Just like its unique and unforgettable name, the largest city in Azerbaijan has a lot of things connected to it. Resting 400-450 meters above sea level, Ganja is an out-of-the-box voyage destination. Ruled by Persians, Russians, and Arabs, the city has numerous architectural landmarks and cultural spots that depict their presence.
If you are up for an overseas trip, there are various places to visit in Ganja that will uncover the last 1500 years of rich history. The city houses everything from ancient mosques to lush green parks and lakes for family time and a solo journey.
Though the city is home to marvellous landmarks describing the beauty of the city, some are superior to others. Brace yourself on the list of best places to visit in Ganja!
The Juma Mosque | Behold The Place of God
For a spiritual mind, the Juma Mosque is among the best places to see in Ganja. Being an ancient architectural landmark, the mosque has witnessed numerous changes in its structure. The beautiful landmark, Juma Mosque, was built by Sheykh Baheddin Mohammad Amil in 1606. However, the two minarets on the side were not added until 1776. The present structure of the mosque has been achieved under construction projects from 1910 to 2008.
When you see the mosque from the outside, you will witness the structure built from red bricks with a white dorm on the top. The interior of the mosque is equally stunning. However, to see it, you have to visit during Ramadan.
As the name suggests, Lake Goygol is a calm spot at 1500 metres above sea level. Therefore, if you are tired from your tour and want to sit at a tranquil spot, this is the one. Though it is at a height, kindly don’t expect hiking here as only a small part of the lake is open to visitors.
A dense forest surrounds the beautiful blue mountain lake. You can also tour the mountain besides sitting and gazing at the lake's calm water. However, the tour through the dense forest makes the Lake one of the chief attractions in Ganja.
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Just like Lake Goygol but at the centre of the city, Khan Bagi Park is also a great place to relax. The park was built as a park by Javad Khan during the Ganja Khanate. Though it was destroyed during the Russian Invasion, it was restored after Azerbaijan gained independence.
If you are here, there are many things to do at the park. You can take a stroll through the alley of pine trees while gazing at the mesmerising beauty of lakes and ponds. If you want to relax, sit in the open area while breathing fresh air. Lastly, you can go to the 350-seat open-air theatre built in the park.
Though the city of conquests is filled with numerous spots, Heydar Aliyev Park is unique. Why? The prime element that makes it a perfect Ganja sightseeing point is the Arch of Triumph. The megastructure is the primary gateway to the park, which looks dazzling at night.
Other than this, the park has eight other gates for entry. When inside the park, you will see perfectly maintained lawns and courses of bright, blooming flowers. The park has a congregation area for people to host events and a lake to admire the soft sounds of water. You can rent a bike to ride around the park if you want.
Besides the Heydar Aliyev Park, the Heydar Aliyev square also houses Ganja City Hall. Serving as the masterpiece of Stalinist Empire architecture, the city hall is one of the famous places in Ganja.
If you are in Ganja, divert towards this landmark and witness its beauty in the evening when it is well-lit. The iconic building has a stunning arched facade and a massive doorway. The doorway features detailing on it that has Azerbaijani national symbols. Inside the hall is the Heydar Aliyev museum, which anyone can see. Fun fact, there is a twin of the Ganja city hall that is in Tbilisi.
Resting on Shah Abbas square, this newest tourist spot in Ganja is impossible to miss. The Ganja Philharmonic Hall is the newest addition to the city’s vibrant infrastructure that was inaugurated in 2017. The overall structural facade of the hall has a stunning appeal backed by mind-blowing architectural detailing.
When at the spot, you can witness the aesthetics of green rooftops accompanied by golden decorations. In addition, the third floor of the hall features a gallery that houses resolutions of various Azerbaijani writers. You can see the statues of Fikrat Amirov, Arif Malikov, Uzeyir Hajibeyov, and more. Besides, the hall features an outdoor stage, a perception tower, and a two-story exhibition, making it one of the chief places to visit in Ganja.
The bottle house is a unique spot near Alexander Nevsky church and not far from the old town of Ganja. The double-storey house was built with dedication by Ibrahim Jafarov in 1966 in the loving memory of his brother, Yussif. Yussif was a red army soldier who never returned from World War II.
Do go and see this marvel of love made with the use of 50,000 glass bottles. The exquisite and ingenious design of the building makes it the most clicked spot in Ganja. The spot also has a souvenir shop where you can buy something and contribute to future repairs and maintenance.
Though the city is filled with mausoleums, Nizami’s Mausoleum is the most unique. Why? The number one aspect distinguishing it from other mausoleums is that it is made from Granite. The second thing that makes it unique is that it was rebuilt in 1947 after it collapsed in 1840.
When you are here, you will witness the vertically erected cylindrical structure surrounded by beautiful gardens. Though the building facade is not that distinguishing, the interior would surely wow you. The mausoleum's interior has Azeri stained-glass artwork decorations that are easy to gaze at for hours. On the exterior of the building, in the garden, you can see fountains and statues.
If you find yourself in the city of conquests, Chokak Baths are one of the best places to go in Ganja. If we go into its history, the shower was built under a project undertaken by architect Bahāʾ al-dīn al-ʿĀmilīwas in 1606. Later, it was filled in as a Turkish shower. As per legitimate sources, clay, red bricks, and lime mix were used to construct this iconic marvel.
At present, the building is a decorative art centre. As the pipes and plumbing were damaged during the Soviet era, the Repair Department of the Ministry of Culture repaired and redeveloped the building. Since 2014, the bathhouse has been used as a bath by a hotel in Ganja.