Today's Qəbələ was renamed for an ancient city mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History (AD 77), and forgotten after it was destroyed by the 18th-century invader Nader Shah. Rediscovered in 1959, Old Gabala is now a serene rural archaeological site 20km west of town. What you see is mainly a large grassy field, containing a couple of interesting excavations plus the stumpy remains of two massive 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 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.