Azerbaijan shares land borders with Russia (Dagestan), Georgia, Armenia, Iran and also shares a border with Turkey via the exclave of Nakhchivan. As mentioned below, the border with Armenia is closed.
The most commonly used border crossings from Georgia to Azerbaijan are the Lagodekhi-Balaken border (connecting Telavi and Zaqatala) and the 'Red Bridge' border crossing (known in Russian as Krasniy Most, connecting Rustavi with Qazax).
Lagodekhi-Balaken border is more frequented by tourists, and it has a scenic road all the way down to Baku. Cost for the car: $40 (for tax and insurance). There are minibuses from Telavi to Lagodekhi (1,5h), from where you can walk or take a taxi for the remaining 4km. There is also a bus from Telavi to Balaken (7 GEL), just across the border on the Azeri side.
Yarag-Kazmalyar – Samur crossing is the only crossing between Azerbaijan (Yalama) and Russia open to foreigners. If you are heading from Russia then keep M29 highway all the way to Yalama. There is another crossing near the Russian town of Filya, but foreigners will be diverted from there to Yalama. It used to be impossible for people who come from non-CIS countries to cross the Azeri border with Russia, but the rules have changed, so it is possible to cross from Azerbaijan into Dagestan. Be ready to get an unusual degree of scrutiny on both sides as foreigners crossing this border is a rare sight here. It is about one hour from Derbent to the border, about an hour total to cross the border and then 3 hours drive to Baku. To get to Derbent from Makhachkala take marshrutka from Makhachala’s South Bus Station (2 hours drive). Marshrutkas depart quite frequently, at least every half hour.
Despite the strong ties between Turkey and Azerbaijan, the countries only share a border with the Azeri excalve of Nakhchivan, with one border crossing coming in close to Aralık in Turkey. This border is accessed through a narrow strip of Turkish land that runs close to the Iranian border and Turkey. If you want to travel between the main part of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan, then you will need to go via Iran.
While Nagorno-Karabakh is de jure part of Azerbaijan the de facto state considers itself independent and can only be accessed via Armenia. There is no need to get a visa in advance, just go to Stepanakert and your passport will be registered at the border, where you’ll get a piece of paper saying that you will need to visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stepanakert, where you can pay for your visa. It takes 20 minutes to do so. The main border is at the Lachin corridor, but you can also enter from the north via Sotk, or on the southern road that scouts the Iranian border. We strongly advise you do not travel to Azerbaijan after having been in Nagorno-Karabakh, since this is illegal in Azerbaijan and you will be refused entry into the country, and if you have been public about your travels there, then you will also been blacklisted. It goes without saying that if you are Armenian, or even of Armenian descent, you will also be forbidden entry into the country.
Iran border (Astara border crossing)
The main border crossing going from Azerbaijan into Iran is located in Astara in the south of the country. This is the main road you’ll find from going from Baku. The drive from Baku to Astara by bus will take around 6 hours. The cost is around $7-10 USD. Border towns on each side are both called Astara and the good thing about this border is that you literally walk from one town into the other. No need to find transport to the border, just get a bus to Azeri Astara, and walk across to the Iranian Astara.
There is also a possibility to take a train from Baku that departs at 23.00 and arrives to Astara at 09.10 the following day (note that departure time is generally punctual, arrival time is flexible). The cost is around 6 AZN in a 3rd class / platskartny compartment. If you plan to move further on to Iranian border then take a taxi from the station - the short ride to border is 3-5 manat. Border opens at 09.00 (closes at 18.00), quite a busy crossing, but foreigners are usually let through very quickly. On the Iranian side youґll get ambushed by pushy moneychangers, just go 100m down the road and you can change Azeri money in one of the shops there. Any further into Iran, its questionable if youґll be able to get rid of it.
Then you can take a bus to Rasht (about 180 km). Getting from Rash to Tehran is quite easy. There are frequent buses from Rasht to Tehran so a late connection may be available. You can also buy a bus ticket to Tehran from Astara, but border crossing this way will be lengthier, so going through Rasht seems to be a better option. There is transport immediate at either end of the border so there isn't much walking involved. It takes about 7 hours by bus to get from the border to the Tehran - 2.5 to Rasht and about 4 hours to Tehran. it takes less than 6 hours if you do it by car. Of course consider the traffic if it is a weekend.
There is another crossing at Bilasuvar that is less frequented by international travelers and more busier with the locals crossing into Iran for business and medical treatment trips.
Nakhichevan enclace also has 2 border crossings with Iran, both open for international travelers. Similarly one border crossing has same name for both sides: Jolfa – Julfa. Another one is Poldasht – Shahtakhti but we have not much information on that.
Road from Tbilisi to Azerbaijan border (via Town of Lagodekhi), Republic of Georgia. Total 170 km. 10x time lapse.
Crossing Azeri border at Red Bridge. Border formalities take 40-50 min. Passengers cross separately from the driver.
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