Agdam is a town in South West Azerbaijan and part of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. During the war of 1993, the town was captured by Armenian forces and the residents forced to flee, leaving it as a ghost town. The area is abandoned and used as a buffer zone now between Azeri and Armenian forces and remains off limits to visitors.
This is a tourist report from a trip to Agdam on Lonely Planet –
Here’s a quick report from my visit to Agdam two days ago.
It’s still illegal to go so don’t ask when you register and don’t talk about it.
Agdam is 30km away from Stepanakert on the road to Askeron. There are no checkpoints but you do pass a military base and will see soldiers on the side of the road and military vehicles. Play it cool.
There’s normal traffic on the road that goes by Agdam because it’s the main road north to Martakert. But once you turn off into the city of Agdam, you’re breaking the law.
A taxi ride from Stepanakert to Agdam including waiting time should cost 5,000 AMD but not all drivers will go because they know they could get in trouble. It helps to find a local who can explain to the driver what you want, or even come with you. Find the crappiest taxi you can with no writing on the sides and preferably no taxi signs at all. Remember, nobody takes taxis around a ghost town so you don’t want to stand out.
The driver will take you to the mosque, let you go around and take pics etc. But remember, if you get caught, you’ll almost certainly be arrested. Locals I talked with said usually they erase pics, though don’t confiscate your camera or erase other pictures. I was told soldiers will take bribes but the KGB won’t (they didn’t change the name of their intel. service) if you get busted.
You can walk around a little and there aren’t too many soldiers around but you need to hide, don’t wander in the open. According to Halo Trust, Agdam is mine free so you don’t have to worry about that.
Location: Agdam, Azerbaijan
Category: Ghost Town