Monday, January 24, 2022

How To Travel To Azerbaijan

EuropeAzerbaijanHow To Travel To Azerbaijan

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By plane

Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku serves as the main international gateway, with other international airports (which mostly serve Moscow and Istanbul) located in Nakhchivan City, Ganja, and Lankaran.

The main carrier is the national airline AZAL (Azerbaijan Airlines), which flies to Ganja, Nakhchivan, Tbilisi, Aktau, Tehran, Tel-Aviv, Ankara, Istanbul Atatürk, Istanbul Sahiha Gokchen, Antalya (seasonal), Bodrum (seasonal), Dubai, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kiev, Rostov-on-Don, Ürümqi, Mineralniye Vodi, Milan BMI flies to Baku seven days a week. Lufthansa also operates a handful of weekly flights to Baku (which continue onwards to Ashgabat). Turkish Airlines is another airline that connects Baku to and via Istanbul. There are also numerous Russian, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Iranian, and Austrian airlines that link Baku to places all over the globe. Qatar Airways will begin flying to Baku on February 1st, 2012, with two daily flights, one to Tbilisi and one to Doha, linking to their worldwide network.

By train

Azerbaijan is linked by train to Georgia and Russia. Because the Russian border is restricted to non-CIS passport holders and no change is expected in the near future, the weekly trains to Moscow through Mahachkala are not a feasible alternative for most.

Tbilisi, Georgia, and Baku are connected by an overnight train. This costs 26AZN to leave Azerbaijan and leaves from Baku at 20:00 every night. The length of the journey is determined by how much time is spent at the border (longer when entering Azerbaijan). This section of track is being upgraded as part of a project funded in part by Azerbaijan that involves the building of a rail line between Akhalkalaki, Georgia, and Kars, Turkey. Originally slated to open in 2010, it is now expected to be completed in 2012, linking Azerbaijan’s railways with those of Turkey through Georgia. When the Baku-Istanbul service is finished, keep an eye out for it!

A domestic railway line runs from Astara on the Iranian border to Baku, and there are great expectations for the construction of a 300-kilometer connection line from Astara to Qazvin, Iran, to link the Azerbaijani and Iranian rail networks. Rail service to Iran, which used to run from Nakhchivan through southern Armenia, was discontinued when Armenia’s border was closed.

By car

There are roads connecting all of Azerbaijan’s cities. They are not very broad, and the majority of them have just two lanes. Private vehicles to the borders may be arranged via local travel agencies. Exotour, a Georgian travel agency, can arrange collection in Baku and delivery in Tbilisi. Although it will be more costly than taking the bus or rail, it will be quicker and can be coupled with sightseeing along the route. Keep in mind that Azerbaijani customs will need you to pay a deposit of several thousand US dollars for your vehicle.

By bus

Every day, buses go from Georgia, Turkey, Iran, and Russia to Azerbaijan.

A minibus departs from the Georgian border at Krazny Most (Red Bridge) for approximately 10 or 12 mannat (or 25 lari). It can be picked up on either side of the border (don’t panic if they want you to pay on the Georgian side – they will come and get you). However, insist on carrying your own luggage). The journey to Baku should take about 8 hours. Be warned: driving in Azerbaijan is a really terrifying experience. Almost all drivers show little respect for the laws of the road, and the quality of the roads itself is startlingly low. It is not for the faint of heart, so although the lengthy journey may test your energy, it will not test your nerves. Check out AZAL flights from Tbilisi to Baku well in advance for some good bargains.

Return to Tbilisi can be caught at the indescribably chaotic bus station, which also doubles as an eerily quiet shopping-centre (take bus 65 from outside Double Gate in the old town for the 20min trip, which leaves you with a 400m long dodgy stretch of road/highway with pestering taxi-drivers on which to walk: Cost 20q) or simply taxi it from the centre for approx. 15 mannat (worth it! ), which Buses and minibuses are accessible from this station to Tbilisi, with both costing about 12 mannat. Bus stop 26 is located at the far rear of the ground level. The bus is a few hours slower and there is no assurance that you will be picked up after you pass the Georgian border, so the minibus is preferred.

By boat

Every day, buses go from Georgia, Turkey, Iran, and Russia to Azerbaijan.

A minibus departs from the Georgian border at Krazny Most (Red Bridge) for approximately 10 or 12 mannat (or 25 lari). It can be picked up on either side of the border (don’t panic if they want you to pay on the Georgian side – they will come and get you). However, insist on carrying your own luggage). The journey to Baku should take about 8 hours. Be warned: driving in Azerbaijan is a really terrifying experience. Almost all drivers show little respect for the laws of the road, and the quality of the roads itself is startlingly low. It is not for the faint of heart, so although the lengthy journey may test your energy, it will not test your nerves. Check out AZAL flights from Tbilisi to Baku well in advance for some good bargains.

Return to Tbilisi can be caught at the indescribably chaotic bus station, which also doubles as an eerily quiet shopping-centre (take bus 65 from outside Double Gate in the old town for the 20min trip, which leaves you with a 400m long dodgy stretch of road/highway with pestering taxi-drivers on which to walk: Cost 20q) or simply taxi it from the centre for approx. 15 mannat (worth it! ), which Buses and minibuses are accessible from this station to Tbilisi, with both costing about 12 mannat. Bus stop 26 is located at the far rear of the ground level. The bus is a few hours slower and there is no assurance that you will be picked up after you pass the Georgian border, so the minibus is preferred.

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