Baku Transportation

  • Explore Baku on foot
    Explore Baku on foot
    by HORSCHECK
  • Explore Baku on foot
    Explore Baku on foot
    by HORSCHECK
  • On foot: Carpets in the old town
    On foot: Carpets in the old town
    by HORSCHECK

Most Recent Transportation in Baku

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    To Baku by night train

    by HORSCHECK Updated Jan 24, 2015

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    On a Monday of September 2014 I went by night train from Tbilisi in Georgia to Baku in Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani train leaves Tbillisi daily at 16:30 h and arrives at 09:20 h in Baku. It has only 1st (2-berth cabin) and 2nd class (4-berth cabin) carriages.

    I purchased a 1st class ticket one day before the trip at Tbilisi's train station at window 12. The lady in charge was very friendly, but didn't speak any English. As I speak some basic Russian I was able to communicate with her about the basics. My passport was required to buy the ticket, which cost 115,22 Lari (approx 50 Euro).

    On the next day the train could be boarded about 30 minutes before departure. If I remember correctly the first class carriage number 5 had 16 compartments and only about 50 % of the beds were reserved.

    The 2-berth compartments were even equipped with a flat screen TV. This could also be switched to an on board camera, which monitored the entrance area near the conductors compartment, the toilet door and the samowar.

    The toilet was relatively clean and interesting enough it was not closed during stops at train stations or the border control. There was even some fluffy toilet paper available, although I would still recommend to have some spare paper with you, just in case.

    The train didn't have any restaurant car or anything similar, so it makes sense to bring your own food and drinks.

    I was lucky enough to have my 2-berth compartment for myself and I was the only tourist in my carriage. There was at least one male Azerbaijani passenger who spoke excellent English and was happy to explain me the border formalities. The two female conductors didn't speak a single word of English, but were quite keen to know where I was from. Still I had the feeling that they didn't even had a clue where Germany actually was located. Later they brought me a black tea and some pickeled plums as a free welcome gesture.

    In the early evening one of the conductors distributed a welded plastic bag with the bed linen and a small towel, as well as an Azerbaijani Customs Declaration form, which had to be filled in.

    About one hour after we had left Tbilisi the train stopped at the Georgian border control near Gardabani. Here the passports were collected and given back to the passengers with the appropriate stamp about 20 minutes later. Then it was even allowed to leave the carriage until the border process was completed for the whole train. There was a small kiosk, just next to the custom building, so that passengers could buy some drinks or snacks.

    Another approximately 30 minutes later the train arrived at the Azerbaijani border control near Boyuk Kesik. Here the border guard took a seat inside one of the empty compartments in the carriage and every passenger was photographed as well as the passports scanned. He didn't speak a single word with me, but after he had stamped my passport he mumbled "Welcome to Azerbaijan".

    Then 4 Azerbaijani customs officers entered the train. The customs declaration documents were collected and every passenger was interviewed in their compartment. When it was my turn the slightly older guy didn't really try to verbally communicate with me. I only had to show him my luggage, but didn't have to open it. He was obviously too shy to speak with a foreign tourist.

    After this procedure the passengers were allowed to leave the train for smoking or other things. Also the Georgian locomotive was exchanged for an Azerbaijani locomotive.

    The whole procedure took about 45 minutes and we then continued our trip towards Baku. I still remember one other major stop in Ganca, where again people could leave the carriage for a couple of minutes. I then slept more than 6 hours, so that I was well-rested on arrival in Baku, where the train didn't have any delays.

    Baku's train station is located about 2,5 km north east of the old town Icheri Sheher. The metro station "28 May" is just in front of the train terminal.

    Website: http://www.addy.gov.az/

    Train in Baku Train in Baku Georgian locomotive at the border near Gardabani My 1st class compartment Train toilet
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    Explore Baku on foot

    by HORSCHECK Written Jan 23, 2015

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    Especially Baku's old town (Icheri Sheher) is best explored on foot, as most of the cobbled streets are pedestrianised anyway and therefore not accessible for cars and buses.

    Although Baku is with a population of approximately 2 million people the biggest town in the Caucasus region, I still enjoyed getting lost in the streets outside of the city centre. That way I bumped into many interesting sites, which were not really listed in my guidebook, but gave me a different view of the city.

    If I got really lost, a metro station or a bus stop was usually not far away, so that I could return quickly to better known areas.

    Explore Baku on foot Explore Baku on foot On foot: Memorial at Khatai Avenue On foot: Carpets in the old town On foot: Main office of Azerbaijan Railways ADY
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    Explore Baku by funicular

    by HORSCHECK Written Jan 23, 2015

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    The history of Baku's funicular dates back to 1960, when it was opened for the first time. Due to a lack of passengers and urgent need of repairs it was closed in 1980, but after a complete overhaul it was reopened in 2001. The last extensive overhaul took place in 2012 just befor the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Baku.

    The funicular links the Baku Boulevard near the Caspian Sea with the Martyr's Lane and the Flame Towers, from where panoramic views of the city can be enjoyed. The lower terminal is situated about 200 metres outh of the square Azerneft meydani. Both terminals are modern steel-glass structures.

    The use of the funicular is free of charge and it runs from approximately every 15 minutes from 10:00 h until 22:00 h.

    Explore Baku by funicular Baku funicular: Lower terminal Explore Baku by funicular View from the funicular towards the Caspian Sea
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    Explore Baku by bus

    by HORSCHECK Written Jan 23, 2015

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    Baku has quite an extensive bus network, which for tourists is probably hard to understand. As I stayed almost 5 days in Baku, I sometimes used a bus to get at least close to where I wanted to go. So I jumped on any bus going roughly in my direction. This worked more or less always fine.

    Buses often have metro stations or big squares as starting or termination points. These are displayed on a sign on the front and a side of the bus.

    The fare of 0,2 AZ (20 Qapik) has to be paid cash to the driver when getting off the bus. This means people always have to leave the bus through the front door. I found this quite unusual and a bit inconvenient as it makes spontaneous alighting a bit complicated.

    Website: http://www.niim.az/

    Baku bus at the train station Explore Baku by bus Baku bus near the Falme Towers Baku bus at the train station Bus stop
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    Explore Baku by Metro

    by HORSCHECK Written Jan 23, 2015

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    The metro of Baku was opened in 1967 and nowadays it consists of two lines with 23 stations.

    To use the metro a rechargeable fare card has to be bought for 3 AZN deposit. Money can be loaded on the card at ticketing machines, which stand at the entrances of the metro stations. For this the card has to be placed in an opening of the machine and money can be thrown into the appropriate slot. Without pressing any additional button the card can be removed and the money is loaded on the card.

    The metro works on a flat fare system. To enter the metro, the card has to be placed on one of the turnstiles and 0,20 AZN (20 Qapik) will be deducted from the credit.

    Important metro stations include Icheri Sheher and Sahil for the touristy heart of the city, 28th May for the train station and Genclik for the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium.

    Website: http://www.metro.gov.az/

    Explore Baku by Metro Metro station Icheri Sheher Metro station 28th May Metro station Khatai Metro station Koroglu
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    To Baku by plane

    by HORSCHECK Updated Jan 23, 2015

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    I left Baku by plane via Istanbul to Düsseldorf in Germany. The flight was operated by Turkish Airlines.

    Since 2004 Baku's airport is named after the former Azerbaijani president Heydar Aliyev. It is located approximately 20 km northeast of the city centre and has two terminals. Even to get into the terminals a security check has to be passed.

    I found it a bit difficult to figure out a convenient possibility to get to the airport by public transport. Bus #116 is said to serve the airport. I was told that it leaves from one of the metro stations "28th of May" or "Koroglu", but even with the help of locals I didn't find the bus at any of these metro stations.

    A taxi from the city centre to the airport shouldn't cost more than 20 AZN. I eventually decided for a trip by metro and taxi. I went by metro to "Koroglu", which is also a busy bus and taxi hub. From here a taxi to the airport cost me only 8 AZN.

    If you are lucky and willing to wait a few minutes, you might even be able to share a taxi to the airport with others. This seems to be quite common at "Koroglu".

    Website: http://www.airport.az/

    To Baku by plane Heydar Aliyev Airport Baku To Baku by plane
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    Going to Gobustan

    by AnnaHermans Written Jul 19, 2012

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    From the main bus station we took a marshrutka to Imisli and paid 5 manat per person. We ended at the sign to the petroglyphs in Gobustan. Back to Baku we took bus number 195 on the other side of the road and paid only 0,60. We went out near Baku at a beach to swim in sea.

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    Metrosystem

    by AnnaHermans Written Jul 19, 2012

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    For two Manat you buy a metro card. You need coins to put money on the card in a machine. One ride is 0,20 Manat. The subway has no map on the wall and the name of the line does not correspond with the end station. Before getting in make sure you go to the right station. Different lines stop at the same station. The metro is usefull for going to the bus station, the old town and the fire temple. If you leave Baku you can return your card and you will get the initial 2 Manat back.

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    call Ali for an incredible tour guide!

    by miltonj12 Written Jun 4, 2012

    Call Ali (+994503307143) for an incredible tour of Baku and surrounding villages. Very colorful guy who is a history buff and fought against the russians during the war. He speaks fluent english and has a very comfortable van which he will use to transport you to the oil fields, volcanoes, old city in Baku, villages, burning fire hills, etc. His price was very reasonable. For 6 hours of non-stop touring is was only 150 euros. He will also pick you up at the airport and transfer you back on departure. Well worth the money considering an airport taxi is 25 euros.

    Ali: the colorful tour guide!

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    Heydar Aliev International Airport

    by Subria Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The airport of Baku is the entry point to Azerbaijan for most visitors. The airport building is very modern and the service is efficient. Most visitors need a visa which can be obtained at the airport for a fee of 40US$. Before you go to the visa counter you have to get a stamp at the immigration. The home carrier of Baku Airport is the national airline Azal with various international and domestic destinations. There are also direkt flights to Frankfurt (Lufthansa), Vienna (Austrian Airlines) and London (British Airways), but unfortunately all of them have departure times in the middle of the night. The easiest way to the city center is by taxi, but I think there is also a bus line if you are on a budget.
    For more information you can also visit the webpage of the airport. It seems to be up to date, but I wonder why they still mention Swissair...

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    Fight corruption!

    by Assenczo Written Aug 24, 2010

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    As in many other places where freedom has just arrived, Baku has its fare share of taxi cowboys. These sleazy crooks come in drovers to the rail station and even beyond – to the train tracks and start negotiating from there – the train platform is very long! Some start from 20Manats and when faced with 5USD quickly back away. Others are more insistent and continue trying their luck till you finally leave them. And in the last moment like in an American movie they accept your adjusted price – 7USD in this case. Then in the car the bloody negotiation continues under the guise that he did not understand exactly where you wanted to go – he thought it was a different place, much closer. Then he commences wimping about the charge of the Old City where there is an entrance fee. OK, at the end he got his mark up for the entrance fee but the bloody idiot never managed to find the hotel and did not try very hard either because “everybody” whom he asked did not know where it was. A real professional! Ah, he did not have a taxi sign on top of his vehicle – this should have alarmed me enough to leave him at the station. The only explanation is that the sun must have clouded my judgement.

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    Good old metro

    by Minashka Updated Jan 24, 2008

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    You'll hear from just about anyone that the best way to get around Baku is taking a cab. OK, maybe that's true but why not use the metro? It is safe and very cheap! I almost forgot to say that it's clean too and will get you almost anywhere in town. The trains go every 5-7 minutes and there's no rush hour. Some of the stations are really beautiful and worth checking out - look up the Nizami station. Built in 1967, it is still in good shape and most of the trains are new.
    There is a new system now of which you should be aware. You can only enter the subway using an electronic card, which is easy to purchase at any subway station. The cost is 2 AzN (around 2 Euros) and you can pay as little as 20 cents on top to add fare to the card (for 1 AzN you can ride 20 times). The card can be returned any time and will be fully refunded (2 AzN).

    metro station
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    Airport

    by davido7236 Written Dec 10, 2007

    Baku Airport is fairly quiet - when we left there were about 10 flights listed on the screen between 11am and 8pm. The duty free shop is ok and has a lot of vodka and other goods. For some reason there are people who will wrap your luggage in cling film for a fee. Heaven only knows whether you get a refund should the Customs people wish to search it afterwards.
    The coffee bar is nice and quiet and a regular coffee cost me about 1 (new) Manat - about $1.18. While you drink your coffee you can admire the attractive local females. They have the prettiest Customs staff I have ever seen - unfortunately only the male staff seem to be permitted to 'frisk' male travellers when you go into Departures.

    Azeri airplane at Heydar Aliyev Airport
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    Marshrutka :)

    by Minashka Updated Aug 9, 2007

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    Now only do this at your own risk and don't tell me I didn't warn you! Marshrutka buses are all over Baku... They are like Dolmush in Turkey, basically in the size of mini bus. They will stop to pick you up the minute you raise your hand and will let you off the second you hand them the money. Usually the drivers drive like madmen and you start swearing to yourself that you'll never ride a marshrutka again... but once you reach your destination you forget all about it and later desperately look for one again :) They go in all directions, that's why very convenient to use. The price is also pretty good. Doesn't depend on the distance, a ride will cost 20 gepiks - well something like 10 US cents. Marshrut means "route" in Russian in case you were wondering where the name came from... Have a fun ride :)))

    Marshrutka Road to Badamdart
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    How to get to/from airport

    by Minashka Written Aug 9, 2007

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    If you have arrived at the International Airport in Baku and don't want to take one of those expensive cabbies, then head in the direction of the bus, which you'll find right after the parking lot. You'll see a sign when you get there, however no sign directing you to it ;-) Once you have found the bus stop, look for the bus with number 118. They run about every half an hour in the mornings and in the evenings, less frequent in the afternoon though. The bus will bring you to Ulduz metro station and from there you can get anywhere downtown by just using the subway. Sahil, 28th of May and Baki Soveti stations are right in the center of the city.
    You can use the same route to get back to the airport!

    view of Baku from the plane
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Comments (1)

  • Sep 6, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    It is a very neat place. Take metro. I would go to the old town and just get lost in it. The national flag square is a must see and there are MANY great view points. so parts of the town are horrible and you can't smile to anyone or people will think you have a brain disease.

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