The easiest way to visit Armenia is to travel to Yerevan, the capital. From there, it is easy to take day trips to other parts of the country. During my short stay, I took a day trip to Garni and Geghard in the mountains. In the city, I had time to walk around, visit some museums and see a ballet at the National Opera and Ballet. The architecture is an interesting mix of Soviet and modern structures, and there are many statues and monuments. There are also a surprising number of parks, which are very well kept and lit up at night.
Although I had tried Armenian food in California, I did not know much about the country or culture. Yerevan was a friendly place, and I enjoyed learning more from the museums and talking with people. The food was delicious and I felt lucky to try authentic Armenian food. This guide for travel to Armenia is based on my short and enjoyable visit.
- Armenian National opera and ballet
- Tashir shopping street
- Freedom Square
- Republic square
- National gallery of Armenia
- History museum of Armenia
- Many statues and monuments in the city
- Government of Armenia buildings
- Shahumyan park
- Vardanyan’s park
- English park
- Blue mosque
- Martiros Saryan Park with its grand statues
- Saint Gregory The Illuminator Cathedral
Before you go
- Traffic in Yerevan can be heavy in the morning and evening rush hours, so allow time for getting to and from the airport
- Get a local sim card because it’s cheap and convenient. There is a shop in Yerevan airport in the baggage claim area
- Some but not all people speak English, so it is useful to have a translation app
- A local sim card is cheap and useful
- The opera had a bar with drinks, sandwiches and cakes, so you can have a meal there
- Not all places take credit cards, so some cash is necessary
- There were no direct flights between London and Yerevan. From Tbilisi, I flew Air Dilijans via Georgian Airways to Yerevan. The flight is very short, about 40 minutes. On the way home, I flew from Yerevan to Athens with Aegean Airlines, then on to London.
- There is also an option to take a taxi from Tbilisi to Yerevan, which takes about 5 or 6 hours, but I heard from my Georgian guide that the border can sometimes be slow. The price is often cheaper than the flight price
- From the airport, the easiest way to reach the centre is by taxi. There are a number of apps to call taxis such as Yandex, GG or UTaxi apps. However, these usually do not accept foreign credit cards so you will need cash
- Yerevan has a metro and bus system, though I never used it
- It’s easy to walk around Yerevan
- In Yerevan, I stayed at a very quaint boutique hotel called L’Image Art Hotel. Each room is named after a famous Armenian artist, which is very cute but means the staff have to show you where your room is
- All of the staff were very friendly and helpful. They seemed to work very long shifts. I saw one lady in the late morning and she was still there when I left for the airport at 2AM the next morning
- The location is very central and it is easy to walk to the main sites in the city. In addition, there are a number of restaurants nearby and it’s directly across from the Vernissage, a big outdoor market
- My room was on the ground floor so it was not great for opening the windows with people walking by just outside. However, the room was large and comfortable, with an ensuite bathroom.
- Wi-fi was good when it worked, but sometimes in would randomly disconnect for awhile. For work, I had to use phone data
Desserts and Snacks
Marush patisserie had a nice mix of traditional pastries and cakes. I bought a lemon cake and chocolate eclair, which were beautiful and delicious. Many things had walnuts so I had to be careful.
SoHo patisserie and chocolaterie is a very cute sweets shop with a lot of variety. I bought pâte de fruits, chocolates and a chocolate and cream layer cake. All were very tasty. The people were also very friendly and helpful.
I tried an unusual watermelon chocolate and other unique flavours at Lara Chocolate Gallery. After I paid for a small gift box, I wished I had bought a larger one because the prices were so reasonable!
On of my favourite snacks was Elie’s Lahmajun. A Lahmajun is like an Armenian pizza. Flat bread topped with meat and/or cheese and some other toppings. I had the Arabic flavour which was with spiced meat. Delicious and not too heavy! They accepted credit card and later I found it was only about £1.20.
One of the recommended restaurants I had heard about was Lavash. Lavash is also the name of the typical Armenian flatbread. I got my food to take away, since it was after the ballet and I was feeling tired. I tried the tolmas with a garlic yogurt sauce on the side and a summer salad. Tolmas are very similar to the Greek dolmas or dolmades. They are vine leaves wrapped around meat and rice. Very tasty with a tomato sauce.
I liked the tolmas so much that I had them again at Vinograd, along with Armenian red wine. The people at the restaurant were so welcoming and friendly, and the dolmas were handmade with care. They also served some Armenian crisps which are toasted lavash pieces.
My last dinner was at Buzand Cafe, which was just next door to my hotel. It is quite a buzzing place with a variety of dishes. The beet and bean salad was amazing! The kebab was less impressive as it was like a very processed meat patty.
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: No, it is easy to explore the city and find the places of interest
Q: Do people speak English?
A: Some people speak English, but it is useful to have a translation app
Q: Is it a walkable city?
A: Yes it is walkable and feels relatively safe. At night, be cautious as in any city
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