One of the best ways to travel from Georgia to Azerbaijan is to take the overnight Tbilisi Baku Train. The daily train leaves Tbilisi Railway Station at 20:35 and arrives in Baku at 08:50 the following morning. What better way to travel than to wake up refreshed at your destination after a good night’s sleep!
Visas for Georgia
Georgia is one of the easiest countries in the world to enter thanks to its visa-free policy for citizens of 93 countries and territories! Those with a passport from any of the following places can enter Georgia visa-free for up to one year:
All EU, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile (90 days), Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Iceland, Iran (45 days), Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Qatar, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Ukraine, UK, USA, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Vatican City.
For citizens of any other countries/territories (excluding Kosovo, Palestine and Taiwan), you can apply online for an E-visa (90 or 30 days depending on your passport).
See the government website for full information about Georgia visas and visa-free travel.
Visas for Azerbaijan
Citizens with passports from the following countries and territories can enter Azerbaijan visa-free for up to 30 days:
Belarus, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Visa on Arrival
Citizens with passports from the following countries or territories can obtain a visa on arrival at any of Azerbaijan’s international airports (not at land borders).
Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea and UAE.
Citizens with passports from any of the following 95 countries or territories can apply online for an Azerbaijan E-visa which costs $20.00 (plus a $3.00 processing fee).
All EU, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, UAE, UK, USA, Vatican City and Vietnam.
Please Note: If you have visited Armenia or the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region you will be refused entry to Azerbaijan. Also, people from Armenia are banned from entry to Azerbaijan, including anyone of Armenian descent (if you have an Armenian surname, you will be refused entry).
Tbilisi Baku Timetable
There is one train per day leaving Tbilisi at 20:35 and arriving in Baku at 08:50 the following morning. The total journey time is twelve hours and fifteen minutes.
Tbilisi to Baku
Baku to Tbilisi
|Garadabani (Georgian Border)||21:35|
|Boyuk-Kesik (Azerbaijan Border)||23:00|
|Boyuk-Kesik (Azerbaijan Border)||06:25|
|Garadabani (Georgia Border)||07:50|
Classes of Seat
There are three classes on the Tbilisi Baku train; plaskartny, kupe and spalny vagon (same as Russian trains).
- Plaskartny = Open carriage 54 beds – 3rd Class
- Kupe = 4-berth cabin – 2nd Class
- Spalny vagon = 2-berth cabin – 1st Class
Ticket Price for the Tbilisi Baku Train
- Plaskartny: 38 GEL ($11.25)
- Kupe: 57 GEL ($17.70)
- Spalny Vagon: 87 GEL ($27.30)
How to Buy Tickets for the Tbilisi Baku Train
There are two options for travellers to purchase a ticket for the Tbilisi to Baku overnight train. The first is to buy direct at Tbilisi Central Railway Station. The other is to buy from a tour operator. At present, there is no way to book tickets online yourself.
When I travelled this route, I bought my ticket on the same day of travel from the station, however, it’s always best to purchase a day or two in advance, especially during the summer.
To purchase a ticket at the station, go to the third floor and queue at the ticket window.
Tbilisi Railway Station (თბილისის ცენტრალური სადგური)
How to get to Tbilisi Station
Take bus, metro or taxi to Station Square, Tbilisi.
More info: Tbilisi Railway Station
About the Number 37 Train from Tbilisi to Baku
About the Customs Check
Ensure your visa is valid as the train crosses the border before midnight. I entered Azerbaijan before my visa started, but the customs official was fine with this so I assume it’s a regular mishap. That’s not to say they will always be so lenient.
The border crossing took around two hours in total; one at either side of the border. Make sure you use the toilet before the customs stop as they will be locked for the entire duration!
Facilities on Board
- Each carriage has a toilet at either end.
- Samovar with hot drinking water
- Carriage attendant
- Train Ticket
- Azerbaijan visa
Be sure to check my list of items you need when travelling overland!
Arrival in Baku
As you will have already completed the customs check onboard, you will be free to leave the station as soon as the train arrives.
The closest metro station is “28 May” on the red line. To get to the Old City, take the metro two stops to Icherisheher.
Places to Stay in Baku
If you are looking for budget accommodation in Baku then Hostelworld is the place to go!
Top Things to do in Baku
- Palace of Shirvan Shahs
- Maidens Tower
- Yanar Dag
- Caspian Beaches
Onward from Baku
From Baku, it is possible to take a boat to either Aktau in Kazakhstan or Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan. These cargo vessels have passenger seating and cabins available. Read about the Baku to Turkmenbashi service.
Tbilisi to Baku makes up part of the London to China journey along the Silk Road.
About the author: Steve Rohan, originally from England, has lived in China for over six years. He has lived in the frozen city of Harbin, the ancient capital of Luoyang, the tropical paradise of Sanya and Hong Kong.
He has travelled extensively across Europe and Asia, mostly by train, and has written about his travels for this blog as well as self-publishing his first book, Siberian Odyssey.