Before traveling to Azerbaijan, I didn’t know much about the country: I just knew that its capital, Baku, was a very liberal and westernized city which, for decades, had been one of the world’s top oil producers. I was told that, in Baku’s city center, all the streets were stamped with luxury stores, Rolls-Royces, and costly restaurants. I thought that the cost of traveling in Azerbaijan would be really high.
In reality, while it’s true that, in a few areas of Baku, the social life can be pretty expensive, the rest of the city is perfectly affordable on any kind of budget and, believe it or not, the rest of Azerbaijan is definitely one of the cheapest places I’ve ever traveled to.
How much does it cost to travel in Azerbaijan?
Minimum average price per day = $20
I swear that you can easily travel in Azerbaijan on this budget
The official currency is the Azerbaijani Manat (AZN)
1 USD = 1.76 AZN
Normally, it’s hard to find places where to exchange your currency other than banks, which obviously, offer a lower rate. In most places, USD and € are the only accepted currencies.
Azerbaijan offers a wide range of accommodation, suitable for any sort of budget, from the most luxurious hotels to super-budget dorms and lovely guesthouses. The following list shows different hotel options sorted by both price and city. Please note that this list contains hotels which I either stayed in or were recommended by travel mates.
Budget (Hostel) – Baku Sports Hostel – Dorms from 7AZN ($4) – The cheapest hostel. I stayed here.
Budget (Hostel) – Main Street Hostel – Dorms from 20AZN ($11) – A higher quality hostel. A travel mate of mine stayed here
Mid-Range (Guest House) – Old Town Guest House – From 35AZN ($20). One of the best-rated guest houses in the old city.
Budget (Guest House) – Xinaliq – From 14AZN ($8). Online booking not available. I stayed here. These are the coordinates: 41.3604281,48.5260764.
Mid-Range (Hotel) – Shane Hotel – From 60AZN ($35) – Recommended by Lonely Planet
Mid-Range (Guest House) – Xinaliq Guest House – From 38AZN ($23). Located in a remote Caucasian village.
Compare prices – Booking I
Budget (Guest House) – John & Tanya Guest House – From 17AZN ($10). I stayed here. The only guest house in Ivanovka. Booking available from their own website.
Budget (Guest House) – Ilqar’s Guest House – From 13ANZ ($8). I stayed here. The best option for backpackers.
Mid-Range (Hotel) – Karavansaray Hotel – From 35AZN ($20). A remarkable building in Seki. A travel couple I met stayed here.
The cost of food in Azerbaijan is pretty cheap. Below is the price range of food in budget and mid-range restaurants:
Fast food (Doner kebab, sandwich, etc.) – 1AZN – 2AZN ($0.60 – $1.20)
Local eateries (Full meal) – 2AZN – 4AZN ($1.20 – $2.40)
Mid-Range restaurants (Normally, only available in Baku) – 8AZN – 17AZN ($5 – $10)
Travel tip: In Baku, during weekdays, most mid-range restaurants offer business lunch for only 5AZN ($2.80), including one appetizer, one main course, water, bread and, sometimes, a dessert.
The good news is that, in Azerbaijan, you can get drunk cheaply. Despite being a Muslim country, beer is widely available across all Azerbaijan and, as an ex-Soviet country, vodka as well.
Supermarket (beer can) – 0.50AZN – 1AZN ($0.30 – $0.60)
Budget bars or happy hour (local draft beer) – 1AZN – 2AZN ($0.60 – $1.20)
Night bars (local draft beer) – 2AZN – 4AZN ($1.20 – $2.40)
Travel tip: Outside Baku, it’s hard to find proper, cool bars, but they still serve beer pretty much everywhere, even at local eateries. Most places, only serve local draft beer for as little as 1AZN ($0.60). The downside of it is that, usually, it doesn’t taste very good.
Since Azerbaijan is rich in oil, the price of transportation is so cheap that at the beginning, I thought I was misunderstanding the bus driver.
From airport to city center – 20AZN ($11)
Rides within cities -2AZN – 4AZN ($1.20 – $2.40)
Only available in Baku. It can’t get cheaper.
One single ticket – 0.20AZN ($0.12)
Travel tip: You need to buy a card which costs 2AZN ($1.20)
Single rides within Baku (Same card as metro) – 0.20AZN ($0.12)
From airport to Baku city center – 1.50AZN ($0.90) + 2AZN for the card ($1.20)
From Baku to Qobustan (65km) – 0.80AZN ($0.50)
From Baku to Quba (170km) – 4AZN ($2.40)
From Quba to Ivanovka (360km) – 10AZN ($6)
Taxi from Qobustan to Petroglyphs (round trip) – 12AZN ($7)
Petroglyphs entrance fee – 5AZN ( $3)
Taxi from Quba to the remote village of Xinaliq (Taxi + Lunch with a local family) – 30AZN ($17)
How much does it cost to travel in Azerbaijan? Minimum average cost per day
The daily cost of traveling in Azerbaijan is difficult to guess as there are a lot of factors to take into account. Nevertheless, I will give you an approximation based on you staying in the most budget hotels, traveling by bus and eating in the cheapest restaurants:
Accommodation – Main street hostel in Baku – 20AZN ($11)
Food – 3 meals a day at local eateries: 4AZN x 3 = 9AZN ($7)
Beers – 2 beers during happy hour – 2AZN x 2 = 4AZN ($2.40)
Transport – 4 metro rides – 0.20AZN x 4 = 0.80AZN = ($0.50)
Total price = 20 + 9 + 4 + 0.80AZN = 33.80AZN = $20 a day
Still not convinced? Read: 8 reasons to travel in Azerbaijan