Finding a place to stay during the Eurovision Song Contest might be a problem this year. It’s nothing new that hotels in Eurovision host cities are fully booked at that time; furthermore the prices are more expensive than usual. But this year in Baku it might be a bigger problem. All of the hotels have been blocked by the organizers early in advance, so there was no opportunity to book a hotel over the big hotel booking engines like booking.com, Expedia or HRS. Only accredited journalists and fans were able to book official hotels through a special site, which ended on April 10th, but this was not possible for all the others, who would like to have visited Baku.
Other options like apartments also caused some difficulties; there were only a few vendors. Some of them only take bookings a week ahead, not in two months advance as desired from the majority. When the customer decided to book something, often long-winded negotiations must have been made until signing a contract, as the prices are unsteady and can double within days. The vendors probably think that they can make the bargain of their lifetime like at the European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine. The average price per person can exceed 80 – 100 EUR per night. Prepayment bank transfers cannot made easily as Azeri banks do not use IBAN numbers and intermediate banks must be mentioned. One of the best addresses is Bakurent where is friendly and helpful staff with a great choice of options with reasonable prices.