Armenia, popularly known as the mystical land in the Caucasus, is a destination for travelers who seek rich stories of natural beauty and history. It is a humble country, yet takes pride in its magically-looking ancient towns and unspoiled mountains.
When is the best time to visit Armenia?
December, January, and February are the coldest months in the country with rampant snowfall, while June to September is the hottest with the temperature soaring up to 40 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, the months April and May have the rainiest and wettest season.
If you’re planning to visit Armenia, the best time to visit the country is in late May and early June – beginning months of summer; or late September and early October – ending months of summer. This is the time when the weather is comfortable and not too hot, and rains are unlikely.
How to get to the city center from Yerevan Airport?
There are two best ways to get to the city center from Yerevan Airport: city taxis and bus service. City taxis are available any time of the day with a travel time of 15-25 minutes, while bus service only runs from 7:30 AM to 18:00 PM with a travel time of about 40 minutes.
Taxi fare is 2,500 to 3,000 AMD (5 to 6 USD), and the bus service fare is 300 AMD (0.63 USD). Although taking a taxi is relatively expensive, it is more comfortable and takes less time to get to the city center. Also, it is usually rented by you and your travel buddies, which is also the reason why it’s expensive.
Connecting to the internet in Armenia
Most hotels, cafes, bars, and restaurants in Armenia have Wi-Fi or Internet-connected computers for the guests. However, this is sometimes not free. They charge you upon booking or on-site.
Also, almost all towns in the country have internet cafes that charge not more than 0.60 USD per hour. 3G SIM cards and computer dongles can also be bought in-stores as they are convenient to use and relatively inexpensive.
How to get around Armenia?
The popular modes of public transportation in Armenia are subway metro and buses or vans. The quickest way to get around the country is to ride their underground subway metro running every five minutes from 6:30 AM to 11:00 PM. It gives you access to 10 stations and the fare is only 100 AMD (0.30 USD).
Buses or vans, locally called marshrutkas, are also common in the major cities and small towns. Buses have a fixed schedule, while vans travel more frequent throughout the day. Similar to subway metro, the fare is only 100 AMD (0.30 USD) if you only plan to get around the city.
10 Top Tourist Attractions in Armenia
If you’re tired of typical get-away locations you usually visit, then this must be the time to try an oft-ignored country. Here are the 10 tourist attractions in Armenia that will definitely leave you in awe:
One of the star attractions in Armenia is the Lake Sevan for its blue, cool, and sparkling water. It is a popular spot both for tourists and locals who want to spend their summer doing different water-based activities like swimming, surfing, skiing, sunbathing by the shore, and more. If you want a retreat from the city and wish to beat the heat, Lake Sevan is the place to be!
The Noravanak Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 2002, is the last masterpiece of sculptor and architect Momik and the same place where he was buried. The monastery houses three churches namely Surb Astvatsatsin Church, St. Stephen’s Church, and St. Karapet Church magically sitting on top of the hill. Apart from its beautiful scenery, the monastery also keeps a very rich history.
Khor Virap Monastery
This monastery is primarily known for imprisoning Saint Gregory the Illuminator for 14 years in a deep pit with scorpions and snakes. This was ordered by King Tridates III in Saint Gregory’s attempt to influence the people with Christianity.
After 114 years, he still managed to survive in the deep pit, which then followed the King’s decree to make all residents Christians. This history is still evidently reflected on the monastery. You can even go down to the pit with a ladder if you wish to.
Echmiadzin is popular for various museums and churches like the mother of Armenian Apostolic Church, the Echmiadzin Cathedral. It is the equivalent of the Christian’s Vatican for the Armenian Apostolic Church. The said religion and Christianity have a lot of similarities, but a visit to the cathedral will teach you a lot about the Armenian Apostolic Church uniqueness and heritage.
If you’re looking for adventures, Noravank Gorge is one of the tourist attractions in Armenia that you’ll enjoy. It is known for caves and well-preserved flora and fauna. Among the caves that tourists love to visit are the Magel Cave and Bird Cave.
The Magel Cave is the second largest cave in Armenia, which will introduce you to various stalagmites and stalactites. The Bird Cave, on the other hand, is known as the earliest site for wine fermentation. If you wish to visit both, it is highly recommended to get a skilled guide.
Gyumri is a home for famous parks, museums, and impressive arts and history. Walking around the historic city will get you to so many places like the Black Fortress, an abandoned Russian fortress; Vartanants Square, a memorial to the Battle of Avarayr; and many more.
Amberd, which means ‘fortress in the clouds’ is one of the largest fortresses in Armenia located in Mount Aragats. It is literally a fortress in the clouds as it was built 2,300 m above sea level. Back in the time, the Amberd Fortress was used as the military defense center of Bagratuni and Pahlavuni kingdoms. It has a variety of structures including a chapel, church, baths, and more. If you’re a history explorer, you’ll surely enjoy the Amberd Fortress!
Dvin Archeological Site
Dvin is one of the most significant historic cities. You can see fragments from columns and structures that serve as proof of how beautiful the city was. As one of the top tourist attractions in Armenia, the Dvin Archeological Site houses significant artifacts including those from Bronze Age.
The Geghard Monastery is a standing structure of Medieval Armenian architecture. The churches and tombs are made of rocks which is a trademark in Medieval architecture. A breathtaking view and a peaceful tour of this place? What more could you ask for?
The Wings of Tatev is one mode to get to the Tatev monastery. It is the Guinness Book of World Records’ longest aerial tramway. A ride here will get you a picture perfect view of the mountains and other natural beauty of the entire city.
Well, getting you to the monastery is no difference! The structure is a complex of Armenian Apostolic Church founded in the 4th century. It is a religious and significant, fairytale-like structure that has a lot of stories to tell.