Do you plan to visit Armenia and its bright and colorful capital Yerevan? If so, you won’t regret as this small city has so many interesting offers for a pleasant and unforgettable time. And we hope that our detailed guide will be useful during your holiday in Armenia and you’ll have an eventful time in such a lovely city.
Saturday in Yerevan
On your first day in Yerevan, we recommend to explore on foot the beautiful city center. Armenians themselves like the center very much and even don’t get tired of walking along the same streets and enjoying their city. The favorite among locals route starts at the Freedom Square where the famous Opera and Ballet Theater and the swan lake are situated. On summer evenings this place is always full of lively atmosphere: the youth nestle down on the lawn or branches around the swan pond eating ice-cream and cheerfully chatting. Some prefer to cycle and roller skate on the wide territory around the Opera building. Those who wish can rent bicycles here and have a good time. It is important to mention, that the Opera building is considered one of the most beautiful architecture examples, which was designed by the main architect of the country – Alexander Tamanyan in 1940.
Then cross the road from the Opera and stroll through the Northern Avenue – one of the most modern and luxury parts of the city. It was built several years ago and now you will find there fashionable shops, expensive boutiques, office buildings, cafes and restaurants. The avenue is beautifully designed and is always full of music thanks to the street musicians who already became the local attraction.
Leaving the avenue, you will appear in the very center of Yerevan near the famous Republic Square called also «the heart of Yerevan». This beautiful place is a real «must-visit» for all the tourists! Its construction was performed by the main Armenian architect Alexander Tamanyan who offered a complex but brilliant project, according to which in 1924 all the old leaning buildings were destroyed and replaced by new ones. Now the square is framed by beautifully designed five buildings: the History Museum of Armenia, the Government House, the Central post office, the hotel “Marriott Armenia”, The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. For those who are interested we necessarily advise visiting The History Museum which contains about 400,000 exhibits covering the entire history of the Armenian people. And in summer evenings you can enjoy on the square the colorful show of the famous singing fountains which daily attract lots of locals and tourists. The program is inspiring and very romantic!
If you get hungry during you city tour don’t worry, as at almost any corner of Yerevan and especially at the city center you will find cafes and restaurants. If you want to try Armenian national dishes we can advise the restaurant Dolmama which is located in a 5-minute walk from the Republic Sure. Even Charles Aznavour expressed his excited words for the deliciously cooked tolma (mince dmeat wrapped in grape leaves), khashlama (boiled meat) and tzhvzhik (fried liver with vegetables) during his visit to the restaurant.
If you didn’t manage to take part in Armenian traditional tableful, you can visit the other no less famous restaurant of the capital which offers really very tasty dishes. Don’t forget to order Armenian barbecue «khorovats».
Sunday in Echmiadzin
The next day we advise you to drive out of Yerevan and go to the city of Echmiadzin, which is situated very close just a 30-minute drive away. Just take a taxi, the fee of which is low enough in Armenia. To visit Armenia and not to see this town will be a big omission, since Echmiadzin is the religious center of all Armenians and the residence of the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is exactly here where was constructed the first Christian church in the world – Echmiadzisn Cathedral, built immediately after the adoption of Christianity in 301-303 years. Nearby you can see the churches of St. Gayane, Hripsime and Shoghakat – Armenian martyrs.
You can have dinner in the same town in a lovely place called Unity Cross. This amazing place is very popular among tourists. It is a charity organization that helps children from different families. Here, the children learn various crafts, as well as acting skills. In Unity Cross you can order a delicious lunch consisting of national dishes (especially popular is kyufta), as well as see unique souvenirs made by the children themselves.
After returning to Yerevan, go to the famous attraction “Cascade”. It is а huge staircase that connects the lower part of the city with the upper one. The park in front of the Cascade is a real museum of modern art. Here you will see unique and very valuable sculptures made by world famous sculptors like Fernando Botero, Lynn Chadwick, Barry Flanagan and others. All of them once belonged to the personal collection of Armenian businessman and philanthropist Gerard Cafesjian. After exploring the sculptures climb to the top of the Cascade by the ladder or by the elevator and you will get a surprise: from the observation area opens a breathtaking view to Yerevan and Mount Ararat.
And the best option to finish your tour in Yerevan is to listen to an excellent jazz music. The jazz has been revered in Armenia for a long time and Armenians play it perfectly. So it is no coincidence that Yerevan is sometimes jokingly called “the capital of jazz.” Visit the famous Mezzo Club or Malkhas Jazz Club founded by the eminent jazz musician Levon Malkhasyan.
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