Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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SHappe
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:23 am
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Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby SHappe » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:27 am

We (two Australians) crossed the Astara/Astara border on Sunday 17th Feb.

We caught a bus from Baku (left at 07h30, there are ones that leave at 08h30, 09h30 too), and arrived in Astara at around 12h. We shared a cab with an Azeri couple (paid a manat each) that took us to the walking border.

It was very calm, quiet, and there were maybe 20 people leaving Azerbaijan when we did. The guards at the Azeri side were friendly and nice, and after we went through a metal detector, had our bags scanned, and passports checked, we were out. Maybe 15mins. While we were walking to the Iran side, we saw a giant line of people waiting to go into Azerbaijan, but it was mostly empty in Iran. There were a few people milling about, but the Iranian military stopped us just to talk and ask where we were from. They were very excited to practice their English. Once inside the Iranian bit, it was maybe 5min total - they looked at our printed eVisa, asked if we knew anyone in Iran (we don't), asked where we were going (the main tourist bits), suggested a couple of places for us to visit, and asked where we were leaving from (Turkmenistan).

Once out, we took a left and walked around 100 - 200m - there are a line of exchange places that do a pretty good rate (according to bonbast.com). Then it was a cab to the outskirts, another to Ardabil, and a bus to Tabriz. We arrived in Tabriz at around 20h.
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Graindum
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Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby Graindum » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:31 am

We (french family, 2 adults 1 baby and a van) crossed this border in february.

From the Azerbaidjan side, we had not so much problems, just waiting a lot (informatic system failures) but it was sunny so that was not a problem. I had a long waiting time though in the office where we get the stamps because we've been in Armenia - which they don't like. But we finally crossed the border, and they did not look too much to our van.

In the iranian side, it was really strange. They don't have uniforms, and the immigration service is closed on friday afternoon. There we waited a lot also because of an informatic failure (and the custom officer that was sleeping). They looked precisely to all of our van (registering our music instruments so we had no problem when exiting the country, which we hadn't). We didn't pay any additional tax. Just 10$ bakhcich so a guy from the immigration service could come and register us. (we had the CPD, which we made from abroad in Georgia and avoid the costly services of Hossein).

Then the inner traffic circulation is a mess with all of the trucks everywhere, but we finally got out of this border !
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davrunaway
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Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:08 pm
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Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby davrunaway » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:29 pm

I’ve crossed this Astara land border (Azeri to Iran) by foot on 28th May.

I hitchhiked from Lankaran to Astara (Azeri) pedestrian border. I was questioned by the Azeri officer for awhile because I’ve been to Armenia. They are friendly and speak English.

It was less than 3 mins walk to Astara (Iran) border. Unfortunately, they had some problem with their computers and I don’t need visa for Iran (Malaysia Passport), so I had to explain it to them and it took around 30 mins to an hour.

At first, I was confused why they didn’t stamp on my passport but learnt that it’s the norm now.

After exiting the custom, you will encounter some people that offer to exchange money and they will use Google search to show the ‘official’ rate. Do not fall for this trap as the black market rate is 3 times higher and you could exchange at some shops ahead.
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Justintransit
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Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:06 pm

Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby Justintransit » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:11 pm

As anyone heard of a fuel surcharge for when you depart Astara to Azerbaijan? We have been told by our agent that there will be a fee on departure to the value of 50 euro, as fuel is so cheap in Iran they charge you a tax for the privilege and evaluate cost on size of fuel tank. Any information would be appreciated
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Tartine
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Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:45 pm
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Re: Iran-Azerbaijan Border Crossing in Astara

Postby Tartine » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:12 pm

Crossed this border this summer; on foot.

From Iran to Azerbaidjan. Very easy, abeit chaotic and full "special price for you my friend" people around. On the Azeri side it did look VERY chaotic. I waited one hour I think; I had some UK guys in front of me where there was a lot of questions about what they did etc.
Iranians checked the pictures on my phone, I assume that's pretty standard. He didn't like some pictures I took with Iranian family (with ladies as well). I didn't want any endless discussions so I just told him to delete them. Bit disappointing but ok, now I have almost zero picture from my trip. Surprisingly the guy barely looked at my bag.
On the Azeri side the guy spoke French so communication was easy :D

Nothing that's not being said before but:
- This is a border town. On the Azerbaidjan side there's a train station that can take you to Baku (and further of course). There's also numerous bus/matrushka etc. Note though that on Azeri side the border is not -that- close from the city, it's still a few KMs. On the Iranian side there's shops and stuff very close to the border.
- I have heard that the border can become very chaotic on some days because of events where Azeri families from both side reunite.
- The traffic was HORRIBLE with millions of trucks blocking everything in the narrow streets; and it seems that the stuff on trucks and cars were throughly inspected. If you travel with a car you might spend quite some time; and I don't think you can really skip the queue in front of the trucks.
- Astara beach is not the nicest place in the world, but having a drink after Iran is always nice :)
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