Armenia is a country of beauty, history and culture. This ancient mountainous country offers a wide range of activities for the traveller. From swimming in lake Sevan, hiking on Mt Aragats, picnicking in Ashtarak valley, exploring the mountains of Karabagh to appreciating the Opera, sipping soorj (Armenian Coffee) in the many relaxing cafe's and enjoying the Yerevan night life.
The information provided below can be useful for planning your trip. If you have any more questions then email us, we would be glad to help.
- Official name is Republic of Armenia (in Armenian it is referred to as Hayastani Hanrapetutyun)
- Language is Armenian
- National flag
- Currency is Armenian Dram (AMD)
- Head of State is President of RA
- Armenia is 29,800 sq km in area
- The capital city is Yerevan
- Population is approximately 3.2 million
- 11 States (Marz) including Yerevan
- Armenia known to exist by the merging of the two tribes of Hayk & Bell.
- Noah's Ark landed on Mt Ararat, then part of Armenia. See Genesis 8:4.
- 782 B.C. Yerevan city was established (making Armenia one of the oldest Capitol cities in the world today).
- In 301 A.D. Armenia became the first Christian Nation.
- In 405 A.D. Mesrop Mashtots created the unique Armenian Alphabet (also a numerical system, poem and prayer) hence the fifth century is also known as the Golden Century ('Voske Dar').
- Series of kingdoms followed for centuries as well as wars with neighbouring non Christian countries invading the only Christian country in the region.
- First major exit of Armenians from Armenia occurred in the 1600's during the reign of Shah Abass to Iran.
- Armenia was divided between Turkey (Western Armenia) and Persia (Eastern Armenia) in 1639.
- Eastern Armenia joins Russia in 1828.
- The Armenian Genocide took place in 1915 by the Ottoman Turk empire where over 1.5 million Armenians were killed. Many Armenians fled the country and set up new lives in many different countries including, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Iran etc. One of the reasons you will bump into an Armenian today in all four corner of the world!
- Armenia declared independence in 1918 where the government lasted for 2 years before joining the Soviet Regime.
- In the 1940's the first major influx of Armenians occurred from the diaspora.
- In 1991 Armenia declared independence after the Soviet collapse.
- 2005 Envoy was established (Well its significant history for us :) )
Nothing worse than going on holidays only to discover everything is shut because of a local public holiday! Having said that, some holidays are worth planning around to make sure you are here for it.
The table below summarises all significant dates for Armenia.
Dec.31, January 1&2
Major National public holiday
Jrohrnek (Christmas equivalent)
As per the Armenian Apostolic Church
All females get a mention!
Mother's & Beauty Day
What can we say females like the attention!
Genocide Memorial Day
Public holiday. Entire Day is dedicated to paying respect and laying flowers at the Genocide memorial at Tzitzernakaberd in Yerevan.
Public holiday across many European countries
Victory and Peace Day
Soviet era memorial for war veterans
Restoration of Armenian Statehood Day
Dating back to 1918
A Sunday in July
Fun, fun, fun! Don't leave home without your wet weather gear! It's a water splashing day. Everyone is guaranteed to get wet! Great way to cool down on a hot summers day :)
Dating back to 1991
Earthquake Victims Memorial Day
Dating back to 1988
Armenia has four seasons, however, the winter and summer are more severe and the spring and Autumn are much milder and shorter. Typical Yerevan temperature in winter (Dec-Feb) reaches around minus 20 degrees C and the summer (Jun-Aug) temperature averages around the mid to high 30 degrees C. Other regions can vary across the year.
Armenian is a complicated and unique language, more so for its difficult to pronounce letters. With 38 letters in the alphabet it is a very rich language. Originally invented by Mesrop Mashtots back in the 5th century (known as the Golden Century for this same purpose), it was not only intended as an alphabet for language use, but cleverly also a numerical system as well as a prayer!
Ok, so the language is not the easiest but to help our guests travel around Armenia with a bit more confidence we have a very short selection of phrases to help. However if you have time, make sure you join one of our "Learn Armenian in 1.5 hours" sessions held for Free in the evenings at the Hostel. Enquire with our reception and they will let you know when the next session will be.
In Yerevan you will find most people can speak English (and sometimes other languages). Outside of Yerevan apart from Armenian, Russian is also acceptable. If you know Russian, even if its only a few words - use it! Even some of the common everyday words, the Russian is more commonly used rather than the pure Armenian word. For that matter some French and even Farsi words are used in conversation as well. So be brave and throw them into conversation it might help.
How are you?
Shnorhakal (often "merci" is acceptable)
Ayo (colloquially "ha")
Voch (colloquially "che")
What is the time?
Djame kanisen eh?
How much is this?
Es inch arje?
What is your name?
Anooned inch eh?
Of Interest to Tourists:
Apteka (Russian) or deghatoon
Bazar or shuka
Aparat (Russian word)
Days of the Week
What to see while in Yerevan? This is a list of the key places:
Republic Square is the main square in Yerevan and is by far the grandest. It is surrounded by majestic buildings that light up at night to an even grander view. You will find the Marriott Hotel, Main Post Office, the History Museum and governmental buildings around the square. The History Museum faces a group of fountains that operate throughout the warmer seasons as the water 'dances' to music and light providing entertainment for all. In the centre of the square is a round-about that has been constructed in 2003/ 2004 and it displays a 'rug' using all the different types of rocks known to be found in Armenia. Further across where a giant advertisement screen stands is the ex-location of the statue of Lenin once overlooking the square in Soviet times.
Genocide Memorial in Tsitsernakaberd (close to the Hrazdan Stadium) in Yerevan holds the eternal flame in memory of the 1.5 million who were victims of the Genocide in 1915 by the Ottoman Turks. This memorial site is visited by Armenians every year on the 24th April, where the masses pay their respect and lay flowers around the flame. Indeed a somber occasion that shouldn't be missed if in Armenia at that date. There is also a dedicated museum close by.
Opera House occupying an entire block off Mashtots and between Tumanyan, Teryan and Sayat Nova streets, it is not only the centre for most cultural events but also a popular hang out due to the numerous cafés surrounding the building. While in Yerevan a cultural event is indeed an experience that should not be missed. Enjoy an opera (e.g. Anush or Guyaneh are well known operas) or a folk dance recital where maximum ticket prices are typically 3000 AMD for the best seats in town. Or if in town in summer, stroll up in the evening and you are likely to catch a free open air cultural show. And if none of this is your cup of tea then why not settle for a pomegranate tea or an Armenian soorj (coffee) at one of the cafes instead, and soak up the atmosphere.
Cascade is a project started in the Soviet era, and only finished around 2004 thanks to the assistance and support of the Cafesjian Foundation. It boasts a series of steps to the top of the hill known as the 'Monument'. At the top of the steps a modern art museum known as the Cafesjian Centre for Arts. Scattered around the Cascade, you will also notice many other artworks as you climb to the top including a giant cat at the foot of the stairs (where there is an entrance to the escalator nearby). There are cubic people statues at the first level exit and playful rabbits at a further level up. In summer the stairs are even more impressive with flower beds in full bloom surrounding the entire climb. Also a nice experience is to go close to the fountain area and sit at the base of the stairs and simply enjoy the sound of the water gushing down.
In the warmer seasons you will also find regular open air entertainment provided by the Cafesjian Foundation enjoyed by the public.
Mother Armenia & Victory Park are up on the hill and outside of the main Yerevan "kendron" (central) area. Victory park, once a Soviet era park housing war memorabilia is now an amusement park/ entertainment venue. The Mother Armenia statue stands on a war museum.
Surp Grigor Lusavorich Cathedral is the newest built cathedral in Yerevan. It was built to mark the 1700 anniversary of the acceptance of Christianity as Armenia's national religion in 301 A.D. The enormous cathedral is quite impressive as you will note that there are no internal support columns. It is situated on Tigran Mets Street (close to Khanjian St.).
Matenadaran is the museum housing sample manuscripts and early translations, dedicated to Mesrop Mashtots who created the Armenian alphabet in 405 A.D. Some interesting facts to note is that the Armenian alphabet:
- initially had 36 letters (2 more letters were added much later to make the alphabet one of the most complete in the world),
- was created as a prayer with each of the letters starting a word in the prayer (apart from the letter "r" where the word ended in it)
The museum is situated at the end of the main artery Mashtots Ave (also known as Prospect Ave during the soviet era). There is a giant statue of Mesrop Mashtots in the front of the building.
Operates Tue - Sat 10:00am till 4:00pm
National Art Gallery is the main gallery and displays a large variety of International and local artwork within its seven floors. It is located right on Republic Square, close to the fountains.
Operates Tue - Sun 11:00am till 5:30pm
Martiros Saryan Museum is only 2 minutes walk away from Envoy Hostel on the corner of Saryan and Tumanyan streets. Saryan is a popular 20th century artist with his colourful paintings, some with an oriental influence but mostly Armenian landscape themes.
Operates Fri - Tue 10:30am till 4:30pm
Click here for the website.
Parajanov Museum houses a great collection of Sergei Paradjanov's work of arts. The artist is famous for his quirky and eccentric artwork as well as his infamous cinematography for instance "The Colour of Pomegranates" is one of his creations.
15/16 Dzoragyugh Poghots, Yerevan
The museum is open 7 days 10:30am till 5:00pm
For more info check their website.
Cafesjian Centre for Arts is one of the newest additions to Yerevan, is a superb collection of contemporary art. Situated at the top of the Cascade steps, its worth going there even if it is just to see the outdoor artwork on the steps and admire the view of Yerevan from the top of the steps.
The centre also presents special exhibitions and frequently has events such as concerts. For up to date information on events check their website.
Operates Tue - Thur: 10:00am - 5:00pm | Fri - Sun: 10:00am - 8:00pm
Most of Armenia gets around on Marshrootkas and its great to experience this as a tourist. For 100AMD a ride (paid to the driver when disembarking) regardless of how far you go, it is the most efficient way to get around town (and even out of town but for a higher cost). This mode of transport is in between a bus and a taxi as it goes by set routes indicated by the number displayed on the minibus with specified stops along the way - but you need to call out for the bus to stop. For route information please ask our friendly reception staff.
NOTE: As of Mid March 2012, new buses will be replacing some of the old marshrootkas. Initially these buses will work with 6 directions: 3, 32, 38, 54, 28 and 22
As more information is made available to the public on routes and fares we will endeavour to provide this information on our website.
Typically costing 100AMD per km it is a fast way of getting around town. Note that hailing a cab on the street can cost more than ordering a taxi by phone. When hailing a cab in the street always negotiate the rate based on the destination before getting in the cab. By law, all taxis should display clearly what company they belong in and have a meter to calculate the fare. You can also hire a taxi for out of town destinations at agreed rates.
There is a short metro track which extends from the 3rd district up to Barekamootiun. Dating back to the Soviet era, this mode of transport is also an experience complete with crystal chandeliers and marble floors in the some of the stations. Tickets are purchased as you enter the metro station at 50AMD.
First lets address What to Eat!?
Khoravatz! If you are a meat lover and can pronounce that then you will never go hungry (as Armenians are meat lovers)! It's the BBQ meat Armenian style. The main type of BBQ meat is pork (which is very tender and delicious), but you can also find beef and chicken too. And in summer you will find BBQ vegetables which is a must! (bbq'd eggplants, tomatoes, peppers) Kebab is BBQ minced meat, also a popular dish.
If you are vegetarian (or simply overloaded by too many meat dishes!) do not despair! there is a wide range of delicious salads (Stolichnitzia a potato based salad is very filling, igra a delicious medley of bbq's eggplant, tomatoes and onion etc) and spas (a yoghurt based soup) are available. Some places will also have vegetarian stuffed vine leaves (dolma) - definitely worth trying. As to find where to eat, choices are many! In particular in summer, numerous outdoor café's can be found to be a perfect stop for soorj (Armenian coffee), café glace or ice cream. Typically the food served in these café's are not of highest quality, however there are many restaurants that make up for it. Here are a few worth mentioning.
Special Discount for Envoy Hostel and Tours Guests:
Out of a desire and commitment to delight all our guests, we have hand picked a selction of our Team's favourite restaurants and have made arrangements to provide a special discount - only available if you use our services (ie stay at Envoy or take our Tours). Please note there is no obligation for you to dine at any of these places and Envoy receives no commission whatsoever. This is simply something a little extra for you to enjoy because we care (plus their food is yum!)
Listed in alphabetic order:
Ice Club - The Ice Club of Yerevan is the 15th in the world. The 30 tones of crystal clear ice sculptors, with their inimitability, lights and color effects are very impressive. The combination of sculpture images, unique and nice atmosphere takes you to the to the imaginary ice age. In this ice museum you can try their special “Ice glintwein” (warm vine), different variety of drinks and snacks. (10%)
Gusto Pizzeria - This is a wonderful place for gourmet pizzas, pastas and calzones. If you like Italian cuisine Gusto Pizzeria is one of the best places to visit in Yerevan. They are centrally located, right in the heart of Yerevan with great interior and design. You can find them on Abovyan Street. (10%)
The Beatles - now you can go back to Liverpool of the 1960s without leaving Yerevan. The songs of the famous pop and rock group, the walls decorated with their pictures, the twilight of the hall and a table looking down at you from the ceiling; create a unique combination of modern style and nostalgia. Positioned on Pushkin Street, in walking distance to Envoy. (10%)
Vistro - conveniently around the corner from Envoy, Vistro is a basement cafe serving a range of modern and delicious food. In summer its recommended to try their herb ice tea's. Their mini chicken burgers are simply delicious and so is their range of salads (caesar is our pick! yum!). (10%)
Other Great Paces to Eat in Yerevan:
Artbridge - A cosy bookshop/ café on Abovyan offering a range of fresh menu items (sandwichs, pastas etc). This is also another popular diasporan and expat hangout.
Grand Candy - Yet another institutions of Yerevan! Situated close to the Madenadaran at the end of Mashtots, it is not quite a café but an iconic Armenian food experience, better known as the 'bonchikanotz". It is famous for its very affordable and sweet 'bonchiks' the Armenian equivalent of the doughnut, no hole but filled with cream. Best eaten hot, it is an experience you should have when visiting Armenia.
Mer Gyough - Translated to "Our Village" is a quaint little restaurant on Sayat Nova (behind the Opera). This friendly little place offers great quality traditional Armenian food including stuffed wine leaves, lentil dishes with yoghurt dressings and more. Complete with a hand written menu, chipped plates, and waiters/ waitresses dressed in traditional clothes it is the closest thing to actually being in a village.
Old Erevan - 1 Northern Ave (corner of Tumanyan St, Opposite the Opera). A four storey restaurant each level with a different theme and décor, all with its own live entertainment is definitely a unique experience. Feast on a wide variety of khorovatz here (bbq meats and vegetables).
Old Tbilisi - Hope you are planning to visit our neighbours while in the caucaus' and in particular Georgia as they are famous for their fabulous food! Try some delicious Ajarian khachapouri (best described as a bread boat with cheese and egg), khinkali (giant pasta parcels with minced meat) and more. Still in the city circle (5-10 minutes drive) but perhaps a bit far to walk from Envoy - ask reception to book you a taxi.
Poplavok - An icon and landmark in its own right, it is well known by the locals. It is set on a man made lake with paddle boats and typically has live jazz music. It offers an extensive menu but is best known for its name. Poplavok means fishing float in Russian as it appears to be bopping on the water.
Square One - A modern western standard café offering also a delivery menu is also known to be a hang out for spyurkahay's (Armenian Diaspora's). Order from a range of sandwich and burgers. located on Abovyan Street it is in a very central position.
Highly Recommended: These markets are highly recommended as a tourist destination.
Vernisage is a popular market in Yerevan known for its high quality local handcraft and souvenirs. The market is held only on Saturday and Sundays typically between 10 am and 6 pm (sometimes later in Summer). Although an open air market, it operates around the year come rain, shine or snow! Vernisage is stretched between Khanjyan and Nalbandyan (from the foot of the metro on Nalbandyan to Khanjyan).
Hurry before time runs out! Pak Shooka is closing for renovations in 2011
Pak Shooka is an institution of Yerevan. This "Closed Market" as it is literally translated to is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. It is the main market on the Mashtots Ave artery in Yerevan (opposite the blue mosque) with vendors selling all sorts of fresh and preserved produce, herbs and spices. The produce is organic and tastes amazing! the preserved fruits are all home made. The market is worth visiting if not for the food then for the ambiance and the amazing entrance door structure - a work of art in its own right. There is talk that the Pak Shooka will be closing for renovation in 2011 - so make sure you visit this spot before time runs out!
For more about the Pak Shooka read our blog.
General Trade Markets:
Need a new pair of shoes, luggage, or some trendy new clothes? These markets are where you are likely to find it. Just take note that for most of the markets in Yerevan you'd be better off to have a compass and map in hand! But its worth the adventure! Take your camera and enjoy it as a sight seeing experience even if you dont have anything to buy (for that purpose Rasia and Ferdos are the most intriguing).
Tip: Must say if you are after shoes - look to find local made shoes - the leather is beautiful, prices are good compared to Western Europe and you cant beat on quality.
Yeritasardakan metro entrance also has a small market. There is a large collection of books on sale at the entrance and inside there is a small amount of fashion, house ware, children's gear. This also used to be a .department store. in the Soviet days. You are sure to find much more range of products these days! Yeritasardakan is off Abovyan, further up from Sayat Nova where the metro entrance is.
Petak is an indoor market on two levels with stalls selling fashion, footwear, house ware and food items. Petak is behind Sourmaloo (a wholesale market off Arshakoonyats St.).
Ferdos is a small, winding, overcrowded-rabbit-warren like market. But don't get put off by any of this, in fact all these features adds to the character of this popular market. If you find a bargain don't think twice and get it as you might not be able to find you way back to the same stall again! There are lots of stalls selling fashion, footwear and house ware items. Enjoy this charming market typical of what you would find in the middle east! Ferdos is located on Tigran Mets between the Hrabarak and Khanjyan. It has a small entrance off the street, so make sure to ask so you don't walk past it!
Hrazdan markets is situated right next to the Hrazdan Stadium. It is an indoor complex of stalls. One of the more expensive markets in town but has a large and interesting range of fashion and footwear.
Tashir is the newest shopping complex in Yerevan. A department store in the Soviet days it was known as the 'Goom' which locals still refer to. It has several levels of stores you would expect to find in any shopping mall including a supermarket on the ground floor, eating areas, exclusive boutiques, fashion and footwear, stationary stores, jewellery stores etc. Tashir is situated further down from Rasia on Tigran Mets.
Voski Shooka means Gold market. This is where you can have any gold jewelry made to order or buy a ready made item. It is located on Khorenatsi St (previously Marx St) closer to Khanjyan St.
So much to see and so little time! The entire country is studded with places of interest and historical significance. If you want to see everything in detail you could be here for months! However some of the highlights include the following:
Lake Sevan is the largest lake in modern Armenia. The weather is typically cooler in this area so Yerevan locals flock there in summer for relief from the summer heat. It is primarily a holiday destination and a favourite spot for those keen for fishing. However there are also a few places of interest to see close by such as Hyravank, Noraduz and others.
Location: About 45 minutes north of Yerevan by private car
Garni the only standing pagan temple dating back centuries (B.C. construction), rebuilt after an earthquake brought it down in 1679, this is one of the iconic sites of Armenia. Note there is an entrance fee (1000 AMD).
Location: About 30 minutes east of Yerevan by private car
Geghard An amazing two storey monastery carved inside a mountain! Dating back to the 4th century the acoustics inside the mountain church is amazing. There is also a newer built church standing at the entrance.
Location: About 30 minutes east of Yerevan by private car
Dilijan is a small town further north from Sevan. It is a popular holiday destination for locals. It is quite a pleasant and lush region. You can visit nearby attractions including the ancient church of Haghartzin, tucked away in the woods (well worth the effort to get there). Goshavank is another ancient church nearby and Barz Lij is a quiet lake nestled in woods. make sure to have a picnic here! Ijevan is a large city at the furthest point north before crossing the border to Azerbaijan. Its about another 45 minutes drive out from Dilijan.
Location: About 1.5 hours north of Yerevan by private car
Alaverdi is a quaint town situated in a valley along the picturesque Debed Canyon. It is a mining town with refineries close by. Close by you will find many historic sights worth visiting. This includes Akhtala Berd, an ancient castle which also has a church on the grounds. Look out for the mosh (blackberry) bushes around in summer. Haghbat is a monastery where Sayat Nova stayed at. This quiet monastery nestled on top of a hill, has a series of churches next to each other, one with underground storage vessels. There is a secret passage to the village below used by the locals in history in times of war. Sanahin is another monastery complex dating back to the 10th century, home to the Mikoyan brothers who designed the MIG fighter airplanes.
Location: About 2.5 hours north of Yerevan by private car
Oshakan is where the grave of Mesrop Mashtotz resides. A church has been erected on the site in his honour. Make sure you check out the manicured grass Armenian alphabet on the church grounds. A cute village next to Oshakan is Voskevaz. A short drive further will get you to Byurakan, a quaint, relaxing village on top of a hill. Make sure you stop at the .Asdghadidaran. (Observatory) on the way.
Location: About 30 minutes west of Yerevan by private car
Mt Aragats is the highest peak in modern Armenia and it has four peaks. You can drive to the Black Lake situated at a high altitude. Also close by is Ambert, an ancient castle in ruins and an accompanying Church. This region is quite suitable for hiking for those who are keen! Be warned though, you are likely to encounter snow even in summer!
Location: About 1 hour north west of Yerevan by private car
St Echmiadzin is where the head church of Armenia resides.There are often special services held for different events. In close proximity there are also 3 other old Churches some of the oldest in Armenia (including St. Hripsime and St Gayane)
Location: about 45 minutes north west of Yerevan by private car
Khor Virap this is where Christianity all began for Armenia. The monastery is built on the dungeon pit where the St. Grigor the Illumintor was imprisoned for years, leading to Christianity being accepted as the National religion in 301.A.D. It is here where you can take postcard quality photos of the majestic Mt Ararat.
This is a must see destination.
Location: About 1 hour south of Yerevan by private car
Noravank a remarkable two storey structure church/ monastery built in an isolated area, perched high on a hill top and surrounded by majestic mounatins in reddish colour. This "New Monastery" as the literal translation is one you will never forget.
Location: About 2 hours south east of Yerevan by private car
Jermuk is the city where the source of the popular bottled mineral water is found. You can visit the Jermuk mineral water factory, a state of the art bottling plant. Also must see attractions are the local waterfall (where the water hugs the surface of the rock as it descends) and the hot water spring where it is said that the different temperature water will cure different ailments.
Location: About 3 hours south east of Yerevan by private car
The main public transport system connecting the regions in Armenia is by mini bus (Marshrutka). The minibuses are relatively cheap (cost depends on route) but are cramped conditions and limited stops. These are however how the locals commute, so if you really want to appreciate the local lifestyle this is the way to go.
Note that most Marshrutkas run between Yerevan and the Regions. This means there is limited connectivity between the regional towns with public transport. You are best to take a Taxi to close locations within the regions.
The Marshrutka's to the regions leave from different locations around the city. The routes have been revised in July 2011 (as a measure to manage traffic flow within Yerevan). The Envoy team has gathered all the information based on the new schedules and has summarised it in the table below for your convenience. We understand that these routes are still subject to change by the Transport Ministry, so we will endeavour to keep the detail up to date. However you are most welcome to ask reception for more information regarding the routes you are interested in.
Destination Operating Hours Price (AMD) Distance (Km) Kilikia Bus Station Tel 56 53 70
To reach Kilikia Bus Station from Envoy, catch inner city Marshrootkas
from Mashtots Ave: Numbers 100, 94, 13, 15, 77, 267, bus 259
Agarak 8:00 6000 404 Agarak (Ashtarak) 9:55 - 17:55 300 32 Armavir 7:30-21:30 400 43 Artik 15:00, 16:00 1000 121 Ashtarak 9:00 - 21:00 250 24 Byuregavan 9:00-19:30 200 28 Dzorap 11:00, 13:45, 17:30 300 Echmiadzin 7:30 - 22:00 300 19 Gyumri 7:30 - 20:00 1500 122 Jermuk 10:00, 15:00 2000 Noyemberyan 9:30,14:30-16:00 2000 198 Ohanavan 11:20, 15:20, 17:20 300 36 Parpi 9:25, 13:50, 6:50 300 30 Sisian 8:30-14:30 2000 211 Stepanakert 7:30 - 10:00 5000 334 Stepanavan 9:00-17:00 (every hour) 1500 141 Tbilisi 8:30-13:30 6500 330 Vanadzor 7:30 - 20:00 1200 120 Voskehat 9:50, 13:05, 17:05 300 Voskevaz 8:50 - 19:00 350 Sasuntsi Davit Train Station Tel 45 96 86 Buses depart from Sevan Street behind the Train Station To reach Sasuntsi Davit Bus Station from Envoy, catch inner city Marshrootkas from Mashtots Ave: Numbers 6, 36, 76, 86 Abovyan 8:30-22:00 1000 16 Ararat 9:00 - 21:00 300 48 Charentsavan 8:00 - 20:00 300 Dvin 9:00 - 21:00 300 Eraskhavan 9:00 - 21:00 300 65 Goris 7:00 - 11:00 2500 236 Kajaran 7:00 - 11:00 3000 Khor Virap - Yerevan 13:20, 15:20, 17:00, 18:00 400 42 Yerevan - Khor Virap 9:00, 11:00, 14:00 400 42 Meghri 7:00 - 11:00 5000 392 Nor- Hachn 8:00-20:00 400 Urtsadzor 10:30, 15:40 400 Vedi 9:00 - 21:00 300 Arshakunyats Bus Station / Arajin mas (near Labour sq. - Gortsaranayin Metro Station) To reach Arshakunyats Bus Station from Envoy, catch inner city Marshrootkas from Sayat Nova Ave: Number 17 Vaik 8:00-19:00 1000 139 Yeghegnadzor 8:00-19:00 1000 121 Northern Bus Station To reach Northern Bus Station from Envoy, catch inner city Marshrootkas crossing Mashtots Ave:
Numbers 267, 259
Chambarak 9:30, 10:30, 14:00 1200 Dilijan/Ijevan 9:00-18:00 1500 85/119 Gavar 9:00 - 19:00 1000 98 Martuni 9:00 - 19:00 1200 Sevan 9:00-18:30 600 60 Vardenis 9:00 - 19:00 1500 Masiv Market / Mercedes Benz To reach Masiv Market from Envoy, catch inner city Marshrootkas crossing Mashtots Ave:
Numbers 15, 51, 91
Garni 10:00 - 20:30 300 28 Raykom Bus Station To reach Raykom bus station from Envoy, catch inner city bus crossing Mashtots Ave: Number 259 Hrazdan 10:00 - 18:00 1500 48 Tsakhkadzor 10:00 - 18:00 2000 56
Table last Updated: 6th October 2011
* Note: Some of the popular destinations have been bolded for convenience
There are a few car rental companies in Yerevan. However due to poor signage and poor road quality it is often best to hire the car with a driver. Envoy hostel can also arrange minibus tours upon request. We have minibuses for up to 8 and 15 people, air conditioned Mercedes Sprinter with reliable and experienced drivers. To find out more check the Services offered in our Tours section of our website.
You have made it to Armenia and there is a lot to see, however if you have time, you might want to consider other places in the region. The Caucasus in general is a fascinating place to visit, especially considering the vast differences in culture, language, traditions and food in such short distances travelled. Here is our recommended places to visit based on ease of access by land and visa requirements.
Artsakh (also known as Kharabagh)
If you are here for more than one week it will be worth travelling to this beautiful mountainous land which has been fought over in recent history. Accessible mainly by car (a new airport is on its way, however its still worth driving as there is much to see on the way), it will take approximately 6 hours to reach Kharabagh. Kharabagh is somewhat of a disputed territory due to its recent history of war with Azerbaijan. To enter, if not travelling on an Armenian passport, you do need a visa which can be purchased either in Yerevan, Armenia or in Stepanakert, Kharabagh. Once there, you should allow yourself at least 2 to 3 days to explore this historical land.
Location: about 6 hours south east from Yerevan by private car
Highlights of Kharabagh include:
- The city of Stepanakert - a clean and tidy city with many newly built buildings since the war. Notice the BBQ's hanging off the balconies - quite a unique sight! You can tell they are fond of their Khorovats (Armenian BBQ) here! They speak a different dialect of Armenian which can be hard to understand for even those who can speak Armenian.
- The history museum in Stepanakert
- Iconic statue of the Mamik and Babik (Grandmother and Grandfather) on route to Gandzasar. It symobilses how entrenched the Armenians are in this land that only their heads are above the land to watch over it (their bodies remain as roots in the ground).
- Also make sure you visit the famous, Gandzasar is a monastery 20 km away from Stepanakert, known to house the head of John the Baptist. The once impossible road to travel on to reach the monastery has recently been repaved and is now a perfect route to travel on. This monastery, perched up on top of a hill is set in tree covered rolling hills. It is said that inside the main church, images of two angels have appeared (one on either side of the altar) which has helped to protect it during the wars. You can see the marks from the shootings during the war on the far side wall of the main church.
- The city of Shoushi is the second biggest city in Artsakh only 10 km away from Stepanakert. This cliff top city has been a focal point in the war with Azerbaijan. It now sits on Armenian territory and is very safe to visit. The winding tree lined street up to Shoushi is stunning and so is the main cathedral there known to be one of the most beautiful in the region.
- The town of Amaras is where Mesrop Mashtots, the founder of the Armenian alphabet has been stationed at, and who established a school and a church there. You will also find the oldest tree in the ex-soviet region at Amaras. This tree is said to have been seen by John the Baptist, Mesrop Mashtots, Khrimian Hayrik and many others
A close and easy destination from Armenia. If you have made an effort to reach this part of the world its a must see.
- Tbilisi is a very picturesque capital city with a beautiful old town area to explore. A hub of intellectual happenings back in the 1800's its a mini Paris scene!
- Enjoy the view of the Mtkvari River from one of the bridges
- Wonder around the cobblestoned street of the Old Town area
- Visit the domed Orbeliani Baths
- Admire the colourful Mosque close to the Baths
- Visit the dominating Narikala Fortress
- Indulge in the fine Georgian food and wine
- Take a day trip to Mtskheta
- Spend a couple of days in Kazbegi, an excellent region for hiking. Also you will see the much photographed Tsminda Sameba Church
54 Pushkin Avenue, Yerevan 0002, Republic of Armenia
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