Azerbaijan’s economy is mostly depended on oil and natural gas prices, which the last two years is a drawback for the country’s economy due to the prices decline but it is good for your budget trip.
Don’t let yourself be disappointed by the flight tickets especially if you are from a long distance country.
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Also if your country is not on that list (https://evisa.gov.az/en/) it means you will need a visa which costs 20$.
Personally as volunteers who came to Baku our first encounter with the local economy was the transportation means. You will have to pay 0, 20 AZN for bus and metro which is really cheap if you transfer it to dollars (0, 12$). About taxi, as a tourist, the driver will try to gain more money from you, but First Rule about Azerbaijan: Always Bargain! If you are good you can even get a 70% discount and of course Tip No 1: ask the price before you start the ride.
Next, comes accommodation, you can stay in a hotel, hostel or rent an apartment/house. You know sadly for you, we were luckier than you are because we were living with an Azerbaijani host family. If you have a chance like this, take it, trust us is it worth. As you can imagine the prices at the capital are higher than the rest of the country but you can find a nice room for a night for 10$ and in the region even for 5$. For a lot of days, you can rent a house, it will be much cheaper and if you are more than one person rent a car too, the countryside of Azerbaijan has many hidden surprises for the tourists.
And yes, we know you have been waiting for this since the beginning; it’s time for food and drinks. So Rule No 2: Taste and Drink everything. It’s cheap! In all of the restaurants, you will find local cuisine but also dishes from the neighbour and European countries. At Baku, there are all kinds of restaurants, expensive and cheap, in the region just cheap. You can have breakfast for 2$ and lunch/dinner for 4-7$. Of course, try street food like doner. Tip No 2: if they say it’s spicy it’s not just hot, it’s really hot.
Now, about drinks, clubs at Baku are kind of expensive so you may visit a pub first for a beer with 2 AZN (1, 18$). In the region many locals sell food to the visitors even for 0, 50 coins, it’s the absolute Azerbaijani food experience you will have.
So do you remember the first rule? Well in museums and archaeological sites you can’t bargain but most of them have discounts especially for students, so bring your IDs, guys. It will be difficult for you to find a ticket for more than 10 AZN, even Heydar Aliev Cultural Center costs 10-15 AZN is really worth it. Suggestions: visit national history museum for 5 AZN, the carpet museum for 7 AZN and maiden tower for 10 AZN. And if you bring your student ID with you, it can be 0.6 AZN or you can look for open door days for free entrance.
And last, there is no tourist without some shopping. You will find a lot of souvenirs stores and benches in the old city and in all historical and tourist attractions places. Also, Baku has 4 malls and a lot of shops where you can find everything you wish and as always in a good price!