Armenia Travel Guides for Backpackers

Armenia: Places to visit during a short stay in Yerevan

Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world. Thousands of tourists come here every year to admire historical monuments and unique beauty of the city. In this local guide I will tell you about the places to visit in the capital of Armenia during your short visit to go back with unforgettable memories. 3 museums you must visit   There are plenty of museums that I could recommend, but if you have very limited time, then below three are a must. National gallery and historical museum of Armenia The museum located on the Republic square is a must place to visit. However, if you came to Yerevan just for a few days, then you can visit some sections of the museum since you won’t have time to go through everything. The museum preserves archaeological, ethnographic, numismatic collections, photos and so much more because humans inhabited Yerevan in pre-historical times. Matenadaran holds one of the richest collections of ancient manuscripts in the world. I personally love the place not only for unique documents it preserves, but also for the view at the city that opens from there. All relevant information about tickets, opening hours you can see on the official website of the museum here. Tsitsernakaberd Memorial complex and museum dedicated to victims of Armenian genocide of 1915. The monument is 44m. high and symbolizes the rebirth of Armenian nation. The museum is open until 5pm, it contains a lot of interesting information but some photos and materials are really hard to look at.  Things to do in the center of Yerevan Take a walk on the main Republic square. Make sure to come there in the evening to witness an amazing show of dancing fountains (every day at 9 pm except Monday). The square is a favorite meeting point for many since it is right in the heart of Yerevan close to all main attractions of the city. After spending a half of the day in the museums, head to Cascade Park in the center. If you are up to the challenge, climb all 572 stairs to reach the top and enjoy breathtaking views at the city center. Try local food in one of the below restaurants/bistros: -OST on Saryan street: cheap and tasty Armenian dishes and snacks -Lavash restaurant: try Armenian tolma, Ararat brandy  and other traditional dishes in a nice atmosphere. -El garden. I love the place for its location. It is a cafe/restaurant inside the actual garden. The venue has a rich food menu, but I would go there for a drink rather than food. Visit Vernissage- an open air market in Yerevan, where you can buy souvenirs, handmade bags, carpets, paintings, books and so much more. Bargain over the prices. Tips to follow while in Yerevan Use public transport It is cheap and almost all buses pass through the Center where the most of attractions are. If you use a taxi, then download GG app, where you can see the rates in advance. Take a […]

Armenia: The Hidden Wonder Revealed

Let us unleash the hidden beauty of a place in the mountains… I was on the verge of disappointment when I celebrated my birthday last 2015 when I invited 50 guests in a hotel in Dubai but only 30 came so I promised myself that in 2016 I’ll be spending my money on myself and on travelling and so I did. Since I barely hear people going to Armenia, I decided to book a ticket discovering the wonderful place that is located in the middle of Asia and Europe and is surrounded by different countries like Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Turkmenistan. I searched for ways to get to Georgia from Armenia by train but since the blogs on the internet says that it’ll be an overnight escapade which will take 10-12 hours, I decided not to push through. So, I booked my ticket and browsed for a single room on and I found a hostel with a single room on a floor with 3 rooms and a shared bathroom and I think that’s fine for a 4 day tour. The 3 nights in the room costs me less than 3000 pesos if converted. The day before my birthday is my travel date so after I prepared everything I needed, I went straight to the Dubai Airport using a cab because I can’t use the metro going there. I just paid around 17 aed or that’s 190 pesos. The ticket I booked was from FLYDUBAI and it only costs me around 8000-9000 pesos for a ticket back and forth since there is a promo when I booked and you can get it way cheaper if you book it many months earlier. One of UNESCO's World Heritage Site I was all alone with no prepared itinerary since I’ve been busy with work and this is the only way in which I can get away with my full schedule—to take a leave and get out of the country. I was keen about the people around me and as I was observing, there are 2 women who as for me, seem so friendly and approachable so I asked kindly if they will also go to Armenia for vacation and yes they answered so I asked again in which places did they plan to go and I was surprised because they have a list on their hand . Seems like they have meticulously planned for this travel and because I don’t have any itinerary, I asked them if I can join them and because it’s cheaper if you have companions with you. You might have some questions in mind. Here are the 4 Ws and 1H before visiting ARMENIA Why visit Armenia? Grand Republic Square Armenia is not known to many people but it has a charming nation and a rich history; it is located in the mountains surrounding the legendary Mount Ararat which is very famous because in was a part of our history and […]

Smoke-Free Yerevan: Finding Fresh Air in Armenia's Capital

In Armenia, where smoking is somewhat of a cultural pastime, finding a Smoke-free spot to hang out is difficult. Cigarettes and hookah are the main indulgences, and it's not uncommon to pass by groups of smokers, young and old, seated at an outdoor cafe or hanging out on the street corner. The habit of smoking is so deeply ingrained in Armenian culture (and many other cultures, for that matter) that it shouldn't come as a surprise that smoking indoors in public establishments is not banned in Armenia. This presents a bit of a problem for us non-smokers (and smokers who just need a break) who are looking for some fresh air as they do work or who want to come home after a night out without having to toss their clothes into the incinerator. Fortunately, in the past several years, more and more smoke-free cafes, restaurants, and other public spaces have been popping up around Yerevan, Armenia's capital city. While their numbers are limited, it seems safe to say that this trend will continue throughout the city, and maybe even eventually throughout the country. Below are a few of the best smoke-free spots in Yerevan – visit them, frequent them, and help them continue their good work. Twelve Tables Twelve Tables is one of the best cafes in Yerevan – and it just so happens to be smoke-free. Like its name suggests, this cozy underground spot consists of only 12 tables, so be sure to get there early to avoid the lunch and dinner rush. The place has a lot of charm – funky DIY decorations, handwritten menus, and colorful tablecloths are just some examples of what you'll find. It's a great place to spend your day working or enjoy a tasty and affordable dinner with friends or loved ones. Pretty much everything on the menu is delicious, and you can wash down your meal by choosing from their expansive tea selection. Location: Tumanyan 40-63 Crumbs Bread Factory You can always depend on Crumbs to provide a comfortable, friendly, smoke-free environment. Their sandwiches are amazing and their custom made plates and cups (for sale to the public) are too cute to ignore. Centrally located across from the Opera, Crumbs is perfect for both a quick cup of coffee or a more elaborate meal in between your daily adventures. And, if you are a smoker, they've got an outdoor seating area you can escape to that looks out onto the city. Location: Mashtotsi Ave. 37 and Byron 6 Aeon Anti-Cafe Aeon is a very unique cafe in the heart of Yerevan, marketing themselves as a creative space for people of diverse interests to come together and share ideas, engage in new projects, listen to or play music, screen movies, hang out, take classes, work, study, or just enjoy a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. At Aeon, rather than paying for what you consume, you pay for the amount of time you spend there. Included in the cost of your time is free […]

Hollow roads and ancient temples – visiting Armenia

I was traveling around Georgia for a few weeks as I came up with the idea to take a short visit to its neighbour Armenia. This small Caucasus country has overcome many hardships throughout its history, including many wars and a genocide, which made masses of Armenians start a life outside their homeland – nowadays only less than a third of the world's Armenian population lives in their home country. Not all the troubles tormenting Armenia are in the past – the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan has not been resolved yet, leaving Armenia with closed borders. It also faces some significant human rights problems and is still quite a poor country. Nevertheless, this land was gifted with an incredibly beautiful nature, not to mention it is considered to be one of the cradles of civilization. The roadtrip from Tbilisi to Yerevan was really memorable itself as we managed to hitchhike a huge truck. Sitting so high made it easy to admire the passing views and it was the first time me and my friends rode in a truck's cabin so we were really happy about the new experience. The driver wasn't very talkative and one who has been to Armenia already can easily understand why – the roads in some places are insane. The narrow serpentines are full of pits and the weather was rainy so we rode through pools and swamps. Another memorable moment was riding through a completely dark and quite narrow tunnel under the mountain, the water was dripping from the ceiling and once again the road was hollow. We were almost praying not to crash into another vechile and were surprised how the truck didn't hit the ceiling. Later on the trip, one French guy told me how he was riding through that same tunnel in his van and the car's electricity system broke down. He rode in a complete darkness and I'm sure it's an adventure he wouldn't want to repeat. It is convenient Armenians are really good electricians, though, you can get your car fixed in no time. (View through a car window) Currency So, after six or so eventful hours in the truck we stepped our feet on Yerevan's soil. The first thing you'll probably do after coming to Armenia – exchange the currency. There are plenty of small exchange offices around the capital city, most of them located in the shopping malls but be aware that exchange rates vary considerably in different offices. The Armenian currency is dram (subdivided into 100 luma) and the inflation rate is high so be prepared to pay a couple of thousand for your lunch. (Yerevan, capital city of Armenia) Yerevan Yerevan itself is a great example of Soviet architecture. It's a nice but pretty monotonous city, the city center is worth attention, though. Do not miss climbing up the Cascade stairs and even further to the Victory park and the Statue of Mother Armenia, you'll get great panoramic views. […]

Best of Armenia

Even nobody knows nothing about this country not even that it exists I had a chance to visit it thanks to Erasmus+ project with Armenians. This country is located in the Caucasus in Southwest Asia and the capital city Yerevan is located about 12 kilometers from Turkey. First thing that I would like to mention is that there were lot of things that I was surprised almost shocked because there is a much different culture than I expected, but lot of these things which surprised me I consider for typical sings of Armenia. Perfect view from Cascade in Yerevan. I´ve already mentioned that I got there through Erasmus+ project so almost everything was paid for me. Like food, accommodation and transport. But if you would like to visit this country, only expensive thing what you will pay for will be a ticket which costs about 450 Euros from Czech Republic, then when you get to Armenia you will pay like nothing for everything  because in Armenia there is everything cheap. I would say that the prices are three or four times lower than anywhere in Europe.   WHAT I DISCOVERED ABOUT THE CULTURE FOOD Let´s start with food which everybody loves. If you will be in Armenia don´t even dare to not to try Lavash. It is lightweight thin bread that reminds me of tortillas. Me and my friends we made a fun all the time that they have a rule which is: “No life without lavash.” Everywhere in Armenia people eat this “bread” everyday to everything with everything. They have it even for breakfast, lunch and also for dinner. I think that there wasn’t a case when somebody wouldn’t eat lavash. Also they drink here a “kompot” which is very sweet drink mostly made of apricot with a lot of sugar. Time for coffee, sadly without lavash or kompot.. PEOPLE Next thing fact what I discovered here is that everybody in this country is so much loving, kind and friendly. Whatever you need to ask or if you need a help, even they don´t understand you they try to help you somehow. Armenians are incredibly proud and hospitable nation. Although they have almost nothing they would do anything for the visit. So if you plan to visit Armenia you don’t need to be afraid of anything, also I would like to emphasize hitch-hiking. One day we were divided into little groups and our goal was to get to an agreed place and we had to hitch-hike. To be honest, in the begging I was afraid because I didn’t have any experiences with hitch-hiking in the Czech Republic and not even anywhere in Europe. But when we started with hitch-hiking my fears disappeared. During our trip we relieved seven totally different cars. We went by luxurious car, delivery truck and by some car for animals. It was fun and for me it was a perfect experience to try something new. But if […]

Armenia. Small, Enchanting and Smiling so Genuinely

  Finding Armenia in Africa Some 18-19 years ago I met this Nigerian guy sitting by the fountains in the largest square we have in our city. It's called Republic Square. Back in the day it was called – surprise-surprise! – Lenin Square. Yes, my country, Armenia, is a former Soviet Republic. Lenin's statue in this Square, Stalin's on the highest hill of the city, you know how it was. They were everywhere. So the Nigerian guy. This was late 1990s, we didn't have too many Africans walking around in our city back then. I was curious. And besides, I was studying English in the University and was eager to practice the language. So I approached and we started to talk. Of course I started with what interested me the most. How did he found out about my country? I assure you, it's a legitimate question. You have no idea how many times I got this “Where are you from”? “Armenia”. “Ah yes, Romania, nice nice…” It’s now that Kim Kardashian and his husband Kanye have put us on the map. For an average tourist that is. I'll tell about their last year visit  in another article. It was something tell about. So my Nigerian friend told me he read about us in a travel book and since he wanted to go to a place where average tourist wouldn't go, he highlighted Armenia and read a little more about us. Buying the tickets and packing came right after that. What is Armenia, after all?  Armenia is a country with a history. We go way back, farther than one can think. First country accepting Christianity as a State religion? Yes, that was us. In 301 AD. Can you believe it? Some archaeologists insist, after a quite thorough search, that they found traces of the world's oldest wine producing facility on our territory. Yes, we have good alcohol. Sir Winston Churchill was a big fan of our cognac. And we officially have had our alphabet starting from 405 AD. What can I say, our people were in a rush to read and write. We still love to do that, you know. Just can’t get tired of those letters. Yerevan, the beautiful capital I live in Yerevan, in the capital of my country. One of these days we are going celebrate 2798 year anniversary of our city. Yerevan is an amazing city. It is a fusion of Soviet times constructionist, neoclassical and modern architecture and nowadays new wave with edgy, glassy and pointy tall buildings. The streets aren’t very wide because they mostly were built in times of fewer vehicles. Sidewalks are beautiful, many trees and benches. Yerevan is becoming more and more tourist oriented with every passing year. Nice three to five star hotels, chic restaurants with world cuisine. You can find very decent Italian pizza and pasta here. And of course, our own cuisine. Our famous thin bread called lavash and the unique pork barbecue which you can find in no […]
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