Banks and credit cards
There are a multitude of ATM machines located around Baku, most of which accept international debit and credit cards.
Larger bank branches are open Mondays to Saturdays (shorter day), but are closed on Sundays. Smaller branches are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. International credit and debit cards are accepted in most restaurants and larger shops.
The national currency is the Azerbaijani Manat (AZN).
One hundred Gepik (coins) equals one Manat, and Manat notes come in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 denominations.
It is not possible to exchange currency into Manat in countries other than Azerbaijan, so visitors will need to use the foreign exchange desk at the arrivals hall at the airport or withdraw from ATMs around the city.
Standard electrical power in Azerbaijan is 220v. Electrical equipment and appliances use the standard European 220-240v two-pin plug.
Gratuities and tipping
Tipping is not expected across Azerbaijan but is commonplace in Baku. Occasionally a service charge is included on the bill, particularly in more established hotels and restaurants. Like any other place in the world, tipping for above-average service will be appreciated.
In case you have decided to rent a car during your stay in Azerbaijan there are a wide choice of car rental outlets that you may contact. Two of the best-known car rental companies in Baku are Cars4RentBaku.com and Azrent.az.
Should you need a taxi to get you to your required destination, feel free to call +994125653189 for regular taxi service or +994124041238 to get a ride on a traditional London ‘black cab’.
The official language is Azerbaijani but many people also speak Russian, Turkish and/or English.
Office hours are officially 09:00 to 18:00 Mondays through Fridays. Banks operate from 09:00 to 18:00, while service hours are from 09:30 to 17:00. Shops generally open around 09:30 or 10:00 and close around 20:00. Shops are open seven days a week. Bars and restaurants are open until at least 23:00.
Smoking is permitted in public areas across Azerbaijan, including most restaurants and bars. Smoking will not be permitted in any Baku City Circuit venue, except for designated smoking areas.
VAT in Azerbaijan is similar to that in most European VAT systems, with tax levied on the supply of most goods and services and on the import of goods. VAT payers are entitled to recover the amount of VAT paid on purchases (input VAT) that exceeds the VAT received from their taxable supplies (output VAT).
The country code for Azerbaijan is 994 and the city code for Baku is 012. The international exit code for calling out of Azerbaijan is 00 and must be dialled before the relevant country code and telephone number. Azerbaijani mobile phone numbers have 10 digits and most mobile numbers start with 050 or 051. All 10 digits must be dialled for calls within Azerbaijan. For example: 050-123-XXXX. When calling from outside Azerbaijan, the country code then number minus the zero should be dialled. For example: +994-50-123-XXXX.
Azerbaijan is UTC+4 hours.
Baku tourism information can be found at www.azerbaijan.travel