Arrival to Azerbaijan
Baku is the first city for the most of visitors arriving in Azerbaijan. Located in the east of the country and on the coast of the Caspian Sea, Baku is the most populous city as well as political, social and financial centre of Azerbaijan.
Cities such as Istanbul, Moscow, Kyiv, Riga and Budapest offer direct flights to Baku. Wizz Air offers low fare flights to Baku from Budapest.
There are also low fare flights to airports in Gabala and Ganja. Pegasus operates between Istanbul and Gabala whereas Turkish Airlines does between Istanbul and Ganja. From those cities you can take a bus to Baku to arrive in Baku International Bus Terminal.
The closest International capital is Tbilisi (Georgia) which Baku has train, bus as well as air connections with. Border crossing does not function at Azerbaijani-Armenia border due to the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict. So, Tbilisi remains the only and the most popular route.
Getting to Baku from Heydar Aliyev Airport
Airport Shuttle (BakuBus) operates 24 hour on a fixed route from Haydar Aliyev International Airport to the 28 May Metro Station. The shuttles run every 30 minutes (please refer to the timetable) and depart in front of the Airport Terminal 1 and 2. The shuttle has one minute stop at Koroglu metro station, too.
One-way fare is 1,3 AZN (tax included). You can purchase card/ticket from BakuCard terminals at the Airport. Please, note that the Bus shuttle does not accept cash.
Getting to Baku from Baku International Bus Terminal
Baku International Bus Terminal locates just outskirt of Baku. There are options that can take to the city centre: Metro and public buses.
Metro locates in about 100 metres distance from the terminal. When you use Metro you have to change the line at Memar Ajami Metro station. From Memar Ajami Metro, you can actually travel almost any part of Baku. Metro operates 06:00am to midnight.
You will need a BakuCard to use Metro. You can purchase card/ticket from BakuCard terminals at the entry doors underground. Entry fare to Baku Metro costs just 0.20 AZN. With it you spend as much time as you need in order to get your destination.
Public buses (Red Iveco BakuBus) stop just outside the Bus Terminal. Bus no 2 will take you to the city centre short way.
You will need a BakuCard to use the bus. You can purchase card/ticket from BakuCard terminals at the bus stop. Entry fare to the buses costs just 0.20 AZN. With it you spend as much time as you need in order to get your destination.
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Getting to Baku from Tbilisi
The train line between Tbilisi and Baku operates on daily basis. Trains leave Tbilisi at 16:30 pm from Tbilisi Central Station and arrive in Baku Central Station (near 28 May Metro) the next day at 11:00 am.
You buy a ticket from a counter at the Tbilisi Central Station. The ticket price for 4-berth Kupé is about 70 GEL (30 USD).
In about an hour after you leave Tbilisi you will reach to Georgian Border in Gardabani, where the train stops awaiting all passengers to get through security check and passport control. The process takes roughly an hour. Once you leave Georgian border the train also stops at Azerbaijani border at Böyük Kesik Station. This time Azerbaijani border officials will carry the same procedures for little more than an hour. They may also ask you some questions if they find that you visited Armenia. It should not be a reason to worry because that is a standard procedure that they have to do due to the state of affairs between the two states.
For further details, please, read the post of the Man in Seat 61.
Once in Baku, how to get to the city centre?
Metro is the easiest way to reach the city centre. Use the red line in the Metro to go centrally located metro stations: Sahil or Icherisheher.
If you are in vicinity of 28 May Metro, the city centre is about in 15 minutes walking distance: You will reach to Baku Boulevard if you walk down (towards the south) the Azadlig avenue, the street in front of 28 Mall shopping centre. While you walk down the Azadlig avenue, you’ll find downtown on your right (towards the west).
This google map gives you an idea of walking route to the city centre: