If you are planning your next affordable vacation destination and you want to be amazed, then Yerevan, Armenia is exactly what you’re looking for.
Of course, I know only saying that it is an amazing place won’t convince you. So let’s dive right in and take a tour of the best places to visit in Yerevan.
Yerevan is not just the capital of Armenia, it’s the heart of a country. Armenia is full of breathtaking corners where you’ll meet something extraordinary every moment, and discover things that are new and things so old that it’s hard to believe. One of those extremely old places you will visit is the heart of this beautiful country itself, Yerevan. The city is 2800 years old; it has been through a lot during that time but it’s still alive, still bright, and it makes everyone who comes there feel like they’re at home. And what’s more, it is one of the safest countries in the world.
People in Yerevan are super hospitable
When most people say “hospitality”, they normally refer to the industry: the hotels, restaurants and bars. But in Yerevan, hospitality isn’t just a term, it’s a lifestyle. People here are raised knowing that guests should be treated the best way possible, and there is no other way that locals know. The best and the easiest way to see this is to go to the open food market. There, you will find dozens of people from all over Armenia selling food. They will all ask you to try a little of what they are selling, so if you go once around the place, you might not need dinner anymore. And if they realize you are a guest of the city, you might well end up going home with gifts!
Nightlife in Yerevan
You know how everywhere in the world, streets are full of people and cheerful noise on Friday nights? Well, in Yerevan, every evening is like that. But when the sun goes down, the magic rises. The city that was called “Pink City” for the color of its buildings becomes the city of colorful lights, highlighting the alternate beauty of architecture. Every evening, you will also find the dancing fountains on the Republic Square, where hundreds of people gather to spend time near the dancing fountains. Meanwhile, across town in the Cascade area, a group of professional folk dancers called Karin give public dance lessons to whoever pleases to join them. Meanwhile, Norwegian Consul Tim Straight is taking pictures from his apartment on the 5th floor next door and posting them to Facebook.
Yerevan is the capital of food
Food is an amazingly delicious part of the Armenian culture. You can find thousands of interesting dishes and choose favorites for yourself. There are several national favorites that locals are very proud of, and you can find all of those dishes in restaurants, but, if at some point on your trip, you get invited to someone’s house for dinner, you definitely shouldn’t miss the opportunity.
Here is a list of the 7 must-have dishes in Armenia.
Water, water everywhere
If we talk about the food, there is no way we can skip talking about water in Armenia. In most cities, if you wanted to have water, you would have to buy it in a bottle. But, as you might have already noticed, Yerevan is not at all like most cities. Here you can find water fountains everywhere, which not only gives you fresh water all year long, but also gives it for FREE.
Transportation is cheap
Public transportation in Yerevan is another great topic to talk about. Of course, it is not as completely free as the water from the fountains, but there is a unique system for it. See, the transportation system in Yerevan is based on the “100 drams (AMD) rule”. To give you some understanding of how much that is, I’ll say that 100 drams is more or less the same as €0.18/$US0.21. And what does that really mean? It simply means that whatever type of public transport you take, it will cost you 100 drams. There are buses, microbuses and metro available in the city, all of which, regardless of where you’re going, cost 100 drams. And even the taxis, for each kilometer you go, you will only pay 100 drams.
On top of that, if you need to move in the center you can just use your feet, as the center is so small that you can get anywhere you want by walking.
Architecture in Yerevan
Yerevan is one of the few places in the world where you can see the contrast of the new, old and very old buildings. In the city center, you will see all the new and shiny buildings, which are built right next to the old ornamental buildings. At the same time, in Erebuni district, you will find the 2800-year-old city remains. The best part is that those three districts have lived together in harmony for a long time now and they seem to be very comfortable with each other.
Festivals and museums in Yerevan, Armenia
Festivals are known to repeat once a year or once every few years. It is true for Armenia, and Yerevan too, there many festivals coming after one another all the time, so if you are in Yerevan in any week of the year, you will find a festival or two to take part in.
The number of festivals you could easily see tells every visitor that the locals are fond of celebrations, which is why there are celebrations organized for everything, from the city’s birthday to food festivals. You might find yourself in the middle of the movie festival, a berry festival, and even a barbeque festival! But if you are in Yerevan and for some reason, there is no festival to attend, there are still many museums to visit and keep your day interesting.
Daylight cafes and wine bars
In every Armenian family, the mornings start with a cup of black coffee, but make no mistake that’s not only for the morning. Armenians love their black coffee so much that there are cafes literally everywhere in the city. The coffee here is not just a drink; it has become an obsession. But when the night falls, regardless of what day of the week it is, Saryan Street starts buzzing. This is where most of the wine bars in Yerevan are lined up, and you won’t be able to get a table there without a prior reservation.
Souvenirs as part of Yerevan
Souvenirs happen to be another big part of the Armenian culture. It is so big of a part that there is an enormous area in the very center of the city where you can find an open market of souvenirs, called “Vernissage”, all year long. The products found there are mostly handmade by different Armenian artists who come there to sell their products. And if you are thinking of taking a little something with you on your way home as a memory from Armenia, this is the place to go. And if you decide to stay, everyone will be only happy about it.
In short, if you are looking for a place where you can eat delicious food, meet extraordinary people and have fun all day long, then book a flight and a hotel, because Yerevan is waiting for you.
About the Author: Lily Aboyan is a content writer by day, movie enthusiast by night. Hopes that one day can write “content” for movies too.