Baku - Post Report Question and Answers

Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

For the most part. Some of the hiking groups use the little mini buses and they can be dangerous depending on the driver. There are public buses, a metro, and a train that goes to Georgia. All of these are accessible if you have some language and can figure out the routes. For taxis there are many options. I prefer Bolt, which is sort of like Uber because you can set the route on the app and you don't have to negotiate price or anything with the driver. With normal taxis the rate doubles when they find out you are a Westerner. - Jun 2021

We can't use buses, but taxis are plentiful and cheap. So are Uber and Taxify. - Jan 2019

Most people either drive or take Uber or Taxify taxis, which are cheap. You only pay around 2-4 Manat for most rides. The purple London cabs are an option, too, but I find them much more expensive (starting at 3 AZN).

The Metro is safe to use, but the system is not very extensive yet, so it’s usually not the most convenient to take. It’s very cheap, though, at 20 qepik cents per ride. Both Metro and busses are usually packed - Jul 2018

Metro is clean, ridiculously cheap (less than $1 per ride), and runs regularly; I've never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a train. It does get jam-packed at peak times, and body odor seems quite strong, especially in the summer. The bigger issue with using metro as a regular mode of transportation is that the system is not very extensive, so you may not be near enough to a metro stop for it to be useful for you. Most expats use Uber a lot. It is also ridiculously cheap (less than $5 for rides within Baku's central area) and convenient. The only difficultly is that Uber drivers do not reliably speak English and may not know how to read a map. And if you live in Stonepay/Royal Park, Uber drivers have a hard time finding it and getting past the guard booth to pick you up. There are also several local taxi services and you can always, always find a taxi on the street. With hailing taxis off the street, you need to bargain hard to avoid being ripped off and if you take the purple metered taxis, you may have to press hard for the driver to turn the meter on. Most taxis/Ubers don't have functioning seatbelts. I never felt in danger in cabs or metro, even as a woman at night. - May 2018

Yes, we aren't supposed to ride the buses, but the American teachers do. Most people have found a taxi driver they like and use them as needed. I don't like getting a taxi from the street. - Mar 2017

Trains and taxis are safe, buses are improving. - Jul 2015

Don't bring anything with low clearance because of potholes and rough roads. That said, every other car in the city is a Mercedes, so a sedan can make it. The clearance is mostly for peace of mind, and for getting out of town. Some of the villages have amazingly steep and rocky roads. I don't know much about service, except that's it's a better idea to have your driver take it in. Most people have drivers, as the embassy provides a transportation allowance for children in school which covers the cost of a driver. BP also has an allowance for drivers. Most people complain about the traffic and driving, but I get along fine without a driver. - Jan 2013

Trains-no. Buses-no WAY! Taxis--yes, but depending on the driver! Be aware that they drive crazy here! - Dec 2011

The metro is off-limits to Embassy personnel. Taxis are plentiful. They do not have meters, you have to negotiate the fair before getting in. They always start at something unreasonable, but you will be able to get them down to an affordable price. - Sep 2010

Forget trains and buses. They are not recommended for safety reasons. Taxis are without seat belts (mostly), but they are relatively cheap -- if you know what to pay. - Aug 2010

Very affordable. - Oct 2009

Taxis are safe but a little pricey. A roundtrip to the Embassy (about 25 min. drive) will cost you about US$10. You can take the local buses but they are usually over crowded and not very child friendly. - Nov 2008

The embassy security officer has suggested no using buses or subway system and suggests using a specific taxi service. Most travel around the city will cost 5 manat - about US$6.00 - Sep 2008

Didn't take much public transport since I had a car, but taxis are pretty affordable (US$5-6 to most parts of the city). - Sep 2008

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