpacking in Sheki Old Town – really NOT many travellers about!!

3. Karavansaray Courtyard Hotel

You should try and stay the night in the Karavansaray Courtyard Hotel, which costs 30 Manat for a double room. They have intermittent Wi-Fi but no breakfast. But the biggest delight is the building itself. Like an enclosed medieval courtyard with pretty symmetric walls. We spent two nights here and loved it.

karavansaray hotel seki azerbaijan

The excellent interior and design, not to mention views from the Karavansaray Courtyard Hotel

4. Haci Celebi Nukha Fortress

The Haci Celebi Nukha Fortress offers its own 5 things to see and do within its walls (and I’ll talk more about that on a future post but you should definitely head up to check it out). Inside is a Stain Glass Window making workshop, a Church, walls, 2 museums and a palace. Don’t miss it.

church in fortress azerbaijan seki

A church within the fortress walls in Sheki, Azerbaijan.

The views down towards the city and the surrounding mountains are also amazing.

sheki azerbaijan backpacking

Loving the main Xan Sarayi Palace in Sheki, Azerbaijan.

5. Cume Mosque

It wouldn’t be Azerbaijan if you didn’t see a major Mosque in the town and the Cume Moasque is the most noticeable from a tourist’s perspective. Sitting on a prominent corner where the Old Town and New Town meet, this Mosque is worth a peek. At dawn and dusk you can hear the Muslim call to prayer.

seki cume mosque azerbaijan

Backpacking in Sheki – the Cume Mosque.

Bonus Point – View form the football Stadium

To get a good free view of Seki (and also see a football stadium) head to the football stadium and enjoy the views of the low lying skyline.

sheki views football stadium

Standing on the football pitch in Sheki, which also offers good views of the city.

We spent two nights in Sheki and used it as a stop off town on route to Lagodekhi in Georgia. Sheki is a place you can relax in. While in Azerbaijan I also visited Xinaliq, Baku, Quba, Lake Masazir Gol, James Bond Oil Fields, Mud Volcanoes and Qobustan.

Here are some of my videos from Sheki:

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