With a recent loosening in visa restrictions and an effort to be seen on an international scale, the small Caucasian nation of Azerbaijan is attracting more and more visitors each year. With the government investing thousands of its oil dollars to attract luxury travellers and the capital fancying itself as something of a new Dubai, many budget travellers will come to ask themselves the question: Is Baku expensive? And how much will a Baku or Azerbaijan trip cost?
While Baku certainly is trying to craft a luxe and grand image of itself, and the city has gained a reputation as the most expensive capital in the Caucasus region, your total Azerbaijan or Baku trip cost does not need to break the bank.
Actually, it is quite the contrary as, despite the grandiosity of the capital, the general wealth of the people in Azerbaijan is low, making it an incredibly affordable place for Western travellers.
Are you wondering how much a trip to Baku or Azerbaijan will cost? Well, take a look at this detailed price breakdown to know how much you should plan to budget for a visit to the oil capital of the Caucasus.
The local currency in Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani Manat, however, all prices are listed in Euro. To find the current exchange rate to your home currency, look at xe.com.
Accommodation Prices in Azerbaijan
When first considering your total Azerbaijan trip cost or just the prices in Baku for tourists, you’re going to need to figure out the price of accommodation — one of the most important factors of any travel budget.
The good news for travellers who are truly trying to pinch pennies and keep their overall travels costs as low as possible is that accommodation in Baku and Azerbaijan, in general, can be extremely affordable. This makes it a fantastic destination for budget backpackers.
While a perfunctory search of accommodation in Baku might lead to five-star hotels or luxury penthouse rentals, if you set your price filters lower, you will find that you can find some decent accommodation for truly agreeable prices. Hostels, for instance, are prevalent in Baku and can cost as little as €5 per night for a bed in a dorm.
If you’re looking for something a little more luxe than a hostel dorm bed, guesthouses and budget accommodation options are found throughout Baku and Azerbaijan and you can expect a double room in a traditional homestay or guesthouse to cost you somewhere around €15-25 per night.
Obviously, the more basic the room, the cheaper it will be. However, many times the nightly rate will also include breakfast. It is also likely that you will have to pay more if you would like an ensuite option or are after a room that is slightly nicer than just basic.
In Baku, there are also mid-range accommodation options available, where you can stay in a more traditional hotel instead of in a guesthouse or homestay. This is a better option for those who would like to have some more Western amenities. You can expect a room in a mid-range hotel to set you back about €30-50 per night, depending on the type of room you choose.
Outside of Baku, finding mid-range accommodation can become slightly more tricky and there is more of a gap between accommodation options. In smaller towns like Quba or Sheki, there are options for affordable homestays and guesthouses where you will rarely pay more than about €15-20 per night, however, if you’re after something a bit nicer, you will need to budget at least about €50 per night.
All in all, however, if you don’t mind sharing a bathroom or a basic room in a hospitable local’s home, then plan to budget around €10 per person per night on accommodation.
Transportation Prices in Azerbaijan
Now that you’ve figured out the accommodation prices in Baku and Azerbaijan in general, you need to know how much to budget when it comes to getting around the city and country.
In many cases, transportation can take a massive portion of your overall travel budget, however, in Azerbaijan, this really is not the case. Even if you eschew public transport and plan to take taxis everywhere, you still won’t really see much of a sizeable dent in your transport budget.
If you only plan to visit Baku on your trip to Azerbaijan, it is possible not to pay for transportation at all and it to not be a factor in your Baku trip cost, as most of the tourist sites are within easy walking distance of each other and the centre is fairly small and walkable.
Even if you don’t plan on walking absolutely everywhere, transportation prices in Baku aren’t expensive at all. For example, the city is well-connected by an efficient metro system and a single ride is only about €0.25. Therefore, very affordable.
If you need to take a short taxi ride at any time while in Baku or elsewhere in Azerbaijan, expect a ride of about 5 kilometres or so to cost you around €2-4, depending on the distance. Longer distance taxi rides can obviously cost more. We also recommend using the Bolt (Taxify) app to call a taxi rather than hailing one off the street. This will quote you the price beforehand and will help you avoid getting overcharged.
Intercity travel is also quite affordable in Azerbaijan, with even some long bus journeys costing only about €4-5 for 5-6 hour trips. Buses tend to be more functional than comfortable, but they do get you where you need to go at incredibly low prices.
You can take shared taxis on longer journeys, but do expect them to cost a lot more than a bus ticket for a ride that won’t necessarily be more comfortable. Expect a longer, intercity, taxi ride to likely cost you roughly €0.25 per kilometre.
All in all, if you walk most places in Baku and take public transport or only short taxi rides, you needn’t plan to spend more than €1-2 per day, meaning that transport will barely affect your overall trip to Baku cost.
If you plan to visit a few more cities in Azerbaijan, transportation costs will go up slightly. Even so, you needn’t budget more than about €2-3 per day if you don’t move cities every day and walk most places while you are there.
Food Prices in Azerbaijan
One of the best things about travelling to new places is to sample the local cuisine, but just how much is that going to cost you in Baku or Azerbaijan as a whole? Well, if you do eat local, not much at all, as it turns out.
Sure, as the foreign visitor numbers in Baku grow, there are more and more restaurants near busy tourist areas charging inflated prices for local cuisine. However, if you do your research in advance, you will realise that local cuisine really doesn’t cost all that much and you can get quite a lot of food for only minimal prices. In fact, like almost everything else on this list, food prices in Baku will not take a massive dent out of your total Azerbaijan trip cost.
To give you an idea, even in a more tourist-friendly restaurant, you can expect a meal for two people including a salad, entrees and main dishes to only cost about €15, or €7.50 per person.
At more local restaurants, you can effectively cut that cost in half. There were times we ate out in Baku and ordered a reasonable amount of food and our bill, for two people, wouldn’t cost us more than €7-8, or €3.5-4 per person.
There are also a lot of fast food options available in Baku as well, meaning that you can eat even cheaper if you are keen to feat upon doner kebabs for most of your trip. Another great, money-saving option is to see if your accommodation will provide breakfast.
Often, accommodations will have a hearty breakfast included in the room rate, or available for a small extra charge — normally about €2.50. Some guesthouses will also provide dinner for an extra charge as well — normally about €5 per person.
Outside of Baku, expect prices to be around the same if you’ve stuck to more local joints in the city. In total, you needn’t plan to spend much more than about €10 per person per day in Baku and Azerbaijan, and it is very much possible to spend less as well.
Activity Prices in Azerbaijan
Now that I’ve covered the most basic expenses of travelling to Baku or Azerbaijan, you need to know how much sightseeing and other activities are going to cost.
In general, this is the area where you might see the biggest discrepancy in activity prices in Baku versus the prices outside of the city. In Baku, museum entry or admission into top tourist sites, for instance, can be more akin to prices in Western Europe than elsewhere in the Caucasus region.
On average, plan for paid entry into the main tourist sites in Baku to cost somewhere around €3.50-7.50 per person. That is a full-price estimate, however, and does not account for the significant discounts available for students, for example. You will also find that there is often a dual pricing structure in Azerbaijan, meaning that entry to attractions is cheaper for locals than it is for foreigners.
In Baku, it is popular to either hire a driver or to embark on a few day trips from the city, and you will find that there are many tour companies readily available that will take you to all of the fantastic attractions within reach of the capital. Often, navigating to a lot of areas can be very difficult (and often impossible) by public transport so taking an organised day tour is really a great option.
If you plan on going for an organised day tour from Baku, you can expect that to cost about €25 per person, not including entry into the sites. However, as these are outside of Baku, the most expensive that you will find will only cost €5 at full price.
Outside of Baku, entry into popular sites still will be a major factor into your total trip to Azerbaijan cost. You can assume entry fees to main attractions to cost around €1-5 just depending on where it is you are and how much demand there is to see the site.
Overall, activity prices are one of the biggest factors of any Baku, Azerbaijan travel budget. Therefore, if you want to gain admittance into some cultural sites or go on a day tour, plan to spend on average about €8-10 per person per day.
Entertainment Prices in Azerbaijan
Now that you’ve figured out the average cost of most everything in Baku and Azerbaijan as a whole, there is still one more factor you need to consider: the cost of entertainment.
While Azerbaijan is a Muslim-majority country, it is largely secular and there are absolutely no restrictions on alcohol whatsoever. You will see locals drinking beer and wine and it is not a faux-pax to order a glass of local red or white with dinner.
Young locals in Baku, as well, like to enjoy the bar and club scene in the city. That being said, however, Azerbaijan doesn’t have a heavy drinking or hard partying culture. While you may see locals enjoying a beer or two, people are still far more likely to opt for another tea rather than another beer.
Because of this, you don’t really need to factor much into your entertainment costs in Baku or Azerbaijan. On average, a glass of local wine (Azerbaijan does have some tasty vintages!) will only cost about €2-3 depending on the quality. Expect a local draft beer to cost about €1-2.
If you want to forgo drinking but like to kick back in a cafe with a tea or coffee, that also won’t set you back too much either. A glass of tea, the absolute favourite drink of Azerbaijan, should only cost you about €0.50-1. An espresso drink, however, will cost a bit more at about €2 for a cappuccino or latte.
On the whole, your entertainment budget doesn’t need to take up a sizeable amount from your total Baku trip cost or Azerbaijan trip cost. Expect to spend about €2-5 per day on entertainment costs in Azerbaijan, depending on your habits.
Average Azerbaijan Trip Cost
All factors above considered, this is how much you should expect to spend per person per day while in Baku or Azerbaijan in general. This is assuming that you stay in budget accommodation, eat in local establishments, and use public transport rather than rely on taxis or private drivers.
Accommodation: €10 / night
Transportation: €3 / day
Food: €10 / day
Activities: €8 / day
Entertainment: €2-5 / day
All in all, you can expect your average daily Baku, Azerbaijan trip cost to be about €30-40 per person per day.
This can very easily be brought down if you opt for more affordable eating establishments or don’t eat every meal out, travel slower, and stay in more budget-friendly accommodation. It can also cost a lot more depending on your habits.
This average Baku, Azerbaijan trip cost doesn’t factor in pre-trip expenses such as:
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The truth of the matter is that, while Baku might be trying to brand itself as a luxury city for the rich and famous, it is still incredibly easy to travel there as a budget backpacker.
If you’ve been wondering “is Baku expensive” or debating the cost of a trip to Azerbaijan, it can be helpful to see a detailed price breakdown. Like most everywhere in the world, if you’re smart about where you spend your money, you can find a Baku, Azerbaijan travel budget to suit your style.
Are you wondering what a trip to Azerbaijan will cost? Have you been? Let us know in the comments!