If you are planning to visit Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, the city will always be ready to welcome you.
Yerevan is one of the most ancient cities in the world. It was founded in 782 B.C. The city is 29 years older than Rome, is the same age as Babylon and the Assyrian city of Nineveh. That is probably one of the reasons the city is referred as an “open-air museum”.
Lying on the main trade routes between East and West, Yerevan was constantly fought back and forth during the course of the time.
Yerevan has celebrated its 2800th anniversary in 2018. Despite the fact of having complicated and dramatic history, the city is a home to hospitable people who will always be there to help discover many interesting and fascinating things to do and places to go in Yerevan.
One of the greatest things about the capital is that it is perfectly walkable city, and you can see a lot of sightseeing simultaneously.
One of the most popular spots in the city is the Cascade Complex. The complex is easily noticeable due to its beautifully crafted marble stairs. There are merely 572 steps and if you walk up the “huge staircase”, you can enjoy the wonderful panorama of the city with the spectacular Opera House, Mount Ararat as well as the view to the whole city. You can see one of the finest examples of the Soviet Modernism right in the city center.
The Cascade Complex with its surroundings considered to be one of the most visited places of Yerevan. Beside climbing Cascade, the Complex offers art galleries, art shops, sculpture garden, and more. Worth to mention that some of the best Yerevan coffee shops and restaurants for lunch are mainly located in the area where the Cascade Complex is.
Another inevitably must-see place in the city is the Yerevan Opera Theater. The building has a unique architectural style and it differs from the others in Yerevan. This architectural gem is located at the center of Yerevan. The creator of Yerevan, architect Alexander Tamanian, came up with the unusual design in the ’30s and ’60s, however, only in 1980 the theater was finalized with reconstruction.
There are two halls in the Opera house: the theatre and the philharmonic society hall. The theatre has also hosted concerts performed by Charles Aznavour, Ian Anderson, John McLaughlin, Krzysztof Penderecki, and many others.
Another architectural and cultural gem in Yerevan is the renowned Matenadaran. This unique museum, the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts. is one of the rearrest in the world. The collection in Matenadaran is a mind-blowing 23,000 manuscripts and scrolls and is the biggest manuscript collection in the world. From the world’s biggest book to the world’s smallest book, Matenadaran contains a wide variety of manuscripts, even some from civilizations that no longer exist nowadays.
If you are in the capital of Armenia so you know that all the roads lead to the Republic Square, which is the main square of the country. The square is surrounded by five major buildings built in pink and yellow tuff in the neoclassical style with extensive use of Armenian motifs. Republic Square was constructed in 1924 by the notable Armenian architect Alexander Tamanyan. The Square is an essential for the capital city because its ensemble includes the Government House, two buildings that formerly housed the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Transport and Communications, and more. Besides, you will be able to find the History Museum and the National Gallery right in the Republic Square. The Armenia Marriott Hotel, one of the most popular hotels, is located in a historical building, in the same area. Worth to mention that the History Museum and the National Gallery is one of the most visited and beloved museum galleries in the country. The gallery founded in 1921, contains 26,000 artworks and 56 galleries and halls while the History Museum of Armenia holds a national collection consisting of about 400,000 archeological, numismatic and ethnographical objects. The Singing Fountains are also in the Republic Square.
The Memorial Complex of Tsitsernakaberd is a monument dedicated in memory of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The main complex was built in 1967, while the museum-institute was opened in 1995. The complex has an original architectural design and is considered an important site and an architectural masterpiece of Yerevan. The complex measures 4,500 square meters, which includes a genocide museum and a garden where the leaders of different countries have plant trees in memory of the victims.
One of the most recognizable and inevitably noticeable statues in Yerevan, is the statue of Mother Armenia, which symbolizes the country as a body and soul of a strong Armenian and peace through strength. The statue is located on the top of a hill in Victory Park, the monument came to replace the statue of Joseph Stalin in 1967. Mother Armenia holds a covered sword in her hands and a shield next to her legs as the protector of peace and harmony. The statue is situated on a beautiful pedestal designed by architect R. Israyelyan which displays traditional Armenian symbols and architecture elements. The height of Mother Armenia and the pedestal is approximately 51 meters, which makes it very visible from different parts of Yerevan.
One of the greatest experiences in Yerevan is the brandy factory museums. Both museums are spectacular. The legendary Ararat Brandy Factory is one of the most visited, which is a perfect place to try one of the world’s best Armenian brandies (cognac). The Ararat Brandy Factory is located right next to the Victory bridge (built during the WWII) at the entrance of the city.
Another great place to get acquainted with the Armenian alcohol making is the Yerevan Noy Wine Brandy Vodka Factory. It is a genuinely historical monument, built on the edge of Hrazdan Gorge. The capacity of the 125-year-old fortress factory is very large due to the fact that it goes many floors underground, and the experience there is truly memorable. Each underground floor contains different old barrels filled with wine and brandy and historical alcohol-producing equipment. The guests in this facility will see, touch, and taste the alcohol at the end of the tour in a special celebration room.
Since Yerevan is one of the most ancient cities in the world it is inevitable to get around the archaeological sites. One of the most renowned is the Erebuni Historical & Archeological Culture-Preserve. Founded in 1968, the Erebuni Museum is not the nearest place to see in Yerevan center but it’s an absolute archeological gem that showcases three amazing historical sites: Arin Berd, Karmir Blur, and Shengavit.
The region and in particular Armenia is famous for its indigenous carpets and rugs, and there is a perfect place in Yerevan, where you can get acquainted with the art of carpet making. It is the Megerian Carpet Musuem. It is one of the oldest carpet and rug brands in the world, since the Megerian family, who was originally from Armenia but later moved to New York, has been in the carpet business for over 100 years. Originally, they were focused on selling rugs, but later learned the art of restoring existing antiques. Right in this museum you can see centuries old carpets and rugs. The Megerian carpets are now being produced in several countries including Egypt, Armenia, Romania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China, with over 22 facilities in Armenia. Apart from its 5th Avenue location in New York City, the company has showrooms in Italy, France, Switzerland, and Germany.
Armenia being the first Christian country in the world, has a centuries old mosque. The only operating mosque in Armenia, the beautiful Blue Mosque is a quiet and harmonious place located in the center of Yerevan. The 18th-century Shia Mosque was closed down during the Soviet era and reopened in the 1990s with funding from the Iranian government. The gorgeous garden surrounded by amazing, colorful architecture is a well-loved place to visit for both locals and tourists.
Yerevan has a lot of parks in this tiny area, where you can get around the city life, and feel yourself truly great surrounded by nature.
A beautiful and refreshing place for a long walk, is the Yerevan Botanical Garden, which is a perfectly peaceful point to visit. There are several greenhouses throughout the park, some of which are open to the public. The garden is home to over 200 species of plants, some that are very rare and endangered. It is a popular place for newlyweds to take pictures and a great picnic spot for families and friends.
Another great spot to spend a time is the English Park, which is one of the oldest parks in Yerevan, since it dates back to the 1860s. In 1920, it hosted the first-ever football match in the modern history of Armenia. On the outskirts of English Park, you can find the Sundukyan Academic Theatre, the French Embassy, the Italian Embassy, and the Best Western Congress Hotel.
One of the most exceptional parks in Yerevan is the Tumo Park. It has an absolutely breath-taking view of the city and the gorge where it stands over. Particularly popular in the summer, the park is noticeably cooler than the city center, so it is a great place to find refuge from the hot summer.
Extreme and adventure right in the capital city of Armenia is absolutely possible.
The infamous Yerevan Zipline is the longest one in Armenia, and it crosses over the gorgeous Hrazdan Gorge and passes under the bridge at the height of 90 meters. The longest line at Yerevan Zipline is 870 meters and the second line is 650 meters. You can fly down at a speed of 150km and admire beautiful views of the gorge mixed with an adrenaline rush. If you love adventures make sure to not miss out the experience the zipline offers, with its stunning views of the city and gorge.
There is a perfect place for souvenir lovers. It is the Vernissage Market, which is an open-air market and gallery and another famous Yerevan tourist spot. You can find local handicrafts at stands or inside some of the stores around the area. This market is one of the most famous Yerevan attractions where souvenirs, jewelry, and many more items are found.
Yerevan has variety of street where you can get in touch with the old town. The most famous ones are the Hanrapetutyun, Arami, Abovyan streets. The Hanrapeutyun is easy to find since it is one of the most central parts of the city. Hanrpetutyan has some of Yerevan’s oldest buildings, dating back to the end of the 19th century. One of the most interesting buildings is the N32.
The Arami is one of the most famous ones in the city. This street was named after the legendary Aram Manukian, who was the “Popular Dictator” and Minister of Internal Affairs for the First Republic back in the 1919. It was one of the most fashionable streets in Yerevan, where the “Armenian Belle Époque” mansions could be found. Unfortunately, very few remain now.
The Abovyan Street is probably the most walkable streets of the capital. It is a perfect place and hidden courtyards, where you can find refuge from the heat of the summer under trees and near the fountains. This street is also lined with cafes, which have pleasant outdoor seating along the sidewalk, where you can enjoy a drink or meal.
The visit to the capital city is genuinely inevitable, since it is one of the most convenient and comfortable cities out there, you can find out a lot of touristic and, at the same time. underrated attractions on your own.
Yerevan has a lot to offer its visitors, so make sure to add it on your travel bucket list, when you are in Armenia.