A city on eternal vacation – this is how Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, its cultural, economic and political center can be characterized. The number of inhabitants has long ago exceeded one million (a third of the country’s population), and it seems that none of them is in any hurry to go anywhere: you know, they calmly walk along the wide boulevards, from time to time looking for a glass of juice in their favorite coffee shops.
And Yerevan is literally a pink city: most of the buildings in the center are lined with stone of this color. Here you can taste delicious shish kebab in a roadside diner under the strict guidance of a colorful old man, wander around the Botanical Garden in the intoxicating aroma of 300 varieties of roses, buy a carpet at Vernissage and find out what Churchill’s favorite drink, Yerevan cognac, tastes like.
- JIBIN123: Entry requirements of country Armenia, including visa application, customs regulations and import export prohibitions.
Communication and Wi-Fi
Mobile communication in Armenia is supported by three mobile operators – VIVA-MTS, Beeline, UCOM. They also provide Internet services for mobile devices. You can top up your phone balance quickly and without commissions not only at branded points of sale, but also at newsstands. To do this, just call the seller or write a number on paper. The SIM card is sold at service points of operators, including at the airport. For its registration, a passport is required – Russian or foreign.
Free Wi-Fi is available at all metro stations and on some trains. Buses with free internet run with “Free Wi-Fi” stickers. Most popular restaurant establishments provide their customers with access to the World Wide Web in the same way as shopping and entertainment centers. Public Wi-Fi can be found in parks, Yerevan Zoo and Republic Square.
- LIUXERS: Culture and traditions of country Armenia, including language, religion and holidays.
“Yerevan Card” allows you to visit more than 40 museums in the city for free (including the National Gallery of Armenia and the “Ararat” museum of the cognac factory of the same name), ride 5 times on the metro and once from the airport by taxi, go on one of the popular excursions for free (to the factory “Ararat”, in Garni, Etchmiadzin, etc.), as well as a SIM card with a local number, a city map and a guidebook are included in the package. In addition, more than 150 establishments in Yerevan (hotels, shops, art galleries, museums, restaurants and clubs) provide up to 40% discounts upon presentation of the Yerevan Card.
A card for 24 hours costs 30 USD, for 48 – 45 USD, for 72 – 52 USD, for 120 – 60 USD, 168 hours – 67 USD and unlimited – 72 USD. You can buy it online on the website, order it with delivery in Yerevan (delivery is free) or buy it at sales offices or at the box office from program partners (museums, etc.).
In the southwestern part of the Armenian capital there is a reservoir, the so-called Yerevan Lake. Previously, it was a popular beach holiday destination for the townspeople. Now most people prefer to go to Sevan – a high-altitude lake with the purest water, 60 km from the city. Sevan beaches are mostly small pebbles, but there are also sandy ones. The resort infrastructure is poorly developed – there is only the most necessary. From entertainment – scooters and motorcycles. Around the lake there are numerous eateries where you can taste ishkhan cooked on the grill, a local variety of trout, or Sevan whitefish.
The most favorable time for swimming lasts from July to the end of August.
For a trip to Sevan, it is most comfortable to use a car – it’s about an hour’s drive. Minibus No. 317 runs from the Northern Bus Station. It does not reach the coast, you will have to walk 15 minutes from the bus stop. The ticket costs 600 AMD, but friendly drivers sometimes agree to take tourists directly to the lake for an additional 200 AMD. During the beach season, an electric train runs on the route Yerevan – Hrazdan – Sevan – Shorja – Sotk. It goes about 3 hours, it is better to go out in Shorja – the local beach is considered the best. A trip to Sevan by taxi will cost from 7000 AMD.
Cheap trinkets and expensive works of art can be purchased at the famous Vernissage Market, which takes place every weekend on Republic Square, in the heart of Yerevan. In the art market of the same name around the monument to Martiros Saryan (next to the Opera House Square), paintings by local artists are sold, and really wonderful canvases come across here. Read more about Yerevan markets here.
For Armenian carpets “for the home, for the family”, go to the Mergeryan factory, and more outstanding specimens should be looked for in the Tufenkian Carpets store on Tumanyan Street. Here they can embroider your initials or your favorite saying on the finished carpet, as well as weave a soft masterpiece according to your sketch. Old carpets can be purchased at the city’s antique shops.
When buying a new carpet, be sure to save the receipt and product label – this will serve as confirmation that it was made recently and is of no historical value. When purchasing antiques, you need to take a certificate allowing the export of the carpet from the country.
Do not forget to bring a couple of bottles of fragrant Armenian brandy with you, which is sold in abundance in the city’s supermarkets and enotecas.
What to try
You should definitely try the khorovats barbecue garnished with fresh herbs and vegetables, the meat soufflé kyufta, the refreshing kefir soup spas, and the dish with the unpronounceable name tzhvzhik, made from liver and other offal.
For a meal, it makes sense to order Armenian wine – “Old Yerevan” is considered one of the best varieties – or fruit vodka from mulberries, cherries, pears, peaches, apricots, etc. Well, you need to digest the famous cognac.
You can have a bite to eat Yerevan pizza “lahmejun” – a thin flat cake baked in the oven, covered with meat puree, sauce and finely chopped greens. And quench your thirst with “matsun” – a thick fermented milk drink.
Cafes and restaurants in Yerevan
Armenia has a cult of food, so a trip to Yerevan will be like a gastronomic tour. There are a huge number of restaurants, eateries and fast food outlets, where both Armenian, Caucasian and European dishes are very tasty. The secret of the success of local catering is in natural and fresh products.
Donut Grand Candy got into the Guinness Book of Records by preparing the largest chocolate bar in the world.
It’s best to start the day with a hearty breakfast at the Grand Candy donut shop, which the townspeople call donuts. Their famous custard donuts can be had for as little as 100 AMD. Real Armenian home cooking is served in family restaurants. It is easy to recognize them – Armenians, like the French, like to give their names to establishments. You can have dinner and drink wine together for 6500 AMD. It is customary to place an order and pay at the table, and leave a tip at your discretion.
In Yerevan, it is impossible to predict when you will find yourself at a generously laid table. Even buying souvenirs in the market or in a store can turn into a feast. Hospitable hosts do not miss the opportunity to introduce tourists to their delicious food full of bright spices.
The Armenian fast food chain Karas offers a wide variety of dishes at attractive prices – from barbecue to fast food. A full-fledged business lunch here will cost 950 AMD, and a hot dog costs 200 AMD. Dolmama is considered an expensive and prestigious restaurant – the local “khashlama”, “dolma” and “tzhvzhik” were approved by Charles Aznavour himself. The average price tag for dinner here is about 40,000 AMD, excluding alcoholic beverages. A couple of good restaurants are the Yerevan tavern, where the national ensemble performs in the evenings, and the Caucasian Captive.