Unlike Tbilisi, Baku has no real hostel culture – just a couple of backpacker bunk rooms tucked into private apartments, while a couple more budget hotels offer beds in a few shared rooms. In pricier hotels service is usually friendly and well meaning but often over-familiar.
AirBnB (www.airbnb.com) has limited offerings in Baku and many options are way out of the city centre, but there can be some bargains to be found. Rental agents that focus on the expat market sometimes offer short-stay options.
In addition to our recommendations, there are at least half a dozen other lower-midrange mini hotels dotted about the Old City with rooms in the AZN50 to AZN80 range, many a little musty or ragged. Booking.com advertises a selection of sweetly unreconstructed room rentals from AZN25.
East of Centre
There are many new hotels in the area known as Montin (eastern Gənclik) and around Nəriman Nərimanov metro station. Their proximity to the Heydar Əliyev Mərkəzi might sound like a plus, but beware that you'll be over 3km east of the Old City with limited strolling options and unforgiving traffic congestion to deal with.
Southern Bulvar Area
Several hotels in Bayil are reasonably handy for the southern boulevard once you've found an underpass beneath the unforgiving coastal highway.