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The Ultimate Armenia Travel Guide in 2024

Why Visit Armenia?

Armenia, home to one of the oldest civilizations, invites travelers to the land of milk and honey. A glance through the Ultimate Armenia Travel Guide will give you a glimpse into the rich blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that makes it an exceptional destination. This travel guide to Armenia will show you why it is becoming the hot new destination for families, hiking junkies, and history buffs.

But don’t let the ancient history and family friendly environment think that people here do not know how to party. Armenia boasts of a vibrant and welcoming capital city, Yerevan, with bustling markets, a burgeoning art scene, and a thriving nightlife that’s bound to enchant anyone in search of adventure.

When to Visit and How

Armenia used to be a place that only saw visitors in the summer but as tourism has been rapidly developing, the country is already seeing year round tourism! This Armenian travel guide will give you the right idea of what to expect when you visit.

Summer

  • Busy season with peak tourism
  • Cultural, music, and food festivals
  • Peak season to eat our world famous apricots and visit our enormous high altitude freshwater lake Sevan.

Autumn

  • Perfect time to explore nature
  • Plenty of Harvest Festivals
  • Enjoy the sweet pomegranates you see decorated in every rock and see all the different colors in nature

Winter

  • Perfect for Winter Sports
  • Enjoy tasty dried fruits and piping hot bbq
  • Visit the two famous winter resort towns of Jermuk and Tsaghkadzor or enjoy some Khash near the top of Mt. Aragats

Spring

  • Fewest Tourists
  • Peak Foraging Season
  • Visit the lush forests of Lori and Tavush, and enjoy the hundreds of edible wild plants native to the region

How to Get to Armenia

For the majority of the people in the world, the best way to get to Armenia is to fly to the Zvartnots airport in Yerevan, EVN. It is best to book through an Armenian tour agency to have your pickup arranged and make the ride to our hotel as easy as possible. The airport is only a quick 30 minute ride from the city center by car and while public transportation is available, it is not easy to travel with luggage. 

All that is left is to make sure you got all of your paperwork in order. Get detailed information about planning your trip in depth on when to visit Armenia and how. 

Visa Requirements for Armenia

For EU citizens, Armenia welcomes travelers with a relatively straightforward process. Most EU citizens can enter Armenia visa-free for up to 180 days within a year.
For US citizens, the visa process is equally convenient. Armenia offers a visa-free regime for American passport holders, allowing them to stay for up to 180 days within a year. 
For major Asian countries like India, China, and Japan, Armenia has taken steps to simplify the visa process to promote tourism and cultural exchange. Travelers from these nations can apply for an electronic visa (e-Visa) online before their trip, streamlining the entry process. The e-Visa allows them to stay in Armenia for up to 120 days within a year.  
For specific information regarding visa requirements please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website

The Rich Culture and History

Armenian has been on historical maps for as long as maps have been made in the area. In fact, it is commonly joked that the people are the oldest things in the country. In fact, a 7,000 year old tooth dug up in Armenia matched perfectly with the current residents of the area

From the oldest leather shoe ever found to the oldest winery, wheat varieties, and carpets, Armenia truly is the cradle of civilizations. The same innovative culture that started civilization continues today with award winning wines, brilliant stone carving, and game changing tech companies.

Top 5 Places to Visit in Armenia

Geghard

Nothing gets as mythical as Geghard, the 4th century monastery carved out the side of a mountain at the site of a natural spring. In less than an hour’s drive from Yerevan, about 26 km, words can not do this spiritual monument justice.

Dilijian

One of the more scenic regions of Armenia, the city of Dilijian is nestled in forested mountains and is just more than an hour’s drive of 97 km from the capital Yerevan. Enjoy the cozy coffee shops, contact an Armenian travel guide for a beautiful city tour, and enjoy one of the dozens of hiking trails.

Tatev Monastery

Tucked away in the deep south of mountainous Armenia, the Tatev Monastery is one of the most historically significant churches in the region. And what better way to get to it than hopping on the Wings of Tatev, the world’s longest aerial tramway that goes through a breathtaking gorge. Definitely worth the 4 hour scenic drive of 256 km from Yerevan.

Areni

It is no surprise that even the cliffs and sky share the deep purple of wine in Armenia’s vineyard capital of Areni. Talk to your Armenian travel guide to book a wine tasting trip so you can experience wine from the same region as the world’s oldest winery. You can cover the 76 km drive in just under two hours from Yerevan, and be transported to an ancient wine country.

Exploring Yerevan: The vibrant capital city

Yerevan is where everything happens. The pink city is Decorated with urban parks, fountains as far as the eye can see, and enough to keep you busy year round.

The Whole City is A Museum

One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Cascade Complex, a grand staircase adorned with contemporary sculptures, an indoor museum of different eras of Armenian art, and stunning views of the city with the majestic Mount Ararat dominating the background. The city center is packed with museums that are historic homes of famous painters, actors, and writers.

Busy Markets to Shop at

The pink city not only looks great but has a lot to offer in the many busy shopping centers. Vernissage is the prime destination for tourists with neatly organized booths selling vintage antiques, handmade goods, and beautiful arts and crafts. If you are on the lookout for a local taste, there are street markets scattered all around the city, just make sure you have an Armenian travel guide with you to facilitate.

Taste the Fire

With all of that walking you need to get your energy back with a satiating meal. Armenia is not big on street food, have a seat at one of the hundreds of busy restaurants and enjoy top notch service. With such a large Armenian diaspora, there is a large variety of cuisine to choose from with the tastiest local ingredients. 

Tip: Stick to what your Armenian travel guide recommends, there is no secret hole in the wall they are hiding from you. 

Armenian traditions: Engaging with local culture

Armenians being over 90% of the population, are used to living with a high level of trust in each other. You will often see strangers helping each other out by carrying groceries for the elderly, entertaining children on a bus, and inviting passerbyers for coffee. While this culture is better preserved outside of the capital, you will still be surprised at how much people will go out of their way to help you. 

While Armenia may seem like a modern European country, culturally it is very conservative. 

The absolute best way to engage with local people is through an Armenian tour guide. Seems counterintuitive? Your Armenian tour guide has experience facilitating discussions, introducing tourists to the right people, and preparing everything in advance so you can focus on just enjoying your trip to Armenia. 

4 Practical Tips to Help You Explore Armenia

1. Stick to a Tour Guide

There are plenty of online Armenian travel blogs out there that will tell you that you can experience Armenia on your own but forget to mention just how difficult it can be to find proper accommodations outside the capital of Yerevan without some insider information. Sometimes knowing the Armenian language and having internet access may not even be enough, you have to know the locals, so best leave it to the person who gets paid to organize a tour.
We promise you there is no authentic experience you are missing out on because you went with a tour guide. It is best to experience through a professional tour to avoid a bad experience.

2. Wear a comfortable pair of shoes.

Do not be fooled by all the dress shoes people wear. Almost everywhere you will visit will include a lot of walking. Expect to be going uphill both ways. The walking roads are not always paved and being in a mountainous area means it can rain at any given moment.

3. Carry Cash

While credit card terminals and NFC readers are extremely common in Yerevan, cash is still king outside of the capital. Major currencies like the Euro and USD can easily be exchanged at fair rates all around the country, but ATMs are not as common.

4. Stay Hydrated

Don’t be fooled by the cool weather and occasional breeze. Armenia is a high altitude country and the sun beats down harder than you think. Make sure to pack extra sunscreen if you need it and bring a reusable water bottle with you everywhere. Armenia is known for having very clean spring water in many regions, just double check with your tour guide that the water is safe to drink.

 

Conclusion

Armenia is one of the most beautiful mountainous countries with a rich ancient history. It is a prime destination for hikers and history buffs alike, where you can see some of the world’s oldest churches, wineries, and castles, deep in forests, valleys, and mountains. When you do decide to come visit Armenia, save yourself a headache and book with an Armenian travel guide. While the tourism industry is growing in this friendly country, it is still tough to visit places on your own or figure out where to go. You are coming to Armenia to experience nature, history, and people, best to guarantee yourself a good time. 

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About the author

Rima’s background is in intercultural communications and she was very quickly integrated into the tourism industry. She loves communication with travelers, and cultural interaction, where she learns much and shares a lot of knowledge about Armenia. She discovered her true passion in the world of tourism. She loves exploring new hidden corners of Armenia and Georgia and sharing those experiences with others. The best knowledge comes with experience and she is happy to continue her journey of exploration, learning, and sharing. During the quick times in the office when she doesn’t have groups, she writes articles that she believes help many travelers who are planning their trip to Armenia and Georgia.