Yerevan is the ideal city for city break, a short trip for 2-4 days. The borders of Armenia are open for Russians, a visa and a passport are not needed, and only a negative PCR is required to enter.
The pink city, so named because of the tuff decoration of the houses, attracts travelers with pleasant prices, Caucasian hospitality and amazing cuisine. And, of course, many sights, because Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world.
Look at the singing fountains in the center
The main, postcard sights of Yerevan are the Cascade and the Republic Square. The Cascade is a monumental complex of five terraces, 675 staircases, fountains, sculptures and small museums. The best view of the city opens from the top of the Cascade. Here you should go to the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, where, among other things, works by Marc Chagall and Andy Warhol are exhibited, and the Aznavour Center.
Republic Square – the central square of the city, the most popular meeting place and an indispensable point of the program of the majority author tours… Here is the government building, the National Gallery, the Central Post Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And also the famous Yerevan singing fountains, the very first in the Soviet Union. For half a century they have been working every day from May to September. The musical accompaniment changes, but the final of the show is always unchanged – this is “Eternal Love” by the most famous Frenchman of Armenian origin Charles Aznavour.
To taverns, restaurants and khinkal
In Yerevan, it is almost impossible to miscalculate with food: wherever you go, it will be satisfying, tasty and inexpensive everywhere. The average bill in restaurants is 500 rubles per person with wine and huge portions. In small cafes it is cheaper. Or you can eat for free at all: in the famous Yerevan markets, where sellers treat everyone, even wine and chacha.
The most restaurant streets in Yerevan are Tumanyan and Saryan streets. The latter is compared to London’s Soho. One of the most fashionable places in the city is located on Tumanyan – The Club restaurant, about which Paulo Coelho said: “The Club is the place where I heard the soul of Armenia”. It’s kind of weird because it has fusion cuisine with a French accent. But the place is elegant, stylish, iconic.
Here, on Tumanyan, there is a tavern “Stalinka” with the best dolma (“tolma” in Armenian) and kebab, “Tumanyan Khinkali” with an amazing steak from the liver and khinkali itself, as well as the popular among travelers restaurant “Lavash” with an open kitchen … Another iconic place is Dolmama Restaurant – expensive, authentic, solid and super popular after being mentioned in Orel and Reshka.
In Yerevan, you should definitely try Armenian-style coffee brewed in a Turk on hot sand, dolma, khash and, of course, khorovats (Armenian barbecue).
Markets: grocery, flea and gold
There are as many as 4 markets in small Yerevan. Two of them are grocery. The central covered market in the very center of the city is an architectural landmark included in the list of historical and cultural monuments of Armenia. It was built in the middle of the last century and, in addition to the actual shopping arcade, included a warehouse, a basement refrigeration room, a hostel, a post office, a radio center and even a library.
Farmers’ market “GUM” looks like the most ordinary Soviet market, but in terms of assortment it is a real oriental bazaar.
“Vernissage” – Yerevan flea market. It appeared in the 80s thanks to local artists who exhibited their paintings here. Now people go to Vernissage for souvenirs, handmade ceramics, authentic musical instruments and antiques.
The Gold Souk is another popular attraction in Yerevan. Here they sell jewelry made of Armenian gold, which is distinguished by its characteristic yellowness. Gold prices here are 2 times lower than in Russia, and the choice is huge.
To the old town while it is intact
The old city in Yerevan is atmospheric ruins, dilapidated houses with props, car remains and the spirit of the past. Kond district is the oldest quarter of Yerevan, founded in the 15th century and giving rise to the modern city. It is hidden away in the very center of the Armenian capital, but it seems to be in a different time and dimension: in Soviet times, Yerevan was completely rebuilt, but Kond was left untouched.
It is very atmospheric and sincere here: linen is hung in the courtyards and eggplant caviar is being cooked, old people are playing backgammon, small children are running around the streets alone. Turkish and Persian buildings have been preserved here, and the layout of the streets has not changed since the 18th century.
Armenian media report that Kond will soon be completely rebuilt, so it makes sense to look here to catch the last days of old Yerevan.
To one of the competing cognac factories
There are 2 brandy factories located directly opposite each other in Yerevan: “Noy” and “Ararat”. Until 1948, this was one production, and then the factories were divided.
Both factories conduct tasting tours. It is necessary to register for “Ararat” in advance. The tastings are richer here and you can try the 25-year-old “Dvin”, which Churchill loved so much. But “Noah” is more beautiful: the building of the plant is stylized as a military fortress, which was here before, and authentic old cellars with port wine and Madeira have been preserved.
If Yerevan alone is not enough for you to travel, but time allows, check out our mini-guide to the best places in Armenia and a selection tours for summer 2021…
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Tours to Yerevan
7 days (September 11 – 17 and 1 more date)
48 800 ₽
6 971 ₽
7 days (August 15 – 21 and 5 more dates)
49 900 ₽
7 129 ₽
8 days (July 24 – 31 and 5 more dates)
68 100 ₽
8 513 ₽
5 days (28 Jul – 01 Aug)
52 954 ₽
10 592 ₽