There are so many different ways to get around Azerbaijan, that you don;t have to rely on just one.
18 November 2013| Last updated on 27 June 2017
AVIS, +994 50 2230248. AVIS Rent a Car provides cars, SUV and 4WD. Airport pick up and delivery service is also available.
London taxi cabs have been recently introduced in Baku, and travel fees are 0.70AZN per km.
A taxi costs 4-10AZN for trips within the centre of Baku.
Baku Airport Transfer, ([email protected]), 24 hours. Offers online booking and printed receipts/invoices for airport transfers between downtown and Heydar Aliyev International. English is spoken. 33AZN.
Royal Taxi, +994 051 880-2009 ([email protected]), 24. Airport to city costs 15-25AZN depending on your destination in the city.
A great way to cover a lot of ground is to use a bicycle. But because of its lunatic car drivers and the chaotic traffic, Baku is not really a great town to get around in by bicycle. Except for the up-town, the city, including old town (İçəri Şəhər) and downtown is almost dead flat, and though there are some streets that are safe to ride, there is almost always a chaotic and dangerous amount of traffic on the road.
There are no separate bike lanes on the streets, no way of using the sidewalk with super high gutters (10"+) curbed in stone and no pram or stroller ramps so the streets are not designed for rolling objects. So cars and cyclists are forced to share the streets of Baku. The city centre is considered not to be bike-friendly and the locals strongly advise against it. The traffic over the past few years has become seriously chaotic and congested with hostile, incompetent and completely inconsiderate drivers. There were more than 285 deaths and 1185 injuries recorded last year (2012) just for pedestrian crossings. The actual figure for deaths is estimated to be closer to 1000+. The reason for this ridiculously high figure can be seen on any street in Baku. Its been estimated that more than 40% of drivers have never actually sat and passed their drivers licence test, but simply just 'acquired' one.
While cycling on the street is not recommended, except for the clinically insane, the Boulevard on the other hand offers an amazing place to stretch out. The new area of the Seaside Boulevard was opened in May 2012 and extends from the 'Baku Sports Palace' (Bakı İdman Sarayı) to the 'National Flag Square'. There is a car park near the Sports Palace and is the perfect starting point. The length of the new boulevard is approximately 5kms. There are wide open terraces to explore all the way up to the flag with lovely restaurants, pubs and lounge-cafe's all along the way. This is soon to be extended in the other direction once the new Holiday Inn is completed on the foreshore and this will provide up to 10kms of scenic and traffic-free biking. Bike and pedal car rental is available on the Boulevard at a cost of 3AZN for 2hrs and 1AZN per hour after that. Pedal cars cost slightly more.
While Baku is a safe place, make sure to get a good lock (or two), and to use it if you intend to stop. If you are looking for a road, mountain or trekking bike, then there is a bicycle rental shop at the city centre called MyBike (Address: Asef Zeynalli Street, Ichari Shahar). If you want to know the best routes, you should get a copy of the beautifully designed 'Baku by Bike' plan, which is available at all bike rental points of MyBike. Bike rental costs about 10-20AZN per day (approximately, AZN 1 = €1, as of 2012).
A passport or identity card must be shown and a refundable deposit is required. While this service is quite convenient, be sure to bring ID or passport and contact information, including hotel phone number, to speed up the paperwork.
There are a lot of English and American ex-pats here in Baku so Mountain Biking is popular and there are some great rides to be had further out of town in the foothills. While these will test your ability on the other hand they will provide a stunning view of Baku city and the Caspian.
There are a number of 'clubs' or organised rides along the boulevard and into the hills. The bike shops can provide more details.
While different to back home, bike riding in Baku can be one of the most rewarding past times ever.
Buses and minibuses cost 0.20AZN per person and can take you to almost any place within Baku. Destinations are usually posted on the front and the right side of the bus.
The metro goes to many places throughout Baku and it costs only 0.20AZN. It is the least expensive way to get around Baku besides walking. Ask a cashier or attendant. You must obtain a Bakı Metropiliten Kart (2AZN refundable deposit) and load it like a normal metro pass. Alternatively, you can use a Azerbaycan Sosial Kartı like the ones on some Azerbaijani ATM cards. The metro workers will be more than happy to help if spoken to in either Azeri or Russian, and some may understand English.
Be careful when transferring trains at the transfer stations (28 May and Jafar Jabbarli) as the signage is not easy to spot.
There have been reports of people being arrested while taking photographs of the metro station.
The Baku electric train runs through several parts of Baku and the surrounding area including Sumqait.
It is possible to get around Fountain Square, the Boulevard, and the old city by foot, but the entire city cannot be covered on foot. The Azeri government recognises its traffic problems and hazards for pedestrians in Baku and has built an extensive network of underground pedestrian walkways to ensure pedestrians do not attempt to cross the roads. Numerous deaths and near misses have been recorded of people attempting to cross the road without using the underground walkways. They are everywhere in the city, especially near the Boulevard and look like subway entrances often with escalators, stairs and pram or stroller ramps. It is highly recommended you locate them and use them.