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Can you visit Azerbaijan after Armenia and vice versa? (2024)

Due to the complicated geopolitical situation in the Caucasus, travelers often have a common question: can you visit both Armenia and Azerbaijan on the same trip?

I wondered the same when I was in the region, did a little research, and eventually visited Azerbaijan after Armenia. Here are the answers you seek.

You can visit both Azerbaijan and Armenia on the same trip with a few caveats. First, between the two states there are no open border crossings, so you must go through Georgia or Iran. Second, you must not have visited Nagorno-Karabakh while in Armenia.

The third caveat is implied – you will be asked questions at the border and you must be prepared to answer them truthfully and confidently.

The Complicated Geopolitical Situation

Armenia and Azerbaijan are the worst neighbors. They’ve had two full-scale wars and a dozen skirmishes over the past three decades. But peace is in sight now that the conflict was finally resolved in late 2023 – although not for both sides’ satisfaction.

The main point of contention was the region of Nagorno-Karabakh (as known in Azerbaijan and internationally) or Artsakh (as known in Armenia), which was de jure part of Azerbaijan, but de facto controlled and governed by the Republic of Artsakh, a satellite state of Armenia.

The Republic of Artsakh formally dissolved on January 1st, 2024, thus ending the conflict. The animosity between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains. Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians from Artsakh became refugees.

Little in this guide has changed. You will likely still have to answer questions if you visit one of them after the other. But now for the first time in decades, perhaps you will be able to visit Nagorno Karabakh on the Azeri side (though this is a subject for another guide).

Visiting Azerbaijan after Armenia

That’s what I did in the Fall of 2022. This was BEFORE the official annexation of Nagorno Karabakh.

I was in Armenia in early October. I then entered Georgia through the Bagratashen – Sadakhlo border crossing and stayed in Georgia until late October when I flew to Baku.

Upon landing at Heydar Aliyev International Airport and giving my passport to the immigration officer, she quickly discovered the Armenian stamp from a week ago. The following conversation happened:

– You’ve been to Armenia?
– Yes
– Where did you go?
Yerevan, Dilijan, Vanadzor and Gyumri.
*Hands passport to superior. He takes a picture of the stamp* (not the data page, the stamp!)
– Have you been to Nagorno-Karabakh?
– No
*Stamps passport*
– Welcome to Azerbaijan!

Yes, it was that easy!

It’s important to note that you’ll likely have the least trouble at Baku Airport as compared to any other land border.

Baku Airport was where I entered Azerbaijan after Armenia
Baku has a slick airport

Most other travelers share experiences from crossing the land borders between Georgia and Azerbaijan and always being asked about their stay in Armenia.

The border guards are reputedly not always nice and polite about it. Some have even been asked to produce their hotel receipts to prove they haven’t been to Nagorno-Karabakh!

However, if you visited Nagorno-Karabakh during your stay in Armenia (before it got annexed obviously) and then tried to enter Azerbaijan it would be incredibly dangerous!

As time passes by, this will become less of a problem as Nagorno Karabakh is today fully within the borders and administered by Azerbaijan.

Read this forum thread from Caravanistan – the Bible on all things Silk Road for stories from people who visited Artsakh before the changes and then still managed to enter Azerbaijan.

Visiting Armenia after Azerbaijan

According to various travelers on online forums, Armenia is just as strict about people who’ve visited Azerbaijan as the other way around. With one exception: they don’t didn’t care about Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), as they consider considered it Armenian territory anyway.

How this will change in light of Azerbaijan’s annexation of the territory remains to be seen.

You should have no problems flying into Yerevan. A few questions are to be expected, but nothing extraordinary – why, where, when, the usual stuff.

Crossing the land borders from Georgia should also be pretty straightforward, but prepare to answer questions about your stay in Azerbaijan.

I traveled by train from Tbilisi to Yerevan and a fellow backpacker in the coupe had visited Azerbaijan prior. The immigration officer who came on board only asked him why he’d been to Azerbaijan and promptly stamped him in.

Nothing to be afraid of, just have your story straight and be cool.

The international train from Tbilisi to Yerevan. I visited Armenia before Azerbaijan.
The train from Tbilisi to Yerevan

Border crossings between Armenia and Azerbaijan

There are no open border crossings between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

If you want to visit both countries on the same trip, your best bet is to go back to Georgia and then enter Azerbaijan.

Iran is another option. However, that will probably require you to pre-obtain an Iranian visa. Iran offers visas on arrival for certain nationalities ONLY if they enter via air.

Final Thoughts

There’s nothing to worry about on your trip to the Caucasus. While the borders and the entry requirements can be confusing, frustrating, and daunting at times, they are a necessary evil of traveling around the world.

If you decide to visit Azerbaijan after Armenia, be ready to answer a few questions about your stay and have no evidence of any travel to Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh before it was formally annexed.

If you are going to Armenia after Azerbaijan, just have your story straight about where you were and why.

You’ll be fine.

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