Gyumri

Church in Gyumri Town Square

Gyumri is the second largest city in Armenia and the capital of Shirak Province in Northern Armenia. Much of the historic center dates to the days when Gyumri was an outpost of the Russian Czar in the Southern Caucasus, and the architecture reflects that. The buildings, of dark black stone are primarily 1800s Russian in style, with Armenian touches. Much of the center was destroyed by the 1988 quake which devastated the region, part of which has been rebuilt. There are also Russian churches, cemeteries and a large Russian base still dominates a part of the city.

Get in

From Yerevan

Vans called marshutni depart Yerevan for Gyumri from a parking lot next to Sasuntsi David subway station. These are cheap, at about $4, but often crowded or uncomfortable. They are, however a great way to meet locals. Shared taxis depart from the same location and are usually faster and more comfortable. Taxis can be taken from anywhere in Yerevan or, indeed Armenia.

Another good option for a visit to Gyumri is a day tour from Yerevan. Many companies offer these, for a reasonable price, and allow you to get in a van, with other travelers and a guide, with stops along the way in places like Talin Cathedral and Harijavank Monastery. This is probably the easiest option, and may even work out to be your cheapest compared to taxis.

From Tbilisi

Gyumri is easily accessible from the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Marshrutkas leave daily at 10:30 from the Ortachala bus terminal in Tbilisi. The trip costs 25 GEL and takes 4-5 hours (depending on how long passport control takes). To get from Tbilisi city centre to Ortachala you can take various busses from Bartatshvili street. The marshrutka drives through the centre of Gyumri, so you can get off either in the centre of town or at the Gyumri bus terminal.

Note that the city used to be called Leninakan and this may be the name displayed in the marshrutka windscreen.

Get around

Gyumri's historic town center is quite walkable, and fun to explore, but beyond that it is a bit of a sprawling town, and to see everything it has to offer in a day, a car is needed. If you haven't come with your own, a taxi in town, with a meter, is probably your only realistic option, and a pretty good one at that. If you care to try and figure out the numbers of the local van routes (marshutni), you can have quite an adventure. It may be hard to make it to some of the fringe sites though in a marshutni, like the fortress.

See

Do

Buy

Off the main square, by the smaller black church, there is a diagonal pedestrian avenue with some shops and some outdoor vendors.

The city centre has a number of ATMs accepting international cards.

Eat

There are several restaurants on Rijkov Street, the main pedestrian street leading from Peace Circle Park to the central square as well as by the park and square themselves.

All restaurants close during holidays without notice. Proceed with caution if visiting around New Years or Christmas

Sleep

Connect

Gyumri visitors bureau is offering tours, guide and translation services and transportation. We offer free information and tourist cards. There are also themed tours of Gyumri and Shirak region. For more information please contact: 055 59 15 53, 0312 5 51 65, e-mail: tours@gyumricity.am

Go next

Harich/Harihc is about 15km southeast up a mountain. It is a spectacular setting, and the church is very well preserved

Marshrutka's to Yerevan and Vanadzor leave regularly from the main bus station. Yerevan is about 2.5 hours away, getting to Vanadzor takes about 1 hour.

Georgian mashrutkas leave every morning to Tbilisi and to Alkhasidze:

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, October 14, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.