Are you visiting Baku for the first time? Or maybe just want to learn a few more tips before traveling to the capital city of Azerbaijan? Baku quickly became one of the favorite cities with the seemingly endless attractions, good restaurants and cafes, and historical places.
Using the public transportation system can be a great way for a traveler to save money and live like a local, but it also presents some inconvenience and awkward moments. So, before enjoying the public transportation in the Land of Fire take a moment to consider these important travel tips.
Let’s start with what you will do as soon as you land in the capital. For budget travelers, the easiest and ideal way is to get a special bus-express H1. A large comfortable bus approaches directly to the airport building. In the course of traffic, H1 makes several stops, and the final one is May 28 street, which is near its namesake metro station.
Azerbaijan has a very dense transportation network. There are many ways to travel from place to place in cities and throughout the country – be it by car, bus, or metro.
Of course the cheapest and fastest way to travel across Baku is metro. With 25 stations you can travel for only 0.2 manat ($0.11).
The fares for subway ride at Baku Metro are realized through “BakıKart” single-card system, which can be purchased at metro stations and at certain bus stops. There are two types of cards — a plastic one costing 2 manats ($1.17) plus credit that can be reused, and a disposable paper one allowing up to four credits (i.e. four rides will cost 1 manat). For now the system is only used by the metro and the newest red buses as well as several buses, but it is likely that the system will be extended in the future.
No less cheap will be a trip on a bus. The truth is you cannot get to the destination you need as quickly as on metro, but at least you can better get acquainted with the city. Red BakuCity buses cost 0.2 manat per ride. For most services you pay cash as you get off.
Taxi in Azerbaijan is quite expensive and sometimes they can artificially inflate the price by noticing a tourist with a backpack. So you can take advantage of taxi companies (https://www.bakutaxi.info/taxi), which are quite cheaper in comparison with those that wait street corners. The majority of street taxis are not metered, many demanding around 5 manat ($2.9) minimum fare.
In Baku you can even take a taxi from London, the most famous taxi in the world.
London Taxi in Baku is one of the very effective and creative ideas and many surprised when they learn its implementation belongs not to a private company, but to the largest state taxi operator in Azerbaijan.
In addition, this is definitely a marketing effect for tourists, since many of them, calling a taxi in the hotel, want exactly London-Taxi to ride in the classic British Cab, calling here as “Badimcan” (eggplant, probably because of purple color).
For the first time these cars appeared in Baku streets in 2011, when 1,000 London Taxi TX4 cars, specially assembled for Azerbaijan, were delivered to the country.
The metered London-style cabs are an exception with a flag fall of only 1 manat ($0,6)and very sensible kilometre rates.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan is working on issuing of single tourist cards for many entertainments and travel, which is going to make the life of tourists more convenient.
Foreign tourists will use the cards for entry to museums, other cultural sites, public transport, and also in excursion buses “Baku City Bus”.
The National Bureau plans to prepare two types of cards – for 30 days and annual, and the latter can be extended. The cards will be available for purchase at travel agencies, a number of points of sale in Baku, as well as online.
By purchasing the card, foreign and local citizens will be able to use certain services free of charge or on preferential terms. They also provide an opportunity to use discounts in some stores.
Often overlooked, bicycles are one of the best ways to see Baku at your own pace. Still undeveloped road infrastructure will also interfere to your convenient travel around the city.