Best Places to See in Armenia

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Last Updated on March 12, 2024

For these planning to journey Armenia, listed here are a few of the finest locations to see in Armenia. Hope you’re keen on the nation as a lot as I do!

We’ve all heard of Armenia or have Armenian associates, but most of us know nothing about this Caucasus nation. For the uninitiated, Armenia is an Eurasian nation situated  in the Caucasus area between Europe and Asia. As a results of its geographical location, the nation has a compelling mix of European and Asian heritage, tradition and meals. It’s very low cost and comparatively secure, and it’s simply reached from most elements of Europe.

Armenia isn’t often an immediate hit with vacationers. But I really like Armenia, in addition to neighboring Georgia and Azerbaijan. Perhaps due to my propensity for unconventional locations or my curiosity for locations which are off the crushed path. Regardless, Armenia received my coronary heart regardless of the quick period of time we spent there.

Best Places to Visit in Armenia

Best Places to Visit in Armenia

Beyond the capital metropolis, Armenia is outlined by looming mountains and dramatic landscapes punctuated by medieval church buildings and Soviet bloc fashion buildings. Its extraordinary assortment of medieval monasteries is spectacular, however its canyons, lakes and ski slopes are what make this nation so rattling stunning. Let’s not neglect the shocking delight of Yerevan, so exuberant and vibrant it jogs my memory of Asia extra so than Europe.

In comparability to its Caucasus neighbors, Armenia is really distinctive in its tradition and historical past. The nation has received its personal alphabets and language household, personal ethnicity, and cultural id. At instances it appears like Asia and at instances it’s very a lot European. The charming mix of East and West may be very evident right here, on this intriguing nation.

For a richer journey expertise, contemplate studying Armenian as an enriching addition to your journey. While English is prevalent in city areas, greedy some basic Armenian expressions can considerably improve your interactions with locals and deepen your appreciation of their tradition.

best places to see in armenia

1. Yerevan: A Vibrant Eurasian Capital

It comes as a shock to many (together with myself) that the Armenian capital metropolis of Yerevan is definitely very trendy and vibrant. Few traces of town’s historic previous stay, with a lot of town constructed from scratch through the Soviet period. Fortunately, there’s a community of gardens and parks all around the metropolis.

The coronary heart of Yerevan is at Republic Square, which centres on an enormous fountain, backdropped by the nationwide museum. The tree-lined boulevards are full of every little thing from stylish wine bars to old school teahouses, kebab outlets to pumping nightclubs and outside cafes. A fantastic place to essentially get a really feel of town’s vibes and decide up some knick knacks is the Sunday Market only a few steps from the Republic Square.

best places to see in armenia

For these of you who’re interested by Armenia’s historical past, the Yerevan Genocide Memorial and Museum is a necessary place to go to. Over 1.5 million Armenians had been killed or displaced by the Ottoman empire within the early 1900s. This was dubbed the primary genocide in historical past, although the Turkish authorities has but to supply an official apology. The genocide additionally resulted within the Armenian diaspora, leaving extra Armenians overseas than in Armenia, even to at the present time. The museum provides insights into this tragic chapter of Armenia’s historical past.

best places to see in armenia

2. Debed Canyon

To journey overland from Georgia to Armenia, most individuals catch the direct prepare from Tbilisi to Yerevan, however we needed a novel journey that may allow us to see the countryside alongside the best way. That’s why we signed up for the Enlinking Caucasus day journey with Envoy Tours that may take us from one capital metropolis to a different, whereas exploring northern Armenia.

As our information Yerv mentioned, “This northern region is said to be the most beautiful part of Armenia.” I couldn’t agree extra. The canyon manages to pack in additional historical past and tradition than anyplace else within the nation. Debed Canyon is dotted with outdated world villages, obscure Soviet-era buildings, and two World Heritage–listed monasteries, Haghpat and Sanahin, in addition to beautiful mountain landscapes. Here’s a glance the trio of monasteries that we visited on at the present time journey and why they’re value visiting:

best places to see in armenia

3. Akhatala Monastery

The first monastery we explored proper after crossing the Georgian border is the Akhtala Monastery, often known as Pghindzavank. This Tenth-century fortified monastery can also be an apostolic church, though it’s not functioning today. The fortress performed a serious position in defending the north-western areas of Armenia is among the many most properly preserved of all in trendy Armenia. Unlike most Armenian church buildings, this one has a vibrant inside, adorned with inventive frescoes.

best places to see in armenia

4. Haghpat Monastery

Backdropped by a panoramic view of the Debed Canyon, this monastery has probably the most stunning setting, and is undoubtedly my favourite of the three. Dating again to 976, the medieval monastery advanced was based by Queen Khosrovanuysh. The location of Haghpat Monastery was chosen in order that it overlooks the Debed River. It was constructed, not on a peak, however midway up a hillside chosen to guard  and conceal from prying eyes.

best places to see in armenia

5. Sanahin Monastery

Built across the similar time is the Sanahin Monastery. Like Haghpat, this monastery additionally lies in plain view to the general public on a dissected plateau formation, separated by a deep “crack” shaped by a small river flowing into the Debed river. The monastery is residence to quite a few khachkars (stones with elaborate engravings representing a cross) and bishop grave websites scattered all through it.

best places to see in armenia

6. Tsaghkadzor Ski Town

If you’re seeking to get a really feel for an Armenian small village close to Yerevan, I’d advocate trying out Tsaghkadzor, a quaint ski city that’s additionally wealthy in historical past. We handed by Tsaghkadzor and wandered round for a fast go to on our day journey to Lake Sevan with Ararat Tour, however wished we had extra time to remain right here and discover extra.

Translated to imply ‘valley of flowers’, Tsaghkadzor (don’t ask me the best way to pronounce it!) is sort of a preferred vacation spot for Armenians in winter thanks for its ski centre on the slopes of Mount Tegenis.  The village itself is small and quaint, simply navigable on foot. The foremost attraction on the town is the Kecharis Monastery, a restored historic advanced comprising of a tenth century church, and a13th-century cathedral.

best places to see in armenia

best places to see in armenia

From city, you’ll be able to simply drive as much as the ski base the place the ropeway leads you as much as the mountain peak. We took a experience on the ropeway (which is opened all yr spherical) and drank in a stupendous panorama of the valley from above. At this time of the yr (October), the grassy patches made for excellent climbing and horseriding. In winter the entire space is blanketed in snow and remodeled right into a busy ski piste.

best places to see in armenia

7. Lake Sevan — Armenia’s Most Beautiful Sight

Situated at 1,900m above sea stage, that is the most important high-altitude lake in Armenia and the Caucasus area. It covers virtually 5,000 sq. kilometres in space — an space so huge that makes it look extra like a sea than lake. 

Sadly, Lake Sevan was closely exploited for irrigation of the Ararat plain and hydroelectric energy era through the Soviet interval. Consequently, its water stage decreased by round 20 m and its quantity diminished by greater than 40%. Luckily, underground tunnels had been later constructed to divert water from highland rivers, which halted its decline.

Today the lake’s ecosystem is protected for it environmental, economical, and religious worth and it’s thought to be a nationwide treasure of the nation. The lake nonetheless provides virtually 90% of the nation’s fish provide, and also you’ll discover a few of the freshest seafood in Armenia proper right here on its shore.

best places to see in armenia

8. Sevanavank: Monastery Built on an Island

Because of the drop in water stage, the lake’s solely island has sadly develop into a peninsula now, simply accessible by automobiles on the southern shore. The peninsula is topped by one of the vital well-known sights in Armenia: the Sevanavank, a monastic advanced based in 874.

Sevanavank has a picturesque setting, surrounded by water. It sprawls throughout a big hilltop space, with two foremost church buildings surrounded by monks’ residing quarters and stays of khachkars (engraved stones). It’s value spending a while climbing across the space and exploring the paths surrounding the monastery.

best places to see in armenia

best places to see in armenia


How to Travel to Armenia

Travelers from the USA, the EU member-states and the Schengen Acquis states don’t want Armenian Visa. If you want a visa (like I do), you’ll be able to simply get it on-line on the Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site. It’s low cost (solely US$6) and can also be processed in a short time; you’ll often get it inside 24 hours of software.

Once you could have the e-visa, you simply must have it in your cellphone or print it out and current it on the border crossings. Whether you might be coming into Armenia on the airport or the overland border, you’ll must have your e-visa to journey Armenia.

Getting to Armenia from Georgia

Most individuals touring the Caucasus will fly into Tbilisi, the capital metropolis of Georgia first. It’s straightforward to search out low cost flights to Tbilisi from many main cities in Europe. My flight from Madrid to Tbilisi on Pegasus Airline was solely 150 euros return. I met an Austrian man who paid solely 70 euros for his return flights on Wizz Air.

To cross from Georgia into Armenia, your finest guess is to make use of the Sadakhlo-Bagratashen border crossing, which is simply an hour’s drive from Tbilisi. I traveled on a day journey, so sadly I can’t advise on the best way to cross the border independently. But based mostly on analysis, it’s comparatively straightforward to get a mini-bus from Tbilisi to Ortachala Bus Station after which taxi to the border.

The border crossing may be very trendy, clear and arranged. It took our group of round 15 individuals to cross from one nation to a different in lower than an hour. However, you probably have an Azerbaijan passport stamp, you’ll be requested a couple of extra questions than common. Read beneath to know why.

Getting to Armenia from Azerbaijan

Armenia and Azerbaijan are nonetheless at present at struggle and it’s not possible to go from one nation to the opposite. The two nations have been combating for political authority of the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh  for years. Nagorno Karabakh  is inhabited by principally ethnic Armenians but it surely was given to Azerbaijan by the Russians through the Soviet period.

Since the ceasefire in 1994, it’s thought-about a de facto unbiased state. Today, journey shouldn’t be allowed between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan. If you could have the passport stamp for Nagorno Karabakh, you’ll not be allowed entry into Azerbaijan.

To go from Armenia to Azerbaijan or the opposite approach spherical, you’ll want to return to Georgia. Some individuals say that it’s higher to go to Azerbaijan earlier than Armenia (relatively than after), as customized officers on the Azerbaijan borders can refuse you entry in the event that they see an Armenian passport stamp. I didn’t have an issue going to Azerbaijan after Armenia regardless of having a stamp, and there have been no questions requested in any respect. That mentioned, understand that I flew into Baku (typically airport arrivals may be simpler than overland border crossings). 

Plan Your Trip to Armenia

That concludes our information to the perfect locations to see in Armenia. I sincerely hope you’ll come to like Armenia as a lot as I’ve! Despite our transient keep, Armenia captured my coronary heart.

For additional journey inspiration, discover our different articles and journey guides that will help you plan your journey:

Disclaimer: This publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks i.e. if you happen to guide a keep via one among my hyperlinks, I get a small fee at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you on your assist!


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Best Places to Visit in Armenia

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