The Baku Metro -- the best travel deal in Baku
The Baku Metro -- the best travel deal in Baku Reviews
Nov 21, 2007
Trying to get around Baku can be a hassle. Taxis usually charge foreigners 5-10 manats for destinations within the city. Sometimes you can argue with them to get the price down to three but this usually takes a lot of time. While there are shuttles throughout the city, they are usually overcrowded and not generally safe. The problem stems from the driver needing to rent the shuttle for usually around 40 manats for the day, paying for the gas and trying to still make a profit while charging each passenger 20 kopeks (about 23 cents US) per ride. The driver needs to make around 60 manats a day to break even, so they must give at least 300 paying passengers rides. This leads to the drivers handling their vehicles as if they were highly tuned Formula 1 racing cars. When you couple in Baku's growing traffic problems, you have a recipe for disaster.
On the other hand, the Baku Metro (the subway for some of us Yanks) is the most affordable and safest way to get around the city. To access the Metro, you must "rent" a metro card for 2 manats. At the end of your time in Baku, you can return the card to metro station for a full refund or you can just keep the card as a reminder of your time in Baku.
The card initially must be filled with at least 1 manat for passages. In other words, the card itself does not give you access, but instead must be filled. Each ride on the metro will cost 5 kopeks (about 6-7 cents US). If you run out of money on the card, it can be refilled at the purchase window.
To access the metro, all you have to do is wave your card at the turnstiles, a little green light comes on and you are on your way.
Once you are on the Metro, there are no additional charges for transferring to another line. It makes for the best deal for traveling within Baku.
Many of the metro stations are wonderfully designed. 28th of May and the Nizami stations have some interesting mosaics and statues. Unfortunately, the police will not allow photos to be taken as the metro was subject to an Armenian terrorist attack about 15 years ago.
Somethings you may want to know before heading out on the metro. First, security is very tight. If you have any bags be prepared for the police to stop you and look through them. Second, the actual metro cars are fairly old, but for 5 kopeks, no one complains. Third, it can get very crowded during the day and trying to get on or off can make one feel like a salmon trying to swim upstream.
Part of the An American in Azerbaijan travel blog
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