Ganja (Azeri: Gəncə) is a city in the Ganja Region of northwestern Azerbaijan.
Most proudly the city was home to Azerbaijan’s national bard Nizami Gəncəvi (1141–1209).
phone: +994 22 266 23 84address: Hasan Əliyev küç 31Provides free city maps and travel agency services. The staff speak limited English.
Gəncə Beynəlxalq Hava Limanıaddress: 8 km northwest of the city centreA taxi costs around 7 manat.
|Azerbaijan Airlines||Baku, Nakhchivan, St Petersburg|
phone: +994 50 370 33 79address: Zülfü Hacıyev küçThis station provides national and international rail conections to the city.
Ganja sits on one of the Azerbaijani primary rail lines running east–west through the country. This line now forms part of the Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway, which directly connects Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. This railway connects Ganja with Baku as well as with Tbilisi in Georgia, from where passenger trains may in the future eventually connect to Akhalkalaki, and Kars in Turkey.
Check the complete timetable online:
- Astara – 8 manat.
- Baku – The daytime ‘express’ (6 manat) departs from Ganja at 15:50 on alternate days arriving in Baku around midnight. The overnight train 37 departs daily from Ganja at 02:56 and arrives in Baku at 08:52. The train has 2nd class kupé (KP) 4-berth sleepers (14.81 manat) and 3rd class platskartny (PL) open-plan sleepers (8.12 manat). The overnight train 38 departs daily from Baku at 20:40 and arrives in Ganja at 02:33, before continuing on to Tbilisi. The train has 2nd class kupé (KP) 4-berth sleepers (14.81 manat) and 3rd class platskartny (PL) open-plan sleepers (8.12 manat).
- Tbilisi – Train 37 between Tbilisi and Baku departs from Tbilisi at 20.35 and arrives in Ganja at 02:50. Train 38 between Baku and Tbilisi departs from Ganja at 02:55 and arrives in Tbilisi at 08:55. The trains in both directions have 1st class spalny vagon (SV) 2-bed sleepers (40.67 manat), 2nd class kupé (KP) 4-berth sleepers (23.52 manat) and 3rd class platskartny (PL) open-plan sleepers (16.58 manat).
By bus or marshrutkaThe city has the following bus stations:
Gəncə Beynəlxalq Avtovağzal / Ganja International Bus Stationphone: +994 55 737 1436address: Yevlax Şossesi (R51 highway) 900 m east of the intersection of Nəriman Nərimanov and Kimyacilar.It serves destinations in the eastern part of the country such as Agdas, Baku, Balaken, Gazakh, Goranboy, Nizami, Samadabad, Sheki and Yevlax. International bus services also operated from here to and from Georgia (Tbilisi), Iran, Russia (Moscow), Turkey, and Ukraine. The marshrutkas servicing Sheki generally drop passengers off at the intersection of Nəriman Nərimanov and Kimyacilar.
Yeni Şəmkir Avtovağzaladdress: R50 highway in the north-western corner of the cityThis bus station serves destinations in the western part of the country, such as Daskasan, Gadabay, Qazakh and Şəmkir.
Southern Bus StationMostly for Göygöl.
Specific destinations (Sep 2019):
- Baku – Every 30 min 06:00-19:00. 4½ hr, 9 manat.
- Daşkəsən – 0.40 manat.
- Goranboy – Hourly 08:00-18:00, 0.90 manat.
- Göygöl – Frequently, 25 min.
- Ismailli – 4.70 manat.
- Naftalan – 06:00, 08:00, and 12:00. 1-2 manat.
- Qabala – From Ganja at 08:15, amd 08:30. 5 manat.
- Qazakh – Regular marshrutkas, 2 hr 10 min, 4 manat. The last one departs at 19:30.
- Sheki – From Ganja at 13:30 and 16:30, 3 hr, 4 manat. Though they can leave earlier if they fill up.
Tbilisiphone: +994 517378803, +994 707378803,+995 598378803, +995 595378803This marshrutka leaves from the Ganja bus station at 09:00 and returns from Tbilisi at 07:00. It waits for you at the border, takes about 4 hr, and connects to the Ortachala Central Bus Station in Tbilisi. You (or your accommodation) should call ahead to reserve your seat since places are limited. There are two drivers, Elçin and Rasul, which go back and forth by turns every day. So, one or the other will confirm your ride, and they have each others numbers. Since they go through Ganja center when leaving, you can probably arrange a pickup somewhere in the city along their route.
By taxiA taxi from/to Naftalan can be had for 25 manat.
From/to Sheki is 50 manat or less, depending on your bargaining skills. Or just use a ride sharing app.
By carThe city is served by the M2, R19, R20, R21, R50 and R51 highways.
On footThe Old City is best visited on foot.
By busThere is also public bus service for 0.30 manat available. Routes change pretty often due to ongoing road construction, but #1 and #4 head to the Heydar Aliyev Park, and in the opposite direction #4 and #5 go to the Southern Bus Station (for Göygöl).
By taxiA taxi can be convenient for the Heydar Aliyev Park, bus stations or Göygöl. Expect to pay 3 manat to/from any of the bus stations from/to the centre. Fares are generally ⅓–½ manat/km.
Xatirə parkıIt is claimed to be the world's 5th largest park complex, and the largest in Azerbaijan and the Caucasus. The area spreads across 450 hectares. (Wikipedia lists 144 urban parks that are larger than 450 ha.) The arc de triomphe can be found at the very entrance. The complex contains many attractions for children, recreational and entertainment venues, and a bicycle rental.
World War II memorial and grave of unknown soldier
Old CityThe Old City of Ganja was developed starting in the 16th century. Living quarters (məhəllə) from those times make up vast parts of the city to this day.
City Hall Square with Museum of Heydar AliyevThe side of the square has remained the same as it was since the 16th century. The City Hall was built during the Soviet era. The building is a twin of the Tbilisi Parliament Hall.
Gəncə Filarmoniyasıphone: +994 222 52-06-63address: Z2000, Gəncə, Gəncə, Cavadxan, 47The Philharmony was built in 2016. There with the site of the castle with khan palace and city walls till the Russian siege in the 19th century. During the Soviet era all historical buildings were destroyed and Cinema Baku was built on the site of the castle. After Azerbaijan attained independence, the cinema was torn down to develop the Philharmony.
Aleksandr Nevski Rus Pravoslav Kilsəsiaddress: Veteranlar, 2A Russian Orthodox church built in 1887 on the grounds of an ancient cemetery, dedicated to local Christians and Muslims likewise. In 1916 the church became a cathedral. Its style is Byzantine with bricks of the name "plinfa". Between 1935-38 it served as the museum of local history. Reopened in 1946, many former icons had survived the revolutionary phases, like the ones of St. Alexander Nevsky and Mary Magdalene. They are very strict about dress code, so just forget about heading there if you were shorts or skirts.
Bottle Houseaddress: 20 Hüseyn Cavid (Qember Hüseynli)House of Jafarovs family of Ganja. Created in 1967 by Ibrahim Jafarov in honor of his brother and all World War II soldiers who did not return home or died war fronts. Instead of using bricks and such, he used bottles for many parts of the house, like the walls. In total he used 48,000 bottles. He also used coloured stones from Sochi. He dedicated the house to his brother and the many other soldiers who died in World War II. A supposed picture of the brother is part of the beautiful walls of the house. You can contact his grandson Elshan who still lives in the house to tell their story. This is private house, but Jafarovs do not mind people taking façade pictures of house. Donations are welcome.
Complex of Shah Abbas mosque, with medieval baths and tomb of JavadkhanCentrally located, the mosque was built in 1606 based on the idea of Sheykh Baheddin. The second name stems from the ruler of this time, Shah Abbas Great, who ordered the construction of many mosques during his reign, like this one.
Chokek HamamA medieval 17th-century bath, restored and open to public. The Vego hotel even has an underground tunnel going from the hotel to this bath.
Xan bağıThe central city park is one of the oldest parks in Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, with 7 hectares of local and foreign trees, plants and flowers. Founded in 1700, it was named "Khan Bagi" in 1804 to honour the last ruler of Ganja, Javad Khan. The park was restored in 2010.
Cavadxan küçəsiGood walking street in the heart of Old City of Ganja with fountains and street art monuments. There are many cozy cafes and souvenir stores.
Nizami Gəncəvinin heykəliBy making this monument, the author was granted the Stalin Prize.
Ozan məscidiaddress: Ozan küç
Promenade of Elizavetpol Governorate
Museum and International Literature Center of Meskheti Ganjavi
House of Israfil Mammadov
SlobodaSloboda or commonly Vtoroy Chast ( rus: "Вторая часть"), is the part of the city, which started to delevop during Russian rule (19th-20th centuries).
German Lutheran Churchaddress: Ahmad Jamil StreetBuilt in 1885 by the Germans, who moved to the city then. In 1897, about 100 Germans inhabited the city. The church was active until 1941 and later converted into the "State Puppet Theatre" by the Sovjets.
National Flag Square
Ancient GanjaAncient Ganja is the archeological site of the city. This part was destroyed during Mongol invasion in 13th century. After the war, the city of Ganja remained uninhabited till the 16th century.
Tomb of Nizami GanjaviBuilt in 1947 to honour the 12th-century poet Nizami Ganjavi. It was built on the grounds of a former mausoleum. It obtained its present form in 2013.
Complex Goy Imam
Ancient city site with remains of walls
Rebuilt city gates park
- Go to the "Kolkhoz bazaar" and take to breakfast fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products.
- Perform a hot day in the shade of plane trees in the Khan Garden, and in the evening, get some cup of tea with old-timers in one of the cosy tea houses (Chaykhana).
- Invite yourself to Ganjali wedding.
- Gaming cafés are popular with locals and will only cost 1-2 manat an hour, or you pay for the tea/beer.
phone: +994 55 213 12 21address: M.A.Abbaszadə 54
CinemaPlus "Khamsa Park"4th floor of shopping mall.
phone: +994 22 265 00 25address: Şah İsmayıl Xətai 93Shopping center.
address: N. Nərimanov k., dalan-1Good choice of wines, cheese, high quality food.
Mərkəzi Bazaraddress: Şeyx Bahəddin
- Xan aşı
- Yarpaq dolması
- Göy kətəsi
- Gəncə paxlavası
- Gəncə halvası
phone: +994 22 2521010, +994 70 2002001address: 90 Shah Ismayil Khetayi Ave / Heydər Əliyev prospekti 90Not cheap, but recommended.
phone: +994 55 7750888address: CavadxanHighly recommended and if you want to get into contact with the locals.
phone: +994 552966621address: Cavadxan 47Cozy and relaxed.
Ganja hostelphone: +994 503692233, +994 222578277address: Nəriman NərimanovNot as recommended as Old Ganja Hostel, but an alternative, if the former is full.
Hostel of Ganjaaddress: 77 Nəriman Nərimanov
phone: +994-256-51-06, +994-256-51-18address: Heydar Əliyev prospekti, 155
phone: +994-22-267-00-05address: 519 Nizami Ganjavi ave., AZ2019
- phone: +994-222-66-29-23, +994-222-66-29-24, +994-222-66-29-25address: M. A. Abbaszadə, 8A
- Be familiar with the terms Qeyret, Adat and Namus (code of honour). Unlike Baku, Ganjalis understand causes of globalization and resist it in areas related to family and human behaviour.
- Never joke about the name of the city also being a word for marijuana.
Ganjalis are very hospitable people, and sometimes you may mistakenly think that it's false hospitality. In fact, some people can overdo it in their desire to help you. It is your responsibility to stop them (and do so with plausible arguments), but be careful because even a hint of rejection will hurt them.
- Göygöl – A must visit German town in the suburbs of Ganja, formerly named Khanlar (Xanlar) and Helenendorf, founded by German farmers from Bavarian Swabia.
- Göygöl National Park – About 20 km from Göygöl and near Toğanalı, this hiking and leisure destination can be found. Its lake was formed during a strong earthquake in 1139.
- Xoshbulag – Most Ganjalis spend their vacations and summer weekends in this village.
- Shamkir – Mixed Azeri-German small town. There are cognac and wine plantations.
- Qazakh – Gateway to Georgia with hot pool in a nearby local village.
- Gedabay – Home of Ayrum people, turkified descendants of ancient Roman soldiers.
- Naftalan – A well-known petroleum spa resort, the centre of medical tourism in Azerbaijan.
- Sheki – A bus ride to the north. A beautiful city in the Caucasus mountains with lots to see and do. It has one of the largest densities of cultural resources and monuments that span 2,700 years of Azerbaijani history.
- Tbilisi – Many people continue further into Georgia directly from Ganja.