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Armenia gives the transitory effect of the East and West to its travelers. Being an inland corridor between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Armenia keeps symbolic characteristics of the South Caucasus region in geography, politics, and culture.

armeni

After its independence in 1991, the country renamed itself the Republic of Armenia. Despite its political tension with Turkey due to 1915 claims and the disputes with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian people always exhibit a peaceful, cheerful and hospitable character. Armenian music, Caucasus folk dances, pastoral beauties, and many tasty dishes attract visitors

General Information

Continent

Asia

Capital of Armenia

Yerevan

Country Code

AM

Official Language

Armenian

Surface Area

29.743 km²

Time zone (GMT / Local time)

UTC+4 (AMT)

Telephone Code

+374

Domain Extension

.am / .hwj

Currency

Dram (AMD)

Demonym

Armenian

Government

Unitary Parliamentary Republic

Annual Average Temperature

-2.5 °C in January to 26.5 °C in July

Socket Type

Type C and F / 230V

   

Capital of Armenia

Situated to the west of the country, on the eastern skirts of Mount Ararat, Yerevan takes the role of a capital city. Being the largest among Armenian cities, Yerevan is the center of politics, economy, tourism, and commerce.

Official Language and Popular Phrases

The official language in the country is Armenian. It is derived from an independent branch of the Indo-European language family. Armenians use a different alphabet called ¨aybuben¨, which makes travelers confused while gazing at the labels, signs, and tickets. In Yerevan and large cities, you can find English-speaking people. Middle-aged and older people may also know Russian, which will help you communicate with local people.

Why don't you pronounce these ten popular phrases in Armenian?

Armenian (Pronunciation): Meaning in English

  • Barev dzez (ba-rev d-zez): Hello
  • Tstesutsyun! (ts-teess-uts-yun): Goodbye!
  • Shnorrhakalutsjun (shno-rha-kal-ut-syun): Thank you.
  • Ajo / votsh (ajo / votch): Yes / no
  • Indz koqneq? (indz koq-neq): Can you help me?
  • Menyun kbereq? (men-yun kber-eq): Could I see the menu?
  • Hashiveh kbereq? (ha-shiv-ek kbe-req): May I have the bill?
  • Inchqan eh? (inch-qan eh): How much does it cost?
  • Arch, dzakh (atch, dzakh): Turn right, turn left
  • Vortegh eh kangareh? (vort-egh eh kan-ga-reh): Where is the bus stop?

Landscape and Vegetation

With its surface area constituting 29.743 km², Armenia is relatively small. Its highlands are in a similar ecoregion to Eastern Anatolian steppes.

Local Time

The local time in Armenia is four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+4) or Universal Coordinated Time (UCT+4), which means it shares the same time zone with Georgia, Azerbaijan, and the Gulf countries like UAE and Oman.

Currency

Armenian dram (AMD) is the monetary unit you will need for shopping and cash payments. 1 dram is divided into 100 luma. 1 US dollar equals 480.096 drams, and 1 Euro equals 547,62 Armenian drams.

Annual Average Temperature

The average temperature ranges from -2.5 °C (27.5 °F) in January to 26.5 °C (80 °F) in July, with the highest around 34 °C (93 °F), Winter is rather cold at higher elevations where the temperature may fall between -15/-20 °C (-4/5 °F).

Climate

In Armenia, continental climate shows itself with hot summers and cold winters. Precipitation is low, summers are hot and dry, especially in the western regions. In Sevan, around the famous Sevan Lake, and at 2000 m. above sea level, continental climatic effects are more substantial. July and August are cooler than other destinations in the country.

Economic Resources

The Armenian economy relies on manufacturing, services, remittances, and agriculture. Close economic ties with Russia are based on import-export balance. Russia is still Armenia's primary exporting market, and Russian creditors and investors make energy investments. According to World Bank records, Armenia expanded very rapidly between 2017-2019 with a%6.8 annual GDP growth rate.

Location

Armenia is a small country located in the South Caucasus region of Asia. The mountainous landscape also defines its land borders. Turkey neighbours it to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, Iran and Nakhchivan to the south. The country lies between latitudes 38° and 42° N, meridians 43° and 47° E.

Traveling to Armenia

There are two routes to get to Armenia inland: Crossing through border countries or taking direct flights. From Georgia and Iran, local buses are moving to different routes in Armenia. However, a bus trip takes long hours before stopping at the border police. Your arrival schedule may get much longer if busy queues wait before you.

The easiest route to get to Armenia is by direct flight from Turkey. Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan (EVN in IATA code) is the best route as it hosts direct international flights from Istanbul, Sabiha Gökçen Airport. The airport is located 15 km. to the west of Yerevan and is accessible by public bus and taxi from the city center. You can find cheap flights from Istanbul to Yerevan by Pegasus Airlines, which also enables transit flights from various worldwide routes. Save time and money via cheap Yerevan flights through Pegasus Airlines campaigns.

Places to Visit in Armenia

The pastoral beauty of the Aragats, the Ararat, and Sevan Lake have much to offer to excursionists. Yerevan, Jermuk, Sevan Lake, Dilijan, Gyumri, and Echmiadzin are just some fantastic tourist spots to see in the country.

Yerevan: The Pink City offers the majority of church and museum visits. The Republic Square and Opera Square are the central points in the historical zone.

Sevan Lake: Sevan is 79 km away from Zvartnots International Airport. Sevana Lich (Sevan Lake) is located 1900 m. Above sea level, there are dazzling eyes with its pure water, beautiful mountains, and endangered fish species like ishkhan.

Jermuk: Jermuk is known as the Armenian SPA and wellness resort. Located in the Vayots Dzor province to the south of Armenia, it occupies sources of mineral water and hot springs. Jermuk hotels offer exclusive facilities like SPA, sports, and billiard corners.

Echmiadzin: The oldest Armenian Church of Christianity (initially built in the 4th century) in Vagharshapat offers daily trips to this holy site.

Transportation in Armenia

Transportation in Armenia is easy and cheap. Public transport types may vary from region to region. Metro, buses, marshrutkas, trains, and taxis provide transport in cities.

Airport Transfer

You can take the Airport Express (also known as the Elite Bus) to the city center once you arrive at Zvartnots International Airport. The bus runs every half hour and takes roughly 30-40 minutes to complete the journey. You can get off the bus near Opera Square at Yeritasardakan metro station. If you are in a hurry or land before 7:00 a.m., you are recommended to upload a Yandex Taxi and take a taxi after bargaining about the price.

Public Transport

Intercity transport is provided by buses and trains. From Yerevan, Gyumri, and other cities, marshrutkas travel to villages and suburbs. Their schedule is more frequent than buses. In Yerevan, the metro line alleviates rush-hour jams and saves time via a 13 km route and 10 stops. Trolleys are also active in the capital city. You can buy a ticket on the vehicle. If you prefer exploring each corner of the city without any stress to drive, you can get on a marshrutka (a minibus) like on a hop-on-hop-off trip.

Accommodation in Armenia

Armenia offers travelers cost-effective accommodation alternatives. You can find well-equipped and comfortable hotels in the capital Yerevan, Jermuk, and Sevan Lake's shore. Armenian resorts provide bed and breakfast options in cozy hotels and apartments. You can search for self-catering houses around Sevan and Yerevan if you have a limited budget. Pegasus hotel offers will help you find the best deal all over Armenia.

Armenian Cuisine and Restaurants

Armenian cuisine is based on kebab, soup with beef particles, rice, and bread. Armenian recipes are very similar to Turkish delicacies and Georgian dishes, having close cultural ties. Yet, Armenian touches on each recipe can be observed if you try them in local restaurants. Indian Mehak, Tavern Yerevan, Anteb, Tumanyan Khinkali, and Katsa are favored places to try local cuisine in Yerevan.

Traditional Dishes of Armenia

Khoravats is a well-blended form of vegetables, meat, and spices. It is cooked with chicken, beef or pork. Eggplant, tomato, green and red pepper are flavored with different spices and Armenian herbs to make up a satisfying dish, that is khoravats. A typical Anatolian dish, dolma, is also seen in Armenian gourmet culture. Not only pepper but also cabbage is used as the main product to be filled in. You can taste Armenian-style bread and lavash with beef. Lavash or lavish in their style is a thin flattened bread. It is baked in special ovens and served with kebab or other meat types.

Souvenir Shopping in Armenia

What makes Armenian culture interesting for travelers is transforming agricultural crops and daily objects into enjoyable souvenirs. You can buy dried fruits, vodka, obsidian rings, and bracelets as presents. Ethnic costumes and handwoven carpets are also good choices.

Important Tips about Armenia

  • Traffic flows on the right. If you have to drive in Armenia, you should make your driving license ready for the system.
  • Before taking a taxi, remember to bargain, especially at Zvartnots International Airport. Make sure to bring a photocopy of your passport and your health pass.
  • In shopping malls, busy restaurants, and on the bus, the police or security may ask for your passport and health pass due to pandemic restrictions.

Entertainment in Armenia

Clubs, karaoke bars, and taverns will make you feel the night rhythm in the capital. In summer, open-air concerts are also famous for those who want to get entertained in the open-air.

Festivals in Armenia

Between spring and autumn, various festivals are held in small villages around the country. You can taste local dishes and drinks and enjoy the time during daytime events. Some recommended festivals are as follows:

May for Dolma Festival

Dolma is a popular dish not only in Anatolia but also in Armenia. You can visit Armavir in May to attend the Dolma Festival. This challenging festival has dancing and cooking contests and training sessions about cabbage dolma recipes.

August for Navasard, HoneyBerry, and Barbecue Festivals

Celebrating the new year is an excellent concept to nourish the hopes. Navasard is the ancient Armenian belief about the new year. Folks enjoy the new year's birth in August, with colorful costumes, delicious meals, and music. The Honey and Berries Festival in Dilijan will also cheer you up with natural honey types during the month. If you like sweets, you can taste and enjoy a mixture of honey with different kinds of cherries. If you stay longer, you can catch the Barbecue Festival to be held in Akhira. This festival is dedicated to young and amateur chefs who are willing to exhibit their skills on the kebab. You can see, smell and taste 40 different kebab recipes on the barbecue.

October for Vineyards and Drama

If you plan to visit Armenia in the second week of October, you shouldn't miss the National Theater Festival. Drama groups, amateur and professional playwrights, and actors get together for beautiful shows. If you are interested in grapevines, you can make a short trip to Areni village for the Wine Festival. It is the right time to learn how wine is distilled and how pure it can be.

For other festival tips in the capital, see our Yerevan Travel Guide.

Emergency Numbers in Armenia

In Armenia, you can dial 112 or 911 for general emergencies, 101 for the fire brigade, 102 for the police, 103 for an ambulance, and 104 for gas services.

Holidays in Armenia

Armenia's public holidays have both national and international linkage to important dates or events. March 8th, April 18th, May 1st, and December 31st are just internationally celebrated days like Women's Day, Easter, Labor Day, and Christmas. Particularly in spring, there are several bank holidays related to national festivals and victories:

  • January 28th – National Army Day
  • April 14th – Armenian Remembrance Day
  • May 9th – Victory and Peace Day
  • May 28th – Republic Day
  • July 5th - Constitution Day
  • September 21st – Independence Day

If you would like to feel the glory through festive activities, you can plan your Armenia trip during those weeks.

Visa Requirements to Visit Armenia

Visa requirements may vary from country to country. EU citizens, UK, US passport holders, and visitors from some Asian and American countries do not need a visa if they stay up to 180 days per year. Visitors from visa-required countries can apply for a tourist visa with different schemes. E-visa, visa on arrival, and embassy visa procedures have different requirements. Turkish passport holders need some other steps to get an Armenian visa. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I find cheap flights to Armenia?

There are numerous direct and connecting flights available from Turkey. Check Cheap Yerevan Flights for tickets.

  • When are flights more affordable to Armenia?

You will find more affordable flight alternatives to Armenia if you book between November and March. Check out our Cheap Armenia Flights page for last-minute deals.

  • Is there a time difference with other countries?

Armenia stands four hours ahead of the UTC.

  • Are there any travel restrictions due to COVID-19?

In public places and on public transportation, you must wear a face mask. A negative PCR test result within 72 hours after departure or a health pass, which includes two doses of authorized immunization, are required for international flights. Check Pegasus Airlines announcements for the most recent information.

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