Good news! As a local person, I can tell you that things have improved significantly over the past few years when it comes to public transportation. Buses are modern, accessible and reliable, and same goes for the metro system (of which you will be amazed to see the beautiful Soviet-style designs!). On top of that, each ride is priced at a reasonable .30 AZN, or about $0.20 USD. There’s also an extensive railway that connects you to Moscow, Kiev, Tblisi, and beyond— as well as several convenient options for widely used taxi services.
Here we’ll share our tips for getting around Baku and the rest of the country. You actually can use all three of these transportation methods no matter how far you are traveling.
Note: for tips on getting to/from the airport and how best to plan your route to Azerbaijan by air, please check out our Flying In page!
First, we’ll tackle taxis (the most convenient option), then let you know some more about the public transportation options in and from Baku, and finally we’ll give some tips regional and internationally-connected Azerbaijan Railway.
TAXI/Ride Share Apps
Despite the ease in using public transit in Baku, nothing can be quite as convenient as paying for a taxi to pick you up and drop you off exactly where you want. Luckily, there are several taxi options in Azerbaijan that don’t require you to know Azerbaijani.
Another convenience with taxis here is that they aren’t just for inner-city transport— the affordability of taxis allow for you to take one to another city, even across the country if you want to. You can order via an app and get transparent prices upfront.
If you by chance know Turkish or Russian, you are free to order a taxi with a phone call as well. If you prefer to call, then calling *0404 will get you to Omega Taxi, and *2111 will get you to Maxim Taxi.
Language-barrier free options
If you’re reading this, you probably are wondering how easy it is to arrange a ride if you don’t speak Azerbaijani, Turkish or Russian. No fear- there’s actually a handful of options!
There is Uber in Baku so feel free to use it if its a platform you’re comfortable with and already have set up on your phone— though using more local apps will end up saving you some money since they are usually much cheaper.
The most popular taxi apps in Azerbaijan:
Bolt (formerly Taxify) (Apple link + Google Play link or get a free ride and support us)
Omega (Apple link) (Google Play link)
In Baku the metro and the (red) BakuBus require a BakuKart . If you don’t want to use the card for some reason, you can always take a (purple) public bus which only accept cash.
Remember, this information only applies to Baku. While the price of a ride is the same in nearby cities such as Sumqayit, these cities have not yet switched to the card system, therefore you have to pay with cash or change.
BakuKart: Works for the Metro + BakuBus within Baku
To get a BakuKart for riding the whole metro and BakuBus buses (these busses are red), look for these kiosks. You can look up specific locations of these kiosks through their website, though they are easy to find at:
- Metro station entrances. Just enter the station and you will see one of these terminals (see the picture on the left).
- Bus stops. Many bus stops have the terminal where you can buy BakuKart or ‘top it up’.
Either you can pay and get 2 AZN card which you can later refill (best for someone who is going to stay in the city for a while) otherwise, you can get single-use cards allowing you 1, 2, 3 or 4 rides.The interface is pretty simple and supports English. Accepts cash and change.
The subway system is also improving since it became part of a private company. As mentioned above, use the BakuKart to ride it. The price for a metro ride and bus ride are the same- 0.30 AZN. The metro system covers all main destinations and slightly more reliable than buses.
Note: the metro is now connected to the Baku International Bus Station (scroll down for more info).
Bus: Private [Baku]
In Baku there are both private buses and government-owned buses. In general the private buses are a bit more comfortable with their more liberal use of air conditioning and certain features, though to be honest the government buses are becoming almost as good now where you can’t tell much of the difference.
The newer private company BakuBus (check the website here for current routes) was a big part of the initial improvement of the bus system in Baku. They introduced new buses with air conditioning (especially appreciated in the heat of the summers), improved accessibility for people with disabilities, frequent maintenance and overall comfort. They also introduced a card system, so you can buy a card for 2 AZN and top it up as you need. Be aware that there is no acceptance of cash on the bus- without this BakiKart card you cannot ride BakuBus. (Side note- the letter “i” with no dot makes an “ooh” sound, so don’t be put off if you see it- BakiKart means “BakuKart”)
Here is the picture of private BakuBus buses:
Bus: Public [Baku]
However, not all buses are operated by BakuBus, many of them are still government owned. You can tell the difference by the color- the public buses are purple.These are handy if you don’t have BakuKart on you, or the time to buy one, as these buses only accept cash. Exact change is nice, but not necessary. The bus driver will be able to give change if you have a smaller bill.
Here’s what the public buses look like:
Bus: International Bus Station [Azerbaijan Reigonal + International]
One of the latest metro station Avtovağzal (means bus stop) takes you directly to the Baku International Bus Station where you can ride to all regions (such as Gabala) as well as nearby countries. Some of these routes are long—such as to Istanbul for example— but cheaper than flying if you are feeling thrifty and up for a road trip! (Tickets for these regional + international busses can be purchased online as well as ticket desks at the station.)
The Azerbaijan Railway can take you far from Baku. There’s a train going to almost all main regions in Azerbaijan as well as Moscow Russia, Kiev Ukraine and Tbilisi Georgia.The train station located the next to 28 May metro station.
Recently, it has been renovated with new ticket machines and help desks.If you need to kill some time as you wait for your train, the station is a comfortable modern environment with a handful of restaurants/cafes as well as clothing stores.
- If you’re taking the 35-40 min ride to Sumqayit (the nearest city) tickets can be obtained in the train station by card or cash at a kiosk for 1 azn (economy class). The trains to Sumqayit are new French-made trains that are quite clean and comfortable.
- For all other long-distance ride tickets, you can purchase tickets ahead of time online or in person at a help desk. On the website a timetable is also available.
We hope this guide of how to get around Baku and beyond helps you plan your trip to and around Azerbaijan! Of course feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions that aren’t answered here. We’re happy to help.