Today's Qəbələ was renamed to honour an ancient city of Caucasian Albania mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History (AD 77). Old Gabala was so comprehensively trashed by the 18th-century invader Nader Shah that even its location was entirely forgotten. Rediscovered in 1959, it's now a large, peacefully rural archaeological site 20km west of town. What you see is mainly a grassy field but there are a couple of interesting excavations to peruse plus the brick-and-stone stumps of two massive brick gate-towers.
A brand-new museum shows off numerous finds and adds some context.
The site is 4km off the Qəbələ–Şəki road, turning south at Mirzəbəyli. There’s no public transport. Consider chartering a taxi (around AZN20) between Qəbələ and Oğuz seeing Old Gabala as a side trip and possibly adding a visit to the Albanian church at the ethnically Udi village of Nic.