Azerbaijan has borders with Georgia, Armenia, Russia and Iran. Since the 2 are at war, there is no border crossing open between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The exclave of Nakchivan has its own section. For an exact location of these and all other border crossings on the Silk Road, see the border crossing map on the overview page.
It is NOT a problem to have an Armenian border stamp in your passport. It is a problem to have a Nagorno-Karabakh stamp in your passport; you will be denied access to Azerbaijan. For this reason, NKR stamps are issued on a separate paper.
Azerbaijan – Georgia border crossings
Matsimi / Lagodeki / Balakan: Connecting Telavi and Zaqatala. Quiet and easy-going. A beautiful drive once in Azerbaijan towards Baku, but watch out for police if self-driving! 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. The Georgian side is predictably well-equipped with a duty-free shop and money exchange. On the Azeri side there is nothing. Minibuses go between the border and Balakan/Zaqatala (all the way to Qax?).
Krasniy Most – Shikhli: This border crossing is open, connecting Rustavi with Qazax. Recent reports on transport options are welcomed! Self drivers should try to avoid the main road from here towards Baku, it is a giant speed trap – take a minor road to the south or north. Barda is worth a visit if doing this.
Azerbaijan – Iran border crossings
These border points have closed repeatedly in the past due to strained relations between the 2 nations. Things seem to be going fine at the moment, so we assume all of the below are open for international travelers.
Astara – Astara: Updates here. The name of the border towns, Astara, is the same in both countries. 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 Astara, and walk across to the other Astara.
Open from 10 to 18 with a lunch break from 12.30 to ? On the Iranian side, exchange offices offer better rates than the street dealers. An apartment can be gotten here for 10-15$.
It’s swift and smooth (10-15 minutes) when crossing from Iran into Azerbaijan, but an utter nightmare if you try to cross by foot from Azerbaijan to Iran.
Iran -> Azerbaijan
Takes less than 30 minutes to transit. A good thing about this border is that you literally walk from one town into the other. There is no no man’s land in between, so you don’t need to pay for a taxi to get to the border posts.
Azerbaijan -> Iran
Backpackers: Huge crowds gather here. If you come early in the morning, you have a chance of getting past in 4 hours, if not, plan 6 hours. Arriving at the border after 2 p.m. is pointless.
There are better ways to cross here though. You can pay 8-10 dollars for someone to drive you up to the road border crossing and skip the line.
The best option however, is to wait until say 17.30, when someone transporting clothes (a huge, legal business at this border) will drive you up to the border for free if you take a bag of clothes across the border.
All the Azeris in the line do it, and the border guards are so used to it that they completely ignore this, so honestly, no risks.
Cyclists: Take the M3 road instead of the pedestrian crossing or you will be stuck in the major line. On the Iranian side you have to take the pedestrian’s crossing.
Bilasuvar: Open for international travelers, and seems to be more busy than Astara, with many Azeris crossing over to Iran for medical treatment and supplies.
Azerbaijan – Russia border crossings
Yarag-Kazmalyar – Samur: Open to CIS-country residents only for many years, but now open for all foreigners. A bit further east is the railroad crossing between the 2 countries.
The border is very easy. On public transport, you can take a shared taxi from Derbent. You have to be in a vehicle to cross, so border marshrutkas are on offer. Don’t take a taxi for this tiny distance. After the border on the Azeri side, getting a shared taxi to Baku should be easy. To Quba it is harder. Hitchhiking might be your best bet here.
Nakchivan border crossings
There are no border crossings with Armenia, but you can cross overland into Nakchivan from Iran and Turkey. Crossing might take some time as you are very suspect wanting to visit Nakchivan for tourism purposes. Be sure to not have any compromising pictures on your camera, usb, computer or phone. As with the other Iran crossings, these have closed in the past but with improved relations seem open to all travelers now.
Jolfa – Julfa: Border crossing with Iran. Open for international travelers.
Poldasht – Shahtakhti: Border crossing with Iran. It’s a bilateral border according to an Azerbaijani immigration officer. Likely to operate 24/7.
Sadarak – Dilicu: Border crossing with Turkey between Nakchivan city and Iğdır. Several buses a day connect the 2 cities (3h drive).
Azerbaijan -Armenia border crossings
Qazax – Sofulu: This border crossing is closed.