Yerevan (Armenian: Երեւան) is the capital of the Republic of Armenia, one of the three hubs of the South Caucasus and is home to over a million people - the largest Armenian community in the world. In Soviet years Yerevan underwent massive reconstruction, following Alexander Tamanyan's (the architect) new plans to make a perfect city - a Neo-Classical wide-avenues-based town resembling Paris, Vienna and Saint Petersburg.
Central Yerevan is a true jewel of early Soviet architecture. She is also home to some large scale Modern and Post-Modern marvels which are mostly the result of Soviet-Armenian architectural megalomania. In Soviet days Yerevan had already become known as the Pink City as much due to the colour of the tufa stone used for building as for the flamboyant spirit of her young population.
Most of tourist Yerevan is concentrated in the city centre, which very compact and easily walkable, with endless dining and entertainment options. The rest of the city is mostly sleeping or business quarters, so a typical tourist will not have much incentive to leave the centre.
- Kentron, Centre City, City Centreor Downtown - is central Yerevan, locally called as kentron or just kaghak (meaning 'the city'). This is the heart of Yerevan and indeed Armenia. Though Kentron's architecture is diverse, ranging from Belle Epoque to Soviet Panel blocks, the great majority of the centre is in Beaux-Arts tradition. The city centre follows Tamanyan's plan for a circular city with two hubs - grand Republic Square, and the more elegant and soft Opera district (Opera house, Freedom Square and the Swan Lake Park). The two are linked with newly constructed pedestrian-only Northern Avenue. The Main Avenue (standard South European Corso) is still under construction (for last 60 years, though on a greater scale during the last couple of years) and will eventually reach the hill on which the historical Kond neighborhood rests. Kentron is also home to the University City, where the campuses of State University, Medical University, Engineering University, Agricultural University, Economics University, Pedagogical and some other universities come together in one big group. Virtually all of the museums, hotels and popular places to eat and drink are in Kentron, so most visitors will probably not venture much past it.
- Barekamutyun - Meaning friendship, Barekamutyun is the area around the metro stop of the same name. This hub is home to Hayastan Hanrakhanut (department store) which is more of an indoor bazaar than an actual department store. The hub branches off to Kievyan and nearby Komitas streets.
- Monument - At the top of the Cascade steps rests the towering monument to Soviet victory in WWII. Directly adjacent is the large construction site of the Cafesjian Museum, which houses a large collection of contemporary art, including perhaps the best glass art collection in the world. Beyond the monument is Victory Park, and the neighborhood around it is known as Monument as well.
- Erebuni - In this district is situated ruins of fortress of Erebuni, founded in 782 BC by king Argishti.
- Bangladesh - Not to be confused with country in Asia! Not much to offer a tourist, the name however is worth an explanation. At the time this was one of the furthest new districts built in Yerevan, and because of the distance, locals quickly began calling it Bangladesh, which has stuck to this day. The biggest outdoor bazaar of Yerevan is located in this district.
- Nor Nork district is the last Soviet project of residential expansion of Yerevan. It entirely consists of standardised Soviet Panel blocs. However, every tourist crosses this district on the way to 'obligatory' Garni temple and Geghard monastery (as the highway to that direction is connected to the main avenue of this district). The main attraction of this district would be the Gay Statue, though the name has nothing to do with homosexuality (to avoid this interesting misunderstanding most often the name of the avenue and statue is Romanised as Guy).
Even though the history of Yerevan dates back to the Erebuni fortress, making it at least 2800 years old, little remains of what was small settlement saving the excavations at Hrazdan river gorge, Erebuni, Karmir Berd and Avan. These sites have been excavated, and the artifacts found are in museums today. Being on a strategically important place Yerevan was a constant war stage for rival Ottoman, Persian and Russian Empires. It has been repeatedly ruined by those wars or natural disasters (e.g. an earthquake in 17th century almost entirely destroyed the town). Few buildings of the old Erivan survived to the present-day Yerevan.
At the time of Armenia's independence in 1918, when Yerevan was made the capital of an independent Armenia, Yerevan was a town of just 20,000. Large scale construction began, which took a more holistic approach under the new city plan laid out by Alexander Tamanyan. The plan involved the demolition of much of what existed, in favor of concentric circles, parks, and taller structures. He planned for Yerevan to become a metropolis of 200,000 people.
Michael Arlen, Passage to Ararat, an autobiographical account of an American-Armenian's first visit to Soviet Armenia.
Yerevan is a very homogeneous city, though tiny Yezidi and Molokan (Russian) minorities exist. Because the population of the city was only 20,000 a century ago, the vast majority of the Armenians are immigrants themselves, from all over the world. From the villages and towns of Armenia, from Tbilisi which was the centre of Eastern Armenian culture before 1918, from Western Armenia as genocide survivors poured in, and even from the middle east and Europe in a large, post-WWII wave of immigration. Since independence, the city has become the heart of the entire Armenian world, as the divisive communist governments demise has allowed the Diaspora – larger in number than the population of Armenia itself, to embrace the city as its own.
Many visitors will be surprised to know that Armenia is not just an outcrop of Christianity in the Caucasus, but it is the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion. The king declared Christianity the state religion in 301 AD. Christianity has been uninterruptedly practiced in Armenia ever since in its own traditions.
The One Holy Catholic Apostolic Orthodox Armenian Church, or just Apostolic Church, is the National Church of Armenia. It is very traditional; in practices (but not history) is similar to both Orthodox and Catholic movements as well as to the Reformed Churches, e.g. the Church of England. At the same time the Armenian Apostolic Church has some strikingly different practices, like allowing animal sacrifices or not celebrating Christmas. (On January 6 Armenians celebrate Theophany that is usually mistranslated as Christmas, while Annunciation - the day when the Blessed Virgin Mary got pregnant, celebrated on April 7 - may be considered a better substitute for Christmas than Theophany is.)
The great majority of Armenians identify themselves as Apostolic Christians and have their own Catholicos (religious leader, like the Pope for Catholics). Today, the vast majority of Armenians do not attend church each Sunday, with visits revolving around weddings and baptisms, or occasionally dropping in to light a candle. Soviet restructuring of the city left Yerevan with very few churches: Currently some new ones are being built, and old ones rehabilitated.
The Protestant (Evangelical) Armenians are rather few in number with only one church on Nar-Dos street. Anglican (Episcopal) Christians used to congregate at St Zoravor church for Sunday Eucharist, however shortly after stopped the practice due to extreme small size of the community (and the fact that both Armenian Apostolic Church and Anglican Communion adhere to the concept of one baptism and welcome each other's members to celebrate Eucharist together).
Orthodox Christians currently maintain one church in Kanaker district of Yerevan. A new, large-scale, onion-domed Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Cross is under construction at Yerevan Lake district, visible from the highway coming from the airport. However, this will have mostly symbolic structure as the Orthodox Christians are very few in number.
Assyrians do not have church in Yerevan per se, but rather in the villages around Yerevan.
Yezidi (a religious and ethnic minority in Armenia) religious rituals, as most of that religion, are kept secret. So no Yezidian practice can be observed easily in Yerevan.
Muslims are steadily growing in numbers since the collapse of the Soviet State, fueled by the Iranian immigration. There is currently one Mosque on Mashtots Ave.
Many Christian sects are also present in Yerevan, and they congregate in schools, sport clubs, concert halls and the like.
|Daily highs (°C)||0.6||3.7||11.7||19.5||24.3||29.6||34||33||29||20.7||12.1||4.5|
|Nightly lows (°C)||-7.8||-5.3||0.3||6.9||10.8||14.7||18.8||17.8||13.3||7||1.4||-3.6|
Source: World Meteorological Organisation (UN)
With a cold semi-arid climate, Yerevan experiences long hot summers, and cold snowy winters, both with little. The winter is not a good time to visit Yerevan, due to icy sidewalks and smoky restaurants, any other time of year is worth a visit. Spring offers mild but sometimes wet weather, and lots of green hills and wildflowers. Summer is very hot, but the long, late nights at the cafes, and the fruits and vegetables are amazing. Autumn is the most popular, with perfect weather, and great farm fresh foods.
Most of the sights in Yerevan are concentrated in the centre, which is very walkable. Spending a few days visiting the major sights should be enough time, and try to get in a trip to Vernissage flea market on the weekend. Also there are number of day trips can be done from Yerevan.
Smoking may appear to be the national pastime, and indeed, Armenia has one of the highest rates of smoking in all of Europe. To avoid the smoke, stick to restaurants with outdoor seating, let your taxi driver know it is not okay to smoke, and sit near the door when in a smokier café, and ask to have it left open when possible. Some restaurants have non smoking sections, but rarely is there separate ventilation. Yum-Yum Donuts is strictly non-smoking, and Melody café has a walled off section for non-smoking all year round. Artbridge and Twinings have separate rooms for non-smokers. Map of non-smoking places in Yerevan.
As of December 2014, no tourist information office exists in Yerevan. The reception of Marriott hotel at Republic square is very helpful and will give you free maps of the city and the country by request.
Zvartnots International Airport (IATA: EVN, Զվարթնոց Միջազգային Օդակայան) (14 km west of the city centre), ☎ +374 10 493000. The main gate to Armenia. In 2006, a new terminal was opened, where most arrivals and departures are now based. It remains a smaller airport however, so navigating your way around is easy and fast. Free WiFi access is available in the departure terminal. Several decent cafes, ATMs, bank and post branches are all available at the 1st and 2nd floors of the airport. Tourists may get information about Armenia from information desk or a touch screen information stand.
Numerous carriers fly to Yerevan aside from Armavia: Air France, Iran Air, Czech Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Aeroflot. Yerevan is connected to all major European and Middle Eastern cities: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Athens, Moscow, Vienna, Berlin, Prague, St Petersburg, Minsk, Riga, Kiev, Istanbul, Aleppo, Tehran and Beirut. Armavia reopened the Route Yerevan - Tbilisi - Yerevan again, with two daily flights (July 2011)
Transportation between the airport and the city
- A public bus N107 is available during the day-time for about 350 AMD, which will take you to the Opera House in central Yerevan. However, it seems to stop operating after 20:00.
- Two mini-buses - N 17 and N 18 operating routes to/from different districts of Yerevan.
- A taxi ride from the airport to the city will cost from 3,000 to the centre, and up to 5,000 AMD for the most distant parts of the city (2015). Some drivers may try to convince you to pay more, but don’t ever believe them, and telling them you will call the police (who will help you) should straighten out any opportunists. Almost 100% taxis are using a taxi meter (sheochik), so, the best if you have local currency with you to pay for the trip. It might be a good idea to use official transporter of Zvartnots Airport - AeroTaxi, you can book a taxi on-line and be sure that your driver is waiting certainly for you. Do not agree on a flat fee, but insist on the meter being used (and switched on), even with AeroTaxi. There is also an official taxi stall inside the airport.
Yerevan Station (Երեւանի երկաթուղային կայարանի), Tigran Metz Avenue (Access to the Metro : 'Sasuntsi David' is by underground passage). This is a Neo-classical building, small scale version of Soviet skyscrapers such as Moscow State University or Warsaw Culture Palace, with a red-star-topped high spire serving as a symmetry axis. Unfortunately, the square, the building and the statue are in a measly condition now, as the blockade-driven underusage of the railway left the place unattended.
An overnight train runs on odd numbered days from Tbilisi in Georgia. After departing at 20:20 the journey takes twelve hours. Estimated arrival time in Yerevan is 07:00, but delays are common. Border formalities are around midnight at two stops about half an hour apart, expect them to take some time. Visas can be bought by those who require them (not needed for EU citizens) at the border for 3000 AMD or $10. 'Up' trains leave Yerevan on even numbered days, departing 22:00, arriving at 8:00. Beware that to purchase a ticket, the travel document to be used is to be presented at the ticket counter, traveller's full names will be transliterated into Russian, and this information printed on the ticket. Before a passenger is allowed on board, the wagon's conductor verifies this information. Toilets are locked by the attendant whilst the train is not moving and at the border. The wagons are the standard Soviet era hold-overs, but they're fairly comfortable. Bring your own food, water and vodka for socializing as there is no restaurant car on board. Notice that during the summer months this train runs from Batumi instead, and is a daily service, so 15/06-01/10: Batumi 15:35 Tbilisi arr 22:16 Tbilisi dep 21:40 Yerevan 07:25 (46.41 GEL 2nd class Tbilisi-Yerevan); Yerevan 15:30 Tbilisi arr 00:12, Tbilisi dep 00:45, Batumi 07:10. A night in a 1st class compartment (2 beds) costs about double that.
Yerevan is the "hub" of Armenia's small rail system, most lines are only served once daily. There is no timetable information in Latin characters in the station, but an online Timetable exists (2014). Local destinations: Armavir (1 hr), Gyumri (3 hrs), Vanadzor (4.5 hrs), Dilijan, Armavir, Vardenis, Airum, Lake Sevan.
Options include arriving into Armenia via Georgia or Iran. A drive to Yerevan from Armenia-Iran border will take approximately 6 hours, and is a great way to explore Southern Armenia, cities like Meghri, Kapan, Goris, Sisian, etc.
Arriving from Georgia will allow you to drive trough Northern Armenia and driving to Yerevan will take 4–5 hours.
Highways are high standard, although sometimes can be narrow (1 line to each direction) due to mountainous terrain.
Buses and minivans are the major means of transportation within the country. From Yerevan you can get to literally every place in Armenia within a day. To make things confusing for foreigners, there are several different regional bus-stations in Yerevan and the minivans tend to leave from hard to find places just somewhere at the side of the road. When heading into Yerevan, they are not unknown to drop you at random spots somewhere in the city, so ask the driver beforehand to drop you at a convenient place. The following is an incomplete list of the major bus stations.
- Yerevan Central Bus Station (Kilikia Bus Station), Tsovakal Isakovi Ave., 6 Building (to the south-west of the city centre on Admiral Isakov Avenue, around one kilometre from the Shuka, at the end of Mashtots Avenue), ☎ +374 10 565370. This is the biggest non-commercial bus station in Yerevan. To get there, take Minibus 13 (from Barekamutsun Metro), 23 (from the Train Station) or 15, 68 and 75 (from Republic Square). Bus stop 'Kilikia'.
From Tbilisi, fare costs 15 lari and takes about 12 hours. More expensive is to take a 35 lari marshutka/minibus but it’s much faster at about 5 hours. Sometimes you can take a shared car from Tbilisi as well. Again, a bit more expensive than minibus, but faster and more comfortable. The last marshrutka leaves for Tbilisi at 2:30 PM
Bus service to Yerevan also is available in Istanbul, or many of the cities on the Black Sea coast of Turkey en route to Yerevan, with a detour through Georgia. In Yerevan some of the bus lines from Turkey are: Karbut Tour: +374 10 542697 and Oz Aybaki +374 10 565003.
Buses to Tehran (via Tabriz) leave from this bus station at 10:00 every day - 24 hour-trip (give or take), 22,000 Dram, and arrive at "Azadi" bus station. Lunch and dinner stops along the way (one in Armenia, so keep some Dram).
- Northern Bus Station (around 5 km north of the city centre on the Yerevan-Sevan Highway). It is worth visiting just for its soviet architecture and the desperate feeling the huge and empty building gives. To get there take bus 113 or Minibus 101 (both from somewhere on Komitas). Buses and Minivans from here go to for example Dilijan and Sevan.
- Station square. Some buses and shared taxis depart from the station square. Marshrutkas to Tbilisi leave every 2 hours (9, 11am, 1, 3, 5pm). Price 7000 Drams
- Gai Bus Station, Gai Ave. It's merely an open square from where buses depart to Garni, Gogh and Geghard villages.
The centre of Yerevan is compact and easy to get around by foot. Watch your step, however, as construction sites, potholes and aggressive drivers abound. Make sure to be careful especially while crossing the street. In Yerevan, Armenia (and many other places I am sure) the drivers may tend to be very distracted when driving and don't pay attention to the road, especially to jaywalkers. Be aware, that there are recently introduced penalties for jaywalking and crossing the streets in non-designated areas, and once spotted by police, you will have to pay a fine of 3,000 AMD.
The metro system in Yerevan is quite reliable and relatively modern, having been built in the early 1980s. It is the quickest way around town, and at 100 dram, the cheapest aside from walking.
Today the metro operates as a single line, with a shuttle branch and covers 12 km (7.5 miles), with trains running every five minutes from 06:30 until 23:00 Due to Yerevan's uneven landscape, the metro in some cases goes above ground. Continuing the tradition of all ex-Soviet underground systems, most of the stations are exquisitely decorated, often blending Armenian national motifs with late-Soviet architecture.
Yerevan metro stations from north to south
- Metro Station Barekamutyun (Baregamutyun, lit. Friendship - Russian: Druzhba), Marshal Baghramyan Ave (National Archive of Armenia, Yerevan Expo).
- Metro Station Marshal Baghramyan (Marchal Baghramian), Marshal Baghramyan Ave (American University of Armenia, Embassy of UK, Lovers Park, National Assembly of Armenia, Presidential Palace,).
- Metro Station Yeritasardakan (Eritasardakan), Isahakyan St (Abovian street, Alexander Spendiarian Armenian Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre, Freedom Square (Azatutyan Hraparak), Komitas Chamber Music Hall, University of Architecture and Construction, Medical University).
- Metro Station Hanrapetutian Hraparak (lit. Republic Square, formerly Lenin Hraparak 'Lenin Square'), Republic Square (Armenia Marriott hotel, Central Bank, Erebuni Hotel, Government House, History Museum of Armenia, National Gallery, Vernissage).
- Metro Station Zoravar Andranik (lit. General Andranik, formerly Hoktemberyan), Tigran Mets Ave (Spartak (Armenia) Sports Stadium, Ayrarat Market, Luna Park, Saint Gregory Cathedral, Tashir Mall, Agricultural bazaar/G.U.M. market).
- Metro Station Sassountsi David (lit. David of Sasun), Sevan St (Yerevan Mall, Yerevan Railway Station).
- Metro Station Gortsaranain (lit. Factory), Street Bagratuniats near to intersection of Arshakuniats Arshakuniats Ave (Nairit Chemical Plant).
- Metro Station Shengavit (Chengavit), 9th St. Metro shuttle to Charbakh
- Metro Station Gareguin Njdehi (lit. Garegin Nzhdeh Square, formerly Spandaryan Hraparak), Garegin Nzhdeh Square, (Mika Stadium, Yerevan Lake).
More than a hundred minibus (marshrutka, pronounced mar-shroot-kah) routes exist that criss-cross the city and travel to the suburbs and beyond (such as to Georgia or Karabagh). At 100 dram (US $0.25) a ride in Yerevan, they are a bargain. The minibuses are often overcrowded, and you may find yourself standing, crouched without a seat during rush hour. The route number is displayed prominently in the window, along with Armenian text listing the major landmarks and streets of the route. The Opera (ՕՊԵՐԱ) is an easy Armenian word to recognize on these signs, and is the main crossing point of many of the lines. When you want to get off, you should say “kangnek” or “ijnokh ka” for the driver to hear, or else, just say “stop” in English. The numbers of the minibuses are written on the bus stations though and the webpage of the tourist information has the whole list with destinations. Pay when leaving a minibus.
By bus or trolleybus
Yerevan also has trolley and regular bus lines, operated by "Yergortrans." The fare is very inexpensive (50 dram for trolley and 100 dram for regular bus) and the vehicles are not too crowded. Pay when leaving a bus.
Yerevan Routes is an app for your Android/iPhone; It does not give you exact bus schedule but still a very useful (and the only) way to find out about all bus, trolley, and marshrutka routes. Android version. iPhone version .
Abundant throughout the city, a taxi anywhere in the centre should not cost more than 1,000 dram. Almost all taxis with company names on the sides have meters, and prices tend to be competitive among taxi companies. To flag an empty one down on the street, just hold your arm out and pat your hand in the air, if they’re free they’ll stop. Taxis without a logo on the side tend to charge more, and may to try to get more out of foreigners. To avoid being ripped off, either call a taxi from a big company or head for the most modern looking ones which usually have a meter. Make sure that the driver switches it on when you start and politely remind him to do so if he has "forgotten" it. If taxi has meter and the driver hasn't turned it on, in most cases passenger can not pay for the trip. Carry some coins to prevent the drivers from telling you that they have no change on them. Standard price is a minimum of 500-600 Dram for the first 5 km and than 100 Dram for every further km. A car and driver can easily be rented for day trip outside of Yerevan, for as little as 20 USD plus fuel. Beware of moonlighting "taxi" drivers at the airport who will try to charge you ridiculous amounts (20,000 dram or more) to get to the city. Finally never ever believe any taxidriver who wants to convince you that there is no bus or minivan to the destination you are heading to.
Churches in Yerevan are open from early morning till very late evening. There is no entrance fee ever charged. If you manage to find the priest you can ask him to bless you and any object (of non-violent usage) that belongs to you (including friendship and other relationships).
- Katoghike Church (Holy Mother of God Kathoghike Church, Սուրբ Աստվածածին Կաթողիկէ Եկեղեցի), crossroads of Sayat-Nova Ave. and Abovian St (: 'Yeritasardakan' 300 m). The oldest surviving church of Yerevan. It is a tiny structure constructed in typical Armenian style. Currently, the area of Katoghike (also named St Holy Mother of God) church is under construction: It is planned that a white stone based St Anne Monastery will be built, of which Katoghike church will be only a minor part.
- (Ավանի Սուրբ Աստվածածին Կաթողիկե Եկեղեցի, Katoghike Tsiranavor church, later renamed Surp Hovhannes) (in Avan district). This is the city's oldest surviving church. Completed in 6th century.
- St Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Yervand Kochar St (: 'Zoravar Andranik'). Completed in 2001 to commemorate the 1700th anniversary of Armenia as a Christian nation. The holy relics of St Gregory the Armenian were given back to the Armenian Church by the Vatican in 2001 and placed in this cathedral. The building is a megalomaniacal exaggeration of traditional Armenian Church Architecture. As opposed to all other churches in Yerevan (and Armenia) the Cathedral is full of light and does not carry any stand for candles. The candle-house is a separate structure next door. However, the complex is vastly and visibly unfinished.
- St Sargis Vicarial Church, Galshoyan St (at the border of the city centre, on a picturesque gorge of Hrazdan River, : 'Yeritasardakan' 2 km). From the Victory Bridge (or alternatively the Brandy Factory building) there is a beautiful view on the church and surroundings (structures of different shades constructed in immediate proximity to the church during the Soviet years of forced secularisation). The church is always crowded. Usually there are also many young people as St Sargis (or St Sergius in Western churches) is the patron saint of young people and of lovers.
- St Astvatsatsin of Nork (Holy Cross Church, Սուրբ Խաչ եկեղեցու), Nork-Marash (Նորք-Մարաշ) administrative district, near to Olimpos Educational Complex (The most convenient way for reaching the church is using Yerevan funicular. The funicular itself is a special experience. However the church is not immediately next to the funicular stop so you may need some help of the locals at the end. The entrance to funicular is at the crossroad of Nalbandian and Charents streets. The church is in the Nork district of Yerevan - the sleeping quarter of rich.). This is the replica of a beautiful 18th century St Holy Mother of God (Sb Astvatsatsin in Armenian) church destroyed during the Soviet years of forced secularisation. Because of the sudden death of the benefactor the church complex was never finished.
- St John The Baptist Church (St Hovhannes Church), Saint Hovhanes Street (Southwest half km from : Marshal Baghramyan, near to Main Post Office).
- Erebuni Fortress, Erebuni St.(Էրեբունի փող), 38 (: 'Sasuntsi David' 2 km), ☎ +374 10 432661. The excavations, recreations and museum of the nearly 3,000 year old fortress that established Yerevan. Fairly well (and maybe the best) preserved fortress of Urartian Period in Armenia.
- Republic Square (Armenian: Հանրապետության Հրապարակ Russian: Площадь Республики) ( Republic Square). Make sure to see the main square. Though it never took the planned shape of the Grand Square of a perfect city of Tamanyan, it still can be considered the finest example of Soviet era architecture as far as squares go. The early buildings (the Houses of Government, the Ministry of Communications and the Marriott Hotel) are fine example of Neo-Classical architecture with Armenian hints. The buildings from later period (the Foreign Ministry and Art Gallery) are Modernist imitations of previous ones. Singing Fountains, Republic square. 21:00-23:00. Do not miss an evening with the Republic square Singing Fountains. From early Spring to late Autumn each evening there is a fountain and light show in front of the Art Gallery at the Republic square. The program includes some classical favourites, as well as contemporary jazz, rock and pop. It is free of charge.
- Northern Avenue (M: 'Hanrapetutyan Hraparak (Republic Square)'). Impossible to miss, this pedestrian avenue was just opened in 2008 connecting Opera with Republic Square, the two hubs of central Yerevan. It's a Post-Modern response to post-WWII Soviet Yerevan architecture. It is emerging as the shopping district, together with Sayat-Nova ave., Terian st., Tumanian st. and Abovian st.
- Abovian street (Աբովյան Փողոց), Kentron district (M 'Yeritasardakan'). It's home to very few remaining Belle Époque period structures of Republican Armenia. Some gems of Art Nouveau, early Modern (constructivist and the like), and Moorish Revival style can be found in the backyards of Abovian, Nalbandian and Hanrapetutian streets. Most often they are in a very poor condition due to neglect. Hanrapetutian st. might get a special attention if you are not time constrained.
- Freedom (or Theatrical) Square. North side of the square is the Opera House, followed by a park full of open air cafés on the West, from South it borders the Northern Avenue, and on the East the square slowly transforms into park with Swan Lake.
- Mashtots avenue, Mashtots Ave (in the centre). It's the eight-lane highway of the city which somehow also accommodates a pedestrian zones on the sides (result of standard Soviet planning of main 'Prospekts'). It is overly noisy because of the heavy traffic (mostly unorganised public transportation) but the parts close to The Opera is a favourite hangout place for the locals. There are 2 buildings on the avenue which are well worth attention - Matenadaran and Blue Mosque.
- Matenadaran. Houses the worlds largest collection of Armenian illuminated manuscripts, and one of the largest such collections of any kind in the world. A display room has a sampling of some of the finest works, and the additional cost of the guided tour is worthwhile. The building is dug into the hill and can withstand a nuclear attack.
- Blue Mosque, 12 Mesrop Mashtots Ave (: Hanrapetutyan Hraparak). An 18th-century Shia Islamic Mosque, one of the extreme few surviving structures of a once (before Soviet secularisation) prospering Muslim community of Yerevan.
- Cascades, Sculpture Park and Cafesjian Museum (Cafesjian Centre for the Arts), 10 Tamanyan Street, ☎ +374 10 541932. Tu - Th 10:00 - 17:00, Fr - Su 10:00 - 20:00. The Sculpture Park is a small green zone in the immediate North of The Opera. Sculptures from Botero and other artists of international fame decorate the Park. The park itself is part of Cafesjian Museum - the Armenian version of Guggenheim. The main part of the museum is in the Cascades - an Art Deco version of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon stretching nearly the height of the Empire State Building. It's a massive white stairway up a hillside of central Yerevan, decorated with green stretches, fountains and waterfalls. Higher level of the Cascades give a spectacular view of Mount Ararat and panorama of central Yerevan with its hilariously multi-colour roofs. The first floor and the bookstore of the museum as well as the indoor escalators to the top of the Cascades are free of charge. Adults 1,000 AMD, children under 12 - free.
- Aram Khachaturyan House Museum, 3 Zarobyan St., ☎ +374 10 589418.
- The National Art Gallery, Republic Square. Located in the same building as the National History Museum. Features several floors full of mostly paintings, organized by their country of origin. The Armenian collection is the best and of very high quality, the Russian is quite good (Kandinsky, Serov, Chagall), and art lovers will enjoy the European collection as well.
- History Museum of Armenia, 4 Republic Square, ☎ +374 10 520691, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tue-Sat 11:00-18:00, Sun 11:00-17:00. A roundup of the nation's history from early settlements to the twentieth century. Lots of archaeological exhibits and pieces of art give an impression of each period. If you would like to move along the timeline then start at the top of the building. AMD 1000, usual discounts apply.
- Cafesjian Museum of Modern Art (Cafesjian Centre for the Arts), 3 Tamanyan St. (North of France Square.), ☎ +374 10 541932. A modern art museum, house to the collection of Gerard Cafesjian. It has Arshile Gorky, Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall and other big names on display. The collection is very rich in Glass Art, has many pieces of Libenský-Brychtová couple, including special-made 'For Armenia' series. A separate floor is devoted to Swarovski Chandelier collection.
- The City Museum of Yerevan, 1/1 Argishti Street (Right next to City Hall), ☎ +374 10 568109. Presents all periods of the life in Yerevan starting from paleolithic settlements (50,000 years) to modern days. Ancient maps and the pictures of the lost city, pre-Soviet Erivan, are of special interest.
- Contemporary Art Museum, Martiros Saryan St (North of the Blue Mosque).
- Erebuni Museum of History (Էրեբունու թանգարան), Nubarashen St (At the foot of the Arin Berd hill,).
- Parajanov Museum, 15&16 Dzoragyugh 1st st., ☎ +374 10 538473. The House-Museum of Sergei Parajanov, a famous Soviet film director. The museum is best known for special Parajanov collages and art that everybody loves and enjoys. It is equally highly appreciated by children, teenage and most demanding art critic. Many highest level official informal meetings are conducted here. It is a must to see! Fee €2 and the guided tours €8.
- Saryan Museum, Saryan 3. If you are a lover of bright colours and enjoy Expressionist Art then House Museum of Martiros Saryan is a place for you. It's a 3 floor structure, built during the lifetime of the artist, as his house and house for his heritage after his life. So most of the Museum is designed by the artist himself.
- The Armenian Genocide Memorial (Genocide Museum & Tsitsernakaberd Monument) (on a hill above the city centre). A very austere monument dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Worth seeing. Tsitsernakaberd (meaning "Fortress of swallows") is probably best reached by taxi. Genocide Museum is home to French artist Jean Jansem's startling collection of paintings named Génocide.
- Museum of Woodwork, Paronyan 2 (At a ring border of downtown). Houses some artifacts of Armenian historical wood carving culture (doors, furniture and the like) as well as wood-based sculptures of modern day artists.
- Hovhannes Tumanyan Museum, 40 Moskovyan Street (E 200m from Saryan Museum), ☎ +374 10 560021, e-mail: email@example.com. Dedicated to renowned prominent thinker, writer, poet, fabulist and humanist Hovhannes Toumanian, with a total of 18000 exhibited items. Rooms of the Apartment are: Study Room, Guest Room, Dining Room, Children’s Room, Nvard Toumanian’s Room, Balcony, Olga’s Room,
- Fountain of Davit Monument, Tigran Mets Ave (Near : Sasuntsi David metro station). Was built in 1948, cca. 460 sqm.
- , Charles Aznavour Square (Opp. to (Russian) Drama Theatre after Stanislavsky).
- Water Pool of Park Yerıtasardakan.
- The Ararat Cognac Factory (Ararat Wine Brandy Vodka Factory Museum), 9 Argishti St, 9 Admiral Isakov ave, ☎ +374 10 547048, fax: +374 10 547-047, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The oldest factory in Armenia. Offers tours and tasting.
- Former Parliament. It was the government building of the First Republic of Armenia
- Levon's Amazing Underground World (Levon Arakelyan's Magical Cave), Village Arinj 5th St, 9 (8 km from Yerevan on the way to Garni). Levon Arakelyan's wife asked him to dig a potato storage cellar, but instead of this he created a complex structure of stairs, corridors and rooms inside a rock. It took him 23 years to do this until he died in 2007. His wife now organises excursions showing these undergrounds.
- Mother Armenia (Մայր Հայաստան հուշարձան), Victory Park, Saralanj Ave (: 'Yeritasardakan' 600 m). Erected in 1967, replacing the monumental statue of Joseph Stalin.
- National Assembly of Armenia, Baghramyan Ave. 24 (: 'Marshal Baghramyan'). Parliament building
- Yerevan City Hall, Argishti St., 1.
- Hrazdan Gorge partying. Visit one of the themed restaurants in the Hrazdan Gorge to see the locals partying. The food does not tend to venture far from barbeque and crayfish, but it is usually good barbecue, and the prices range from very reasonable to the unreasonable. Check the prices on the hard liquor and wines before ordering a bottle if you’re price sensitive.
- Climb the Cascades. (or take the escalator inside) one evening for the great views of the city and Mt. Ararat, then head across the street to the amusement park inside Victory Park for some cotton candy and a ride on the rickety ferris wheel.
- Catch a concert, multiple. on the Cascades or the Lover's Park, and an art exhibition at Swan Lake park or Lover's Park.
- Water park "AquaWorld", 40 Myasnikyan Ave, ☎ +374 10 638998. 12:00 – 21:00, indoor water park "Aquatek" is open all year round without holidays. A water park popular with the locals in the summers, it consists of a big open-air water park and a much smaller indoor one. Anybody can cool down there as in total it offers 7 outdoor and 3 indoor pools. There are also wall-climbing facilities. During winter time, the largest pool of the park is turned into an ice skating rink.
- Yerevan Zoo (Zoological Garden of Yerevan), Myasnikyan St., 20, ☎ +374 10 562362. Dec-Apr 10:00 - 17:30. Zoo is home to about 3,000 animals mainly representing South Caucasus and Armenia: bears, goats, snakes, Armenian mouflon and black vultures. Also from other parts of the world: lions, tigers, hyenas and an Asian elephants. It was upgraded and renovated to the modern standards back in 2014. Adult 800 AMD, children 12-16 years - 500 AMD, children 3-12 years - 300 AMD.
- Spartak Stadium, Agatangeghos St (: Zoravar Andranik 300 m).
- Medical Procedures. Yerevan offers some world-class medical treatments for fraction of the price in the west. The most common are heart surgeries, fertility treatments, nose jobs, hair removal and laser eye surgery.
- Botanical garden of Yerevan. The collection includes more than 200 species of endemic, rare and declining plants. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union due to insufficient funds the condition of the park started declining and now it needs a lot of improvements.
- Czerny Fountain Park (near Sayat-Nova and Khanjyan). One of most popular among the locals
- Childrens railway park, Hrazdan Gorge (Close to Parajanov Museum).
- Children's Park (շարժապահեստ Մանկական), Kentron (: 'Zoravar Andranik' 700 m). Yet another beautiful remnant of Soviet urban planning in Yerevan. The park, opened in 1937, is situated in a gorgeous canyon of Hrazdan river and features a Children's railway. Though the park and the railway still function, most of the infrastructure is horribly deteriorated. On the other hand the deterioration gives the feeling of a 'ghost park from a fairy tale' even though it is always populated. To find it you will need directions from a local.
- Circular park.
- English park, Alek Manukyan St.
- Park of Komitas Pantheon (Պանթեոն` Կոմիտասի), Arshakunyats Avenue (NW of Yerevan Train Station).
- Lover's Park (Boghossian Gardens), Marshal Baghramyan Ave., ~21 (: 'Marshal Baghramyan'), ☎ +374 10 224437, e-mail: email@example.com. The oldest park of Yerevan. Recently renovated in tradition of Japanese landscaping with Armenian spirit. It often hosts open air art exhibitions and concerts. It is best reachable by metro, station 'Marshal Baghramian' - perhaps the most underused building and allegedly the best in Modernist style.
- Lyon Park (Vardavar Park), Argishti, Sasuntsi Davit St (Vardavar Lake).
- Oghakadzev park, Khanjyan str (SE one km from : Republic Square).
- Opera park, Mesrop Mashtots Ave. Spend a late night at a café in the Opera park, and outside the Melody Café for some of the best people watching in Yerevan.
- Paplavok Park (near Moscovyan and Teryan). Chill out in Yerevan Green Belt.
- Saryan park, France square.
- The Swan Lake park, Teryan St and Tumanyan St (: Yeritasardakan). ends with the controversial statue of the composer Arno Babajanyan, which already was majorly reshaped twice during the first year of its placement. The Swan Lake park usually hosts various open air art exhibitions. - Ice-skate with many locals at the Swan Lake (next to the Opera House) during winter months.
- Tumanyan park (Along the Hrazdan River gorge). Part of its the Tumo Centre for Creative Technologies
- Yerevan reservoir (Yerevanyan Lake), Admiral Isakov ave. (SW two km). Was built in 1963, total area is 57, 45 ha.
- Victory Park. - Amusement park. Features a huge monument of Mother Armenia as well as some Soviet military equipment on display. Very nice view of the city centre.
- The Opera (the 'soft' centre of the city?). It is topped by the magnificent building of the Opera House. The building is perhaps modeled after SemperOper of Dresden, however it is supposed to be double as beautiful as the Yerevan building is two sided: One side (entrance from the Theatrical/Freedom square) is home to Opera and Ballet Theatre, while the street side houses the Khachaturian Concert Hall. - For music fans, attend cheap and excellent performances at the Opera and/or the Chamber Music Orchestra. If a national dance group is performing, don’t miss it.
- Moscow theatre, Abovyan St.
- National Academic Theatre (English Park).
- State Circus.
- Vardavar is the pagan holiday of water (currently a church holiday). It is a summertime movable feast that is mostly enjoyed by virtually everyone, grown and child alike: litres of water is poured on everyone by everyone. Some parks have administered events. 15 July 2012.
- Trndez is the pagan holiday of fire (currently a church holiday). It is observed on the February 13. Huge bonfire can be observed in each courtyard with people merrily singing around, youngsters jumping over and the like.
- Yerevan Birthday is celebrated on the second Saturday of each October. That's usually a huge event, with central Yerevan being pedestrian only: many stages all over the city for theatrical or music (usually thematic - ethnic minorities, folk, jazz, rock, pop and classics) performances with a culmination on Republic square.
- Golden Apricot. Is a fairly well established international film festival, usually held in July. Armenians take pride in it.
- ReAnimania. Is an emerging international animated film festival. It is held in Autumn.
For a schedule of events taking place in Yerevan, go to Yevista website.
Diaspora Armenians may obtain a residency permit to live and work in Armenia without a problem. The 10 year visa/permit for 350 USD is the best value. Non-Armenians should have an invitation, or establish a business to get a work/business visa.
Volunteering in Armenia may be a suitable for those wanting the experience. Armenian Volunteer Corps can organize a volunteer placement and visa for you.
For those of Ethnic Armenian Descent, there are programs such as Birthright Armenia, which will pay for your trip if you participate in their program.
Tutoring in English is always an option for native English speakers. Demand to learn, and practice, English conversation is high.
- Ayrarat Market, 31 Tigran Mets Ave (: Zoravar Andranik).
- Covered Market (Agricultural bazaar, G.U.M. market, Food Market), Movses Khorenatsi St (:). It's an original building, a combination of Jungenstil and Beaux-Arts. It still houses a market of fresh, sun-dried and conserved produce.
- Vernissage (From : Republic Square a block east). Sa-Su. A walk through the weekend Vernissage through the park is a must. From rugs, souvenirs, instruments and paintings, to pets and chemistry supplies, this outdoor market seemingly has everything.
- Armenian brandy (locally called Cognac as well) is considered one of the world's finest brandies and is accordingly a popular gift to take home for tourists. It was actually Winston Churchill's brandy of choice. There are many stores within central Yerevan centre devoted solely to brandy from the Ararat Cognac Factory; the airport is also a good place to stock up at duty free. As a rule, the more aged the brandy, the more refined the taste and the more expensive. But regardless the series of brandy, in Yerevan it will be an excellent value.
- Armenian rugs, new and old are popular. New carpets can be purchased at the Mergeryan Rug Factory for a good price. More upscale is the international brand “Tufenkian Carpets”, with a shop on Tumanyan near Abovyan. Both will add your name or inscription request into an existing rug, or do a custom rug for you. There is no problem with exporting these. Old rugs are found in stores all over town, or in Vernissage. Be sure the seller obtains an export certificate from the ministry of culture for you – or you’re taking a chance that it may be confiscated. Negotiate to have the certificate delivered to you as part of the purchase price, and buy your rug a week before you go to give them time to obtain this certificate. New rugs do not require certification, but keep your factory certificate as proof that it is new.
- More fragile, but maybe worth the effort are some of the more exotic jams and preserves made in Armenia. From walnut preserves, to “Sea Buckthorne” (Chichkhan), virtually everything that grows in Armenia is canned!
- L'atelier Restaurant Salon Imperial Russian Antiques, Mashtots 37 (near Opera).
- General Market, 7/4 Yervand Kochar St (Near to Saint Gregory The Illuminator Cathedral), ☎ +374 10 550785. A supermarket
- SAS supermarket, 52 Komitas Ave (Near to Iranian Embassy), ☎ +374 10 200755. A chain. More units: 35 Isahakyan St (: Yeritasardakan), 18 Mashtots (: Hanrapetutian Hraparak ( Republic Square)), 31 Tumanyan (Close to Armenian Opera Theater), 85 Baghramyan (: Barekamutyun ), 20/1 Qajaznuni, 1A Kievyan
- Subterrranean bookshops at Khanjyan St, Khanjyan St and Vardanants St.
Dram (AMD) is a national currency of Armenia. As of April 2015:
- 1 USD = approx. 475 AMD
- 1 EUR = approx. 515 AMD
When arriving in Zvartnots International Airport exchange only 20-30 USD for taxi or airport service as the exchange rate at the airport is always poor. Exchanges can be found all over the city, and do not charge a commission – count your money on the spot, though they tend to be patently honest. Banks tend to be the least convenient place to exchange, and tend to have the worst rates – exchange on the streets. Exchange rates on the streets are almost all quite competitive, so shopping around is only worthwhile for very large amounts. Stores and restaurants will frequently accept USD in a pinch, though they prefer dram.
Cash (in dram only) can be withdrawn from numerous ATMs located in the city, but you may have to try several machines before getting money. You may also visit different bank branches to withdraw cash from credit/debit cards. Though VISA and MasterCard are accepted in many restaurants, supermarkets and shops in Yerevan, carry some cash. To withdraw EUR and USD from your credit card, you can go into a bank.
Stands selling Armenian-style "pizzas" called "lamehjun" or "lahmajoun" are prevalent throughout Yerevan. This cheap snack consists of a thin layer of dough topped with an herb and meat paste.
- Design cafe, 42 Toumanyan st. (near Yerevan State Lingustic University), ☎ +374 10 531333, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A place to eat and relax, signature interior, delicious food, perfect service, Internet cafe second hall, free high speed Wi-Fi. Lunch time discounts 15%.
- Dona Bakery, Mesrop Mashtots avenue close to the Matenadaran. The underground Dona bakery offers delicious pastries, both European and Armenian. A good place to catch an inexpensive snack.
- Jazve Cafe. Lunch and appetizer menu. Watch out for its misspellings on the menu. There are plenty of these cafes across Yerevan.
- Mer Tagh, Tumanyan St. west of Abovyan. A small lahmejun joint on Tumanyan, and their lahmejuns have a big following.
- Khingali, Tumanyan St. west of Abovyan (next to Mer Tagh (above)). Has excellent khingali (dumplings) with meat or cheese filling. Either can be served boiled or fried.
- Lagonid, Nalbandyan St (north of Sayat Nova). A Middle Eastern restaurant with sandwiches starting from 600 AMD (ask to see the sandwich menu specifically). Besides of this serve lots of other Arabic and Lebanese dishes.
- Melody Cafe, Freedom Square. Cheap restaurant, lots of food options and drinks. Very centric, next to the Opera at the Freedom Sqare. Free Wi-Fi.
- Anteb, Koghbatsi St (between Pushkin and Aram Street). A family-run cafe that serves a huge variety of kebabs in a very casual cafe-type setting. The Adana and Urfa are a bargain at about 800 AMD each and the Iskender, though slightly more expensive (3,000 AMD) rivals the best. The rice pudding is pricey but tasty. Cheap drinks and free lavash.
- Artbridge, Abovyan St. north of Tumanyan St.. Good breakfasts and lighter fare, and the French toast is a must. A nice selection of foreign language books and Western periodicals if you need new reading material.
- Artashi Mot, Spendiaryan St, across Mashdots Ave. from the Opera. Is considered by many to be the finest place for khorovats (BBQ) in Armenia. Judge for yourself, but not before trying the horti (beef) and sunki (mushroom) barbeques. They are both delicious, when they have them. Other nice alternatives include the fish barbeque and the piti soup. Whichever barbeque you get, get some of the tomato sauce mix that Artash makes to put on your meat, or just to dip your bread into.
- Cactus, 42 Mastots Ave. Closed for renovation in 2015. Mexican restaurant, located near the Opera off Mesrop Mashtots Avenue. The food is decent imitation Mexican with all the usual dishes - burritos, tacos, etc. The prices are a bit steep by Yerevan standards, but not that expensive for Westerners. The décor gets an "A" for effort.
- Café Central, Abovyan St., south of Moscovyan. Good place for a meal, reminiscent of a Viennese café
- Caucasus (Кавка́з), Hanrapetutyun near Sayat Nova. Extensive menu of Caucasian dishes in 5 languages plus photos. You can order fish straight from the aquarium. Starter ~1,000 AMD, main dish ~2,500 AMD.
- Charentsi 28 (A 10-15 minute walk from the Opera House, across the German Embassy). A fully restored two-story house turned restaurant, serving a variety of dishes from Mediterranean, Indian, Thai, Western Armenian, to continental cuisines. They manage to do all of these justice. There is also seating outside in the summer and fall, on the balcony or front-yard courtyard. Starters 1,200 AMD, main dishes from 2,600 AMD.
- L’Orange, 21 Tumanyan St. Has great service and a good menu.
- Mer Gyugh, Sayat Nova, west of Teryan Street. Traditional Armenian cuisine with a village atmosphere. The chicken "Ararat" comes with a dried fruit pilav that is quite a treat! Menu items are often unavailable, so have a backup in mind when ordering. The restaurant often features traditional folk music in the evenings.
- Old Yerevan (Hin Yerevan), 2 Northern Ave. Offers traditional food, songs, dances and the décor will make you think Disney has come to town. Almost a must for any visitor.
- Al Leoni, Tumanyan st. just west of Parpetsi. Some fine Italian dining.
- Hotel Yerevan, Abovyan st.. Also fine Italian dining.
- Dolmama, 10 Pushkin st.. Fusion Armenian-World cuisine. Excellent food, service and ambiance. The outdoor seating out back is a way to experience the old courtyards that filled central Yerevan in the past.
- Rossini, 14 Abovian, Golden Tulip Hotel, ☎ +374 10 591 608. 7:30 - 23:30. Central location, Italian Executive Chef, European and Armenian cuisine, customer oriented staff, elegant and relaxing atmosphere, extended wine list, free Wi-Fi.
- The Club, 40 Tumanyan St.. has some excellent Western Armenian dishes, including manti, su borek and the amazing midia dolma. The underground space is very hip, and the tea room, when not too smoky is a good place to sit on a bean back and chat. For a budget option, you can order one of their very filling thin crust pizzas, starting at 5 USD..
Armenia itself is a place to drink, with no prohibition against drinking in public. Cafes, bars, restaurants, clubs and the countryside on a picnic are all popular places for vodka, the usual drink of choice, with wine, beer, champagne and brandy all popular as well. You can drink in a car, as long as you’re not driving. Drivers cannot have a drop of alcohol in them, with zero being the legal threshold – and the penalties for violating this are stiff.
Places for a drink
The most popular places to drink in the summer tend to be outdoor cafes and café/restaurants. The cafes by the Opera and Republic Square are always packed.
The following bars are popular spots with visitors.
- Tro's Pub, Saryan 5 St..
- Troll Pub.
- Rock Bar Parpetsi. Popular spots with visitors.
- Dolce Vita bar (of Hotel Yerevan), Golden Tulip Hotel, 14 Abovian. open round the clock.
- Jazzve Cafe. A wonderful place to meet up with someone for a drink. Their strawberry coffee is wonderful, and is a drink like no other.
- DIY, Parpetsi street. Its fun, funky, innovative, alternative and a place to drink, have fun, make music and meet people from every background.
- Calumet, 56a Pushkin St., ☎ +374 94 359229. Bohemian, friendly, alternative crowd. Insanely smokey. Seriously. free.
- Red Bull Pub, 2 Saryan St. (corner of Saryan and Tumanyan.), ☎ +374 10 580375. One of the oldest pubs in Yerevan, open since the 1990s. Friendly local crowd.
- Wild West Pub, 25 Tumanyan st (entrance on Koghbatsi), ☎ +374 10 581664, e-mail: email@example.com. Good drinking hole by the Opera.
Drinks to try
- Cognac – see the buy section above.
- Homemade fruit vodkas – these are not flavoured from fruit like most of the western vodkas but made from pure fruit. The most popular is the Tutti Oghi (Mulberry Vodka), but just as impressive if you can find them are the Cornelian Cherry (Hon), Pear, Apricot and Peach.
- Wine – Areni grapes are only grown in Armenia, which is in the oldest grape and wine producing part of the world. Old Yerevan is the best brand.
- Compote – if you can get it, this usually home made fruit juice is fantastic. Ask locals, and if some of them have it at home, they will drag you in to try.
- Tan – blended plain yoghurt with water and a dash of salt, this drink is often an acquired taste, and very refreshing. You can sometimes find bottled fizzy tan, which is an even more acquired taste.
Yerevan has a serious cafe culture, and it can be hard to tell where one outdoor cafe ends and the next begins as they run into each other.
- Mirzoyan Library, 10 Mher Mkrtchyan (Petros Adamyan) (Hard to spot inside the courtyard at 10 Mkrtchyan/Adamyan). Started out as a space in a traditional courtyard with a collection of photography books, it's now a cafe with very nice drinks and creative and excellent bites and sweets. Free wifi.
In Yerevan there are plenty of Night Clubs, Pubs, Karaoke and Strip Clubs. Popular nightclubs are mainly in the centre, with longtime standby’s such as Atlantic, Relax, Astral and Club One usually full on the weekends.
- Opera Club, 54, Tumanyan St (the basement of the Opera building), ☎ +374 10 541222. 13:00-18:00, 19:00-12:00. Males: 1,000 AMD.
- Kami Club, 18, Abovyan st (near Moscow cinema), ☎ +374 10 519020.
- Champs-Élysées Club, Northern Av.
- Ego Club, Kuryun st (Citadel Business Central Area).
- The Club, Tumanyan st.
- Tochka Club, 1/1 Baghramyan Ave (Opera Area), ☎ +374 10 500441. From 21:00. Males: 2,000 AMD.
- Stop Clup, Moscovyan street, 37 Moskovian Str., ☎ +374 10 560780.
- Tornado Club (Bangladesh area).
- UPtown, 19A, Koryun St (Big residential building with few other bars, discos and shops on 1st floor, enter through the small dark backyard in the right half of the facade; you will hear the music from the street), ☎ +374 95 192991. 23:00-02:00. Cozy basement bar / dark night club packed on weekends with 25-35 years behaved and fun loving crowd, full dance floor and some tables, contemporary pop-rock-dance-live music, national anthem at midnight and friendly bartenders who occasionally might join dancing with you on the bar.
Yerevan Night Life is famous for its Strip Clubs
- Omega Club, 59 Teryan street. Upscale, pricey, well known and long established.
- Pyramida Club, 20/2 Sayat-Nova st.
- Charlotte Cabaret, 25 Baghramyan Ave, ☎ +374 10 277020. from 18:00.
- Dinoul Club, Baghramyan st.
- Cherry Club, Leningradyan st.
- Safari Club. Set of Clubs, Republic Square area and a new club on Arshakunyats street, one of those branches is in Deghatan st., Shahumyan sq.
- Club Delise, 15A Amiryan St.
- Ella Clubs, Addresses: .
- Galaxy Club, Amirian St (near the Marriott).
- Manhattan Club (just off Republic Square essentially behind the Foreign Ministry building, Abovyan st, Byuzand st).
- Mama-Mia. Large set of Karaoke clubs.
- 7Notes, Sayat-Nova st.
- Iceberg, Northern ave.
- 96 Club, Sayat-Nova st.
Yerevan has a wide variety of accommodations but for the most part they are overpriced. If you're staying for an extended period of time, rent an apartment. Check the AUA (American University of Armenia), local travel agents (Menua tours, Hyur Service) or real estate brokers for rental listings.
There is a good selection of hostels and homestays in Yerevan to choose from for budget travellers.
- Anahit Stepanyan's B&B, 5 Sayat-Nova ave, apt.25 (Across the Opera house square. Brabion flower shop right underneath the house.), ☎ +374 41 0568134, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The oldest bed and breakfast in the heart of the city with a view on the Opera house and the Swan Lake. Breakfast is included, there is free wifi in the apartment. They speak English, Russian, Italian and Arabic. From 4,000AMD.
- Balcony Hostel, Hovsep Emin 3/1, Arabkir (: Barekamutyun station (the last one) and from there walk down H.Hakobyan st till you get to a little hill. Up the hill and to the right, it's the small metal door on your left.), ☎ +374 10 264449, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-out: 12:00, but flexible. A small, budget hostel. Offers free wifi, laundry, a kitchen and shared bathrooms that are cleaned daily. English speaking, friendly, coffee and tea are free. 9,000 AMD for single room, 6,000 AMD for shared room with locker, 6,500 AMD for room with light breakfast, 7,000 AMD for full breakfast. Between November and May rooms are 5000..
- Envoy Hostel, 54 Pushkin Str. (entrance on Parpetsi), ☎ +374 10 530 369. Check-in: 14:00. Winner of 'Best Hostel in Armenia' Award by HW 2010&11&13. Is centrally located, large and comfortable with free internet/wifi access, breakfast and tea/coffee facilities. All the rooms and common areas are air conditioned and spotlessly clean. English speaking staff is efficient and knowledgeable about traveling in Armenia and the regions. They also have a hostel in Tbilisi and offer weekly tours from Yerevan to Tbilisi with sightseeing and BBQ-lunch included. 7,000 AMD w/ breakfast.
- Grammy Hostel, 15 Aghayan st.. A hostel, with a travellers' desk, free internet access, breakfast just for extra 500 AMD, laundry, TV , a relaxation room where you can chill out and escape from the Yerevan hustle and bustle of the city, and a little garden where you can soak up the sun and relax on a bench. 4000-7000 AMD (flexible).
- GuestHouse, Mashtots 52. They are very kind and it is very clean. However, they are almost always full.
- Hostel Glide (Three minute-walk from :“Barekamutyun”). A private house located two metro stops out of the centre, but in a quiet and safe place. It's very close to bus stations, and it is possible to see Ararat mountain from the windows. Run by a very hospitable family. Prices for beds start from 4,500 AMD.
- MyHostel, Marshal Bagramian ave. 2nd lane, 13, ☎ +374 10 26 91 60, +374 91 26 91 60, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A mixture of a hostel and a hotel with both doorms and private rooms, either shared or private shower. The house has a large balcony with view to the Ararat and a fitness area. There is also a swimming pool. Prices vary from 5,000 AMD for dorm up to 20,000 for private room with private shower..
- Penthouse Hotel & Hostel, 5 Koryun Street, apt 33/2 (near Matenadaran, Medical University, Abovyan Street, the : station Eritasardakan). It is an elegant duplex, clean, comfortable, with the amazing view of Biblical Mount Ararat. From 5,000-5,800 AMD, including Armenian/continental breakfast.
- Theatre Hostel. A small and cozy hostel just 5 minutes walking distance from the main square. It is very clean, has many free facilities, such as Wi-Fi internet access, bicycle parking zone, etc. The prices start from 4,500 AMD with light breakfast included.
- Yerevan Hostel. In the centre, 3 minutes from the : Republic Square. Friendly, knowledgeable English speaking staff available 24 hours a day. Very clean hostel, showers with hot water available day and night. Wifi available also a computer available for guests. Traditional breakfast prepared upon request, so always fresh. Flexible check in/check out times. Bag storage. 5,500 AMD.
- Ani Plaza, 19 Sayat-Nova Ave, Yerevan 0001, ☎ +374 10 589500. nice and offer more realistic prices for western style accommodation From $100.
- Areg Hotel (near Sasuntsi David Square, south and not too far from downtown). Nice, small and clean, it's the cheapest (real) hotel. Single: 50 USD - Double: 73 USD - Triple: 86 USD (Tax and breakfast included)
- Armenian Royal Palace (cozy hotel in Yerevan), 17/1, 4-th str., Silikyan district, ☎ +374 10 31-91-19, +374 10 31-94-84, e-mail: email@example.com. Not big hotel in a quiet area of the city. from $70.
- Bass Hotel. nice and offer more realistic prices for western style accommodation
- Casa Delano
- Hotel Europe.
- Erebuni Hotel, 26/1 Vazgen Sargsyan St (next to Republic Square), ☎ +374 10 580505. a good choice in terms of price and accommodations. From USD80.
- Hotel Latar (far on the outskirts of the city). is like another world – as are the prices. The massive circular pool is a sight to behold.
- Ararat Hotel, 7 Grigor Lusavorich St, Yerevan 0015, ☎ +374 60 511000. From $150.
- Golden Tulip Hotel Yerevan, ☎ +374 10 591 600. international standard hotel, the first hotel built in 1926.- has the charm of an old grand hotel with all of the amenities of a modern, upscale hotel: roof top pool, elegant guestrooms, exquisite restaurant, conference halls, winter garden with 24h bar and other services. The winning points of this hotel are professional service minded team and continuous development of services-facilities (e.g. free Wi-Fi in all the hotel)
- Armenia Marriott Hotel (Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan), Republic Square (:Republic Square). international standard hotel From $180.
- Best Western Congress Hotel (a short walk from Republic Square). The Congress is one step down in price but offers the same western feel as the Marriott, and has a large outdoor pool. From $130.
- Golden Palace Hotel. Claims 5 stars, has recently opened (July 2005). It is at the top of the Cascade.
- Olympia Hotel. situated in one of the most prestigious parts of Yerevan. The outstanding view from your balcony (you'll see Mountain Ararat, Mountain Aragats, Hrazdan valley and hear the sound of the waterfall just in front of you). Renovated and recently opened
- Tufenkian Avan Villa Yerevan (Tufenkian Hotel). which tries to give you western standards but be true to the Armenian culture. It is high up in the Nork district, and you will be lucky if your taxi can find it easily.
Yerevan is generally safer than many western-European cities, and crime and street violence is almost non-existent. Nevertheless, as in the most cities of its size, in crowded places and transport beware of pickpockets.
The traffic can be quite rough, so pay close attention when crossing the street, especially in non designated area. There are about 3000 Dram (9 USD) fine for jaywalking.
Mobile phone providers
There are three GSM service providers operating in Armenia. It is strongly advised to acquire a temporary prepaid SIM card as they are cheap and convenient, allowing both local and international calls, no charge for incoming calls and no monthly fee. Mobile internet and UTMS are also offered from all companies, as well as the normal full range of wireless services.
VivaCell MTS and Orange have booths offering free SIM-Cards to incoming visitors at the airport. Majority of foreign visitors find their unlocked mobile phones compatible with Armenian SIM cards (GSM 900/1800). GSM coverage maps of Armenia.
- VivaCell MTS is the leading GSM service provider in Armenia and offers quality service at reasonable rates (owned by the Russian giant MTS). They have the best coverage outside of Yerevan. VivaCell MTS pre-paid SIM card ("ALO" card) costs 1,100-7,000 AMD depending on how much starting credit you want. At their flagship store off of Republic Square, VivaCell MTS is very helpful to forgeiners and will make sure that you understand everything in English, French or Russian. They offer very low prices for international calls from your phone via a VoIP (remember to dial 77 00+country code+the number, i.e.77001... for US or 770048... for Poland). It is much cheaper per minute to call the Canada & USa(13 AMD) or Russia(30 AMD) than it is to dial Armenian networks.
- Beeline (formerly ArmenTel but have switched to the Russian brand) also have a pre-paid card.
- Orange (The French multi-national is a newcomer, in the country since mid-2009) offers a pre-paid card called Let's Talk with complicated but competitive rates. All networks in Armenia( 35 AMD) lower rates may apply within the network or for night-time calls, Canada & US (15 AMD), Russia (30 AMD).
They are all easy to top-up at pretty much any store or kiosk in the country and all of them provide English service.
VivaCell MTS switched on their 4G (LTE) network in January 2012, making them the first operator to do so in Armenia.
- Main Post Office, Saryan Street (Center).
Stores offering Internet access with PCs are called Internet Club in Armenia. One of them is "CyberStars" located in the Avetik Isahakyan street 18.
- Belarus, 12/14, Nikol Duman st., ☎ +374 10 275611, +374 10 22 02 69.
- Bulgaria, 16, Sofia str., ☎ +374 10 45 82 33.
- Canada, Amiryan 1, ☎ +374 91 401238.
- China, Baghramyan 12, ☎ +374 10 560663, fax: +374 10-545761, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Finland, Tamanyan 6/14 (Opp. to Cafesjian Museum of Modern Art), ☎ +374 91-401623. Consulat
- France, Grigor Lusavorich 8, ☎ +374 10 591950.
- Germany, Tscharenz 29 (East of the centre).
- Greece, 6 Demirchian Str. 375002 (Close to National Assembly of Armenia), ☎ +374 10-530051, fax: +374 10-530049, e-mail: email@example.com. M-F: 09:00-16:00.
- Italy, Viale Italia 5, ☎ +374 10-542-335.
- Poland, Hanrapetutyan 44a (Metro Station Republic Square), ☎ +374 91-426-885.
- Romania, Str. Barbusse, nr. 15, Cartierul Arabkir (Metro Station Barekamutyun), ☎ +374 10-275-332, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Russia, Grigor Lusavorich 13a, ☎ +374 10 567197.
- Slovakia, Sayat-Nova 19, ☎ +374 10 532553.
- Swiss, 2/1, Melik Adamyan str. (Metro Station Republic Square), ☎ +374 10 524088, +374 10 529860.
- Turkmenistan, 52, Yerznkyan str. (Metro Station Barekamutyun), ☎ +374 10 221029, +374 10 221039.
- United Kingdom, Baghramyan 34 (Metro Station Marshal Baghramyan), ☎ +374 10 264301, e-mail: email@example.com.
- United States, 1 American Ave (One km southwest of Central Bus Station), ☎ +374 10 464700, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Utopianlab, 67/48 Hanrapetutyan Str.. 8AM-10PM M-S. A coworking space close to Metro Station Hanrapetutian Hraparak, good if you need easy a desk and internet access, also convenient to meet local people, mainly IT people. Both short term and long term memberships are available. $5/day, $30-55/month.
Much of Armenia could theoretically be seen on day trips from Yerevan, but within about an hour of the city are a number of major and worthy trips.
- Garni Temple, Garni (E 28 km). Garni village is notable also about fortress complex with the 1st-century AD Garni Temple, Surb Astvatsatsin Church, Mashtots Hayrapet Church, a ruined 4th-century single-aisle church, a ruined Tukh Manuk Shrine, Saint Sargis Shrine and a Queen Katranide Shrine. Near to it is the Geghard Monastery (5 km NE of Garni). listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Garni and Geghard are an absolute must, or people will not believe you've been to Armenia.
- Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral and museums, Echmiadzin (W 21 km). Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Plus Sardarabad monument/museum and Zvartnots Cathedral ruins if you have time.
- Ashtarak churches, Ashtarak (NW 34 km). St Hovhannes Karapet Cathedral part of the Hovhannavank Monastery (built in 1216 and 1221) which is perched on the Kasagh gorge rim. Hovhannavank is a major monument from the 7th century and later, the best documented of the major Armenian monasteries due to a manuscript of pious history compiled in 1686. The monastery was dedicated to John the Baptist, and has a 12th century fortification wall with towers to the west, a 13th century church and Saghmosavank (N 4 km from Ashtarak).
- Khor Virap Monastery (S 45 km). On a day where Mt. Ararat is clear. There are buses and marschrutkas at 9:00, 11:00,14:00 and 15:30, be earlier in case they get full earlier. The buses are near the Sasuntsi David Metro (on the left side while exiting the Metro, on the right side is the Railway Station). The bus will stop you in front of the path to Khor Virap (1 km). On the way back you should find the main road back to Yerevan (4 km) and catch a bus or marschrutkas from the intersection. Once inside the monastery, you should go down the deep well.
- Khosrov Forest State Reserve (76 km SE of Yerevan via Vosketap, covering the branches of the Geghama Ridge). Including Havuts Tar Monastery, S Stepanos Monastery, Azat Caves and Kakavaberd Fortress
There are also some more suited as overnight trips.
- Ashtaraki Dzor
- Amberd castle and Church
- Arjer Cave
- Arzakan - Hhot springs
- Byurakan - Aragats Moantain/Lake and the world famous observatory
- Noravank Monastery, Noravank Canyon and Areni Wine Country.
- Tsakhkadzor, Lake Sevan, Sevanavank and Hayravank Monasteries, and Noratus Khachkar Cemetery.
- Dilijan old resort town. Parz Lich-Lake, Haghartsin and Goshavank Monasteries are all nearby.
- Alaverdi - a small town in the vicinity of which you can see the Debed Canyon and the monasteries of Lori (UNESCO World Heritage sites of Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries, plus Odzun Church, Kobayr monastery, Horomayri monastery, Akhtala Monastery and Surp Grigori).
- Tatev Monastery
- Smbataberd Castle
- Shikahogh state preserve
- Yenokavan Canyon
- Jermuk Town – hot springs
- Satanayi Kamurj - Land bridge & hot springs
- Selim Caravanserai - Intact Silk Road Caravanserai