How to use the Airport Shuttle Bus in Baku

Due to my daily work (tour guide) I happen to be in the airport at least once a week. Lately I've noticed that still a lot of visitors of our city have no clue about the airport shuttle bus. The airport shuttle leaves its spot nearby the exit of the International Terminal every half hour reaching the 28 May subway station. 28 May is the busiest subway station and an "intersection" of other subway lines. It is almost in downtown and walking distance to the fountain square and the old town is 20 minutes. Besides, it is just next to Baku's railroad station, several bus stops and 28 Shopping Mall which offers its customers a big supermarket (Bazarstore), a number of fashion stores, a huge electronics and home appliances shop (Music Gallery), restaurants and a cinema hall. Basically, 28 May station is a convenient place to start your journey. I can't think of many places around the world to compare because I haven't travelled that much. Though let me put it this way: it is the Paddington of Baku.

Thus, I don't see a point in paying at least 25 AZN (about 14-15 USD) for a cab ride when you can use the airport shuttle service which will bring you to downtown in less than an hour (at night and early morning hours in half hour). So back to our story, how to use the service of these buses?

Upon leaving the International Terminal you will notice buses with a red-white air plane sticker on them:

These are very new and comfortable Neoplan buses with 48 seats, luggage compartment, WC and AC. In case you don't see a bus, wait for a little more because they are supposed to leave every half hour so sooner or later it will arrive. 

How and which sum to pay:

One ride costs 1.30 AZN (less than 1 USD) but the cash is not accepted. You must buy a Baku transportation system card on a special BakiKart machine:

Choose on a touchscreen which card you'd like to purchase. Card on the left (red arrow) costs 2 AZN (only card) and after purchasing it you must add more units on its balance. Card on the right (blue arrow) is only for limited usage. If  you are not going use any public transportation in Baku (whether buses or subway) then just buy a card for a limited usage to take the airport shuttle bus ride.

After you choose the limited card, you will have two options to choose from. Card on the left (red arrow) is for one airport bus ride and costs 1.30 AZN (less than 1 USD) and card on the right (blue arrow) is for two rides (costs 2.60 AZN). Choose the one which is more suitable for you and proceed with payment. Please keep in mind that these BakiKart machines accept only cash and coins (no credit cards) and do not return any change. So when you exchange money in the terminal ask for some smaller bills too. How to ask if your English is not good enough? Just print or write down this line on a piece of paper and show it to the bank worker:

"Zəhmət olmasa pulun bir hissəsini xırda ilə verin"
(Please let me have also some smaller bills)

And the last but not least, where to find these BakiKart machines? Very easily, just turn left as soon you exit the terminal. The machine will be there:

Have a good journey!