Top things to do

Top Choice Palace in Şəki

Xan Sarayı

This ornate 1762 palace building features vivid murals and dazzling coloured light streaming through şəbəkə (stained-glass) windows making it Şəki’s foremost ‘sight’ and one of the South Caucasus’ most iconic buildi…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Şəki

Fazıl Labarynth

Over a dozen close-packed grave sites from the 2nd to 7th centuries BC have been excavated but left exactly as they were found with pots, talismen and the bones of sacrificed animals in situ. One can almost 'feel' t…
Archaeological Site in Qәbәlә

Old Gabala Site

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…
Church in Kiş

Kiş Albanian Church

The brilliantly renovated round-towered Albanian church in pretty Kiş village has been lovingly converted into a very well-presented trilingual museum. It’s the best place anywhere to learn about mysterious Caucasia…
Fortress in Zaqatala

Fortress

Built between 1830 and 1860, Zaqatala’s Russian fortress is a sprawling affair with sturdy grey stone walls. It originally guarded against attacks from the Dagestan-based guerrilla army of Shamil and later imprisone…
Azerbaijani in Şəki

Çələbi Xan Restoran

The restaurant’s striking exterior combines classic şəbəkə with modern smoked glass while the pine interior is as eccentric as a cuckoo clock. There’s lots of tree-shaded outdoor seating and for just AZN2 you could …
Palace in Şəki

Winter Palace

Be among the first foreigners to discover the Şəki Khans' recently restored yet little publicised 'other' palace. Like a slightly smaller Xan Sarayı, it has its own rose garden and while five of the six rooms are es…
Azerbaijani in Lahıc

Mikail Humbatov’s Restaurant

Unsigned and invisible behind an unfinished five-storey hotel building this inviting restaurant has tree-shaded garden seating with mountain views high across the river, while the main dining hall is festooned with …
Workshop in Şəki

Şəbəkə Workshop

The şəbəkə stained-glass windows featured at Xan Sarayı are laboriously made by slotting together hundreds of hand-carved wooden pieces to create intricate wooden frames without metal fastenings. You can see them be…
Azerbaijani in Şəki

Xan Bağı

This cafe has outside dining booths draped in living ivy and the menu includes AZN3 pots of mini vine-leaf dolma, tasty piti (AZN3) and good chicken soup (AZN1.40) but before ordering double-check prices with the En…