When I was in Tbilisi (Georgia) in March 2017, I decided to go to Baku (Azerbaijan) via road. I searched on the internet and TripAdvisor, but didn’t find the exact information I needed. so I decided to record and document my Tbilisi-Baku road trip. The road trip from Tbilisi to Baku was a real fun and adventure. This guide/experience include the total cost of the tour, journey duration and a video that has almost everything.
Where I started the tour from?
I didn’t plan to do anything in advance, just came out of my hotel room in Tbilisi which was located in the Old Tbilisi city. I came to the Europe square by foot and asked a Taxi driver if he could take me to Azerbaijan border. He said yes why not? I then asked the fare, he said “50” which I thought was “50 Lari” that’s Georgian currency, and 50 Lari is equal to $20 USD. so I said ok, and instantly got board into the car. That was a public Taxi.
On the way to Azerbaijan border, there is a city called “Rustavi” in Georgia, we stopped there for taking something from a small shop, and the driver told me that he’ll take $50 dollars, I said we’ve agreed on Georgian Lari not dollars, but he insisted to be paid in USD. at that moment, I thought it was a mistake done either by the driver or by me. I should have clearly stated him that I’ll pay Lari not dollars.
Anyways, we mutually agreed on $30 dollars later, because I told him that other taxi driver was agree on 50 GEL, actually that was a misunderstanding between us. But the fare from Tbilisi to Georgia-Azerbaijan border (Krasniy Most – Shikhli) should be around 50 Lari to 70 Lari and not more than that.
The Georgian Border (Krasniy Most)
It was a 1:30 hours journey from Tbilisi to Georgian border, and then a 2 minutes walk to the immigration counter. On the Georgian side of the border, you’ll find duty free shops, restaurants and even currency exchange etc. that’s a nice place to spend a few minutes. I then completed the immigration process, which was easy and fast.
Then I walked a few more minutes to reach the Azerbaijan side of the border, there was a terminal building there in which people were standing in a line to pass through immigration. it took me 10 minutes to clear the Azerbaijani immigration as well. and the next moment, I was in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijan Border Shkhli
On the Azerbaijan side of the border, there is nothing much except a shop which sells snacks and drinks etc. There are also a dozen or so cars which can take you to anywhere in Azerbaijan. I needed a taxi/car for Baku, and I found that within a few minutes. In fact, the taxi drivers approached me immediately after I entered Azerbaijan.
The taxi/car drivers can not speak a single word of English, the driver whom I negotiated the fare to Baku, he phoned one of his nephews who talked to me in English and then he translated to the driver. Finally, we agreed on 80 Azerbaijani manats for a shared taxi to Baku, that money is equal to almost $40 USD (April 2017).
The drivers will initially ask you to pay $100 USD to Baku, but will later reduce the price if you act like you know the fare already (I didn’t know though, as my this border crossing was unplanned) but I acted like I knew 🙂
On the way to Baku, you’ll see most of the beautiful scenes of Azerbaijan, and there is a city called “Ganja” which will be the first surprise for you while going towards Baku. I truly enjoyed this whole journey, and it worth the cost.
Pros & cons of the road trip
For the same price or less, you can have a one hour flight from Tbilisi to Baku, but if you are an adventurer like me then you can take the chance to do a road trip. You’ll see some beautiful views from the car during your journey from Tbilisi to Baku, and you’ll see the real life in both the countries. The only bad thing is that nobody speaks English on either side of the border.
If you have any questions then do let me know in the comments and share your Georgia-Azerbaijan border crossing experience in the comments. And finally, don’t forget to watch the Video I have recorded during this trip 🙂